Talking of Corruption

September 21st, 2006 at 8:28 am by David Farrar

Let me quote the Electoral Act 1993:

[214B.Maximum amount of parties’ election expenses—

(2)In the case of a general election, the total election expenses of a party that is registered under Part 4 of this Act shall not,—

(a)If the party is listed in the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote, exceed $1,000,000 plus $20,000 for each constituency contested by a candidate for that party (which sum shall be inclusive of goods and services tax); and

(3)Every person who directly or indirectly pays or knowingly aids or abets any person in paying for or on account of any election expenses any sum in excess of the maximum amount prescribed by this section is,—

(a)If the act is done with knowledge that the payment is in excess of the maximum amount prescribed by this section, guilty of a corrupt practice; and

Now there is not a single independent authority who does not think spent more than the limit set down in the Electoral Act. And they were warned three times before the election that the pledge card had to be included.

So what is so outraegous about calling a spade a spade?

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100 Responses to “Talking of Corruption”

  1. Danyl Mclauchlan () says:

    DPF: So what is so outraegous about calling a spade a spade?

    Cullen: I am glad to say I have never seen a spade. It is obvious that our social spheres have been widely different.

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  2. Chris Auld () says:

    I think that the brand of the spade handle is a cancerous brand….. and I find it impossible to seperate the handle from the spade head.

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  3. sonic () says:

    Funny that you get all upset when Clark calls a spade a spade.

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  4. Sinner () says:

    Sonic

    the only thing we get upset about is that
    helen clark broke the westminster system when she did not immediatrly RESIGN when the chief electoral officer declared she was CORRUPT

    Quite why even Rodney can’t see this – I have no idea whatsoever.

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  5. sonic () says:

    Got a quote from the chief electoral officer using the word “corrupt”

    Thought not.

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  6. shane (korero) () says:

    perhaps the westminster system’s time has come and gone. in short, it does not work. if our mp’s resigned because they are corrupt. who would lead our country down the deep dark spiral of personal agendas, back stabbing, unsupported lying and so forth that provides a good, clear model for our youngsters as they get ready to infect the halls of power? you’re not trying to convince us that the morally inept are any better than the machiavellian are you? if i have learnt anything, it’s that “meaningful change will never happen, while the salaries of the rich and powerful depend on the status quo.”

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  7. innocentIII () says:

    guilty of a corrupt practice when of course proved in a Court of Law. In relation to the pledge card no one has been convicted. In the absence of a conviction it’s all just opinion.

    The allegations of corruption are more generalised and are being levelled against the Labour Party as a whole. Again the legal treatment of the pledge card under the Electoral Act could have been determined conclusively. Similarly with the activities of the Exclusive Brethren.

    Regarding the lawfulness of the parliamentary spend, if indeed this spending is unlawful and that equals corruption (because all the Parties were pre warned and therefore knowingly spent their allocation on electioneering) then only being a little corrupt (and repaying) is like being a little bit pregnant – it doesn’t remove the corruption.

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  8. ross () says:

    Sonic said: “Got a quote from the chief electoral officer using the word ‘corrupt’. Thought not”.

    Got a quote from the chief electoral officer saying that Helen’s actions were not corrupt? Thought not.

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  9. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    innocentIII – the actions of the Exclusive Brethren could not have been determined to be corrupt – they were merely potentially illegal (i.e. arguably a breach of s 221A of the Electoral Act, being “an illegal practice”).

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  10. Jordan () says:

    Nobody was convicted of breaching the Electoral Act.

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  11. Murray () says:

    You know the only good thing about yappy little dogs is that you can actually get them airborne when you kick them.

    Give it some thought sonic.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    You’re right Jordan.

    Whilst I believe that Labour did overspend at the last election, and did so knowingly, no-one was convicted.

    I’d also take issue with this statement of DPF’s:

    “Now there is not a single independent authority who does not think Labour spent more than the limit set down in the Electoral Act.”

    By quoting this statment of DPF’s:

    “But this is a key thing to remember – there was no actual investigation into the S214B complaint. Or if there was there is no record of it.”

    The Police are an independant authority – they did not conclude Labour had overspent.

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  13. Nicholas O'kane () says:

    The reality is the actions of the Labour party are corrupt hypocritical liars. They have the audacity to fund their election campaign out of my taxes, refuse to pay the money back, when put in court by Darnton criticize Darnton for getting funds from others while funding her defence using my taxes,attack nationals anonymous donations while refusing to pay the pledge card money back, complain about Nationals cash for policies after winning an election with massive bribes (e.g intrest free stujdent loans) funded from my taxes, attacked Don Brash as cancerous after complaining about the gutter politics, and many more things. They are unfit to lead this country. When they get voted out in 2008 Helen Clark might not have much difficulty finding a new job in Mugabes cabinet.

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  14. george () says:

    What is disturbing to myself and others, Graeme, is that the independant authority tasked with investigating the the overspending appears to have taken an easy way out.

    The perception that the upper echelons of the Police have been cowed is rampant. This is not a good thing. Many have lost their lives, their health, and their well-being in Police service in this country. Morale is paramount in service.

    If the public do not trust the law applying equally to all; if they [rightly or wrongly] regard the upper echelons as being perfumed princes or horse-holders for a political party it can only lead to further disrespect for frontline police. The mana of the force must be maintained at all costs, even political disfavour.

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  15. culma () says:

    Murray – if you can achieve that with a small dog, just imagine what you could do with a HEDGEHOG.

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  16. Redbaiter () says:

    Mr. Edgeler makes an important point. If there is corruption, why isn’t anybody facing charges? If there is corruption, shouldn’t there be a prosecution underway? Why is this not happening? It can only mean one of two things- a) there is no corruption or b) the Justice system is corrupt to.

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  17. Redbaiter () says:

    Wow, what’s going on Sonic?? This post has been here for 15 minutes now and no half smart infantile follow up from you? I even left you an opening by misspelling ‘too’. How could you let an opportunity like that slip by.. I mean, when it comes to arguing your case, you commies are usually so on to it..

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  18. culma () says:

    Red – his mother found him on the computer again and has sent him to his room.

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  19. innocentIII () says:

    Graeme

    Yes you are referring to the authorization statement issue. I was referring to the Labour Party allegation that the Exclusive Brethren activities were done with the authority of the National Party and attributable to National as an election activity and therefore an expense.

    There is another interesting issue is about section 214B(3)(a) of the Electoral Act 1993 relating to the pledge cards. The Parliamentary Services Commission is a corporation and legally responsible for the spending irrespective of what Heather Simpson did or did not do. Should the prosecution more accurately be taken against the Commission?

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  20. belt () says:

    Heh… I know you like Dibert DPF, so this seemed relevant from today’s post at dibertblog.

    You can only explain so many times why everyone else is wrong before you have to accept that the problem is on your end

    HAHAHAHAAAAAAAAAAA!

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  21. virginblogger () says:

    nice one belt :)

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  22. side show bob () says:

    I wonder if a member of the public was up on a charge as outlined in 3a, if is went to court what would their sentence be?. There are probably some high up in the labour party that should answer charges. Would a member of the public get away with breaking the law so blatantly, bloody doubt it.

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  23. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    innocentiii (are they ‘i’s or ‘L’s?) – no. A prosecution for an illegal practice for the improper authorisation of the pledge cards is not about who paid for them, but who is responsible for their distrubtion.

    Further, I believe the Chief Electoral Officer looked at whether the any of the EB spending was or should be attributable to National, and determined it wasn’t – therefore there being so little evidence of a corrupt practice on National’s part that it wasn’t even sent to the police.

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  24. ross () says:

    Jordan said: “Nobody was convicted of breaching the Electoral Act”.

    OJ Simpson wasn’t convicted either – the system works well, eh?

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  25. Nicholas O'Kane () says:

    The reality is Labour broke the law, and deserves to get punished for it. If they don’t get punished in court they will in 2008.

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  26. innocentIII () says:

    Graeme

    Its actually the third but you can call me Lotario :)

    The view of the Chief Electoral Officer on whether the Exclusive Brethren were acting as an agent for National (by acting with their authority) is no more determinative than his opinion that the pledge card is an electoral activity of Labour and therefore an expense. I must say I am a bit alarmed at his view that the content of the Brethren pamphlets determines the authority question – although their dopy behaviour in asking him about how they should behave to ensure their spend did not impact on National might have helped form his view on this.

    The basic point remains is that the pledge card and the Brethren pamphlets could have been considered in an electoral petition although I acknowledge that the method of determining these issues via petitions against electorate candidates is problematic when one is actually trying to get the Court to consider party activities. However the Electoral Act as currently drafted says this is the ONLY method for questioning an election. Thus it is likely that the High Court would take a liberal view about the form of the cause of action.

    I do believe that disputes around elections should be dealt with at the time of the election and not a year later. The Electoral Act has tight time limits for that purpose. Now all we are left with is allegation and counter allegation without any legal means for determining the point.

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  27. gd () says:

    The Court of public opinion is often much more astute than the Court of Law.Public opinion doesnt get boundup and constipated about the placement of commas and full stops. Its takes account of the whole picture not one small part.Lets see what the findings of this Court are in the coming days.

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  28. InnocentIII () says:

    Gd

    Well of course public opinion on these matters and on other matters will have its will at the next election. We don’t want to get ‘too Thai’d’ over all this corruption speak.

    Helen’s real crime is to have no programme and to be outta steam. That is why this matter currently dominates. The challenge for National is to develop one that at least some of the minor parties can sign up with in part, and then to go out and get a mandate for it.

    And the Court might just make a determination over the legality of pledge cards.

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  29. sonic () says:

    Poor Murray, he seems to be unaware that playing the internet hardman went out of style many years ago.

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  30. culma () says:

    All this talk of corruption – Labour put the money back into the NZ taxpayers accounts, and if you are proven to be right by the NZ legal system at a later date you can have it back.

    Can’t be any fairer than that.

    Notice Goff and Maharey are very quiet at present, you think they’d both be pushing to get this sorted before taking over the reigns.
    This is the last thing they’d want as a new Labour party leader in opposition, to be saddled with a large debt from the previous administration.

    With friends that would do this to you who needs enemies.

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  31. gd () says:

    Given the Greens Maori Party and Nats have paid the money back am I right in thinking the Socialists dont have the numbers to pass retro legislation. What are the numbers?

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  32. Murray () says:

    Hardman? You amusing little spiky rodent.

    Seriously do you have anything that isn’t yap yap yap yap?

    I’m thinking trebuchet and a game of “super-sonic” is the way to go. Get the grown ups some peace and quiet round here.

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  33. sonic () says:

    Murray thinks he is a grown-up.

    How cute!

    Go on, tell us another one of your funny little jokes wee man.

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  34. culma () says:

    sonic/Cadmus/ whoever you are – behind a keyboard you may have visions of grandeur, but spinning shit as you do is just annoying. Some of us indulge you but soon you won’t get responses as it is bloody difficult replying to dribble.

    Why not jump back over the red side of the fence and discuss those things that excite lefties with Brown and co, this way you can live out the rest of your miserable existence surrounded by intellectuals on a par with yourself.

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  35. dad4justice () says:

    And when you jump back over the red fence I hope you can manage to get a spade dirty and dig the vege garden. The compost that flows from your gob in buckets of dribble would be good for the spuds.

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  36. sonic () says:

    Yes whatever chaps, if you ever have an actual point feel free to actually post it.

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  37. culma () says:

    How many rooms available @ Chateau poTaito Phillip Field in his polynesian resort for rent these Xmas holidays.

    Looking at the layout of the place, looked quite well catered for – total solar system, the rain recycling unit will be standard though, looking at the 3 x 30,000 litre tanks behind the house, she looks well set up alright, to bad none of those in south Auckland that paid for it will ever get a chance to stay there. They may get to peer through the 8 foot fences at it when in Samoa visiting relatives.

    I’d love it if I could afford a house in NZ that had some of these features, but alas I am not one of Helen’s chosen few.

    Shit – he’s sitting on his fat ass and still getting paid for it, sorry but this is crap.

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  38. candida () says:

    Redbaiter, Sonic had to slip out to WINZ to pick up his weekly cheque. That is why he was offline.

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  39. sonic () says:

    Candida, that was funny.

    You should get an agent mate.

    Why sit around handling yourself.

    xxx

    S

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  40. MCMC () says:

    OJ Simpson wasn’t convicted either – the system works well, eh?

    OJ Simpson breached the Electoral Act?

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  41. candida () says:

    Hey Sonic. You back eh? Have you bought your 6-pack yet?

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  42. sonic () says:

    Truly hilarious Candida, you should give up the day job and go professional!

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  43. candida () says:

    Something you may not understand. Nats have jobs, earn money and pay taxes. Labour steals our money/taxes and uses it to buy votes, like yours.

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  44. sonic () says:

    Yes Candida that’s right, it’s all a plot by us evil leftists to STEAL YOUR MONEY.

    Just wait until we get the gulag set up…

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  45. candida () says:

    Fact or Fiction? It is only the Labour Party who now refuses to repay the money?

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  46. culma () says:

    Candida – I think you can lump the lapdog in with that as well.

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  47. candida () says:

    Be a man and answer the question

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  48. candida () says:

    Be a man and answer the question

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  49. sonic () says:

    I’d rather be a hedgehog that a yeast infection…

    Sorry don’t know what brought that to mind Mr Candida.

    Do you have any real points to make or should we just finish this childish bickering?

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  50. candida () says:

    You have obviously learnt from Helen, never let the facts spoil a good arguement. When confronted with facts, resort to baffle blah-blah-blah.

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  51. sonic () says:

    So finish the bickering? good call.

    Lets leave it there.

    xxx

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  52. candida () says:

    Hey, are you a guy or a gal? You sent me kisses and that makes me nervous

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  53. culma () says:

    candida – he sends kisses to everyone he’s a leftie, that’s the way these days.

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  54. Sam () says:

    The problem of partisan-blinkered views is well summed up by George Orwell in “Notes on Nationalism”. In particular, in the section entitled ‘Indifference to Reality’ he outlines how people are able to support actions made by one side and not the other – eg:

    “A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage — torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians — which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by “our” side. The Liberal News Chronicle published, as an example of shocking barbarity, photographs of Russians hanged by the Germans, and then a year or two later published with warm approval almost exactly similar photographs of Germans hanged by the Russians. ”

    Here’s a link – it makes interesting reading, and is applicable in this instance as it is in the instance for which it is written…

    http://mural.uv.es/martete/nationalism.html

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  55. Joey () says:

    It’d be nice if anyone had a response to DPF’s on-point post other than playground bickering and off-topic rambling.

    Just a thought.

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  56. exocet () says:

    Honestly, why does anyone bother debating with Labourbots like sonic?.

    You won’t change it’s mind, it’s programming is too deep.

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  57. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    “It’d be nice if anyone had a response to DPF’s on-point post other than playground bickering and off-topic rambling.

    Just a thought.”

    I thought we had. Among the on point points made were:

    Labour was not convicted.
    The Police did not find a prima facie case of overspending.
    The Police did not find a prima facie case of knowing overspending.
    National could have filed an electoral petition but did not.

    We could also add (to refute that implied point that is repeatedly made, if not by DPF, then by others in the ‘blogosphere and in his comments threads that four bodies have found the spending illegal). The Auditor-General, another independent authority, has not found Labour breached the electoral spending cap either.

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  58. The Swift Man () says:

    I watched for the first time, John Campbell on 3.
    Is this man a complete fool and is this the standard of journalism in NZ? The guys a complete f*wit, exceeded only by those who watch his program each night. This fellow would interview Saddam and Mother Teresa and suggest there was no difference ’cause they both oversaw death.
    My God, is this what our taxes for education have bought?

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  59. iiq374 () says:

    Graeme – about those “on topic points”

    Labour was not convicted. Because they were never prosecuted

    The Police did not find a prima facie case of overspending. Ahh – you might want to revist that – they did.

    The Police did not find a prima facie case of knowing overspending. Due to insufficient evidence

    National could have filed an electoral petition but did not. Because the time was out by the time the police revealed they weren’t going to prosecute the prima facie case

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  60. heathcote () says:

    Didn’t watch him, the Helen and Don show was on Closeup after all.

    I regard Campbell’s show like I do Shortland St. Tried to watch it once, but have never given it a second go.

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  61. burt () says:

    IIQ

    Must you inject facts into the mix. Ruins a damn good story.

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  62. SPC () says:

    iiq

    Some people have been assuming guilt, as if there had been a presecution and conviction.

    (The Police did not find a prima facie case of overspending.}

    “Ahh – you might want to revist that – they did.”

    This being dependent on PS spending being counted as campaign spending. The AG has now decided (against an earlier opine) not to find the Green PS on the Green Times to be campaign spending.

    (The Police did not find a prima facie case of knowing overspending)

    “Due to insufficient evidence”

    Given how uncertain the PS spending component determination of campaign funding is, the AG going through a review of this now, there is every reason to appreciate why the police decided this way.

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  63. gary () says:

    David has left out an important paragraph from the Electoral act 1993

    214B Maximum amount of parties’ election expenses

    (1) Subject to this section, in this Act,—

    election activity, in relation to a party that is registered under Part 4,
    means an activity—

    (a) which is carried out by the party or with the party’s authority; and

    …by the party or with the party’s authority….

    This must exclude the Unions advertising, which is included as in the ‘return’ of labours spending, since it encourage people to vote for them but isnt included when defining corrupt or illegal practice

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  64. burt () says:

    SPC

    Application of a simplistic snippet of legislation like that would also exclude any conniptions about the EB advertising. Bring it on.

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  65. burt () says:

    Apologies SPC

    That is…

    gary,

    Application of a simplistic snippet of legislation like that would also exclude any conniptions about the EB advertising. Bring it on.

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  66. Graham Miller () says:

    I nominate Gary for our next A-G.

    Clearly he’s come to the conclusion that it’s possible to drive a horse and cart through the legislation… depending on who’s riding in the carriage?

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  67. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    iiq374:
    Yes they were never prosecuted for corruption, however, I fail to see how one can leap from this statement to the conlusion that they are corrupt. You (I hope) have never been prosecuted for burglary – therefore you’re a burglar?

    Now I think the police were completely wrong to not conclude there was a prima facie case of overspending, but I really don’t think they did conclude there was a prima facie case.

    “Due to insufficient evidence” – well yes. If someone is innocent (which I’ll reiterate I don’t believe Labour was) there is usually insufficient evidence.

    Burt:
    “Given how uncertain the PS spending component determination of campaign funding is, the AG going through a review of this now, there is every reason to appreciate why the police decided this way.”

    No there is not. Even if the PS spending rules specifically allowed for spending of PS funds on electioneering that spending could still not go over the cap.

    Gary:
    “David has left out an important paragraph from the Electoral act 1993 …

    by the party or with the party’s authority….

    This must exclude the Unions advertising, which is included as in the ‘return’ of labours spending, since it encourage people to vote for them but isnt included when defining corrupt or illegal practice”

    No he hasn’t. The union advertising that was included in the Labour return is that union advertising that had the authority of the Labour Party.

    Union advertising that did not have the agreement of the Labour Party was not included in Labour’s return.

    Labour, having approved the advertising was required to include it in its return and that amount would count toward the total if an overspending charge was brought.

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  68. SPC () says:

    Given how uncertain the PS spending component determination of campaign funding is, the AG going through a review of this now, there is every reason to appreciate why the police decided this way.

    “No there is not. Even if the PS spending rules specifically allowed for spending of PS funds on electioneering that spending could still not go over the cap.”

    I, “SPC”, was not referring to PS spending included in the campaign spending, BUT PS spending that was NOT included in the campaign spending.

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  69. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Seen the front page of today’s Herald, SPC – the story headlines ‘That’s not true, says official to Clark’?

    MONEY QUOTE:
    Auditor-General Kevin Brady has contradicted the Prime Minister’s claim that he backs Labour’s plan to pass a backdated law validating unlawful spending in last year’s election campaign.

    In a rare move, Mr Brady yesterday denied Helen Clark’s suggestion that he had privately told an unnamed party leader that this was the course to take.

    “I would never say that,” Mr Brady said when contacted by the Herald.

    “That’s not my decision to make, or even get involved in.”

    He acknowledged retrospective legislation was an option, but said he had no view on what should happen.

    “I don’t even have that view, let alone would say it.”

    Helen Clark’s office last night stood by her claim, and said Mr Brady’s denial was “completely contrary” to what she had been told by a party leader, whom she refused to name [emphasis mine].
    END QUOTE

    Full story at http://www.nzherald.co.nz/section/story.cfm?c_id=1&ObjectID=10402462

    So, if Helen Clark doesn’t like being called ‘corrupt’ how does she like being called a liar? It’s not too complicated: Clark and Brady can’t both be telling the truth, and it’s time for her start outing these ‘credible persons’ who keep getting contradicted by people who are willing to talk on the record.

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  70. Anon () says:

    Page A7 of the Herald is worse for Clark. It shows Parliamentary Services thought the spending was unlawful and tried to avoid paying for it, but Heather Simpson bullied them into paying the money, telling them to shut up and stop asking questions.

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  71. iiq374 () says:

    Graeme –
    I was pointing out to your summary of facts that you had summarised incorrectly.

    I never said that Labour was guilty because they had never been prosecuted, but that they could not have been convicted because they were not prosecuted. Both sides of the argument seem to then be misrepresenting that point.

    Sorry I truncated the statement “Due to insufficient evidence of knowledge”. They did conclude that they were guilty of overspending, but did not find evidence of knowledge. Which personally given the specific directives given to Labour by the AG and the Electoral Commission
    before the election just shows incompetence and an unwillingness to look – but yes that is a different point…

    I note you didn’t try to defend your forth point, which was also especially weak given that Labour had already been referred to the Police by the Electoral Commission, why would they have thought an electoral petition was necessary?

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  72. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    iiq374 – are you sure the police found a pf case of overspending? I really thought it was something they basically ignored.

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  73. Kent Parker () says:

    I’m beginning to agree with Hide’s opinion on this matter:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3804760a11,00.html

    If Labour is corrupt for overspending, then so is National to the tune of $10,000. Given the nature of some of the governments in the world, notably Africa, it seems a bit over the top and rendering the word meaningless to call Labour corrupt on the basis of election miss-spending.

    This is the same kind of foot-in-mouth characteristic that saw Brash criticize HC’s disrespect for the institution of marriage while all along he has been a philanderer.
    If anything it is a reflection of the complete dearth of relevant and useful material that Brash is able to bring to the table. Within a few weeks no doubt he will be doing the flip flop jandal thingy on his recent supposedly irreversible remarks about ‘corruption’.

    Yawn.

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  74. The Swift Man () says:

    I’ve tracked Sonic down using the latest IP detection software and sent a private detective around. Sonic lives in a state house on a benefit as well as collecting the dole. The house is festooned with images of kkkarl Marxxx, John ‘Lenin’ and Che Guavara. Sonic dropped out of school at 6 as ‘the revolution would look after him forever’. He is 200 lbs overweight from lack of exercise and when not posting to Farrar’s page he reads Donald Duck comics. He is constantly preening in front of a mirror. An old, tattered and VERY sticky Pentouse (March 1986) is a treasured possession. In the background is an endless ‘La Internationale’. He’s even too lazy to breed. GO GET A JOB SONIC AND LEAVE THE PRODUCTIVE PEOPLE ALONE!

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  75. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    Kent – no. Labour overspent by $400k+.

    National underspent by $100k+.

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  76. sonic () says:

    I think “the swift man” needs to get out more.

    xxx

    S

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  77. Kent Parker () says:

    Graeme,

    Kent – no. Labour overspent by $400k+.

    National underspent by $100k+.

    So if that is the situation, then why did National pay back $10,000 ‘corruptly’ obtained?

    I think that Brash is going to turn a situation that should be to his advantage into a disaster for National if he continues down this path. As one observer noted he has an immense ability for plucking defeat from the jaws of victory. He has completely destroyed the illusion that he doesn’t take part in personality politics so now he is just another politician the same as the rest.

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  78. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    Kent you stated: “If Labour is corrupt for overspending, then so is National to the tune of $10,000.”

    This is wrong. Labour overspent the electoral cap, and National did not.

    If you had stated: “If Labour is corrupt for misusing its leaders fund, then so is National to the tune of $10,000″ I would not have disagreed with you.

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  79. Kent Parker () says:

    Graeme,

    This is wrong. Labour overspent the electoral cap, and National did not.

    If you had stated: “If Labour is corrupt for misusing its leaders fund, then so is National to the tune of $10,000″ I would not have disagreed with you.

    So what you are saying is that it is not clear cut. In which case there are screeds of often conflicting regulations to pore over and hours of deliberations to go through before anything can be known for sure. National is taking a gamble crying ‘corruption’. If it pays off it pays off, it if doesn’t, bring out the coffins. Most likely nothing definite will come of it except greater scrutiny next election. Meanwhile the electorate is much more concerned about things other than a mere $400,000 of government money falsely spent. Alas, $67 million is about to be spent on reducing obesity. Let’s get things in perspective.

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  80. Insolent Prick () says:

    Kent,

    To act corruptly, a political party has to spend money with the intention to breach the spending cap.

    When a Party misallocates $10,000 of parliamentary services funding on its campaign, as National did, it’s clear that mistakes were made at the very least. Given that different people control the expenditure during an election campaign–individual National MPs controlling their Parliamentary Services spending, versus the Party organisation controlling campaign expenditure, it is feasible that from time to time mistakes will be made. The Auditor-General identified $10,000 from National as unlawful. National paid it back, as it should.

    Labour spent $800k+ of Parliamentary services funding on its campaign unlawfully. This was signed off by one person–the PM’s chief of staff. It is possible that Labour could have spent perhaps $50,000 unlawfully, but accidentally. But $800k+ of mis-spending cannot be a mistake. It’s quite reasonable to believe that misallocating $800k+ of parliamentary services funding requires a *deliberate* plan to break the law.

    Labour says there was confusion. We now know that to be a lie. Heather Simpson, who approved the expenditure, was given clear instructions by the Auditor-General before the election as to what would and would not be acceptable use of parliamentary services funding. She ignored Brady’s instructions, and spent the money anyway.

    And that is corrupt.

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  81. Kent Parker () says:

    IP,

    I am sure that you are wishing with all your heart that the courts see it as clear cut as you do.

    Best of Luck

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  82. Graeme Edgeler () says:

    “So what you are saying is that it is not clear cut. In which case there are screeds of often conflicting regulations to pore over and hours of deliberations to go through before anything can be known for sure. National is taking a gamble crying ‘corruption’.”

    No. Labour’s corrupt overspending is entirely clear cut.

    Labour’s allegedly corrupt mis-spending is not clear cut.

    I note that I don’t believe DPF has ever accused Labour of being corrupt for mis-spending. Merely for over-spending, and for refusing to pay back any amount that might have been found to have been mis-spent.

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  83. David Farrar () says:

    Graeme has it right. Howeever even the mis-spending is not looking that good for Labour. It it turns out they acted against PS advice and had to instruct PS to pay the bill, then that changes things considerably.

    I ran into an MP 10 minutes ago in the Akl Koru Club and asked him if he had ever had to write such a letter to PS to get them to pay a bill. He confirmed this he had never had such a requirement.

    This is one of the few times I regret the PS does not come undre the OIA.

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  84. peterquixote () says:

    during and emotional week when the centre right has an opportunity to bring down helengradhell
    rodney hide wimp poof says he dont think helen corrupt at all, thankd poodf rodnet,

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  85. SPC () says:

    Craig

    There is of course another answer.

    Of course the AG has mentioned to some party leaders disputing his findings that validating legislation is an option for those parties upset at the final report.

    Some of them may have wished to hear in this support for that course and then passed on the “good news” to others. Who can only go on what they are told.

    The difference between this and the Davis allegations, is that we know the people (the AG and someone, not Helen or Donald, who leads a party) and the circumstance involved and that it took place.

    To infer that the PM has lied or because of what she has said is as credible as people want it to be. The media will spin it to make a story and leave people of prejudice to suppose about it all.

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  86. SPC () says:

    On the subject of “hearsay” Donald Brash heard in a private to parties initial report, the possibility he “might” be able to call Labour corrupt.

    ["National says it is justified in using the word corruption because under electoral law breaching campaign spending caps is termed a "corrupt practice".
    Labour used Parliamentary Service money to fund the pledge card and this now being classed as campaign spending takes them over the spending cap. National says this makes the allegation correct."]

    The problem is that the charge of corruption is just that, only an allegation – one totally reliant on the AG finding the PS funding to be election funding. The final report is not out.
    The audit process being two way and involving managing an equity across parties (keeping it all in some balance), is always somewhat changeable.

    One could say it is a multi-layered court process going through lower to higher courts on a constant appeal process.

    To gamble one’s credibility on the AG sustaining an initial line when most other parties have questions about it, was a last chance last dance play.

    While the National party, flush with anonymous donations money in 2005, may have pushed for a tougher line on PS spending in 2005 – they had to convince other parties as much as the AG for it to be of some consensus.

    And as we now know, one party leader finds the word corrupt, to be over the top, even if the misspending allegation is sustainable. And another party, while prepared to accept the final report, is not happy about how the lack of clarity and the lack of consensus – the apparent confusion of it all.

    In retrospect, it seems this has resulted from
    1. a close election, which placed pressure on the process
    2. an election where one party had an advantage with anonymous funds and thus wanted a tougher line on PS.

    Thus some “assessed” overspending, based on an inclination to take a tougher line on PS spending (which seems to have caught some parties out).

    If the AG places some of Labour’s
    PS spending as a means of communicating government policy to the voter, rather than a campaigning activity (as he did with the Green Times issued during the campaign period), then there may be no election overspending by Labour and no misuse of PS money either.

    Labour’s “problem”, is that they used the card in 1999 (Leaders Fund?) to communicate their opposition proposals for government and there is a contuining party brand to the method of communication. If the 1999 card was pre campaign period issued, this might help them (I don’t recall).

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  87. SPC () says:

    To question certain statements made above

    Labour would only have overspent the CAP, IF the PS spending IS assessed as campaign funding.

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  88. Craig Ranapia () says:

    SPC:

    Heroic spin effort from a valiant Labour hack, but you did dodge the question quite elegantly. Why won’t Helen Clark disclose the name of this ‘party leader’ whose reported conversation with Kevin Brady was explicitly contradicted by the other party? Could it be that s/he might not respond well to direct questioning on the record, or is Clark just making it up?

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  89. SPC () says:

    It’s my guess that the PM knows that the minor party leader concerned probably wanted to hear what they read into it. She can thus use what was said to her, to soften up the public for the said option.

    PS – anything not party line National here, is seen as that of a Labour party hack (and no you are not seen as a Labour party hack) – I merely admit voting Labour on one occasion so far – 1999 (1/4 so far).

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  90. SPC () says:

    But why embarrass the leader concerned, especially when their vote may be required for the validating legislation? And even if not, quoting the other leader strengthens the cause for that vote by the others.

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  91. Craig Ranapia () says:

    SPC:

    Wait a moment, how could it ‘embarrass the leader concerned’? If s/he believes the comment accurately reflected a conversation with Brady, and it was in no way improper to dislose that conversation to the Prime Minister, shouldn’t there be no need for this secrecy. Isn’t it just common sense and simple decency that party leaders should be open and transparent about their dealing with a senior officer of Parliament, especially when that officer is publicly contradicting what they’ve supposedly said?

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  92. Kent Parker () says:

    I don’t believe that Brash is in a strong position to be calling the leader of the opposition corrupt. He is not known for his political nouse and the public is not going to take this accusation as seriously as they might if it was made by someone like John Key or Bill English. He is essentially corroding the credibility of all politicians something which people like Hide are starting to take exception to. We are lucky in NZ that our system is relatively free of graft and corruption, so to try and pin the ‘c’ word on election overspending is really over he top.

    Lets get real, the court will never find anything more than that Labour exploited a loophole in the same way that people like Brash do when they practice tax avoidance. The result of the expensive Darnton trial will be that the rules will be made clearer next time and everyone will be watching closely. The main disadvantage to Labour of this accusation is that it is hastening Brash’s inevitable disappearance down the sinkhole to be replaced by someone with more kudos who represents a real threat to Labour.

    The so called clarity of this corruption is muddied further by the guidelines the auditor general used in assessing election spending. The Greens disputed the amount they were assessed to have overspent because expenditure made within 3 months of the election is considered election spending, and given that the date of the election is not known within three months, that makes this rather hard to judge and control. It is clear that the auditor has taken an extreme interpretation of the regulations and has had to start backtracking. This is a process that HC attempted to accelerate with her recent ‘He says’ claims. I believe she will eventually succeed, to the satisfaction of the media and the public and this headache will go away.

    I agree with SPC. I voted National all my life. I used to dislike HC, but she has impressed me with her leadership. Meanwhile National has failed to grasp the meaning of MMP and still thinks that it is the natural party for government despite 7 years in opposition. Apart from the latter, it is hard to figure what the National Party represents anymore. Over the three years between the 2002 and 2005 elections we watched in amusement as National Party policies moved further and further to the right at the behest of the media as they drove Don Brash to find something to mark the National Party out as significantly different from the Labour Party. Brash dutifully followed as is his want, and wheeled out a whole lot of policies that then got trashed at the election and which he has since gone all flippy floppy on.

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  93. Kent Parker () says:

    The real issue here is lack of substance in a Brash led National party. Making hysterical allegations usually represent the last straw in the camel’s back. If the DPF-O-Meter measures Clark’s ‘corrosive’ comments to be a sign of ‘losing it’ then the same must be happening to Brash:
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/0,2106,3806060a11,00.html

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  94. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Kent:

    Nice attempt to jack the thread, but nobody’s playing. Now, do you care to respond to the matter SPC and I have been talking about, or is it weapon of mass distraction time again?

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  95. Kent Parker () says:

    Bugger,

    Caught out again!

    I can only reiterate what SPC has been saying: that the only person calling this event ‘corruption’ (apart from DPF and a few others) is Brash, and that it is a great risk to take what is only an allegation and hold onto it so tightly. It is going to be a distraction for Brash to do so and may well destroy his career as the human shield for the National Party. Basically I don’t think anything will come of this ‘corruption’ allegation. I have yet to find a commentator who is prepared to take it any more seriously than Brash takes his marital fidelity.

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  96. Craig Ranapia () says:

    Kent:
    *yawn* Finished trolling and want to answer my question?

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  97. Kent Parker () says:

    Oops! Have I not answered what question?

    You see, I do not know how to properly handle these weapons of mass distraction.

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  98. Craig Ranapia () says:

    *zzzzz* Kent can’t read either – why isn’t that a surprise. I guess it’s not necessary when you’re just cutting and pasting Pete Hodgson’s talking points, but do try.

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  99. Kent Parker () says:

    *zzzzz*

    Umm..I sort of like felt that I responded to the subject of the thread. If you want me to respond to a particular question, you have to ask it.

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