Long may it last

June 7th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

NZ First leader Winston Peters is calling on Speaker to explain why he went against in Parliament today and would boycott Parliament until he did.

Excellent. Long may it last.

NZ First MPs and Labour’s have walked out of Parliament in protest after Speaker David Carter allowed United Future MP to keep the extra funding and entitlements that come with being a party leader, despite the de-registration of his party.

Mr Carter announced the decision today but both Labour and NZ First objected, saying if Mr Dunne’s party was not registered then it clearly did not meet the rules required for those resources.

Maybe Winston should pay back the $158,000 he owes taxpayers before he tries to take the moral high ground.

As for whether Dunne is eligible to retain his extra funding, the Standing Orders are not clear on this. What Carter has effectively ruled is that as Dunne was the leader of a party when elected at the beginning of this term – that applies throughout.  I think it an arguable decision either way, but Peters is wrong to say the decision is against standing orders. The standing orders are unclear on what happens if a party is deregistered. Graeme Edgeler has blogged on this at Public Address.

After objecting, Mr Peters said that if Mr Carter did not produce the legal advice he based his decision on, then his party would boycott Parliament until that happened.

But as usual, he lied. They’re back already.

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44 Responses to “Long may it last”

  1. Manolo (14,018 comments) says:

    There are no limits to Peters’ vileness.
    NZ will be better off the day this venal old man is out of Parliament and politics.

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  2. AG (1,830 comments) says:

    What Carter has effectively ruled is that as Dunne was the leader of a party when elected at the beginning of this term – that applies throughout.

    No. That isn’t what he’s ruled. What he’s ruled is that Dunne has a “grace period” to get UF re-registered without losing his status as leader of a recognised party.

    I have now had a chance to consider Mr Dunne’s response. He has given me an assurance that his party expects to file an application for re-registration early next week. The Electoral Commission advises that its checks will take some 6 to 8 weeks to finalise. Once the Electoral Commission has done so, I will revisit the matter. In the meantime, the United Future Party remains a recognised party under Standing Orders.

    The consequences of loss of recognition are significant, and I consider I should follow fair and proper process in determining this matter. The member and his party should have a reasonable opportunity to put the matter right.

    In other words, despite the apparent wording of SO 34(1), the Speaker will decide if you are/are not a recognised party based on what the Speaker thinks is the fair thing to do.

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  3. big bruv (14,116 comments) says:

    Winston first is being his usual duplicitous self. I watched the house yesterday and have replayed it a few times. It is clear that Carter never said that he had taken any “legal advice” on the matter, what Carter said was that he had taken “advice”.

    Peters is once again telling outright lies, and again our hopeless media have failed to take him up on this.

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  4. dishy (248 comments) says:

    Manolo: I agree. In my view, Peters himself, and NZ First, shouldn’t receive a cent of taxpayer funding until he proves repayment of the $158,000. Until then, the petulant sook should keep his gob shut on this subject.

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  5. toms (299 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  6. dishy (248 comments) says:

    toms, is that an annual amount, or the total during the short period of suspension? Or does accuracy not matter when you want to make a point? If the latter, may I suggest journalism for you? And as with Norman, your use of the term “elected member of Parliament” is a bit rich to describe a politician who can’t find an electorate that wants him (or, in Peters’ case, had an electorate that unelected him).

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  7. Craig Ranapia (1,915 comments) says:

    Ah yes, toms, and I’m just loving the theatrical outrage from the same people who rammed through a retroactive amendment to the Electoral Act, under extreme urgency no less, to cover Harry Duynhoven’s arse, and incidentally avoid a politically inconvenient by-election.

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  8. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    No I’m SERIOUS!

    This time I’m REALLY boycotting you!

    :lol:

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  9. Mark (1,488 comments) says:

    This issue is hugely embarrassing for Dunn. It is interesting that the only argument being put up here to defend Dunn’s position is to try to deflect the issue on to the $158,000 that Peters should pay back. Entirely different issues and irrelevant to Dunne’s position. (For what its worth I agree Peters should pay back the tax payers, better still he should retire but its a whole different topic). Dunne should simply hand back the money for the period his party fails to meet the minimum requirements for parliamentary funding. How hard is that concept to grasp. I am surprised that Parker, a supposedly intelligent man, has failed to get it. Its like having Hekia version 2 in the speakers chair.

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  10. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    DON’T GO Winston!

    What would we do without you?

    :lol:

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  11. niggly (831 comments) says:

    Childish behaviour from NZF (a bunch of no-bodies walking out of Parliament as if they were important – I suggest the public has seen thru them and they will be very lucky to make it back into Parliament next year if at all) and the usual Greens and Labour suspects (Mallard, integrity, really?).

    If the shoe was on the other foot and NZF or the Greens were in the same position, I too would favour the Speaker allowing a grace period to work through this.

    But no, we have the nasty sneering Norman on Morning report, and the astoundingly hypocritical Winston Peters talking about UF paying back money. Really Winston, where’s your $158,000 payback from 2008?

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  12. toms (299 comments) says:

    “… is that an annual amount, or the total during the short period of suspension..?”

    How do you know it will be a “short period of suspension?” Are both you and our dim-witted speaker of the house gifted with clairvoyance? The plain and obvious solution is the funding should be suspended until such time as UF can get itself re-registered. Since that is going to be at least 8-12 weeks from suspension, we are talking $25-30,000 plus of taxpayers money given to someone for a political party that doesn’t legally qualify for it by a speaker who refuses to say how he came to his decision. It is a simple, open and shut case of corrupt favouritism from the National party to a Peter Dunne, a man so long used to abusing the taxpayers largess that he has forgotten that he looks like a self-serving pig rolling in shit to hard working New Zealanders.

    On the point of the speaker refusing to disclose his advice – the speaker is there to serve the house, not the other way round. Denying the members access to his advice is simply an appalling abuse of his parliamentary position.

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  13. Chuck Bird (4,922 comments) says:

    A little off topic but i believe that there should be a considerate given having an specific amount required for membership. Is $5 the lowest membership fee of any party? Does anyone know what Mana Party charges?

    I do not think a gold coin should suffice for any party. This would not affect the present situation but it looks like the rules need clarifying in any case so why not have a specific membership fee?

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  14. Manolo (14,018 comments) says:

    It would be great if both, NZF and UF, vanish from the political scene, wouldn’t it?

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  15. Nigel Kearney (1,046 comments) says:

    Maybe Graeme is correct that the party entitlements last for the full term regardless of what happens later, though I would not have interpreted it that way. In any case, the speaker has got it wrong by allowing a grace period, and has also made a mistake by refusing to explain his decision with reference to the rules. Peters being a dick doesn’t make Carter’s actions any more reasonable.

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

    I really don’t find the wording ambiguous at all.

    “Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election, is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.”

    Let’s strip out what is between the commas “and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election”. You’ll note it says “and”, not “or”. It simply adds a second test for funding. Registration and elected mp. It adds this qualification to avoid recognizing people without MPs like the CCCP.

    “”Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, , is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes”

    United future fails this test. It’s not entitled to funding. Winston is right on this. Carter is wrong. There is nothing in the orders that grandfather in the entitlement for a full term.

    Winston is a rouge and and appears to be a thief, however two wrongs don’t make a right. You can tell he’s right when people start to “Ad hominem” him.

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  17. Andrew M (51 comments) says:

    It’s disgusting Dunne gets leadership resources as the leader of a parliamentary party of one, it’s beyond disgusting that he continues to get it as an independent. While I support the current government (lesser of two evils) I’m not bound to toe the party line like some around these parts.

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  18. nostrils (53 comments) says:

    I would happily pay my $5 to the fund if it would keep Winnie out of parliament……

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  19. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    nostrils … I have dunne exactly that for 2 reasons…the first being anti winnie the second because Dunne is a voice for hunters.

    Now that I thunk on it a lil…rare but it happens… there is a third reason… the right needs help..and Dunne is helpful.

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  20. hj (7,059 comments) says:

    The problem with getting rid of the “vile Peters” is that that leaves you with only half an opposition. Labour wont touch immigration (demand for housing etc) and so you get silly debates where people agonise over city limits versus density but demand is a sacred cow.

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  21. campit (467 comments) says:

    Funding issues aside, what are the implications of a deregistered party’s vote being counted in passing legislation?

    On Tuesday the Land Transport Management Bill passed its third reading. When the speaker tallied the votes he clearly states “United Future (1 vote in favour)”

    If United Future have been struck off and are an unrecognised party, the speaker may as well have called “Unicorn Party (1 vote in favour)”. Surely the Speaker cannot count votes of parties that don’t exist? Is the vote for the LTM Amendment Bill valid?

    http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/19065

    [DPF: MPs get the vote in Parliament, not parties. Most vote through their parties as a convenience. The status of Dunne’s party has zero consequences about the fact he was elected MP for Ohariu and gets a vote in the House]

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  22. Jaffa (97 comments) says:

    And is he getting paid while he refuses to work???

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  23. PTM (47 comments) says:

    I would be more inclined to provide another registration to keep UF going if Dunne was less ambivalent as to whether he will be standing in the general election next year. If I register and he doesn’t then my money (small as it is) is contributing to his keeping his perks. I would be more inclined if it was contributing to the longer term existence of UF.

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  24. Manolo (14,018 comments) says:

    @PTM, of course the whore of Ohariu-Belmont will stand. Troughing is his life, so be assured he’ll be trying to get elected.

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  25. Chuck Bird (4,922 comments) says:

    I wonder if the Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party had the 500 membership all the time he was getting extra funding.

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  26. Cunningham (845 comments) says:

    “Maybe Winston should pay back the $158,000 he owes taxpayers before he tries to take the moral high ground” it’s shameful what the MSM let this idiot get away with.

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  27. Chuck Bird (4,922 comments) says:

    It is interesting that John Key has a different view of Winston than many posting here. A few days ago when he was asked about lack of coalition partners he mentioned Winston as well as the Conservative Party.

    John Key has a lot of principles. If you do not like some of them he has plenty more.

    How many concessions do you think he would make to Winston to stay in power?

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  28. David Garrett (7,513 comments) says:

    Chuck: It is highly doubtful “Jim Anderton’s Progressive Party” (that is actually what it was once called; Even Adolf didn’t name his party after himself) had the numbers during his last term.

    ..and he used to dye his hair!

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  29. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    Winston is a rouge and and appears to be a thief, however two wrongs don’t make a right. You can tell he’s right when people start to “Ad hominem” him.

    I’m not sure why Winston is a particular type of cosmetics, but I would “ad hominem” him regardless of whether I think he’s right on a particular point. He’s just cancer.

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  30. adze (2,129 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird the PM ruled out Winston at the last election, and personally I think he should do it again. Winston just isn’t worth going into coalition with even if the risk of losing is greater.

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  31. bhudson (4,740 comments) says:

    Ah, Jim Anderton. And people give Winston a hard time about the baubles of power…

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  32. s.russell (1,645 comments) says:

    @Alan Johnstone,

    Thank you for taking the trouble to look up and quote the relevant rules. I think that is a very useful contribution to the debate. But I must respectfully disagree with your analysis.

    You cannot simply leave out a subsidiary clause in parsing the meaning of the rule. It’s use of the past-tense “was” is rather significant I think. It does not seem unreasonable to me to interpret this as meaning that Dunne is entitled to be recognised as a party leader because UF was a registered party at the time of the election. You can argue about it of course, but it IS ambiguous.

    And, after all, it is not as if the party has ceased to exist.

    This whole business reeks of simply petty visciousness on the party of Labour and NZ First, like kicking someone who has tripped over on the pavement.

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  33. RRM (10,001 comments) says:

    it was “Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition” wasn’t it DG?

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  34. backster (2,183 comments) says:

    This petty issue was used as a co-ordinated attack on the speaker. He needs to insist on far more discipline. It is ironic that the most courteous and moderate speaker on the session (name escapes me) was the one that was thrown out.

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  35. ChardonnayGuy (1,209 comments) says:

    Never mind…happily, 2014 is an election year. Incidentally, does Asenati Lole-Taylor seem to be Winston’s heir apparent to any of you? I’m really starting to wonder if she’s making a bid against Louisa Wall in Manurewa next year. Or eventually succeed Winstonium, come to think of it…

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  36. Chuck Bird (4,922 comments) says:

    Chuck Bird the PM ruled out Winston at the last election, and personally I think he should do it again.

    @adze, that is a valid point of view that I am sure is shared by many posting here. However, Key like the vast majority of MPs is totally lacking in principles. I merely pointed out what Key said and I got a number of thumbs down by Key’s admirers.

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  37. Keeping Stock (10,398 comments) says:

    David Carter missed a trick yesterday. He should have offered to release his advice to Peters when Peters produced a receipt from Parliamentary Services to confirm that Peters had repaid the $158,000 he owes the New Zealand taxpayer since 2005, plus 5% per annum interest. Peters’ reaction would have been precious to watch :D

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  38. Colville (2,298 comments) says:

    Just the $158K would be fine KS, this taxpayer would happily take the hit on the interest to get the principal sum back!

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  39. Richard Hurst (868 comments) says:

    “…and the Drama Queen awards go to…..(pause, open envelope, hushed silence, )..

    ..Trevor Mallard for the daytime soap opera ‘walkout’! and Winston Peters for best supporting actress in a minor role for ‘Walkout’!”

    (play suitable daytime soap theme music, Trev and Winston punching the air, handshakes, walk up accept award).

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  40. Elaycee (4,403 comments) says:

    The day Winston Peters is given his (final) marching orders by the electorate will be a great day for NZ politics.

    The lying, venal pensioner is a hypocrite of the highest order – the fact he can make any suggestions about Peter Dunne and the use of taxpayer monies (whilst on the other side of his wrinkled visage he knows full well he hasn’t repaid the $158,000 he hoovered from the same taxpayers), is staggering.

    Thankfully it will soon be 2014. He needs to be put out to pasture once and for all.

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

    @S.russell

    “Every political party registered under Part 4 of the Electoral Act 1993, and in whose interest a member was elected at the preceding general election or at any subsequent by-election, is entitled to be recognised as a party for parliamentary purposes.

    I see what you mean by “was” as past tense. Whoever I don’t think it means what you think. I think the “was” is there to stop people starting new parties and getting funding. This is why Hone caused a by election to establish funding for Mana.

    I just can’t get past “and in whose interest”. To me the “and” is clearly additive, it stipulates two conditions that must be met. Registration and election.

    The speaker clearly agrees with me, as demonstrated with his grace period. If the clause meant what you think it does, he’d simply have said, registration doesn’t matter, he’s good till the next election regardless. He didn’t. He’s just fudged and refused to obey the standing orders.

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  42. YesWeDid (1,048 comments) says:

    If Peter Dunne is deemed, by the speaker, to no longer be the leader of United Future then Dunne would have to give up his ministerial position.

    National have a confidence and supply agreement with United Future that makes it very clear the leader of United Future is given a ministerial position, not Peter Dunne but the ‘leader of United Future’. If there is no United Future then there is no leader.

    Of course National would quickly put a new confidence and supply agreement in place with Peter Dunne but this would be highly embarrassing and give the impression the government is only holding on by a shoe string.

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  43. Chuck Bird (4,922 comments) says:

    Dunne is done.

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

    Don’t fancy his chances of getting 500 members now…….

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