A confused Herald editorial

May 1st, 2012 at 8:49 am by David Farrar

Today’s Herald editorial is rather confused. They mix up the Local Electoral Act and Electoral Act, and also do not know how MMP works with by-elections.

should not be permitted at all but they have been allowed under strict conditions because political parties say few wealthy or corporate donors would contribute if their names had to be made public.

Anonymous donations are basically not permitted under the Electoral Act, unless they are of relatively small amounts (under $1,500), or are done through the Electoral Commission with strict declarations. However the Local Electoral Act is very very different and does have any strict conditions at all. They have in fact no conditions, except a badly worded definition of an anonymous donation.

This case warrants a reconsideration of campaign finance law to require the naming of all contributors of more than $1000 to a candidate or party. 

Again the Herald seems confused – are they talking the Electoral Act or the Local Electoral Act or both? The reference to parties suggest the Electoral Act.

Again the Electoral Act already bans anonymous donations of greater than $1,500. And candidates must disclose the names of all donors of over $1,500, while parties must disclose donors of over $15,000 (which is a sum which represents around 0.5% of a major party’s revenue).

The Local Electoral Act has no ban at all on anonymous donations, but requires disclosure of donations of over $1,000 already.

His departure would create a byelection in Epsom that National would need Act to win if the Government was to retain its majority.

Totally incorrect. If National won the by-election they would go from 59 to 60 seats in the House and with United Future would have a majority.

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25 Responses to “A confused Herald editorial”

  1. Elaycee (4,425 comments) says:

    DPF says: “Again the Herald seems confused…. ”

    Not unusual for the NZ Hoorald – they confuse fact with opinion on a regular basis.

    And yet they wonder why their subscriptions (and their readership numbers) are dropping like the proverbial stone….

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  2. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    Newspapers, and especially The New Zealand Herald in the case of John Banks mayoral bid, were probably the biggest direct beneficiaries of anonymous donations made to Banks and Len Brown.

    A very sizable expense, funded by these “anonymous” donations was the money spent on advertising in The Herald, and also the TV channels, now after Banks scalp.

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  3. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    If National won the by-election they would go from 59 to 60 seats in the House and with United Future would have a majority.

    Don’t forget they would also have a majority with the Maori Party.

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  4. trout (954 comments) says:

    Sloppy research – as usual.

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  5. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,703 comments) says:

    The people at the New Auck Times are too busy queuing up outside Mallard’s office waiting for the next issue of sly innuendo.

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  6. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Let’s accept that Banksie is de jure on the right side of the law and put this to one side.

    His handling of the politics is woeful, he needed to front with it and move on; instead there was a pile of “i can’t recalls….” around dotcom. As these get stripped away one at a time he looks worse and worse.

    He’ll be legally cleared i’m sure, but forever tainted in the public eye.

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  7. Nick K (1,259 comments) says:

    They were in such a hurry to fill the page up they forgot to stop, look and think. Idjits. And this is the level of Fourth Estate in this country? Embarrassing.

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  8. Danyl Mclauchlan (941 comments) says:

    If National won the by-election they would go from 59 to 60 seats in the House and with United Future would have a majority.

    Oh DPF, you forgot to mention the MAORI PARTY. National could also rely on their other coalition partner, the MAORI PARTY.

    [DPF: Not forgot. It is well known that while National could govern with the Maori Party holding balance of power, they would be unable to advance much of their agenda, as their agreement does not bind the MP to vote for it]

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  9. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    The people at the New Auck Times are too busy queuing up outside Mallard’s office

    John Campbell interviewed Mallard last night – on political ethics.

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  10. Paulus (2,707 comments) says:

    Typical Herald.
    Like most of the so called MSM they are incompetant. But I am sure they all have University degrees in their skills – Incompetancy, and how to make an arse of my media.

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  11. flipper (4,328 comments) says:

    I wonder whether the Herald, TV3, TV One, Red Radio & and greenFax media will hold their writers to the same “ethical standards” that they and the left demand of ALL OTHERS?

    DPF 10 – Herald et al, nil.

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  12. wreck1080 (3,999 comments) says:

    This is an awful mistake by the Herald . . . if they are writing about electoral law then they must use an expert . . . whats the use of all those people doing politics degrees if the biggest newspaper in the country does not even consult them?

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  13. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    That’s a shocker confusing the Acts. And I was wondering what they were on about with the numbers.

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  14. Alan Wilkinson (1,933 comments) says:

    This is why the Herald has to censor and restrict comments. So much of what it publishes is garbage it cannot afford to allow free criticism.

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  15. David Garrett (7,698 comments) says:

    Nick K: It IS bloody embarrassing isnt it? You are a few years younger than me, but remember when we had real political journalism on the telly rather than Patrick Gower chasing pollys around buildings??

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  16. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    This stuff is all so confusing – we better retrospectively validate what Banks has done because I’m sure he thinks he followed the law and precedent shows that is all that is required.

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  17. Australis (101 comments) says:

    “If National won the by-election they would go from 59 to 60 seats in the House”

    How can this be?

    The number of National seats is determined by its share of the country-wide vote, and nothing else. It can’t get more than 59 votes, no matter how many electorate seats it might pick up. If Goldsmith were to go in from Epsom, he wouldn’t be replaced on the National list.

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  18. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    They go to 60 by running a non list mp in the seat. That can be Paul Goldsmith. All he has to do to resign as an mp, National gets another list MP to replace him, then he stands in Epsom and wins it.

    By elections can change the proportionality of the house.

    Having said that, John Banks is effectively a National Party mp anyway, so in practical terms they already have 60 seats.

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  19. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    John Banks is effectively a National Party mp anyway

    Maybe that’s another thing he’s forgotten, which party gave him a helicopter ride into Epsom.

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  20. KevinH (1,253 comments) says:

    Herald editorials are not as authoritative as they once were, the editorials have become more commentary than fact, reflecting the views of the readership as opposed to the views of Herald management.

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  21. Nick R (522 comments) says:

    If you think the Herald is confused, you should hear what Banks has been saying, Cactus has helpfully put the audio up on her blog.

    Popcorn time.

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  22. Pete George (23,793 comments) says:

    And there’s nothing confusing about CK’s advice:

    The days of drifting down the river on the ACT cabbage boat are over. Banks is, and I am calling it right now, a complete fucking nutter and the $20 membership renewal shall not be forthcoming unless the cabbage is thrown overboard…

    Time they all got off the fence hoping it will get better and put an end to the slow-dying embarrassment, rolled Banks ASAP and installed David Seymour and Catherine Isaac as temporary Leaders of a new centre-right political vehicle until it is worked out what that vehicle is and who is to lead it.

    Newsflash: Banks is not going to get better.

    While trying to avoid banks the cabbage boat founders in midstream.

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  23. Chthoniid (2,047 comments) says:

    I can only add that Banks was one of the deciding factors against me considering the ACT party as a potential recipient of my party vote.

    Albeit I do wish the Herald piece was rather more accurate and informative about the electoral system we use.

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  24. alwyn (439 comments) says:

    Alan Johnstone at 11.55

    He doesn’t even need to resign before the election. He can stand, make sure he wins, and THEN resign as long as he does it before the final result is declared about three weeks after the election. Then he would become the MP for the electorate and they get to replace him on the list.

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  25. burt (7,424 comments) says:

    Chthoniid

    I can only add that Banks was one of the deciding factors against me considering the ACT party as a potential recipient of my party vote.

    Ditto.

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