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Nats’ smear machine steps up attack on Len Brown

Written By: - Date published: 3:00 pm, June 13th, 2010 - 77 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, local government - Tags: ,

The National Party smear machine is stepping up its attack on soon-to-be Auckland mayor Len Brown. Worried that Key’s handpicked candidate John Banks is falling behind, the right is resorting to smearing his left-wing rival.

The National Party’s David Farrar is even suggesting a “cover-up” and “fraud” at the Manukau Council. Is panic setting in at the thought of losing Auckland?

The right-wing spin machine is referring to an article in the Sunday Star Times, which states that council staff asked a restaurant to “make up” a receipt for a dinner that was held by Brown. Of the right conveniently ignore general usage, that to “make up” a bill simply refers to writing one out.

It may very simply be the case that council staff could not find the original receipt, so asked the restaurant to make one up for them (not as in ‘invent’ but ‘do’). As those facts read, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that state of affairs.

Brown has already agreed that using his Council credit card and paying back the bill was unacceptable. Trying to drag this issue out by further making ridiculous insinuations without any concrete proof won’t work. The polls show the people of Auckland like Len Brown.

Under the assumption that Banks would win National gave the Super City Mayor huge powers. Now that their candidate looks like he isn’t going to cut it, their attempts to smear Brown just look petty.

77 comments on “Nats’ smear machine steps up attack on Len Brown”

  1. tc 1

    If the overall approach and structure isn’t bad enough…..to give Banksie those huge powers sitting on top of Wodneyville is yet another scary thought.

    Does anyone remember this idiot doing anything positive and intelligent in his nat days as well as mayor for remuera…….this job requires a cohesive intelligent individual nor Mr Hasbeen or more likely Mr Nevereverwas.

    • toad 1.1

      Luv the Farrar pic on the frontpage excerpt Eddie – looks much like Kim Jong Il, but with a lot less hair!

  2. IrishBill 2

    And again it’s Jonathon Marshall writing the story. Is he on the SST’s payroll or John Banks’?

  3. wyndham 3

    Yes, they show no mercy now that the “new” image of Banks isn’t working for them. On Q+A this a.m. Michelle Boag couldn’t resist having a dig at Len Brown although it was totally unnecessary to even bring his name into the discussion.
    We can expect more of the same as it becomes more and more apparent that the well-oiled right-wing machine is not going to deliver Auckland to them in order that it may be plundered.

  4. This is going to be a really dirty campaign. Hopefully Len will continue with his normal ways and not reply in kind.

    I thought the same. They are asking for a replacement because they cannot find the original. What a beat up.

    Farrar ought to consider the law of defamation as should the SST. They are treading really close to the line.

    As for Michelle Boag she is the biggest waste of space the National party has. When was she last involved in a sinning campaign?

    • andy (the other one) 4.1

      When was she last involved in a sinning campaign?

      Heh! all of em!

      Wow, Mike Williams body language when she dropped that was classic. He wasted an opportunity to remind her she was sacked for a conflict of interest in the Supercity. You can recruit the new execs and work for the Banks campaign.

      Stage 1. release through the blubbery one.
      Stage 2. Farrar, refreshes with a slightly more pragmatic tone refuting Whales’ intemperate tone.
      Stage 3. Lazy journo picks up and runs with it.

      Banksie lies about his height, send me a letter full of spin and BS and rips us all off over Monte Cecilia School at a massive cost to rate payers and the SST is pretty quiet. It was North Shore Mayor first, Manukau second, Bob Harvey look out.

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10651535

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10646146

      EDIT: Forgot Banks’ stinky Bee Pollen stuff and Hulich Kiwisaver activities with Brash and co.

    • Well for years I have been “raving on” about the Right’s dirty trick brigade.
      Who are they, Crosby/Textor, Democratic Pacific Union ( Chair Lord Michael Ashcroft and through that Union the USA Republican Party,
      That’s the worst other are involved. So of course they have money and knowledge .Nothing gets past them regarding members of the Left and what they do not get they make up. It’s a burden we must combat.The present charade over credit cards is a windfull for these snakes.
      As for Boag don’t pass her bye ,she’s a dangerous woman with lot’s of connections. Not ever to be trusted .she will not miss any chance to slag Labour. We must be prepaired for a very dirty campaign ,Local Body and the

    • Don’t underestimate Boag M/S she may look like mutton with mint sauce ,but under that painted face is a shrewd cunning woman. She has has a wide range of media /news outlets and she never misses a chance to slag Labour.
      She will use every dirty trick in the book ,if she has too for getting the vote for Banks. Then she will get the same theme going for the General Election.
      The other problem is that the Nats have a number of Boag simulars the problem being we do not know who they are . But I bet The Nats have a number of people in the spotlight who will start praising the Right.
      I’m picking that there may be a top Rugby player who will come out in favour of Banks and the Right coalition in the local elections. Let’s be aware and ready for this certain attack.

  5. Graham 5

    Um, gonna have to call you on selective quotes here.

    Yes, I totally agree that “to make up a bill” is commonly used to refer to writing a bill up and printing it out – not fabricating it. BUT, reading the SST article, I think the worrying bits come a little later.

    Council officials working for Manakau mayor Len Brown approached a restaurant asking its staff to “make up” a dinner receipt that excluded details of beer and wine purchased during a $810 dinner.

    The tax invoice is different from the usual invoices given to diners at the South Auckland eatery.

    The Star-Times has learned that council officials contacted the restaurant last week – 36 weeks after the visit – and asked them to produce a new receipt and fax it to council headquarters. Volare owner Daniel Nakhle yesterday confirmed “a new receipt was requested” just a few days ago.

    And just for the record, I don’t want John Banks in the job either, having just read the stuff he mailed out to me.

    • Michael Foxglove 5.1

      Hmm… I think Graham’s point is worth making, but I completely get it why Eddie didn’t perpetuate an unproven fact.

      If you look carefully, there’s no source whatsoever to back up that claim. And it’s so ambiguous, you’ve got to wonder were they asking that beer and wine they purchased personally shouldn’t be included?

      • IrishBill 5.1.1

        I wouldn’t trust a thing Marshall wrote anyway. He was the one that stalked Andy Williams and wrote a story about him being a drunk (complete with claims that were proven wrong), he was the one that got fired from Queer TV for stalking Mike Hosking (and then proceeded to stalk his kids), he is also the idiot who pulled the fake bomb at the rugby stunt. In short, he’s a joke and his stories are a joke too. The sooner somebody sues him into oblivion the better.

    • felix 5.2

      He’s mailing stuff to you? Aren’t you in the South Island?

  6. Anne 6

    @ mickysavage
    Winebox scandal? Didn’t she arrange for a private camera crew to film Winston Peters in court giving evidence to the Royal Commission of Inquiry? She was working for Fay Richwhite and co. at the time.

    • Pascal's bookie 6.1

      Yes, she did.

    • Yep, same one.

      She also masterminded the 2002 campaign which saw National crash to their worst ever election defeat.

      She is on Jim Mora’s show in the afternoon occasionally. Every time I hear her talk I have this urge to shove sharpened pencils into my ear drums.

  7. marsman 7

    Maybe they’ve got Crosby Textor on the case, Smear is their forte. They did it for Boris in the last London mayoral election.

  8. Sadly, the blame it on the nat blogger meme will not work this time Eddie.
    Firstly, the staff member who asked the restaurant to create a new non-itemised account.. Who was it? Who pays their wages? Are they a council employee, campaign staff or (as I sincerely hope) Both at the same time.
    Do they work for the TelstraClear events centre?
    The restaurant has broken the law and IRD WILL be getting involved over this invoice, Brown has had somebody try and deceive the reporter and despite the gilbert and sullivan theatrics of cutting up the credit card this scandal will not go away.
    Might be time to put Bob Harvey through the fleetwash methinks.. Or the Tiz? Bwahahaha.

    I fully expect this one to be deleted.. The hard questions are a bit dificult to stomach on a sunday aren’t they?

    [lprent: Why exactly would we delete it?

    Admittedly your comment sounds rather confused and lacks a lot of coherency (like much of your writing). It makes little sense except in terms of unsubstantiated innuendo (like most of your writing). I suspect that your idea of the legal aspects is as usual based more on hope than reality – but that isn’t unusual either.

    In short your comment makes you look like a bit of a numbnuts fool – but hey we knew that anyway. That isn’t an offense that we zap comments or ban for. These are usually left to the commentators to comment on (if they can be bothered).

    You know all of this, so I guess you tacked that last para in as some kind of pathetic attention seeking. That really isn’t a good look if you want to be taken seriously. ]

  9. axeman 9

    Aah the old ‘Crosby Textor Conspiracy Theory’. Just like the myth perpetuated on Red Alert. Must be puttin’ your tinfoil hats on too tightly over here as well.

  10. Buster 10

    How come no journalist has asked John Banks to repay the $8,000 it cost to expand the Auckland City Council carpark to fit his Bentley in? That sounds like more of an extravagant personal expense than anything Brown has done:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=227999

    And how come Banks hasn’t been forced to ask if he’s been reimbursed for anything during his time as mayor or how much all his receptions and activities have cost?

    It seems the only thing that is manufactured here is the outrage by one attack journalist and his repeater blogger allies.

    • How come no journalist has asked John Banks to repay the $8,000 it cost to expand the Auckland City Council carpark to fit his Bentley in?

      Because they expect the left’s standards to be so much higher …

      I think all mayors should have $5k to spend on anything without question just so that we can get away from this endless gazing at visa statements.

      And talk about real issues like public transport, the need to retain water in public ownership and control and maintain older adult housing, you know important stuff like that.

      The right wing do not debate these issues because they don’t believe in them but they know that their views are really unpopular. It is much better to push the sleaze button.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 10.1.1

        What about the $700,000 Auckland City spent on the bugled attempt to to get the V8 Super Cars running around the inner city – at Banks insistence.
        A complete fiasco, as they never did the detailed work .

    • Tigger 10.2

      There are a lot of questions that should be put to Mr Banks that no one will.

      And the problem with smearing is that you tend to get some pooh on you…Banks has been around a long time and has buried a bunch of bodies. Sooner or later someone’s gonna start digging…

  11. Bob Stanforth 11

    It is possible, as has been noted, that this is an attempted ‘smear’. If it is, it will be undone by Mr Brown coming forth with the relevant documentation – a tax deductible, itemised receipt. It does seem a tad strange that it is being asked for now, many months after the fact – maybe a review highlighted a missing receipt, who knows, but again, production of an original will make the issues go away. Will it not? Or is that too simplistic a view?

    Surely claiming its all a smear even before it has been refuted is premature? Why not let the truth out first, then highlight that self same truth, rather than claiming smear right from the outset? Isn’t it good we have this type of public accountability for those who hold public office? I for one would like to know that someone spending $800 of public funds had been doing it for a relevant, public oriented purpose, rather than for his or her own reasons.

    [lprent: I haven’t bothered to look at this topic at all as it looks to me more like a group masturbation by the wingnut right (the porn festival from the likes of Farrar and the other dog whistling spinsters of the right).

    However since I have to release you from first-time moderation, I’ll comment that you appear to have a bit of a logic problem in your comment. If the reason for requesting a new receipt is to replace a missing one – then how in the hell could he produce the original? Can you see how stupid your comment looks? Or are you too much of a stupid troll to move past the moronic line you are spouting?

    It is a characteristic signature of a political smear that 1+1 = 11. This is the Whaleoil (or Barnsley Bill) level of political mathematics. Your comment appears to encapsulate quite successfully. In essence you appear to be saying that because there hasn’t been a refutation (on a Sunday when most media and for that matter the relevant accounts are not available) that the presumption has to be that there is malfeasance.

    I hope that any comments you write in the future aren’t going to be as boneheaded as this one. Because you’ll certainly fall foul of the policy – which I suggest you read immediately.

    This all wastes my time, which is why I’ve spent time now to set you on a path that is less of the sewer, and more on the higher debate level you’ll need here. Hopefully an investment of my time now will make you someone I don’t have to exert moderation effort on later. ]

    • Bob Stanforth 11.1

      Gee, nice welcome, thanks 🙂

      Put it this way – if a business sells something, they have to keep a record of that sale. Its the law. They have to note what was sold, to whom, and when. Details. So that if the tax man comes knocking, they can supply that level of detail. They also, in the retail trade, tend to keep details because it matters from a stock perspective. A business produces THEIR original as a copy, to back up that produced at the time of sale – hence, the original.

      I did not say that because there is no refutation its true, I said the claim will be undone when such refutation takes place. Surely that’s obvious? Isn’t what Im stating giving Mr Brown the time to put it right? How is it stupid to ask for someone to be able to show themselves to be right, not wrong, and then to be able to stand on that right?

      You seem to think that because I dont blindly support the claim that its a smear that Im for it, or approve of it? That is so far from the truth to be laughable. My point is, I think, quite simple – its not true until proven, and we all have the right to so prove – no matter what someone claims. And if someone claims ‘rort’ when the opposite is in fact true, then their argument is lost, as is some degree of their credibility? And then the person so claimed against has their reputation not only supported, but also strengthened. Yes? Oh, and please refrain from another attack, Im not stupid. You might be able to see that, I hope. Oh, and I read policy – could do with a spell check 🙂

      • lprent 11.1.1

        I’ve run a few accounting systems in my time. It always freaks me out how easy it is for paper to go astray. Especially when the bill doesn’t go directly to the accounting office (in my case sales reps, in this case (presumably) politicians at a meal). It gets stuffed in someones pocket and usually winds up going through the wash.

        One of the reasons to use a credit card is because the value still shows up on the credit card, which does go directly to the accounting office. So you can request request a copy of a receipt from the company listed on the credit card statement.

        Seems a hell of a lot simpler than the convoluted conspiracy theories I’ve scanned in comments today. But probably not as entertaining.

        You get used to having me around providing the outside bounds of behaviour. I generally prefer not to get involved in comments.

        But I figure that if I have to intervene, then I prefer to ensure that people don’t want a repetition of my treatment. This saves me time later (and who really cares about the lusers).

        I set the moderation policy to always show me peoples first messages. It limits people who like changing identities frequently because I look to see if they’re already banned through their IPs. It also allows me to preemptively comment on first time users who look like they may incur my immoderate wrath later during moderation sweeps. On average the latter reduces my workload in running the site.

        • Bob Stanforth 11.1.1.1

          You aren’t my ex wife are you? 🙂 She used the preemptive strike philosophy as well, had more headaches than a clutch of Labour ministers and their credit card expenses 🙂 Ditched her for the childhood sweetheart, best move ever.

          I digress.

          Paper does go missing, of that there is no doubt. Im an accountant, been involved with selecting and implementing financial systems for years, large corporates here and o/seas, and keeping those bits of paper is a nightmare, but it needs to be done. Still strikes me as odd that a long long time after the expense was incurred there was a need to go find a detailed receipt, but then it might have been in response to an OIA request. We shall have to wait and see – and reserve judgment, of course.

          I think whats been forgotten is that its not about the fact that there are bigger issues for our politicians to deal with, there are. This goes to the very heart of trust. We believe that our elected representatives are capable of doing the job we elected them for, that for most of us (I think) is a no brainer. What we have to be (re) assured of is our trust in them to act both within the law / rules, and also with honour. The latter seems lacking – on both sides – at the moment, and historically. The former also seems to have been waived by some as well.

          Putting it succinctly, some, not all, have been taking the piss. Its our money, there are rules, and they are there to protect our money. You don’t get the right to feather your nest just because you are our representative.

    • infused 11.2

      So touchy lpent. You obviously have no idea how it works, keep reciepts.

      • lprent 11.2.1

        Yeah right. Even have to manage sales reps or programmers or engineers? Not exactly the worlds greatest keepers of annoying bits of paper.

        I suspect you’re thinking of some ideal world where everyone is an obsessional wingnut with a paper fetish. Ummm called “accountants” from memory.

  12. i am not surprised its what tories always resort to when losing

  13. tsmithfield 13

    Sure the right is probably milking this for all its worth, as the left would in similar circumstances.

    I think a fair point here is that Len Brown (and possibly his officials by latest revelations) have opened the door for these sort of attacks in the first place. So they have created the opportunity for the right to gain some advantage here.

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      ” So they have created the opportunity for the right to gain some advantage here.”

      True, and it’s a shame, coz the right are hardly going to campaign on policy. They could do like the national Nats did… “Those policies you know we favour? We sincerely promise not to implement them immediately”, but nah, even that’s too honest for the banksta. It’s just gonna be wall to wall nickel and dimeing with near daily diversions from any thing policy related.

  14. really 14

    Smear or not you must admit it is very very very dodgy for a staffer to ask for a new receipt with all references to booze removed, and 36 months later (so its hardly ooops we lost it and need it for the financial years audit).

  15. Micky Savage, your call to give them 5k to spend on anything they like is a good one. Oh, hang on a minute. I think they get substantially more than that already. I think it is called their salaries..
    Pretty good ones too. It stuns me that the ex labour ministers, current nat ministers, rodney and the the north shore and manukau mayors can’t manage to get by on what they are legally paid without having to treat tax payers and ratepayers as interest free credit unions.

    The money quote this weekend for me was this one from the herald about the scandal.

    “Most gallingly, he used his ministerial card to buy flowers for Lianne Dalziel after she was sacked as Immigration Minister for lying about having leaked documents to a television channel.
    The logic by which he could regard it as a ministerial duty to console a colleague who had sought to deceive the public remains obscure to everybody but him, it appears.”

    Obviously it is about the member for Te Atatu.
    No doubt somebody will chirp up blaming a staffer or him not having his personal card in his wallet..

    • felix 15.1

      I tend to agree about the salaries, BB. Who buys flowers to comfort a friend and doesn’t want to pay for it? What a frickin tightwad.

      I’m sure someone will say they’re not paid that much compared to similar positions in the private sector, but this is a spurious comparison. The nature of the job entails public service. If you’re not willing to make sacrifices for the greater good then you don’t belong in parliament, sorry.

      (Besides which there really are no comparable jobs in the private sector – they’re not managers and the country isn’t a business).

    • ghostwhowalksnz 15.2

      Well Key got around the housing allowance which English tried to rort, which was ruled illegal by the A-G, by changing the rules and ‘giving’ all his ministers a maximum no questions asked housing allowance

      The gall

  16. Felix, surprisingly we have not heard the low pay argument this time. That is probably because they are all paid mulitples of the average wage and low pay does not wash as an excuse for helping yourself. You could also look at each one on a case by case basus and see what thye were doing and actually earning prior to winning the golden kiwi card to free food and booze and christs knows what else.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1

      Oh come on Heatley showed your lot were no different. Yet he was not seen as a grasper.

      McCully has spent $2000 on dry cleaning , which is a personal expense, as the clothes are his.
      Whats the difference from the flowers to dry cleaned suits and shirts

      • Dry-cleaning when travelling on official business is used as a specific example of permitted expenditure in the governing document “Travel, Accommodation, Attendance, and Communication Services Available to Members of the Executive”.

        Of course, so too are flowers 🙂

        • ghostwhowalksnz 16.1.1.1

          When travelling you would normally use the hotel laundry service, so it would be added to the bill – like the porn.
          Is there evidence that all McCullys dry cleaning bills were ‘overseas’ and not Wellington as well ?

  17. Adolf Fiinkensein 17

    National smear machine? Are you off your heads?

    National have needed to do not a thing. Your idiots have done it all on their own.

    • Michael Foxglove 17.1

      But they have done “a thing”. They’re smearing Len Brown before the facts are known.

      And we don’t have any “idiots”. Do you?

  18. Rharn 18

    I’m surprised that the Nats have not done an ‘ecan.’ That is suspend democracy and appoint a commissioned mayor. But hey…………….it’s early days………….and given Key’s and Hide’s democratic agenda for the Supercity…………….it’s still possible.

  19. really 19

    PhilU …………period………….abuse…………. alert.

  20. Rosy 20

    If left-wing politicians are happy with calling right-wingers ‘rich pricks’ they are on some level associating themselves with ‘hard working kiwis’. If right-wingers rort the system it is hardly unexpected that they might spend up without a thought to what that means for people with lower living standards. If a left-wing politician does the same it tends to come as a complete surprise to those who believed in them, and seems entirely hypocritical – in a similar way to the ‘family values’ person being associated with sexual impropriety. A ‘rich prick’ who spends other people’s money cannot, on the same level, be accused of being a hypocrite. I suspect this is at the heart of the outrage over spending.We can defend all we like, be angry over the double standards, and rail against the headlines without explanation or detail, but Labour has to acknowledge this, and handle it well, no matter how unfair. (Just summarising what floating voters I know are saying)

    • felix 20.1

      Well that fails at the first “if”.

      Cullen called Key a rich prick. Presumably because he knew Key to be rich and also believed him to be a prick.

      The rest is fantasy.

    • My exposure to swinging voters leads me to believe they are not concerned with any of the points you made, what ever they are, all they know is that things are not good and Jones watched porn paid for by his Ministerial card and maybe there is a link.

      Stunning politics, but totally unrelated to reality.

  21. RedLogix 21

    Shorter Rosy…I’d sooner vote for a rich prick who I can pretend isn’t massively screwing me over…than a fellow poor prick who’s a little prone to getting ideas above his station.

    Finish off with a round of vigorous forelock tugging woncha all.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 21.1

      A rich prick – like Richard Worth ? Your metaphors about whos was screwing who are more apt than you think

  22. Rosy 22

    Redlogix , I agree entirely with your link, but you got it in one, – your post is how a lot of people I talk to think – and they all vote! Some were slowly coming round especially after the budget, but these spending headlines really are a step back in the world I live in.

    • RedLogix 22.1

      Sadly there’s something in what you’re saying Rosy. Call the politics of envy if you will, but not quite in the way most people mean it.

  23. Anne 23

    In the short term you might be right Rosy and if so, we can look forward to seeing it show up in the next opinion poll. But come the next election – whenever it turns out to be- the swinging voters won’t be casting their vote based on blue movies and booze. It’ll be a darn sight more fundamental than that. Like… how their pocket is being affected, and who they think will give them the best monetary deal.

    By the way, someone – think it might have been Mike Williams on Q&A – said the story is far from over. There’s more revelations to come, and at least one involves another Nact minister.

  24. That is it. I am now convinced. Len Brown should not be Mayor of the Super City because the Manukau City Council misplaced a bit of paper.

    It was a relatively insignificant bit of paper. Someone looked at it before and thought it was OK and reimbursed Len for a Dinner which may have been a dinner for Councillors and senior Officers.

    But hell that bit of paper is missing.

    There is also a Criminal Conspiracy because a Council Officer tried to replace the bit of paper with another bit of paper.

    Franz Kafka eat your heart out …

  25. Nick C 25

    “When Keys hand picked candidate John Banks.”

    Since when did John Key pick Banks? He was obviously going to run already being the mayor of the Auckland city council.

    Its ironic that you deride smears when you give away that this blog is nothing more than a smear blog with these lame attacks laced in your posts.

  26. Cactus Kate 26

    Irrelevant if the MCC don’t have the details.

    The restaurant has to keep records for 7 years, they will have a copy of the original (first made) receipt with itemised detail on it. As per standard when you go out, you pay and they give you the original usually and keep the carbon or computer printed copy. May take a while but it will be sitting with their accounts staff/accountant. Simple to ask for that if there are issues.

    Would be more interesting to find out who goes out on a Sunday night for $810 and for what purpose. Has Brown explained that yet?

  27. Herodotus 27

    Does anyone really think that this wee attack will prevent Len from becomming mayor?
    For me only if Manukau does not vote would Len lose, the greater the vote count the greater will be Lens victory.
    If anything has been learnt over the last week, If you are in politics Do Not use the credit card supplied, use your own and get costs reimbursed signed off by a senior neutral civil servant. I am sure regarding National politics that under secretaries (I think this is the person) will pick up the bill and then the costs will work there way thru the system, also that ministerial credit cards will be cut up permanentely.

    • RedLogix 27.1

      If you are in politics Do Not use the credit card supplied,

      Which kind of tells you something. Like what sane person would go anywhere near politics?

      also that ministerial credit cards will be cut up permanentely.

      Melting down the weapon they have just used on their opponent will turn out to be a temporary expedient. The credit cards were never the issue, no-one really cared about the relatively piffling sums involved…it was all a debased political pantomine to serve another purpose.

      And that’s a plot that can only thicken.

      • Herodotus 27.1.1

        So as both side make personnel attacks on the opposition and digs deep into peoples pasts, how do we then get quality people on both sides of the spectrum to stand. There was only 1 person in history who had a unblemished past, and I think even he would not want a job as a MP so who has the credintals to stand. S.Jones will never live down what has just been revealed, but if he walks what will follow to replace him?
        We now have posts attacking the lovely man bill English for complying with the rules then commenting on the morality of his actions. As we are ever becomming a legialistic country (moving closer to USA,unfortunately) what standards do we wish our politicians and the rest of us to follow. A moral code or the law ? and what form of cardboard cutout will parliament be filled with?
        They will definitely not be representive of the community.

  28. James 28

    Brown behaves like a typical socialist with other peoples money and the comrades can’t spin fast enough…..good times! 😉

  29. randal 29

    who heard quax whining on the radio this morning.
    I dont care how much coffeee Len Brown Chraged up he will always be twice the man that john banks or quax will ever be.

  30. coge 31

    I guess when it comes to the ballot box, it’ll come down to one thing. Who would you trust with the cheque book? Len Brown or John Banks? John Banks may not be to everyones taste, but we do know he is honest. At the end of the day serious doubts have been cast on Len Brown’s fiscal prudence, & this will be a concern to every Auckland rate payer.

    • Lew 31.1

      Depends what the A-G finds, doesn’t it? After all, if he’s exonerated by the investigation that he invited, doesn’t he come out smelling of roses?

      Of course, he might not. But then, he knows what the investigation will find, and he called it.

      L

    • Who said he’s honest? I doubt if all the money he has was made honestly.
      He was either fiddling, insider trading or screwing the workers ,I will never ever believe a person can make double million figures by the sweat of their brow or by exercising their brain.

  31. jaymam 32

    Well I’m really unimpressed by what politicians put on credit cards. Enough to give up supporting them. However since the right wing does it too and rorts in many other ways, I suppose I should choose the lessor of two evils. Maybe not. I shall chose between the greater of two goods. And that sure aint John Banks.
    I was all ready to spend my usual months putting up billboards, repairing the vandalism, taking them down again and denailing and storing them for years.
    I’m coming around to doing that again. Or I could just watch TV or something.
    Note to our elected representatives: – please do better.

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  • Tougher penalties for gun crime a step closer
    Tougher penalties for gun crime are a step closer with the passage of firearms reform legislation through another stage in Parliament. The Arms Legislation Bill has tonight passed its Second Reading. “The changes have one objective - to prevent firearms falling into the wrong hands,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. ...
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    1 hour ago
  • Arms Legislation Bill: Second Reading
    Introduction Mr Speaker We all know why we are here today. It has been a long journey. The journey did not actually begin on 15 March 2019. It began on 30 June 1997. Almost 23 years ago, Justice Sir Thomas Thorp told us what was wrong with our firearms legislation. ...
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    4 hours ago
  • New era for vocational education
    The Government’s work to put trades and vocational education back on the agenda took another major step forward today with the passing of the Education (Vocational Education and Training Reform) Amendment Bill, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is a watershed day for trades and vocational education. These law changes formalise ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Bill to Amend the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Act
    Speeding up the return of Christchurch regeneration activities to local leadership is behind the Greater Christchurch Regeneration Amendment Bill introduced to Parliament today by Minister Megan Woods. “As we approach nine years since the February 2011 earthquake in Canterbury, and with the transition to local leadership well underway, the time ...
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    6 hours ago
  • Milford Track to partly reopen after storm damage
    Hundreds of New Zealanders and international visitors will be able to get back out into nature with the Milford Track partially reopening next week, after extensive assessments and repairs, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. The popular Great Walk has been closed since 3 February after an extreme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    15 hours ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
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    1 day ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
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    1 day ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
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    1 day ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
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    2 days ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
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    2 days ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
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    2 days ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
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    2 days ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
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    2 days ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
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    3 days ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
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    3 days ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
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    3 days ago
  • Separated scenic cycleway starts
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off construction of a separated cycleway alongside Tamaki Drive. A two-way separated cycleway will be built along the northern side of Tamaki Drive, between the Quay Street Cycleway extension and Ngapipi Road. There will be a separate walking path alongside. Phil Twyford said giving ...
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    4 days ago
  • Earthquake-Prone Building loan scheme: eligibility criteria announced
    Owner-occupiers of unit and apartments living in earthquake-prone buildings will have certainty about the financial support they’ll be eligible for with the release of criteria for an upcoming assistance scheme, Minister for Building and Construction Jenny Salesa says. The Residential Earthquake-Prone Building Financial Assistance Scheme will help unit owners facing ...
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    4 days ago
  • Travel restrictions to remain in place as coronavirus precaution
    Temporary restrictions on travel from China will remain in place as a precautionary measure to protect against the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus. The restrictions which prevent foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China from entering New Zealand have been extended for a further 8 days. This position ...
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    4 days ago
  • Over $1 million to help Tairāwhiti youth into employment
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson announced today that Tairāwhiti rangatahi will benefit from an investment made by the Government’s He Poutama Rangatahi (HPR) scheme. The funding will go to the Tautua Village, Kauneke programme and the Matapuna Supported Employment Programme which will fund 120 rangatahi over two years. “Both programmes work ...
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    5 days ago
  • School attendance has to improve
    All parents and caregivers need to ensure that their children go to school unless they are sick, Associate Education Minister Tracey Martin said today. “The school attendance results for 2019 show, across the board, a drop in the number of students going to school regularly,” the Minister says. “Apart from ...
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    5 days ago
  • Crown and Moriori sign a Deed of Settlement
    A Deed of Settlement agreeing redress for historical Treaty claims has been signed by the Crown and Moriori at Kōpinga Marae on Rēkohu (Chatham Islands) today, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little has announced. Moriori have a tradition of peace that extends back over 600 years. This settlement ...
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    5 days ago
  • Waikato Expressway driving towards completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today with Māori King Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero VII officially opened the country’s newest road, the $384 million Huntly section of the Waikato Expressway. The 15km four-lane highway with side and central safety barriers takes State Highway 1 east of Huntly town, across lowlands and streams ...
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    5 days ago
  • 3400 New Zealanders treated in first year of new hepatitis C treatment
    The rapid uptake of life-saving new hepatitis C medicine Maviret since it was funded by PHARMAC a year ago means the elimination of the deadly disease from this country is a realistic goal, Health Minister David Clark says. Hepatitis C is a blood-borne virus which attacks the liver, proving fatal ...
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    6 days ago
  • Kaupapa Māori approach for homelessness
      Kaupapa Māori will underpin the Government’s new plan to deal with homelessness announced by the Prime Minister in Auckland this morning. “Māori are massively overrepresented among people experiencing homelessness, so, to achieve different outcomes for Māori, we have to do things very differently,” says the Minister of Māori Development ...
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    6 days ago
  • Government steps up action to prevent homelessness
    1000 new transitional housing places delivered by end of year to reduce demand for emergency motel accommodation. Introduce 25% of income payment, after 7 days, for those in emergency motel accommodation to bring in line with other forms of accommodation support. Over $70m extra to programmes that prevents those at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Important step for new financial conduct regime
    Clear requirements for ensuring customers are treated fairly by banks, insurers and other financial service providers are included in new financial conduct legislation that passed its first reading today. “The recent reviews, by the Financial Markets Authority (FMA) and Reserve Bank of New Zealand, into the conduct of banks and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Applications invited for $7 million Regional Culture and Heritage Fund
    Applications are now open for the fifth round of the Regional Culture and Heritage Fund Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Grant Robertson announced today.   “I am delighted to open this year’s fund which has some $7 million available to support performing arts venues, galleries, museums and whare ...
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    1 week ago
  • Law Commission appointment celebrates Māori and women
    The Minister of Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta today congratulated Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu on her appointment as the next President of the Law Commission.  “Amokura Kawharu will be a standout in her new role, leading in an innovative and forward looking approach to the law reform process. She will ...
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    1 week ago
  • Associate Professor Amokura Kawharu Appointed Law Commission President
    Auckland University legal academic Amokura Kawharu has been appointed as the next President of the Law Commission, Justice Minister Andrew Little announced today.    Associate Professor Kawharu will take up her new appointment on 11 May 2020.   “I would like to congratulate Associate Professor Kawharu on her appointment,” Andrew ...
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    1 week ago
  • Minister of Employment launches Youth Ready Employer Programme
    A programme for employers to help them engage effectively with younger employees was launched today by Minister of Employment, Willie Jackson. The Youth Ready Employer Programme contains a range of on-line templates that employers can easily access to help with employing and retaining young people in their businesses. The programme ...
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    1 week ago
  • Budget 2020 date announced
    Budget 2020 will be delivered on Thursday 14 May, Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “This year’s Budget will continue the Coalition Government’s focus on tackling the long-term challenges facing New Zealand while also preparing the economy for the future. “Those challenges and opportunities cannot be resolved in one budget, ...
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    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister’s tribute to former Prime Minister Mike Moore
    I move, That this House place on record its appreciation and thanks for the devoted and distinguished service to New Zealand by the late Rt Hon Michael Kenneth Moore, member of the Order of New Zealand, a member of Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council, an Honorary Member of the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Agriculture Minister declares adverse event in Northland
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor has today classified the drought conditions in Northland as an adverse event for the primary sector, unlocking $80,000 in Government support. “This is recognition that the extreme and prolonged nature of this dry spell is taking its toll on our farmers and growers and additional support ...
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    1 week ago
  • Police disrupt methamphetamine trade
    The Minister of Police says an operation to smash a trans national drug smuggling ring today will make a significant impact on the methamphetamine trade fuelling harm in our communities. Police have announced 10 arrests and the seizure of up to five million dollars’ worth of illicit drugs after an ...
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    1 week ago
  • Crown accounts in good shape to counter global challenges
    The Government’s books are in a strong position to withstand global headwinds, with the accounts in surplus and expenses close to forecast, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. The Treasury today released the Crown accounts for the six months to December. The operating balance before gains and losses (OBEGAL) was above ...
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    1 week ago
  • Racing Safety Development Fund open for applications
    Race courses can improve safety with this year’s second round of funding from the Racing Safety Development Fund. Minister for Racing Winston Peters has announced the second funding round of 2019/20 is open with $347,875 available for distribution. “The racing industry is integral to the economic and social fabric of ...
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    1 week ago
  • Strengthening New Zealand’s Immunisation System
    Hundreds of thousands of young adults will be offered measles vaccinations in a new campaign to strengthen New Zealand’s immunisation system, Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter said at its launch in Auckland today. “About 300,000 young adults aged between 15 and 29 are not fully protected against measles, and ...
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    1 week ago
  • Government to fund Aids research
    The Government is committing $300,000 to fund research to update behavioural information to make sure HIV and STI prevention services are targeted appropriately in New Zealand. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson made the announcement at today’s Big Gay Out in Auckland. “There is much talk about ...
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    1 week ago