Is Muldoon back?

February 17th, 2009 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

That was the question I asked when I saw the headline in the Dominion Post that “Key may stop Black Caps’ tour”.

In fact not even Muldoon tried to stop a NZ team from travelling overseas.

But as I read the full article, I realised that it is not as bad as I thought. Basically NZ doesn’t want to tour Zimbabwe (understandably) but if they refuse they get fined massively by the ICC.

However if the Govt declares they are “ordering” the team not to tour, then they escape the ICC fine.

So I can understand that any such “order” would be to actually help NZ Cricket out. But nevertheless I think one needs to be very careful about the notion that the Government can order any private sporting body what to do.

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47 Responses to “Is Muldoon back?”

  1. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    I’m struggling here. How does the fact that there is some kind of nudge-nudge, wink-wink type backroom arrangement where the PM makes statements in order to help out someone’s business interests make it all ok?

    It *looks* like there are commercial benefits to be had if you are a member of “the elite” and have the PM’s ear. Don’t you see this is exactly the sort of thing that the lunatic left wail about all of the time? And the sort of thing that motivated all of the attempted character assassinations of Key before and during the election campaign?

    1:16pm edit: emphasis on *looks*

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  2. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    “So I can understand that any such “order” would be to actually help NZ Cricket out. But nevertheless I think one needs to be very careful about the notion that the Government can order any private sporting body what to do.”

    I have thought on this a bit more. Assuming that there is no legal power under the Immigration Act 2008/Passports Act 1992 to prevent the NZ team from leaving (and I can’t find any such power, but am happy to be corrected), and given that the Bill of Rights Act 1990, s.18(3) guarantees every person the right to leave NZ, then the NZ team has a legal right to go to Zimbabwe. If the Government was to “order” them not to, it would be purporting to remove a legal right from the team. Now, the team may be happy about that … they may want an excuse not to go … but that doesn’t change the fact that the Government would be purporting to override the law through an executive command. And this is precisely what the Bill of Rights 1689, article 1, declares to be unlawful … plus it is what got Muldoon rapped over the knuckles by the Courts in Fitzgerald v Muldoon.

    Of course, such a judicial admonition would require someone to actually take a case to court (someone like Mr Fitzgerald). I suspect there would be some concerned citizens prepared to do so. But irrespective of this question, I don’t think it is a particularly good look for the PM to be saying “my government (as opposed to Parliament – a crucial distinction) will suspend the action of the law and take to ourselves extra legal authority if it is convenient to do so”. Put it this way … if Hulun Klark (isn’t that how it is spelt?) had advocated such a move, the response of the posters here would be …?

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  3. jacob van hartog (300 comments) says:

    Even during the 50s and sixties NZ ers were allowed to travel to China .
    Kennedy imposed a trade embargo on Cuba after Castros takeover, but the night before he sent an aide out to buy 2500 Cuban cigars.

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  4. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    The problem is the ICC is controlled by India and Pakistan and they support Mugabe who is also the chairman of the Zimbabwe Cricket Board .

    The Poms and the Aussies on the ICC are a bunch of weak arses as is the ICC CEO As usual in these matters is all about organisation politics.

    So unless JK ‘orders’ the Balck caps not to tour the ICC will fine NZ Cricket and if it doesnt pay then throw it out of the ICC so no more international cricket for NZ.

    Your dealing with a bunch of thugs who dont recognise good governance or democracy or any of the morals and ethics we take for granted.

    They a bunch of scum but if we want to keep playing cricket then JK just has to go along and play the game as they say.

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  5. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    AG – from memory, helen did. sports people were happy we werent going to that shithole.

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  6. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    gd

    “They a bunch of scum but if we want to keep playing cricket then JK just has to go along and play the game as they say”

    The point is, if JK wants to “order” NZ not to go to Zimbabwe, then he needs to get Parliament to amend the Immigration Act/Passport Act to say “The Minister of Immigration shall have the power to order any New Zealander not to travel to any country which the Minister does not want him/her to go to.” Then imagine that in 3/6/9 years time, a Labour-Green coalition government takes office, with Keith Locke as Minister for Immigration.

    Still happy for the Government to have this power?

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  7. Patrick Starr (3,674 comments) says:

    didnt the aussie government stop their cricket team tour of Zimbabwe in 2007?

    AG I dont think he need go that far. he just has to decree them as not representing NZ

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  8. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    dime:

    “AG – from memory, helen did. sports people were happy we werent going to that shithole.”

    Your memory is faulty, I’m afraid.

    “The previous Labour government came under pressure to do the same on its watch, but stopped at urging against it, while the Australian government canned its team’s tour there in 2007.”

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10557183

    The difference between Australia and NZ is that their immigration law allows the government to prohibit individuals from going overseas. Ours doesn’t (as far as I know … but once again, I’m happy to be corrected on this).

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  9. nz capitalist (306 comments) says:

    I think NZ Cricket should be able to play against whomever they like and the State should keep their noses out of it.

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  10. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    I heard an interview with Justin Vaughan, NZ Cricket CEO on RadioSport this morning. He does not the Black Caps to tour Zimbabwe. The Black Caps do not want to tour Zimbabwe. NZC does not want to have to pay US$4m to the ICC for breaching its Future Tours programme obligations. The government does not want the tour to go ahead.

    Surely an order (by consent with NZC) can be reached here.

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  11. llew (1,286 comments) says:

    I think NZ Cricket should be able to play against whomever they like and the State should keep their noses out of it.

    In this case, they don’t like but they have to play anyway.

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  12. David Farrar (1,437 comments) says:

    AG: I may have a solution for how they might do it legally. A notice of motion in Parliament calling on NZ Cricket not to tour. That would probably satisfy the ICC as being an “instruction”?

    It really depends on how literally the ICC interprets what it regards as a government order. John Howard made such an order – so it would be worth investiagting exactly what he did do or say.

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  13. GerryandthePM (188 comments) says:

    The Muldoon Government of 78 dissuaded the NZ Olympic team from attending the 1980 Olympics in Moscow while Russian troops were in Afganistan.
    However five athletes, from canoeing and modern pentathlon, competed against the wishes of the Government and the Olympic administration in NZ, but they were legally entitled to attend, and did so without consequence.
    Many other countries, including the USA, boycotted those games.

    The Kirk Labour Government of 1972 denied visas to two South African athletes (one white,one black) invited to compete in NZ by the NZ Athletics Association in 1974.

    Ratbiter at 1.14 and AG at 1.18 expose the flaws in any potential “deals”.

    NZ Governments need to remain principled, not expedient.

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  14. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    I’m with gd on this one. Our anger should be directed against the India and Pakistan dominated ICC who have for years turned a blind eye to the rorting of Zimbo cricket by Mulgabe aligned officials who pocketed much of the money provided by the ICC for the development of cricket. Stadiums in Harere that once hosted cricket matches are now waist hight in grass. The cricket infrastructure has collapsed.

    Couple this with the fact that over the weekend the WHO reported 85 deaths from cholera and 2304 new cases (51 & 1549 on Saturday and 34 & 855 Sunday) and why should our cricketers be put at risk?

    NZ Cricket doesn’t want to go. Problem is that if they pull out NZ Cricket will be fined by the with that money going straight back into the pockets of Mulgabe’s henchmen who control Zimbabwe Cricket. The only way to avoid that is for the Government to act and they should.

    A pragmatic decision that will be welcomed by NZ Cricket. What’s wrong with that?

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  15. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    DPF askes:
    “Is Muldoon back?”
    If he’s not, then his ‘wanna-be’ is. Sportsmen and women are saying (of the Israeli tennis player issue) KEEP POLITICS OUT OF SPORT, but Key says differently.

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  16. toad (3,674 comments) says:

    Not sure about the legal effect of a Parliamentary Notice of Motion in teh context of ICC obligations. But specific legislation would definitely do the trick.

    The Greens proposed a Member’s Bill to do this back in 2005 when a cricket tour of Zimbabwe was on the ICC tour schedule, but leave was denied to introduce it.

    Who knows, given the track record of this Government to date we might even be able to get it through under urgency without Select Committee hearings if it was promoted as a Government Bill!

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  17. MT_Tinman (3,315 comments) says:

    Whenever a tour of Pakistan is scheduled a “security issue” seems to pop up.

    Surely NZC can find one in Zimbabwe.

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  18. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    AG – i remember now! Labour said they woudnt gihe zi eam visas.. killed our chances of holding the world cup in 2011

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  19. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    DPF:

    “AG: I may have a solution for how they might do it legally. A notice of motion in Parliament calling on NZ Cricket not to tour. That would probably satisfy the ICC as being an “instruction”?
    It really depends on how literally the ICC interprets what it regards as a government order”

    Absolutely … IF this meets the ICC’s definition (which is a contractual matter between NZ Cricket and that body). As for the Aussie example, remember they don’t have a Bill of Rights at the federal level. While ours wouldn’t stop Parliament legislating to prevent the black caps tour, it would be a hurdle for a Ministerial/governmental order. Furthermore on Australia, apparently there is Ministerial power under their Australian Passports Act 2005 to issue orders not to travel. I can’t find any such power in NZ legislation.

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  20. dime (10,213 comments) says:

    jesus.. im not drunk if anyone is wondering…

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  21. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    Well then dime … obviously you need to drink faster.

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  22. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Its a nice idea but a wrong precedent.

    Socialists are the people who mistake nice ideas for good ones.

    A principle is a principle and not subject to context or expedience.

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  23. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    greenfly said “Sportsmen and women are saying (of the Israeli tennis player issue) KEEP POLITICS OUT OF SPORT, but Key says differently.”

    greenfly – that is an obtuse comparison; that it came from you is no surprise.

    Shahar Peer was entitled to apply for a Visa to visit New Zealand to play in the ASB Classic. She did so, her visa application was approved, and she was a welcome addition to the tournament. She travelled to New Zealand as an individual who carried an Israeli passport, not as a representative of Israel or its government. However John Minto and his rag-tag Global Peace and Justice colleagues chose to protest against her involvement in the tournament on wholly political grounds.

    A team going overseas representing their country is a whole new deal. Surely you don’t advocate the Black Caps going to Zimbabwe to allow the cricket-mad madman Mugabe his fix of cricket? I would have thought that there would be widespread consensus here. Or are you just formenting mischief (as is your wont)?

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  24. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    Wrong AG All JK has to do is get cross party support for The Prohibition of Cricket New Zealand to Tour Zimbabwe in July 2009 Bill. Pass this then repeal it in August 2009.

    the laternative is the ICC will kick NZ out because in their tiny twisted minds this will send a message the cricket playing countries that you do not mess with the ICC

    In short NZ cricket will be sacrificed believe me is you speak to people who know these thugs in the ICC they will do this

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  25. Nick Archer (133 comments) says:

    For the good of NZ Cricket they shouldn’t go, they don’t want to go, they don’t want to wear the fine (which would hurt cricket in this country) and there are valid moral and security reasons (the country’s infrastructure is so broken that it is too much of a risk, would be as dumb touring Bavaria not long after WWI or something) for not going.

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  26. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    gd

    “Wrong AG All JK has to do is get cross party support for The Prohibition of Cricket New Zealand to Tour Zimbabwe in July 2009 Bill. Pass this then repeal it in August 2009.”

    I don’t see how this statement makes me “wrong”! I indicated that it isn’t clear whether the ICC would accept a motion of the House as good enough. And I also pointed out legislation would be needed to make the matter certain. So, yes you could pass an Act of Parliament for this sole purpose. There may still be broader constitutional issues to consider arising out of legislating for a single group, as well as the precedent factor (what to do when the NZ Davis Cup tennis team is required to play in Venezuela? Or the NZ women’s soccer team is put in a pool with North Korea? Or the America’s Cup is won by Cuba (joke)?). But if we can live with these flow-on issues, then yes, your solution is a theoretically valid one.

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  27. johnbt (90 comments) says:

    So, if they don’t go they will be fined. If they don’t pay the fine they are kicked out of international cricket. And the problem is what ?

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  28. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    “And the problem is what ?”

    We wouldn’t be able to lose to Australia any more.

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  29. Inventory2 (9,380 comments) says:

    johnbt said “So, if they don’t go they will be fined. If they don’t pay the fine they are kicked out of international cricket. And the problem is what ?”

    johnbt – it might not be a problem to you….

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  30. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    um..!..key looked down the camera..

    ..and said the cricket team ‘should not pack their bats’..

    ..that’s not so much a nudge-nudge..

    ..as a bang bang over the head with a mallet..

    ..how much ‘clearer’ does he need to be..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  31. philu (12,989 comments) says:

    and if key orders them not to go..they are not liable for any fines..

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  32. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    read the previous comments philu!

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  33. Murray (8,803 comments) says:

    Read???? Good god he can barely focus on the screen stephen.

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  34. gd (1,780 comments) says:

    AG I concede and apologise As a cricket lover I could not bear to see NZ kicked out of the ICC and not able to play international cricket.

    And apart from that and stuff the PC and culturally sensitive as the son of a Lancashire man then by gum its a rough un when the wops that we taught how to play the game now take control and threaten to kick us out

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  35. dad4justice (6,594 comments) says:

    I saw this thread and immediately thought the good Lord had delivered us Sir Rob again. If only, as the present pc wimps in National make me sick.
    Will John Minto help stop this sporting tour?

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  36. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    “by gum its a rough un when the wops that we taught how to play the game now take control and threaten to kick us out”

    Well, they already have been thrashing us on the field for quite some time now … and you could look for an alternative sugar-daddy to replace their millions. Alan Stanford, anyone?

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  37. getstaffed (8,040 comments) says:

    Hmmm, my second gripe with JK today. If he really wants to send a message that NZ abhors the abuse of democracy then he should cite that as the reason that his government won’t intervene in this matter.

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  38. Strutta (67 comments) says:

    Bwahahahahaha!!!!

    So the left don’t want JK to order the Black Caps to not go to Zimbwabe because ‘Sports should not be politicised’ What I want to know is how they hold this position now when they made political hay from the ’81 Springbok tour.

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  39. AG (1,833 comments) says:

    Strutta,

    “So the left don’t want JK to order the Black Caps to not go to Zimbwabe because ‘Sports should not be politicised’”

    I’m interested where you source this claim about “the left” from, aside from Greenfly’s obviously tongue-in-cheek attempt to rile up the denizens of this good site.

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  40. Ratbiter (1,265 comments) says:

    Strutta – Individuals protested the Springbok Tour. The State did not presume to do so on their behalf.

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  41. nz capitalist (306 comments) says:

    Interesting how John Key has an opinion on this sporting tour but has a convenient memory loss about the ’81 Springbok Tour, something which makes him unique amongst New Zealanders; even I, as a young boy, had an opinion on the Springbok Tour at the time…(mainly wondering why the Police did not machine gun Minto and all the other socialist troublemakers)

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  42. barry (1,191 comments) says:

    DPF – Im surprised at your lack of knowledge here.

    If anyone should have known the importance of a governmental interuption in these tours you should have. It came up a year or so ago and Capitam Clark wouldnt play ball – but this is one time when politics should get involved in politics (you thought I should have said sport – but no, its politics)

    That killer Mugabe is president of the Zimbabwe Cricket Club!!! – good god if there was ever a reason to stop going them its that.

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  43. Ross Miller (1,618 comments) says:

    Murray … you’ve lost the plot old son. NZ Cricket doesn’t want to go; I suspect the players don’t want to go. But if they refuse to tour (barring Government intervention) NZ Cricket will be ‘fined’ zillions. How will that happen? Simple, the ICC will withhold payments due to NZ Cricket from international TV rights and there is nothing, zip, zero NZ Cricket can do about it.

    So, your call for Govt to butt out (ergo ” PC wimps in National make me sick”) is also a call for the bankrupting of NZ Cricket. Can’t have it both ways and interesting that you are prepared to see our national summer sport raped with the money going to support a gang of thugs.

    Well, I guess someone has to like Mulgabe. I don’t.

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  44. greenfly (1,059 comments) says:

    Key on the issue, TV3 News – looked both arrogant and deceitful. Why the need for that?

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  45. OECD rank 22 kiwi (2,760 comments) says:

    Is Muldoon back?

    No, she was permanently voted out of power on 8 November 2008.

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  46. stephen (3,981 comments) says:

    Strutta, the Safricans had already politicised sport by not allowing ‘coloured’ players to tour – reason enough to protest!

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