National Party

NZ Herald Crowdsourcing: We found nothing, but let’s smear National anyway

The NZ Herald launched a “crowdsourcing” initiative to go digging into political donations after the returns were released by they Electoral Commission.

It is the sort of panty sniffing behaviour we’ve come to expect from the Herald.

Basically they are trying to find  donors and then single them out for this donation or that donation and try to pass some sort of moral judgment on that.

Little wonder then that donors try to remain as anonymous as they can.

Essentially though the Herald has found nothing, but after touting their great initiative with much fanfare they had to write something. David Fisher was obviously busy making up something else so they pulled in Matt Nippert to write the hit job.

An analysis of electoral finance declarations shows more than 80 per cent of donations to National Party candidates were channelled through party headquarters in a loophole described as akin to legal “laundering”.

National’s heavy reliance on funding candidates with donations from the party – shown in a Herald study to account for more than $1m out of $1.2m raised by their candidates for the 2014 general election – was a “striking use of electoral law that appears to be laundering the money”, said Otago University political science lecturer Bryce Edwards.

Electoral law requires candidates to reveal the identity of donors who contribute $1,500 or more, but political parties can keep donors secret even if they give up to $15,000.

Dr Edwards said the channelling of candidate donations through parties had “become a way around” having to disclose more information about the source of campaign funds.

“It’s not illegal and it’s up to different interpretations whether it’s ethical or not, but there should now be heat on politicians to explain what’s going on and to tighten up this loophole,” he said.

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It’s called democracy Kim

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Failed Puppet master Kim Dotcom is trying to say that our democratically elected government is not making the tough decisions with the mandate of the voters but is controlled by America. Obviously our attacks on The Internet Party still smart as back then we said he was the puppet master both funding and controlling Laila Harre and Hone Harawira.

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Angry Andy doesn’t actually understand what he has to do

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One of my readers captured this tweet from Andrew Little, and it is worth having a think about.

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Yes, it’s nasty. ¬†Yes, it isn’t really constructive. ¬†But that isn’t the point. ¬† Read more »

A reader emails about online voting

I am extremely concerned about the prospect of on-line voting. The suggestion that they are ‚Äúlooking into on-line voting‚ÄĚ for the 2017 election, scares the hell out of me for two reasons.

  1. Votes will be cast without research or consideration. A last minute ‚Äúclick here‚ÄĚ without any concept of what that actually delivers.
  2. 2014 election my 37year old stepdaughter with a very busy career went on-line and completed a questionnaire to help her decide who to vote for. The result was the Greens, so she voted accordingly. After the election she was disappointed with her vote as many Green policies were against her belief. The very thought of Laila Harre or Dotcoms influence in Government appalled her. Though she voted because she believes it is important to do so, she voted without understanding the MMP consequence. Lesson learnt.

How many people did just that? Asked a computer to decide their future and their political preference?

The democratic right to vote for a Government to represent us every 3 years should be taken more seriously than on-line polling or questionnaires. I do not suggest for 1 minute that it is a corrupt influence or process, however I suggest under MMP a computer cannot determine party coalition preference. Therefore it cannot be applied, and the result has dire consequences for NZ.

If a questionnaire was to determine my vote I strongly believe it would also recommend a Green Party vote. Why? ¬† Read more »

Northland Selection Update

At Sunday’s Northland meet the candidates meeting caucus¬†favourite and National board member Grant McCallum looked to¬†be struggling against some strong competition.

Mark Osborne and Karen Rolleston had very good selection speeches, and came across as more competent than the other three.

The other three were passable but not as polished as Mark and Karen.

Sources in caucus are saying that there is some heavy¬†lifting being done behind the scenes to improve Grant¬†McCallum’s performance. Caucus are desperate to have¬†McCallum in as their designated drinker for coalition¬†negotiations with Winston post 2017, as David ‘Cancer’ Bennett is¬†not thought to be up to it.¬† Read more »

Trouble in coalition land?

We’ve had two terms when the National-led coalition government did a pretty good job at presenting a united front. ¬†With the exception of Peter Dunne, who already went troppo over the last few years (did this coincide with legal highs?), the other partners didn’t openly defy National.

That has changed.  In spite of National being returned with a record-breaking 3rd term majority under MMP, its coalition partners and indeed National itself are now openly fighting in front of the kids.

There won’t be a referendum on national super while John Key is Prime Minister.

He has shot down ACT leader David Seymour’s call for the people to decide how superannuation should be funded.

Mr Seymour told his party’s annual conference on Saturday the current scheme wasn’t viable in the long term and there had to be changes to make it financially sustainable.

He wants an expert group appointed to come up with options for a referendum, and says raising the age from 65 isn’t the only one available.

Mr Key isn’t interested and says Mr Seymour, a government ally, didn’t talk to him before raising the issue.

“I read about it in the newspaper,” he said.

“There won’t be a referendum. The National Party is clear on super – the age should stay at 65 and the entitlement at 66 percent (of the average wage).”

During the 2008 election campaign, which he won, Mr Key pledged that if there was any change to national super under his watch he would resign from parliament.

There you go. ¬†“Don’t broadside me in the media, son”, says Key to minnow David. ¬† “We do these things behind the scenes where I can tell you to stop playing games.”

Says one commenter:

John Key has no problem spending $26 million on flag referendum but unwilling to spend any money on one as important as the future financial security of our country and how to fund superannuation.

But add this to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party being extremely vocal against sending New Zealand troops to Iraq, and in public at least, this coalition government looks far from a cohesive team.

I don’t get a sense this is by design. ¬† Key’s having trouble with his back bench, can’t see eye to eye with Joyce who wants to keep giving money away to SkyCity and Team New Zealand no matter the public opposition, had to pull the plug on Parata’s charter schools, is getting constant static from Bill English over delivering a surplus, and he’s now bickering with coalition partners through the media.

To seasoned observers, these are interesting developments.

- NZN via 3 News

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How broke was Labour at the election? Very broke, the Greens outspent them

The latest election expenses are out and it is quite revealing.

National spent the most, Labour spent less than half of National, and the Greens out spent Labour.

But the real take out is that money doesn’t buy you results. The Greens show that as does Internet Mana.

Labour spent half as much as National on last year’s election campaign and was outspent by the Greens for the first time.

Parties’ election advertising expenses were released yesterday and show Labour spent $1.27 million – slightly less than the Green Party on $1.29 million and half the National Party’s $2.6 million.

National was the biggest spender, followed by the Conservative Party, which was bankrolled by leader Colin Craig and spent $1.9 million. Funded by $3.5 million from Kim Dotcom, the Internet-Mana alliance spent $660,000 while the Internet Party spent a further $320,000. Of the parties in Parliament, United Future spent the least – just under $2000.

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Why are you sorry? He was a “judgmental little c*ck”

I¬†didn’t realise Linda Cooper had it in her.

I thought she was dead set useless.

But she has come good big time, even if she did apologise afterwards.

Auckland councillor and National Party member Linda Cooper has apologised after she called a man a “judgmental little c**k” on the Pride parade Facebook page.

Ms Cooper had an exchange with Daniel O’Connor who said he thought National MPs Melissa Lee and Alfred Ngaro were against marriage equality.

“Well good on them to be brave enough to come out in support against their constituent Korean and Pacific views,” Ms Cooper said.

When Mr O’Connor said it looked like the two National MPs were trying to piggyback on the achievements they were trying to hold back, Mrs Cooper hit back.

“Get a grip little boy,” she said.

“When you grow up you will realise that life is not black and white. ¬† Read more »

National reprises Father Ted: “It was just resting in the account”

National and in particular Jami-Lee Ross and John Key have been busted in a donation saga.

And the best they can come up with is a version of the Father Ted defence…”the money was just resting in my account”.

As Father Dougal MacQuire says…”a good long rest”.

Electoral returns out next week will confirm that a National Party MP received $25,000 from a controversial businessman after Prime Minister John Key had a private dinner with him – at the man’s home.

The PM has always maintained that he met Donghua Liu at a National Party fundraiser but would never say where. Today, the Weekend Herald can reveal that the fundraiser was actually a private dinner at Mr Liu’s $4.75 million home in Remuera, where a smiling Mr Key and Jami-Lee Ross, the MP for Botany, were photographed alongside Mr Liu and his young family.

Afterwards, Mr Liu donated $25,000 that same month to Mr Ross’ election campaign. But the following year, Mr Liu became a political embarrassment for the Government after a Herald investigation revealed the impact of the property developer’s links to the National Party.

Maurice Williamson was forced to resign as a minister when the Herald revealed he had called police after Mr Liu was arrested on domestic violence charges and told them Mr Liu was a big investor in New Zealand.

Mr Key said then that Mr Williamson had “crossed the line”.

Shortly after the election, Mr Ross refunded the large donation from Mr Liu’s company – 15 months after it was given. Mr Ross has since disclosed the donation in candidate returns for the 2014 election due to be released by the Electoral Commission next week.

Mr Liu is upset that Mr Ross refunded the $25,000 cheque, which he regarded as a “slap in the face”.

The 53-year-old pleaded guilty to the domestic violence charges in April last year, but was in the Auckland District Court this week seeking to withdraw those admissions. He was successful and the case is likely to now head to trial.

Outside court, he told the Herald he gave $25,000 to Mr Ross through the “Botany Cabinet Club” and “subsequently this amount was refunded”.

“It was very strange. The refund was sent to my lawyer, I wasn’t told about it in person.”

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John Key has a no dickheads rule too

All good team captains, coaches and politicians have a “no dickheads” rule.

I do, I won’t work with dickheads…and I tell them that.

It looks like John Key has a no dickheads rule.

Prime Minister John Key says there is “zero” chance of Aaron Gilmore¬†returning to Parliament.

Gilmore, a former National Party back-bencher, reluctantly quit in 2013 over a boozy night in Hanmer Springs.

It was claimed he abused a waiter, demanding “don’t you know who I am?” and threatened to have Key intervene to have the man sacked. He also allegedly called the waiter a dickhead. Gilmore denied the allegations, but later apologised for his behaviour.

“I’m sorry for my arrogance and rudeness to the barman when I was leaving the restaurant,” Gilmore said. ¬†¬† Read more »