OCKF 2006 October – December


* Threats to National MPs
* The smearing of the Auditor-General
* Retaliation against the Exclusive Brethren
* Attempts to close off donations to National
* Proposed ban on third party campaigning against the Government
* Clark’s own attacks on Hooton (almost demanding he be removed from National Radio)

  • Sep 2006 NZ Blog Stats
  • Brash promoted from cancerous to evil! – “Helen’s little helper has, as predicted, come out today attacking Don Brash. And he has, get this, labelled Don Brash as “evil” and made clear comparisons to Hitler.”
  • Read the evil views here! -“As Winston goes off the deep end …the NZ Herald runs a column by Dr Brash so people can judge for themselves.”
  • Violent Crime Rate Up – “Yes that’s right – almost as big an increase in violent crime in this one year than in the previous eight years combined.”
  • Hypocrisy abounds – “Labour and the Maori Party are lining up with their new Messiah Winston to agree that awful Don Brash is evil for what he said. I mean how dare he bring bloodlines into it. Now according to NewstalkZB, guess which politician in 2000 called for an end to a dual electoral system in which the only qualification to vote is based on race, in some cases as diluted he said, as one part in five hundred and twelve?”
  • The Sep 2000 Peters Speech – “In case NZ First try and delete it from their website, the full speech is over the break”
  • Herald picks up the hypocrisy – “The NZ Herald has written a substantive story on the hypocrisy shown by Peters in labelling Dr Brash evil and implicitly comparing him to Hitler for comments which are very similiar to ones Peters himself made in Sep 2000. As far as I can tell online, the Dom Post and Press have not reported this. Now Peters has said you can’t compare the two sets of comments, but of course you can.”
  • Spin Awards – “I can’t decide who should win the spin award this week. Should it be Pete Hodgson for kicking 20,000 off waiting lists to then claim as a triumph new funding which won’t even put half of them back on (and to make matters worse the funding isn’t new)? Or should it be Annette King for claiming a staggering increase in violent crime is due to a new computer system?”
  • The vilification of Don Brash – “If Labour had passed so called “hate speech” laws as they wanted to, then they would arguably by the first people in the dock right now for their language against Don Brash.”
  • The Pipi Foundation has given Donna Awatere Huata a bonus of $60,000 for work allegedly done two years ago (when she was meant to be an MP!). Good to see the Government has stopped any direct funding of Pipi. UPDATE: Donna says she will turn the bonus down. Good. Mind you John Tamihere once said the same thing!”
  • Fixing a leaky tax system – “The Centre for Independent Studies has published a short paper on how to fix NZ’s leaky tax system. The paper focuses on the increased avoidance and evasion since the top tax rate was increased by Labour from 33% to 39%. This has seen the following:”
  • Brash complains to Police over Electoral Act investigation – “Don Brash has written to Police Commissioner Howard Broad outlining a list of concerns about the investigation which failed to lay charges for Labour’s over-spending.”
  • Our own civil rights struggle – “”Wi Huata has compared his and Donna’s fight against their fraud convictions to the great US civil rights struggles of the 1960s. I never knew Malcolm X’s dream was to be able to steal money for a stomach staple operation!”
  • Even Enemies Have Rights is the title of a NZ Herald column by former Labour PM Mike Moore. Is it about the US treatment of illegal combatants? No. It’s about NZ Labour and the Brethren. ..Moore however defends their right to spend their money as they see fit, within the law. He asks why is there a deafening silence from those who campaign for civil liberties?
  • No promotion for Helen – “Looks like Helen won’t be “ascending” to the UN Secretary-General job.”
  • I feared when Dr Cullen set up the Super Fund, that politicians would try and interfere with investment decisions. …[now] true to form the Greens are demanding the Fund stop investing in ExxonMobil, because shock horrot they don’t agree with the Greens on climate change and fund groups which are sceptical.”
  • Brash on Tax [Speech]
  • Auditor-General’s Report done – “The Controller and Auditor-General has announced he has completed his report on on his inquiry into advertising expenditure in the three months before the 2005 General Election. However it will now be released on Thursday instead of Tuesday. The reason for this is to allow the Speaker’s response to the report to be tabled at the same time. “
  • Labour rightfully deplore the EB hiring private detectives to look for dirt on them. How they can justify having their Government using e-mails stolen from the Leader of the Opposition is outraegous. In the USA a candidate found to be in possession of materials taken from an opposing candidate is pilloried if they do not immediately return them. Politics should be higher than using stolen e-mails to score political points.”
  • Already there appear to be leaks as to what is in the final Auditor-General’s report. Now this is curious as unlike the draft report which went to 120 people, there are, from what I can tell, only two copies of the final report. One is held by the Auditor-General and one is held by the Speaker.”
  • Two media criticisms – “The second relates to the Brash letter to the Police Commissioner. I heard and read more coverage of Annette King accusing Brash of various sins than what Brash said. There has been almost no analysis of the substance – was the Police investigation competent. Unless one read it on the Internet, the average NZer would have no idea of the substance of why Brash wrote that letter.”
  • [Interesting] – North Korea does nuke test
  • Quoting the Progressives – “From the NZ Herald: The only party that did not spend election money illegally, the Progressives, says it was not hard to keep within the rules during the last campaign. And when it was unsure, it asked the office of the Auditor-General himself, Kevin Brady. Former list MP Matt Robson, who could perhaps still be in Parliament if the Progressives had dipped into leader Jim Anderton’s parliamentary budget, said “there was no ambiguity””
  • Just been observing a classic case of lacking gravitas in the House. Normally the House would hear the views of the NZ Foreign Minister on the North Korea nuclear test with interest and respect. But Winston couldn’t help himself.”
  • I suppose it is inevitable when you have race based rolls and seats, but Hone Harawira refuses to assist any person who comes to his office seeking help, unless they are on the Maori roll. That is his right of course, but nevertheless regrettable and divisive.”
  • Last year’s surplus has been confirmed at $11.5 billion,… Without even touching a cent of Government expenditure, the Government could have delivered multi-billion dollar tax cuts to taxpayers. What this shows is that no matter how large the surplus, Labour will never deliver significant reductions in taxation, They see it as their money, not our money.
  • The great tax plunder – “This graph shows dramatically how much extra money the Government has taken in. The late 90s with tax cuts saw revenue stay fairly flat, but since then under Labour it has increased wildly.”
  • Labour are now the sole party refusing to pay back any illegal or unauthorised expenditure, as United Future today announced they will pay back any sum identified by the Auditor-General.”
  • An afdadavit was read out in Parliament today about Labour’s Taito Phillip Field and his constituency “work” as far back as 1994. NZPA reports:…“I spoke to him about an immigration matter. He told me it would have to be done in the Samoan way. I recall he mentioned the term fa’alavelave (correct) but he then told me the more money I could find, the better the outcome would be in the long run.”
  • If other countries were running a surplus at 7.3% of GDP, this is how large their surplus would be (in NZ$): …No other OECD country would have a Finance Minister claiming he can’t afford tax cuts with that level of surplus. They would be laughed into oblivion.”
  • Today is D-Day for Labour. The Auditor-General’s final report is out at 2 pm and Labour’s stance is still a refusal to pay it back, even though retaining such a stance will be politically suicidal. The NZ Herald editorial looks at how Labour will try and fudge the issue …Audrey Young looks at what the Speaker may do, and concludes she is unlikely to require her fformer colleagues to pay the money back. That will need public pressure to achieve.”
  • An excellent compromise – “Chester Borrows has put forward an amendment to Section 59, which I think will be acceptable to all but the zealots.”
  • Manukau City Council Prostitution Bill – “This bill was defeated 46-73 yesterday.”
  • Tenth birthday for MMP
  • And the numbers are – how much money each party misspent
  • The Auditor-General doesn’t mince words. He lashes The Parliamentary Service for their interpretation of the rules, but also makes it very very clear MPs have ignored his warnings and committed flagrant breaches.”
  • Stolen Money per vote

…Also people may be intrested in what proportion of total advertising was found to be illegal per party. It is:

1. Green 69.6%
2. NZF 66.7%
3. Labour 66.1%
4 United 47.7%

5 ACT 10.4%
6 National 8.1%
7 Maori 1.8%
8 Progressive 0.0%

  • What the Speaker says – “The Speaker recommends four things: 1) Validating Legislation (even if all paid back) 2) Reimbursement – Wilson says it is not normally required but in this case must be “considered seriously” to maintain public confidence in Parliament. 3) Fix Up Parliamentary Service Processes 4) Temporary legislation to define better what expenditure is legal”
  • UPDATE: Labour listened to my advice in the Sunday Star-Times, which was to announce they were paying it back the same day as the report comes out. Helen CLark has just confirmed Labour will pay it all back. Excellent. Need to keep pressure on NZ First and United Future to do the same.”
  • “...refusing to pay money back is not an acceptable option. You either seek a judicial review of his findings, or you respect the rule of law. …NZ First, United Future and the Greens are looking very hestitant about paying back their respective debts of $157,934, $71,867 and $87,192….Labour have finally done the right thing (in paying it back – does not nullify doing it in first place though), and it is unacceptable that the other parties do not do the same.”
  • Trade Me Pledge Card Auction
  • NZ Herald editorial

The NZ Herald editorial is so outstanding, I am repeating it below word for word. Kevin Brady deserves our thanks indeed.

Editorial: Honourable man stands his ground

Friday October 13, 2006

Few public officials have performed their duties more bravely and honourably than the Auditor General, Kevin Brady, in investigating unlawful election spending by political parties. His report yesterday, confirming that all but one party in Parliament mis-spent taxpayers’ money promoting themselves in last year’s election campaign, was a powerful example of an independent watchdog standing up for the public. Yet what is remembered of the Brady inquiry will be the circumstances of its preparation and completion as much as the consistency of its verdict.

It is hard to recall an instance of a public servant, an officer of Parliament no less, being subjected to the menace and derision heaped on Mr Brady since his draft view was leaked in mid-year. The Labour Party and its leader, Helen Clark, in particular, reacted with a venom that has been well documented once it became clear Labour had dipped into taxpayer funds to the tune of perhaps $800,000 for electioneering purposes. Not only was Mr Brady second-guessed, and the judgment of the Crown’s top lawyer, then-Solicitor General Terence Arnold, scorned, but Helen Clark challenged Mr Brady’s right to speak publicly to the Herald and elsewhere about his inquiry. Labour was not alone, and the leader of its tiny support party United Future, Peter Dunne, forever removed his claim to being the voice of common sense by also attacking these officials. Other parties and individual MPs were quick to claim errors by the Auditor General in their own cases and tried to paint the inquiry as flawed and collapsing under the weight of their responses. Much was made of Mr Brady’s view being at variance to the clearing of previous such spending by his office, and the Prime Minister and others tried to put words into his mouth about the need for retrospective legislation to validate the unlawful spending.

In the final report, presented to Parliament yesterday, Mr Brady confirmed a substantial portion of his earlier findings. He and his staff held their nerve despite a campaign of disinformation by a club of the politically powerful who were willing him to abandon his draft views and accept their contortionist justifications. His inquiry necessarily hit the rawest nerves in the political sphere – those of party leaders and their blurred accountability between the parliamentary and the party political – and the response he engendered was fierce.

Part of Mr Brady’s concern reported yesterday focuses on the failures of the Parliamentary Service to administer correctly the spending from these leaders’ budgets. He is right that there was a failure to stop illegitimate spending, but the service has as its commissioners, or board of directors, MPs from these same parties that were demanding that money be released. It is in an invidious position. Still, as Mr Brady has shown, public servants are there to act on behalf of voters, not politicians, and the service needs to take a hard look at its values.

It goes without saying that Labour, and all other parties exposed for the misappropriators that they are, had to pay back all taxpayer money. Spare us the spin, the attempts to curry favour with the public for undoing a wrong with a right.

Voters will never know how the election results were affected by this unlawful free-for-all. Without Mr Brady’s integrity, independence and fortitude, they might never have got to the bottom of what was, truly, a scandalous episode. His refusal to be cowed makes him a leading contender for any accolade of New Zealander of the Year, 2006.

  • Treating Labour like a taxpayer – “Labour have said they will repay the $824,524 but not until 30 June 2007. Very nice of them to unilaterally decide their own repayment schedule.” Post notes that under IRD rules, the debt would now be upward of $1.2m, possibly much more
  • Dail Jones has been re-elected President of NZ First, despite Caucus putting up their own candidate, MP Barbara Stewart, against him. This is quite literally possibly the first time ever a vote in NZ First has not gone the way Winston wanted it.”
  • Fran on the battle of Helengrad. – “More than a bit of champagne has been quaffed in Wellington this week, as those who have put their reputations and careers on the line to do battle with Helengrad toasted a victory that was sorely needed if New Zealand’s reputation as a corruption-free country was to be maintained.”
  • The tale of two pledge cards
  • Some Labour MPs are saying they may not be able to afford paying back the money owing. Well I have a solution to help them out. A backbench MP looks to be up for $5,900. Well if Labour moves to introduce National’s 2005 proposed tax cuts, then they’ll be paying $5,000 less tax which would almost cover their debt.”
  • Pay It Back Suggestions
  • An anonymous poster on Public Address called “Rex” has posted a lengthy diatribe on why all the officials are wrong, and why Labour did nothing wrong. The fact it is anonymous speaks for itself (I could understand the need to be anonymous if one was attacking the Gopvt, but not for defending it), but in case anyone takes silence as agreement, here’s a few flaws in Rex’s argument.”
  • Criticise the Government and there goes your tax free status
  • How much did Labour really overspend? – “Either way you look at it, it is near impossible to dismiss the possibility, that the $796,312 of excess advertising materially affected the election result. A 33% overspend is not trivial – it is enormous, and at least half was deliberate and done in contravention of three official warnings prior to the election.”
  • Delusions of Honesty – “I really do think the description nails it. Clark is, I am sure, absolutely convinced she is an honest person and that she sees no correlation between signing paintings she did not paint, illegally using taxpayer funds on her campaign, lying about Peter Doone etc and her being honest. This is why she so massively over-reacted to the “corruption” tag – she genuinely can not see that hundreds of thousands of NZers could see her or her Government that way. So thank you to Theodore for his supplying of this wonderful term. It really is a perfect fit.
  • Beware the Validating Legislation – “Labour are attempting a con job on an unprecedented scale with their validating legislation. They are going to ram through Parliament a law which goes well beyond validating illegal expenditure….Labour claim that the Auditor-General got it wrong. Well the court case will allow the issue (in terms of the pledge card anyway) to be settled for once and all. A ruling by the High Court that the pledge card was illegal will be even more damaging that the AG’s finding, so they are trying to kill the lawsuit.” [and as we see later on, that’s exactly what they did]
  • Not PC links to the NewstalkZB interview with the PM where she lashes out at right wing bloggers. But she gets very confused as she describes Fran O’Sullivan as a blogger not once but two or three times. So why the confusion?”
  • Calm down Pete! – “I love it how Pete keeps comparing totally legal, legitimate actions of National with illegal, corrupt actions of Labour. The illegal refers to the taxpayer funding and the corrupt to the over-spending.”
  • Okay there will be tax cuts in the 2007 budget (which is good), but how significant will they be?”
  • “Insolent Prick has done some detective work and discovered that Labour has a huge asset base of over $6 million in property:”
  • Fallacies around the Auditor-General’s Report
  • Just heard Sue Kedgley claim in Parliament we need to ban advertising of food in schools as 56,000 pies are sold (I guess a week) but only 4,000 pieces of fruit…. However many many parents probably send their kids off to school with an apple or some fruit, so the sales figures may be irrelevant in terms of determining if there is a problem.”
  • Validating Legislation – “Ramming this bill, under urgency, through all three readings is an appalling thing to do. The public are being denied any say on this law, which I understand goes well beyond just validating the 2004/05 accounts. This bill, depending on its wording, may make Labour immune from the Darnton v Clark lawsuit. It also stops any complaints or charges being laid against Heather Simpson, or even the Prime Minister, for breaches of the Public Finance Act.”
  • JPs suppress their own names
  • The Validating Bill – extensive discussion. “Clause 4 defines the appropriations to be validated as being from 89/90 to the current day. This goes beyond what is needed. The Auditor-General has not found there to be illegal expenditure before 04/05. There is no legal requirement to validate back to 1989. Going back that far is Labour making a political statement that we believe the Auditor-General has changed the rules, so we need to validate all the way back. The Auditor-General is quite adamant he has not changed the rules.”
  • Views on Validating Legislation
  • Libz declare today Banana Republic Day – “The Libz are declaring today Banana Republic Day, as Parliament under urgency and without proper scrutiny looks set to pass a special law which will protect the PM and Labour MPs from a lawsuit which is currently before the Courts. Hopefully the majority of MPs will vote for an amendment which preserves the lawsuit. David Slack at Public Address blogs on what is happening in Parliament, comparing it to what Muldoon did 30 years ago, with a “haughty disregard for democratic niceties” .
  • Educating Helen – “She seems to have been told these “right wing blogs” are a bad thing, so whenever something criticises her, she is now calling it a “right wing blog” to undermine it….UPDATE: Russell Brown has also noticed the PM’s confusions with bloggers. He notes she tends to regard the phrase “right wing blogger” as the worst insult she could reach for.”
  • The Treasury Advice – “Now Dr Cullen here is entirely correct. But this is huge all the same. It is further proof positive the Police investigation was incompetent. National should send this extract to Commissioner Broad to point out even the Govt thinks their investigation was incompetent. Incidentally Dr Cullen’s advice varies from that of the defendant Heather Simpson who asserted to the Police the PSC guidelines over-ruled the Electoral Act in terms of what is an election activity. the Police seemingly accepted this view, despite it being obviously wrong (as Dr Cullen himself now points out).”
  • Amendments Voted Down – “Very sadly, Labour and allies have voted down amendments which would have made the validatng legislation less obnoxious constitutionally.This means Labour have explictly voted to kill off a lawsuit against themselves. This is even more repugnant that what Muldoon did as he did not stand to personally benefit from his actions in Fitzgerald v Muldoon. This also cements in place the big lie that Labour pushes that the Auditor-General changed the rules. The AG is adamant he did not, and this lawsuit would have allowed a Judge to decide whether or not the pledge card was legal under the current rules.This clause would have guaranteed parties can not use this Act to backtrack on their commitment to pay the money back...This would have meant that all electioneering would be illegal, not just “explicit” electioneering which has loopholes so wide you can drive a pledge card through them.
  • Labour MP Taito Phillip Field gave Sunan Siriwan $1,000 a few days ago. Siriwan’s lawyer has said Siriwan has signed an affidavit which makes a serious allegation relating to that money….Siriwan has now changed his story from what he told Ingram. He says he merely told Ingram what Field told him to say, and that Field had always promised his a visa in exchange for work on his place.”
  • more than 5,000 people who have signed an online petition to the Governor-General in the last day and a bit. And every few seconds a couple of dozen more sign. One can spend quite a bit of time just hitting refresh and seeing the signatures roll in. It is now the second most active (most number of signatures per rminute) in the world.”
  • Essay on 2005 election campaign
  • Quality of Govt Expenditure – “* Pacific Peoples Addiction Service paid $143,160 for intervention services in the 2005/06 year and had only eight customers * Te Whanau o Waipareira Trust paid $186,976 and had 13 users * Te Rapuora Health Services in Nelson was paid $86,124 and had six people use its service
  • Trevor vs Bob – “And most Ministers, if accussed by an MP of whacking him on the head, would do a profuse apology. But Mallard comes out and tells Bob Clarkson to act like a “real Kiwi joker” and to “stop squealing like a baby”. Priceless. His press secretary must be wincing :-)
  • “Well the pledge card auction to raise funds for the Darnton v Clark lawsuit finished with a $700 bid. That’s excellent considering the identical auction, but to raise funds for Labour, went for only $30.”
  • Here’s some of the offences done by teachers, which the Teachers Council did not find seriious enough to stop them teaching:”
  • The Herald on Sunday has the story of the RNZAF helicopter which was used to deliver Cabinet Minister Chris Carter’s toothbrush to him on Raoul island after he left it behind on Mana.” [Hm…]
  • “The SST has a lengthy profile of Heather Simpson, the PM’s Chief of Staff. Nothing particularly new in there, but made more relevant with her role in the pledge card affair.”
  • The Public Access to Legislation project has for some time looked like being a modern day INCIS. The project was announced in 2000, and six years on there is still no confirmed finish date. And of course costs have blown out by millions of dollars.”
  • Labour’s continuing insistence it has in no way done anything wrong, ever, with its taxpayer funded pledge card, is to now try and equivalise parliamantary staff with their pledge card. ..  First of all we had Mike Williams on Agenda declare Bryan wouldn’t cross the Tasman for less than a million dollars a year. …As it happens the last time Bryan flew over to assist Don, he did it for free as a friend….So Labour have invented his salary, misled over the timing of his appointment, and invented titles and roles for him.”
  • Even Peter Dunne, whose party insisted on the creation of the Families Commission, seems luke warm on its achievements. Think of what else could have been achieved with its $28 million budget. That could gfet you 80 or so extra social workers for CYPFS.”
  • [I have a funny feeling that this is a case of very strategic ad placement!]
  • Did the drinking age reduction lead to more teenage road deaths?
  • [Interesting] – “It’s sobering to read that 2,000 police officers were assaulted in the last year.”
  • The Thai tiler at the centre of the Field inquiry has reversed his evidence to the Ingram Inquiry, alleging he said what Field told him to say.”
  • Why we dropped in press freedom – “1. . Pressure not to show the Mohammed cartoons (who recalls our PM attacking newspapers which did so) 2. TVNZ’s Board being hauled before Parliament’s Privileges Committee”
  • Police execute search warrants on Field’s office(s)
  • Backdrop to Labour Conference – “It’s not the ideal backdrop to Labour’s Conference.”
  • Not even a hint of contrition – “It is amazing that Labour still insist than an *election* pledge card which is the *centerpiece* of their election campaign is not an election expense. This is a detachment from reality which is bizarre.”
  • Labour’s new faces
  • Revelations that Labour are not $800,000 in debt but are in fact $1.4 million in debt, means that Labour will later this term try to change the law to force taxpayers to fund Labour and other parties. They have already put in place a temporary law which allows them to fund their pledge card from their parliamentary budget (the law runs until end of 2007). However this is not enough for them, so their conference has voted for full taxpayer funding. They also voted for “constraints” on third party advertising. This may turn out to be the most serious challenge to freedom of speech in recent times.”
  • Unveiling the Obfuscation – “…Professor Evans (note unlike Rex he is prepared to put his name and qualifications behind his opinion) does a first class job in ripping Rex’s arguments to pieces, explaining what the Auditor-General did and did not do, and generally rebuffing the hysteria that his report meant one had to validate all expenditure from 1989 onwards.”
  • From all accounts the Labour Conference was very successful for the party. They managed to shift the debate from defending their past behaviours to policies for the future. They realised that non stop attacks on a christian group may be off-putting to many christian voters, and are now looking at the more sensible step of having a christian group within Labour.”
  • Oct 2006 NZ Blog Stats


* knowing how to apply for a benefit
* having a conversation with a friend
* turning up to school on time.
* doing the washing
* gift-wrapping a present
* buying groceries.
* holding a conversation with a friend
* choosing appropriate clothing

We have had:

* The two waterfront stadium votes
* The announcement of the Hager book
* The Investigate expose of David Benson-Pope’s kinky antics (aarrgh with photos – I may never look at a clothes pin again without flinching!)
* The resignation of Don Brash
* The release of the Hager book
* Positioniong for National’s leadership and deputy leadership

  • An interesting study into median family income from Auckland University. It has found that median income has not increased despite more women working, as less men are in full-time employment.  Finally a quote from another team member: “What’s scary in New Zealand is that it hasn’t got better under Labour. There are more people in employment, but it’s low-paid employment.”
  • Stadium dead, almost buried
  • Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha – “The HoS reports that Michael Cullen might refer allegations that National used the leader’s fund to pay for a postcard mailout by the horseracing lobby to pundits, urging them to vote National….I’m sorry but that is priceless. Cullen’s own legislation has removed the ability of the Auditor-General to investigate. Now that’s karma for you.  UPDATE: In this SST story, it is clarified that in fact the material in question was paid for by the party, so just a beat-up.”
  • Laws on Smacking – “Which is the real problem with the liberal, white women who are chiefly responsible for this anti-smacking legislation. They think child abusers are like them. That putting up a “Stop” sign in parliament will amend their behaviour. It’s like wearing a white ribbon to stop domestic violence – a meaningless gesture.”
  • The more and more that the media report what is in the book, the more convinced I am that not a single “insider” has talked to or co-operated with Hager. Absolutely everything seems to be based on the stolen e-mails. Maybe the full book does have more in it, but the reports to date have only referred to material from the e-mails.”
  • Gerry Brownlee will not restand for Deputy Leader, which means a unity tickey of John Key and Bill English will be elected annointed on Monday.”
  • Hollowing out the Hollow Man
  • Key and English elected
  • [Fun] – G-Man has details of the Government decision to unbundle Kiwiblog. An extract:
  • One can only praise the efforts of Winston Peters to stop the Fijian coup, and it is a credit that he has at least got the PM and the Commodore to meet each other in NZ with talks brokered by him.”
  • Bye Don


  • NZ Blog Statistics Nov 2006
  • Dr Cullen has done well to squash the misguided arrest warrant for Moshe Ya’alon issued by the DIstrict Court. As Dr Cullen points out he is not sought by the International Criminal Court.”
  • The HoS reports on how police and Transit are helping arrange for 10,000 litres of Waikato River water to be sprayed on a motorway to free the spirits of fatal accident victims.”
  • My first reaction is that the man who whinged to the media is a pillock and should be facing criminal charges. According to their own testimony (ie without even hearing the other side of the story) they: (a) yelled abuse at Colman for him smoking a cigar in a private box which was not theirs (b) squirted water at him (c) then punched him”
  • National has agreed to back electoral law changes to prevent donations through trusts and third party advertising, but has sensibly pointed out that the electoral law changes needed are not just in those areas, but also much higher penalties for breaches of spending caps.”
  • Don Brash has responded to the Hager claims in his e-mail newsletter. Its becomes more and more clear that Hager did not have access to a single insider, let alone six of them, and the book is based on the e-mails alone. One speech he quotes Brash as giving, was in fact never delivered – it was only drafted. An insider would know that.”
  • Parliament has voted 104-9 to set a deadline for filing historical Treaty of Waitangi claims of 1 September 2008. This means that there has been over 20 years to research and file claims – more than enough.”
  • The Government seems to have realised that laws to ban third party advertising during elections are not workable and would probably breach the free speech provisions of the Bill of Rights Act. Instead they wish to instigate spending limits and official returns. Now in theory this might be attractive (if a party has a limit, why not a third party) but in reality of little effect.”
  • Tariana Turia is quoted in the Dominion Post as saying she wants Pacific Islanders to be able to move onto the Maori Roll, or have their own seats.”
  • The NZ Herald has named two people jointly as New Zealander of the Year. They are the Auditor-General Kevin Brady and Commerce Commission Chair Paula Rebstock. I wonder if they’ll get the Prime Minister to present the awards? “:-)
  • Call my suspicious and cynical, but are there really over 22,000 spider attacks a year which require ACC attention?”
  • Parental Responsibility
  • The spin begins – “Anyway John Armstrong reveals the spin to redefine carbon neutrality. It is no longer no net greenhouse gas emissions, but only carbon dioxide emissions. In NZ half of all emissions are methane, not CO2. And if I recall correctly methane is 20 times as effective at trapping heat than CO2.”
  • [Fun] – “tax cuts for lesbian penguins” – google the phrase!
  • We are well on track for another year of record theft surpluses. It is $88m higher than the four months to 31 Oct 2005, and that year ended up with an $11.5b surplus. Oh and in case Dr Cullen claims we need huge surpluses to keep debt under control, let’s look at what the net debt was at 31 October: -$3.2b Now did you see that minus sign. It is not a typo.”
  • The Government has been trying to establish a trans-Tasman regulatory body for natural health products for some years. However NZ First have broken an election promise oppossing such a move to vote in favour of the Therapeutic Products and Medicines Bill.”
  • The latest nonsense is Auckland City Council wanting to ban billboards from the central city!! They claim it will make Auckland more of an international city. Is this the wisdom gained from the $84,000 junket around Europe?”
  • Labour continue their obsession with the Exclusive Brethren, attacking National MP Kate Wilkinson because she used to act as legal counsel to the EBs in Christchurch. one could use the presence of former criminal defence lawyer Napier MP Russell Fairbrother in Labour’s caucus as “proof of Labour Party links to murderers, rapists and ganag members”.”
  • [Interesting] – “Al-Jazeera Editor-in-Chief

Q: Do you mean to say that if Israel did not exist, there would suddenly be democracy in Egypt, that the schools in Morocco would be better, that the public clinics in Jordan would function better?

A: I think so.”

  • Don Brash valedictory speech –Audrey Young covers it in the Herald, and John Armstrong comments also. The full speech is here. Pretty much a full house and galleries for it, except noticeably Winston and Helen both left as it commenced. “
  • The Herald reports Georgina Beyer will be resigning in the new year. I heard yesterday also that Dover Samuels was having farewell drinks so I suspect his resignation is also in hand. This is unconfirmed though and may have been misinterpreted.”
  • As usual I am staggered that the proposed solution to problems with NCEA is to make it so that students can qualify for university without ever having sat an exam!! Who needs external assessment and national standards, let’s just give more credits for rubbish collecting!”
  • Now crosses are banned from chapels
  • NZPA rates the parties
  • Kudos to the NZ Herald for following up on NZ First who are the only party in Parliament who have yet to agree to pay back the money identified by the Auditor-General as unlawful expenditure. It has been 60 days since Winston Peters said he wanted time to consult lawyers. He is refusing to comment on whether this has happened but it seems unlikely for not even his Deputy Leaders knows if it has.”
  • Whangamata people will mainly be celebrating tonight as David Benson-Pope has not over-turned the Environment Court decision in favour of the marina. Chris Carter did veto it, but was found by the High Court to have exceeded his powers. This is a fairly large slap in the face for him. It’s still ridiculous though that it has taken 14 years and cost $1.5 million just to gain consent.”
  • Phil at Pacific Empire has a depressingly long list of recently proposed bans:”
  • Marian Hobbs has just announced, as widely expected, she will not contest the 2008 election. She will head to the UK to take up teaching opportunities there.”
  • Peter Dunne has produced his annual list of the worst behaving MPs.”
  • The Government has accidentially given away $143 million in student loans writeoffs, in breach of the law and policy. They are going to seek most of that back from borrowers.” – yet no one is being held accountable
  • “Field was unethical” – “…it has taken twelve months of denial for Helen Clark to now state the obvious – that Taito Phillip Field’s behaviour was at least unethical and possibly illegal also.”
  • McCarten picks English as Politician of the Year
  • The Herald on Sunday has a profile of Georgina Beyer who will be resigning from Parliament in February 2007.”
  • The NZ Herald reports that Helen Clark has “ordered greater Government activity on religious and cultural diversity issues to avoid New Zealand developing the sort of extremism seen in immigrant communities in Britain.” … However I have concerns that this review of religious and cultural diversity by the Ministry of Social Development will at best lead to platitudes and at worse be an attack on free speech.”
  • The NZ Herald has polled people on the worst insults of the year. Helen Clark came second with her unprecedented personal attack on Don Brash as “cancerous”.”
  • No time for a full review, but with no disrespect to Lloyd Geering, what exactly has he done to be seen as one of the 20 greatest living New Zealanders (being granted The Order of New Zealand), except face a heresy trial 30 years ago?”

1 comment

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