Electoral Commission

Mallard and Dyson shafted by their own team in boundary redraw

It is looking increasingly like Labour’s own advisor to the Electoral Commission has worked very hard at shafting Ruth Dyson and Trevor Mallard. So much so he has missed some strange looking boundary adjustments in other areas.

Jadis has performed some very good analysis of the changes over at the lifestyle, travel and arts blog of David Farrar. From the looks of it there are no winners on the left side of politics.

And most of the losers are Labour.

Losers:

Ruth Dyson, Port Hills – Dyson is the biggest loser in this boundary review.  Her majority has been reversed with the Nats stronghold of Halswell moving into the seat, and Anderton’s old stomping ground of Sydenham moving into Christchurch Central.  Dyson will have a real battle to hold this, even with the Nats putting in a new candidate.  How winnable the seat is very much depends on the strength of the Nat candidate, but a good candidate could take the seat with a 2000 majority.  I’d be gutted if I was Dyson as Pete Hodgson (who did the boundaries for Labour) is a good mate of hers.  Perhaps this is Labour’s new (poor) strategy of retiring MPs.

Trevor Mallard, Hutt South – This is the surprise of the final boundaries.  Mallard has gained all of the  Western Hills (good Nat territory) and lost super red areas of Naenae and Rimutaka. Labour should have been able to stop this occurring but appear to have put up no fight.  Mallard should be furious with his party for failing to keep Hutt South a real red seat.  Why didn’t Hodgson fight hard for Mallard?  Was it a directive from on high?  Realistically, Mallard should hold the seat but he’ll be working hard for it and never should have been put in this position. I expect Mallard’s majority to be pegged down a few.  Read more »

HoS editorial on Dotcom’s dodgy deals

Patrick Gower should really be sinking his chipmunk teeth into finding out who the dodgy MP is that is skulking in his current party but looking at bailing out in June, dogging on his mates.

That MP is a traitor to his party and should be outed. Instead I fear we will have more stories from him and Corin Dann about how much milk there is or isn’t in the fridges of Oravida’s offices.

The Herald on Sunday makes a call for openness from Dotcom, but there is fat chance of that after he got a gagging order against his former head of security. That didn’t work in keeping his appalling employment practices secret, and it won’t work in keeping other dodgy behaviour secret either.

Dotcom is dangerous. He could threaten Key. But his private life could also explode in the face of potential allies like Labour, the Greens and Mana.

I don’t think he is dangerous, not with what I know and will release. His party will wither and die with coming revelations, my only hope is it also takes out all those who have bent their knee to Dotcom. If is hilarious to see Mana leap into bed with them when he rips off workers in such a blatant manner. I wonder what John Minto of the Unite union and a Mana party prospect thinks about Dotcom paying his staff less than the minimum wage as required by law.

He is fighting extradition to the United States to face copyright charges, and suffered a setback in that fight on Friday when the Supreme Court ruled he would not have access to details of the American prosecution case against him.

He has also gone to court this week to prevent disclosures by his disgruntled former head of security, Wayne Tempero, apparently angry at having his contract and pay cut. Tempero is threatening to lift the lid on Dotcom’s relationship with staff, debts, and allegedly embarrassing trivia such as what he keeps in his basement. Dotcom says he cannot (or will not) comment on the threatened Tempero disclosures, beyond dismissing them as a “smear campaign” and promising his creditors will be paid in full this week.  Read more »

What is the relationship between Hone Harawira and Kim Dotcom?

David Rankin has issued a press release:

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has been involved in negotiations with internet tycoon Kim Dotcom over funding for the Mana Party, and a possible role of Kim Dotcom in the Party.

This is according to Ngapuhi kaumatua David Rankin, who says he is frustrated after having repeatedly asked Harawira for the past week if there is any truth to the allegation.

“Everyone knows about the meetings.  Even Whale oil’s Cameron Slater has been informed and wants to break the story,” says Mr Rankin, “and my nephew Hone has suddenly gone quiet whenever I mention Kim Dotcom.”

Mr Rankin says that unless Harawira explicitly denies the allegation that he sought funding from Dotcom then the Mana Party is in trouble. “Mana will face a major credibility crisis,” says Rankin, “and the longer he keeps silence, the more suspicion grows.”

What David Rankin says is true.

My sources deep within the mansion have been telling me for weeks about an “arrangement” between Hone Harawira and his Mana party and the nascent and unlaunched Internet Party. There have been meetings held around the boardroom table at the mansion and serious discussions amongst those associated with Dotcom, some even suggesting this is wrong, only to be hectored and shouted at by Dotcom.

I also know that Mana party advisors and confidantes have been meeting extensively as recently as two weeks ago to discuss these details with some privately sharing with WOBH that they are concerned about the future of the party should this deal go ahead.

Their strategy from what the sources have told me is cunning, though I’m not sure voters will appreciate the subterfuge necessary for this scheme to work.

There is provision in the Electoral Act for component partiesRead more »

Geddis on donations and why Cunliffe’s trust is tricky

Even though Andrew Geddis, like a petulant child, can’t bring himself to say my name, he does make good points in his latest post at Pundit.

The left wing blogosphere has been cock-a-hoop (wrongly it turns out) that Patrick Gower ‘got’ John Key on The Nation. Geddis doesn’t agree and schools them on the law.

There’s been a bit of lefty gloating going on around the traps aboutPatrick Gower’s interview with John Key on The Nation, in which he sought to draw an equivalence between David Cunliffe’s use of a trust to receive donations for his Labour leadership campaign and donations that National received back in 2010 and 2011 through a dinner held at “Auckland’s pricey Parnell restaurant Antoine’s”.

(On that last point, check out Antoine’s menu and the attached prices. This, remember, apparently is one of John Key’s “favourite places to eat”. That this fact does not at all seem to undermine the popular view of him as being “just like us” is a source of unending mystery!)

But much as I would love to grab a pitchfork and torch and follow in behind the crowd all the way to the door of Key’s castle on a bleak mountain top (which is what he lives in, right?), my goddam conscience just won’t let me do it. So I’m going to have to break ranks and say, “nice try, but not quite.”

If the lefty bloggers take just 5 minutes to read why they will find out why no other media except TV3 is pushing this story.  Read more »

Another potential legal problem for Cunliffe and his secret trust

David Cunliffe has another legal problem with his donations and the secret trust he used to launder them, with the help of Greg Presland, a blogger at The Standard.

Mr Cunliffe yesterday released the names of three donors who gave a total of $9500 to a trust set up for his leadership campaign last year, but said he had not known who the donors were until recently after the trustee, Greg Presland, advised him they were willing to be named publicly. Another two donors had refused to be named and would have their donations, totalling $8300, returned to them.

He said the trust, called the TR Trust, was set up partly so that he would not know who had donated. But he admitted at least one donor – Chicago-based Perry Keenan – had approached him directly to offer a donation. He had told Mr Keenan to discuss it with Mr Presland, and said he was never told whether the donation had been made.

Perry Keenan is offshore based. That means that section 207K of the Electoral Act kicks in, which states:

207K Overseas donation or contribution may not exceed $1,500

(1) For the purposes of this section, overseas person means—

(a) an individual who—

(i) resides outside New Zealand; and
(ii) is not a New Zealand citizen or registered as an elector; or

(b) a body corporate incorporated outside New Zealand; or
(c) an unincorporated body that has its head office or principal place of business outside New Zealand.

(2) If a candidate receives from an overseas person a donation that either on its own or when aggregated with all other donations made by or on behalf of the same overseas person for use in the same campaign exceeds $1,500, the candidate must, within 20 working days of receipt of the donation,—    Read more »

Left demanding changes to MMP they want, how about the other changes?

John Armstrong goes full noise against the coat-tailing provision of MMP…labelling what is actually law ‘gerrymandering’.

Predictably Labour is also pushing hard to try to get the provision of the Electoral Act reversed showing their naked partisanship.

They all point to the recommendations of the Electoral Commission to remove the coat-tailing provision.

But National’s refusal last year to implement the recommendation of the Electoral Commission to rid MMP of the unnecessary, unfair and deeply unpopular one-seat threshold provision should forever be a large blot on John Key’s Government.

Of course, eradicating this legal loophole, which exempts a party from having to meet the 5 per cent threshold if it wins an electorate seat, would have been to National’s major disadvantage in making it much more difficult for its minor party allies to bring extra MPs into Parliament.

The one-seat threshold survives simply because it could yet be the difference between National staying in power and going into Opposition.

But that does not make it right.

The media and the opposition are trying to paint coat-tailing as anti-democratic, yet it has been part of the law since the day MMP was implemented. Now they are suggesting the law and MMP is anti-democratic.  Read more »

Labour still rolling out the lies on the baby bribe

A correspondent emails the tipline:

I see Labour is still rolling out the lies on the $60 baby bonus despite it being shown up as deceptive. Received this email only today repeating the policy as originally rolled out by the Silent T.

moroney Read more »

Libertarianz give up being a party

The Libertarianz have given up trying to be a political party…and taking teh advice I ahve long given them…get invovled and change other more established parties.

Some won’t of course because they will be the purists…far rather staying outside and being ineffective and ignored than wishing to pollute their purist ideals.

Libertarianz leader Richard McGrath today confirmed that the Electoral Commission had last week deregistered the party at its own request.

“Senior party members had been discussing for several months how we might get more bang for our buck, and it was decided to continue as a ginger group and/or think tank rather than as a registered political party.”

“As Peter Dunne found out last year, keeping the minimum required number of party members is quite a job in itself, and takes manpower and resources away from pursuing policy goals,” he added.

“The Libertarianz Party is realistic, and accepts the enormous difficulty faced by a party operating on limited finances and without a high profile figurehead to win an electorate seat or 5% of the party vote. The bar is set almost impossibly high for fringe parties such as ours, so we have to look at other ways to influence the political process.”   

Read more »

Are the Greens treating too?

Kim Dotcom cancelled his party on the basis that the Electoral Commission thought what he was panning was treating. The funny thing is Russel Norman has said he told Kim Dotcom to bin his political party as it might steal votes from the Greens and now it appears the Greens are stealing treating ideas from Kim Dotcom.

In order to be consistent I would like to think that the Electoral Commission is now also examining the Green party for treating in relation to their Picnic for the Planet.

and;

Read more »

Alistair Thompson resigns from Internet Party

Alistair Thompson has resigned from the Internet party just a week after joining it officially.

He had of course been working for months prior to that secretly until outed by this website.

There are significant tensions within the Dotcom camp over this Internet Party and recently there were arguments over remuneration levels for Thompson and Kumar.  Read more »