Young on National Party Conference

August 12th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Audrey Young at NZ Herald writes:

Party president Peter Goodfellow wants members to change their wills to make bequests to the Foundation, the party’s new investment vehicle. The wealthy businessman will do so, as will leader John Key, but both are thought to give fairly handsomely already.

That may encourage assassination attempts :-)

Nick Smith suggested a Government had not been in such good shape five years in since the Holyoake years. Sir Robert Muldoon had been contending with Derek Quigley and the Springbok tour, David Lange was at war with his Finance Minister Roger Douglas, Jim Bolger had fallen out with his Finance Minister Ruth Richardson and 11 members of caucus had changed parties. And under Helen Clark the foreshore and seabed issue had split the country and one of her MPs had left to form the Maori Party. All unhappy times.

His point was well made. Despite some failures of political management, most recently over the GCSB spy legislation, the National Party is travelling well in its fifth year in government.

It’s a good point Nick makes. Since polling started, no Government has been so strong in year 5. Kirk did not get a second term. Muldoon in August 1980 was at 41%. In August 1989 Labour was 36%.

In August 1995, National was at 42%. In August 2004, Labour were at 43%.

In July 2013, National is averaging 49%.

Only nine policy remits were debated by rank-and-file members. At least National’s remit debates were open to the media, unlike the Green Party, who would rather hold debates on democratic reforms and other such policy in closed sessions.

The Young Nationals got unanimous support for the Government to pick up Jami-Lee Ross’ private member’s bill that would allow employers to hire casual labour during strikes, but that was about an existing idea. Trade Minister Tim Groser had very strong views on modesty – more precisely why he thinks businesses need a few lessons on modesty in dealing with overseas clients.

I suspect I’m not the only one amused by Tim talking about modesty :-)

The fact the conference unanimously backed the Young Nats remit, will add pressure to the Government to keep backing Jami-Lee’s bill.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson played a YouTube clip of a top-quality, 30-storey hotel in China being built in 15 days. (He said he’d like to post a video of the BNZ Wellington building: 15 storeys in 30 years.)

I recall those days!

The biggest idea was when the prime minister told the Nelson magazine Wild Tomato that if there was any policy he could change overnight, it would be to change the New Zealand flag to the silver fern.

He was happy to talk about Fonterra, even the GCSB through gritted teeth. But he did not want the flag story to fly when the media seized on it.

Key has said this before, so it is not new. And any decision would be one for the public. I, for one, support adopting the silver fern as our national flag. Within a year everyone will be asking why didn’t we do this 20 years ago – as the Canadians now say about the maple leaf flag. I note that already more and more Kiwis travelling overseas use the silver fern to identify themselves as Kiwis – it has the advantage of not looking like the Australian flag from a distance.

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37 Responses to “Young on National Party Conference”

  1. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    Kirk did not get a second term.

    I suspect low polling was not to blame for Kirk not being re-elected.

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  2. Redbaiter (8,318 comments) says:

    “it has the advantage of not looking like the Australian flag from a distance.”

    It does look a lot like a white feather.

    That would be why John Key likes it.

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  3. greybeard (57 comments) says:

    If you give us the name of that ‘top quality hotel’ we can make sure we avoid it……

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  4. Ashley Schaeffer (457 comments) says:

    I’m not in favour of changing our national flag, but I could live with the silver fern emblem as it’s currently represented. I fear that what we will actually be saddled with is some cultural design that panders to Maori interest but leaves the rest of us cold.

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  5. Viking2 (11,367 comments) says:

    greybeard (25) Says:
    August 12th, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    If you give us the name of that ‘top quality hotel’ we can make sure we avoid it……
    ====================
    Bulit to withstand 9.9earthquakes. all steel frame. Go to youtube and search. It’s there along with others.
    I posted the link here months back.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwvmru5JmXk

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  6. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    I love how people keep posting up the video of the Chinese 30 storeys in 15 days building.

    There’s another e mail that went around, of a brand new tall apartment building in China that just tipped over and fell on its side… because the piles going into the ground were reinforced with what looked like rolled-up sheets of floor slab mesh, with no real connection to the base of the building at all.

    You pays your money, you takes your chance. I for one find it highly amusing to see the Chinese construction industry demonstrating to the world pure market capitalism, warts & all :-P

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  7. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    Sorry, but did a professional poller just compare pre and post mmp polls (probably with very differing methodologies) and attempt to illustrate a political point using this as evidence?

    Politics has changed since then; the right retains a 1 party structure and has failed in its attempts to create a second one. The left has moved to a 2 party structure creating a broader front.

    48% used to win you a landslide, now unless you have supporting parties there is a big danger it gets you defeat.

    Not addressing this at the last election when mmp was on the table is strategic failure of epic proportions.

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  8. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    Alan – can I just say I’m surprised you don’t rate the right’s 3-pronged attack (National, Conservative, 1law4all) more highly.

    Surprised, and disappointed.

    I expect the 1law4all party to become a real force in NZ politics – even rivalling the Conservative party.

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  9. scrubone (3,091 comments) says:

    Party president Peter Goodfellow wants members to change their wills to make bequests to the National Foundation, the party’s new investment vehicle.

    So long after it’s lost support of actual people, it will still be funded.

    I get that it’s different from state funding. But it does have some of the same flaws.

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  10. Alan (1,087 comments) says:

    RRM, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt and laugh at your joke, although on Kiwiblog one can never be entirely sure ;-)

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  11. graham (2,329 comments) says:

    I, for one, still like our flag. Rather than change our flag because it looks too much like Australia’s, let’s get Australia to change theirs. Our flag is strong and striking in it’s simplicity, whereas the Australian flag is a more confusing mish-mash of different sized stars. That way, no more confusion, and we get to keep our beautiful flag. Problem solved.

    As Ashley says, if the flag does end up being changed I could live with the silver fern. But the vested interest groups will come out strongly for some Maori-inspired flag that will not have any meaning to the majority of us.

    The Tino rangatiratanga flag? Can you imagine anything worse than having to see that rubbish on all official documentation?

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  12. Nigel Kearney (970 comments) says:

    >it has the advantage of not looking like the Australian flag from a distance

    Nobody is buying that this is a real reason. How often does it actually matter that they look similar? The republicans just hate the union jack being there as it represents our connection to Britain. If someone proposed a silver fern with the union jack still in the corner, the level of hate from the republicans would be just the same as it is for the current flag.

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  13. tvb (4,324 comments) says:

    The silver fern is a sporting symbol. I prefer the existing flag minus the Union Jack. The Sputhern Cross has deeper cultural significance.

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  14. Monique Angel (271 comments) says:

    We don’t have a connection to Britain. New Zealand s it’s own country and it’s time to shuck off the Queen like the freeloading aged Aunt she is.
    Monarchies as lauded as the ultimate in social democratic government are a vehicle for pushing a socialist agenda.
    Having said, “we are our own county”, I do not currently or ever plan to live again in New Zealand but that doesn’t mea I do not identify strongly as a Kiwi and am not concerned with the fortunes and outcomes of New Zealanders and Kiwis no matter where in the world we live.
    Changing the flag to the silver fern would go a long way towards linking us all no matter where in the world we live.
    Get rid of the union jack.

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  15. flipper (3,948 comments) says:

    LOVED YOUR COMMENT on Tim Groser’s modesty.

    But after his double knockout, two round, win over Doug Graham’s silly brother, Kennedy, in the House last week, I cannot do other than say “well done”. Graham was white when he gave up his questioning and retired.

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  16. Pete George (23,429 comments) says:

    @Nigel Kearney

    The republicans just hate the union jack being there as it represents our connection to Britain.

    Which republicans are you talking about Nigel? All of them?

    I support a more independent New Zealand, a republic is one possible alternative. I don’t hate the union jack, I don’t even dislike, it, it’s a very clever and distinctive composite flag.

    But for me it’s lost it’s relevance for New Zealand, I’f prefer our own disticntive flag – which we have already got in practice, the silver fern on black is a very popular flag of choice for New Zealanders.

    Most of the rest of the world wouldn’t notice if we changed, they would just notice New Zealand more easily on official flag flying occasions.

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  17. graham (2,329 comments) says:

    Monique – you may not feel any more connection to Britain, but many New Zealanders do feel that connection very strongly. And many of us happen to appreciate the Queen and all the hard work she does.

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  18. Redbaiter (8,318 comments) says:

    Graham, you’re wildly out of touch.

    Britain once stood for individual liberty and freedom, but the progressives have won there, and it is consequently a communist shit hole with what it once stood for trampled into the mud and grime of the leftist sewer that it is today.

    As for the Queen, she’s too busy giving knighthoods to pop stars and cheering for queer marriage to do any hard work.

    Its all gone mate, and the flag debate is just a distraction while the same deranged idiots get on with the same destruction here in NZ.

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  19. kowtow (8,175 comments) says:

    Lots of countries have very similar flags.

    The similarity with Australia is an ignorant argument.

    Keep the flag we have ,keep the Saatchi and Saatchi one where it belongs, a sporting symbol.

    And what harm being closely identified with our historical ,traditional roots…..the UK as well as our closest neighbour and best friend (sadly we can’t say ally,if that’s one policy change I’d make it would be to restore our alliance with Australia)and to strengthen ties with the UK and US.

    Maybe that’s Key’s secret, he doesn’t court controversy by failing to take a strong lead where it’s needed.

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  20. Nigel Kearney (970 comments) says:

    A more independent New Zealand is not possible. The Queen doesn’t do anything that limits what we can do.

    I would support a republic if we were starting from scratch. But we’re not, and I support the status quo because it makes no real difference and there are more important things to be getting on with.

    The republican movement deserves ridicule because they are calling for all this change that provides no benefit, so basically have no choice but to back their case with silly assertions, such as a need to have a flag that looks completely different to the Australian one, or that our independence is compromised by having the Queen as head of state.

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  21. Kea (11,987 comments) says:

    It is funny how conservatives support the Queen, an unelected position that leeches off the tax payer, but object strongly to a decent days pay for a decent days work for everyone else ! Royalty are unelected dictators and belong back in the dark ages.

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  22. Monique Angel (271 comments) says:

    I actually think, Graham that the Queen is a wonderful example of the ability to soldier on despite all. She’s very measured, gracious and has never indulged in dramatics or politics. I admire her terribly. I would follow her in the news regardless of any tie to the Motherland.
    But I don’t think she is an appropriate Head of State for modern New Zealand as this tie promotes a free-loading welfare -state. mindset. (Why strive to succeed if you’re born to it or not born to it and Mum has the final say).
    A Monarchy provides fertile soil for the groundswell of Social Democratic politics /aka socialism.
    In the same way that Monarchy was rejected by the Meritocracy of America.

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  23. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    Monique – I’m pretty sure the Monarchy was also rejected by the meritocracy of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics…?

    I don’t think rejecting Monarchy is of itself an indication of the quality of a country’s political system, or a good measure of the value it places on individual freedom ;-)

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  24. Graeme Edgeler (3,280 comments) says:

    Our flag is strong and striking in it’s simplicity, whereas the Australian flag is a more confusing mish-mash of different sized stars.

    I, too, think our flag is awesome, and think that that Australian flag is rather ugly by comparison, however you can’t fault the Australian flag for having different sized stars.

    The New Zealand flag has four stars of 3 different sizes
    The Australian flag has six stars of 3 different sizes

    ref:
    NZ http://www.mch.govt.nz/files/NZ%20Flag%20-%20proportions.JPG
    AUS http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/c/c0/Flag_of_Australia_template.svg/1000px-Flag_of_Australia_template.svg.png

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  25. kowtow (8,175 comments) says:

    Conservatives support the Queen?

    Too bloody right.

    Conserve the constitution: God ,King and Country.

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  26. Monique Angel (271 comments) says:

    I agree with kowtow;
    Conserve the Prostitution: God, King and Country.

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  27. Redbaiter (8,318 comments) says:

    Kowtow- did you read this on Crusader Rabbit?

    Fucking outrageous.

    One day we may unite under the St George Cross and deal it to these bastards who wish to destroy everything we hold dear.

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  28. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    Yeah the construction industry in China is right up there…in terms of low standards.

    Nineteen construction workers died after an elevator plummeted from the 30th floor of an apartment building site in a region of central China known as Hubei. The incident occurred on 13th September at 1.26pm local time.

    Five people from four different construction companies responsible for the project have been detained in an investigation into the incident. It follows numerous other recent disasters in the Chinese building and construction industry, including the collapse of part of the Hayyi High-Speed Railway, and the trapping of hundreds of construction workers in a tunnel in North-East China during a typhoon.

    Poor construction standards have also been blamed for worsening the impact of earthquakes and their associated aftershocks in the country, resulting in the deaths of 80 people earlier this month.

    http://www.buildingtestexpo.com/chinas-construction-standards-questioned-again-after-elevator-deaths

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  29. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    “Approximately 14 workers die per day in the U.S. compared to 228 in China.”

    Clearly, Maurice Williamson wants to see more Pike Rivers here.

    http://www.safetynewsalert.com/worker-fatalities-how-does-china-compare-to-u-s/

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  30. Kea (11,987 comments) says:

    kowtow (4,885) Says:

    August 12th, 2013 at 3:30 pm
    Conservatives support the Queen?

    Too bloody right.

    I have no problem with you supporting the Queen and all that goes with it. I have a big problem with you demanding other people pay for your silly indulgence. That includes things such as royal visits and the govenor general.

    Kings and Queens are unelected dictators who rule over subjects. If you want to live out that fantasy, then piss off to North Korea.

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  31. publicwatchdog (2,516 comments) says:

    Here you go Kiwibloggers! – Arising from comment made by NZ Prime Minister at this National Party conference:

    12 August 2013

    ‘Open Letter/’ OIA request to NZ Prime Minister John Key – from Auckland Mayoral candidate Penny Bright:

    “Where is the EVIDENCE of power ‘blackouts’ in the days of the Electricity Division of the Ministry of Energy?”

    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Dear Prime Minister,

    I note your following comments, made to the National Party’s annual conference, on Sunday 11 August 2013:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10911082

    PM’s full speech to National Party’s annual conference
    12:29 PM Sunday Aug 11, 2013

    …………………….

    Make no mistake, our opposition comes from the far left of politics.
    The Greens are leading Labour by the nose. It’s important that New Zealanders understand what a Green-dominated government would look like. They want to tax you more, rack up more debt and make you work two more years before you can retire.

    They want a government department to run the entire electricity system, just like it did in the old days when we had blackouts.

    ……………………………………. ”

    HISTORICAL BACKGROUND ON THE NZ ELECTRICITY ‘REFORMS':

    http://www.iscr.org.nz/f310,14092/Chapter_5_New_Zealand_s_Electricity_Reform_History.pdf

    “We begin with a brief discussion of the origins of electricity in New Zealand, and how its provision quickly became the exclusive purview of government.

    The 1980s reforms of electricity are summarised, focusing on the corporatisation of ECNZ under the State-Owned Enterprises
    Act 1986, early reform objectives, and the 1989 Electricity Task Force Report.

    Any break-up of the monolithic ECNZ necessitated measures to encourage competition in generation, such as the separation of transmission from generation, and development of a wholesale electricity market.

    …………………..

    From Government Department to Corporation

    In the current context, the reforms of greatest significance began with the corporatisation of state trading enterprises under the 1986 State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Act.

    Motivating this shift towards operationally autonomous, profit-motivated and more transparently operating state trading activities was their sustained poor performance under existing arrangements.

    Up until this time (1986) the electricity sector in New Zealand was dominated by the Electricity Division of the Ministry of Energy, which was responsible for the operation, maintenance and development of all generation and transmission in New Zealand to ensure the reliability and quality of supply and to meet growth in electricity demand.

    Distribution and retailing services were local-government owned and operated by 61 electricity supply authorities (ESAs), including electric power boards and municipal electricity departments.

    Each had monopoly-service rights and obligations in licensed franchise areas, supplying energy over their lines networks purchased from the Electricity Division at prices (bundling energy and transmission charges) essentially determined by government.

    To enhance their bargaining/lobbying power, these organisations combined forces via the Electricity Supply Association of New Zealand (ESANZ). This basic set-up had persisted for much of the
    twentieth century
    ………………….”
    ________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Prime Minister, personally, i do not share the view that the performance of the (natural) monopoly of the essential public service of electricity supply, was ‘inefficient’ or ‘poor’ in the ‘old days’ of the Electricity Division of the Ministry of Energy, and local power boards.

    (I can remember those arguably ‘good old days’, when power bills were affordable, and I for one, could afford to have the heater on in winter, and a soak in a hot bath.

    Now I cannot, together with thousands of other New Zealanders.)

    What I have been unable to find, Prime Minister, is any reference to ‘blackouts’ back in the ‘old days’, when the Electricity Division of the Ministry of Energy did indeed ‘run’ the supply of electricity as a ‘Government Department’.

    There is evidence though, of electricity ‘blackouts’ which have occurred SINCE these electricity ‘reforms’ which started in the 1980s:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/energy/news/article.cfm?c_id=37&objectid=3400502

    Summary: Ministerial Inquiry into the Auckland Power Supply Failure
    4:00 AM Tuesday Jul 21, 1998✩Save

    Energy Minister Max Bradford today released the report of the Ministerial Inquiry into the Auckland Power Supply Failure.

    The Inquiry was announced by Mr Bradford on March 12 1998 following the power failure to Auckland’s central business district beginning on February 20 1998. The Inquiry was set up by the Government in order to examine what happened, why and what lessons could be drawn for the future. Issues of legal liability and compensation were not part of the terms of reference.

    Members of the Inquiry were Mr Hugh Rennie QC (Chairman), Mr Don Sollitt and Dr Keith Turner.

    Key findings

    The report is critical of Mercury’s, and its predecessor the Auckland Electric Power Board’s risk management and contingency planning, and its operations and asset management practices.

    Corporate governance is also identified as an issue. The Inquiry found that the governance structure of Mercury Energy did not cause the power supply to fail, but through its effect on governance an opportunity to prevent it was lost.

    ________________________________________________________________

    http://tdworld.com/energizing/transpower-announces-reports-auckland-power-outage-june-recommends-building-new-line-2011

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________

    Transpower Announces Reports on Auckland Power Outage in June; Recommends Building New Line by 2011
    Jul. 11, 2006tdworld.com | T&D World Magazine

    Two independent reports have been released examining last month’s major power outage in New Zealand. On June 12, a blackout caused chaos in Auckland, leaving about 750,000 without power and resulting in US$52 million lost in trade. Roads were gridlocked, phones lines were down and hospitals closed, according to a Reuters report.
    …..
    ______________________________________________________________________________________________
    OIA REQUEST:

    1) Prime Minister John Key, can you please provide the information upon which you were relying, in your
    above-mentioned speech,which confirms / substantiates that there were in fact ‘blackouts’in the days of the days of the
    Electricity Division of the Ministry of Energy, and before the 1986 ‘electricity reforms’.

    2) Can you please provide the following particulars of any/ all these purported ‘blackouts’, in the days of the Electricity Division
    of the Ministry of Energy, before the 1986 ‘electricity reforms

    a) DATE(S)
    b) LOCATION (S)
    c) CAUSE (S)

    Thank you in anticipation of your prompt response to this request.

    Kind regards,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption/anti-privatisation’ campaigner

    2013 Auckland Mayoral candidate

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  32. CrazyIvan (88 comments) says:

    The main flag issue seems to be ‘ours is too much like Australia’s.’ It’s not a valid reason to make a change. There’s dozens of countries you could make the same argument about but there doesn’t appear to be a massive changes of flags. Compare flags like Russia and Serbia, or Slovakia and Croatia, or Hungary and Bulgaria. Close enough for the differences not to be obvious.

    Perhaps we should stick to more pressing issues.

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  33. stigie (1,063 comments) says:

    Did’nt see you at the protest on Saturday Penny outside the National conference,

    but i was there with my banner “Cant wait for the next float”.

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  34. kowtow (8,175 comments) says:

    Yep Red I saw that.

    Multiculturalism is just another word for hate your own culture. It’s a form of treachery. Sadly most people seem to think it means being able to get a kebab after a night out,when in fact it leads to the Cross of St George being treated as a racist symbol.

    Treachery.

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  35. Kea (11,987 comments) says:

    kowtow, how do you feel about the German Queen we have then ?

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  36. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    Penny Bright;

    No one is interested in your attention-seeking “open letters.”

    If you want an honest answer from John Key, try sending him an honest letter.

    You know, like a grown-up would do.

    Not a grandstanding, attention-whoring press release / “open letter” on your crappy website and other third party blogs that he will never ever read.

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  37. RRM (9,774 comments) says:

    12th August 2013
    “Open letter” to Auckland Mayoralty Candidate Penny Bright
    From: Kiwiblog commenter RRM

    Dear Penny;

    (1) Are your Auckland City Council Rates and Metro water charges paid and up-to-date for your property at 86a School Road, Kingsland?

    (2) Notwithstanding the $10,000 already disclosed, what anonymous donations you have received from supporters towards your various legal actions and Auckland Mayoralty campaign?

    Sincerely;
    RRM

    http://www.dodgypennyhasgone.com

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