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:
    http://www.thestandard.org.nz/?p=788
    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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    Did you know: Four days ago, the CEO of Warner Bros Discovery (WBD), David Zaslav, opined that he didn’t really care who won the US Presidential election, so long as they were M&A and business friendly. Please share my Substack so I can continue my work. Thank you and happy ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    2 days ago
  • Auckland & Transport Minister Simeon Brown's insanity
    Excuse me, but I just don’t feel like being polite today. What is going on with Simeon Brown? I mean, really? After spending valuable Ministerial time, focus, and government resources to overturn tailored speed limits in school and high fatality zones that *checks notes* reduces the risk of deaths and ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    3 days ago
  • Were scientists caught falsifying data in the hacked emails incident dubbed 'climategate'?
    Skeptical Science is partnering with Gigafact to produce fact briefs — bite-sized fact checks of trending claims. This fact brief was written by John Mason in collaboration with members from the Gigafact team. You can submit claims you think need checking via the tipline. Were scientists caught falsifying data in the ...
    3 days ago
  • What Happened to David D'Amato's Millions?
    Today’s podcast episode is for paying Webworm members — and is a conversation seven years in the making. Let me explain.Hi,As I hit “send” on this newsletter, I’m about to play my 2016 documentary Tickled to a theatre full of about 400 Webworm readers in Auckland, New Zealand.And with Tickled ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    3 days ago
  • Voting as a multi-order process of choice.
    Recent elections around the world got me to thinking about voting. At a broad level, voting involves processes and choices. Embedded in both are the logics that go into “sincere” versus “tactical” voting. “Sincere” voting is usually a matter of preferred … Continue reading ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    3 days ago
  • Women in Space.
    Count downThree twoI wonderIf I'll ever see you againI'm 'bout to take offI'm leaving youBut maybeI'll see you around somewhere some placeI just need some spaceA brief reminder that if you’re a Gold Card holder you can subscribe to Nick’s Kōrero for 20% off. You’re also welcome to use this ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    3 days ago
  • Bernard’s Saturday Soliloquy for the week to July 13
    Auckland waterfront, July. Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the week to July 13 are:The National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government watered down vehicle emissions standards this week, compounding the climate emissions damage from an increasingly ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Dems need to ask the right question about Biden as his age now defines the campaign
    Midway through the news conference that many American political commentators had built up as critical to Joe Biden’s re-election chances, the US president said European leaders are not asking him not to run for a second term, “they’re saying you gotta win”.The problem for Biden and his advisors is that ...
    PunditBy Tim Watkin
    3 days ago
  • Govt flounders while ocean temps soar
    TL;DR : Here’s the top six items of climate news for Aotearoa-NZ this week, as selected by Bernard Hickey and The Kākā’s climate correspondent Cathrine Dyer, most of which they discussin the video above. According to experts, the rate of ocean surface warming around New Zealand is “outstripping the global ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    3 days ago
  • Learning From Brexit
    Whether Britain leaving the European Union was right or wrong, good or bad is for the Brits to decide. But there are lessons about international trade to be learned from Brexit, especially as it is very unusual for an economy to break so completely from its major training partner.In Econ101 ...
    PunditBy Brian Easton
    4 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Friday, July 12
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of Friday, July 12 are: Read more ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Hot Damn! It's The Soggy Bottom Boys!
    Good morning lovely people, and welcome to another weekly review. One which saw the our Prime Minister in Washington, running around with all the decorum of Augustus Gloop with a golden ticket, seeking photo opportunities with anyone willing to shake his hand.Image: G News.He had his technique down to overcome ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    4 days ago
  • When an independent expert / advisory group is anything but ..
    OPINION: Yesterday, 1News reported that the Government's "independent" advisory group had recommended Kiwirail offload its ferries to another entity.Except this wasn't entirely new news at all, besides that it came formally from Nicola Willis’s advisory team.TVNZ is under significant cost pressure, and earlier this year, after expressing strong discontent with ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Pick 'n' Mix for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Alexander Schimmeck on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 9:00 am on Friday, July 12 are:Scoop: Ministerial group advises KiwiRail no longer run Cook Strait ferries 1News’ Julia RodenNews: ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Weekly Roundup 12-July-2024
    Kia ora and welcome to another Friday roundup, in which we pull together some of the links and stories that caught our eye this week. Feel free to add more in the comments! The week in Greater Auckland On Monday, Scott delivered a delicious disquisition on donut cities, ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    4 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Friday, July 12
    Photo by Dominik Scythe on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Friday, July 11 are:Climate: Transport Minister Simeon Brown said in a release the Government's plan to reverse New ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • The Hoon around the week to July 12
    TL;DR: The podcast above of the weekly ‘hoon’ webinar for paying subscribers features co-hosts and talking with:The Kākā’s climate correspondent talking about the National-ACT-NZ First Government’s climate strategy ‘pamphlet’, its watering down of Clean Car Standards and its general lack of coherence;University of Otago Foreign Relations Professor ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    4 days ago
  • Casey Costello strikes again
    Summary: A track record of deception is becoming evident in the Government’s Coalition alliance. Ministers across all parties have been found to either lie without contrite, and/or act unlawfully and unreasonably. The rails are coming off quicker than a marshmallow induced fantasy train ride as the conductors throw caution to ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    5 days ago
  • Skeptical Science New Research for Week #28 2024
    Open access notables Antarctic Bottom Water Warming, Freshening, and Contraction in the Eastern Bellingshausen Basin, Johnson et al., Geophysical Research Letters Cold winds blowing over polynyas (areas of ice-free water) on the Antarctic continental shelf create sea ice, forming very cold and somewhat salty, hence very dense, waters. These dense ...
    5 days ago
  • We're back! Join us for the weekly Hoon on YouTube Live
    Photo by Mathias Elle on UnsplashWe’re back after a three-week mid-winter break. I needed a rest, but back into it. We’re still with the ‘new’ day of the week (Thursday rather than Friday) when we have our ‘hoon’ webinar with paying subscribers to The Kākā for an hour at 5 ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s gas fantasy
    Yesterday the government released the advice on its proposal to repeal the offshore fossil gas exploration ban, including a Climate Implications of Policy Assessment statement, Cabinet paper, and Regulatory Impact Statement. I spent some time looking at these last night, and the short version is that the government's plan is ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • A criminal minister
    RNZ reports that cancer minister Casey Costello has been reprimanded and forced to apologise by the Ombudsman for acting "contrary to law" in her handling of an OIA request: Associate Health Minister Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced to apologise for trying to ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    5 days ago
  • Gordon Campbell on Luxon in the NATO pressure cooker
    New Zealand is one of six countries invited as onlookers to this week’s NATO summit in Washington. As such, PM Christopher Luxon will be made aware of the pressure on the 32 NATO member states (a) to increase their Defence spending (b) to become less militarily dependent on the US ...
    WerewolfBy lyndon
    5 days ago
  • Bernard’s Dawn Chorus for Thursday July 11
    TL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so on the morning of July 11 are:Climate: Climate Change Minister Simon Watts issued the National-ACT-NZ First Coalition Government’s climate strategy yesterday, including a three-page document with five bullet ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • By George! Splendid streets take shape down south
    The revitalisation of Auckland city centre, especially around Wynyard Quarter, Te Komititanga, and Queen Street, is top of mind for Greater Auckland readers – but other cities around Aotearoa New Zealandare installing people-friendly streets. This guest post by Jessica de Heij, who grew up in the Netherlands and is an ...
    Greater AucklandBy Guest Post
    5 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:30 am on July 11 are:Scoop: NZ First Minister acted 'contrary to law’. Casey Costello has been severely reprimanded by the Chief Ombudsman and forced ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Thursday, July 11
    TL;DR: The top six announcements, rulings, reports, surveys, statistics and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:00 am on Thursday, July 11 are:Economy: Te Pūtea Matua The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) announced its Monetary Policy Committee decided to hold the ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    5 days ago
  • Farmers’ revenge meets Green resistance
    If there was one issue that united farmers in opposition to the Labour Government, it was the battle of the waterways between farmers and Environment Minister David Parker. Parker won the first round with his 2020 National Policy Standard on Freshwater Management (NPSFM) which imposed tough new standards on waterways ...
    PolitikBy Richard Harman
    6 days ago
  • Personal Reflections: 10th July
    Please note: This is a personal reflection and does not refer to politics. These entries are not sent to subscribers.Text within this block will maintain its original spacing when publishedHubris and Pride Out of the fire and into the frying pan? Swimming with the big sharks Tonight, I am excited. ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Oh Vienna
    Nothing can warm your heart like the sight of your daughter stepping off a train. Mary-Margaret arrived on Saturday to ride with us to Vienna.You know your way around a bike? the guy at the hire shop asks her. Yep. She’s ridden them on rail trails, Auckland’s mean streets, commutes ...
    More Than A FeildingBy David Slack
    6 days ago
  • Geoffrey Miller: New Zealand forges deeper ties with NATO
    Christopher Luxon is finding his foreign policy feet. Now eight months into the job, New Zealand’s Prime Minister is in Washington DC this week to attend the NATO summit. It is the third year in a row that Wellington has been invited to the annual gathering of the North Atlantic ...
    Democracy ProjectBy Geoffrey Miller
    6 days ago
  • Climate Change: National’s carbon capture fantasy
    As the climate crisis has grown worse, the tactics of the polluting industries have shifted. From denying climate change, they then moved on to pushing "carbon capture" - dumping their emissions underground rather than in the atmosphere. It's a PR scam, intended to prolong the life of the industry we ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    6 days ago
  • Harsh Truths.
    The Way We Were: An indelible mark was left upon a whole generation of New Zealanders by the Great Depression and World War II; an impression that not only permitted men and women of all classes and races to perceive the need to work together for the common good, but also ...
    6 days ago
  • Explainer: Simeon Brown's CCUS Announcement
    Sources for the data and research:Peter Milne: Time’s up on Gorgon’s five years of carbon storage failureSimon Holmes a Court: "Does best CCS power station in world provide model for Australia?" Chris Vanderstock: "The truth about Carbon Capture and Storage"   "Sunk Costs": documenting CCS's failure to meet every, single, target, ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • The Kiwirail Interislander saga continues
    This morning, 1 News is reporting that the cancellation of the i-Rex ferries has so far cost taxpayers $484 million.That's almost half a billion dollars. That could probably fund thousands of new doctors, maybe complete a few hospital rebuilds, or how about money for our experienced police so they don’t ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Bernard’s Chorus for Wednesday, July 10
    As foreshadowed in legislation passed quietly under urgency just before Christmas, the Transport Minister has personally watered down standards for car imports in a way expected to add millions of tonnes to our climate emissions Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The KākāTL;DR: My top six things to note around housing, climate ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • Christopher Luxon's business acumen
    It’s April, and the relatively new Prime Minister of New Zealand is on his first overseas mission to South East Asia.Christopher Luxon walks into the room. A warm smile on his face. A hand extended to his counterpart.“We are open for business,” he says confidently. “New Zealand is under new ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    6 days ago
  • Meet New Zealand's Russell Brand?
    Hi,There is an all too common story within the guru community, and we see it play out again and again. The end is nearly always the same — a trail of victims and confusion left in the guru’s wake.As seen in the recent case of Russell Brand, the guru simply ...
    David FarrierBy David Farrier
    6 days ago
  • Why is the Government flooring it on unsafe speeds?
    Feedback closes midnight Thursday 11 July, on the draft speed-setting rule. See our previous post on the subject for details, and guidance on having your say. Among other things, it proposes to raise speeds in cities back up to a universal 50km/h (with no option of 30km/h), and will restrict safe ...
    Greater AucklandBy Greater Auckland
    6 days ago
  • American Boy
    Take me on a trip, I'd like to go some dayTake me to New York, I'd love to see LAI really want to come kick it with youYou'll be my American boy…Love letters straight from the heart. Hmm, I think that’s a different tune, but that’s where we’ll begin. With ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    6 days ago
  • Bernard's Pick 'n' Mix for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Jannis Brandt on UnsplashTL;DR: My pick of the top six links elsewhere around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day or so to 7:00 am are:Investigation: Benefitting from the misery of others. Over 40% of emergency housing funding went to a concentrated group ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Journal of Record for Wednesday, July 10
    Photo by Mr Cup / Fabien Barral on UnsplashTL;DR: The top six announcements, reports and research around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the day to 6:30 am on Wednesday, July 10 are:Climate: Minister for Transport Simeon Brown announced changes to the Clean Car Importer Standard that ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    6 days ago
  • How rural families are saving thousands with electric vehicles
    This is a re-post from Yale Climate Connections by Daisy Simmons (Photo credit: Automotive Rhythms / CC BY-NC 2.0) Some people thought Juliana Dockery and her husband Sean were being impractical when they bought an electric vehicle in 2022. Why? Like one in five Americans, they live in a rural area ...
    6 days ago
  • Love to complete it all
    Photo credit: Rob DickinsonThis is my wish for you: Comfort on difficult days, smiles when sadness intrudes, rainbows to follow the clouds, laughter to kiss your lips, sunsets to warm your heart, hugs when spirits sag, beauty for your eyes to see, friendships to brighten your being, faith so that ...
    Mountain TuiBy Mountain Tui
    7 days ago
  • Climate Change: What’s left of the Emissions Reduction Plan?
    In 2019, Parliament, in a supposed bipartisan consensus, passed the Zero Carbon Act. The Act established long-term emissions reduction targets, and a cycle of five-yearly budgets and emissions reduction plans to meet them, with monitoring by the independent Climate Change Commission. In theory this was meant to ensure that the ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    7 days ago
  • The President They Have Got.
    “This cannot be real life!” Confronted with the choice of recommitting themselves to the myth of Joe Biden, or believing the evidence of their own eyes, those Americans not already committed to Donald Trump will reach out instinctively for the President they wish they had – blind to the President they ...
    7 days ago
  • Has Progressivism Peaked?
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    7 days ago
  • The Kākā’s Dawn Chorus for July 9
    TL;DR: The top six things I’ve noted around housing, climate and poverty in Aotearoa’s political economy in the last day are:Labour may be looking at signing up for an Irish style 33% inheritance tax instead of or as well as a capital gains tax;Sam Stubbs has proposed the Government sell ...
    The KakaBy Bernard Hickey
    1 week ago
  • Mr Luxon goes to Washington.
    Once fastened servile now your getting sharpMoving oh so swiftly with such disarmI pulled the covers over him shoulda' pulled the alarmTurned to my nemesis a fool no fucking godTuesday morning usually provides something to write about with a regular round of interviews for the Prime Minister across Newshub, TVNZ, ...
    Nick’s KōreroBy Nick Rockel
    1 week ago

  • Regional Development Minister to host summits
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will hold a series of nationwide summits to discuss regional priorities, aspirations and opportunities, with the first kicking off in Nelson on August 12. The 15 summits will facilitate conversations about progressing regional economic growth and opportunities to drive productivity, prosperity and resilience through the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government delivers new school for Rolleston
    The Coalition Government is addressing growing demands on Canterbury’s school network, by delivering a new primary school in Rolleston, Education Minister Erica Stanford says. Within Budget 24’s $400 million investment into school property growth, construction will begin on a new primary school (years 1-8) in Selwyn, Canterbury.  Rolleston South Primary ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • New speed camera signs to improve safety
    The Government is welcoming the rollout of new speed camera signs for fixed speed cameras to encourage drivers to check their speeds, improving road safety and avoiding costly speeding tickets, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Providing Kiwis with an opportunity to check their speed and slow down in high crash areas ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • NZ, Korea strengthen relationship
    New Zealand and the Republic of Korea continue to strengthen their relationship, Foreign Minister Winston Peters says.   “New Zealand and Korea have a long history – from New Zealand soldiers fighting in the Korean War, through to our strong cooperation today as partners supporting the international rules-based order.    ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Investing for future growth in tourism and hospitality
    The Government is moving forward with recommendations from the Tourism Data Leadership Group, beginning with establishing a Tourism Data Partnership Fund says Tourism and Hospitality Minister Matt Doocey. “The Tourism Data Partnership Fund is funded through the International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL) and will provide up to $400,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Trade Minister to attend G7 meeting in Italy
    Trade Minister Todd McClay will attend the Group of Seven (G7) Trade Ministers meeting in Reggio Calabria, Italy next week. This is the first time New Zealand has been invited to join the event, which will be attended by some of the world’s largest economies and many of New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Ministers reveal consequences for unruly Kāinga Ora tenants
    Ministers are pleased to see Kāinga Ora taking a stronger approach to managing unruly, threatening or abusive tenants, Housing Minister Chris Bishop and Associate Housing Minister Tama Potaka say.    “For far too long, a small number of Kāinga Ora tenants have ridden roughshod over their neighbours because, under Kāinga ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Prime Minister wraps up US visit in California
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon has finished a successful four-day visit to the United States with meetings in California on his final day focusing on innovation and investment.  “It has been fantastic to be in San Francisco today seeing first-hand the deepening links between New Zealand and California. “New Zealand company, EV Maritime, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister leads Indo-Pacific Four at NATO
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon today chaired a meeting of the Indo-Pacific Four (IP4) countries – Australia, Japan, the Republic of Korea and New Zealand. The IP4 met in the context of NATO’s Summit in Washington DC hosted by President Biden. “Prosperity is only possible with security,” Mr Luxon says. “We need ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • District Court judges appointed
    Attorney-General Hon Judith Collins today announced the appointment of three new District Court Judges.   The appointees, who will take up their roles in July and August at the Manukau, Rotorua and Invercargill courts, are:   Matthew Nathan Judge Nathan was admitted to bar in New Zealand in 2021, having previously been ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Urgent review into Wairoa flood response begins
    Environment Minister, Penny Simmonds today announced the terms of reference for a rapid review into the Wairoa flood response. “The Wairoa community has raised significant concerns about the management of the Wairoa River bar and the impact this had on flooding of properties in the district,” says Ms Simmonds. “The Government ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZDF’s Red Sea deployment extended
    New Zealand has extended its contribution to the US-led coalition working to uphold maritime security in the Red Sea, Defence Minister Judith Collins and Foreign Minister Winston Peters announced today. “The decision to extend this deployment is reflective of the continued need to partner and act in line with New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government provides support to tackle tax debt and compliance
    New compliance funding in Budget 2024 will ensure Inland Revenue is better equipped to catch individuals who are evading their tax obligations, Revenue Minister Simon Watts says. “New Zealand’s tax debt had risen to almost $7.4 billion by the end of May, an increase of more than 50 per cent since 2022. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Taking action to reduce road cones
    The Coalition Government is taking action to reduce expenditure on road cones and temporary traffic management (TTM) while maintaining the safety of workers and road users, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says.  Rolling out a new risk-based approach to TTM that will reduce the number of road cones on our roads.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Celebrating 100 years of progress
    Te Arawa Lakes Trust centenary celebrations mark a significant milestone for all the important work done for the lakes, the iwi and for the Bay of Plenty region, says Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti and Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka. The minister spoke at a commemorative event acknowledging 100 years ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Foreign Minister to travel to Korea and Japan
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters will travel to the Republic of Korea and Japan next week.    “New Zealand enjoys warm and enduring relationships with both Korea and Japan. Our relationships with these crucial partners is important for New Zealand’s ongoing prosperity and security,” says Mr Peters.    While in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Huge opportunity for educators and students as charter school applications open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says today is another important step towards establishing charter schools, with the application process officially opening.  “There has already been significant interest from groups and individuals interested in opening new charter schools or converting existing state schools to charter schools,” says Mr Seymour. “There is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Decreasing gas reserves data highlights need to reverse oil and gas exploration ban
    MBIE’s annual Petroleum Reserves report detailing a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural gas reserves shows the need to reverse the oil and gas exploration ban, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says.“Figures released by MBIE show that there has been a 20 per cent reduction in New Zealand’s natural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Providers of military assistance to Russia targeted in new sanctions
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced further sanctions as part of the Government’s ongoing response to Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.    “Russia’s continued illegal war of aggression against Ukraine is a direct and shocking assault on the rules-based order. Our latest round of sanctions targets Russians involved in that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • OECD report shows New Zealand is a red tape state
    Minister for Regulation David Seymour says that the OECD Product Market Regulation Indicators (PMRI) released this morning shows why New Zealanders sorely need regulatory reform. “This shocker result should end any and all doubt that the Government must go to war on red tape and regulation,” says Mr Seymour.  “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government unveils five-point climate strategy
    The coalition Government is proud to announce the launch of its Climate Strategy, a comprehensive and ambitious plan aimed at reducing the impacts of climate change and preparing for its future effects, Climate Change Minister Simon Watts says. “The Strategy is built on five core pillars and underscores the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • National Bowel Screening Programme reaches 2 million life-saving screening kits
    The National Bowel Screening Programme has reached a significant milestone, with two million home bowel screening kits distributed across the country, Health Minister Dr Shane Reti announced today.   “This programme, which began in 2017, has detected 2,495 cancers as of June 2024. A third of these were at an early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Granny flats popular with all ages
    More than 1,300 people have submitted on the recent proposal to make it easier to build granny flats, RMA Reform Minister Chris Bishop and Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk say. “The strong response shows how popular the proposal is and how hungry the public is for common sense changes to make ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • $25 million boost for conservation
    Toitū te taiao – our environment endures!  New Zealanders will get to enjoy more of our country’s natural beauty including at Cathedral Cove – Mautohe thanks to a $25 million boost for conservation, Conservation Minister Tama Potaka announced today.  “Te taiao (our environment) is critical for the country’s present and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Zealand increases support for Ukraine
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Foreign Minister Winston Peters have announced a further $16 million of support for Ukraine, as it defends itself against Russia’s illegal invasion. The announcement of further support for Ukraine comes as Prime Minister Luxon attends the NATO Leaders’ Summit in Washington DC. “New Zealand will provide an additional ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Country Kindy to remain open
    Associate Education Minister David Seymour says that Country Kindy in Manawatu will be able to remain open, after being granted a stay from the Ministry of Education for 12 weeks. “When I heard of the decision made last week to shut down Country Kindy I was immediately concerned and asked ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government lifts Indonesian trade cooperation
    New export arrangements signed today by New Zealand and Indonesia will boost two-way trade, Trade and Agriculture Minister Todd McClay says. Mr McClay and Dr Sahat Manaor Panggabean, Chairman of the Indonesia Quarantine Authority (IQA), signed an updated cooperation arrangement between New Zealand and Indonesia in Auckland today. “The cooperation arrangement paves the way for New Zealand and Indonesia to boost our $3 billion two-way trade and further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Carbon capture framework to reduce emissions
    A Carbon Capture, Utilisation and Storage (CCUS) framework has been released by the Coalition Government for consultation, providing an opportunity for industry to reduce net CO2 emissions from gas use and production, Energy Minister Simeon Brown says. “Our Government is committed to reducing red tape and removing barriers to drive investment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Faster consenting with remote inspections
    The Government is progressing a requirement for building consent authorities to use remote inspections as the default approach so building a home is easier and cheaper, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says. “Building anything in New Zealand is too expensive and takes too long. Building costs have increased by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Revision programme presented to Parliament
    A new revision programme enabling the Government to continue the progressive revision of Acts in New Zealand has been presented to Parliament, Attorney-General Judith Collins announced today. “Revision targets our older and outdated or much-amended Acts to make them more accessible and readable without changing their substance,” Ms Collins says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
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  • Government aligns Clean Car Importer Standard with Australia to reduce vehicle prices for Kiwis
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