Horan hits back

December 11th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Under-fire MP has consulted police and the Privacy Commissioner about the leak of his phone records.

The bill from his taxpayer-funded mobile phone showed numerous calls to the TAB. But Mr Horan said he had not broken any rules and the calls added up to only about $20.

Mr Horan appeared to be pointing the finger at NZ First leader Winston Peters yesterday, saying the leaking of his calls “for political gain” was “grossly irresponsible and reckless”.

Mr Horan originally authorised the release of the records by Parliamentary Service, after Mr Peters asked to see them.

Now Mr Horan says the leaking of telephone numbers “jeopardised the protection of innocent people” who had contacted him confidentially.

I think Peters had the right to release them, but they should have blacked out all phone numbers on the statements except the ones to the TAB.

After meeting last night, the NZ First board released a statement saying that Mr Horan, “by his own action in notifying the Speaker that he be regarded as an independent Member of Parliament, had in doing so, relinquished his membership” of the party.

This looks like an attempt to get around the requirement in their own rules for a hearing into any expulsion. But on the face of it they are lying. Hansard records:

Honourable members, under Standing Order 35(1)(c) I have been advised by the New Zealand First Party that its parliamentary membership has changed and that Brendan Horan is no longer a member of the New Zealand First Party for parliamentary purposes. Accordingly, under Standing Order 34(4) Brendan Horan is from 4 December 2012 regarded as an Independent member for parliamentary purposes.

There is no mention by the Speaker about Horan notifying the Speaker. Peters did.

I think Peters has made the right ultimate decision, but that doesn’t excuse the total lack of any sort of fair process, let alone trampling on his party’s own rules. It is hypocrisy especially as Peters went to court over National’s non-selection of him in the 1990s.

This just confirms that NZ First isn’t a real political party. It is a personality cult. They haven’t even managed to elect a Deputy Leader more than a year after the election.

 

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15 Responses to “Horan hits back”

  1. wreck1080 (3,917 comments) says:

    NZ First is Winston Peters. Has been like that for years.

    It reminds me of destiny church — once bishop tamaki goes, the church goes.

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  2. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    This just confirms that NZ First isn’t a real political party. It is a personality cult. They haven’t even managed to elect a Deputy Leader more than a year after the election.

    I had assumed that Winston was the Deputy Leader. And the Treasurer. And Chairman of the decision making process. And the Whip. And the media manager. And the social convener. And the arbiter of the Party List. And the person responsible for the placement of mirrors within the NZF precinct.

    No???

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  3. anonymouse (716 comments) says:

    This just confirms that NZ First isn’t a real political party. It is a personality cult

    Really, well strike me down with a feather…….

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  4. Reid (16,471 comments) says:

    They haven’t even managed to elect a Deputy Leader more than a year after the election.

    That’s because the one they were going to “elect” just got fired.

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  5. flipper (4,067 comments) says:

    The Peters Party, The Anderton Party, The Harawira Party, The Dunne Party, The Trade union/academic, teacher/ queer party……. Something they all have in common? Yep. It’s called the ABSENCE of constitutional democracy.

    For all its periodic faults, the Nats are democratic and no single group (well, apart from the Parliamentary caucus) dominates.

    The red melons ? Yep, but they have developed a new definition of democracy for policy development – whatever you want, goes – provided it can be labelled “green”.

    I guess real democracy has many faults. But it is a hell of a lot better than the alternatives. Still, that does NOT excuse that “Pensioner from St Marys Bay” ( to paraphrase the Orca) and his maschinations.

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  6. Dave Stringer (188 comments) says:

    It was clear the first time he used “we” instead of “I”. Something he now does a lot.

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  7. Viking2 (11,471 comments) says:

    I think that this is not correct. I beleive I read somewhere that Horan had approached the speaker.
    someone with time could check.

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  8. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    Despite all the procedural issues I find Horan’s explanations and claims very hard to believe. I may be jumping to unfair conclusions but the fact that he was prepared to settle for $25k would suggest that there were some flames associated with the smoke.

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  9. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    Horan is unfit to be an MP and deserves to be kicked out of Parliament.
    Ditto Winston Peters and all the other NZ First MPs.
    Partial justice is no justice.

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  10. decanker (184 comments) says:

    Is there a precedent for a dumped list MP staying on as an independent?

    As a supporter of MMP, this isn’t right to me. He is there only because of NZ First’s party vote, he is no longer representing that party, therefore he should be out altogether.

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  11. David Farrar (1,897 comments) says:

    Too be clear I think the evidence suggests Horan’s conduct is grounds for expulsion, and he should then resign as an MP. However there does need to be a fair process around this. Not a trial, or anything. But the allegations should be put to him in writing, he should be given a period of time to respond, and a hearing held before the decision is made. Think of it akin to an employment dismissal.

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  12. Rex Widerstrom (5,354 comments) says:

    flipper says:

    The Peters Party, The Anderton Party, The Harawira Party, The Dunne Party, The Trade union/academic, teacher/ queer party……. Something they all have in common? Yep. It’s called the ABSENCE of constitutional democracy.

    And that was proved beyond a doubt in Peters’ case when Michael Laws finally admitted that he, Sarah Neems and Peters ranked the party list in 1996 after conducting a charade in which Regional Chairpeople polled their electorate chairs and then travelled often large distances to regional voting centres to rank the list. Those party members and the NZ public were told the list was the result of that process; it was not, it was in fact a form of voter fraud.

    But not one that’s illegal under NZ law because there is NO legislation regulating the internal processes of political parties. And there ought to be – why is it legal to destroy the votes of party members and produce the result you want, but illegal if you do it at the next stage, when everyone gets to vote?

    For all its periodic faults, the Nats are democratic and no single group (well, apart from the Parliamentary caucus) dominates. The red melons ? Yep, but they have developed a new definition of democracy for policy development – whatever you want, goes – provided it can be labelled “green”.

    Yes, National comes closest to openness but could still go further. To be fair to the Greens, their processes are very open – it’s just that no one joins their party who isn’t already committed to the ideals, so the “anything goes if it’s green” outcome isn’t due to any dodgy internal processes but to groupthink.

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  13. David Garrett (7,289 comments) says:

    My question is to the would-have-liked-to-be Hon. Gentleman (Rex W) and asks:

    “How did you, clearly an intelligent and well informed man, ever think NZ First was anything other than a vehicle for Peters’ own ego and ambitions, and not really a “party” at all?”

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  14. Tauhei Notts (1,714 comments) says:

    HOw come the TAB calls came to $20.
    I always use the 0800 100 200 number

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  15. ChardonnayGuy (1,207 comments) says:

    Oddly enough, the fact that Winston First is a cult of personality with weakly thought out and presented kneejerk policies that pander to right-wing elderly voters, provincial bigots, anti-immigrant racists and religious social conservatives is one issue that I tend to particularly agree with the centre-right on. Better that NZF cease to exist altogether, whether through the contraction of its core social constituency below list-only threshold viability levels, or through Winston’s eventual morbidity and mortality. Much the same could be said about the Colin Craig Party.

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