Ross Robertson

Pandora’s Box is well open, Ross Robertson changes his story

Yesterday Ross Robertson was ‘mystified’ and today he, all of a sudden, has a little bit of memory recall.

Troubled National Minister Judith Collins has spoken of asking police questions for a colleague, amid concerns about those in the Beehive crossing the line in dealing with public servants.

Collins’ approach came on behalf of Labour MP Ross Robertson, whose daughter Lisa needed more time off her job as a police officer for athletic training.

Justice Minister Collins was speaking after the resignation of National Party colleague Maurice Williamson, after he contacted police on behalf of a National Party donor facing domestic violence charges.

Collins said Robertson asked for advice about leave entitlements for his daughter Lisa, then a police officer and aspiring Olympic runner, who wanted more time for training.

Collins, who was Police Minister at the time, said she then asked police officers visiting her office what Lisa Robertson should do. Officers responded by telling her the information was available online ? a fact she passed on to Robertson. ? Read more »

The sanctimony is astonishing

Labour and other other opposition parties are coming over all sanctimonious…Grant Robertson especially considering what he must know about Clark’s activities in hectoring Police while he was in her office.

Retired Police officers have called me about those carry ons and investigations are continuing on my part.

But Labour MP Grant Robertson says there’s a huge difference between that and telling police they better be on solid ground and that the person they’ve arrested has brought a lot of money into the country.

He says that sounds like a veiled threat and not behaviour one would expect of a Minister.

The opposition reckons Maurice Williamson lost his job because he was exposed and not because of any higher standards espoused by the Prime Minister

Mr Robertson believes Mr Williamson would still be in his job had the story not hit the media.

“The only reason he’s gone is because the National Minister’s been caught out.

Unfortunately for Grant Robertson they have now opened Pandora’s Box…expect multiple OIA requests to Police districts regarding communications by MPs across the political spectrum to Police about active investigations.

Labour too has their own little problem with Judith Collins revealing that Ross Robertson attempted to get her to intervene on behalf of his daughter…an event he conveniently forgets. I am sure a diary note exists of the approach, and the details are too specific for the Minister to have made that up. ? Read more »

Parliaments Five Biggest Troughers

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Here piggy, piggy, piggy

Just before easter MPs expense claims were released so no one would notice.

As expected Hone Harawira bludged the most, busy trying to secure funding for the Mana Party by arse kissing Kim Dotcom…problem is the big fella is out of cash…and nearly out of time.

Next in is Winston Peters, who?s elderly and bewildered?fan club around the country demand he visits them so they remember who he is when they enter the voting booth. ? Read more »

National’s renewal continues as Tau Henare says E noho r?

Tau Henare has announced his ?retirement from politics.

And Stuff reports:

Henare was first elected to Parliament in 1993 elections for New Zealand First in the former Northern Maori electorate.

He is currently chair of the Maori Affairs select committee and a member of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade committee.

This morning, Henare did not deny suggestions his hand was forced by the likelihood of him receiving a low list ranking going into the September election.

He told RadioLive he expected his list ranking in a National Party reshuffle would be “more than 100”.

Henare said it was his own decision and he was happy about it.

“Most probably, it doesn’t really matter. To me the decisions been made and I’m very very comfortable and relaxed about it,” he said.? Read more »

Vernon Small on Labour’s “issues”

Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.

Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.

?In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.

In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.

On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.

Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.

But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.? Read more »

[BREAKING] Labour man Daljit Singh convicted on two charges [UPDATED]

Word coming in is that Labour party candidate Daljit Singh has been convicted on two charges.

I will update details as they come in.

The NZ Herald is reporting:

Daljit Singh had pleaded not guilty to electoral fraud charges relating to the 2010 elections. Photo / Brett Phibbs

A Labour Party candidate in the first Super City elections has been found guilty of two counts of using forged documents but has been acquitted on the remaining 18 electoral fraud allegations he faced.

Daljit Singh has been on trial in the High Court at Auckland on 20 charges of using forged documents to increase his chances of winning a seat on his local board.

The jury of 11 returned their verdicts this afternoon after deliberating for nearly five days.

Six other men – Gurinder Atwal, Davinder Singh, Mandeep Singh, Virender Singh, Paramjit Singh and Malkeet Singh – also stood trial for electoral fraud, but on fewer counts.

Atwal was found guilty of 13 counts of using a forged document, Malkeet Singh was found guilty of six counts, and Virender Sing, Paramjit Singh and Mandeep Singh were each found guilty of one count.


Daljit Singh with Len Brown and Ross Robertson and Efu Koka

Daljit Singh with Michael Wood and Rajen Prasad

Read more »

Time for Labour to have a cleanout as well

Under Helen Clark there was almost no renewal…after 9 years of her government pretty much the same faces existed…then there were the 3 years of Phil Goff again with no renewal.

While National cut dead wood and encourages retirements Labour is looking like going into the next election with the same old tired faces.

Labour leader David Cunliffe has been crowing about the growing number of National MPs who have decided to stand down in 2014, likening it to rats deserting a sinking ship. Instead of seeking to make political capital out of his opponent’s obvious drive to bring in new talent at the next election, he would do better to follow suit and start sending the underperformers and time-servers in his own caucus the message that it is time to move on.

Rejuvenation is critical to all political parties. It allows them to bring in new blood to remain fresh in the eyes of voters. However, all too often it is not the parties themselves that do the job, but the electorate, via crushing defeats which see large numbers of sitting MPs turfed out of Parliament.

That is what is so significant about the rejuvenation underway in National. So far, seven of its 59 MPs – nearly an eighth of its caucus – have indicated they will not seek re-election, and there was talk last week that up to six more are considering whether to stand again. ? Read more »

Fun and Games start today

Tracy Watkins writes about the problems inside Labour’s caucus.

Labour’s public show of new-found unity could be just skin deep, with some fearing blood on the floor within days of the new leader taking office.

Frontrunner David Cunliffe could have an uphill battle winning over a hostile caucus after soundings confirm the bulk of the caucus remain behind Grant Robertson as leader.

One MP warned that if Cunliffe won, how he handled his first days in the job would be crucial: “I reckon we will know in the first week or so how it’s going to go. If he can’t bring the group together then he’s shot.”

One caucus source put the numbers at between 17 and 21 for Robertson, while Cunliffe is believed to have between 12 and 14. Rank outsider Shane Jones is believed to have only a handful of caucus votes despite being a big hit with the public after the party’s two-week leadership “primary”. Some MPs are being counted by all three camps, suggesting there has been horse trading.? Read more »

Judith Collins on Labour’s Man Ban

Judith Collins has used Facebook to discuss Labour’s Man Ban:

A little more on Labour’s Man ban. Labour’s Electorate selection panels are controlled by HQ – just ask David Benson-Pope what happened to him when his HQ wanted him gone and Clare Curran selected. They have 3 people on the panel. So HQ only needs 2 people voting for want it wants. The National Party, by way of contrast, has selections by 60 or more delegates, depending on the local electorate’s membership numbers. So, what Labour is now saying is that they:
1. don’t have faith that under Labour selections women will get selected and
2. don’t have faith that under Labour, their hand-picked 3 person selection panel will choose women.

Surely, the people of New Zealand have a right to expect that a party that sees itself as an alternative government will put more effort into selecting candidates who can represent people no matter what their gender. As an electorate MP, it would be bizarre if I felt that I could only represent the women in the Papakura electorate. Perhaps Labour’s wrong thinking is because so few Labour MPs – particularly women MPs represent electorates. In the Northern Region (Northland through to Auckland) there are 4 National women electorate MPs and no Labour women electorate MPs. In the Central North Island region, Labour holds no General Electorates. They now hold 2 Maori seats represented by women, Nanaia Mahuta, as MP for Tainui and Meka Whaititi for Ikatoa Rawhiti.

Annette King is the only Labour women electorate MP in Lower North Island.
In the South Island, there are currently 2 women electorate MPs in Canterbury : Ruth Dyson and Lianne Dalziel. The other woman Labour MP is Clare Curran for Dunedin South.? Read more »

Will Labour’s Man Ban affect Clayton’s prospects?

I’ve been thinking a little bit about Labour’s Man Ban rule changes.

They are designed to allow woman only selections in electorates in a bid to maintain or enhance the quota of women MPs for Labour.

This rule change is likely to come into effect prior to any selection battle for Christchurch East to replace Lianne Dalziel.

Lianne of course is a woman caucus member and so with the new rul in place it is conceivable that the party will need to hold a women only selection in order to maintain the current ratio of men to women.? Read more »