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Nat websites publicly-funded

Written By: - Date published: 9:30 am, June 16th, 2011 - 30 comments
Categories: interweb, national, parliamentary spending - Tags:

So, it was a typical Wednesday in our house; the wife parked on the couch watching Packed to the rafters, me messing on the interweb…. Anyway, after a bit of ‘The Standard’, a little ‘Trade me’ and a short ‘Red Alert’, I thought it would be fun to have a laugh at the lemmings on Whaleoil.

Well, would you believe it, he’s gone all ‘Youtube‘ on us!!

Anyway, to save you having to suffer his intolerably boring narration, he basically gives some pointer, firstly, how he used a specific site to identify the source of sites. For the relatively IT dumbfounded like me this was a revelation, so I thought “if it’s good for the goose it is good for the gander”

Blubber bucket used a website which identifies which sites are co-hosted on the same server. In his video he lists several sites where he announces that Labour is ‘has been caught red-handed using par­lia­men­tary ser­vices fund­ing to host web­sites, col­lect dona­tions and mem­ber­ship fees and staff work­ing in par­lia­men­tary ser­vices to process this infor­ma­tion. So, I thought I’d give it a try and see if his accusation holds any truth….

My-IP reveals a very interesting list of people; what Blubber bucket did next was run a ‘Who is’ search – this is how he ‘claimed’ Labour had been using ‘parliamentary services’ to run their websites. In fact, Labour has two staffers which work for the Parliamentary party part time and at party HQ the rest of the time, which is when they administer the party website. There is no use of publicly-funded staff time to run the party website.

So, what does National do??

It appears Nathan Guy’s domain was registered by one Kate Pullar, who, by the power of Google, is (or was) a certain Chester Burrow’s parliamentary secretary. Of course that wouldn’t be the Nat’s doing the same thing would it? And yes, she also registered Chester’s domain.

I must have randomly picked a random one (well Key’s at least went to a ChCh address!)

The deputy Prime Minister, double Dipton English was next for a check and guess what, his is listed as a certain Benjamin Wilson, also of parliamentary services; surely not the same Ben Wilson that regularly posts here?

Interestingly Lockwood Smith is also mates with Ben Wilson on the domain registrant basis, as is David Heatley and look at that Office that he was working in!!

The one that is really interesting is Brownlee – his does NOT provide any info, as it appears to be secured.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Eddie: Very good work, ianupnorth. I think I can add something of value with a bit of examination of the rules around MPs using parliamentary resources for communications. The rules are summed up on Parliament’s website:

  • has a parliamentary purpose;
  • identifies that it has been paid for by the Parliamentary Service;
  • contains contact details for the member or party responsible for the publicity;
  • does not contain inappropriate/misleading representation or descriptions of electorates; and
  • does not contain electioneering that explicitly seeks support for the re-election of a member or party, explicitly encourages party membership or explicitly solicits financial support.

Obviously, that’s a fine line, very often.

All the National MPs’ websites that I checked had the Parliamentary seal on it. This means that they are being publicly-funded by Parliamentary Services. ACT’s (ironically) are the same. None of the other parties’ MPs (at least, none of the couple of dozen I checked) have the Parliamentary seal, indicating they are being paid for out of private party funds or by the MPs personally.

Do National and ACT’s websites not “explicitly seek support…party membership… or financial support” while the other parties’ do? Looking at the sites, I can’t see the difference.

To confuse matters, National MPs’ webites, like John Key’s, have both the Parliamentary seal and the authorisation statement that has to go on political advertising.

So, do National’s MPs’ websites break the rules by being publicly-funded, or should Labour’s be allowed to be publicly-funded? It seems to me that it’s one or the other.

30 comments on “Nat websites publicly-funded ”

  1. TenM 1

    Just submit a complaint and find out.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    So far a mad blogger , some IT detective work, government money , all we need is a headless corpse and we have the plot for CSI

  3. Kaplan 3

    How many own goals can the Nat’s score over this one?

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Of course Cameron Slater should know all of this, since he does this sort of sleuthing on all the sites he visits. Apparently.
    Guess it’s only news when it’s Labour that supposedly has their hand in the cookie jar, though.

  5. Colonial Viper 5

    Hmmmmm both sides have bullets to fire. But the NATs may have just put one into their own foot.

    Wait until they develop the spin lines for this, then they’ll arrive here in a hoard repeating them ad nauseaum 🙂

  6. The Baron 6

    Now we’re getting to the big issues eh! I’m so fucking bored with the lot of you, of all colours. Curtains, websites and fucking seat warmers = political debate in NZ.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.1

      get over it. Even the NY times has stories on home casseroles and politicians underpants.
      You should be more selective about what you read

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Well, if you’re bored, fuck off.

      Although, really, you only seem to get bored when more evidence comes out proving that you’re preferred party is as psychopathic as I keep telling you they are.

      • The Baron 6.2.1

        Still waiting to find out how to reach the reality hotline, Draco.

        But really, I just keep coming back to laugh at how much of a myopic egotist you continue to be. Fire up the printing presses! We need to spread the word about the banana ban to the proletariat, before rampant inflation, due to our printing of money, makes them hate us!

    • bbfloyd 6.3

      baron..you’ve been watching too much tvnz it seems. it seems to have fogged your perspective somewhat.

      i’m assuming you go on to kiwiblog to point out the irrelevant nature of most posts on there, and contact your local national party mp’s office to complain about all the non issues they direct the msm to focus on while real issues affecting real nz’ers get swept aside?

      the real issue of a political party using public money to maintain their operations (them alone) while preaching self sufficiency and financial rectitude to a beaten down electorate will have you making loud. indignant comments to any who would listen? especially as they have, without hesitation, attempted to accuse or intimate(with full support from the msm) that other parties are doing the same or worse.

      you would be finding that an unconscionable wouldn’t you?

    • VanHuizen 6.4

      You’re absolutely right. In fact Slaters actually decided not to publish the Labour donors – he has more respect from me for that – but now the left are stooping to such childish levels. Not much wonder they’re going to be destroyed this election.

  7. Draco T Bastard 7

    So, do National’s MPs’ websites break the rules by being publicly-funded…

    Well, reading the rules as you posted them it would appear that National are breaking them.

    • burt 7.1

      Lets see if I can be as big a National party apologists as you are for Labour….

      It’s they way they have always done it… the rules were confusing…. Others were doing it too…. It’s not fair to just pick on National…. We need to validate the misuse of tax payers money (under urgency) to clarify the rules for parliamentary services.

      Have I reached the position of being utterly bereft of principles to defend the indefensible yet ?

  8. policywonk 8

    um… there are actually two Kate Pullars – one’s a former IT staffer at parliament, the other’s former press sec to Chester Chestburster

    • ianupnorth 8.1

      well it’s the Chester Burrows one, as her e-mail address is the contact for the domain registration.

      • policywonk 8.1.1

        I’m sorry Ianupnorth but that’s not correct.

        the Chester Borrows Kate has the email address kate.pullar(at)parliament …
        the IT Kate has the email address katherine.pullar(at)parliament

        The registrant email addresses for the Guy and Borrows website are both for IT Kate.

        I can appreciate the confusion but it’s important to get these things right isn’t it?

  9. ianupnorth 9

    As I pointed out I don’t personally think any of them are using public money for their website or to muster support; I think they got their staffers to register the domain names, nothing more, nothing less, but Blubber Boy thinks this equates to stealing from the crown and was prepared to fling mud at one side – I’ve found some mud to fling the other way. End of story.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1

      No, not really. As Eddie points out, National Party websites do have the Parliamentary Seal on them which indicates that they are using taxpayer funds to pay for them.

  10. Descendant Of Smith 10

    Story as reported in Stuff:

    “I have decided to withld the vast bulk of matel that I found, because I absolutely agree that as the law stands, everyy New Zealanr should be free to conibute to politl pares witht fear of their name being made public,” he said.

    I checked his blog (wash my hands and keyboard) just in case in had written that – I doubted it but pays to check.

    They could have cut and pasted with much more success:

    Source material and translation of above.

    I have decided to with­hold the vast bulk of mate­r­ial that I found, because I absolutely agree that as the law stands, every­day New Zealan­der should be free to con­tribute to polit­i­cal par­ties with­out fear of their name being made public.

    • Carol 10.1

      Do you mean this article about WO & the Labour material?

      I read it about 10 minutes ago & couldn’t figure if it is WO’s typos or the sub-editor’s. Or maybe both? Appalling, and that’s without considering the uncritical reporting…. ie the authors of the article don’t even mention that maybe WO was warned off by lawyers who know he would be breaching privacy.

      Slater said people should know about Labour’s slack management.

      “I thought it impornt that New Zealanrs were made aware of the appalling treatnt that the Labour Party gave to people’s connal inforon through their wide open website.

      “Google and at least nine other bots (web robots) have archived matel on the same open Labour site that has been in the news this past week and my post on how this occurred has gened unanus conmon of Labour among the IT community.”

      Slater named two donors including a Labour staffer who he has accused of using Paranry resources to do party business. Today he said the staffer had used a Parliamentary funded email address.

      • burt 10.1.1

        ie the authors of the article don’t even mention that maybe WO was warned off by lawyers who know he would be breaching privacy.

        So if he published it on his web site in a way that the public could find it he would be breeching the privacy act ? – Interesting …..

      • Gosman 10.1.2

        “… ie the authors of the article don’t even mention that maybe WO was warned off by lawyers who know he would be breaching privacy.”

        Maybe he was warned off???

        So you want the journalist to speculate on reasons why he hasn’t published without getting the facts first do you?

        Maybe he was abducted by aliens and told not to publish until the supreme overlord gives his go ahead. Should the paper publish that speculation as well?

  11. burt 11

    So who changed the rules….. It’s not fair to just prosecute National, the rules were confusing… It’s the way it’s always been done….

    My take is that both parties get charged for theft and the courts decide – but that’s not how it works is it.

  12. Gosman 12

    You guy’s are just looking a little foolish over this whole issue now.

    Firstly you can’t even get the correct person for one of the people who did this supposedly perfidious deed.

    Secondly these are Parliamentary websites of MP’s so it entirely legitimate that they fall under Parliamentary services remit.

    What apparently isn’t acceptable is for a Parliamentary Services employee to use his Parliamentary Services e-mail address and time to test out the payment system on a Labour Party website.

    • ianupnorth 12.1

      Show me the proof that is what happened. On his video Whale Boy uses a correlation between the domain registration and the website being ‘managed’ by parliamentary services.
      Indeed, if political parties are allowed to have state funded staff to engage in political work, then why not get them to test something?
      I’d go as far as saying that is far more appropriate than Richard Worth flying to India to tout his aero business or Pansy Wong taking her hubby to China to set up train building deals!

    • lprent 12.2

      What apparently isn’t acceptable is for a Parliamentary Services employee to use his Parliamentary Services e-mail address and time to test out the payment system on a Labour Party website.

      Gosman – you are a bit of a inattentive fuckwit. 

      It appears that you haven’t yet managed to assimilate that David Talbot (who I presume you’re talking about) spends part of his time working for the PS and part of the time working for the NZLP. He is paid separately for his time on each. 

      That has been known all week and has even been on a press release (pretty sure I have seen it on one). 

      Now I don’t know about you (I suspect that you’re a bit retarded technically), but I have several e-mail accounts that are my various identities. I can and do access these from my laptop, ipad, and cellphone using IMAP to different servers jumping through various security protocols. There is my personal email, my current work e-mail, my e-mail for the standard, and several others for other activities. 

      Most of the time when I’m sending mail I remember to flip the sender and reply address to the appropriate identity and send through the appropriate server. However not all of the time. I don’t think that David would be much different.

      After all any replies will come back to me regardless, and I really don’t expect some obsessed technologically retarded idiots like yourself or Whale to violate my privacy and read my mail and start jerking off on it. That is what you are doing right?

      • Gosman 12.2.1

        Interesting then that someone I know, who used to be the General manager at Parliamentary services, has advised me that using your Parliamentary services e-mail account as part of party political activity, such as David Talbot has done, would have been a no-no in his day.

        If it had happened then the relevant person in the Party organisation responsible would have been called in to a meeting to advise them in no uncertain terms that such activity was unacceptable.

        But hey, what would someone who used to head Parliamentary Services know about this? I mean someone like you lprent is obviously so much more knowledgable.

  13. ianupnorth 13

    My 15 minute search revealed copious parliamentary e-mail addresses used as the contact for MP’s domain registrations.
    Yes they may know the rules but they may turn a blind eye or are unable to enforce them

    • burt 13.1

      They know that if they try and enforce them the little babies start screaming that the rules were changed, it’s not fair to single out just one when others were doing it too etc… They also know that most corrupt and self serving of them will use parliament to retrospectively pass validations and kill off court cases if that ugly accountability things even gets close to seeing the light of day.

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