Will Laila get a leader’s salary and funding, even if elected on Hone’s coat tails?

July 7th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I’ve had raised with me an interesting issue. If becomes an MP, will she be treated as a party leader, even though she only get in through the combined Mana-Internet alliance? Will both Hone and Laila get a leader’s salary?

This involves a fair bit of taxpayer money. As a party leader her salary would be $162,200 instead of $147,800 – an extra $14,400.

On top of that she would get an extra $100,000 leadership funding for her parliamentary office. So the taxpayer would be paying an extra $114,400 a year or $343,200 over a three year term.

So what does standing orders say about what constitutes a party – SO 34(1):

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. and

That would suggest she won’t be recognised. But recall that the Mana-Internet agreement expires six weeks after the election. Then read this clause SO34(2)(c):

Independent members, or members who cease to be members of the party for which they were originally elected, may be recognised, for parliamentary purposes as members of a component party in whose interest those members stood as constituency candidates at the preceding
general election if they inform the Speaker in writing that they wish to be so recognised.

So Laila splits from Mana six weeks after the election, and then the is a recognised parliamentary party. And that means she gets an extra $114,400 a year of taxpayer funding.

Very neat eh. This helps explain why the agreement lapses just six weeks after the election.

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30 Responses to “Will Laila get a leader’s salary and funding, even if elected on Hone’s coat tails?”

  1. Manolo (14,167 comments) says:

    A bit of haggling here and there, as any street worker would have with a potential client.
    We know Laila is an expert at that.

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  2. mjw (401 comments) says:

    Don’t forget that it was the current Justice minister who frustrated attempts to get rid of the coat-tailing provisions. Coat-tailing is National party policy, it seems.

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  3. rouppe (983 comments) says:

    I think you’re wrong. They may be running on a combined ticket, but they are still two political parties.

    And anyway, as you say, they will split right after the election.

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  4. itstricky (2,021 comments) says:

    Coat-tailing is National party policy, it seems.

    And Cunners did say they’d drop it, remember. DPF – tell JK he has the power to change this! Or is it easier to moan?

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  5. peterwn (3,333 comments) says:

    On what basis? Hone got a leader’s salary/ perks because he resigned, formed a party with 500 members, had it successfully registered, stood for the byelection under that party’s banner and won.

    If Mana & Internet parties split, do Electoral and Parliamentary agencies have to recognise the split for the purposes of leadership and filling casual list vacancies? Or is the matter so vague that Mr Speaker or Parliament itself have to sort it out. The incumbent Prime Minister is unlikely to want to get involved unless the matter affects the stability of his Government (ie John Key would keep out of it but David Cunliffe may have to decide something).

    Hone and Laila could agree that Laila becomes leader, then Hone retires and puts himself up at the ensuing byelection – there would appear to be nothing to stop this assuming Hone was prepared to go along with it.

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  6. Tarquin North (400 comments) says:

    Like everything else with the fat German’s fingerprints on it, it’s a rort and will end in tears. And as usual someone else (the tax payer) will end up paying for it.

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  7. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    After the scheduled split… If Harre resigned from parliament then is he list replacement the number 3 on the combined list (a Mana person), or the next Internet person on the list?

    Dotcom and Harre got their money’s worth out of Edgeler. If you want to minimise your tax bill then employ a good accountant who can find all the loopholes. If you want to rort as much as you can out of the electoral system then employ a tricky lawyer who knows how to manipulate democracy for personal gain.

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  8. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    How is this any different morally from ACT, who would not exist if they didn’t have the ‘nod’ from National, and even United Future, if they were also not supported over the years by either National or Labour, both of whom at various times encouraged their voters to give their support to him.

    Whilst the technical aspects are different, the ethics are exactly the same.

    MMP in its current form is a stupid system that is ruining our country. Democracy is about the majority making the decisions. It is very likely that we will end up with a government where the minority will hold the power, and the country to ransom. Where wackos will hold up improvement, delay decisions and generally be nothing but a pain in the butt.

    But like all things, the average person doesn’t understand the complications of MMP, so rather than vote against it, they vote to keep the status quo.

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  9. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    @ davidp (3,518 comments) says:
    July 7th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    I do not think it is fair or reasonable that you attack Edgeler. For a start, I doubt you know exactly what advice he gave them, and secondly it is his job. The way he earns a legal income. Would you prefer he be on the dole?

    God help us when we encourage people to turn down work because it displeases others based on their political bias. Our unemployment rate would double.

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  10. davidp (3,585 comments) says:

    Judith>Would you prefer he be on the dole?

    I’d be happy to pay my share of his dole money, providing he promised to stop helping Dotcom and Harre take the piss out of our democracy.

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  11. Nigel Kearney (1,096 comments) says:

    There is no reason to have special funding for the leader. Just fund each party a fixed amount per MP and it ceases to be a problem. It’s not as if one person parties are something we particularly want to encourage with a subsidy.

    I agree with Judith that MMP is a horrible system. But only because it give too much power to small parties in the centre. The ones at the extreme ends may be a bit odd, but they don’t affect government formation so don’t prevent democracy working as it should.

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  12. minus (229 comments) says:

    It is understood Harawira will be identified as a MANA member on the Electorate Vote half of the TTT Electorate voting paper, but only Internet MANA will appear on the Party Vote half.

    You will only be able to party vote for the combined Internet MANA Party. No voting preference will exist for an individual MANA or separate Internet Party.

    So if they split, they may be happy to abide by the combined list.
    Otherwise the Electoral Commission has no idea how to allocate members and would apparently hand the whole mess back to the Clerk of the House.

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  13. Psycho Milt (2,423 comments) says:

    A bit of haggling here and there, as any street worker would have with a potential client.
    We know Laila is an expert at that.

    So, where did this fantasy of Laila Harre as a hooker come from? You’ve mentioned it a couple of times now that I’ve seen, and maybe I haven’t seen every instance. You should probably get some therapy for that, it’s a bit disturbing – actually, it’s a lot disturbing.

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  14. minus (229 comments) says:

    Of course what could be interesting to see, may be that Internet MANA gets a party vote of 6.5% or some figure like that, and then the ensuing arguments as to which is actually over the 5% threshold with the right to stand alone.

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  15. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    Psycho Milt – Manolo has a long record of making derogatory comments about people. Calling him on it doesn’t stop him from repeating it, which suggests it may be deliberate defamation rather than just ignorance. Dirty politics at it’s worst.

    New parties in particular are at a distinct disadvantage in the system put in place by incumbent parties to protect their own interests.

    If the Internet Party and MANA can split and get separate party leadership entitlements then so be it, thems the rules. The large parties set the rules and work around them to their own advantage so they can hardly complain when other parties do it.

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  16. duggledog (1,621 comments) says:

    MMP is a funny beast isn’t it. I don’t think we’ll ever be rid of it because the silly old detached-from-reality MOR voter thinks it makes politics more interesting, and wants more variety in all things – in the same way as they want more and more TV channels, food halls, 20/20 cricket etc… only it’s not entertainment, it’s running a country. Maybe it’s all a hangover from the Muldoon years when choice in many aspects of life was a bit limited.

    Still I guess even when we had 2 parties year in year out, the parties themselves had their left and right wings, and indeed massively destructive fruit loops e.g. Palmer

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  17. OneTrack (3,354 comments) says:

    Judith – “Whilst the technical aspects are different, the ethics are exactly the same. ”

    Rubbish. The ethics are completely different. But we have been over this so many times, I aren’t going to bother again. But, anything for the cause, right?

    InterManaNet is just lefties rorting the system they were so eager to bring in. I am starting to see why they wanted it so much.

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  18. Manolo (14,167 comments) says:

    Hear, hear! Labour candidate and staunch feminist P.G. has spoken from his high horse in Dunedin.
    Laughable, just plain laughable.

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  19. OneTrack (3,354 comments) says:

    Nigel – “The ones at the extreme ends may be a bit odd”.

    You mean like Labour.

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  20. Brian Smaller (3,966 comments) says:

    @Judith – MMP in it’s current form is exactly what New Zealanders voted to retain. There was a chance to change it and a majority who voted decided not to.

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  21. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    I don’t know if you’re trying to be funny or you’re just bitter and twisted Manolo. I’ve never been a Labour candidate, I’ve never been a Labour Party member. That’s a new one, but you’ve tried various twists on the “staunch feminist” theme many times. You’re right about one thing, your comment is laughable.

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  22. Unity (633 comments) says:

    The whole current system is a corrupt rort and needs to fixed up immediately after the election so it can never happen again. If it wasn’t so seriously dreadful, it would be laughable. I’m sure those in the Internet Mana Party are laughing all the way – at how stupid our Government has been. If I had my way MMP would have long gone but stupid people have allowed it to stay. I think Duggledog hit the nail on the head as to why that is.

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  23. Chris2 (775 comments) says:

    For the purpose of Parliamentary funding, a party ought to have a minimum number of MP’s before it is entitled to a Leader’s Salary and extra Budget.

    Maybe a minimum three or four MP’s?

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  24. minus (229 comments) says:

    If it happens that Internet MANA party gains members, perhaps three, they will have Hone Harawira as Leader.
    If it splits, why would anyone else be leader?
    The precedent surely is Horan, who became an Independent, not an Independent Leader – as far as I know.

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  25. Pete George (23,795 comments) says:

    Horan didn’t have a party, that’s why he became Independent. He had nothing to be the leader of. To qualify for leader’s perks you need to have a registered party.

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  26. spanish_tudor (84 comments) says:

    But Horan could have had a whip round for 500 signatures, then he could have been a party leader.

    Hell, even Alamein Kopu managed that to register Mana Wahine as a party didn’t she? I think Horan just chose not to bother, and instead is seeing out his term, having a good time on the taxpayer’s coin.

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  27. G152 (420 comments) says:

    Has Crim Dot Con appeared in court yet for his vacation in the sunny US ?

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  28. Reid (16,683 comments) says:

    Wouldn’t be surprised if this six-week expiry gerry-mander was a result of Annette Sykes’ input. Say what you like about her politics but she’s a very astute lawyer.

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  29. Warren Murray (316 comments) says:

    Question – what is the difference between single member ‘parties’ and independent MPs?

    Answer $200,000.

    As others have said, a qualifying size threshold seems like a common sense solution. Sure it would hit Dunne too, but the notion of a ‘caucus’ of one or even two seems ridiculous.

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  30. chris (647 comments) says:

    It’s just daft that you can get a leader’s salary and the other perks that go with it for a one person party. Just who are you leading? Agreed, there should be a number of MPs threshold.

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