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National’s spin doesn’t stack up

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, December 4th, 2007 - 103 comments
Categories: national, spin - Tags: ,

National’s attempt to spin its way out of John Key’s DVD debacle doesn’t stack up.

Here’s the official line:

National’s campaign manager Jo de Joux blamed the production company.

“Obviously, National relied on the expertise of the production company that put together the video and its soundtrack,” Ms de Joux said.

“We’ll take all available steps to retrieve copies of the DVD which have already been distributed to electorates, and we have replaced it on our website and National’s You Tube channel.”

It may well be that we don’t know for sure until Hager’s given the emails but my guess is that Jo’s still not being entirely straight with us.

Remember that “Clocks” by Coldplay wasn’t chosen at random by Production Shed.TV. It was the song that John Key entered their Party conference to some months back. They even ran a competition to help pick it.

My guess is that Production Shed.TV approached the Nats to see what music they wanted used in the video. Jo de Joux or John Key or Murray McCully or whoever it is that makes these decisions would have indicated a preference for “Clocks”. On finding out what it would cost to use legitimately the Nats would have encouraged the producers to “explore other options” – read “change one note, and rip it off”.

Now it’s all turned to custard National’s hoping to point the finger elsewhere. It’s time they took some personal responsibility for their actions.

103 comments on “National’s spin doesn’t stack up ”

  1. Lee C 1

    Gosh, this is so exciting.

    Who can tell the depth to which National will plummet next.

    They are certainly setting the benchmark for lowering the bar in NZ politics.

    I wonder what we might compare it to?

  2. Susan Deare 2

    Lee C – Sarcasm isn’t a substitute for a good point or a decent argument. Here’s one to fill the void you left:

    National didn’t buy the rights to an artist’s music, but instead tried to cheaply rip it off, got caught out and blamed the production company. It’s as unethical as it is incompetent.

    It shows poor judgement and poor leadership from John Key, the star of the promotional DVD. And this man wants to be PM? What a joke.

  3. Billy 3

    Just another day at the Clocks blog.

  4. Visitor 4

    Two statements from John Key, as reported in today’s Herald:

    “The original version of Clocks was used for Mr Key’s entry at the party’s annual conference in August. He said the National Party had paid for a public performance licence to use the song on that occasion.”

    and …

    “Yesterday, Mr Key said the party had “relied heavily” on the production company Production Shed TV for advice. He understood National had not specifically asked for music that reflected Clocks.”

    In other words, National used Clocks, then asked the production company for new music, and the company came up with music that National had definitely NOT asked them for … which by an extraordinary coincidence, happens to sound just like Clocks.

    Tui time?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10480145

  5. Lee C 5

    National didn’t buy the rights to an artist’s music, but instead tried to cheaply rip it off, got caught out and blamed the production company. It’s as unethical as it is incompetent.

    It shows poor judgement and poor leadership from John Key, the star of the promotional DVD. And this man wants to be PM? What a joke.

    Susan I agree totally. This was all covered on kiwiblog yesterday. And has been done to death over here on the VDS.

    The issue here is that The Very Double Standard is so keen to keep the fire lit under this issue, when really, it is a beat-up, dog-whistle attempt to neutralise the ‘threat’ from the National party to Labour’s precious hegemony..

    National have withdrawn the DVD, made their excuses and will reissue it with another track.

    I agree with you totally, but for goodness sakes, the Frikken EFB is about to be debated in Parlaiament, and all the VDS can do is talk about this tiddler, or villify DPF.

    If this lightweight tabloidy stuff constitutes the ‘Labour movement’s’ approach to the next election, then they are in serious trouble.

    I’m sure you guys have this mental image of John key in the studio, manipulating the dials so that they can ‘get away’ with the rip off!

    That’s why I am sarcastic.

  6. the substantive issue however is that Key and his team have proven themselves once again to be piss poor at managing a campaign, broadly incompetent at handling the basics, and disingenuous when it comes to taking responsibility for their mistakes.

    that’s a bigger issue than clocks itself

  7. Susan Deare 7

    Lee C – I think the point you’re making is an ideologically charged false dichotomy. The issue of this thread is important unto itself because it affects the credibility of NZ’s opposition leader, quite irrespective of anything else.

  8. Lampie 8

    Yes, think bean and Susan have mentioned what the actually point of this thread is. You may suggest that the present Government should be replaced because of bad management and so forth but do we replace it with another group who are just as bad???

  9. Outofbed 9

    JK the clock is ticking

    The man has proved himself to be incompetent.

    2 years ago I wanted Brash to remain leader as I thought Key would bring it home.

    Now I want key to cling on and the Nats not to roll him and install English, because thats the only way they may stand a chance in 08

    Carry on Mr Key (good film title)

  10. Lee C 10

    Lee C – I think the point you’re making is an ideologically charged false dichotomy.

    what as opposed to a true dichotomy?

    Big words don’t don’t make small mindedness any grander, they just expose weak arguments.

  11. Lee C 11

    The issue of this thread is important unto itself because it affects the credibility of NZ’s opposition leader, quite irrespective of anything else.

    I think you nailed it in that last bit, though.

  12. Lee C 12

    yes yes,
    I know… I once used the word ‘egregious’.

    The EFB is egregous though.

    The CLocks thng – well, like I say – ‘exciting’ I suppose, if it floats your boat.

  13. rjs131 13

    Didnt anyone from the labour party take personal responsibility after the auditors general report in light of the 2005 overspend?

  14. gobsmacked 14

    Lee C

    It is JOHN KEY who thinks touring small towns handing out a shallow, policy-free DVD is more important than campaigning against the EFB, or talking about any other matters of substance. That is HIS choice, not the Standard’s.

    You can hardly blame the Standard for focusing on what the National leader himself has chosen to do.

    If you’re not happy with John Key’s priorities, take it up with him.

  15. Eddie 15

    Didnt anyone from the labour party take personal responsibility after the auditors general report in light of the 2005 overspend?

    I think you can safely say that the president did – and then raised over $800,000 to pay it back. Which he duly did and remarkably it was barely mentioned in the media.

  16. lemsip 16

    While we are talking about the credibility of policitcal leaders perhaps we should flog Helen Clark’s dead horse: fradulently passing off some one else’s art work as her own…

  17. Camryn 17

    This DVD issue only seriously undermines the competence of John Key in the minds of those who’re looking for any angle to justify a belief they already hold. It takes several assumptions to come to that conclusion: (1) That he had any awareness of the decision making around the music, and (2) whether the decision making was malicious or stupid. The more reasonable interpretation is ‘a little of both’ – the production company said “we can change it enough for you to use what we make without infringing Clocks” and someone at National said “tee hee hee… saving pennies… cool” and didn’t get a second qualified opinion apart from the one of the person trying to sell them something.

    Coming out of this, National looks like it can admit to mistakes, which is at least second best after not making them. It’s Labour that the populace is tiring of overall. Given how long that has taken, it shows that it takes more than an issue of this scale to cause serious damage to a political party. This probably isn’t any bigger than “Paintergate” in terms of damage or significance.

    I would now commence to do the usual castigation of The Standard for therefore “wasting time” on this, but I’m sure Kiwiblog was 100% dedicated to Paintergate for several weeks so I’ll call it even.

    The long and the short of it is that opposition parties always have to face the “credibility” or “lack of experience” taunt after multiple terms out of office. And it’s true to some extent. It’s balanced, though, by fact that governing party also tends to run out of steam after multiple terms too… too many scandals, too few new ideas, etc. Both parties will attempt to minimize these effects, and the most successful or the one that can introduce some game changing effect will win the next election. All just business as usual.

  18. Lampie 18

    EFB is been a poor bit of work. I agree with the intent, but was proably a bad copy of either UK, Canada or USA (or mixture) law.

    So while Ms Clark is most likely not too happy with the workers involved as it hasn’t gone smoothly, Mr Key is most likely kicking Jo de Joux’s arse. So I think there are some sore arses in both camps.

  19. Dean 19

    Eddie said “I think you can safely say that the president did – and then raised over $800,000 to pay it back. Which he duly did and remarkably it was barely mentioned in the media.”

    Are you suggesting that it was worthy of a lot of attention?
    The money should never have been spent in the first place. All Mike Williams did was to correct a problem that shouldn’t have even happened in the first place.

    It was reported, and the saga was over. I don’t see that he should have been up for any pats on the back.

    I now await Nih, who will duly accuse me of having multiple logins, or for working for the National party.

  20. Billy 20

    “I now await Nih, who will duly accuse me of having multiple logins, or for working for the National party.”

    Or of beig gay which, according to Nih, is a bad thing.

  21. Gruela 21

    I really don’t understand this penchant the right has for continually throwing the $800,000 overspend into any debate, since it WAS paid back, the National party ALSO had to pay back $112,000 at the same time, and National ALSO have been using the same loophole to boost their own election spending for any number of years.

    It’s a pretty thin argument, guys.

    Also, about the pledge card: “Bill English”, “Pledge Pamphlet”, “2002”.

  22. the sprout 22

    “pay it back”

    speaking of which, has National ever paid back the thousands of GST component in its spending that it “forgot” to declare?

    “Coming out of this, National looks like it can admit to mistakes”

    hmm, almost, but blaming it all on a sub-contractor doesn’t sound much like an admission of repsonsibility does it? should read “coming out of this National looks prone to mistakes”

  23. deemac 23

    if you think The Standard is being unfair on Key, don’t look at Stuff’s website whatever you do – their daily poll is beyond sarcastic:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/view-poll-results.html?section_id=10&poll_id=15582&option_id=25852

  24. Lampie 24

    National looks like it can admit to mistakes

    Agree sprout, Key’s statement was “passing the buck” plain and simple.

    Imagine your in business and you delegate responsibility for an awareness campaign for a product and /or service to one of your subordinates. You get done or caught say for a copyright issue. Hmmm I be thinking very highly of my subordinate in their choices of third parties, NOT!!! Most likely get the sack!

  25. Santi 25

    Gruela, why don’t you apply the same twisted logic to Winston’s NZF and Dunne’s UF? They haven’t paid a cent of the stolen money in the hope their support with the EFB will make the debt go away. Not very principled, uh?

  26. Matthew Pilott 26

    rjs131, under the Auditor General’s interpretations of Parliamentary spending, you’re aware that a party would not be allowed to publish a budget right? So that works for you then? Interesting….

    You do realise that bringing that up on each and every thread doesn’t actually lend any credibility to the right? As we’ve seen that argument kicked all over the park time and time again…

    Although while we’re at it, might I remind you that Labour didn’t blame it on the company that manufactured the pledge cards 😉

    And when National (deliberately or otherwise) overspent $115,000 by not paying GST, they refused to pay the money back, admit they had done wrong, and suck up the penalty. Cop-outs right, right and centre right – there’s a “Very” Double Standard I don’t hear you banging on about, Lee C.

    Santi, I don’t support either NZF or UF but their overspend has nothing to do with the EFB, just muttering them in the same post doesn’t inextricably link them together…

  27. slightlyrighty 27

    As to the non payment of GST, the payment of GST in that instance would have resulted in a breach of the law. It could be argued that a spending limit on an election campaign might or might not have included GST and I am unaware if the legislation suurounding it actually stipulates if GST is to be included or not. When the National Party discovered what had happened, THEY contacted the electoral commission and endeavoured to solve the problem with the Electoral Commission’s assistance.

    National tried to get an amendment in parliament to enable debts to be paid without a law breach, and it was voted down by the same people who had voted to make their own deliberate illegal spending ( having been informed that the planned spending would be in breach of the law) legal, and have now passed laws to allow that spending to continue.

    National HAVE reached agreement with their creditors to fund charitable advertisements to the value of $115000. The issue is settled.

    So Matthew, get your facts right.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0512/S00066.htm

    You can start here.

  28. Gruela 28

    slightlyrighty

    WTF? You’re telling people to get their facts straight?
    The Auditor-General warned ALL the parties that their previous spending was getting near to illegality. At no time before the election did he explicitly warn Labour that their spending would be considered illegal if they went through with it.

    As to your defending National by arguing that their actions weren’t illegal but merely incompetent, have you ever heard the phrase that starts: “With friends like these….”?

  29. Lampie 29

    It is not the size of the money that counts, it is the act!

  30. Billy 30

    Gruela,

    I think SlightlyRighty is referring to the fact that Mike Williams was warned before the election that the pledge card spending would need to be in Labour’s return. He said it would. By the time he filed the return, he had changed his mind.

  31. Gruela 31

    Billy

    Was he? Are you sure? Damn, there goes that argument, then…

  32. I see that Labour has spent tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to develop its new website. They have cunningly done so before 1 January, to avoid having that expenditure counted as an election expense under the Electoral Finance Bill.

    Labour is already looking at ways to rort the taxpayer, and outspend everybody else during the 2008 campaign.

    But of course, the Standard only cares when people use their own money to promote political causes. Stealing public money to rort the system is fair game.

  33. Billy:

    I don’t think you get the point. When the Labour Party lie to the Auditor General, and the Chief Electoral Officer, saying that they won’t steal taxpayers’ money to outspend everybody during an election campaign, and then proceed to do exactly that, it’s always Heather Simpson or Mike Smith who are to blame. Never Helen Clark or Mike Williams.

    Because Helen Clark and Mike Williams cannot ever be held culpable for Labour’s theft of public money to spend on elections, the Labour Government has to pass retrospective legislation to validate the illegal expenditure. I don’t see what problem you have with that. You’re just being picky.

    But if John Key releases a DVD, produced by a production company, and paid for by National Party members, as opposed to the taxpayer, then John Key is personally liable for the creation of a six-second musical piece, three chords of which are similar to a pop song.

    John Key’s disgraceful conduct in composing this music should not go unpunished. Annette King should include a last-minute amendment to the Electoral Finance Bill, banning John Key from standing at the next election.

    That is the only suitable remedy in this fiasco.

  34. Gruela 34

    Insolent Prick

    National had a $112,000 overspend. Did they lie to the Auditor-General?

  35. Visitor 35

    The spin is starting to unravel, hour by hour.

    Here’s the Dom-Post online today:

    “Mr Key said the first he knew of the problem was Friday night”

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/dominionpost/4311912a6000.html

    And here’s John Key’s media release, the Tuesday before:

    “This morning I launched a 12-minute DVD, “Ambitious for New Zealand – Meet John Key”. The DVD is intended to give Kiwis a closer look at my life and what I stand for. . You can download and watch it here.”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0711/S00545.htm

    So he didn’t actually listen to a DVD he was handing out and telling us all to watch?

  36. No, Gruela. National did not exceed its spending cap. It didn’t overspend. It failed to account for the GST component. Additional public money was not spent. Broadcasters were out of pocket as a result of National’s mistake. National settled privately with broadcasters to ensure they were not out of pocket.

    National should have been prosecuted for its broadcasting error. National never sought to justify its mistake.

    National made no undertakings to the Auditor-General before the election about its broadcasting expenditure. It did give the A-G an assurance that it would not use parliamentary funding for election purposes. National included the expenditure in its 2005 election spending cap. National did not exceed the election spending cap.

    Labour gave that same undertaking to the Auditor-General. Labour then used $800,000 of taxpayers’ money to buy itself the core plank of its 2005 election campaign: the pledge card. Labour agreed with the Chief Electoral Officer that it would include that expenditure in its 2005 election return. It later refused to do so. If it had included the pledge card expenditure that it illegally took from the taxpayer, Labour would have exceeded its election spending cap by close to a million dollars.

    Labour subsequently attacked the Auditor-General for acting unfairly against the Labour Party, and refused to pay the money back for a year. It was only after Labour saw the massive public outcry–what it had originally deemed a “belt-way issue”, that it agreed to pay the money back. Labour took a further year to do so.

    In response to Labour’s theft of public money to rort the electoral system, Labour wrote the Electoral Finance Bill to suit itself, at the expense of everybody else.

  37. Robinsod 37

    Slightly – I have heard unverified rumours that a lot of those charity ads went to right-wing causes like Family First. Does anyone know if this is true or not?

  38. Lee C 38

    gobsmacked – Key is doing his thing, English is doing his re. the EFB.

    Personally there are few who would suggest I have been particularly glowing about Key’s attitde and lack of leadership over the anti-EFB movement.
    But the point remains in my mind, the attempts by some to capitalise on the DVD thing – it’s a beat up and there are more worthy things to attend to as we speak.

  39. Robinsod 39

    Lee – you mean more worthy things like defeating the EFB? It was a lovely day in Auckland on Saturday. I got my washing dry by lunchtime and had a few beers with friends on the patio. Did you get sunburned while marching for our freedoms?

  40. Matthew Pilott 40

    Slightlyrighty, one was a case where a strict interpretation of the law meant that no Party would be able to spend public money. On anything. As I mentioned, how would they be able to publish a budget? Tell me that before you lie through your teeth telling me to get my facts right.

    Your, and IPs, spinning of it as theft is a joke and you all know it, why persist? I guess because most of the time people can’t be bothered rehashing the same old arguments to counter your lies, it does get rather tiresome. I mean look at IP’s 1:51 effort – how many million times has he trotted out the same rubbish, only to have it shot down, only to come yapping back like a faithful little tory attack-dog.

    When National overspent, it refused to pay back the money owing through proper channels. That they later settled it with a donation doesn’t mean that they didn’t overspend and then squirm their way out of it.

    They didn’t pay it back legitimately but that’s typical stuff from the right – they’ve paid back the money to their creditors, who cares about the law?

    IP are you still complaining that Labour’s new website was a waste of propaganda money as there isn’t new content on it (forgetting how the interweb thingy works again?), or are you going to admit that it was a pathetic and desperate attempt to divert attention from John Key and national trying to steal IP from Coldplay, or get out of paying them on a technicality?

    And we’re still waiting for any decent figures from you about the cost of the website (not any website that a designer would charge to set up, but the ACTUAL costs of Labours’) but since time and time again you blatantly lie I don’t know what I bother asking you. So in hindsight, don’t worry about those figures, you’ll be wasting your time.

    John Key’s disgraceful conduct in composing this music should not go unpunished.” At least there was a diamond amoing the turd 😉 Since it appears they were deliberately trying to rip off an artist you’re dead right on that count.

    P.S deliberately overstating the problem doesn’t actually diminish it in reality. Just so you know, IP.

  41. Tane 41

    I still can’t believe Lee can buy so fully into National’s spin about the Electoral Finance Bill without even having read The Hollow Men. It’s a quick read Lee, and there’s sure to be a copy at your local library.

  42. Santi 42

    I suggest you read Das Kapital, Tane. You’ll love it.

  43. Robinsod 43

    Santi – that doesn’t even make sense. You’ve never read Das Kapital, have you?

  44. Matthew:

    I’ve already reported on the Standard, I believe, that Labour’s website required 42 web designers and developers, working full-time over six weeks on building it. I have got quotes from industry suggesting that the cost was at least $51,000. Ironically, the people giving the quotes were the same people who gave quotes to the Standard, for the Standard to arrive at its figure of $50,000 for the DVD.

    Of course, Matthew, if you want to submit the actual invoices for the website build, you’re welcome to do so.

    Some people on the Standard have claimed that the website was built by Labour Party volunteers. If that were the case, then the website would not have been funded by the taxpayer, and would not include the parliamentary crest. As it happens, the website was taxpayer funded.

    It’s no surprise that the website build–along with Labour’s entire rebranding exercise–has been loaded into the 2007 year, to avoid the expenditure being included in Labour’s 2008 election campaign under the Electoral Finance Bill.

    Labour is already rorting taxpayers to buy itself propaganda for the election campaign. I would have thought Labour might have learned a few lessons from the public outrage at how cynically it stole money to pay for its campaign in 2005. Evidently, Labour hasn’t learned any lessons.

  45. the sprout 45

    “Labour has spent tens of thousands of dollars of taxpayers’ money to develop its new website”

    what a complete crock of shit. there’s no way that development would be charged to parliamentary services, come from any kind of parliamentary budget or otherwise be charged to the public. it would be paid for by the party if at all, more likely it would be done by a volunteer. oh that’s right, i keep forgetting the right don’t understand that word.

    still, another noble attempt at a feint to distract from jonkey’s latest screaming example of incompetence.

  46. Matthew:

    You said: “When National overspent, it refused to pay back the money owing through proper channels. That they later settled it with a donation doesn’t mean that they didn’t overspend and then squirm their way out of it.”

    There were no proper channels. National would have been breaking the GST act by paying the money. It is unlawful to deliberately break the law. National repaid the broadcasters in a private settlement through a mechanism that did not break the law. The broadcasters were not out of pocket.

    Secondly, there was no overexpenditure. The $112,000 GST error was included in National’s election return. National did not exceed its spending cap.

    Labour, however, did not include the money that it stole from the taxpayer, against the orders of the Auditor-General, in its election return. It was required to do so by the Chief Electoral Officer. If it had included it in its return, Labour would have exceeded the spending cap.

  47. the sprout 47

    btw IP, and sorry to burst your tiny misninformation bubble, but the inclusion of the parliamentary request is mandatory for some publications – it isn’t in anyway an indication that a publication was necessarily parliamentary funded.

  48. Sprout,

    I suggest you check the law. It is a requirement for all publications that are publicly funded that they include the parliamentary crest. Labour has developed its website using parliamentary funds.

    I challenge you to get Mike Williams to deny it.

  49. IrishBill 49

    Insolent Prick – you’re repeated posting of the same off-topic issues is getting dull. Especially as you have had your comments refuted many times before. Why are you behaving this way?

  50. the sprout 50

    “National would have been breaking the GST act by paying the money… there was no overexpenditure. The $112,000 GST error…”

    hmm starting to lose your touch there IP – so your defence of National is that they failed to right their law-breaking because it would break the law, and the reason they broke the law is because they are so incompetent they still haven’t worked out how to do GST.

  51. Matthew Pilott 51

    IP do you still think that the new website was a failed piece of propaganda, since it has largely the same o=content, at present, as the old website?

    As I have already said, you lie repeatedly and I therefore will choose not to believe you on this one either.

    To give an example, you disagreed with Gruela that “National had a $112,000 overspend.” That is a bare faced lie. National bought $112,000 worth of advertising over and above the cap. That they underhandedly bought people off later with their own money does not make it alright.

    They bought services and received over and above the cap – they just didn’t pay for them. Not a good look.

    Given you are against the EFB and want National to be able to spend millions extra (or have it spent on their belalf) I am not surprised you support such lies and deceit.

    That you do so behind a pseudonym is stunningly apt.

  52. Mike Williams 52

    Oh my god – did impotent prick call me out?? Shit, um mr Prick we didn’t use parliamentary funds to build our website – please don’t savage me with your razor wit mr Prick, sir..

  53. the sprout 53

    “It is a requirement for all publications that are publicly funded that they include the parliamentary crest”

    Logic 101 IP, see if you can work it out witho8ut asking a grown up:

    All dogs are animals, not all animals are dogs.

    Similarly,

    All parliamentary funded publications must display the crest, not all publications that display the crest are parliamentary funded.

    Get it IP?

  54. Robinsod 54

    IP will never get it. He’s incapable.

  55. The Labour Party website is funded from Parliamentary Services, Sprout. Until you get the real Mike Williams to deny it, you haven’t got a case.

  56. Matthew Pilott 56

    National had a cap of $900,000 and they recieved services over and above that, to the order of $112,000. Unless you can prove otherwise you haven’t got a case.

  57. Lampie 57

    Why hasn’t Key got the balls to admit “we had fucked up”, that would be worth tens of thousands of votes alone.

    Thats the problem today, most won’t accept they have made a mistake as they percieve it as a weakness. (I’m talking business leaders and so forth). Time to stop passing the buck and stand up like a man (and occassional woman).

    *waits for the wrath of woman kind*

  58. Gruela 58

    Insolent

    Are you saying that if National had included the GST component in their spending report, then they still would have been under the spending cap?

    And also, call me Mr Thicko, but didn’t the Auditor-General declare that all such spending was retroactively illegal, and wouldn’t that include National’s spending during previous elections? Wouldn’t that imply that we’ve probably had illegal National Governments in the past?

  59. Robinsod 59

    I thought he just did deny it.

  60. Robinsod 60

    The Labour Party website is not funded from Parliamentary Services, Prick. Until you get the real John Key to deny it while dressed in a gorilla suit, you haven’t got a case.

    Yay – I’m learning to argue like prick!

  61. Gruela 61

    That’s what I thought. I’m lost here…..

  62. it’s prickle robinsod. cos when you first look you are expecting a prick but then it is soo tiny that only a pair of tweezers can locate the bugger

  63. oo yay i’m learning to be as off topic as prickle!

  64. Gruela 64

    My turn.

    From now on I’m gonna call him Lil’ Bobbit, in honour of another VIP (Very Irritating Penis) that made the ultimate sacrifice for his beliefs.

  65. Lampie 65

    Guys, our friend Mr Prick, has heard of the saying “pot calling the kettle black”

  66. Gruela:

    The Auditor-General expressed concerns about use of parliamentary expenditure on election campaigns following the 2002 election. He said that the rules were messy, and needed clarification. In 2005 he met with all political parties to explain his view on the appropriateness of using parliamentary expenditure on campaigning. This interpretation was backed up by an opinion from the Solicitor-General.

    All parties agreed not to use parliamentary funding on electioneering during the 2005 election. Heather Simpson subsequently authorised, on behalf of the Labour Party, more than $800,000 of parliamentary funding on Labour’s campaign. Prior to the election, Mike Smith agreed to include that expenditure in the election spending return.

    Subsequent to the election, Labour refused to repay the parliamentary expenditure it illegally spent, and refused to include that expenditure in the party return. Had it done so, Labour would have breached its election spending cap under the Electoral Act.

    National’s broadcasting GST error broke the Broadcasting Act. National should have been prosecuted for its breach of the broadcasting act. The GST error would not have exceeded National’s electoral act spending limit.

    Labour legally spent $4.6 million on the last campaign. Labour illegally spent a further $800,000 of public money, which was not included in its return.

  67. I take it that the Standard commenters who are currently claiming that Labour’s website is not funded by Parliamentary services will be feeling very silly when they are subsequently proven wrong.

  68. Gruela 68

    Insolent

    So how did National break the Broadcasting Act? Which part of the Act, exactly?

  69. Lampie 69

    subsequently proven wrong

    so you have evidence to present, present it then

  70. Section 70 of the Broadcasting Act sets out that a political party cannot purchase its own television advertising. All television advertising must be paid for by an allocation from the electoral commission.

    National cannot spend more than its allocation, without effectively purchasing its own television advertising and breaching section 70 of the Broadcasting Act. As a consequence of the GST error, the taxpayer wasn’t out of pocket, because the National Party could only spend what was allocated to spend.

    The broadcasters were out of pocket. National settled privately with the broadcasters to ensure they weren’t out of pocket. But National still broke the Broadcasting Act, and should have been prosecuted.

    There isn’t a spending cap on television advertising. There is merely an allocation, and a ban on parties spending their own money on television advertising.

    There is a spending cap on election-related expenses under the Electoral Act. National was well within its spending cap, even with the GST error. Labour did not declare the pledge card expenditure, despite undertaking to do so prior to the election. Had Labour done so, Labour would have blown out its total election spending.

  71. r0b 71

    IP, you are doing an excellent job at running the National party line on this (long past) issue. Naturally, the Labour party line has a different point of view. Here’s Michael Cullen:

    “Let us come back to a very simple point. What the National Party cannot demonstrate, in trying to justify the position taken by the Auditor-General, is that there is a single sentence in the 2005 report that says the then assumed interpretation of the spending rules was wrong. It is nowhere in that report. All that happened is that a year later the Auditor-General said that he had said something like that. But he did not. All he said in that report was that the rules are unclear and need to be clarified after the election, and people should obey the rules as they were. It was like a referee during a game of rugby saying what the going-over-the-top rule is, then, after the game, pinging somebody and saying he had breached the rule, although no explanation was given at the time. That is what the Auditor-General has done.

    The entire case actually rests upon that point. National Party members are trying to say—and I want to get this very clear—that they are the only party in the House that knew that the interpretation of the rules had changed. Clearly, nobody else did. Yet they went ahead and broke the rules as they understood them—the only party to do so. What every other party has said is that the rules were such that the spending was legitimate, and the Auditor-General has changed the interpretation of those rules.”

  72. Lampie,

    I’m sure you’re an honourable person. How will you react if it is proven that parliamentary services paid for the website?

    It is unprecedented for political parties to include the parliamentary crest on any communications that are not paid for by parliamentary services. Conversely, it is mandatory for political parties to include the parliamentary crest on all communications that are funded by parliamentary services.

  73. Lampie 73

    Show me the money

  74. Robinsod 74

    Lampie – he can’t. He’s a liar.

  75. Lee C 75

    I am not so ready to jump to a conclusion based on one ‘quick read’ Tane.

    ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ is a quick read, too. By your logic should we exterminate wolves on that basis? If the Labour Party needed the fur, would yu go out hunting tonight? Don’t like to think for yourself? Or are you nothing more than a spin parrot?
    Tane. Which part of the EFB will erradicate the abuses that were perpetrated by ‘The Holow Men’?

    Which part of it will hold the Unions accountable for similar practices?

    How many of the other four million kiwis have read the ‘Hollow Men’?

    Do they all therefore deserve the EFB to limit their freedoms?

    I can’t believe that you can buy so fully into the EFB when the Herald, Dominion Post, Sunday Star Times, Espiner, Hager, Law Society, Human Rights Commission, Grey Power, SST, yes National and the Electoral Commission all appear to be in opposition to it.

    So, what gem of insight into New Zealand’s constitutional democracy does Labour have which gives you special dispensation to completely disregard every shred of evidence to the contrary, and still support the EFB?

    And why have you done such an apalling job of sharing this gem if wisdom with us?

    Just for clarity: Let us summarise the Labour Party line;

    ‘It [The EFB] will stop peole like the Exclusive Brethren and John Key rorting the electoral process.” (Helen Clark – Hansard, September 16th 2007)

    Bullshit!

    My attitude towards the EFB is based the evidence, rather than blindly following ANY Party line.

    Val Sim’s advice to the Government, Hager’s the Law Society and Human Rights Submissions to the SC, Espiner SST, Dominion, Herald, Hansard, Burton, King, English, Key, Electoral Commission, excerpts from the Hollow Men and reviews of the above.

    You, on the other hand have ‘The Hollow Men’ and One or two spurious sound-bites on your side of the argument.

    DO you really think you can you defend your one-eyed views by suggesting that any opposition to the EFB is based on a National Party conspiracy?

    That is Hollow.

    It is you that needs to do a bit more reading, Tane. Spin parrots like you – Tane – are responsible for the present major rift within the Labour Party. They are keeping it quiet, but even Stevie Wonder can see it.

  76. Lampie 76

    Lampie – he can’t. He’s a liar.

    C’mon robinsod, this could be the biggest news since they found Nicky Watson’s dog.

    Sorry Prick but I like evidence my friend and wikipedia doesn’t cut the mustard

  77. r0b:

    The Auditor-General disagrees considerably with Michael Cullen’s “interpretation”. The A-G is hardly a National Party stooge, or subject to National spin. When he released his report in 2006, Brady said:

    “On 21 June 2005, I reported to the House of Representatives a range of concerns I had about how parliamentary advertising was managed. I was particularly concerned that the administrative framework for such advertising was weak. My report also drew attention to the need for MPs and parliamentary parties to take care when advertising in the pre-election period.

    “In the three months before the General Election on 17 September 2005, I became concerned that electioneering material may have been paid for by the Service out of resources appropriated for MPs’ and parliamentary parties’ advertising.”

    It’s all very well to claim that the Labour Party didn’t know what the law was. Except Kevin Brady met with Labour Party officials to clarify his interpretation on the law. He did likewise with other parties.

    New Zealand First considerably broke the law. United Future broke the law. The Maori Party didn’t. Progressives didn’t. National made a couple of errors, but was largely consistent with the A-G’s ruling. Labour accounted for more than $800,000 of the $1.2 million of illegal expenditure.

    That shows, in anybody’s mind, a clear intention by the Labour Party to ignore the Auditor-General’s warnings and clarifications of his expectations.

    Heather Simpson was responsible for approving Parliamentary expenditure for the Labour Party. It is preposterous to claim that she could have been so confused about the A-G’s interpretation.

  78. Pascal's bookie 78

    Insolent, I hate to pile on, but I too am a bit confused about your version of how the GST fandangle played out.

    It is unlawful to deliberately break the law.

    It is unlawful to break the law, full stop. But nice framing.

    National repaid the broadcasters in a private settlement through a mechanism that did not break the law. The broadcasters were not out of pocket.

    Could you spell this out for me? Either National paid it’s bill, (by whatever means), and formalised their breaking of the law, or they didn’t pay and the broadcasters are out of pocket. What other option is there?

    Are you suggesting that we can all avoid GST by these “private settlement mechanisms”, and the IRD will magically get their money without leaving anyone out of pocket? ‘Cause that’s what my reading of the above says.

    Secondly, there was no overexpenditure. The $112,000 GST error was included in National’s election return. National did not exceed its spending cap.

    Crafty. So the error was included in the return. That doesn’t mean that the GST wasn’t legally owed however, which if it had been paid (which they were obliged to do) would have put them over the cap.

  79. Pascal's bookie 79

    Shit sorry about the formatting. (where’s the preview button?)

    Insolent, I hate to pile on, but I too am a bit confused about your version of how the GST fandangle played out.

    “It is unlawful to deliberately break the law.”

    It is unlawful to break the law, full stop. But nice framing.

    “National repaid the broadcasters in a private settlement through a mechanism that did not break the law. The broadcasters were not out of pocket.”

    Could you spell this out for me? Either National paid it’s bill, (by whatever means), and formalised their breaking of the law, or they didn’t pay and the broadcasters are out of pocket. What other option is there?

    Are you suggesting that we can all avoid GST by these “private settlement mechanisms”, and the IRD will magically get their money without leaving anyone out of pocket? ‘Cause that’s what my reading of the above says.

    “Secondly, there was no overexpenditure. The $112,000 GST error was included in National’s election return. National did not exceed its spending cap.”

    Crafty. So the error was included in the return. That doesn’t mean that the GST wasn’t legally owed however, which if it had been paid (which they were obliged to do) would have put them over the cap.

  80. Matthew Pilott 80

    IP – you are still lying, plain and simple, because when it comes down to it, National received more that $900,000 worth of broadcasting services.

    As National purchased more that $900,000 worth of advertising they breached the cap for electoral spending on Broadcasting – do you not think that people can see through this shameless attempt to cover it up by saying that it was part of an allocation?

    “There isn’t a spending cap on television advertising. There is merely an allocation, and a ban on parties spending their own money on television advertising.

    IP do you honestly believe that comment, stand by it and expect other people to read it and believe it?

    How does that not constitute a cap? Are you arguing that National would have been free to spend more? If not, perhaps the fact is that their allocation was a cap on the money available, and you’re still lying.

  81. Gruela 81

    Yeah, I still fail to see how, if National spent more on broadcasting than their allocation allowed, then this isn’t breaking the spending cap?

  82. the sprout 82

    “It is unprecedented for political parties to include the parliamentary crest on any communications that are not paid for by parliamentary services”

    absolute rubbish IP. surely the National Research Unit could come up with a better one than that?

  83. r0b 83

    IP – “New Zealand First considerably broke the law. United Future broke the law. The Maori Party didn’t. Progressives didn’t. National made a couple of errors, but was largely consistent with the A-G’s ruling. Labour accounted for more than $800,000 of the $1.2 million of illegal expenditure”

    I’m sure that the AG remembers being very clear. But the evidence doesn’t bear him out. Every party – there are some missing from your list – every party except Maori and Jim “got it wrong”.

    How did that happen if the AG was clear? Are you proposing that they all formed a secret conspiracy?

  84. No, Pascal. They weren’t obliged to pay it. Contract law doesn’t allow for illegal transactions.

    The IRD wasn’t out of pocket, Pascal. The broadcasters were. The broadcasters received funding on what they were legally allowed to receive under the Broadcasting Act. The GST component of what was actually paid was paid by the broadcasters to IRD.

    There isn’t a cap on broadcasting expenditure under the Electoral Act. I’m not sure how I can make this clearer. There is a cap on what parties and candidates can spend in the defined election period. Parties breach the Electoral Act by spending more than their total electoral cap. Labour breached the Electoral Act by not declaring the pledge card expenditure as an election-related expense, despite an undertaking to do so, and secondly by exceeding the total spending cap on election related expenses. Labour denied its offences, and refused to remedy them under the Electoral Act. Labour subsequently only repaid the money it stole after a damning outcry following the A-G’s report.

    National broke the law by effectively purchasing its own television advertising of $112,000 under Section 70 of the Broadcasting Act. It didn’t exceed the Electoral Act spending limit. National admitted its mistake, and was prepared to face the consequences of a police prosecution for its breach of the Broadcasting Act.

  85. Pascal's bookie 85

    Yeah, I still fail to see how, if National spent more on broadcasting than their allocation allowed, then this isn’t breaking the spending cap?

    I guess it’s like how Bill Clinton didn’t have sex with that woman, and George Bush doesn’t approve torture.

    You just take a common enough word or phrase (sex, torture, spending cap) and rape it to the point that it means whatever you need it to mean.

    captcha: yourself friedman (ooh look! It doubles as a fill in the blanks puzzle)

  86. Gruela:

    Spending caps only appear in the Electoral Act. They don’t appear in the Broadcasting Act. Spending your own money, as opposed to an allocation by the Electoral Commission, is an offence under the Broadcasting Act. It is not an offence under the Electoral Act.

    The Electoral Act spending limits relate to all forms of election advertising: billboards, hoardings, pamphlets, television advertising, radio advertising, direct mail campaigns, etc. National was well within the spending limit under the Electoral Act, which includes all forms of election-related advertising. Labour was well in excess of its spending limit.

    National should have been prosecuted for its Broadcasting Act offence. It was prepared to face the consequences, and admitted to its mistake. Labour, on the other hand, refused to admit to what was a deliberate attempt to use taxpayers money illegally during the 2005 election campaign.

  87. rod 87

    Where the hell are burt and santa, on stress leave?

  88. Gruela 88

    Insolent

    But National’s overspend DID break the Electoral Act:

    http://www.elections.org.nz/news/CEOmedia_advertising_legislation_070905.html

  89. Lampie 89

    think I will read about Nicky’s dog again

  90. Pascal's bookie 90

    The IRD wasn’t out of pocket, Pascal. The broadcasters were. The broadcasters received funding on what they were legally allowed to receive under the Broadcasting Act. The GST component of what was actually paid was paid by the broadcasters to IRD.

    I know, I said as much. What I want to know from you is how is it that the broadcasters are not out of pocket. Which is what you claim. What is this private mechanism and can anyone make use of it?

    I’m glad to see that you’ve backed away from your implication that the National party didn’t break the law becasue they claim to have done so by accident.

    I think that we can agree that the phrase spending cap does not appear in the broadcasting act. There is however a limit placed on the $ amount allocated. This limit or allocation is what many here, myself included, are refering to when we talk about a spending cap. It hardly seems to be dishonest to do so IMO.

  91. Robinsod 91

    Where the hell are burt and santa, on stress leave?

    I’m not sure but I have noticed in the last few days that the standard is getting more comments than the bog. If this continues DPF may have to change his “most commented on blog” advertising pitch…

  92. Lampie 92

    Where the hell are burt and santa

    Did they find Nicky’s dog?

  93. Matthew Pilott 93

    IP under the AG’s rulings in 2005, please tell me how a political party could publish a budget, for example, and how they could do so in future if the law was not subsequently amended?

    Funny how the right can, on one hand, complain that the EFB is so strict that people will register microphones, yet they will support such a strict interpretation of electoral law that prohibits the spending of public money on what it is intended for.

    Nice bit of political expediency wouldn’t you say?

  94. r0b 94

    “I’m not sure but I have noticed in the last few days that the standard is getting more comments than the bog. If this continues DPF may have to change his “most commented on blog” advertising pitch.”

    Interesting. My suggestion, DPF may want to reconsider censoring free speech on his blog. Hard to have a debate where only one side gets to talk.

  95. rod 95

    John Key’s DVD debacle. It proves beyond doubt, Mickey Mouse is alive well! and these pricks want to be the next Government, God defend New Zealand.

  96. the sprout 96

    umm, rod, Key’s not sure if god exists or not either

  97. I haven’t said that National didn’t breach the Broadcasting Act. I’ve said they did. National admitted they did. National have said it was caused by an honest mistake over a confusion over GST-inclusive expenditure under the Broadcasting Act, and GST-exclusive expenditure under the Electoral Act. I personally think that was a fairly unprofessional mistake. National have also said that they should have been prosecuted under the Broadcasting Act for that offence.

    National committed no offence under the Electoral Act.

    Conversely, Labour broke the law by using taxpayers’ money illegally for electioneering purposes, breaching its spending limit under the Electoral Act, and filing a false election return that did not include its parliamentary-funded election expenditure. Labour refused to pay the money back until howls of public outrage forced it to do so. It has never admitted any offences, let alone been prosecuted. Even worse, Labour legislated to retrospectively make its illegal expenditure of taxpayers’ money on the election campaign legal.

    On a scale of electoral fraud, that is about as outrageous as it gets. Yet the Electoral Finance Bill, and companion legislation allowing political parties to use parliamentary funds for electioneering purposes during the defined election period, allow Labour to rort the system over and over again.

  98. r0b 98

    IP – “Conversely, Labour broke the law by using taxpayers’ money illegally for electioneering purposes”

    We are now officially at the “did not – did so – did not – did too” phase of this debate.

    “Even worse, Labour legislated to retrospectively”

    Argh! this has so been done to death here. Please see:

    Same song? You decide.


    discussion following the post of Dec 2nd, 2007 at 8:03 pm

  99. r0b:

    I appreciate that it is the Labour Party position that they did not act illegally. That position is not shared by the Auditor-General, the Solicitor-General, the Electoral Commission, or the Chief Electoral Officer. Or, for that matter, the New Zealand public, who overwhelmingly believed Labour should pay the money back.

    This is not my right wing spin. These are the three independent authorities on, respectively, public finance and electoral law. They have no political barrows to push. If you were anybody other than a devoted Labour Party supporter, whose view would you side with?

    As an aside, I do notice that the general standard of comments has improved at the Standard over the last couple of days. I don’t say this to be spurious, but it is evident that Tane has succeeded in her endeavours to rein in some of the more extreme commenters.

  100. Dean 100

    To everyone that’s confused by IP’s repeated statments:

    There are 2 acts.

    1. The broadcasting act (this is the one National breached)
    2. The electoral act (this is the one National didn’t breach)

    Now, I agree that National should have faced the music. I’m a firm believer in the law being applied without prejudice, and National should have been taken to the cleaners over this one. It’s inexcusable. We should expect better from our elected representatives, and to suggest that the blame lay anywhere else other than the National party is just stupid.

    I also believe that Labour made a right arse up on their side. It’s not that they made a mistake – which I will give them the benefit of the doubt over instead of saying they purposely rorted it – but it was the way they behaved about it.

    Helen even called it a “beltway issue” and all and sundry were refusing to pay it back until it became clear that the public was not happy.

    For myself, it’s for this reason I won’t be voting for Labour again. I did so last election believing that although National’s economic policy was a better fit for me than Labours, that I preferred Labour to be in government because it had done a reasonable job up until then and deserved a chance to continue to do so. It’s this sheer arrogance, combined with the “labour good – national bad” mantra so many seem to have adopted that has convinced me to vote National next election.

    There’ll be nothing more sobering for Labour and it’s die hard, fervent, la la la i cant hear you supporters than a term or two in the opposition benches.

  101. r0b 101

    IP – “That position is not shared by the Auditor-General, the Solicitor-General, the Electoral Commission, or the Chief Electoral Officer.”

    The AG we have discussed above. He rendered a retrospective ruling which created a legally messy situation within which many things were said by many people. Later validating legislation sorted out some of the mess.

    Or, for that matter, the New Zealand public, who overwhelmingly believed Labour should pay the money back.

    Despite your claim above, Labour was not legally required to pay the money back (why not?). There was certainly a successful campaign to swing public opinion on the issue, but bashing anything that even looks like greedy politicians is a pretty easy sell.

    “If you were anybody other than a devoted Labour Party supporter, whose view would you side with?”

    And if you were anything other than a devoted National supporter, what would you make of National and the EB colluding in the attempt to buy the last election?

    As an aside, I do notice that the general standard of comments has improved at the Standard over the last couple of days.

    Well you’ve raised your game too IP. Let’s all try and keep up the good work. I’m off…

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    What is bad luck? Bad luck is spilling spaghetti sauce down your shirt right before an important meeting. When the person in front of you gets the last seat on the bus, that’s bad luck. Bad luck is when it’s sunny outside, so you leave the house without a coat, ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    3 days ago
  • Ian Powell: Does private healthcare threaten public healthcare in New Zealand?
    Is the private health system impacting negatively on the public health system? Health commentator Ian Powell evaluates a recent NZ Herald article by Natalie Akoorie (“Public v private healthcare: Moonlighting, skimming, duplication – should NZ do better”), and looks at how the dual system works, and concludes that the answer ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    3 days ago
  • A rabbit-hole election debate: So do you want more avocado orchards?
    We live in strange and unusual times. It’s been a century since we’ve endured a global pandemic like this, more than half a century since we’ve had economic woes like this. So maybe we got an opening election debate for the times - because that was a strange and unusual ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    4 days ago
  • LIVE: Jacinda Ardern vs. Judith Collins, First Debate
    Tonight, The Civilian will be live-blogging the first of too many debates between Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and National Party leader Judith Collins, and also the last fifteen minutes of the news. Be sure to tune in from 6:45pm for regular updates, which can be accessed by refreshing this page ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • Hundreds of Aucklanders arrested after illegal mass gathering on Harbour Bridge
    An enormous drive-in party, shown here, was held this morning on Auckland’s Harbour Bridge, where police were forced to intervene. Hundreds of Aucklanders were arrested this morning on public health grounds, after an apparent illegal mass gathering on the city’s Harbour Bridge. Police say hundreds of Aucklanders gathered in their ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    4 days ago
  • The Looming Fight.
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    4 days ago
  • Climate Change: Moving faster
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • The Australian courts have had enough of refugee detention
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Friction and the Anti-lock Braking System
    Yesterday afternoon I had to call on my car’s anti-lock braking system (ABS). For reasons best known to its driver, a car pulled out of a side road right in front of me while I was driving home after work, and I needed to stop in a hurry. I rather ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    4 days ago
  • The Inside Word: New Zealand Quarantine
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    4 days ago
  • Hard News: ASA: Let’s not talk about this
    Last week, major newspapers carried a full-page ad as part of the campaign for a "No" vote to the referendum question about supporting the Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill. The ad was authorised by the SAM NZ Coalition, which takes its name from a controversial American anti-cannabis group and includes ...
    4 days ago
  • This is not kind
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    4 days ago
  • Wokies are the establishment
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    RedlineBy Daphna
    5 days ago
  • How to strengthen the post-isolation Covid rules
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    SciBlogsBy Siouxsie Wiles
    5 days ago
  • Neuralink and You: A Human-AI Symbiosis
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    5 days ago
  • Liam Hehir: Our obsession with American politics
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    5 days ago
  • COVID: Back to Level 1
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    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: Climate injustice
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Good riddance
    The border closure and resulting lack of foreign slave-workers is driving the fishing industry out of business: One fishing company is effectively out of business while others are bracing for large financial hits as the deepwater New Zealand industry, unable to get skilled foreign workers into the country, have ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming Digest #38
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    5 days ago
  • Anyone for Collins?
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    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    5 days ago
  • Crusher’s fiscal malfunction
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    5 days ago
  • Much of the commentariat’s reporting of the most recent GDP figure was misleading and unhelpful. The prize for the stupidest remark about the GDP figure for second quarter 2020 (2020Q2) released on Thursday (17 Sept) goes to Judith Collins, whose response to Grant Robertson’s comments indicated she did not ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    6 days ago
  • Love and Hate as Complementary Revolutionary Acts
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    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • 2020 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #38
    A chronological listing of news articles linked to on the Skeptical Science Facebook Page during the past week: Sun, Sep 13, 2020 through Sat, Sep 19, 2020 Editor's Choice Get to Net-Zero by Mid-Century? Even Some Global Oil and Gas Giants Think it Can Be Done A report by a ...
    6 days ago
  • Tax cuts for all!!! (except you, you, and you)
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    My ThinksBy boonman
    1 week ago
  • Great Waves Washing Over New Zealand
    Always to islanders danger Is what comes over the seas ‘Landfall in Unknown Seas’ (Allen Curnow)Six economic issues external to New Zealand, which will greatly impact upon us. 1.         The Diminishing Global Dominance of the US. Since 1941 America has dominated the world economically and politically. Probably it could ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand has role to play in resolving crisis on ‘geopolitical fault line’, Helen Clark says
    By Geoffrey Miller New Zealand should continue to champion human rights in Belarus amidst an ongoing crackdown on protests by the country’s regime, former Prime Minister Helen Clark says. Protests in the country often referred to as ‘Europe’s last dictatorship’ erupted after the country’s disputed presidential elections on August 9 ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    1 week ago
  • Euthanasia referendum: How to cut through the emotions
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Why we need cameras on boats
    In case anyone needed further convincing, there's another example today of why we need cameras on fishing boats: reported seabird bycatch doubled during a camera trial: Commercial fishers operating off Auckland's coast around vulnerable seabirds are twice as likely to report accidentally capturing them when cameras are on ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Graham Adams: The religious right’s campaign to spike the euthanasia referendum
    In the leadup to the euthanasia referendum, an array of conservative Christian political organisations is running an expensive campaign to sow doubt about the safety of assisted dying. Graham Adams argues that these religious forces know that Christian arguments aren’t convincing the public, but that it is in the public ...
    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Opportunistic looting
    The National Party has spent the last six months acting horrified at the cost of supporting people through the pandemic and banging on about how the debt must be repaid. So what was their economic policy released today? Massive tax-cuts for the rich, of course! National has walked back ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Uncomfortable Choices.
    Dangerous Times: This will be the choice confronting those coming of age in the 2020s. Embrace Neoliberalism’s belief in racial and sexual equality; adopt its secular and scientific world view; and cultivate the technocratic, multicultural, global outlook required of those who keep the machinery of hyper-capitalism humming. Or, throw your ...
    1 week ago
  • Tony Burton: Covid and benefit payments
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    Democracy ProjectBy bryce.edwards
    1 week ago
  • Talking tax: How to win support for taxing wealth
    Tax Justice UK, September 2020 Serious tax reform is on the political agenda for the first time in decades due to the coronavirus crisis. As this debate hots up it is important to understand what people think about public spending, wealth and tax. Tax Justice UK, along with Survation and ...
    Closing the GapBy Tracey Sharp
    1 week ago
  • Getting Tough.
    Not Mucking Around: With upwards of 800 dead from the virus’s resurgence in the Australian state of Victoria, leniency is not on Premier Daniel Andrews’ agenda. The Victorian Police are cracking down hard on the protesters the Australian press has labelled "Covidiots".IMAGES OF POLICE, some in riot gear, others on ...
    1 week ago
  • Media Link: Nuclear strategy, then and now.
    Although I had the fortune of being a graduate student of some of the foremost US nuclear strategists of the day (1970s) and later rubbed shoulders with Air Force and Naval officers who were entrusted with parts of the US nuclear arsenal, I seldom get to write or speak about ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • The Chinese List.
    News that Zhenhua Data, an arm of China Zhenhua Electronics Group, a subsidiary of the military-connected China Electronic Information Industry Group (CETC), maintains a list of 800 New Zealanders on a “Overseas Key Information Database” that contains personal information on more than 2.4 million foreign individuals, has caused some consternation ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Things that grow fast, and things that surprise us
    Marie Becdelievre January 2020. The number of news article mentioning coronavirus exploded and anxious voices whispered about a global pandemic. Whisper? To me, it was only a whisper. I tend to learn about the world through non-fiction books, conferences, and academic research rather than news and social media, so ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #37, 2020
    2,082,476,000,000,000 Viability of greenhouse gas removal via the artificial addition of volcanic ash to the ocean  (not open access, unfortunately) walks us through the numbers on a particular means of CO2 removal, addition of volcanic tephra to the ocean. The mechanism is straight chemistry and the cost is fully an order of ...
    1 week ago
  • Barbados to become a republic
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    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Party Like It’s 1989: Bait and Switch is a Bad Look, Mr Hipkins
    At the 2017 election, the New Zealand Labour Party promised a Fees Free Policy for tertiary students. Basically, it would make the first year of university education free in 2018, with a second year in 2021, and a third in 2024. It also promised to restore Post-Graduate access to the ...
    1 week ago
  • Will the tropics eventually become uninhabitable?
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    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • A first-hand look: What it’s like to live in a 2020 California wildfire evacuation zone
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons It felt like 100 degrees in my in-laws’ Grass Valley, California, kitchen, but at least the lights were on and for the moment we were safely “distanced” from the Jones Fire. We’d just finished dessert, after pizza and a movie ...
    1 week ago
  • COVID-19 is not the only infectious disease New Zealand wants to eliminate, and genome sequencing is...
    Nigel French, Massey University Genome sequencing — the mapping of the genetic sequences of an organism — has helped track the spread of COVID-19 cases in Auckland, but it also plays an important role in the control of other infectious diseases in New Zealand. One example is Mycoplasma bovis, a ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • A flaw in our electoral transparency regime
    A key part of our electoral funding regime is a requirement for some transparency around donations, on the basis that if we can find out who has bought our politicians (typically after we have voted for them) then everything is alright. There are a lot of problems with that regime ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Don’t Steal This Book
    On “In Defense of Looting” Matt Taibibi takes an entertaining look at this generation of woke activists and how they compare with Abbie Hoffman the iconic anti-Vietnam war counter-culture figure of the 1960s On Thursday, August 27th, the same day Donald Trump formally accepted the Republican nomination, National Public Radio ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Hokitika Landmark earmarked for $22m restoration
    Seddon House in Hokitika, once a hub for government on the West Coast, has been earmarked for government use once again. “Today we’re announcing a $22 million investment from the Government’s $3 billion infrastructure fund for shovel ready projects for the purchase and restoration of Seddon House in the heart of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes two diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced two new diplomatic appointments: •         Michael Appleton as New Zealand’s first resident High Commissioner to Sri Lanka. •        Tredene Dobson as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to Viet Nam.  Sri Lanka “New Zealand is opening a post in Colombo in 2021 because we are ready ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • NZ’s most prestigious conservation award – Loder Cup presented to Graeme Atkins
    The Minister of Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage, today presented Aotearoa New Zealand’s most prestigious conservation award, the Loder Cup, to the 2020 winner Graeme Atkins while in Gisborne/Tūranga-nui-a-Kiwa. “Graeme Atkins of Ngāti Porou is a Department of Conservation ranger whose contribution to conservation goes well above and beyond his employment,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Parliament to install solar and cut carbon
    Parliament is leading by example by taking action to cut its carbon footprint by installing solar and improving energy efficiency, the Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw said today. The Minister confirmed that Parliamentary Services will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to install solar PV and LED ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Tuvalu Language Week theme promotes community resilience in the face of COVID-19
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the 2020 Tuvalu Language Week theme of “Fakatili Te Kiloga Fou” which means “Navigating the changing environment” is a call on all Pacific peoples to be strong and resilient in the face of COVID-19. “This theme is a reminder to us ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • International sport back up and running in New Zealand
    The Government is welcoming today’s announcement that the West Indies and Pakistan cricket teams will tour New Zealand this summer.  “A lot of hard work has been undertaken by sports officials including New Zealand Cricket, Netball New Zealand and government officials to ensure that international sport can return safely to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • 1BT funds for Northland forest taonga
    Northland’s indigenous tree canopy is set to grow for the benefit of mana whenua and the wider community thanks to nearly $2 million in One Billion Trees funding, Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. Te Komanga Marae Trust has received more than $1.54 million to restore and enhance the native ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Better health care for West Coasters as Te Nikau Hospital officially opened
    The Government has delivered a new hospital for Greymouth and is starting work on a much needed new health centre in Westport, ensuring local communities will benefit from better access to high quality integrated health services. Today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Health Minister Peeni Henare officially open Te ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backing local with PGF loan
    A West Coast distillery will benefit from a Provincial Growth Fund investment that will enable it to expand its operations and create jobs in the town of Reefton, Rural Communities Minister Damien O’Connor and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Reefton Distilling Co will receive a $928,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Primary sector exports and jobs up again
    Primary sector exports and jobs are up again, demonstrating the sector’s underlying strength amid the COVID-19 global pandemic and US-China trade war, and supporting New Zealand’s economic recovery. Stats NZ today reported New Zealand’s merchandise exports in August were up 8.6% on a year ago, driven by an increase in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Clean energy future for more schools
    Schools across Aotearoa New Zealand will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. The Minister has allocated $50 million from the Clean Powered Public Service Fund to replace, or convert, coal boilers in schools with clean ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Building business strength with digital tools
    New training and tools for digital commerce will give small businesses, especially in the tourism sector, the support they need to adapt and innovate in a COVID world. Tourism Minister Kelvin Davis and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced details of how $20 million digital capability funding set aside ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New pest lures to protect nature
    The Department of Conservation (DOC) is investing $1.4 million to develop new predator lures that would be game-changers for trapping and surveillance towards a predator-free Aotearoa, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage, announced in Christchurch today. The proposal is to develop long-life lures attractive to a range of predators—rats, mustelids ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Support for innovative Pacific education responses to COVID-19 needs
    Supporting new and creative Pacific education practices as part of our COVID-19 response and recovery is the focus of a new $28.5 million Pacific Education Innovation Fund announced today by Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa.  “There is already an incredible amount of innovative and creative work going on in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Eligibility expanded for COVID-19 leave support
    The expanded scheme will cover: People who have COVID-19 like symptoms and meet the Ministry of Health’s criteria, and need to self-isolate while awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test. People who are directed to self-isolate by a Medical Officer of Health or their delegate or on advice of their ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Seasonal work visa available to more people
    The Government is putting in place a range of immigration policy changes to help fill labour shortages in key industries while ensuring New Zealanders, who have lost jobs due to COVID-19, have the chance to find new employment. “Two key sectors we are moving to help are horticulture and wine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • More border exceptions for critical roles
    The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s border strategy to protect New Zealand against COVID-19 and ensure New Zealand citizens and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crown will not appeal Dodds v Southern Response decision
    The Crown will not appeal the Court of Appeal decision in the Dodds v Southern Response case, Grant Robertson announced today. “Southern Response will be paying the damages awarded by the Court to Mr and Mrs Dodds shortly. The Crown was already meeting their legal costs for this appeal. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crucial PGF investments for Northland
    The Provincial Growth Fund is investing nearly $30 million in a diverse range of projects that will create immediate and long-term jobs and lift economic and social outcomes for Northland and its people. Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones made the announcement today in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $27million investment in global vaccine facility
    The Coalition Government has committed to invest $27 million in COVID-19 vaccine development through the global COVAX Facility, Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The COVAX Facility is a key part of our COVID-19 Vaccine Strategy to obtain safe and effective vaccines. It allows us to invest in a high-quality, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government backing Māori landowners
    The Government will provide up to $1.69 million through the One Billion Trees programme to Māori landowners to make their whenua more productive through the planting of forests, both native and exotic, and improve economic and environmental outcomes, Forestry Minister Shane Jones has announced. “Around 1.5 million ha of land ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New tools to make nature more accessible
    People planning to head outdoors now have a resource that lets them know how accessible an area is for people with varying levels of mobility, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The Halberg Foundation, Sensibel, and the Department of Conservation (DOC) have launched Accessibel, a new tool which helps ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PGF makes Māori history more accessible
    One of the most significant battle sites of the 1860s Land Wars will receive $2.96 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to improve the site and help tell the New Zealand story to visitors, Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. Nanaia Mahuta ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Making it official: The journey of te reo Māori | Kia whakapūmautia: Ngā piki me ngā heke o te r...
    The journey towards recognising Māori as an official language and taonga has been captured as a web series and launched today during Te Wiki o te Reo Māori, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “Te reo Māori is a living language, and understanding its significance, and pathways to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Better-than-forecast GDP reflects decision to protect New Zealand
    Today’s better-than-forecast GDP figures show the expected impact of the decision to act quickly to protect New Zealanders from the global COVID-19 pandemic. GDP fell 12.2% in the June quarter from March, reflecting decisions to close New Zealand’s borders and enter Alert Level 4. “This result was better than the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Boost for COVID-19 related Pacific education needs
    The Government is investing $39.7 Million over four years to support the educational needs of Pacific learners and families in the regions hardest hit by COVID-19, with Auckland getting an immediate boost, Associate Minister of Education Jenny Salesa says.   “Like all New Zealanders Pacific families want learners to do well ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More resources for kiwi conservation
    New Zealand’s goal of 100,000 kiwi by 2030 is being helped by an extra $19.7 million in funding to accelerate iwi and community efforts to protect kiwi, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced. “$19.7 million of Jobs for Nature funding is being invested in kiwi conservation activities including increased predator ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Improving access to affordable electricity
    Ensuring New Zealanders can get the best deal on their electricity takes a step in the right direction today with the South Island launch of the EnergyMate pilot run by the Electricity Retailers’ Association, says Minister of Energy and Resources, Dr Megan Woods. EnergyMate is an industry-led programme providing coaching ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Government achieves 50 percent women on state boards
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter announced today that the Government has reached its target of 50 percent on women on state sector board and committees – setting a new record level of women on state sector boards. “This Government is committed to having more women in leadership roles - ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Record transport investment to help economic recovery and save lives
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford released today the final Government Policy Statement on land transport (GPS) 2021 which outlines the planned $48 billion investment in services and infrastructure over the next decade. “The final GPS supports our Government’s five-point plan for economic recovery by confirming our record investments in transport infrastructure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Advancing clean energy technology
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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Major milestone reached in Pike River Re-entry
    The critical area for forensic examination known as Pit Bottom in Stone has been reached in what is a major milestone for the Pike River re-entry project, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced. “The infrastructure located in Pit Bottom in Stone is of very significant interest in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Economic recovery guides Govt response to retirement income policy review
    The Government is working on how New Zealand’s retirement income policies and settings can best support Kiwis in light of the COVID-19 economic recovery, with the help of the Retirement Commissioner’s latest review, Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Kris Faafoi said. “The Retirement Commissioner’s three-yearly review into New Zealand’s retirement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Iwi community hub opens in Murupara
    A new digital hub and development centre in Murupara will be instrumental in growing the region’s productivity, said Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau at the official opening of two community initiatives today. “I’m pleased to be here celebrating a significant milestone for two projects set to make a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast
    PREFU shows economy doing better than forecast Unemployment to peak at 7.8%, down from 9.8% forecast in the Budget Year-to-June accounts show tax revenue, debt and OBEGAL better than forecast Global forecast downgraded as COVID-19 second waves and uncertainty grows Balanced plan to support critical public services, manage debt and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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