Responding to Winston

May 16th, 2012 at 2:03 pm by David Farrar

Winston has just made a speech where Whale and I get a mention. Worth putting things in context:

No sooner had the Banks/Dotcom story hit the headlines than Newstalk ZB decided to interview a bewildered blogger called Whaleoil.

Without a fact to fan his considerable self with Mr Whaleoil explained to ZB listeners that New Zealand First had been a beneficiary of the giant German.

The ZB people did not bother to check with Dotcom or New Zealand First.

To be fair to Whale and ZB, considering NZ First has a long history of not disclosing donations it was legally required to disclose, and that Winston himself was found to have lied about not knowing about Own Glenn’s $100,000 donation to his lawyer, then you could argue checking with NZ First would be a waste of time. However would have been useful to check with Dotcom.

A mischievous blogger known as Kiwiblog made up a story the Thursday before the election that New Zealand First was an incorporated society and that Winston Peters was an illegal candidate.

That story running as it did immediately before the Election Day is a corrupt practice under our election law.

Except that there is a NZ First incorporated society. My story is here. Winston claims that there are in fact two NZ First’s – one incorporated and one unincorporated. But as I blogged here, this is not something his own party officers agree with him on:

Contacted by the Listener, Catchpole, treasurer from 2005 until the party’s convention earlier this month, says: “They are one and the same really, the incorporated society and the party, because the party constitution and rules are all registered with the incorporated society. That basically makes it one entity.” …

Asked about the incorporated society, Groombridge says: “That’s the party itself.”

So that was both the party president and the party treasurer contradicting Winston, and saving the political party NZ First is the same entity as the incorporated society NZ First.

By sheer coincidence, this blogger is the paid pollster of the National Party.

I blogged at the time that absolutely no one in National knew of this story before I published it. I only wrote the story that morning because I received an e-mail from a (non-National) friend who had come across the rules.

What I can also now reveal, is that in fact National got a bit shitty at me for running the story. They told me the last thing they wanted was more publicity for Winston on the eve of the election.  Just as National didn’t like me describing their campaign opening TV spot as looking like an excitable eight year old filmed it :-)

The foreign owned newspaper Dominion Post felt compelled to also publish this garbage and the story appeared to be taking off until some spoilsport presented the true facts.

I’m still waiting for the true facts. Whom do we believe – Winston or his own party president and treasurer?

That story could have been the difference between eight and nine MPs for New Zealand First.

And the publicity it gave Winston may have been what got NZ First eight MPs instead of seven. A possibility that may haunt me for decades :-)

With one more we could have stopped the sale of state assets – and the National Party knew it.

I’d love to take credit for getting the Government back into office with a clear centre-right majority, as it means I’d never have to buy a drink again at party conferences!

For NZ First to have gained a 9th MP, they would have needed 153,819 votes or 6.86% rather than 147,544 or 6.59%, an increase of 6,275.

I hear from someone who was at the actual speech, that in fact Winston blamed me for not just NZ First getting one extra MP, but maybe several. If this is true, surely the PM could consider a knighthood for me? :-)

On the 6th of November we decided that we had to break free from this coalition that we had never entered.

At a public meeting at Kelston we carefully explained that we would be going into Opposition.

Again, there is a credibility problem here. He basically promised the same in 2005, and promptly went into Government with the Foreign Affairs bauble.

In 2008 Barack Obama credited social with getting both grass root activists and the normally apathetic people involved in his campaign.

In New Zealand politicians have been trying to play catch up.

We, in New Zealand First are learning.

There is no doubt social media provided a way for New Zealand First supporters and candidates to stay in touch and organise for the 2011 election. 

We are using it in Parliament. …

Most members of the press gallery monitor Twitter and Facebook.

News breaks on these social media sites and politicians get themselves into trouble on them!

The technology is amazing.

With the advent of smartphones and iPads, MPs are tweeting from the House to their constituents, providing an instant information service.

It’s interesting to look at the demographics of people of those that like my page on Facebook.

The highest percentage of people who like my page are males aged 18-24. 

There is no doubt that social media provides an unprecedented way for people to connect with politicians.

Good to see NZ First recognising the potential of social media.

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9 Responses to “Responding to Winston”

  1. Brian Smaller (3,989 comments) says:

    Winston – who treats the NZ public with the same disdain that carpet cleaners treat panties – something to be sniffed at then discarded. Where is the $158K Winston?

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  2. Pete George (22,804 comments) says:

    There’s some quite interesting things in his speech, worth reading the whole thing. It’s from an obvious point of view but makes some valid points, particularly on the media.

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  3. Shazzadude (505 comments) says:

    “To be fair to Whale and ZB, considering NZ First has a long history of not disclosing donations it was legally required to disclose, and that Winston himself was found to have lied about not knowing about Own Glenn’s $100,000 donation to his lawyer, then you could argue checking with NZ First would be a waste of time. However would have been useful to check with Dotcom.”

    There’s no need to be “fair” to Whale at all. Like most of his stories, he made it up.

    “He basically promised the same in 2005, and promptly went into Government with the Foreign Affairs bauble.”

    No he didn’t-he promised to offer confidence and supply to the largest party. He kept his word. Youtube has the entire 2005 TV1 election night coverage in full, where Winston (and Peter Dunne’s) positions are made perfectly clear.

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  4. Rex Widerstrom (5,258 comments) says:

    New Zealand First, the party, is decidedly NOT New Zealand First the incorporated society. That comes from no less an authority than the High Court.

    Because when David Stevenson and I tried to sue New Zealand First over the dishonesty of Winston Peters and the fraud perpetrated on the voting public in the form of the 1996 Party List (later confirmed as such by Michael Laws in his book “The Demon Profession”) Winston had his lawyers argue there was nothing which could be sued – that the Party was an unincorporated, unaccountable collection of some 500+ individuals who just happened to agree to be called, collectively, “New Zealand First”. The incorporated society existed only so as there was a vehicle for that unincorporated group to hold real property.

    The High Court agreed.

    So there you have it, unless and until a subsequent decision sets a different precedent. All political parties in NZ are laws unto themselves, can behave with a complete lack of integrity, and are immune from the law.

    And the man who caused that precedent to be set so as to avoid being held to account for deceiving party members and the public alike then goes on to lanbast others in politics for a lack of honesty… the last time I came across anyone so un-self-aware, they were dead.

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  5. Stephen Stratford (45 comments) says:

    I was there today when Peters gave that speech. There was a bit of eye-rolling among the audience during it, but the best bits came in question time. There were quite a few senior moments. Fortunately I was taking notes so will bloggit tonight, unless David Slack beats me to it.

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  6. bringbackdemocracy (393 comments) says:

    When will Winston return to the taxpayer the money he took?

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  7. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Rex
    What happened with the list in 96?

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  8. burt (7,806 comments) says:

    DPF

    When talking about the undeclared $100,000 from Owen Glenn you could also mention the donations from the Vella family that were also not declared and the tax cut for the racing industry in 2006…. A meaningful tax cut that was to benefit the entire economy…..

    Rex

    You need to write a full account of the various odorous things you know about.

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  9. Keeping Stock (10,099 comments) says:

    Great post Stephen. Here’s the link for those who wish to have a good chortle:

    http://quoteunquotenz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/lunch-with-winston-peters.html

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