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National’s spin doesn’t stack up

Written By: - Date published: 9:58 am, December 4th, 2007 - 101 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.

101 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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    Westminster voting intention:CON: 44% (+3)LAB: 28% (-1)LDEM: 14% (-1)BREX: 6% (-)via @OpiniumResearch, surveyed this weekChgs. w/ 08 Nov— Britain Elects (@britainelects) 16 November 2019 This, of course, doesn't look good.  Labour have been chucking big, headline grabbing policies left, right and centre ... Well, maybe not right.  Left, left ...
    5 days ago
  • A coward’s ploy.
    Some readers may remember that I mentioned last year that I was applying for NZ citizenship. I filled out the paperwork and had my original citizenship interview in February. Everything went well until they discovered that, because I had spent five months in the US in 2017, I had not ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    6 days ago
  • Left censorship and exclusion against gender-critical women: a Marxist critique
    by Deirdre O’Neill It is becoming quite acceptable for certain sections of the left to declare that people like me – women who are ‘gender critical’ – should not be allowed in leftist or anarchist spaces. Leaving aside the arrogance and implicit authoritarianism of this claim, its lack of critical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    6 days ago
  • “Uncertainty” can be better solved with a better grasp of life’s inherent complexities…
    There is an article in The Conversation, written by Jeremy P. Shapiro (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychological Sciences, Case Western Reserve University), about what he sees as the psychologically-based underpinnings of three main matters that seem to vex people all around the planet. The article is titled “The Thinking ...
    exhALANtBy exhalantblog
    6 days ago
  • Citizens vs the Rogue Deep State
    . .   Blogger Martyn Bradbury has won his case against unreasonable search and surveillance against the NZ Police; and subsequent Police attempts to produce evidence in secrecy, in a closed Court. His case highlights a disturbing growing trend in Aotearoa New Zealand for State power to be used against ...
    Frankly SpeakingBy Frank Macskasy
    7 days ago
  • Massey University’s free speech policy double-plus-good
    The Committee of Disobedient Women has intercepted an email from Dr Emma Eejut, Senior Lecturer in Sociology, Massey University to the university’s Vice-Chancellor, Jan Thomas. Dear Jan, Thank you for your courageous move.  I think 10 pages of blether** should tie any of the students game enough to try holding ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Unacceptable
    That's the only response to the findings of the Ombudsman's investigation into LGOIMA practices at the Christchurch City Council:My investigation identified serious concerns about the Council’s leadership and culture, and its commitment to openness and transparency. In particular, Council staff raised concerns with me about various methods employed by some ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • There is what corruption looks like
    NZ First seems to be nakedly trying to enrich itself from public office:A powerful New Zealand First figure helped establish a forestry company that then pushed for money from two key funding streams controlled by a New Zealand First Minister. An RNZ investigation has found Brian Henry, lawyer for Winston ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Escape from Manus Island
    Behrouz Boochani is an award winning author and journalist. He is also a refugee, who for the past six years has been detained in Australia's offshore gulag on Manus Island, and in Papua New Guinea. But last night, with the cooperation of the WORD Christchurch festival and Amnesty International, he ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • When World’s Collide.
    Different Strokes: If a multicultural immigration policy imposes no obligation on immigrant communities to acknowledge and ultimately embrace their host nation’s most cherished traditions and values, then how is that nation to prevent itself from being reduced to a collection of inward-looking and self-replicating ethnic and cultural enclaves?THE COALITION GOVERNMENT’S ...
    1 week ago
  • Could There Be Method In Massey University’s Madness?
    Protective Zone: Reading the rules and guidelines released by Massey University, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that its governing body considers the whole concept of free speech a disruptive threat to the orderly imparting of orthodox academic knowledge.IN TRUE ORWELLIAN fashion, Massey University has announced its commitment to ...
    1 week ago
  • How does poor air quality from bushfire smoke affect our health?
    Brian Oliver, University of Technology Sydney New South Wales and Queensland are in the grip of a devastating bushfire emergency, which has tragically resulted in the loss of homes and lives. But the smoke produced can affect many more people not immediately impacted by the fires – even people many ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: We need more trees, not less
    Farmers held a hate-march on Parliament today, complete with MAGA hats, gun-nut signs, and gendered insults. While supposedly about a grab-bag of issues - including, weirdly, mental health - it was clear that the protest was about one thing, and one thing only: climate change. And specifically, forestry "destroying" rural ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Holy bin chickens: ancient Egyptians tamed wild ibis for sacrifice
    Sally Wasef, Griffith University and David Lambert, Griffith University These days, not many Aussies consider the ibis a particularly admirable creature. But these birds, now colloquially referred to as “bin chickens” due to their notorious scavenging antics, have a grandiose and important place in history – ancient Egyptian history, to ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The IGIS annual report: Dead letters and secret law
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security released their annual report today, and I've been busy reading through it. In amongst the usual review of what they've been doing all year, there's a few interesting bits. For example, a discussion on "agency retention and disposal of information", which points out that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • A referendum on bigotry
    The End of Life Choice Bill passed its third reading last night, 69 - 51. Thanks to a compromise with NZ First - which looks to have been necessary on the final numbers - the commencement of the bill will be subject to a referendum. Given the ugliness of the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Why municipal waste-to-energy incineration is not the answer to NZ’s plastic waste crisis
    Trisia Farrelly, Massey University New Zealand is ranked the third-most-wasteful country in the OECD. New Zealanders produce five times the global daily average of waste per person – and they are getting more wasteful, producing 35% more than a decade ago. These statistics are likely to get worse following China’s ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • Political parties and GMOs: we all need to move on
    Recently more than 150 post-graduate students and young scientists presented an open letter to the Green Party via The Spinoff, encouraging them to reconsider their position on genetic modification. Their target is tackling climate change issues.[1] Can any party continue to be dismissive about genetic modification (GM) contributing to ...
    SciBlogsBy Grant Jacobs
    1 week ago
  • Class, Identity Politics and Transgender Ideology
    by Deirdre O’Neill Under Thatcher and then Blair and continuing up until our contemporary moment, the working class has seen its culture slowly and progressively destroyed. The change from an industrial society to a service society produced a marked shift in focus from the working class as the backbone of ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Irony
    Since 2013, the Australian government has detained refugees without trial in Pacific gulags, where they are abused, tortured, and driven to suicide. The policy is not just an abuse of human rights and possible crime against humanity; it has also had a corrosive effect on the states Australia uses as ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • An age of protest.
    It seems fair to say that we currently live in a problematic political moment in world history. Democracies are in decline and dictatorships are on the rise. Primordial, sectarian and post-modern divisions have re-emerged, are on the rise or have been accentuated by political evolutions of the moment such as ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    1 week ago
  • Another captured agency
    Last month, Greenpeace head Russel Norman surrendered his speaking slot at an EPA conference to student climate activist Sorcha Carr, who told the EPA exactly what she thought of them. It was a bold move, which confronted both regulators and polluters (or, as the EPA calls them, "stakeholders") with the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • NZ First’s dodgy loans
    The core principle supposedly underlying New Zealand's electoral finance regime is transparency: parties can accept large donations from rich people wanting to buy policy, but only if they tell the public they've been bought. Most parties abide by this, so we know that TOP was wholly-owned by Gareth Morgan, and ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Member’s Day: The choice on End of Life Choice
    Today is a Member's Day, probably the second-to-last one of the year, and its a big one, with the Third Reading of David Seymour's End of Life Choice Bill. last Member's Day it was reported back from committee, after MPs voted narrowly to make it subject to a (rules TBA) ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • How growth in population and consumption drives planetary change
    Climate Explained is a collaboration between The Conversation, Stuff and the New Zealand Science Media Centre to answer your questions about climate change. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, please send it to climate.change@stuff.co.nz The growth of the human population over the last 70 ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    1 week ago
  • The disappearing Women …
    by The Council of Disobedient Women In her excellent oral submission to the Abortion reform select committee on 31st October on behalf of Otago University’s Department of Public Health, historian and public health researcher Hera Cook stated: “We would ask that the committee not use the term ‘pregnant persons’ and ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • “A Passage to India”: enduring art in changing times
    by Don Franks In 1957, E M Forster wrote, of his greatest work: “The India described in ‘A Passage to India’ no longer exists either politically or socially. Change had begun even at the time the book was published ( 1924) and during the following quarter of a century it ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Contemptuous
    The Referendums Framework Bill was due back from select committee today. But there's no report on it. Instead, the bill has been bounced back to the House under Standing order 29593) because the Committee didn't bother to produce one. They probably tried. But given the membership of the committee (which ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Zero Carbon: It’s not just a good idea, it’s the law
    Two years into New Zealand’s Labour-led government, the long-delayed Zero Carbon Bill became law on 7 November. Passed essentially unanimously, the lengthy public debates and political manoeuvring faded away until the final passage was even anticlimactic: Flipping through the @nzstuff @DomPost I was starting to wonder if I’d dreamt ...
    SciBlogsBy Robert McLachlan
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: What happens next?
    Now the Zero Carbon Bill is law, what's next? Obviously, the ETS changes currently before select committee are going to be the next battleground. But we're also going to get a good idea of where we're going, and if the progress the Zero Carbon Act promises is good enough, during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate change will fuel bush fires
    Grant Pearce The effects of the current Australian bushfires in New South Wales and Queensland (and also again in California) are devastating and far-reaching. To date, the fires have resulted in several lives being lost and many homes and properties destroyed. Here in New Zealand, the impacts have been only ...
    SciBlogsBy Guest Author
    2 weeks ago
  • Participation rates
    A passing comment in a post the other day about the labour force participation rates of older people prompted me to pull down the fuller data and see what we could see about various participation rates over the decades since the HLFS began in 1986.   As it happens, the ...
    SciBlogsBy Michael Reddell
    2 weeks ago
  • Not So Much “OK Boomer” As “OK Ruling Class”.
    Distract And Divert: The rise of what we have come to call “Identity Politics” represents the ideological manifestation of the ruling class’s objective need to destroy class politics, and of the middle-class’s subjective need to justify their participation in the process.THE RELIEF of the ruling class can only be imagined. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Asking for it …
    "I saw a newspaper picture,From the political campaignA woman was kissing a child,Who was obviously in pain.She spills with compassion,As that young child'sFace in her hands she gripsCan you imagine all that greed and avariceComing down on that child's lips?" ...
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand’s Poor Pandemic Preparedness According to the Global Health Security Index
    Dr Matt Boyd, Prof Michael Baker, Prof Nick Wilson The Global Health Security Index which considers pandemic threats has just been published. Unfortunately, NZ scores approximately half marks (54/100), coming in 35th in the world rankings – far behind Australia. This poor result suggests that the NZ Government needs to ...
    SciBlogsBy Public Health Expert
    2 weeks ago
  • Climate Change: Thank Winston
    The Zero Carbon Act is inadequate, with a weak methane target designed to give farmers a free ride. But it turns out it could have been worse: Climate Change Minister James Shaw was so desperate to get National on board, he wanted to gut that target, and leave it in ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Illicit markets and Bali Booze
    The Herald reprints an Australian story on a couple of tragic deaths in Bali from drinking cocktails that had methanol in them.  The story argues that methanol is likely the result of home distillation. But what the young tourists were experiencing was far from a hangover. They’d consumed a toxic cocktail ...
    SciBlogsBy Eric Crampton
    2 weeks ago
  • This is not what armed police are for
    Last month, the police announced a trial of specialist roaming armed units, which would drive round (poor, brown) areas in armoured SUVs, armed to the teeth. When they announced the trial, they told us it was about having armed police "ready to attend major incidents at any time if needed". ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Spain’s failed electoral gamble
    Spain went to the polls today in the second elections this year, after the Socialists (who had come to power in a confidence vote, then gone to the polls in April) rejected the offer of a coalition with the left-wing PoDemos, and instead decided to gamble n a better outcome ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • The astroturf party
    National has finally rolled out its "BlueGreen" astroturf party, fronted by an array of former nats and people who were dumped by the Greens for not being Green enough. Its initial pitch is described by Stuff as "very business-friendly", and its priorities are what you'd expect: conservation, predator-free funding, a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • How to cheat at university
    A couple of days ago I attended (and spoke at) the University of Waikato’s “LearnFest” event. There were lots of talks and sessions on very diverse aspects of teaching, mostly at tertiary level. One was by Myra Williamson from Te Piringa Faculty of Law here at Waikato, on Contract Cheating ...
    SciBlogsBy Marcus Wilson
    2 weeks ago
  • How NZ was put on world maps using a transit of Mercury
    There will be a transit of Mercury – the planet Mercury will pass across the face of the Sun – taking place at sunrise in New Zealand on Tuesday, 12th November. It was by observing such an event 250 years ago that James Cook and his scientist colleagues were able ...
    SciBlogsBy Duncan Steel
    2 weeks ago
  • Georgina Beyer: We need to be able to talk without being offended
    Since becoming the world’s first openly transexual mayor and member of parliament, Georgina Beyer has been recognised as a trailblazer for trans rights. Daphna Whitmore talks with her about where she sees the current trans movement We start out talking about legislation the government put on hold that would have ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago
  • The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
    If FFNZ really put their faith in “Top Medical Journals” they would now be amending their billboards to recognise new research results. Image from FFNZ but updated to agree with the latest research. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Chosen To Rule? What Sort Of Christian Is Chris Luxon?
    National Messiah? Chris Luxon identifies himself as an evangelical Christian. If he is genuine in this self-characterisation, then he will take every opportunity his public office provides to proselytise on behalf of his faith. He will also feel obliged to bear witness against beliefs and practices he believes to be ...
    2 weeks ago
  • War of the worms
    I'm going to make a Reckless Prediction™ that the Tories have 'topped out' in the 'poll of polls' / Britain Elects multipoll tracker at about 38%, and in the next week we will start to see Labour creep up on them.In fact, we might just be seeing the start of ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Marvelly shows us how to be a feminist without feminism
    by The Council of Disobedient Women Lizzie Marvelly: “I may have missed this… has @afterellen gone all terf-y? Or am I reading something incorrectly? “ https://twitter.com/LizzieMarvelly/status/1191840059105742849 After Ellen is a lesbian website that is unashamedly pro-lesbian, as you’d expect. So why is Ms Marvelly so bothered about lesbians having their ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    2 weeks ago

  • Week That Was: Tackling child poverty
    It's been a great week of progress: we've celebrated Children's Day, we've made communities safer with 1800 new police, and we've seen almost 90% of eligible schools take up Government funding to scrap school donations - taking pressure off the families of more than 416,000 students. ...
    9 hours ago
  • New measures for wood processing boost
    Hon Shane Jones, Minister of Forestry The Government will further strengthen New Zealand’s wood processing sector as part of our focus on ‘value over volume’ in our forestry industry, Forestry Minister Shane Jones says. Minister Jones will today meet with forestry representatives in Northland to signal new measures to help the ...
    11 hours ago
  • New high tech traps will reduce the need for 1080 poison
    New Zealand First are celebrating the announcement of an investment of $3.5 million into five new trapping devices. These are a range of bait and trap devices, all designed to be left unattended for long periods of time. NZ First conservation spokesperson Jenny Marcroft says that this latest development will ...
    2 days ago
  • Cowboy clampers will be stymied
    Clayton Mitchell, Spokesperson for Consumer Affairs The ‘wheel clamping’ Bill that will cap clamper fees to $100 passed its third reading in Parliament today. New Zealand First welcomes The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill to combat predatory wheel clamping behaviour in what is currently a largely unregulated business. Cowboy clampers are: gouging ...
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health Commission back on track
    Jenny Marcroft, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First welcomes the passage of the Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill through its first reading in Parliament. “Today’s progress takes serious action on the mental health and addiction crisis the country is facing,” says New Zealand First Health Spokesperson Jenny Marcroft. “The re-establishment ...
    3 days ago
  • New Zealand’s key assets are not for sale: national interest test delivered
    Mark Patterson, Spokesperson for Primary Industries Today the Government announced the delivery of the promise to protect New Zealand interests by applying a new National Interest Test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. This further strengthening of the Overseas Investment Act will ...
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to protect New Zealanders’ interests
    The Coalition Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high-risk assets to overseas buyers. Under current Overseas Investment Act (OIA) rules, assets such as ports and airports, telecommunications infrastructure, electricity and ...
    3 days ago
  • Electoral law breach allegations
    Rt Winston Peters, Leader of New Zealand First Allegations raised this morning by Stuff Limited / Fairfax concern a party matter but I am confident that New Zealand First has operated within electoral laws, now and for the last 27 years. Declarable donations were declared to the Electoral Commission. Our ...
    3 days ago
  • Wayne Brown hits back at critics: Ports of Auckland has to move
    The chairman of the Upper North Island Supply Chain Strategy (UNISCS) working group, Wayne Brown, has hit back at critics of his group’s recommendations to relocate the Ports of Auckland cargo operations to Whangarei’s deepwater port of Northport. The working group's recommendation to close Auckland waterfront to all but cruise ...
    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    5 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    3 weeks ago

  • PGF approves wind turbines funding for Stewart Island
    Stewart Island/Rakiura has been granted $3.16 million from the Provincial Growth Fund to help build two wind turbines, putting the island on a path to sustainable electricity generation, Environment Minister David Parker announced today. “Stewart Island is our third largest island, after the North and South Islands, and it is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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