Greens are using taxpayer funds for CIR petition

May 30th, 2012 at 8:09 am by David Farrar

I have had it confirmed that the are using taxpayer funds to hire staff to collect signatures for the petition, as speculated yesterday.

This is effectively an abuse of what the process is about. First of all the idea behind citizen’s initiated referenda are that it gives a chance for non MPs to petition Parliament and force a vote on an issue. It has never before been used by the losing parties in a general election to try and over-throw the results of an election, by holding a referendum on the policy which was at the centre of the election campaign. The history of is that they have been on issues for which no party had explicitly campaigned at a previous election.

So bad enough that Labour and the Greens are pushing a referendum on a policy that was debated for 11 months during the election campaign, but even worse that the Greens are using some of their $1.3m of taxpayer funding to purchase signatures for the petition. The same Greens who decry money in politics. CIR are meant to be about showing the level of community support for a vote on an issue. Using taxpayer funds to hire people to collect signatures will demonstrate little other than how much taxpayer money the Greens are prepared to spend on it.

So much for being the party of grass-roots activism.

At least it is a step up from the Labour MP who was paying an 11 year old girl $10 an hour to wave Labour Party placards during the election campaign.

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49 Responses to “Greens are using taxpayer funds for CIR petition”

  1. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    Putting aside the funding issue for a minute, I still cannot see the problem with pushing a referendum on the asset sales policy, irrespective of the fact that it was debated during the election campaign.

    As we well know, parties are elected on all their policies, not just one – witness the failure of single-issue parties. If Labour and the Greens want to effectively say “We think this issue deserves revisiting” then let them. It’s called “democracy”, folks. And if they are handed a defeat, then you can all stand up and wave it in their faces.

    [DPF: It was not an issue, it was the biggest issue of the campaign]

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  2. Chuck Bird (4,848 comments) says:

    “At least it is a step up from the Labour MP who was paying an 11 year old girl $10 an hour to wave Labour Party placards during the election campaign.”

    I think paying people to collect signatures is much worse. I do not think using party funding to pay young people to deliver pamphlets is wrong.

    Paying people to collect signatures is just one step from paying for the signatures. I would bet some of the friends and families of the collectors would would sign just to help the collectors keep their jobs.

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  3. flipper (3,990 comments) says:

    DPF…
    I can’t recall and my Standing Orders copy is not up to date…..
    BUT …..

    Is this not a case where a QUESTION CAN/SHOULD BE PUT TO A PRIVATE MEMBER?

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  4. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Don’t worry. Campbell Live will investigate this thoroughly. John Campbell will not accept the usual limp whiney answer from Russell Norman on this issue.

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  5. East Wellington Superhero (1,151 comments) says:

    Actually, the Greens will probably front with Miteria Turei. Who will give her typical condescending self-righteous justification. Which will be accepted by the 20-something kids that pretend to be journalists in this country.

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  6. calendar girl (1,216 comments) says:

    “Putting aside the funding issue for a minute …” But you can’t simply put aside that issue. It taints the whole “citizen-initiated” process.

    You will have no argument from me about Greens being citizens too, and having a right to politic on anything they like, whenever they like (DPF’s view to the contrary is unexpected in the light of his usual robust defence of free speech). But the Greens can use their own time, money and activists – not taxpayers’ money.

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  7. tknorriss (327 comments) says:

    How are they being paid?

    I would be worried if the “employees” are being paid on a quota basis for the amount of signatures collected. That would raise issues about how much pressure they are putting on people to sign in order to get their commissions.

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  8. flipper (3,990 comments) says:

    EWS….

    Well said on the 20+ “pretend journalists”: issue.

    In the US they are known as “plastic pretty barbies and “lantern-jawed” male hosts”.

    The dumbing down of reporters is a scandal that will, sadly, never be examined by the BSA or the Press Council

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  9. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    The top Auckland Labour Party official approves:

    Is this a valid use of Parliamentary Services?

    Fine by me.

    It’s not fine by me. Labour and Greens seem to think parliament is a pot of gold for their perpetual campaigning.

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  10. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    I really don’t see any problem with this. I’m not aware of any rue or convention that excludes political parties from using the referendum – why would anyone object to aparty using a perfectly democratic process to mobilise support on an issue. Why is any abuse of parliamentary funding? Is it any worse than the plethora of ways political parties use their funding to contact people and mobilise support.
    Could we get back to discussing the merits of the proposed sales, or it that too difficult?

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  11. Cunningham (843 comments) says:

    graham (660) I agree but it just seems like such a massive waste of taxpayer money. It will change NOTHING and they know it. Yet they are willing to go through and soak up hundreds of thousands of valuable taxpayer dollars fighting something that they have already fought on (the election) and lost. NZ needs every dollar of taxpayer money at the moment so it is a waste. Anyway I guess that is the price we pay to live in a democracy.

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  12. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    It has never before been used by the losing parties in a general election to try and over-throw the results of an election,

    Not quite. The petition challenges a policy that remains as unpopular as it was when it was first proposed. An election does not necessitate the disenfranchising of a large (majority) segment of the voting population. The fact is that while asset sales were on the campaign agenda, it was obviously not the deciding factor, otherwise National would have lost (at it so nearly did, anyway). Those who oppose the policy are fully entitled to use all the alternative tools of the democratic process to pressure, as opposed to “overthrow,” the government and see this policy abandoned.

    Labour MP who was paying an 11 year old girl $10 an hour

    Can’t win with you right wingers. Advocate for employment protection laws and you whinge about oppressing the free flow of the market. Give kids a bit of pocket money (I was a paper boy at about that age) and teach them the work ethic and you still whinge.

    In this day and age, it’s very common for organisations to pay collectors to do their canvassing. Political parties are also organisations.

    Maybe the right wing needs to catch up with modernity.

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  13. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Yet they are willing to go through and soak up hundreds of thousands of valuable taxpayer dollars fighting something that they have already fought on (the election) and lost.

    Millions of dollars if they initiate a referendum.

    Apart from the time of MPs being used running an extension to the election campaign are the support staff costs, MP travel costs, MP resource costs.

    What should the priority of MPs be? Undermining government and prepatory campaigning for the next election? Or working on representation and legislation in parliament, as outlined by Parliamentary Services?

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  14. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    Maybe MPs are capable of setting their own priorites and the political agenda. Perhaps their activities are not as circumscribed as you might wish.

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  15. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    mikenmild
    The issue is that the taxpayers are not supposed to be on the hook for the political campaigns of political parties aside from the transparent grants they get for campaign spending. Are you blind to, or just blithefully ignorant of, history? The whole Labour Party pledge card rort revolved around this issue. Labour used tax payer funds meant for running Labour’s parliamentary offices (received from Parliamentary Services) for campaigning purposes – something forbidden by the Electoral Act. I’m sure David and maybe Graeme Edgler can weigh in on the precise law involved. The Greens are using their Parliamentary Services bulk funding (that taxpayers pay for) to pay the wages of people hired for a specific political campaign purpose – in this case raising signatures for a CIR about the partial SOE share floats. How much more blatantly political can you get?

    The Green loving media have already demonstated that they don’t really like to do anything much to sully the clean image of their preferred political pet as we saw with the speed in which MSM outlets accepted the Greens mea culpa concerning the people connected to its campaign who were caught defacing National’s billboards. I’m sure there will be some token tut tutting and then a rapid shift to ‘move along nothing to see here’.

    If National tried to do this there’d be howls of indignation, calls for resignations, demands for privileges committee hearings, calls for an overhaul of the funding system and breathless commentary from the all knowing Wellington beltway media elites.

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  16. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    I hope that Parliamentary Services is alerted to have a close look at this as a matter of urgency. On the surface, using taxpayer funds to essentially re-litigate the 2011 election is a rort.

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  17. KH (695 comments) says:

    It’s intolerable that any taxpayer money goes to political promotion. But they all do it. I’m all for political promotion, but if you have a view then support it yourself – not with the taxpayers money.
    I feel paying for signature collecting is extra dodgy. Because it’s an intervention directly in the legally defined process. So worse than just paying for advertising etc.

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  18. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    kia/KS
    Could you explain how this is illegal please?
    I’m really amazed that people should think that this is a religigation of the election. Does politics stop for a while after Polling Day? When can parties campaign again? Should the opposition parties just say “Oh dear, we lost – you have a mandate and we’ll cheer it through but try to do better campaigning in three years’ time”?
    Should the asset sales be immune from public debate?

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  19. Cunningham (843 comments) says:

    Pete George I wonder how people would feel if they knew how much money actually went towards it. Money that could be spent on extra operations or in education (simplistic view I know but it is relevant). I am fine with referendums (in fact I think in some cases they should be binding) but to use them in this way to me is a misuse of the money WE pay to the government as taxpayers. National have made it crystal clear that they will not go back on their word when it comes to doing this (nor should they as they won an election on it!). So what can they possibly achieve with this?

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  20. Grendel (996 comments) says:

    Mik, its only ever in public debate when National do it. where was the public debate when Labour sold the wellington lines company.

    oh now we need a public debate about who can buy NZ land. where was the public debate when Labour let Shania twain buy a chunk of the south island.

    the reality is that this is just a desperate attempt by the greens and labour to rehold the election. they lost, they don;t like it, so they want to rehold it with the media as their mouthpiece, but funded by us. but when they get back in, they will sell whatever they like and their fellow travellers and useful idiots wont care.

    and of course then we get Luc, so one eyed that he walks in circles.

    1. Prove that ‘asset sales’ were not a deciding factor in the election. National campaigned fully on it, Labour campaigned solely against it, the greens arson campaign was all about it. anyone who voted and did not know about this policy is a giant idiot.

    1a. National got the highest result ever in MMP while campaigning on this. so give it a rest that it was unpopular. you are just bitter.

    2. prove its unpopular. just becuase the usual noisy unwashed are making noise as usual does not mean anything. you are using the squeaky door fallacy. just becuase the noisiest bunch are still noisy does not mean they hold the majority view.

    3. People are not disenfranchised. they voted, thats as much power as any of us get. at least people knew about this policy well before it happened and could actually debate it, unlike (off the top of my head), rebuying the railways, interest free student loans (1 weeks notice), WFF, anti smacking bill. all of these were pushed through by labour and none of them were a key plank of their election campaign 11 months out from it, at least a couple were never even policy until one day they were law.

    Oh and since you are so worried about Voter Franchise i assume therefore you are appalled that the 87% of New Zealanders who called for a repeal of the anti smacking law were ignored? oh wait you are not, becuase you have said so before.

    as usual, you are a giant hypocrite (which appears to be a requirement in a lefty).

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  21. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    mikenmild
    The Greens are welcome to pay for whomever they want to collect signatures for a petition against the mixed ownership model – nothing wrong with that – the problem is the taxpayers cannot pay out of Parliamentary Services funds (clearly what is being attemped here) for these costs. What part of the Auditor General’s report into Labour’s similar use of Parliamentary Services funds for political purposes did you not understand? No one is trying to shut down debate – we’re just asking the Greens to pay for this campaign out their pocket NOT OURS!

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  22. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    So what can they possibly achieve with this?

    It’s widely expected that some of the asset (MOM) floats will happen before a referendum would be held, so it seems like a futile exercise in stopping the policy proceeding. So you have to wonder if it’s a 2014 campaign preliminary, funded by us.

    At the same time Labour (and Greens?) are promoting a countrywide save TVNZ7 campaign and say they will introduce a private members bill – with virtually zero chance of it even being introduced to parliament before TVNZ7 shuts down.

    Again, no chance of success at the apparent aim, so it has to bee seen as opportunistic campaigning, again presumably at some expense to the taxpayer (MP travel and support resources at least).

    (Disclosure – I have been invited to be on the panel at the Dunedin TVNZ7 public meeting next week, although I have advised I will argue to let TVNZ7 go).

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  23. Grendel (996 comments) says:

    anyone notice that the greens job is a fixed term contract, and it requires you to be flexible on hours.

    isnt it the greens who whine about the ‘casualisation’ of the work force, and here they are, getting casual staff and then ditchign them.

    they also whine about employers being flexible to employees, but here they demand you be available for peak traffic times etc.

    someone should apply for the job and demand that they be able to do the job only on weekdays between 9.30 and 11.30 becuase thats flexible for them and that whereever they are sent to collect the party makes sure there is a breastfeeding station for them.

    i mean if its good enough for the Greens to demand this of every other employer even when its totally impractical, its good enough for them as well right?

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  24. tom hunter (4,740 comments) says:

    What part of the Auditor General’s report into Labour’s similar use of Parliamentary Services funds for political purposes did you not understand?

    I have this image of milky silently turning the pages with one hand while the other hand covers his eyes.

    No one is trying to shut down debate – we’re just asking the Greens to pay for this campaign out their pocket NOT OURS!

    Perhaps the exact details of this issue should be debated before plunging straight into the core of leftist philosophy?

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  25. kiwi in america (2,428 comments) says:

    Grendel – haha – a lovely summary of the hypocrisy of the left!

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  26. m@tt (628 comments) says:

    You state that the election gave National the mandate to sell assets because that was ‘the issue’.
    That being the case why are you worried about a CIR? If what you say is correct then it would simply endorse the mandate already given. For the price of a CIR you’d be confirming the asset sales mandate… surely you’d jump at that opportunity?

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  27. Other_Andy (2,617 comments) says:

    @Grendel

    “….the reality is that this is just a desperate attempt by the greens and labour to rehold the election.”

    Nothing new there.
    Winning elections is just one way of getting to decide what happens in the country. When the left (LabourGreensMaoriMana) lose the elections they use the (biased) media to campaign and agitate. And then there are the left’s (LabourGreensMaoriMana) proxies, their brown shirts-storm troopers, the Union (movement. If you can’t win the election, you take the fight to the street.

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  28. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Grendel

    Nice personal attack but the rest of your post is garbage. If you believe the polls that said National?Act was always going to win, then you must believe the polls that said asset sales had only minority support. Ergo, people voted for Nact despite their reservations on asset sales, probably in the full knowledge that the debate will continue after the election.

    The effect of these CIRs have traditionally been memorable for their lack of effect, and sometimes I’m on the right side, sometimes I’m not. In fact, I’m not arguing here against the asset sale model proposed by the government, just supporting the right of Kiwis to express their views by whatever tools are available to them.

    If you object to that, you are arguing for totalitarianism.

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  29. eszett (2,401 comments) says:

    Some things are just not clear to me in this post

    I have had it confirmed that the Greens are using taxpayer funds to hire staff to collect signatures for the asset sales petition, as speculated yesterday.

    How did you get this confirmed? And are they using the funds just for the hiring process or also using the funds to pay them? And how would either scenario be ilegal or in conflict with parliamentary rules?

    This is effectively an abuse of what the CIR process is about. First of all the idea behind citizen’s initiated referenda are that it gives a chance for non MPs to petition Parliament and force a vote on an issue.

    Says who and where? Where does it say that a party is not allowed to initiate a CIR?

    Using taxpayer funds to hire people to collect signatures will demonstrate little other than how much taxpayer money the Greens are prepared to spend on it.

    What? You just made that up? People still have to sign the petitions because they want to. How the person collecting the signatures was hired and paid has little relevance. How would this lessen their contribution?

    So much for being the party of grass-roots activism.

    So Greens are now not allowed to do anything but grass roots activism?

    I don’t particularly agree that a CIR is warrented or needed or should take place on this issue. It should and can be resolved in parliament. I think the greens are making a mistake by pursuing this course. It is a way to complex question to be sensibly answered with a yes or no answer.

    However your post is rather emotional and not very solid on facts. It seems to me that you are more worried that the CIR actually may get tracktion so you are throwing the kitchen sink at it.

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  30. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    eszett: How did you get this confirmed?

    I’ve summarised here, including clear confirmation: Green Party use (and abuse?) of “support staff”

    Grendel – I wonder if any of them have beeen terminated within 90 days for not getting enough signatures?

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  31. Grendel (996 comments) says:

    Nice try Luc, as usual full of spin and bullshit.

    who cares what the polls before the election said, the poll that counts is the one where National got the highest result in MMP ever, after campaigning on leveraging of assets and despite all the campaigning against it by the left.

    Luc the greeny talking about totalitarianism, nice one again. whats the bet luc is perfectly happy with intrusions into peoples lives as long as its the way his lot think.

    objecting to a political party using tax payer funding to underwrite a supposed citizens referenda is not opposing democracy. its opposing rorting the system for their own ends, but with our money. i reckon the greens and labour know full well that if they left it to the populace and did not fund it then it would slowly die off like most referenda attempts.

    by paying people to fund it, they are trying to prop up a dead horse. and even with all that, despite how scummy and underhanded it is (but thats ok as long as you are a lefty, hell arson is not a crime for a lefty so why should this bother them), i can live with it, if they used their own damn money for it!

    >
    Ergo, people voted for Nact despite their reservations on asset sales, probably in the full knowledge that the debate will continue after the election.
    >

    this by the way is pure conjecture and fantasy. you have no way of knowing that everyone who voted for asset leveraging expected that it was not a done deal and thought that voting for the party pushing it just meant that we would talk some more. pull the other one, you are reaching worse than usual on this.

    Since when has a major election plank of a party been just something to talk about when they won? its the policy they will bring in.

    now those of us in full command of our faculties who understand asset leveraging and politics, knew full well that the whiny left would continue to whine, and try and come up with new interesting ways to turn an election loss into a win, but just becuase the greens and their fellow travellers want to refight the election, does not mean that those who voted for National in full light of this policy (as they could not have missed it), are unlikely to think that their party of choice, who won the election would somehow not actually win the election and have to ask the greens and labour nicely to implement their policies.

    but its good to know that you are ok with National doing their best to refight the election and use taxpayers money to waste on it, when eventually labour gets back in. you will stand back and say, its ok that national lost the election and labour campaigned on this policy, National have a right to refight the election daily and spend taxpayers money to do so. otherwise you would be a hypocrite again/as usual.

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  32. simonway (383 comments) says:

    Using taxpayer funds to hire people to collect signatures will demonstrate little other than how much taxpayer money the Greens are prepared to spend on it.

    That’s just nonsense. They’re not paying people to sign it – they’ll only get signatures if people actually want to. I could spend a trillion dollars hiring people to collect signatures for a petition to deport all Jewish people or something, but the only people who would actually sign it are a few neo-Nazi loons and some people who comment on nzherald.co.nz.

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  33. double d (225 comments) says:

    some comments have been made about the partial sell down of assets along the lines of they are not popular etc.
    one thing the greens and labour do not seem to realise is that this policy hasnt been driven from focus groups or polling, but from what NEEDS to be done. voters voted with the knowledge that there would be partial sell down of assets, which although not ideal, was a way of responding to the economic climate.
    people understand that the world is in a belt tightening mode and understand that budgets need trimming. look at savings levels – reported last week as being at record high levels.
    we understand that labour in particular want to make policy that is popular as this will get them elected (they think). the big poll (the last election) tells us people are a little more discerning and want policy that is responsible

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  34. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    @ mikenmild (9.43am) – I haven’t said that it’s illegal. That’s why I’d like to see Parliamentary Services look at this expenditure of taxpayer funds on an urgent basis; to see whether or not it IS an appropriate use of public money. If it is; fine; we can move on. But at the moment, it has the perception of being a rort.

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  35. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    So a ‘partial sell down of assets, which although not ideal, was a way of responding to the economic climate’? What would be ideal, then? Keeping those assets and their returns and reversing the tax cuts?

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  36. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    As I mentioned earlier, I’m having a bit of fun digging into treasury’s website. I haven’t done this before, but I was impressed with DPF’s effort the other day in analyzing forecasts (but, I’m sorry to say, I think DPF only presents numbers that suit his case) and I’m surprised at how much I’ve enjoyed myself.

    I’m not a trained researcher, yet (that should be fixed next year), and it takes a bit of digging to get the fullest information, but that can drag up unexpected gems, too.

    Anyway, the first interesting tidbit I’d like to post on is the trend of actual and forecast total tax revenue, using the Month End Financial Statements to the year ended June 2008-13.

    Actual change 2008-2009 -8%

    Actual change 2009-2010 -1.9%

    Actual Change 2010-2011 +1.55%

    Forecast change 2011-2012 +6.26%

    Forecast change 2012-2013 +6.13%

    So I guess these are the a part of the “heroic assumptions” I heard mentioned in the reports on the budget. The dip after the GFC hit home is understandable, and the small recovery last year is good news, but to then extrapolate a nascent recovery into two years of 6% plus growth in revenues, and base future spending plans on those forecasts when most economists opinion is that growth will be restrained for years to come as a result of the GFC, may prove to be simply reckless.

    I suspect Michael Cullen would have forecast a 2% increase for this year and pocket any excess for the next rainy day. But Bill has spent that before it’s even collected.

    Let’s all cross our fingers and hope that treasury has go it right. Our jobs may depend on it.

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  37. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    Keeping those assets and their returns and reversing the tax cuts?

    Reversing the tax cuts (do you mean both Labour’s and National’s?) would risk de-stimulating the tepid economic recovery. And may also accelerate to Aussie exodus.

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  38. double d (225 comments) says:

    ideally mikenmild we wouldnt have the world economy sputtering along as it is.
    so you think taxes should go up?
    funny how some regard assets as “theirs” but the tax take (especially from rich pricks) as “ours”.

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  39. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Sorry guys, wrong thread. Three year old in my ear.

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  40. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    This is a MINORITY National Government with only 59 out of 121 MPs.

    NO majority = NO MANDATE for asset sales.

    It’s votes in the House that count – in order to pass legislation such as the Mixed Ownership Model Bill.

    This is, of course, the reason why ‘dodgy’ John Banks is being politically protected by ‘shonky’ John Key?

    Because of the pivotal vote of the ACT MP for Epsom, the not-so-’Honorable’ John Banks.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    http://www.dodgyjohnhasgone.com

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  41. Pete George (23,479 comments) says:

    This is a MINORITY Green Party with only 14 out of 121 MPs.

    NO majority = NO MANDATE for using parliamentary funding and MP time and resources opposing asset sales.

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  42. Keeping Stock (10,301 comments) says:

    No Penny; it’s a coalition government, with the support of the Act Party and United Future.

    The moment that John Key was able to go to see the Governor-General and inform him that he had the numbers to form a government was the moment that John Key had a mandate. If you don’t like it, suck it up and reflect on Dr Michael Cullens immortal words – “We won; you lost; eat that.”.

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  43. Elaycee (4,376 comments) says:

    Penny – if you were the ‘anti corruption campaigner’ you claim to be, then you’d be elbow deep finding out how the Gweens are funding this campaign.

    No? Didn’t think so.

    Elaycee,
    Attendee: Taratahi Pub Dwarf Tossing Demonstration – 1980
    Attendee: Chihuahua Sled Pulling contest, Waipukurau A&P Show, 2004.
    help://has_anyone_seen_my_skunk.ugh

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  44. graham (2,333 comments) says:

    How can an ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’ get away with STEALING?

    graham
    Attendee: Royal Wedding 2011 (watched it on telly)
    Attendee: Grand final, sheep racing at Helensville A&P 2011 and 2012

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  45. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    In my submission on the Parliamentary Service Amendment Bill, which included a prohibition on using Parliamentary money to campaign in a citizens initiated referendum, I proposed that getting the signatures should also be prohibited with this money.

    My proposal was considered, but rejected:

    Citizen’s initiated referendum petition
    51. We considered whether the definition of electioneering should include promoting a citizens’ initiated referendum petition. The intent of new section 3A(2)(a)(v), is to prevent funding for any communication that explicitly supports voting for a particular option in a referendum.

    52. Members are able to use Parliamentary Service funding to promote or critique policy issues in connection with a referendum. A citizens’ initiated referendum petition is a step removed from the public voting for a precise question in a citizens’ initiated referendum. Funding members or parties to communicate with regard to a citizen‟s initiated referendum petition is consistent with funding to communicate on any other policy issues of the day outside of the regulated period.

    There was no objection at select committee, where it was adopted unanimously. ACT ultimately voted against, but for different reasons, largely unrelated to the Bill itself.

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  46. simonway (383 comments) says:

    Graeme: why did you propose that? I pretty much agree with the rationale you quoted.

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  47. Graeme Edgeler (3,283 comments) says:

    Because, while I welcome political parties using the CIR procedure to raise important issues, everyone else has to pay for it themselves. This is not one of those things that parliamentary parties need to do as part of their role in keeping the public informed, or seeking the public’s views (which is why we permit advertising on other things). Rather, this is political work, and not parliamentary work.

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  48. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen

    Sorry guys, wrong thread. Three year old in my ear.

    You’re also a lefty apologist for corrupt self serving hypocrites…. so make that “Three year old between the ears”.

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  49. burt (8,239 comments) says:

    Graeme Edgeler

    You seem to be forgetting that it’s only wrong when National do it……

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