Labour Leaks – Explaining David Talbot

WhaleleaksAs you all know, I thought it important that New Zealanders were made aware of the appalling treatment that the Labour Party gave to people’s confidential information through their wide open website.

Google and at least 9 other bots have archived material on the same open Labour site that has been in the news this past week and my post on how this occurred has generated unanimous condemnation of Labour among the IT community.

I have decided to withhold the vast bulk of material that I found, because I absolutely agree that as the law stands,  everyday New Zealanders should be free to contribute to political parties without fear of their name being made public.

I have revealed only a couple of names in total. But I have already said I will reveal hypocrisy and lies if and when I see them.

The first name I revealed was Cactus Kate.  I asked her permission before publishing the details about the donation she made to Labour. [This surely is worse than any previous Saturday morning walk of shame she has experienced. I shudder to think of her reception at the next BRT function attends.]

She said that she won’t complain to the privacy commissioner about Labour’s cavalier approach to private information. I think her shame has addled her mid, I thought she was harder than this.

The second name I revealed from the lists I legally accessed was that of a Parliamentary staffer.  In hindsight that was probably a mistake.

I absolutely accept that David Talbot is employed on a part-time basis by the Labour Leader’s office and divides his time between Parliamentary Services (taxpayer funding) and the seperately paid work he does for the Labour Party (covered by their incredibly tiny donations).

Nothing wrong with that at all.

I thank Annette King for clarifying this.

So, one last question to close off this part of my file.

Perhaps she could explain why Mr Talbot was using a taxpayer-funded email address to process and test credit card transactions for the Labour Party.  This is a Parliamentary funded address, and to me this suggests he might be processing donations out of the Labour Leader’s office.  This would be against the rules.

From the transaction logs he also has a address. He processed some test transactions from that address so perhaps that was his part time work, but it is incredibly diffuclt to reconicle Annette King’s statement with the electronic evidence.

Sure it’s not the crime of the century – but I’m curious – and I think Parliamentary Services might be too.
David Talbot processing Labour Party transactions


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  • middleagedwhiteguy

    Regarding David Talbot.

    Should this information be passed to IRD? If he employed on a part time basis then that should be reflected in his tax status as secondary employment. If this is not the case, then either his party work is being illegally subsidised by parliamentary services, or he is witholding tax revenue by not declaring his status.

  • peterwn

    This raises an interesting issue. If a staffer is funded (say) 60% by Parliamentary Services and 40% by the Party, should the staffer do the 40% work from Fraser House or can the staffer remain at his desk in Parliament with overheads split 60/40. Would it be reasonable instead for the Party to pay Parliamentary Services for the marginal cost of light/ phones/ internet use etc. rather than 60/40.

    However it is questionable that administrative functions normally done in a party Head Office (eg receiving donations and maintaining the database) should be undertaken in Parliament at all.

    Similar situation with electorate offices. It seems churlish in a way they are not to be used for campaigning – in the 3 months before an election the MP might as well lock the door, cover the signage and tell the staffer to go on holiday. Perhaps parties could contribute say 5-10% to running these offices on the basis that some campaign use is inevitable.

  • tooright

    I think they should lock the door and ask the staff to go on leave. There is an argument where electrate offices are staffed as they are serving their electorate but there should be no List offices open at all. The electorate MP should have to warrant they have not conducted any party business on the premises or using parliamentary services staff and or resources. There are too many grey areas in this subject and it seems everytime there is an enquiry the MP is found to have transgressed (inadvertantly mind).

    Best to leave the temptation obvious and auditable.

  • overthehill

    Wow – Stuff (via NZPA) can’t even copy & paste accurately any more!
    “I have decided to withld the vast bulk of matel that I found, because I absolutely agree that as the law stands, everyy New Zealanr should be free to conibute to politl pares witht fear of their name being made public,” he said.

    Repeaters. It’s still illegal to hunt them, for some reason.

  • overthehill

    “I thought it impornt that New Zealanrs were made aware of the appalling treatnt that the Labour Party gave to people’s connal inforon through their wide open website.

    “Google and at least nine other bots (web robots) have archived matel on the same open Labour site that has been in the news this past week and my post on how this occurred has gened unanus conmon of Labour among the IT community.”

    WTF is ‘gened unanus conmon’? Is that like someone with their bum glued shut? Idiots – if you’re a ‘professional’ writer or repeater, learn how to spellcheck and proofread before sending copy for publication, you twats.