Paul Goldsmith

More apartheid on the way as only Maori can veto the name of a wine or spirit

This is the sort of stuff that costs governments support.

Maori are being given full control over the names of wines and spirits, says New Zealand First.

“This is utter lunacy. It is race-based decision making that could inhibit New Zealand producers’ ability to use their preferred branding,” says Primary Industries Spokesperson Richard Prosser.

“Maori are being handed special rights under new legislation that will allow them to object to proposed names associated with geographical features.

“New Zealand First decided to vote against the Geographical Indicators (Wine and Spirits) Amendment Bill because of this clause which required a newly set up Registrar of Geographical Indicators to consult a Maori advisory committee over wine and spirit labels that might cause offence.

“This clause turned the Bill which is otherwise non-controversial, into something untenable.  Read more »

Stuff the business backlash, the Commerce Commission is a joke

Richard Harman from Politik reports that big business is feeling a bit hurty over proposed changes to the Commerce Commission by Paul Goldsmith.

Though Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister Paul Goldsmith is playing it down, a Government review of competition law that he announced yesterday has the potential to make radical changes that could affect some of New Zealand’s largest companies.

Mr Goldsmith describes the review as a “health check” on the current law.

But accompanying documentation from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment says the current law, administered by the Commerce Commission.

The Ministry argues that it has not been working satisfactorily because it is:

  • failing to punish anti-competitive conduct by powerful firms and
  • too complex to allow for cost-effective and timely application,

Commenting on the announcement, the law firm Chapman Tripp, says the prospect of amendments to the Commerce Act will have implications for the commercial and compliance strategies of New Zealand’s most strategically important companies.

Read more »

Reader Content: A lesson in being stonewalled

by Rodney Hide

Whaleoil Readers may remember I have been trying to find out why the Insolvency and Trustee Service has had private investigators asking questions about my activities and movements.

My best mate Hendo is bankrupt — and they are investigating him; after all, everyone else has had a crack — but the Service has no power or authority to be investigating me.

My friends and colleagues have been detained without charge and compelled to give testimony by a Mr Dennis Parsons and a Ms Katherine Keneally from the firm Indepth Forensics Ltd. The two on behalf of the Official Assignee have hovered up information about me, my friends, my family, up to and including the health status of my mother- and father-in-law.

I am anxious to know what they want to know and why.  And why they have never approached me.

I have emailed and rung the Official Assignee Mandy McDonald to no avail. I have been to her Christchurch office to be told by Deputy Official Assignee Robyn Cox that she knows nothing of the investigation and that her staff were present at the interrogations only for the purpose of administering the oath.

She then called a security guard should I return. The security guard was employed for a week. I know because I took him coffee each morning with the promise I would be back the next day.

I have been to my local MP Nicky Wagner.  She secured me the Official Assignee’s assurance that I am not under investigation but this is patently untrue.

I have rung Indepth Forensics only to have them hang up and they refuse to answer my emails.   Read more »

Sledge of the Day

Paul Goldsmith takes a break from trying to stitch up the Auckland Mayoralty race to sledge out Denis O’Rourke.

It is right at the end (start at 1:48) and is utterly splendid.

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Labour’s Tony Milne Problem

The Labour Party has a really big problem.

It keeps selecting candidates that cannot win, even in seats that they should win.

The best example of this is Tony Milne in Christchurch Central.

Milne did the hard yards over the years, made all the right connections and was very, very close to former MP Tim Barnett.

The problem is that to win you actually need to be electable.

Milne was never electable. Unfortunately for Tony he has absolutely no presence. He is a midget that wears massive dark framed glasses and walks into a room and nobody notices him.

Check out Tony’s campaign video.

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Hooton on Labour’s skulduggery in Te Tai Tokerau

Matthew Hooton uses his NBR column to explain about David Cunliffe’s skullduggery in Te Tai Tokerau.

Less widely reported was Mr Key’s reference to the Maori Party. Like National voters in Epsom and Ohariu, the prime minister told those in the Maori electorates to back his support parties’ candidates.

This is a bit cheeky: National doesn’t run candidates in the Maori electorates because, theoretically, its policy is to abolish them (although it’s extremely doubtful Mr Key personally agrees, given his commitment to national reconciliation).

That’s why Mr Key’s nod to the Maori Party is so important. Under MMP, this election remains too close to call. For National to have a chance of a third term, Mr Key may well need Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell to retain Waiariki. Even more important is the result in Hone Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau electorate, which spans Cape Reinga to West Auckland.

Most commentators assume Mr Harawira is completely safe, especially now he has scored Kim Dotcom’s dosh. But that reveals they haven’t looked at the data very carefully.

Three years ago, Mr Harawira only sneaked back into parliament, beating Labour’s Kelvin Davis by a mere 1165 votes, 6% of those cast. Labour won the party vote easily, by 10%. For his part, Mr Harawira’s majority was well less than National’s party vote and also NZ First’s (see table below). Obviously, many National and NZ First voters backed the Maori Party’s candidate, while Green voters backed Mr Harawira.

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This time, the Maori Party has Te Hira Paenga as its candidate. He would make an excellent MP. A father of five, he has post-graduate qualifications and is assistant principal at Hato Petera College. Whatever: he should fall on his taiaha.  Read more »

List spots signal potential deals

Claire Trevett observes that National’s list spots reveal the intention behind National’s potential deals.

National has sent a clear signal it will do a deal in the Ohariu and Epsom electorates by ranking its candidates in those electorates in high list places.

The highest ranked non-MP is Brett Hudson, National’s new candidate in Ohariu. Ohariu is currently held by United Future leader Peter Dunne, one of the National Government’s support partners.

Prime Minister John Key is expected to announce next week whether he will guide National voters in Ohariu and Epsom to give their electorate votes to Mr Dunne and Act’s David Seymour in those electorates to try to ensure National has support partner options.

Mr Hudson is the only non-MP who is ranked above some sitting MPs, at 39th place on the list and on current polling is a certainty to get into Parliament.

Epsom candidate Paul Goldsmith is ranked at 30 – nine slots above his 2011 ranking.

Mr Key is also expected to decide whether to cut a similar deal in East Coast Bays.

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Hugging the corpse from National’s Epsom chair

It is my rule in politics to never hug a corpse…at least not publicly. People should keep their political necrophilia behind closed doors.

What a dumb move from a National Party officeholder to enthusiastically hug a rotting corpse, especially one who disgraced themselves and got the DCM from the highest levels of the party.

It is a great pity that Claudette has withdrawn her candidature, she is a fine person, extremely able and has done very well during her short time in the house.

Additionally Claudette has demonstrated very ably that National’s philosophies and support for individual responsibility and private enterprise are widely supported.

Haere Ra Claudette, all the very best for the future.

Tom Bowden

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Can Paul “Reek” Goldsmith ever be a Minister?

Claire Trevett delivered an awesome sledge last week, calling Paul Goldsmith “Reek” from the Game of Thrones.

For those who still don’t know who Reek is, he is a character (Theon Greyjoy) in the Game of Thrones who has his tackle chopped off and is tortured to the point of insanity.

The problem for Reek Goldsmith is not so much the pressure and bad publicity for taking a dive in Epsom. It is that he is dead set useless when put on the spot by the media.

Watch him gulp like a goldfish when asked a really simple question about running in Epsom and dodging a debate. This is a political train wreck. Despite Matthew Hooton’s best efforts it is hard to see John Key ever making Goldsmith a minister, because Reek has demonstrated how absolutely useless he is when under pressure.  Read more »

Reek Can’t Speak

The other day Claire Trevett wrote what was possibly the best political column I have ever seen.

In it she describes Paul Goldsmith to a tee.

In an eerie parallel with the current series of Game of Thrones, the 2014 election has also reached the stage in which the alliance of wildlings and giants are trying to breach the Wall led by Mance Rayder in the form of Kim Dotcom and his mammoths in the form of dollars.

The Houses of National and Labour are lining up their bannermen in the form of future coalition partners.

The price for the bannermen, of course, is that National must promise a castle as a reward for their fealty. Castle Epsom is already effectively promised to Act’s David Seymour, although Prime Minister John Key is yet to make the promised announcement of it. National’s candidate in Epsom, Paul Goldsmith, is again in the role of Reek – a candidate broken down to the point where he is effectively an obedient, submissive dog. With Epsom and Ohariu effectively done deals, that leaves National with the House of Conservatives to contend with.

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