web analytics

ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill

Written By: - Date published: 7:39 pm, December 12th, 2007 - 81 comments
Categories: election funding - Tags:

Here’s an article from the ODT. It’s by Simon Cunliffe, “a senior Otago Daily Times journalist”.

I’m loathe to reprint it in full but the ODT doesn’t provide full online access to articles. Perhaps the best I can do is to encourage you to subscribe to their digital edition if you enjoy the read.

Electoral Finance Bill is the price of undeclared interests

LISTEN up. Suppress that yawn. This week will decide the fate of the Electoral Finance Bill. It comes with serious historical baggage and a radical payload of forward freight.

This is an argument about how elections are financed. But it is also, in the end, a presentation on the nature of our democracy.

There has been much bitterness in the debate. It derives from the baggage. The Left saw developments at the last election that, if allowed to become commonplace, could render it electorally irrelevant. Equally, the Right, elements of which have steadfastly refused to come to terms with MMP, sees next year’s election as its last best chance to unseat Labour and its centre-Left coalition partners as the natural parties of Government.

In 2005, knowing an election was imminent, but with a war chest that exceeded its electioneering allowance, the National Party embarked on an expensive billboard campaign. This was entirely legal, but coming in such close proximity to the three-month election period, it was possible for opponents to construe it as electioneering.

Second, as it was to emerge through Nicky Hager, author of The Hollow Men, National’s new leader Dr Don Brash owed his position — and possibly his allegiances — to the influences of big money, in particular the Act New Zealand Party and the Business Roundtable.

Third, sophisticated offshore techniques were deployed in Dr Brash’s election strategy and campaign.

Fourth, the campaign itself saw the intervention of third party pamphlet advertising, spending up to $1 million attacking the policies of Labour and the Greens.

It added up to a seismic shift in the New Zealand political landscape — irreversible and not especially attractive. The genie was out of the bottle.

For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

So much for the baggage.

The forward freight is the recasting of the electoral financing laws. For normally sure-footed Labour, the initial drafting of the new Bill was shoddy. Allowing itself to be blindsided by the Human Rights Commission in its submissions to select committee was uncharacteristic — even accepting this is where a great deal of the shaping and horse trading of democracy routinely occurs.

Outside Parliament, opposition to the Bill has been led by John Boscowen, who discovered the existence of the Human Rights Commission with all the fervour and glee of a true convert. He has made great play of the Commission’s submissions dating back to mid-October, even though many of these have now been addressed. He continues to insist the Bill will severely curtail democracy. If you are an individual, it won’t, unless you plan to spend more than $120,000 on a politically-directed campaign.

As much as we like to imagine that freedom of speech is an absolute, it isn’t. There are several laws that proscribe it. Mr Boscowen’s ideal democracy is one in which money is free to talk whenever, and however loud, it likes. The suggestion there might be times — during election year, for instance — when it should be constrained to a whisper, seems gravely to offend him.

Mr Boscowen is a multi-millionaire. Good on him. He’s been a fund-raiser and office holder for Act. No problem. He is also an associate member of the Business Roundtable. His privilege. And he’s articulate, but possibly a little shy in his appreciation of irony.

He has spent $140,000, and rising, fighting the Bill. That money has bought newspaper and radio advertisements denouncing it, printed placards, marshalled involvement in protest marches, and paid — everybody still comfortable? — for a Canadian call centre to telephone 82,000 Auckland homes to drum up support for the last protest.

So much for the spontaneous outpouring of opposition to this dastardly anti-democratic Government’s election finance Bill. The truth is, Mr Boscowen has bags of money and no hesitation in using any amount of it to try to influence the course of our future democracy.

Some might say he is the perfect illustration of why the new laws, imperfect though they might be, are necessary. And there’s no small irony in that.

UPDATE: It’s come to our attention that the author of this article was formerly employed as a Labour Party press sec. While his opinions are no less valid because of this we are putting it on the record in the interests of disclosure.

81 comments on “ODT on the Electoral Finance Bill ”

  1. Gruela 1

    It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)

  2. Policy Parrot 2

    Not only does Mr. Boscowan attempt to intercede in our democracy, he is shipping jobs offshore while doing it…

    And annoying us by getting telemarketers to call us at dinner time, in order to consult us about lies.

    Maybe people should call Mr. Boscowan continously from 6-9pm, rattling on about how he is a threat to democracy?

  3. Daveo 3

    PP – great idea. Got a spare $9,000? No? Neither do I. Great thing this free speech for the rich.

  4. The Double Standard 4

    Congratulations on finally finding a journalist that partially supports your warped worldview, base.I guess you didn’t enjoy the other 99% of editorial and journalistic comment trashing the EFB?

    Maybe the PM is just upset because of the tirade from most media outlets against the Electoral Finance Bill. She singled out the New Zealand Herald in her speech, but there isn’t a newspaper in the country that I know of that has written in favour of this legislation.

    From http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/11/she-said-we-were-too-young/

  5. The Double Standard 5

    I wonder why you didn’t highlight this other blog entry which also discussed John Boscawen?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2007/12/05/spending-up-large-for-democracy/

    Was it because he said unfavourable things like this?

    But Labour has bought itself this fight on the back of fears over Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men and fears the Exclusive Brethren would spend up large in the election again if it got the chance.

    Things have got so ridiculous now, however, that passing this law is going to leave so much bad blood that Labour may well rue the day it did so. As John Key said in Parliament yesterday, it could be Labour’s epitaph and cost Prime Minister Helen Clark her job.

  6. Gruela 6

    Double

    Actually, most newspapers have come out in favour of the legislation. Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.

  7. Daveo 7

    Shock! horror! An openly left-wing site published an article that supports their position! It’s almost like they’re finding articles they agree with and distributing them to a wider audience. Double Standard, go inform the party. You’re onto a scandal with this one.

  8. Lampie 8

    just goes to show the intelligence

  9. Lampie 9

    of the right wing dumb arses

  10. The Double Standard 10

    “Most of them just thought some of the details needed adjusting.”

    What, more than the 150 amendments that Teh Party put forward?

    It must be pretty tiring swimming against the tide of public opinion on this one.

  11. Lampie 11

    Actually I’m disappointed, why haven’t we mentioned this?

    New Roy Morgan New Zealand Government Confidence Indicator at 110 for Mid-November
    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4254/

  12. The Double Standard 12

    Lampie – maybe because Rudd gets 144.5 on the same kind of rating?

    http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2007/4255/

  13. Gruela 13

    Double

    I was just making the point that not many commentators are arguing against the intent of the bill, simply it’s execution. When the election gets underway in a few months, and no-one gets arrested for holding unlicensed placards but certain right-wing stirrers try to take the issue to court, I suspect public opinion will swing behind Labour. No-one likes monied-up stirrers with an inflated sense of entitlement.

  14. the sprout 14

    “It can’t be a coincidence that the ODT is NZ’s last privately owned daily. (It still is, isn’t it?)”

    indeed, and yes it is.
    pisses all over the transnational conglomerate-owned papers.
    it even experiments with concepts like ‘balance’.

  15. Gruela 15

    Yeah, the Herald is starting to look ridiculous. It’s campaign against the EFB seems to have turned into a vendetta against Labour, and tomorrow’s front page isn’t going to assuage those perceptions. If I were their overseas masters I’d start to be getting worried about now. The Herald’s editorial staff are starting to smell like they’re in the grip of some form of mania, and that can only turn off regular readers. (Kiwi’s don’t like continually reading about how much better Aussies are than us.)

  16. the sprout 16

    i guess if those overseas owners were less concerned about extracting double digit profits from the Herald year after year, and more concerned with maintaining quality to ensure long-term circulation, they would take your advice.

    of course issues of journalistic integrity and ethics don’t enter the equation.

  17. Gruela 17

    $ is $ sprout. I still reckon the drum they’re banging is going to turn people off. People expect news in newspapers, not the same op-ed on the front page for what seems the 17th time.

    I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care
    20% are interested, but not THAT much
    5% are ACT voters

  18. deemac 18

    5% ACT voters? that many?

  19. ragtag 19

    “I figure the ratio has to be
    75Z% don’t care”

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

  20. Prisoner Porter 20

    I am locked up in a red round cell 24/7 !!

  21. the sprout 21

    i’d say your analysis of audience interest is about right gruela.

    prisoner burns, i’d say that’d be the right place for you

  22. r0b 22

    “The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato”

    It’s deja moo all over again. (As in, we’ve heard this bullshit before).

  23. the sprout 23

    “The price of stupidity is to be ruled by Hollow Men” – Sprout

  24. Lampie 24

    The price of apathy is to be ruled by evil [wo]men – Plato

    sHIPLEY RETURNS?

  25. Phil 25

    Ah, The Generals[Bloggers? Politicians?]! they are numerous but not good for much. – Aristophenes

  26. gobsmacked 26

    Back on topic:

    It’s taken them months, but the penny has finally dropped. Yes, even the NZ Herald has woken up, and worked out what National are up to:

    “Surely, when the issues at stake are as profound as who is allowed to spend money and how much they can spend on public issues advocacy in the best part of an election year, National needed to put its own money where its mouth is. To offer the public a concession that, while potentially hampering itself, would also get to the heart of the most basic concern: the secrecy of some donors and advertisers. Where was National’s grand amendment to this ill-conceived and anti-democratic law? It could have proposed a ban on all secret donations, eliminating trust payments like those from its clandestine Waitemata Trust million-dollar donor and making funding upfront and transparent to the public. … But is it too much to ask that even one party put the public ahead of its own interests? Probably.”

    (today’s editorial)

  27. the sprout 27

    the Herald’s owners must be getting the jitters about what their campaign for the rights of the wealthy to manipulate elections is doing to their circulation

  28. Tane 28

    I hear its circulation is down to 200,000 nationwide, and sliding. It’s the paper that fewer than one in seven Aucklanders bother reading.

  29. Phil 29

    If 200,000 is the correct circulation figure, then I hardly see need for concern. Per head of population, it works out at roughly the same sales as the Press and Dom-Post.

  30. gobsmacked 30

    This editorial appears to have gone unnoticed on Kiwiblog. For once there’s no Herald post n’ link, in the guise of commentary. Wonder why?

    I’m sure we’re all EFB-ed out, but it’s a pretty big deal when the whole flimsy facade of National’s opposition is torn to shreds by its best buddy.

    So who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald?

    Lee C, can you help?

  31. the sprout 31

    ah but Phil, enough is never enough for APN. they’ve long since stripped all the fat and muscle the Herald could afford to lose, now there’s only sales.

  32. the sprout 32

    “who’s fighting for democracy – the Nats or the Herald”

    gs, that would be a tough call.

  33. PhilBest 33

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…….. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.

    Maybe Simon Cunliffe won’t have any problem with Our Dear Leader regulating media commentary either – the next stage if she gets away with this. Simon Cunliffe’s colleagues might end up out of their jobs/ jailed. Who cares? John Minto and Nicky Hager and the Aro Valley fellow-travellers can fill in for them all.

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,……..

  34. DS 34

    “Maybe Simon Cunliffe is one of these people who will excuse ANYTHING that gets us on the way to the great egalitarian utopia? Like he will excuse the jailing of John Boscawen or the like next year, and like he never had any difficulty over Andrei Sakharov or Vaclav Havel either, probably. That goes for Tane, Sam Dixon, Sonic, Roger Nome, Nicky Hager, John Minto…. fine upstanding specimens of the milk of kindness of the brotherhood of humanity all.”

    Just to nip your right-wing paranoia in the bud, the ODT is no friend of Labour. I know: I work for them. It’s just that the ODT (unlike certain other papers I could mention) very rarely gets hysterical about issues like this: they’re a very crusty “Dunedin Establishment” paper, but like to maintain at least a veneer of non-partisanship on national issues.

  35. Robinsod 35

    PB – you’re hysterical. Get someone to slap you. Quick!

  36. Matthew Pilott 36

    Robinson, what worries me was if that was hysterical – where was all the SHOUTING?

    Let’s just hope it was satire 😉

    Cap: booby human . Hmmmm….

  37. The Double Standard 37

    Thought of the day for you all: What happened to Trostky? Bukharin? Beria? Kirov? Zinoviev? et al, et al, et al,..

    Or Robespierre for that matter!

  38. Billy 38

    ‘sod,

    Are you going to make good on your threat to out IP? Or was it hollow? Should we now start taunting you in the manner you taunted Whaleoil?

  39. Robinsod 39

    Billy – I’m not going to out IP/DS unless I’m given good reason to. I figure it’s better to keep that info for a rainy day. I should also point out that it’s not a case of me having “taunted” Whale because I continue to do so for a long time yet.

  40. PhilBest 40

    DS, I know the ODT is a fine establishment paper and no friend of Labour’s and their efforts at providing balance content are to be applauded.

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB. I am not being fanciful at all in saying that there are political activists on the left in NZ who have no moral difficulty about ANYTHING that will advance the arrival of their egalitarian utopia.

    Presumably DS, you KNOW this Simon Cunliffe person. How deeply have you scratched his surface on where he stands re freedom vs socialist totalitarianism? The acid test is, does he hate totalitarianism more than he hates the inequality that is a consequence of freedom? Does he think that the media should be controlled, and that commentary like Roger Kerr’s column in the ODT should be banned (which it de facto is already in the Dom Post and probably all the other main dailies too) and a steady diet of Chris Trotter, Finlay MacDonald, John Minto and Nicky Hager (and himself of course) (and regular Chomsky excerpts) would be just the best thing for NZ?

    Call me paranoid, but there is far too much of this sort of thinking in NZ today for comfort. 49% of Venezuelans thought that de facto Communism would have been OK by them. What would the % be in NZ? The result might shock you (and please Tane, roger nome and Co.)

  41. Billy 41

    And PhilBest, let’s not forget that the favourite mouthpiece of the left, Chris Trotter, has shamelessly advocated electoral corruption to keep the right out of power. No wonder so many feel uncomfortable about the EFB.

  42. r0b 42

    I still stand by what I am saying about the kind of people who are SUPPORTING the EFB.

    The EFB is supported by an overwhelming majority of political parties (5 supporting, 2 opposed, with the Maori Party seemingly undecided).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

    It is only opposed by those with a vested interest in buying elections.

    Go people power – go MMP!

  43. Billy 43

    So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power? You see, when people like him say that sort of shit, people like us are likely to think that the EFB is a deliberate attempt to screw the scrum.

  44. Robinsod 44

    Billy – I’d like to read that, can you post a link?

  45. Billy 45

    I can’t find a link. But, having explained that there would be a revolution if the Nats took power (!!!), he said:

    “Social peace for a paltry half-million dollars? Strikes me as the most courageous and forgivable kind of corruption.”

    I don’t think he denies it. Mike Moore had him up on it a couple of months back on National Radio and he was quite unrepentant.

  46. Robinsod 46

    What did the half-million dollars refer to?

  47. Graeme Edgeler 47

    For its part, Labour, spent about $800,000 on a pledge card using funds that had been set aside for that purpose in at least two previous elections without reproof, but which was now seen by the Opposition, the Auditor-general and much of the electorate as at best inappropriate. Legal minds were divided but in the court of public opinion Labour and most of the other parties took a hiding.

    Certainly there’s a range of reasonable opinion over whether the spending of Parliamentary Services Money on the pledge card was a proper use of that money.

    Unfortunately, there is basically no legal debate over whether it had to be included as an election expense. It had to be included, and it pushed Labour over the spending limit.

    The Auditor-General’s investigation over the money wasn’t a big deal for me. I was a little annoyed when Labour started attacking him personally, but the use of the money itself wasn’t a great concern. The deliberate over-spending was a big concern however, and it’s a great pity Labour weren’t called to account for it (as National should have been for it’s broadcasting act breach).

  48. Pascal's bookie 48

    I completely agree with Graeme’s post.

    Why is the window so narrow for prosecution, if that was what the problem was?

  49. r0b 49

    “So, R0b, are you with Trotter that corruption is forgiveable if it keeps the right out of power”

    If that is what Trotter actually said (can I see the original quote please?) – then no of course I don’t agree. The principles of democracy are more important than the party that happens to be in power at any given time.

    I may have seen more governments than many here. They come and go. But if the system gets broken, as it is for example in America, then it’s game over.

  50. Pascal's bookie 50

    I’m down with that rOb.

    Trotter rarely speaks for me in any case. And the US just makes me cry these days.

    Well it would if I wasn’t such a triple hard bastard, he says, stroking his beard and sipping the chardonnay.

  51. gobsmacked 51

    So in reality, what this ranting all comes down to is:

    Conclusion – New Zealand is threatened by a quasi-Bolshevik Left that will stop at nothing to gain and keep power, trampling all over our basic rights in the process, and warrants comparison with Venezuela, Zimbabwe, Nazis, blah blah blah …

    And the damning evidence is (drum roll) …

    – a snippet of one quote on one occasion by one columnist, who holds no position of authority in the government, the Labour party, or any other party, or any affiliated organisation, and who has been cited approvingly by the National leader (Orewa).

    Yep, paranoid sounds about right.

  52. Billy 52

    No, gobsmacked. No-one has said that. Stop making shit up.

  53. Robinsod 53

    Billy – it does seem kinda like that (though I think gobsmacked was using hyperbole for effect).

  54. Billy 54

    You put the quote together with the Bill, and it is not inconceivable to be concerned. Nothing more than that.

    Go on, defend him.

  55. Robinsod 55

    I read Fran O’Sullivan talking about letting the sick and the old die rather than become a financial burden, Billy, you put that together with Key’s policy of “go down the road” in healthcare and it’s not inconceivable to be concerned about National’s hidden eugenic agenda. Are you?

  56. gobsmacked 56

    Billy

    Read Phil Best’s comments on this thread. Read the various international comparisons, past or present.

    More importantly, listen to the rhetoric of the anti-EFB campaign – the leaders, not the fringe – urging us to “Fight Fascism”.

    That is “making shit up”.

  57. Billy 57

    My point exactly ‘sod. You have put those two together and are concerned. Yet somehow it is not legitimate for me to do the same.

  58. Robinsod 58

    Bro, I might have some serious misgivings about National but I don’t think they are eugenicists. Jesus, how crazy do you think I am?

  59. Billy 59

    ‘sod
    1. I thought we had agreed it was “bro'”.
    2. See, gobsmacked was not using hyperbole.
    3. I have no idea how crazy you are.

  60. gobsmacked 60

    So Billy, do you believe (as John Boscawen does) that the EFB is fascist?

  61. r0b 61

    Billy – it’s hard to believe that you are constructing a genuine fear of an evil left wing conspiracy out of a random comment by Trotter. If you are – please – for heaven’s sake – let it go. The point of robinsod’s example was not to reinforce your fears, but to illustrate what insubstantial foundations they are based on.

    Most people on the left and most people on the right want the same thing – peace and prosperity. They just disagree about the methods. (Oh – and the right are wrong!).

  62. Billy 62

    gobsmacked,

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Fascism is in the eye of the beholder, it appears. I do not consider that it is bandied about with such abandon that it is pretty much meaningless.

  63. Billy 63

    remove the “do not”

  64. r0b 64

    I am worried that it is a partisan attempt by the government of the day to remove the tactical advantages that its opponent has (the government having its own, but different advantages).

    The government’s advantage is exactly that. The advantage of the incumbent. It’s impossible to avoid (unless you want to forbid the government communicating with citizens). And it applies equally (over time) to National or Labour.

    The advantage that National has from covert funding is exactly that, an advantage for National (and only National). Now – if you believe that it’s OK for covert money to buy elections, then you’re fine with that. But if you believe in a level playing field democracy, you have to try and fix the problems so starkly highlighted by the 2005 election.

    So the EFB is designed to level the playing field. For everyone. (Put aside the advantage of the incumbent government – that is NOT a systemic Labour advantage. And the balancing advantage for the opposition, if you like, is that people tend to get sick of governments and fancy change for the sake of it).

    I am not so simple-minded to believe that National’s objection is out of a concern for democracy.

    Good for you. Me neither.

    I have a genuine concern that some on the left have been smoking so much of their own weed that they genuinely believe that a little bit of corruption is OK because a right wing government would be such an unpalatable prospect.

    Probably, sure. “The Left” and “The Right” are big, diverse groups of fallible humans. Neither is perfect.

  65. gobsmacked 65

    Billy

    OK. The word then (for your first sentence) would be “gerrymander”. I do not agree that the EFB does this, but even in stable democracies that is something to guard against, and so it can be a legitimate criticism.

    Whereas this kind of thing (printed placards for the anti-EFB campaign) is just silly:

    http://tvnz.co.nz/view/page/423466/1469545

    But I suspect that when the dust settles, next year we will have free and fair elections, and NZ will remain one of the least corrupt democracies on earth. Even if National win.

  66. r0b 66

    gobsmacked – hear hear!

  67. Tane 68

    Billy, you obviously missed my response on Kiwiblog:

    # Tane Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:57 pm

    David, good to see you’re an avid reader of The Standard. A pity though that you felt the need to cast aspersions on our honesty and accuse us of double standards. You certainly kick up a stink whenever you think people are accusing you of that.

    Just to set the record straight, we weren’t actually aware of Simon Cunliffe’s former position as a Labour press sec, but now you mention it I agree entirely – it would have been useful if his recent political affiliations had been disclosed.

    Same goes for your old pal Richard Long, who feels fit to write columns dismissing the importance of the Brethren and attacking the Electoral Finance Bill without mentioning how utterly conflicted he is on these issues.

    A bit like yourself as an independent commentator on the EFB, eh David?

  68. dave 69

    Cunlffe wasn’t just formerly employed as a Labour Party press secretary – he was ” recently employed” ie he was employed within Labour when the EF bill was going through select committee.

    Now hes popped out to write about it as a journo. Richard Long has long gone from National

  69. The Double Standard 70

    Yes, and Dr Michael Bassett has been even longer gone from Labour – seemingly far enough to disagree with them….

    Current laws place spending limits on personal and party advertising at both the local and central levels. They have stood the test of time. If applied, they would even have caught the Exclusive Brethren last time for failing to carry adequate authorization for their leaflets. It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process. No existing or proposed laws cover that. Our ministers, these days, thrive on double standards.

    http://www.michaelbassett.co.nz/articleview.php?id=176

  70. r0b 71

    “It’s taxpayers’ funds spent on mood music that is a greater threat to the electoral process.”

    TeDiouS – are you sure you want to be citing this sort of rubbish in your defence?

  71. Pascal's bookie 72

    Does Michael Basset disclose that he lied about what was in those Brethren leaflets, or rather that he lied about whether or not those leaflets were truthful about Green party policy on capital gains tax?

    Probably not. He seemed a little titchy about it when he lost his gig at the dompost.

  72. PhilBest 73

    I’m not talking about one political columnist. I’m talking about the EFB and the people who support it, even if very few newspaper columnists or editors do. The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al. One can take it that the whole Aro Valley mob, much of the VUWSA, and all that kind of ilk are included. And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”.

    “Drum roll”, indeed. A stereotype grand martial-music fanfare a la Red Square march-past would be much more appropriate.

  73. Red Square 74

    Forward the red army tank division to front line kiwi’s as they have a facade of a democracy .

  74. Mike Porton 75

    Hi dad.

  75. Matthew Pilott 76

    And this lot ARE by by their own frequent admission part of a plot to undermine NZ society to advance their Marxist egalitarian “utopia”

    Shit that was a good laugh. Ok so the drink helped a little.

    Mike – You got those SIS files for me?

  76. Mike Porton 77

    Nah, bro I left them in Helen’s office. Or was it at communist party HQ ? Y’know I spend so much time moving between the two I’m always losing track of things…

    You won’t believe this but the capture is “darn laundryman” – I guess this is a cue to discuss just why we need the EFB…

  77. r0b 78

    The most public representation he people who support it, are people like Chris Trotter, Nicky Hager, John Minto, and bloggers like Tane, Roger Nome, Sonic, Sam Dixon, Robinsod, rOb, et al.

    You forgot:

    Annette King (and the Labour Party)
    Winston Peters (and NZ First)
    Russel Norman (and the Greens)
    Jim Anderton
    Peter Dunne (and United Future)

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/1/story.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10481042&pnum=0

  78. Pascal's bookie 79

    Speaking Of VUWSA, it may be a myth but I was told that the Monty Python club once organised a whole crowd of people to attend a meeting, and they managed to pass a motion or something that the VUWSA should invade Poland just as soon as the panzer divisions could be made ready. Watch out Phil!!

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Next steps for Christchurch Hospital campus redevelopment
    Canterbury DHB will be better placed to respond to future demand for services and continue to deliver high quality care, with the next stage of the campus redevelopment programme confirmed, Health Minister Andrew Little says. The Government has approved $154 million in funding for the construction of a third tower ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Five Power Defence Arrangements Defence Ministers’ Joint Statement
    The Defence Ministers from Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Singapore and United Kingdom reaffirmed their nations’ continued commitment to the Five Power Defence Arrangements (FPDA), and commended the achievements over the past 49 years as the FPDA moves towards its 50th Anniversary in 2021.  The Ministers recognised the FPDA’s significant role ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding protects health of Hawke’s Bay waterways
    A joint Government and Hawke’s Bay Regional Council project will invest $4.2 million to protect local waterways, enhance biodiversity and employ local people, Environment Minister David Parker announced today.   Over two years, the Hāpara Takatū Jobs for Nature project will fence 195km of private land to exclude stock from vulnerable ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • New Year border exception for seasonal workers in the horticulture and wine industries
    2000 additional RSE workers to enter New Zealand early next year employers must pay these workers at least $22.10 an hour employers will cover costs of managed isolation for the RSE workers RSE workers will be paid the equivalent of 30 hours work a week while in isolation From January ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government increases support for New Zealanders to work in seasonal jobs
    The Government is offering further financial support for unemployed New Zealanders to take on seasonal work. These new incentives include: Up to $200 per week for accommodation costs $1000 incentive payment for workers who complete jobs of six weeks or longer increasing wet weather payments when people can’t work to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government receives Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mos...
    Minister for Internal Affairs Jan Tinetti has today received the Royal Commission of Inquiry report into the Terrorist Attack on Christchurch Mosques, and will table it in Parliament on Tuesday December 8. “I know this will have been a challenging process for whānau, survivors and witnesses of the terrorist attack ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand Government to declare a climate emergency
    The Government will declare a climate emergency next week, Climate Change Minister James Shaw said today.                                       “We are in the midst of a climate crisis that will impact on nearly every ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Call for urgent action on Pacific conservation
    A declaration on the urgency of the global biodiversity crisis and the need for immediate, transformative action in the Pacific was agreed at a pan-Pacific conference today. The 10th Pacific Islands Conference on Nature Conservation and Protected Areas is taking place this week across the Pacific.  Minister of Conservation Kiritapu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech from the throne
    E aku hoa i te ara o te whai, Kia kotahi tā tātou takahi i te kō, ko tōku whiwhi kei tō koutou tautoko mai. Ko tāku ki a koutou, hei whakapiki manawa mōku. He horomata rangatira te mahi, e rite ai te whiwhinga a te ringatuku, me te ringakape ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Keynote address to Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand conference
    Speech to the CAANZ conference - November 19, 2020 Thank you, Greg, (Greg Haddon, MC) for the welcome. I’d like to acknowledge John Cuthbertson from CAANZ, the Commissioner of Inland Revenue Naomi Ferguson, former fellow MP and former Minister of Revenue, Peter Dunne, other guest speakers and CAANZ members. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Expert independent advisory group appointed to strengthen the future of Māori broadcasting
    A panel of seven experts are adding their support to help shape the future of Māori broadcasting, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson has announced today. “Today I will meet with some of the most experienced Māori broadcasters, commentators and practitioners in the field. They have practical insights on the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government to review housing settings
    New Zealand’s stronger-than-expected economic performance has flowed through to housing demand, so the Government will review housing settings to improve access to the market, the Finance Minister Grant Robertson announced today. “Our focus is on improving access to the housing market for first home buyers and ensuring house price growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Crown accounts reflect Govt’s careful economic management
    The better-than-expected Crown accounts released today show the Government’s careful management of the COVID-19 health crisis was the right approach to support the economy. As expected, the Crown accounts for the year to June 2020 show the operating balance before gains and losses, or OBEGAL, was in deficit. However that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Community launch marks next step in addressing racism in education
    The launch of Te Hurihanganui in Porirua today is another important milestone in the work needed to address racism in the education system and improve outcomes for Māori learners and their whānau, Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis says. Budget 2019 included $42 million over three years to put Te Hurihanganui ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government to consider recommendations on DNA use in criminal investigations
    The Minister of Justice has received the Law Commission’s recommending changes to the law governing the way DNA is used in criminal investigations. The report, called The Use of DNA in Criminal Investigations – Te Whahamahi I te Ira Tangata I ngā Mātai Taihara, recommends new legislation to address how ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Wakatū Nelson regional hui on trade
    First, I want to express my thanks to Te Taumata for this hui and for all the fantastic work you are doing for Māori in the trade space. In the short time that you’ve been operating you’ve already contributed an enormous amount to the conversation, and developed impressive networks.  I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Speech to Primary Industries Summit
    Thank you for the opportunity to speak to you today about the significant contribution the food and fibres sector makes to New Zealand and how this Government is supporting that effort. I’d like to start by acknowledging our co-Chairs, Terry Copeland and Mavis Mullins, my colleague, Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Fast track referrals will speed up recovery and boost jobs and home building
    The Government is taking action to increase jobs, speed up the economic recovery and build houses by putting three more projects through its fast track approval process. “It’s great to see that the fast-track consenting process is working. Today we have referred a mix of potential projects that, if approved, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Papakāinga provides critically needed homes in Hastings
    A papakāinga opened today by the Minister for Māori Development the Hon Willie Jackson will provide whānau with much needed affordable rental homes in Hastings. The four home papakāinga in Waiōhiki is the first project to be completed under the ‘Hastings Place Based’ initiative. This initiative is a Government, Hastings ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • New Zealand ready to host APEC virtually
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern took over the leadership of APEC earlier today, when she joined leaders from the 21 APEC economies virtually for the forum’s final 2020 meeting. “We look forward to hosting a fully virtual APEC 2021 next year. While this isn’t an in-person meeting, it will be one ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Revival of Māori Horticulturists
    The rapid revival of Māori horticulture was unmistakeable at this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy Awards, with 2020 marking the first time this iconic Māori farming event was dedicated to horticulture enterprises. Congratulating finalists at the Awards, Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson said growing large-scale māra kai is part of Māori DNA. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Emergency benefit to help temporary visa holders
    From 1 December, people on temporary work, student or visitor visas who can’t return home and or support themselves may get an Emergency Benefit from the Ministry of Social Development, Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni announced today. Previously, temporary visa holders in hardship because of COVID-19 have had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • School sustainability projects to help boost regional economies
    Forty one schools from the Far North to Southland will receive funding for projects that will reduce schools’ emissions and save them money, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This is the second round of the Sustainability Contestable Fund, and work will begin immediately. The first round announced in April ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Farmer-led projects to improve water health in Canterbury and Otago
    More than $6 million will be spent on helping farmers improve the health of rivers, wetlands, and habitat biodiversity in Canterbury and Otago, as well as improving long-term land management practices, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. Four farmer-led catchment group Jobs for Nature projects have between allocated between $176,000 and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tupu Aotearoa continues expansion to Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman & Northl...
    Pacific communities in Nelson, Marlborough, Tasman and Northland will benefit from the expansion of the Tupu Aotearoa programme announced today by the Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio. The programme provides sustainable employment and education pathways and will be delivered in partnership with three providers in Northland and two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New primary school and classrooms for 1,200 students in South Island
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins unveiled major school building projects across the South Island during a visit to Waimea College in Nelson today. It’s part of the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “Investments like this gives the construction industry certainty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Minister of Māori Development pays tribute to Rudy Taylor
      Today the Minister of Māori Development, alongside other Government Ministers and MP’s said their final farewells to Nga Puhi Leader Rudy Taylor.  “Rudy dedicated his life to the betterment of Māori, and his strong approach was always from the ground up, grassroots, sincere and unfaltering”  “Over the past few ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister to attend APEC Leaders’ Summit
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will attend the annual APEC Economic Leaders’ Meeting and associated events virtually today and tomorrow. “In a world where we cannot travel due to COVID-19, continuing close collaboration with our regional partners is key to accelerating New Zealand’s economic recovery,” Jacinda Ardern said. “There is wide ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Speech to Infrastructure NZ Symposium
    Tena Koutou, Tena Koutou and thank you for inviting me to speak to you today. This is a critical time for New Zealand as we respond to the damage wreaked by the global COVID-19 pandemic. It is vital that investment in our economic recovery is well thought through, and makes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pike River 10 Year Anniversary Commemorative Service
    Tēnei te mihi ki a tātau katoa e huihui nei i tēnei rā Ki a koutou ngā whānau o te hunga kua riro i kōnei – he mihi aroha ki a koutou Ki te hapori whānui – tēnā koutou Ki ngā tāngata whenua – tēnā koutou Ki ngā mate, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Huge investment in new and upgraded classrooms to boost construction jobs
    Around 7,500 students are set to benefit from the Government’s latest investment of $164 million to build new classrooms and upgrade schools around the country. “The election delivered a clear mandate to accelerate our economic recovery and build back better. That’s why we are prioritising construction projects in schools so more ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Keeping Pike River Mine promises 10 years on
    Ten years after the Pike River Mine tragedy in which 29 men lost their lives while at work, a commemorative service at Parliament has honoured them and their legacy of ensuring all New Zealand workplaces are safe. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended the event, along with representatives of the Pike ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional testing to strengthen border and increase safety of workers
    New testing measures are being put in place to increase the safety of border workers and further strengthen New Zealand’s barriers against COVID-19, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “These strengthened rules – to apply to all international airports and ports – build on the mandatory testing orders we’ve ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • More public housing delivered in Auckland
    The Government’s investment in public housing is delivering more warm, dry homes with today’s official opening of 82 new apartments in New Lynn by the Housing Minister Megan Woods. The Thom Street development replaces 16 houses built in the 1940s, with brand new fit-for-purpose public housing that is in high ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Agreement advanced to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines
    The Government has confirmed an in-principle agreement to purchase up to 5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 5 million people – from Janssen Pharmaceutica, subject to the vaccine successfully completing clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, says Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods. “This agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will leave a conservation legacy for Waikanae awa
    Ninety-two jobs will be created to help environmental restoration in the Waikanae River catchment through $8.5 million of Jobs for Nature funding, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan announced today. “The new funding will give a four-year boost to the restoration of the Waikanae awa, and is specifically focussed on restoration through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Dunedin Hospital project progresses to next stage
    As the new Dunedin Hospital project progresses, the Government is changing the oversight group to provide more technical input, ensure continued local representation, and to make sure lessons learnt from Dunedin benefit other health infrastructure projects around the country. Concept design approval and the release of a tender for early ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jump in apprentice and trainee numbers
    The number of New Zealanders taking up apprenticeships has increased nearly 50 percent, and the number of female apprentices has more than doubled. This comes as a Government campaign to raise the profile of vocational education and training (VET) begins. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • ReBuilding Nations Symposium 2020 (Infrastructure NZ Conference opening session)
    Tena koutou katoa and thank you for the opportunity to be with you today. Can I acknowledge Ngarimu Blair, Ngati Whatua, and Mayor Phil Goff for the welcome. Before I start with my substantive comments, I do want to acknowledge the hard work it has taken by everyone to ensure ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Zealand's biosecurity champions honoured
    Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor has paid tribute to the winners of the 2020 New Zealand Biosecurity Awards. “These are the people and organisations who go above and beyond to protect Aotearoa from pests and disease to ensure our unique way of life is sustained for future generations,” Damien O’Connor says. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago