Rodney Hide

One of the problems: Our suppression laws

(Unless you have read the first and second posts in this three parter, you won’t have had the stage set for this final article.)

Rodney Hide’s article is mostly about name suppression, and how it doesn’t service justice

I have reluctantly concluded that New Zealand does suffer a rape culture.

It’s not an “all men are rapists” and “I am sorry for being a man” type of thing. Rather, it’s the way men can commit sex crimes and get away with it. The system works to protect the privileged and powerful.

My eyes were opened after my column last week. I had called on National MP Maggie Barry to use Parliamentary privilege to break the suppression order protecting a “prominent” New Zealander.

The police had charged him with “indecent assault” but the sex predator pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of “indecent act with intent to insult or offend”.

“Indecent assault” is a strike offence; it’s a serious charge.

Judge David Saunders discharged the sex attacker without conviction and gave him name suppression. We can’t report who he is. By way of explanation, the judge said the predator had “carried a bit of a cross” since the charges were laid.

You know Rodney, you and I are both itching to kick this sexual assaulting ratbag to touch.  But due to my (personally costly) hard work, the penalties for breaching suppression are no longer a maximum $1000 fine per incident.   It has increased to $100,000 – and that’s not something I can afford to do again to bring about change. Read more »

I have reluctantly concluded that New Zealand does suffer a rape culture – Hide

Rodney Hide

via Bowalley Road

I find it really disappointing that Rodney Hide feels that, on balance, New Zealanders are sufficiently involved in the sexual abuse of women and children that he feels comfortable labeling our whole nation a nation that tacitly allows rape.

This isn’t the reality where I live.  And I feel completely disconnected from the sentiment where people like Rodney and David Cunliffe feel they have to take on some sort of collective guilt on behalf of everyone else. Read more »

Rodney Hide on Harre’s hypocrisy addiction

Rodney Hide launches into Laila Harre at The NBR [paywalled]:

I am worried about Laila Harré: having dropped any pretence of principle she now finds hypocrisy addictive. There’s no other explanation. She should have OD’d by now, but no, she just keeps loading it up.

Her latest dose is to assert property rights in Green Party policy.

That’s right. That’s her response to criticism of her announcing Green Party policy as hers just hours ahead of the Green’s release. Ms Harré was working for the Greens. She then decamped to lead the Internet Party taking Green Party policy with her. No wonder the Greens are little annoyed in their touchy-feely, caring way.

But as she explains it, “Look, I contributed huge intellectual property to the Green Party in the 15 months that I spent working for them.” So what’s theirs is also hers.

That’s a bellyful of hypocrisy. Remember this is the Internet Party. Her party’s founder, funder, paymaster and visionary is fighting to avoid facing copyright infringement charges. Intellectual property doesn’t mean that much to Mr Dotcom.

For his proxy leader to be defending herself by spuriously claiming intellectual property is breathtaking hypocrisy. Intellectual property matters to Ms Harré – but only when she’s claiming it as hers. No one else’s appears to matter.

But having teamed up with Mr Dotcom, Ms Harre now wallows in hypocrisy. She can’t get enough. Every time she opens her mouth she takes another hit.

Hypocrisy is a particular attribute that is endemic in the left-wing of politics.

Mr Dotcom’s opulent lifestyle is everything that Ms Harré has railed against her whole life. She picked coffee for the Sandinistas. That’s what rich, lefty kids did back in the day. It was much more romantic than a mundane job with real New Zealand workers.    Read more »

Face of the day


So who is he?

Rodney Hide is keen for Maggie Barry to reveal his identity but failed to do so himself when he was in parliament. I think it is pretty cheeky of Mr Hide to do that, in fact I think that he is out of line.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on The Cunliffe

Rodney Hide discusses The Cunliffe and his apology culture at the NBR:

David Cunliffe didn’t misspeak in apologising for being a man. Far from it. His apology is what core Labour philosophy demands. Mr Cunliffe should also be apologising for being white, rich and heterosexual.

It’s now deep Labour Party madness that your colour, wealth, sex and sexual orientation dictate your views and your politics. You think you reason and choose but it’s illusory. Your class and group define and rule you.

It gets worse. You are also responsible for all the other members of your group and this collective responsibility travels mysteriously down through the generations. Hence the Waitangi Tribunal.

As a white, wealthy and educated man, Mr Cunliffe has much to be sorry for. He can’t escape his pigeonhole but he can prove his awareness by apologising. That’s all he can do. And he can atone.

He can never appreciate what it’s like to be an oppressed minority. But he can listen. He can sympathise. And he can do what the oppressed through their collective experience dictate without question and without judgement. To question is to reinstate the rich, white, male hegemony.

That’s part of Labour’s ideology: that rich, white men rule the world and cause all the trouble. The cure is simple enough: break up the hegemony. Hence the man-ban and the endless affirmative action.

Perhaps they could start by banning The Cunliffe.

The Labour Party itself illustrates the policy.

Labour’s New Zealand Council must have two Maori, a woman, a unionist, a young person, a Pacific Islander and a Rainbow. It sounds like the start of a long joke but it’s not: that’s the Labour Party’s Constitution. And there’s poor Mr Cunliffe: white, rich, male. And there’s his deputy: white, rich, male.    Read more »

Lindsay Mitchell – The Greatest Risk

Lindsay Mitchell has written a fantastic piece and has asked me to publish it so it gains a wider audience. I am very happy to do so.

As Rodney Hide said in the comments, this should be pinned to every wall in Treasury.

Growing up in 1960s New Zealand, houses were smaller and families bigger. Paradoxically, overcrowding and child poverty weren’t a major issue. Most families had two parents and many could even afford a stay-at-home mum. A very small percentage of families experienced financial hardship associated with an absent father.

What changed?

In 1973, influenced by the Royal Commission on Social Policy’s urgings, the government introduced a statutory benefit for sole parents regardless of the reason for their single parenthood. In the following 20 years unmarried births with no resident father more than quadrupled from around 2,500 to 12,000 – 22% of all births – annually. The relatively generous DPB saw single mums dropping out of the workforce. (The Royal New Zealand Plunket Society partially attributes this development to the eventual non-viability of Karitane hospitals which had provided live-in employment for unmarried mothers.)

These births accumulated in the statistics. By the early 1990s around a quarter of a million (mostly) mothers and children were dependent on the state for their survival. But the benefit still kept them above the poverty threshold.

When the incoming National government of 1990 opened Treasury books, the news was bad. This is where the authors ofChild Poverty in New Zealand pick their story up. They describe “benefit cuts of between 10 percent and 30 percent for many beneficiaries supporting children.” In fact, for a lone parent with one child, the cut was 10.7%; for those with two, 8.9 percent. The universal family benefit was abolished, but half of the savings were reallocated into increasing Family Support for beneficiaries and low-income families.

Nevertheless, the drop in income was enough to push beneficiary households below the poverty threshold (though they had probably been barely over it prior). Compounding this was the high number of partnered jobless parents created by an unemployment rate exceeding 11 percent in 1992. From that time the proportion of children in poverty, measured at below 60 percent of median disposable household income after housing costs, has been flat to falling slightly.

Sixty nine percent of children in sole parent households are poor compared to 15 percent in two parent families. Today, a lone parent heads around 30 percent of all families with dependent children. Long-term dependent sole parent families aren’t typically the result of a marriage breakdown. They hail from very young mothers with no educational qualifications, work skills or regular partner.

Every year around one in five new-born babies will be reliant on their caregivers benefit by Christmas. This pattern has persisted from at least 1993. For Maori the number jumps to over one in three.   Add to this Treasury’s advice to the Ministerial Committee on Child Poverty,

“…around 1 in 5 children will spend more than half of their first 14 years in household supported by main benefit. This group is at the highest risk of material hardship and poor outcomes across a range of dimensions”.

The worrying aspect of this pattern is its persistence through good economic times. In 2007, when New Zealand had record low unemployment, the percentage bottomed at around 19%. Over three quarters will rely on a sole parent benefit, the remainder on either an unemployment or disability benefit. While some of the reliance will be due to unforeseen circumstances like are job redundancy, most could have been predicted by the parent.
In a recent Listener column Jonathan Boston wrote “…it is worth pausing and considering how easy we would find it to raise children under such circumstances.” The same counsel should be put to those people who can actually change the pattern. Though too much emphasis on “personal responsibility” would give less weight to “fairness and compassion” according to the book. Why these societal attributes would be mutually exclusive is unclear. Read more »

Rodney Hide on unions buying influence in politics

Rodney Hide has a column in the Herald on Sunday where he looks at unions and they buying of influence in politics.

The true donations scandal in New Zealand politics was reported this week without comment. It’s the Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union’s $60,000 donation to Labour.

The EPMU is one of the six unions affiliated to Labour. The affiliated unions pay fees and fund the Party through donations. The donations and fees total hundreds of thousands of dollars.

More significantly, union staff campaign for Labour and the unions run parallel campaigns. For example, Labour is campaigning for the “living wage”. In a parallel campaign the Services and Food Workers Union spent more than half a million dollars last year promoting that exact policy.

The union funding of Labour totals in the millions. And what does Labour provide in return? In effect the entire party. The unions get to determine the party’s leader. Their say counts for 20 per cent of the vote. That’s the difference between winning and losing by a wide margin.

Affiliation also buys a seat at the table. The affiliated unions have a guaranteed vice-president position on Labour’s all-powerful New Zealand Council.

They also get their people as MPs. The Labour Party enables the unions to parachute members into Parliament. Labour list MP Andrew Little headed the EPMU for 11 years before entering Parliament.

Being a union boss come Labour’s list selection time isn’t as good as being a Maori lesbian but it’s a close second.

And the unions get policy, lots of policy. In 1999 the EPMU gave $100,000 to Labour. The following year the Labour Government passed the Employment Relations Act. This act gives the unions incredible power over Kiwi workplaces as well as easy access to workers’ pay packets.

The Employment Relations Act nicely closes the loop. The act was provided by the Labour Party. It gave the unions access to workers’ pockets, and that’s the money the unions now tip into Labour’s coffers.

Indeed, in the state sector it’s policy for Government to give union members a bonus to cover their union fees. You and I pay their union fees.

Read more »

Traders v. Diplomats

Rodney Hide looks at the differences between John Key and Cunliffe in his NBR column.

Here’s a challenging question: what’s the difference between John Key and David Cunliffe?

One’s winning and one’s losing  but why? It can’t be policy. The policy difference between National and Labour is wafer thin.


Mr Key has caught the big wave. He is serenely surfing to the beach doing the occasional cartwheel and handstand just to show he can. Meanwhile, Mr Cunliffe can’t catch a wave. One moment he’s becalmed, the next he’s dashed on rocks.

The defining contrast is the picture of Mr Key having personal time with President Obama. And Mr Cunliffe with his deputy having to swear allegiance to stave off coup rumours. The difference could not be more stark.

I know both men. Both are intelligent, hard working and good. But here’s the difference: Mr Key was a trader; Mr Cunliffe a diplomat.

Traders have to deliver. If they don’t deliver they’re toast. No amount of spin can save them. To trade they must be trustworthy and offer value. If a trader can’t improve your lot, he or she is no use to you.

In comparison, foreign affairs is all spin. There is no objective outcome. There is no delivery of value. It’s smooching and small talk. It’s all process and no result. It’s about always adjusting your position to present company and political dictate.

Traders must earn their living. They have customers and have to respect and provide for them. Government employees don’t. They are paid irrespective of performance. They don’t have customers; they have political bosses.    Read more »

Hide on Labour’s Liu death wish

Never go digging in the back of the skeleton cupboard.  Worse, don’t invite others to do it on your behalf.

Deny, deny, deny. Attack, attack, attack. That’s been Labour’s response to businessman Donghua Liu claiming he donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Party.

Labour’s strategy is risky. It is challenging Liu’s honesty and integrity. He’s no doubt feeling aggrieved. The danger for Labour is that Liu produces documents, witnesses and photographs confirming his substantial donations.

That’s what did it for Winston Peters in 2008. Sir Owen Glenn was able to prove the donations that Peters denied.

Labour also risks drying up its donations. Attacking a donor is hardly encouraging to others. I doubt there will too many Chinese charity auctions for Labour this election.

Labour have history turning on their wealthy donors.  Helen Clark famously snubbed Sir Owen Glenn in a move that will have cost the Labour Party hundreds of thousands if not a cool million over the following decade.  They can’t afford to burn off donors that come with 6 figure cheque books, but somehow they do.

So where are we now? Confused. Liu said he gave substantial money to the Labour Party. The Labour Party says it has no record of it, and hasn’t reported any donations from Liu.

But it’s quite possible that everyone is telling the truth. The money could have been stolen. That would mean Liu gave the money but Labour never received it. Charity auctions and the like are often chaotic and it is too easy to have no one properly in charge of recording and receipting all payments and donations. This is especially so in political events. Volunteers are enthusiastic but not necessarily experienced and politicians are anxious to stay well away from money changing hands.

Indeed, a big part of Cunliffe’s problem – and Banks’ and Williamson’s – is that politicians shy away from fundraising details precisely to avoid the perception that cash influences decision-making.

I suspect someone in Hawkes Bay hasn’t been sleeping well, among other Labour Party people, present and past, who are likely to find themselves in the headlights as Liu has ordered his financial records to be forwarded from China.   Read more »

Rodney Hide on the Internet Mana joke

Rodney Hide laughs his moobs off about the Internet Mana Party:

I used to think politics was all about achieving good government. That proved invariably disappointing. These days, politics is no longer my responsibility. I’m happy if it just proves interesting.

That’s why I am for the Internet-Mana Party. They’re the best entertainment in years. If they were a parody they would be too improbable to be believed.

Maori nationalist Hone Harawira calls Pakeha the rudest of names and the wrong colour to date his daughter. But he’s jumped into bed with whiter-than-white Kim Dotcom.

Harawira trumpets Mana and His People but that’s not stopping him using his electorate to coat-tail Dotcom’s party into Parliament. His price? $3 million.

It’s easy to accuse Harawira of hypocrisy but he has a ready reply: it’s a lot of money. At $3m his double standard is good and high.

It isn’t just $3 million though, is it Hone?

Laila Harre wasn’t elected leader of the Internet Party. She was hired. She’s been selected and paid for by Dotcom. The former coffee picker for the Sandinistas is New Zealand’s first corporate-hire political leader.

A mate rang after Harre’s appointment splitting his sides, “All they need now is Pam Corkery”. Corkery was appointed press secretary that day.

Willie Jackson considered standing but wanted $250,000. That’s his price for standing up for his principles.

Read more »