Brendan Horan

Who will replace Jim Hickey as the “funny man”? Throng has an idea

Remember TV3’s  “Jim Hickey is a funny man, but Augie Auer  is a meteorologist”?   Well, it’s taken a while, but Augie has finally claimed his scalp

The Diary has let the cat out of the bag, spoiling Jim Hickey’s chance at telling his avid fans he is retiring from TVNZ.

Popular weather presenter Jim Hickey is retiring from his longtime post with One News. The 65-year-old quietly told TVNZ staff this week and an official announcement is expected on air one night next week at the end of the news bulletin.

The Diary has learned Hickey will remain on air for a while, but will retire to his home in Taranaki to run the Airspresso cafes he co-owns at New Plymouth and Queenstown airports.

He was reluctant to discuss his departure yesterday. “Leaving TVNZ? No, don’t know what you’re talking about,” Hickey deadpanned.

But plans are being made for him to announce the news on air next week. Read more »

Face of the day

He wants to set the record straight.

He wants to set the record straight.

Horan: our side of the story

MP Brendan Horan has cut a lonely figure since his sacking from the NZ First caucus amid allegations he took money from his late mother’s bank account. Today, he and his wife, Miranda, tell David Fisher how the crisis has affected them and why they plan to fight back

– NZ Herald

Politics is a tough arena. It is not for the faint hearted and it is particularly hard on spouses who often get caught in the cross fire.

I can understand his wife Miranda wanting to try to set the record straight but it is foolish of them both to try to do so.

You need to get to a place where you do not care what other people think if you are to survive the Political world. Journalists like David Fisher are not your friend. They are not there to help.    Read more »

Andrea Vance on conspiracy theories

Andrea Vance has a helpful explanation about the various conspiracy theories out there.

The cybersphere has been full of conspiracy theories since Internet Mana announced a “strategic alliance” last month. But do the theories stack up?

1. There is fear, desperation and total panic in the eyes of the Right because finally a political party on the Left has financial clout.

Internet party founder Kim Dotcom stumped up a $3m war chest to fight the election campaign. Pow! The US, Barack Obama, Hollywood and John Key didn’t see that coming.

Sure, $3m is a lot of campaign coin. But National spent $2.3 million in 2011, and looking at donations registered this year Key won’t be rummaging down the back of the sofa.

The last round of polling put National above 50 per cent. Both Mana and the Internet Party are on about half a per cent each. Polling day is three months away. So, no, that’s not fear in campaign supremo Steven Joyce’s eyes. They’re just red from all the time he spends trolling on Twitter.

Read more »

Gutless, bewildered and disgusting

NEXT! Winston Peters

Winston Peters is looking increasingly bewildered and gutless after he refused to discuss his allegations against Brendan Horan, instead refusing to answer at all.

Adam Bennett reports:

NZ First Leader Winston Peters refused to answer questions about his ugly parliamentary put-down of his rogue former MP Brendan Horan in his first day back after making the comment a week ago.

Reacting to a series of interruptions from Mr Horan, who is running a campaign against his former political mentor, Mr Peters had referred to him in the House as “the Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics”. British broadcaster Savile was accused after his death of child sex abuse.

Mr Peters avoided reporters on the way from the House after offering the insult but was back yesterday. Asked what he meant by the comment his response was “next question” which he gave 10 more times to follow up questions.

While he is in parliament he demands the Prime Minister stands by all his statements, but he won’t stand by his own.  Read more »

NZ First thinks its supporters are “lazy and forgetful”

It appears that Winston Peters is running NZ First out of their parliamentary office.

This is similar to what Act was busted for back in the Prebble days.

Brendan Horan claims he has been inundated by people wanting to share information about NZ First as he makes new allegations that his former party had breached Parliament’s rules.

Horan’s office today released a memo written by Apirana Dawson, NZ First’s director of operations, to party leader Winston Peters addressing “poor party financial structure and inadequate funds to support the party and to run a campaign”.

Horan alleged last week that Dawson and other NZ First staff were engaged in party work when they were meant to be focused on parliamentary activities. Speaker David Carter has confirmed he is investigating.

In today’s document, from July 2012, Dawson called for the establishment of a system where party members had their fees increased to at least $3 a month, to be paid by direct debit.

The document said the existing system did not raise enough money and there was a lack of accountability mechanisms.   Read more »

Winston Peters is “evil and cowardly” says Duncan Garner

The media tide is turning on Winston Peters.

Duncan Garner gave him a right good old kicking yesterday, calling him “evil and cowardly”…which ironically I called Winston Peters to his face on the phone, to which he replied that he would smack me up if I said it in person.

Poor Winston, what’s going on? It looks like you’re really struggling to land any decent hits in Parliament these days. It all looks a bit limp and sad.

You’ve been there since 1978, save for three years in the wilderness before this term. If you ever had the answers then you’ve had ample time to share them.

Instead, what did we see this week? You abusing your privilege of free speech by spewing vicious bile at an MP who is in Parliament only because you wanted him there. Brendan Horan is hardly the first NZ First MP selected for loyalty rather than ability.

Calling Horan the “Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics” was evil and cowardly – and you know it. If anyone makes any sort of claim against you, you’re quick to threaten legal action and demand retractions and apologies. But when you’re the one dishing it out those rules don’t apply: you can waltz into Parliament and get all the protection you need.

I have been threatened with legal action several times by Winston Peters, I once told his lawyer that I’d welcome the chance to explain just how Winston Peters won the Hunua by-election and he could tell Winston Peters that and see if he wants to continue the action. The man is a bully, a coward and yes he is evil.

I can’t help but point out the irony of it all to you. I remember covering a speech you made in Kawerau in 2008 and you had Horan along as your little sycophantic sidekick.

Horan was in awe of you, banging on to the journos about how you were an honest and loyal man who only wanted what was right for New Zealand. He told us you never took money from Owen Glenn and everyone was wrong to be questioning your integrity and honesty. Horan was really fired up that afternoon.

So how does it feel now he’s firing a few at you? Suddenly the spending from your parliamentary leader’s fund looks questionable – despite your denials.

And Horan’s allegations might just be sticking too. Did you spend $20,000 on a computer system to aid your NZ First Party? That money you and all the other parties have in those slush funds has never been transparent.

Read more »

It is Canon Media Award winning “dysfunctional twit”…thank you very much

Winston Peters is a crook

Karl du Fresne notices the chill wind blowing for Winston Peters as it becomes obvious that he is bewildered and out of touch.

Winston Peters cops it with both barrels in today’s Dominion Post. In his weekly column, former TV3 political editor Duncan Garner launches a withering attack on the New Zealand First leader and concludes that the public is tired of his games. On the same page, Dom Post political editor Tracy Watkins says New Zealand First is a clock that has been slowly winding down since the 1996 election. (Remember? That was the pantomime when Peters kept the country in political limbo for six weeks while he went fishing.)

Both commentators are especially critical of Peters’ vicious and cowardly counter-attack against his former protégé Brendan Horan, whom he likened – under parliamentary privilege – to the serial child abuser Jimmy Savile.

It all tends to reinforce a perception that Peters is losing his mojo. Certainly there has been a marked change in the tone of media coverage of him in recent weeks, starting with his failure to deliver on the promise of a killer blow to Judith Collins.  The press gallery was almost unanimous in its scorn for him over that, which leads me to wonder they’ve finally had enough of his bluster and bullshit.

Yes they have, as have I.

But before those of us who abhor Peters’ political style get too excited, hang on a minute. Yesterday he held a public meeting in Masterton, and out of curiosity I went along. The room was packed long before the guest of honour arrived. I counted more than 100 heads, nearly all of them grey. The meeting was chaired by octogenarian New Zealand First stalwart George Groombridge, who deferentially referred to Peters as “the Boss”.

For Peters, the 2014 election campaign is already underway. He spoke, mostly without notes, for nearly an hour. It was vintage Peters, delivered in that characteristic hoarse staccato bark, and it pushed all the usual buttons.

We have a government that grovels to wealthy foreign interests. Immigrants are placing huge demands on housing and infrastructure, which the rest of us (meaning real New Zealanders) have to pay for. Australian banks are robbing us blind. The Budget was a big con; the only good thing in it was the extension of free doctors’ visits for children, and we all know where Bill English got that idea. Honest, hard-working Kiwis in places like the Wairarapa are being forced to subsidise the Auckland super-city, which even Aucklanders didn’t want. We wouldn’t sleep at night if we knew how few police cars were on the job (and this after New Zealand First heroically pushed Helen Clark’s government into increasing police numbers by 1000). Wealthy Chinese donors to the National Party who can’t even speak English are demanding that we change our immigration policy (“Just try that in Beijing!”). Twenty-one of Barfoot and Thompson’s 25 top real estate agents are Asian. We’re an economic colony of China and Australia. John Key was the only person in New Zealand who didn’t know in advance of the raid on the Dotcom mansion, and he’s the minister in charge of the SIS and GSCB. The free market is a total nonsense. Cameron Slater is a dysfunctional twit who knows nothing about politics. (Journalists were repeatedly scorned, but only Slater was paid the compliment of being mentioned by name.) The most profitable investment in New Zealand is a donation to the National Party. Chardonnay-drinking clowns have nothing but contempt for the concerns of ordinary people – “but we’ve got news for them, and it’s all bad”. And so on, and so on. You get the picture.

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Is Winston First dead on its feet?

Tracy Watkins seems to think so in her article in the Dompost.

She is alone in the gallery in thinking Winston’s time is over, a smart observation, but one that will ignored by the lazier members of the gallery who hold onto the hope that there is one last hurrah in the old not so wily dog. I think 4 months will be sufficient time for Tracy Watkins to be proved right.

Anyone who kids themselves that there is life after Winston Peters for NZ First only had to watch the party floundering in the absence of its leader this week.

Frantically trying to head off an attack by their former colleague, expunged NZ Firster Brendan Horan, Peters’ front bench achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making Horan look good by comparison.

They were clueless in the face of Horan’s determination to extract utu from his former party by tabling documents he claimed showed improper use of the taxpayer funded leader’s fund.

Whether the documents do show what Horan claims remains to be seen; the Speaker is investigating although the explanation offered by Peters suggests the spending complies with the rules. But we know from long experience that politicians have a collective interest in not inquiring too deeply into the use of leaders’ funds.

There is certainly no reason to be confident that they have cleaned up their act since an Audit Office inquiry several years ago found most parties treated it as a slush fund for party political activities. (NZ First was one of the parties pinged for unlawful spending to the tune of $158,000).

Regardless of the ins and outs of Horan’s allegations, however, one thing seems clear: Horan is hellbent on using his last remaining months in Parliament to try to take Peters and the rest of NZ First down with him.

Even if he succeeds he will only be hastening by a few years what increasingly seems inevitable.

Read more »

John Key on the nasties in parliament

John Key spoke to some Tawa College students about the nasty party tactics of the opposition.

Hamish Rutherford reports:

Politicians risk offending the public through “nasty” behaviour or mindless tweets, Prime Minister John Key says.

Animosity in the House appears to have stepped up in recent weeks, and Key said today that there had been “a bit of a nasty streak running through Parliament”.

NZ First leader Winston Peters this week referred to his former caucus colleague, Brendan Horan, as the “Jimmy Savile of New Zealand Parliament”.

Horan claimed the next day that NZ First was misusing taxpayers’ funds by using its leader’s budget to pay for software designed to attract members.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne, one of New Zealand’s longest-serving MPs, said this week that behaviour in the House had hit a “lower low than we’ve had in a long time”. MPs were using parliamentary privilege for a “free hit” on opponents.

Read more »

Scurrilous, dirty attack by parliament’s biggest ratbag

 

Winston-Peters-NZH

Winston Peters is a scurrilous, shameless, ratbag.

Last week he pronounced to all that Judith Collins would be gone with what he has. It turned out that he had nothing, as usual.

Yesterday in the house he went again, and again had nothing, but that didn’t stop him hurling a scurrilous smear at Brendan Horan.

Tracy Watkins reports:

Open hostilities have erupted between independent MP Brendan Horan and his former boss after NZ First leader Winston Peters today referred to Horan as “Jimmy Savile”.

Peters twice made reference to Horan as Savile, the late BBC presenter accused of sex crimes against children.

The first reference followed Horan attempting to table NZ First board meeting minutes which he told Parliament “point to improper use of taxpayer money”.

Peters responded: “This House should not be used in that way particularly by the Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics.”  Read more »