Archive for October, 2010

Hands up if you are surprised

October 31st, 2010 at 11:42 am by David Farrar

Whale has a copy of a story in today’s SST about how North Shore Mayor (for another 12 hours) Andrew Williams failed a roadside alcohol test while driving his Council car on Friday night. The Police won’t say what the result of the evidential breath test was, but presumably he passed that one.

I wonder if Mayor Williams was one of those who signed up the HoS two drinks max campaign?

NZ First on Campus

October 31st, 2010 at 10:43 am by David Farrar

TVNZ report:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters says his party is building a support base with university students.

The Young Nats, Young Labour, Young Greens and ACT on Campus are looking forward to welcoming NZ First on Campus I am sure.

A reader has sent me a photo taken of NZ First on campus members gathering for a rally.

So it is good to see Winston has set up a youth section, for those members younger than the average. But it got me thinking, how about a section for NZ First party members older than the average – like National has its Super Blues.

As it happens I have also been sent a photo of a meeting of Winston’s old age section.

I understand Winston claims membership is increasing every day!


October 31st, 2010 at 10:08 am by David Farrar

In the story the HOS report:

The horror smash that injured two picnickers yesterday horrified local MP Darren Hughes.

It came just months after he called on Parliament to decrease the legal blood alcohol limit.

Hughes’ bill mirrors the change the Herald on Sunday calls for in its Two Drinks Max campaign, to lower the limit from 80mg per 100ml of blood to 50mg.

“There is a problem in that people lose their judgment when they’ve had too much alcohol,” he said.

“It’s no surprise they keep on drinking – because they can’t judge how much they’ve had.”

Hughes said changing attitudes to ensure people had no more than two standard drinks before driving would make a difference.

So presumably the driver who smashed into the picnickers had a BAC between 50 and 80 mg per 100 ml?

Nope – not even close. A separate story reveals:

A 37-year-old man Lower Hutt man tested three times over the legal drink-drive limit.

So that is around five times greater that what the HoS is demanding. I think it is utterly misleading to use this as an example in their campaign to change the law.

This is like calling for the age limit for driving to be increased from 16 to 18 because an 11 year old was caught driving and injured someone.

McCarten deluded

October 31st, 2010 at 9:48 am by David Farrar

I don’t agree with Matt McCarten much but normally his columns are honest opinion. I really can’t say that about today’s HOS column:

The NZ Actors’ Equity has been trying forever to reach agreement on basic conditions for actors from New Zealand film producers. Jackson point blank has refused to even meet.

As that is the role of SPADA, not Peter Jackson. Even the media understand this now.

Also NZAE do not represent most actors. Despite that SPADA had been trying to meet with them for the last 18 months.

To get Jackson’s attention, the union wrote to their counterparts around the world asking for support, up to and including a possible boycott of Jackson’s next film.

Not a “possible” boycott”. There was a boycott. It was voted on in June and remained in place until mid October.

But here’s some good news. NZ screen producers have agreed to meet Equity to negotiate standard terms and conditions for actors.

In the meantime, they will use the internationally union-approved Pink Book as the minimum basis for performers’ contracts.

This is a huge victory for Equity.

A huge victory? Jesus Matt – you are in another dimension on this one. This “huge victory” is what SPADA tried to get them to do 18 months ago. Equity has been refusing. Claiming this as a victory is like Germany claiming the Treaty of Versailles as a victory.

Is Andrew Little the only union leader honest enough to admit that Equity screwed up massively? It seems so.

General Debate 31 October 2010

October 31st, 2010 at 9:31 am by David Farrar

PMs negotiating with corporates

October 30th, 2010 at 5:30 pm by David Farrar

A Dim-Post reader asked:

When was the last time a prime minister directly negotiated with a multinational?

In the comments, Matthew Hooton made an interesting point:

All prime ministers meet often with executives from multinationals who tell them what their intentions are in NZ and what policy changes if any might encourage them to increase (or decrease) their investments here.

Prime ministers might then comment on that, or get their ministers to, and a letter might be sent back, and there might be a further letter … or the ideas raised in the meetings might just get integrated into future policy development without acknowledgment.

This is not only to be expected but essential given NZ’s low savings rate and dependence on foreign capital.

However, as far as I can remember, the idea of a prime minister being in the room, looking them in the eye, negotiating backwards and forwards, over a short period of time … well, as far as I know, that is extremely unusual, mostly because of the sheer political recklessness of it. If it goes wrong, you as prime minister are in the room when it goes wrong and are therefore accountable.

The situation we’ve seen this week relies on:
1. The prime minister believing themselves capable of carrying out the negotiations
2. Their staff believing their prime minister to be capable of carrying out the negotiations, so not scheduling things to prevent it
3. The prime minister in fact being capable of carrying out the negotiations when they began
4. The prime minister being prepared to carry out the negotiations (ie, not being so haughty as to think such negotiations were below his or her station.)

In my view, only Key, of recent PMs, gets four yesses to these questions.
Clark would have been yes, yes, yes and no.
Shipley would have been yes, yes, no and no.
Bolger would have been yes, no, yes and no.
Moore would have been yes, no, yes and yes.
Palmer would have been yes, yes, no and no.
Lange would have been yes, yes, no and no.
Muldoon would have been “The SIS has got pictures of you and I’ll change the law to make you make the movies here.”

Heh that Muldoon theory is on the money.

Anyway let us look at those suggested qualities one by one, according to Matthew:

The prime minister believing themselves capable of carrying out the negotiations – all of them

Their staff believing their prime minister to be capable of carrying out the negotiations, so not scheduling things to prevent it – Key, Clark, Shipley, Palmer and Lange but not Bolger & Moore

The prime minister in fact being capable of carrying out the negotiations when they began – Key, Clark, Bolger and Moore but not Shipley, Palmer and Lange

The prime minister being prepared to carry out the negotiations (ie, not being so haughty as to think such negotiations were below his or her station – Key and Moore but not Clark, Shipley, Bolger, Palmer and Lange

It’s an interesting analysis.

The 1800 election

October 30th, 2010 at 3:47 pm by David Farrar

This video nicely shows how attack ads are nothing new. They use quotes that Jefferson and Adams used against each other in the 1800 presidential election – they are far far worse than anything said today.

1800 was the first time a sitting President lost an election, and showed how power can be transferred peacefully. It was also the first and only Vice-President to win an election against the President they served with.

The Wilce Inquiry Report

October 30th, 2010 at 10:45 am by David Farrar

Have now read the full report. What staggers me is not that Wilce got the job, but that NZDF ignored multiple warnings and complaints about him. Such as:

  • The SIS were warned about Wilce in 2005, yet did nothing – do not even have a record of the concerns expressed to them. The PM should be concerned by this.
  • The chair of the recruitment panel was also told of concerns over Wilce’s integrity and there is no record of him sharing these with other panel members or doing anything about it
  • A DTA staffer complained under the Protected Disclosures Act 2000
  • A major and a civilian raised concerns in 2009, and nothing was done
  • Even more amazingly a DTA staffer went to a seminar in 2007 where they talked about the need to verify CVs and the example was given of someone who had claimed to be on UK bobsleigh team and won a DSO in the Falklands. He confirmed with the lecturer that he was referring to Wilce, and reported this back to his superiors at Defence. Nothing was done!!!

Excellent summary

October 30th, 2010 at 9:40 am by David Farrar

Derek Cheng has an excellent summary of The Hobbit saga.

General Debate 30 October 2010

October 30th, 2010 at 9:25 am by David Farrar

Little speaks the truth

October 30th, 2010 at 9:23 am by David Farrar

Michelle Hewitson has interviewed Andrew Little. Quite amusing, as normal for Hewitson. One extract to highlight:

I’m not sure who (as in which hat he was wearing) he was being the day I saw him. He is, I think, practising for his campaign. I was initially surprised that he slagged off (he would not, of course, put it quite that way) another union: Actors’ Equity. I’d said that it had been a bad week for the unions, thus, to pinch a bit of union lingo, collectively lumping all unions in together. He said, “It’s been a shockingly bad couple of months for Actors’ Equity. It’s been a difficult week for unions … And I’m not going to defend the Actors’ Equity because the handling of it has been an absolute disaster.” Is it helpful of him to say that? “I’ve spoken to people in Actors’ Equity. They know my view.”

Andrew has spoken the truth, as no other unionist has been willing to do so – he is smart enough to know you do not defend the indefensible.

He has been what I call interfering and what he calls trying to help, behind the scenes. He spoke to John Barnett, and to Robyn Malcolm, whom he flatted with years ago when they were both at Victoria University.

Trying to help behind the scenes is what Helen Kelly should have restricted herself to doing, rather than calling Peter Jackson a spoilt brat. It is a pity Andrew is standing for Parliament – he could do more good arguably as the CTU President.

He has long been seen as not Left enough by some factions of the Left; as too friendly with big business. An indication of where he sits is that he is equally scathing about Fran O’Sullivan and Chris Trotter. In other words: he is firmly in the centre.

Andrew is not centrist, but he is not extreme – he is mainstream centre-left.

Brislen to head TUANZ

October 29th, 2010 at 2:04 pm by David Farrar

TUANZ announced:

TUANZ is pleased to announce that Paul Brislen has accepted the role of Chief Executive, starting in the new year.

Paul has been both an observer and participant in the telco sector for the past decade, first as a journalist and commentator and lately as the corporate communications manager at Vodafone New Zealand.

“We’re delighted to welcome Paul in as the new Chief Executive. He’s got a wealth of experience in the telecommunications sector and has long been a champion of the user. He’s got a long history with TUANZ, having contributed a chapter to the ‘Survival of the Fastest’ and the ‘Broadband Reloaded’ blueprint for the digital era,” says TUANZ Chair, Pat O’Connell.

Paul says he’s looking forward to the challenge.

“Telecommunications is vitally important to New Zealand’s economic development and I’m relishing the opportunity to do what I can to help the industry along. It’s a vibrant, dynamic, exciting industry and I’m looking forward to jumping in with both feet.”

This is a superb appointment. Paul as a former Computerworld editor was a great champion of the consumer, and a polished performer on TV etc.

Paul is also of the nicest guys around, and will be able to advocate for TUANZ very effectively, and be able to work with those whose views may diverge from his.

The TUANZ Board have done well to lure Paul away from Vodafone, and I think TUANZ will proper under Paul’s leadership.

On a private note, I am looking forward to hearing Paul submit on the merits of mobile termination rate regulation 🙂

On your knees

October 29th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial says:

Labour MP Trevor Mallard welcomes the fact the films are staying here, but is disparaging of Prime Minister John Key’s efforts, telling Parliament “he has been on his knees to Warners …

Just imagine for a second that Helen Clark was still Prime Minister, and she had just done a deal with Warners to rescue The Hobbit. And imagine if a senior National MP got up and said in Parliament that “Helen Clark has been on her knees to Warners”.

Could you imagine the outcry? That MP would be condemned from all sides.

Something else not hard to imagine is what would have happened if Labour wins the next election, and Mallard is the relevant Minister again. The editorial reminds us:

A little more grovelling and a little less posturing might have enabled New Zealand to hold on to the 2003 Rugby World Cup co-hosting rights when Mr Mallard was sports minister.

Declaring that he wanted those who had thwarted New Zealand to insert beer bottles in “particularly uncomfortable places” didn’t get the job done.

Mallard would probably have ended up offending Warners even more than Simon Whipp, if he was the relevant Minister.

In contrast, Mr Key has struck a deal that will provide work for thousands of New Zealanders, have hundreds of millions of dollars spent here and boost the tourism industry.

He has also ensured that New Zealand stays on the list of countries where it is good to make films. Those in Wellington have particular reason to be pleased he succeeded.

So John Key manages to save the films after Trevor’s union buddies scared them off, and this compares to Mallard in 2003 who oversaw the loss of the co-hosting of the rugby world cup.

There’s an old saying – you can be competent and nasty and people will tolerate you. You can be incompetent and pleasant and people will forgive some of your screw ups, but when you are both incompetent and nasty, then you have no future.

It is the credibility of the unions that is now in tatters, not the film industry. Mr Key has achieved the best possible outcome, given the hand New Zealand was dealt by the unions. Mr Mallard should buy him a beer.

Only if ESR can test it first!

Momentum v Defence

October 29th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

A firm working for Momentum has sent me their PR in relation to the Wilce inquiry. I’ve not seen any media carry their view, so here are key extracts:

“Momentum Consulting does not accept the assertion of the New Zealand Defence Force Court of Inquiry that the company carried out reference checks on the preferred candidate for the post of the Director of the Defence Technology Agency.

“We supplied the NZDF with information from referees used by the preferred candidate when he applied for a job in another organization. This information was partial because Mr Wilce did not become the preferred candidate in that process and it was not intended to take the place of the reference checks suggested in our original proposal to the NZDF. That proposal recognized that the post of Director of the DTA required high-level reference checks. At no stage in the recruitment process did the NZDF ask us to complete these checks on Mr Wilce.

“If Momentum had been asked to carry out the full reference checks, as the Inquiry agrees was set out in our initial proposal to the NZDF, his claims about his performance in previous jobs would have been tested more rigorously. Although the checks were included in our proposal the client decided to take responsibility for these themselves.

I have no first hand knowledge of course on this issue, but as someone who has recruited CEOs and the like through a recruitment agency, I can say that it is not uncommon for the client to ask to do the referee checks? Why? Because by doing so you get a better feel of the applicant’s strengths and weaknesses which can help in managing them and/or setting performance targets.

Audrey Young also reports in the Herald:

He and the recruiting firm Momentum Consulting are in dispute about who actually conducted the checks on the referees for Mr Wilce. Momentum said it did not conduct full reference checks because the Defence Force took responsibility for doing so.

The inquiry concluded that Momentum had conducted referee checks that met a basic standard but did not satisfy a higher standard of thoroughness required by its contract.

It would be nice to be able to read what the inquiry says about whether it was agreed that Momentum not do these, but I still can’t locate a copy online. Not on the Beehive site, the NZDF site or even Scoop.

The inquiry reveals that the most expert member of the panel set up to interview the shortlisted applicants recommended that no appointment be made, but was overruled.

As I said, I’ve been a several appointment panels for senior roles (in my role as a non executive Director). If a member of my panel strongly felt that no appointment be made, I’d be very reluctant to proceed.

Threats are wrong but beware exagerrations

October 29th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Actresses and unionists have received threats, including some against their lives, during the heated row over The Hobbit movie.

Police have been called and private security arranged for some of those targeted.

Anyone making death threats should receive a visit from the Police – at a minimum. But I am sceptical of believing that death threats have been made, just because MEAA says so – they have a record of lying and exaggeration.

Remember Helen Kelly’s lynch mob – led by gentle Richard Taylor.

Remember the Matterhorn incident which was described as needing a Police escort, and turned out to simply be a guy with a video camera politely asking Whipp why he targeted the Hobbit.

Nowhere in the story do they quote an actual threat – just the MEAA saying they had received them. Why do journalists not ask for details to back up claims?

Finally I recall the words of Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who could be called an expert on death threats – she has to live 24/7 with Police protection. She said that “I am coming to kill you” is a death threat while “I hope you die” is constitutionally protected speech. Now I certainly do not endorse the latter sentiments against any New Zealander, but even if people have said them – that is not a death threat.

Of course we can’t judge in this case, as we have no details – just MEAA claims.


October 29th, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

I don’t know if anyone out there actually still believes a word the MEAA or CTU has said re The Hobbit dispute, so this is probably flogging a dead horse. But the rebuttal of the MEAA newsletter by SPADA is so good, that it deserves a bigger audience:

1. MEAA Position:

“NZ Equity has also sought to bargain with the screen producers association SPADA. For a variety of reasons none of these attempts have been successful.”

SPADA Response:

It is surprising that these ‘variety of reasons’ are not specified in their newsletter to members. …

SPADA initially offered to meet with NZ Actors’ Equity in February 2009 to discuss the Code of Practice for the Engagement of Cast in the New Zealand Screen Production Industry dated 6 June 2005 (and more commonly known as the “Pink Book”). Subsequently SPADA offered to meet on a non agenda basis to have an open discussion in good faith.

However NZ Actors’ Equity would only agree to meet to discuss an industry wide agreement containing conditions of employment no less favourable than those in Australia to be negotiated by the MEAA. This was unworkable given SPADA, as has been confirmed by the Attorney General, cannot legally enter into a union negotiated agreement.

So MEAA all along has refused to meet or negotiate unless an illegal demand was met.

2. MEAA Position:

“All NZ Equity sought was to meet with the production and discuss the conditions under which performers would be engaged.”

SPADA Response:

All the polite chit chat about having a ‘cup of tea’ is a fantasy. The boycott (because that’s exactly what it was), began back in June. Well before the ‘cup of tea’ suggestions.

At a meeting believed to be n in June 2010, the FIA resolved as follows:

Resolved, that the International Federation of Actors urges each of its affiliates to adopt instructions to their members that no member of any FIA affiliate will agree to act in the theatrical film The Hobbit until such time as the producer has entered into a collective bargaining agreement with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance for production in New Zealand providing for satisfactory terms and conditions for all performers employed on the productions.”

At this point the production had not issued any final performer’s contracts. Accordingly, neither MEAA nor FIA had any reason to believe that performers wouldn’t be contracted on “satisfactory terms and conditions”. They were prepared to boycott without any justification. Those terms and conditions have subsequently been found to be satisfactory by the NZ actors cast in roles.

So they resolved to have a boycott in June 2010, prior to even seeing a contract. And Labour and the unions dare talk about good faith bargaining.

3. MEAA Position:

“The Board formed the view that in the interests of harmony between cast and crew and for the sake of the NZ screen industry the commitments made in discussions with SPADA were significant enough to justify ending the dispute with The Hobbit.”

SPADA response:

What SPADA agreed recently is exactly what we’ve been trying to achieve for some time. What SPADA “committed to” is to meet. What MEAA have achieved is what they would have got if they had sat down with us over 18 months.

The inability admit they were wrong is staggering.

7. MEAA Position:

“In the past the conditions set out in the Pink Book have been completely disregarded by producers.”

SPADA Response:

Not true and no examples have ever been given by union.

This claim has been repeated by Labour friendly journalists, and others. Has anyone asked MEAA to cite examples? If not, why not?

9. MEAA Position:

“Our actions in no way jeopardised the filming of The Hobbit in New Zealand.”

SPADA Response:

Patently not true… and not believed by the NZ public as per public opinion polls

Simon Whipp would make a good President for Iran – I could just see him denying there ever was a Holocaust. He seems to be able to say the most false things with conviction.

11. MEAA Position:

“New Zealand performers approached this issue in a calm and professional manner and have every reason to be extremely proud of themselves.”

Oh that is just too funny by far. They should do stand up comedy!

Friday Photo: 29 October

October 29th, 2010 at 8:13 am by Chthoniid

In deference to the time of the year, this morning’s photo is of a mallard duckling.

You should be able to see I’m shooting wide open to narrow the depth-of-field and defocus the background.

Hope everyone has a good day today. Going to be crazy-busy at work so will be hitting the espressos hard and often.

General Debate 29 October 2010

October 29th, 2010 at 8:00 am by David Farrar

Len off to a good start

October 29th, 2010 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Len Brown is off to a good start. He reached agreement quickly with the Government on Queen’s Wharf, and has now announced the various chairmanships for Auckland. Almost every Councillor gets a “job” which is sensible, rather than allocate over to those on your side of the spectrum. The appointments are:

Committees of the Whole

  • Strategy & Finance Committee – Penny Webster
  • Accountability & Performance Committee – Richard Northey
    • CCO Strategy and Appointments Sub-Committee – His Worship the Mayor
    • CEO Review Sub-Committee – His Worship the Mayor
    • Tenders & Procurement Panel – Jami-Lee Ross
  • Regional Development & Operations Committee – Ann Hartley
    • Social & Community Forum – Cathy Casey
    • Culture, Arts & Events Forum – Alf Filipaina
    • Economic Forum – Arthur Anae
    • Community Safety Forum – George Wood
    • Environment & Sustainability Forum – Wayne Walker
    • Parks & Heritage Forum – Sandra Coney
    • District Plan & Urban Design Forum – Cameron Brewer
  • Auckland Future Vision Committee – His Worship the Mayor / Deputy Mayor
  • Transport Committee – Mike Lee

Standing Committees

  • Hearings Committee – Noelene Rafills
  • Regulatory & Bylaws Committee – Des Morrison
  • Audit & Risk Committee – Sharon Stewart
  • Civil Defence & Emergency Management Group – Michael Goudie

Advisory and Statutory Panels

  • Maori Statutory Board – Alf Filipaina
  • Pacific Peoples Advisory Panel – Arthur Anae
  • Ethnic Advisory Panel – Mike Lee
  • Business Advisory Panel – Cameron Brewer
  • Rural Advisory Panel – Des Morrison
  • Youth Advisory Panel – Michael Goudie
  • Social Policy Forum – Calum Penrose

With all these new committees and panels, it will be interesting in say a year’s time to look at what, if anything, they have achieved.

Dunne v Zealandia

October 29th, 2010 at 6:00 am by David Farrar

Peter Dunne has done a PR:

Zealandia’s proposed rotenone poisoning of the upper lake and tributaries of the Karori wildlife sanctuary is quite literally “short-sighted, ideologically driven extremism”, UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne said today.

“The fact that Zealandia – with the backing of DoC and Wellington City Council – is poised to flush a waterway system with rotenone within the city boundaries in the name of conservation is almost beyond belief,” said Mr Dunne.

“To poison a lake and all of its tributaries in order to kill some introduced trout, which most people see as a positive recreational resource, just because they are an exotic species is just crazy.”

It does seem over-kill, literally.


October 28th, 2010 at 7:00 pm by David Farrar

A reader pointed out this PQ to me:

Hon David Cunliffe to the Associate Minister of Health (07 Sep 2010): How much was spent by the Waitakere DHB on mental health services, both hospital and community based, in June 2010?

Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman (Associate Minister of Health) replied: There is no Waitakere DHB.
What makes this even more amusing, is that DC is a West Auckland MP, so of all MPs you would expect him to know it is the Waitemata DHB.

Key is not campaigning to have Helen made Secretary-General

October 28th, 2010 at 5:54 pm by David Farrar

NZPA report:

Mr Key was today on his way to Vietnam, where he will attend the East Asia Summit in Hanoi, but his bilateral meetings with world leaders outside the summit will draw most attention, one of those with Mr Ban.

The two were likely to discuss a possible bid by former prime minister Helen Clark for the secretary-general role when Mr Ban’s term ended in 2015.

Miss Clark heads the UN Development Programme.

Climate change, New Zealand’s bid for a seat on the UN Security Council and the Pacific Islands Forum, to be held in Auckland next year, would also be discussed.

I can only imagine that NZPA’s reporter interviewed themselves. I can’t imagine there is any way John Key will be chatting to Mr Ban about how to make Helen his successor for four reasons.

  1. First of all Ban is still in his first term in the job and has yet to gain re-appointment to a second term. There is no way you talk to someone not yet reappointed about their possible successor.
  2. Secondly his first term ends at the end of 2011 and his second term would end at the end of 2016 – so no idea where 2015 comes from. Clark’s term ends in 2013 incidentally. Anyway you don’t talk job succession six years before there is a vacancy.
  3. Helen does not speak French, and that is an unofficial requirement for the job.
  4. Also NZ belongs to the Western Europe and Others regional grouping. The job is rotated amongst the regions and the next region due is the Eastern European group.

So Helen will not be the next UN Secretary-General, and media who say she might be do not understand the UN system. She is from the wrong region (not fixable) and does not speak French (she could learn if she thought she had a chance).Also there will probably not be a vacancy until 2017.

Further, it is my personal view she does not have the skills and experience necessary to do the job. I think she was qualified to be UNDP Administrator, but Secretary-General is a very different ball game.

The Wilce claims

October 28th, 2010 at 4:18 pm by David Farrar

The Herald has a full list of all the claims Stephen Wilce made:

  • claims to have served in the Falklands War, Northern Ireland and the First Gulf War;
  • Claimed service in Forces/ Special Boat Service;
  • Having been awarded the Distinguished Service Order, Military Cross and Bar, and
  • Giving the impression he was a helicopter pilot at the same time Prince Andrew was present.
  • was on the IRA death list;
  • had a degree of medical experience or background,
  • played guitar on the British folk circuit;
  • claimed to have been a member of the Royal Society in the United Kingdom;
  • a member of he British Olympic bobsled team;
  • the captain of the Royal Navy Swimming Team;
  • Represented England in the 1990 Commonwealth Games swimming team;
  • was a member of the Welsh Rugby team that played against the All Blacks.
  • hold an honorary PhD in Astronomy from Cambridge
  • a Masters degree in aerospace and astrophysics from Cranfield and Cambridge;
  • have been a university lecturer, professor and doctor.
  • To have served in MI5 and MI6 or at the Home Office.
  • to have designed the guidance system for the Polaris missile.

What I find most amusing is the claims to have been a champion bob-sleigher, swimmer and rugby player. How many people really do become champions in three very different sports like that?

I can’t find the full report online anywhere, but blame seems to lie with both the NZ Defence Force and Momentum. Amazingly his actual CV turned out to be correct – he just lied about everything else verbally. The failing was not talking to all his referees it seems.


October 28th, 2010 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Readers may recall that Hone Harawira called Rodney various things, including fat, a week or so ago.

A reader alerted me to this video. Is this the same Rodney? I suspect Hone would struggle to bench press 110 kgs.

And here’s another – 180 kgs in a deadlift.

A Democrat attack ad

October 28th, 2010 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

This ad is attacking Bill Brady, the Republican candidate for Governor of Illinois. Brady is leading in the polls and 538 give him a 77% chance of winning it – quite remarkable considering the state.