Politicians who resort to using courts to bully broadcasters deserve what they get

Colin Craig is a bully.

He uses the law to try to silence critics, and now he has gone to court to bully TV3, a private company, to force them to have him on their minor party debate show.

Conservatives leader Colin Craig has won an eleventh-hour High Court scrap over his exclusion from a televised political debate.

TV3′s political show¬†The Nation¬†did not invite Mr Craig to a minor parties debate tomorrow morning, which will include the Green Party, New Zealand First, the Maori Party, Act, Mana and United Future.

Mr Craig filed urgent legal proceedings with the High Court at Auckland today and his application for an interim injunction to restrict the screening of the debate without him was heard this afternoon.

Justice Murray Gilbert sided with the Conservative Party leader saying any inconvenience to MediaWorks was outweighed by the public interest in having Mr Craig at the debate.

The debate cannot legally go ahead without his inclusion.

MediaWorks confirmed that rather than scrap tomorrow’s debate, they would include Mr Craig.

“We’ll have to somehow squeeze him in,” said director of news Mark Jennings.

But¬†The Nation’s¬†Tim Watkin said the production values of the show would suffer as a result.

Each political leader will get less than five minutes to speak because of the late inclusion, he said.

Read more »

So, turns out, ACT is still a farce

A while ago I wrote an article on why I no longer vote ACT.  On paper I am an ACT voter.  But I have found two basic problems with it over the years.  One, I, among other ACT voters, probably let a Labour Government sneak in by not voting for National.  And two, the infighting and basic lack of skill of its personnel have been plain for all to see.

Jamie Whyte has been signaled as ACTs savior. ¬†The ‘resurrector’ of the ACT party.

It all didn’t start out very well when he philosophically mused about cousins marrying cousins… which, incidentally, would align with ACT’s principles of staying out of people’s lives. ¬†But it showed a political immaturity that knocked him down before the bell for the first round had even rung.

I do think the voters as well as the media gave ACT and Jamie a chance to redeem themselves.   A process that was hard going but progressing in the right direction.

Until this week.

Act leader Jamie Whyte says his speech outlining his party’s opposition to the legal privilege it claims Maori enjoy should have come as no surprise to anybody, least of all Dunedin North candidate Guy McCallum, who has quit over the matter.

Mr McCallum yesterday confirmed Otago University student magazine Critic’s report he had resigned from Act’s board and as Dunedin North candidate over the speech and was considering resigning his membership. He also told the Herald others in the party were uncomfortable with the “one-law-for-all” policy articulated by Dr Whyte. Read more »

Is ACT’s Jamie Whyte a racist after all?

On the face of it, he got a raw deal when he said that there should be one law for all.   But then something odd happened.  Adam Bennett and Jeremy Rees report:

An ACT party candidate and board member has reportedly resigned over his leader’s speech on race.

Dunedin North candidate, Guy McCallum, told Otago University student magazine¬†Critic¬†that Jamie Whyte had told ACT members he was searching for “a stunt…..because you know, the polls.”

Dr Whyte told ACT’s Waikato conference on July 29 that Act would establish a taskforce to root out and repeal laws giving special treatment to Maori.

“The principle that the law should be impartial has never been fully embraced in New Zealand,” he said.

His comments attracted criticism, in particular from Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy.

Mr McCallum stood for Act in Dunedin North in 2011 and has been a member of Act on Campus since 2010 and its vice President since 2012.

He told¬†Critiche was “blindsided” by Dr Whyte’s comments¬†but had been given some indication the party leader was planning to court controversy.

This just makes no sense to me at all. ¬† Read more »

The Letter on Epsom and Media bias

The reason John Key said last week ‚ÄúI am encouraging Epsom voters to support he ACT candidate‚ÄĚ is because in the latest Roy Morgan poll ACT winning Epsom makes John Key PM.¬†¬†

It is the same reason Internet Party leader Laila Harre and John Minto have urged their supporters to vote National to defeat David Seymour. 

After wondering why John Key has not done a deal with the Conservatives, Colin Craig¬† then tries to help Labour in Epsom.¬† John Key did look hard at an accommodation with the Conservatives but decided the fruit loops are unelectable. If Colin Craig had door knocked on 10,000 doors in East Coast Bays, like David Seymour has done in Epsom, the answer might have been different.¬† If Colin had not told us all that it is a ‚Äúno brainer‚ÄĚ Christine Rankin would stand in Upper Harbour against Hon Paula Bennett, then we might not think it is brainless for her to stand in Epsom.¬†

By Writ Day she will be the candidate for Mangere.   

The whole show is run by an egocentric political amateur.  If he really wanted to make change, he should have realised by now that getting the right people in the job would have been much more effective than trying to be the Conservative Winston Peters.

Because Winston Peters he is not. ¬†He doesn’t have the wit, the street smarts, the aura and the most basic knowledge to survive in the political arena.

In fact, had Colin Craig put all that money into a trust and put someone in place to manage it for the benefit of children, or education, or specific research, he would have done much more for the community. ¬†As it is, he’s made ad agencies, pollsters and printers very very happy. ¬† Read more »


ACT still on National life support – Whyte to take on safe National seat

ACT Party leader Jamie Whyte is going to stand in Pakuranga for the September general election.

He says he’s going to campaign for the party vote only and use his candidate status to get ACT’s policies across to voters.

“Those policies will go a long way to making Pakuranga more prosperous and its streets and homes safer,” he said.

“A low flat tax, getting tough on crime, and one country, one law.”

Pakuranga is one of the safest National seats in the country.

Maurice Williamson retained it with a 13,846 majority in 2011.

You could theorise this two ways ¬† Read more »

ACT education policy may suit National as Parata wants more charter schools

Sophia Duckor-Jones at ZB reported

Education minister Hekia Parata says the government’s considering a second round of charter schools.

The comment comes after an announcement from the ACT Party which wants state schools to be able to elect to become a charter school.

Ms Parata says the government has commissioned an evaluation of the model before they can make any further decisions.

ACT’s policy won’t be popular with the PPTA – as it¬†is opt-in bulk funding by another name

ACT made the establishment of partnership schools a condition of its confidence and supply agreement with the National-led government, and it now wants to extend the policy.

Leader Jamie Whyte unveiled the party’s education policy in a speech today, saying all school boards should be able to opt out of control by the Ministry of Education and be bulk funded according to the number of students they attract.

“This policy entails no additional government spending,” he said.

Five partnership schools were opened this year and another five are expected to open in 2015.

“These few schools come under constant attack for being additional to the current stock of state schools and therefore reducing the funds available to them.

“The answer is to give all state schools the option of becoming partnership schools,” he said.

The policy will give teachers freedom to adapt their methods to their students and schools the freedom to innovate.

I wonder what ACT will take into any coalition talks as their number one policy.  It will probably be this one.


When you pay more tax under a Labour government, you will merely be returning what was theirs in the first place

Jamie Whyte draws attention to something about New Zealanders: ¬†that we’re in some kind of hostage situation with our governments, and that we are definitely suffering from Stockholm Syndrome.

I was interviewed on Radio NZ’s Morning Report by Guyon Espiner. He asked why ACT wanted to give money to well off New Zealanders. I replied that we were giving them nothing. On the contrary, we were planning to take 24% of their incomes from them.

Espiner apparently believes that all income really belongs to the state, and that any it allows you to keep is its gift to you. When you are taxed at 33%, you should not see this as having something taken from you; you should see the 67% that you keep as a gift from the government. How else could Espiner think that a government that reduces tax rates has thereby given people money?

It is fortunate that a man with such ideas is only a journalist, you may think. Alas, some of our most important politicians agree with Espiner. David Cunliffe yesterday announced Labour‚Äôs plan to increase the top rate of income tax. According to the Herald, Cunliffe said the tax hikes would mean wealthier New Zealanders being asked to ‚Äúreturn a small part of the very large tax cuts they received from the current Government‚ÄĚ.

Those successive years of Helen Clark have left a foul stain on the nation’s psyche as its ‘children’ keep looking at the government to take care of it. ¬† Read more »

No cup of tea needed – ACT gifted Epsom


Brook Sabin reports

After the National Party’s Epsom candidate Paul Goldsmith dodged The Nation’s Epsom debate, he went very quiet.

And Mr Goldsmith admitted that, once again, winning the seat is not his priority. That means he is out to lose and the infamous Epsom cup of tea deal is being done again.

When asked why he was a no-show at the Epsom debate, he answered the National Party was doing the best job it can.

Why only do this in Epsom then? ¬† Cup of tea deals could be done in other safe National electorates. ¬† Read more »

The Letter on John Banks’ guilt

The Letter speaks plainly and clearly.  No spin.

The media case against John Banks was built around a lunch at the Dotcom mansion, where Dotcom claimed, giving great detail, that donations were discussed.

John Banks said he could not remember the lunch, let alone the conversation. ‚ÄúHow could you forget a lunch at the Dotcom mansion?‚ÄĚ said talk back radio, ‚Äúhe must be guilty‚ÄĚ.

The evidence given in the trial shows no lunch on the date Dotcom claimed occurred. It is a fabrication. John Banks on that day was meeting with a South Auckland Community Police Officer.

Detail after detail has turned out under cross examination to be false. Dotcom’s accountant, who claimed he had flown to Queenstown to deposit the cheques, suddenly could not remember anything when the bank record showed the cheques were actually banked at the local Albany branch, some 1,550 kilometres away.

John Banks’ QC has told the court that John is the victim of a conspiracy. The person who needs to worry about the verdict is the German.

What happens if we get a guilty verdict? ¬† Read more »


Comment of the Day – Coat-tailing

Grendel_from_the_dead comments about coat-tailing and gives a little history lesson on the way through.

Sorry but “coat tailing” only became a bad thing when the left stopped getting the advantage from it. It was very clear when MMP came in that it was a valid way for a party to get into parliament.

I remember watching the first MMP election (also my first election at all), and the experts reminding us that getting a seat got you all your party vote % of seats. It was not good or bad, it just was. The theory I vaguely recall them saying was that if a party was able to generate enough support in one area to win a seat, it could get all of its support from across the country. But if you were just spread across the country, you needed to get more. This enabled small single issue parties located primarily in one area to get more benefit focused to one area, rather than trying to fight all over the country. This was back when everyone thought we would get heaps of parties.

To me it’s the same as the overhang from getting too many electorates. The rules state that you are supposed to get as many seats as your party vote, but if you win more electorates than you were allowed seats, you still get the number of electorates. Other than actually winning electorates, I¬†don’t see the difference.

But lets look at the facts:

1996 – No one gets an electorate and less than 1% and gets more than 1 seat (Dunne wins his seat but not enough party vote for a 2nd seat).

1999 – NZ first gets 4.26% and gets 4 extra seats due to winston winning tauranga. The greens were looking like needing to do the same with Coromandel, but specials put them over the line (the media had no issue with the ‘coattailing’ when the greens might have needed it). With NZ First, Labour is able to keep the Greens out of govt. If NZ First did not get the extra 4 seats, its possible the Greens would have been in govt to give Labour the majority. ¬† Read more »