Whaleleaks – NZEI and Labour up a tree

Labour has been caught harvesting email addresses from a union’s protest to Parliament.

The addresses were collected from 20,000 postcards the New Zealand Educational Institute teachers’ union sent to Prime Minister John Key over early childhood education concerns.

Key refused to take the postcards so Labour MP Sue Moroney took them.

And without the sunlight of Whaleleaks we’d never know that Moroney either:

a) took the emails without authorisation, or,
b) the NZEI gave them to her willingly and knowingly.

Of course the plan was to make sure the people who shared their information with the union – would never know how Labour got their details.

NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter told members the postcards had been given in “good faith” and Labour was not allowed to use the information for other purposes. He said Labour was told the union was “very concerned” and demanded the emails be deleted.

Yesterday I released the email that Paul Goulter had sent out. He mentions that an email had already been sent by Labour. That email was from Phil goff and was about their asset sales campaign, a campaign that started well after the emails were harvested from the NZEI.

The text of that email and the delivery details are:

Stop asset sales email 1
Delivery Summary
Intended Recipients 6190
Succesful Deliveries 6190 (100.00%)
Forwards 0
Replies 0
Bounces 0 (0.00%)
Unsubscribe Requests 19 (0.31%)
Scheduled Date April 8th, 2011 2:41 PM
Status Complete
Start Date April 8th, 2011 2:44 PM
End Date April 8th, 2011 5:35 PM

Hi {contact.first_name}

National wants to sell our assets that previous generations have worked hard to build up. Last time National sold our assets they were bought up by foreign buyers. Power prices rose and billions of dollars in profits went offshore.

Under Labour there will be no asset sales. Our plan is to build up our assets so they’re part of growing the economy, and part of providing a secure future for you and all Kiwi families.

On Monday night in Auckland I launched Labour’s campaign to stop asset sales.

Over the coming weeks we’ll be ramping things up with billboards, fliers, signage and online activities – including a few things we haven’t tried before.

I’ll keep you up to date as things progress but I’m writing today to offer you the chance to be part of the campaign by sponsoring a ‘stop asset sales’ sign and to ask you to show your support for the campaign online too.

If you want Kiwi assets to stay in Kiwi hands please make a secure online donation right now:


Your donation will be put to immediate use in printing stop asset sales ‘stop signs’ which are showing up nationwide (check out the photos here: http://www.facebook.com/album.php?id=177063955675166&aid=35637). They’re a powerful way to spread the Stop Asset Sales message but we need your help to cover the country with them.

The signs cost $10 each to produce. Every extra one we have at our disposal is a great help to the campaign. Please consider sponsoring one or more by making a secure donation here:


If you support keeping Kiwi assets in Kiwi hands please also show your support on our Facebook page, make sure you follow the Stop Assets Sales campaign on Twitter and forward this email to a friend – these are highly effective (and free) ways of helping to spread this important Labour message.

Thanks again for getting behind the campaign to protect New Zealand’s assets.

Kind regards,

Phil Goff

Labour Leader

PS. Writing a letter to the editor is another easy way to express yourself on this issue.

If you’re able to write a few words right now please click here for a list of newspaper email addresses: http://labour.org.nz/letterwriting

To unsubscribe: {action.optOutUrl}


This email is referred to in the NZEI apology.

“Some sig­na­to­ries may have been sent this email in April.  Others of you may not have received anything.”

So Moroney’s follow up (the shorter list of names) sounds like the names of those who didn’t protest after receiving the first unsolicited email.

In other words, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED already.

The NZEI had just helped Sue Moroney recruit thousands of sympathisers on this single issue.

Quite apart from the egregious lies in the Phil Goff email, I’m also smirking at the line about the NZEI not being ‘affiliated’ with any political party.

This is of course complete rubbish – because the NZEI is affiliated with the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions, and the New Zealand Council of Trade Unions is, according to Wikipedia, closely affiliated with Labour.

Labour and the NZEI have some ‘splaining to do. Some questions that I want answered are:

  1. Did the union provide the harvested emails in electronic format to Labour?
  2. Did Labour harvest the emails themselves?
  3. Where was the harvesting done and by whom?
  4. Does Labour have any idea about spam laws?
  5. Will Labour destroy the harvested emails?

More to come on this later today, including the mail that Sue Moroney has yet to send to all those harvested email addresses.


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  • thor42

    Good stuff. I **love** seeing the unions squirm when they are busted like this…… ;)

  • thecelestialgardener

    Under NZ Spam laws (passed by Labour in 2007), political parties do not send spam because their messages are not commercial in nature.

    However, the transfer of email addresses from the NZEI to Labour may have potentially broken some laws, or transgressed some rules. The NZEI would be seen as a commercial organisation, and the collection of email addresses by the NZEI, then provided to Labour, might have broken a law.

    Here is some insight from the DIA:


    ‘Inferred consent’ in the context of supplying a business card primarily relates to the development of a relationship between the parties. Inferred consent would only apply if the electronic message sent specifically related to the relationship that had developed at the time a business card was supplied.

    For example, if A and B exchange business cards during a business type meeting, general consent would be inferred between A and B that they agree to receive electronic messages from each other that relate specifically to the meeting or generally to A and B’s business. The content of the information shared can be limited or extended by A and B (i.e. you build your consent according to what information you want to receive).

    It is unlikely that an intended outcome of a person handing out their business cards would directly lead to them receiving commercial electronic messages that in no way were attributable to the original circumstances where the cards were furnished.

    Which does sound a bit like whats happened here….

  • reid

    If Liarbore was a commercial company presumably Consumer Affairs would be pursuing a prosecution under the Fair Trading Act:

    An essential element of consumer law is protection of consumers and businesses from misleading and deceptive conduct, false representations and unfair business practices.

    Misleading and deceptive conduct and false representations are regarded by society as unjust and unacceptable. Such conduct can lead to detriment for consumers and honest businesses, can distort markets, and lead to breaches of contract…

    Consumers can be at a disadvantage due to a lack of adequate and accurate information about products and services they buy.

    Part 1 of the Fair Trading Act 1986 provides prohibitions against:
    misleading and deceptive conduct in trade, generally and in relation to goods, services and employment
    false or misleading representations
    referral selling
    misleading representations about certain business activities

    …for having said “make a secure online donation” not once but twice. Imagine if a commercial company offered that, under the technology which Liarbore was operating when that email was sent?

    I think the entire Liarbore Caucus should simply arrest and handcuff themselves and just wander down to Wgtn Central and hand themselves in for being complete incompetent mentals unfit to do anything at all except sit in a cell and just have a quiet think for awhile. Let’s hope one of them reads this and tells the others.

    • reid

      P.S. If they need any spare sets of handcuffs, I suggest have a look in Hulun’s old boxes of stuff down in the Parliamentary basement.

  • reid

    From the Herald link:

    NZEI national secretary Paul Goulter told members the postcards had been given in “good faith” and Labour was not allowed to use the information for other purposes. He said Labour was told the union was “very concerned” and demanded the emails be deleted.

    I wonder how that conversation went, this time last week…

    Paul: Phil? Paul here.

    Phil: Gidday Paul.

    Paul: So we’ve been caught, pantsed good and proper by that fat bastard.

    Phil: Yeah I know, lucky I wasn’t here so they couldn’t unfairly lay the blame on me, again.

    Paul: So of course we’re going to have to tell you off in public, I just wanted to give you a heads up and let you know of course this is all an act, it’s just we’re breaking the law you see if we don’t lie about it. Don’t FFS ever tell anyone I said that, will you. Anyway, you know the score.

    Phil: Of course I do, don’t worry about it, we lie all the time, when we break the law. Look what we did about that idiot Darren. Think I’ll ever have that little prick back? Fuck off. Anyway, do what you have to do but I’d be really grateful if you can find any way at all to shaft that wanker on behalf of the cause cos we can’t think of anything to do about it and it’d be really good if someone could do at least one little thing otherwise we’re totally fucked. I mean, our main source of funding just dried up cos of him, it’s tewwible. You just can’t imagine, and no-one likes me, either. It’s weally, weally bad for me at the mo Paul. I’m vewy vewy sad.

    Paul: Gees Phil, pull yourself together man. Don’t worry, I’ll compose a fiendishly clever email to completely deflate the issue, you’ll see, this will disappear over night and no-one will ever believe anything the little tosser ever says ever again ever. So there. Don’t worry mate, it’s all under control…

  • shgshg

    Suc­ces­ful Deliv­er­ies 6190 (100.00%)

    That by itself is enough to have me questioning the accuracy of the information. There’s no way in hell that a mailout to 6190 addresses had a 100% delivery rate. And remember we’re talking about addresses that people wrote down by hand on postcards, and which then had to be transcribed by some data entry volunteer and entered into the system.

    Not a single illegible address. Not a single typo. Not a single dummy address like “[email protected]”. Not a single expired domain. Not a single bounce from a commercial mailserver that identified the message as spam.

    A 100% delivery rate is so ridiculously unlikely that I’m calling bullshit.

    • Yes that is assuming that is how Labour got the emails. You see what they haven’t yet explained is why there were two csv files of ECE email addresses and who compiled those csv files.

      The addresses in both those file BTW are all pretty good in form. Most end in .school.nz

      • shgshg

        Oh yeah, no dispute there – that Labour obtained these addresses is super dodgy, and were this Australia there would be astronomical fines coming Labour’s way for breaching anti-spam laws.

        But the delivery report above also suggests that Labour hasn’t set up its delivery system properly (surprise) and the reports being generated contain bogus information. 100% success with no bounces, no forwards, and no replies is a clear sign that they’ve bought some bulk-emailing system and haven’t configured it properly. That also suggests that none of the emails are being tracked.