NZ First infighting

October 17th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Sam Sachdeva at The Press reports:

NZ First has been embroiled in infighting after a blog slammed the performance of some of its MPs, leaked party emails show.

Internal emails, passed on to The Press, have revealed discord within the party, with Christchurch MP Denis O’Rourke among those attacking their Whip and the party’s board.

The emails relate to a post by website that used a range of statistics to rank Opposition MPs.

The rankings placed Canterbury NZ First MPs O’Rourke and Richard Prosser in the bottom five for the third quarter of 2012, along with colleague Asenati Taylor.

I wouldn’t say the blog slammed any of the NZ First MPs. In the post I did, I mainly just report the data. Rajen Prasad is the only MP I really gave much of a swipe to.

As I said in the post, the data is quantitative, not qualitative. However I think it has some value as it does at least show if MPs are being active asking PQs and doing press releases.

To be fair to NZ First MPs, many will always struggle as Winston hogs most of the media stories, and front on almost any high profile issue. But that is no reason you can’t still be churning out some releases and gathering data through PQs.

NZ First Whip Barbara Stewart emailed the rankings to the caucus on October 4.

She said they showed “how others are judging you”.

O’Rourke and former North Shore mayor hit back, criticising the rankings and Stewart’s decision to email them out.

What is fascinating is not that MPs disagree, but that one of the MPs has leaked the e-mails to the media. Not a good sign.

O’Rourke said the rankings were “not even remotely interesting or relevant” and were “utter nonsense”.

“I find it hard to believe that anyone with any brains would actually take any notice of a stupid Right-wing blog site,” he said.

Hey, I resent the “stupid” comment! And yes my blog is from the right and I am known to be a critic of Winston, but the MP stats are not designed to be pro or anti any party or MP. They are designed to both reveal how much work MPs are doing in certain areas, and how effective they are at gaining media attention. I do them for Government Ministers also.

Williams said Stewart’s decision to place importance on the rankings was “a sad inditement [sic] on you as Whip and of this party”.

“[Q]uite frankly I do not want to receive these ‘nanny’ type sermons from you. Have better things to do than be preached at.”

It is interesting that Winston promised soon after the election that the caucus would elect a Deputy Leader by the end of March 2012. They still haven’t elected one. Is it because they can’t agree?

In response, Stewart warned the MPs that their performance had been noticed by the NZ First board.

“The number of contributions or lack of – that you make . . . is also being noticed. A picture is being created about you!”

I’m biased, but I think the data in the ratings can be of some use to a party. Certainly only of some limited value, but it allows a party to say why has Brendan Horan does 16 press releases and Denis O’Rourke only one? Now there may be a simple answer such as Horan has a portfolio that has been more high profile. So the data is not the answer, but at least allows questions to be asked.  Likewise why has Andrew Williams asked 22 PQs and Asenati Taylor just three?

So even I wouldn’t place huge reliance on the data, but that isn’t to say it can’t be of some value.

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43 Responses to “NZ First infighting”

  1. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I’d forgotten there were other NZFirst MPs. When do you ever see or hear of them? When hidden behind such a cult of personality as Winston he may as well have those other seats filled with doppelgangers.

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  2. tvb (4,418 comments) says:

    NZF is a Winston Peters fan club. I assume when the time comes for Winston to retire he will round up some high profile maverick to continue the party. But until then its MPs are just passengers on a journey on good pay.

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  3. RF (1,396 comments) says:

    Friends in Christchurch tell me that O’Rourke likes the sound of his own voice and is usually anti anything sensible. I think he may have been on the Council or something a few years ago. Very unpopular so i am told.

    Yesterdays man who is trying to crawl back into the public eye.

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  4. ex-golfer (161 comments) says:

    Denis O’Rourke – failed and dumped local councillor from Christchurch.
    Gets into Parliament on the NZ First list.

    Andrew Williams – failed Auckland mayoral candidate and celebrated tree waterer.
    Gets into Parliament in the NZ First list.

    The wonders of MMP……….

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  5. lastmanstanding (1,293 comments) says:

    the really frightening thing is these people could be in government after the next election. I mean look at the low standard we have now. Paula Bennett for one. I wouldnt employ her as the tea lady. Like most of them they are out of their depth in the highest paying job they will ever have in their lives and totally incapable of doing the job they are paid to do.

    Even JK is looking shaky and this comes from someone who alway was a bif fan. But the wheels are starting to fall off the wagon. The Nats are looking a tired bunch like they have run of out ideas and run out of steam. That the Opposition it failing to land blows on them only points up to how bad they are.

    I dont see any vision any forward thinking. Any strategic direction. Nothing. I guess when you come from the corporate sector and in modesty have worked for some internationally successful companies you get used to having real leadership and being part of a business plan.

    Alas this lot are just going from crisis to crisis. I mean the ACC/WINZ stuff is just pathetic. Even SMEs are better at getting their IT shit together than the government. And as for getting Deloittes in .They will charge like wounded bulls and like KPMG before them probably stuff the system up even more.

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  6. dave53 (91 comments) says:

    Andrew Williams is in Parliament?!?!?!

    Wonders never cease.

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  7. Rich Prick (1,700 comments) says:

    Who are these people?

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  8. radvad (765 comments) says:

    This confirms everything I heard a few months ago from the mother of an NZF MP. It sounded so bitter I did not think it would take long for it to become public.

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  9. Manolo (13,748 comments) says:

    Imbeciles led by a supremely vain crook.

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  10. BeaB (2,123 comments) says:

    You would think she could adopt a less threatening tone. “A picture is being created about you” is a bit creepy.
    Says volumes about what their caucus must be like – if in fact they have any meetings at all as I can’t imagine Winston taking any notice of the plebs.
    Just as well we are such a rich country that we taxpayers can afford to pay for all these mediocrities.

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  11. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “Hey, I resent the “stupid” comment! And yes my blog is from the right”

    Not really. Its pro National, but I wouldn’t call it right wing.

    Being pro tax payer funded radio and televion, pro the redefinition of marriage and pro global warming (just for a few examples) makes it difficult to classify Kiwiblog as right wing.

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  12. RRM (9,917 comments) says:

    They’re all just puppets of Winston Peters aren’t they?

    I don’t know why any of them would expect anything different.

    It seems almost incomprehensible that any of them would be on a long enough leash to permit any kind of ‘infighting’…

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  13. davidp (3,581 comments) says:

    ex-golfer>Denis O’Rourke – failed and dumped local councillor from Christchurch. Gets into Parliament on the NZ First list.

    It is worse than that. In the 2010 election he stood for Canterbury DHB and came 17th. 17th!!! That’s MMP for you… Even the most unpopular tragic failure of a politician can still be a List MP.

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  14. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t that be inbreeding? Oops, no, that’s their voters, isn’t it? :)

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  15. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Why do I get the feeling this is helping NZF rather than hindering it. The election is a full 12 months away so this episode will simply not count by then

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  16. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    A dirty smear Chardonnay, (and not funny even with your attempt to make it so by the addition of an ingratiating smiley face) but hell, you won’t ever be seen complaining about offensive remarks from other posters after that will you?

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  17. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    pro the redefinition of marriage and pro global warming

    These have nothing to do with left vs right wing. They are Liberal vs Conservative issues. Going by your reasoning NZ First would be a right wing party!

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  18. dave53 (91 comments) says:

    NZ First has always been a rightwing conservative party.

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  19. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    I’m inclined to agree with Bevan. It’s amusing that sock cons are so politically prehensile. They’ll cuddle up to Labour sock cons like Damien O’Connor, Ross Robertson and Sua William Sio if it serves the cause, even the Winston Cult. Actually, Family First might be to blame for the zombie-like revival of Winstonism, given their ill-considered “Value Your Vote” leaders guide to sock con ideological purity.

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  20. Bevan (3,924 comments) says:

    NZ First has always been a rightwing conservative party.

    Yeah, that opposition to selling state assets – right out of the VRWC handbook….

    They are neither right nor left, they are populist. Their social ideology is definitely conservative (although that does not mean right wing), but their economic policies are far from being consistently right wing, rather it just depends which way the wind is blowing.

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  21. Redbaiter (8,801 comments) says:

    “NZ First would be a right wing party!”

    Thanks for the laff.

    To be accurate, Kiwiblog is just a little less left than many blogs, rather than right wing, but that’s because the political dialogue is so restricted by the narrowness of the political spectrum here. It spans extreme left to far left and that’s about it.

    Media and liberal politicians have formed an elitist group that embraces progressivism and this group thinks it has the vote market cornered, but that is not true at all.

    Colin Craig was right when he said the NZ parliament was far more liberal (in the post modern sense) than most of NZ. Many are especially sick of nasty little homosexuals and their progressive hangers on forcing propaganda down our children’s throats and attacking traditional institutions like marriage and that discontent will be well expressed at the next election.

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  22. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    I don’t really think that Winston ever thought he would be back in Parliament – hence the uninspiring gaggle of members, who were only there to show the power he had over the Winston Party.

    If it had not been for the media’s “Ambrose” Utu he would never have got there, neither would the gaggle, who have been muted anyway – there is only one Spokesperson – guess who.
    Without the media screaming for him he would have remained househusband in Auckland on his huge pension.

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  23. Keeping Stock (10,337 comments) says:

    Dennis O’Rourke is also a failed businessman, whose creditors are unlikely to ever see any of the more-than $800k they are owed:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/7748131/Recycling-leaves-MP-exposed

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  24. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Manolo: A very neat sentence Sir…up there with “A very modest man, with much to be modest about.”

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  25. MajorBloodnok (361 comments) says:

    DPF, check your tags. You’ve tagged the wrong Barbara this time.

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  26. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    > I am known to be a critic of Winston

    Ya think!

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  27. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Paulus..
    You are very out of touch..Do you live in Auckland?

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  28. David in Chch (516 comments) says:

    O’Rourke was a f***wit councilor in Chch who used to make absurd pronouncements based on an appalling lack of knowledge. It sounds like he continues to be an MP with the same qualities. I knew that NZF was a shell of a party for a shill of a leader, but they obviously scraped the barrel bottom to get their candidates.

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  29. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    Denis O’Rourke got 697 votes in the Port Hills electorate in 2011, and 605 votes in the Chch C. Council elections in 2010. He was Ann Hercus’ campaign manager in Lyttelton.

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  30. hj (6,995 comments) says:

    One thing that puzzles me is why NZ First hasn’t been able to capitalise on this:

    Typically
    John Carran, 2 April 1996

    “Vehement opposition to immigration, particularly from Asian countries, in New Zealand from an ill-informed and xenophobic rabble persists despite overwhelming evidence that immigration will improve our long term economic prospects.

    In 1988 The Institute of Policy Studies published detailed research by Jacques Poot, Ganesh Nana and Bryan Philpott on the effects of migration on the New Zealand economy. The research, which abstracted from the social and environmental impact of immigration, concluded that “…a significant migration inflow can be beneficial to the performance of the New Zealand economy and subsequent consumption and income levels.” The authors point out that this is in general agreement with Australian research on the economic consequences of immigration.



    Of course there is more to life than attaining economic excellence. The social and environmental impact of immigration also needs to be considered. But here the reasons given for restricting immigration range from pathetic to extremely dodgy. Most of the accusations are barely disguised racist piffle backed by tenuous rumours and cloudy anecdotes. Winston Peters’ stirring of the masses has exposed the ignorance and racial biases of a small and distasteful section of New Zealand society. These people yearn for a cloistered, inhibited, white (with a bit of brown at the edges) dominated utopia fondly envisaged by racists and xenophobes everywhere.

    http://www.gmi.co.nz/news/1021/opposition-to-immigration-why-let-the-arguments-get-in-the-way.aspx

    With this:
    Savings Working Group
    January 2011

    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

    I’ve been half wondering if Winston has been bought?

    This helps explain why the left and rentiers are on the same side
    http://www.sydneyline.com/Multiculturalism%20sociology%20of%20shame.htm

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  31. iMP (2,384 comments) says:

    If NZF goes, the Conservatives are the next highest polling party (fourth). Cameron Slater will have a heart attack.

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  32. hj (6,995 comments) says:

    It isn’t as though the thrust of NZ First needs to be seen as languishing in an intellectual vacuum. As I pointed out above you have the Savings Working Group but also Australian Productivity Commission (ours was nobbled) plus Herman Daly (ex World Bank).
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/559
    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/downloads/pdfs/mi-jarrett-comm.pdf
    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/4622459/Government-policies-blamed-for-house-prices
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/immigration-link-to-economic-growth-yet-to-be-proven-says-productivity-commission/story-fn9hm1gu-12261

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  33. hj (6,995 comments) says:

    National is only national for the purpose of vote getting. Otherwise it is just Harcourt’s Shanghai in drag.

    “The economic tendency resulting from competition is to equalize wages and social standards across countries. But instead of cheap labor moving to where the capital is, and bidding wages down, capital moves to where the cheap labor is, and bids wages up-or would do so if only there were not a nearly unlimited supply of cheap labor, a Malthusian situation that still prevails in much of the world. Yet wages in the capital-sending country are bid down as much as if the newly employed laborers in the low-wage country had actually immigrated to the high-wage country. The determinant of wages in the low-wage country is not labor “productivity,” nor anything else on the demand side of the labor market. It is entirely on the supply side-an excess and rapidly growing supply of labor at near-subsistence wages. This demographic condition-a very numerous and still rapidly growing underclass in the third world-is one for which demographers have many explanations, beginning with Malthus.
    Globalization, considered by many to be the inevitable wave of the future, is frequently confused with internationalization, but is in fact something totally different. Internationalization refers to the increasing importance of international trade, international relations, treaties, alliances, etc. Inter-national, of course, means between or among nations. The basic unit remains the nation, even as relations among nations become increasingly necessary and important. Globalization refers to the global economic integration of many formerly national economies into one global economy, mainly by free trade and free capital mobility, but also by somewhat easier or uncontrolled migration. It is the effective erasure of national boundaries for economic purposes. What was international becomes interregional.
    http://www.worldwatch.org/node/559

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  34. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    In any case, regardless of our formal party orientation, I suspect David, the more thoughtful centre-right liberal and most of the centre-left commentators here are united in our loathing for Winstonism. The man is an opportunist and populist and his rabble would be disastrous ‘allies’ and liabilities. Sock cons should wonder whether their lust for the bully pulpit is worth any repetition of the final Bolger administration and Shipley administration woes (1996-1998, 1998-1999) …or the third term Clark administration, which explains my own revulsion for the creature, not withstanding his anti-immigrant views, social conservatism or penchant for highly expensive BCIRs.

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  35. hj (6,995 comments) says:

    Can’t you read Chardonnay Guy?:

    Savings Working Group
    January 2011

    “The big adverse gap in productivity between New Zealand and other countries opened up from the 1970s to the early 1990s. The policy choice that increased immigration – given the number of employers increasingly unable to pay First-World wages to the existing population and all the capital requirements that increasing populations involve – looks likely to have worked almost directly against the adjustment New Zealand needed to make and it might have been better off with a lower rate of net immigration. This adjustment would have involved a lower real interest rate (and cost of capital) and a lower real exchange rate, meaning a more favourable environment for raising the low level of productive capital per worker and labour productivity. The low level of capital per worker is a striking symptom of New Zealand’s economic challenge.

    http://www.treasury.govt.nz/publications/reviews-consultation/savingsworkinggroup/pdfs/swg-report-jan11.pdf

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  36. hj (6,995 comments) says:

    For the One Eyed Rent Seeker$:

    THE case for higher immigration as a driver for economic growth is far from proven, as is the notion that more immigrants can counter the negative effects of population ageing, the Productivity Commission says.

    In an analysis of the “big Australia” debate in its 2011 annual report published yesterday, the commission said the economic impact of immigration “is sometimes clouded by misperception”.

    “Two benefits that are sometimes attributed to immigration, despite mixed or poor evidence to support them, are that immigration is an important driver of per capita economic growth, (and) immigration could alleviate the problem of population ageing,” it says.

    The commission also notes immigration doesn’t affect household wages overall, though particular sectors could be adversely affected if there were a large influx of skilled immigrants.

    And it warns that trying to slow the impact of an ageing population on the economy by bringing in young workers is only a sugar hit.
    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/immigration-link-to-economic-growth-yet-to-be-proven-says-productivity-commission/story-fn9hm1gu-1226179973978

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  37. jgw739 (26 comments) says:

    Stop foaming at the mouth ChardonnayGuy, yes Winston is by no means perfect but name one politician in our parliament that is.

    It is precisely because NZF is anti-immigration and socially conservative that they keep getting votes – outside of your little bubble there is a country full of people that actually agree with those principles, even if they don’t agree with Peters himself.

    Maybe Colin Craig will manage to capture some of the conservative vote away from NZF next election and force Peters retirement but either way you will have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone thinks like you.

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  38. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Brilliant comments hj…Harcourt’s Shanghai…love it.

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  39. Hamnida (905 comments) says:

    I don’t think people in general take Right wing blogs seriously.

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  40. labrator (1,850 comments) says:

    I don’t think people in general take Right wing blogs seriously.

    I don’t think people in general take you seriously.

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  41. Nick K (1,243 comments) says:

    We also know that Winston demanded they vote as a bloc on the gay marriage bill, even though it is a conscience vote. The party is a shambles. Winston shouts at the Speaker and gets ejected. Once gone, the other MPs just look lost. Shambles.

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  42. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    Andrew Williams to be fair does seem to work harder in the House than other NZF MP’s.

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  43. ChardonnayGuy (1,206 comments) says:

    What I can’t get over is that the Winston Cult actually recruited a columnist from (shudder) Investigrunt for their party list, the weird and woeful Richard Tosser- oops, I mean, Prosser. Actually, was I right the first time?

    There’s a simple equation that one can do to get the credibility quotient of Investigrunt. Let BS= TT/GG, where TT= tragic tabloid and GG= gutter glossy.

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