A new blogger

June 7th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Aaron Gilmore is now blogging at the site of his name.

He’s providing some good analysis on energy issues, including this post looking at the winners and losers of the proposed nationalisation policy of Labour/Greens.

His summary is:


  • Energy consumers
  • Policy advisors
  • Media
  • Any energy company that current is not earning its average cost
  • Regulators
  • Gas and coal providers in NZ, without long term contracts
  • Energy company advisors and lawyers
  • Forex and other market dealers


  • Generation companies that have high cost generation plant
  • Owners and investors and associates in generation companies
  • Future generation market new entrants
  • Anyone with a potentially favourable energy supply contract either as seller or buyer
  • Lines companies that are at risk of asset stranding

Looking forward to some more good analysis.

Gilmore farewell speech

May 14th, 2013 at 3:19 pm by David Farrar

A very dignified farewell speech from Aaron Gilmore. I tweeted that it was the political equivalent of a cock tease – led to expect fireworks, and you get a farewell hug 🙂

Someone else tweeted that if he had made the first half of that speech last week, he may never have had to make the second half.


May 13th, 2013 at 1:59 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

MP Aaron Gilmore appears to have threatened ”revenge” on those who effected his downfall ahead of his valedictory speech in Parliament tomorrow.

After he resigned from Parliament last night, at least four people are understood to have received a text message from Gilmore this morning, including National Party members, advising them to learn the meaning of ”utu” – the Maori word for revenge.

Those who have received messages include Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater and Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches.

I’ll be glad when this is all over. In the last week the Government has been full steam ahead:

  • Unemployment down
  • Tax up and spending down
  • Economic growth and business confidence up
  • An Auckland Housing Accord
  • An international convention centre for Auckland
  • A $1.7 billion share float
  • 80,000 new shareholders on the NZX
  • Extra money for the Christchurch rebuild
  • Pre-Budget spending announcements

The last 10 days should have been 10 days of basically non-stop good news for the Government. Instead we’ve had this side-show. After the conclusion tomorrow, hopefully we can all move on.

Gilmore resigns

May 12th, 2013 at 5:49 pm by David Farrar

Aaron Gilmore has announced:

“It is with a heavy heart and great sadness that I announce my intention to resign from Parliament.

“After taking counsel from colleagues and family in recent days, I have decided that to stay on in Parliament would only serve to cause my loved ones more upset, and cause me undeserved further stress.

“I have made mistakes. I am human. But the attacks on my integrity have started taking a toll on those around me and this is unfair on them

“I also want to make clear my support for the National Party and Prime Minister John Key remains unwavering.”

“Finally, I want to apologise once again to all those people who I’ve let down with my behaviour. I’m determined to learn from those lessons as I continue my life with more grace and humility.

“I will seek to make a final statement in Parliament on Tuesday.”

It is the right decision for both himself and for the Government.

In the past week the Government has just had a successful float of Mighty River Power, a massive drop in unemployment, an improvement in the financial statements, a top 10 rating from Stand and Poors, an Auckland Housing Accord and this week have their Budget. It is intolerable that so much good news was getting drowned out by this issue.

Congratulations to Claudette Hauiti who will be joining Paul Foster-Bell as a new List MP later this month.

The Gilmore e-mails

May 10th, 2013 at 5:45 pm by David Farrar

Andrea Vance at Stuff reports:

Embattled National list MP Aaron Gilmore was warned by a Government department over inappropriate emails.

The emails were not sexually explicit but had an “inappropriate tenor”, the Ministry Of Business Innovation and Employment said.

Gilmore was employed as a contractor for the the-then Department of Building  and Housing from May to November last year. He was a senior policy analyst. …

Days before Gilmore’s contract ended, ministry deputy chief executive Andrew Crisp was alerted to the emails between Gilmore and the Treasury staff member.

“Mr Gilmore was advised verbally that in the public sector context the tone of his emails was inappropriate,” Crisp said.

He was told his contract would not be renewed because of this.

And what did they say:

In the emails from Gilmore to a Treasury analyst, he wrote: “I’ve worked at Treasury though I saw the light and left as a senior adviser at 24.”

He boasts he was the youngest MP on Parliament’s finance committee “and made a few million as a GM in the private sector in-between”.

Gilmore went on: “I think I have a reasonable understanding of what ministers need and what works and how Treasury should operate.”

He chides the recipient saying: “Playing games and being secrecative [sic] witholding information and then bullying and whiteanting [sic] people when they don’t do what you want is how most people see you and is what I have seen too, not as a good Treasury analytic policy maker.”

In an earlier email, dated November 15, he says: “You may want to consider your perchant [sic] for firing off messages to all and sundry trying to undermine people … given my background and that I go back into Parliament on the govt side in the New Year I’m happy to talk about this with you at some stage, as this behaviour is far from productive.”

Gilmore also took exception to being corrected on a figure, writing: “Most of what I have said has been shown to be right once it has been debated …

“I am sure this sort of thing will come back to haunt you if you want your career to reach its full potential.”

There is a certain bullying pattern here.

All the fault of Big Alcohol and the supermarkets

May 10th, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Sellman Letter on Aaron Gilmoreon


So Professor Sellman says it is all the fault of Big Alcohol who have been brainwashing Aaron since he was 15 years old to buy alcohol. This is the fault also of the supermarkets for placing alcohol next to the fruit and veges.

Somewhat obsessive I say.

Gilmore to seek mandate in by-election

May 9th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Aaron Gilmore has announced:

National List MP Aaron Gilmore has announced that he will seek a fresh mandate by standing in the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by-election on 29 June.

Mr Gilmore, who is of Ngai Tahu descent, said that the by-election would give him an opportunity to put the recent allegations behind him, and focus on being able to make his contribution to Parliament.

Mr Gilmore will be standing for the You Know Who I Am Party. They plan to contest all 70 seats at the next election. His co-leader is Ms Reese Witherspoon.

List Ranking

May 6th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald editorial:

The public can only wonder how somebody like that can get into Parliament.

Nobody elected him. He came in on National’s list in 2008 but could not make it back to Parliament on the list in 2011 even though that election increased National’s proportional representation. The previous year this newspaper revealed he did not have a finance industry qualification claimed in his CV.

Now he is back filling a vacancy left by Speaker Lockwood Smith’s departure. This unfortunately is typical of the list system. People near the bottom of the list come and go without the public noticing or knowing much about them.

It is often claimed that the same could be said of many electorate MPs who are largely unknown outside the electorate. But they are well known within it. Before their election they have faced public meetings, attended local gatherings, made a point of meeting and talking to as many voters as possible.

List MPs may do the same but they do not face the same test. It is hard to believe someone who behaved as Mr Gilmore apparently did would win even a safe National electorate. Word gets around.

The fact he is in Parliament suggests National’s list exceeds its depth of presentable candidates.

Not quite, but it is true that most parties get some quality issues at the lower end of their lists. However this situation is partly of National’s own making.

In 2008, Aaron was ranked No 56 on National’s list, and he was the list person in on their list.

In his first term he didn’t endear himself universally. That’s now because he isn’t without skills – he’s got a good understanding of policy, and is a good debater in the House – but because he does some stupid things.

So in 2011 he was one of two MPs ranked at the bottom of the caucus on the party list, and they were not returned in the general election. Since then however two vacancies have occurred, and hence the two List MPs not re-elected were given opportunities to return.

But while they were ranked at the bottom of the caucus, they were not at the bottom of the list. They were both given places potentially winnable and this is because National has made a “policy” decision at the last three elections to rank existing List MPs above new candidates, except when the new candidates are deemed exceptionally talented or have special appeal.

In 2005 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Tim Groser and Chris Finlayson.

In 2008 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Steven Joyce, Hekia Parata, Bakshi Singh and Melissa Lee.

In 2011 the only candidates ranked above current List MPs were Jian Yang, Alfred Ngaro and Paul Goldsmith.

When you are in Government with small majorities, I understand the desire to not have incumbent MPs given unwinnable List places. However there is a price to pay when you do protect the caucus.

By this I don’t mean in any way that I believe incumbent MPs should be treated more harshly – far from it. I just think that when it comes to list ranking, MPs and candidates should compete fairly on their qualities as individuals – not dealt with collectively.

There are in fact a number of people lower down National’s List who would make solid MPs – Paul Foster-Bell (who is now there), Claudette Hauiti, Jo Hayes, Leonie Hapeta, Denise Krum, Viv Gurrey, Brett Hudson etc (not an exclusive list).

The problem is not that National won too many seats. The problem is that it protected its existing caucus and ranked them ahead all bar three new candidates. Now again, there are reasons why that can be politically desirable. But there are also reasons it is politically undesirable, as we have seen this week.

Espiner on Gilmore

May 3rd, 2013 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Colin Espiner writes:

In politics, there are two golden rules all MPs must follow when they have behaved like complete and utter prats.

The first is to apologise. Not a qualified apology – you know, “I apologise if I caused offence,” or a Clayton’s apology, where you attempt to bring others into your circle of shame – “I guess we got a little boisterous” – but a full, no-holds-barred, unreserved, fling yourself-on-the-mercy-of-voters mea culpa. 

I agree. The form of the apology made things worse. I don’t know why some people have such a problem apologising. Hell, I’ve had to apologise many times for my various misdeeds. A statement along the lines of

“I apologise to the staff of the Heritage Hotel for my behaviour on Saturday Night. I regret it, and it will not happen again”.

would have seen the issue die.

There isn’t an awful lot Key can do to Gilmore in the short term, given he has no portfolios to be stripped of and no real responsibility for anything besides his account at Bellamy’s. The Heritage Hotel has said it is unlikely to file a complaint that could trigger disciplinary procedures against him.

But list MPs live or die by the party’s favour, and Gilmore shouldn’t expect a particularly high list ranking next year.

It wasn’t a very high ranking in 2011 either. I would be surprised if Aaron is on the party list in 2014.

Inappropriate 2

May 2nd, 2013 at 10:35 am by David Farrar

Joelle Daly at Stuff reports:

A lawyer friend of Christchurch-based MP Aaron Gilmore was so embarrassed by the politician’s behaviour after a bottle and a half of wine that he wrote an apology to hotel staff.

Sources close to the Heritage Hanmer Springs hotel said Gilmore called a waiter a “dickhead”, handed over his business card and made a comment along the lines of “Don’t you know who I am? I’m an important politician.”

Gilmore’s carry-on prompted Christchurch lawyer Andrew Riches to leave the waiter an apology note the next day.

Hotel management declined to comment yesterday, but a source said when Gilmore ordered more wine while settling the bill, the young man refused, saying they had had enough.

Gilmore then insulted the waiter, the source said.

However, the National Party backbencher yesterday called the incident a “misunderstanding” and denied he used his position as a politician.

While “some inappropriate comments might seem to have been made”, they had been apologised for, he said.

I understand Aaron has also now apologised on Twitter, and will be apologizing to the Prime Minister.

It’s not at all a good look, and a reminder that MPs are in the public spotlight and need to be mindful of that. I recall one MP lamenting to me the worse thing about being an MP is that is some jerk cuts them off in traffic with a dangerous maneuver, they can no longer give them the fingers!

I have little doubt the Whips have been in contact with the MP, and stressed the desirability of no repeat occurrences. I also imagine the PM is very unimpressed. It is no secret that after he became PM he spoke caucus about expected behaviour in a number of areas.

Still some way to go to beat the behaviour of Dover Samuels who actually pissed in a hotel corridor (and allegedly on a hotel staff member he was annoyed at), but this is not a competition you want to win.

Gilmore returns

February 16th, 2013 at 7:49 am by David Farrar

The Electoral Commission has announced:

The Electoral Commission has declared Aaron Gilmore from Wellington to be elected to Parliament from the New Zealand National Party list.

The vacancy arises from the resignation from Parliament of Dr Lockwood Smith.

Lockwood was Auckland (or Rodney) based, and Aaron stood in Christchurch East last election. List vacancies can change the geographic distribution of Parliament slightly.

The next two candidates on National’s list are Paul Quinn and Paul Foster-Ball – both Wellington based.

Gilmore confirms return

December 22nd, 2012 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Lois Cairns at The Press writes:

Former National MP Aaron Gilmore will head back to Parliament in the new year.

Gilmore’s ranking on the National Party’s list means he has been called up to fill the spot left by the departure of long-serving National MP and Speaker of the House Lockwood Smith, who will take up his new role as high commissioner to Britain early next year.

Gilmore scraped into Parliament as a list MP in 2008 but lost his seat in the 2011 general election when special votes gave the Greens an extra seat at National’s expense. …

Gilmore said he hoped as an MP to be Christchurch-based because he wanted to help influence the city’s rebuild.

It will be good to have another Christchurch MP for National.

It has been reported that Paul Quinn, the next on the list after Gilmore, does not plan to return so if Groser does gain the WTO job, then Paul Foster-Bell would become an MP.

Dalziel v Gilmore

October 8th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

At 1 am yesterday, Lianne Dalziel blogged a pretty direct attack on her opponent Aaron Gilmore:

This was why I thought I would look at Aaron’s cv and play with the internet – just to see if the story I had been told was worth investigating further:

  • Senior Associate, Australasian Financial Services Association – No such organisation that I could find
  • Member, Chartered Financial Analyst Institute   – Website does not show him as a current member
  • Member, Associate Chartered Accounting College   – No such organisation that I could find

These anomolies need to be addressed.  The following two are not really examples of inaccuracies in his cv but they gild the lily so to speak.  He says on his cv under qualifications: Postgraduate Diploma (Accounting), Massey University (75% complete) – I don’t know about you, but I don’t think you can include something under the definition of a qualification if it is not completed – but I suppose it proves he is an optimist – “75% done” sounds better than “25% shy of the qualification”.   And under Awards he has included Finalist, 2007 South Island NZIM Young Executive of the Year – there were 7 finalists that year – only one woman, and she was the one who won the award.  But good on him for getting that far.

A commenter responded on the issue of a 75% done degree being on a CV:

Hi Lianne

I saw that Darien Fenton was seeking nomination for the Te Atatu seat and since I don’t know much about her looked at her CV on the parliamentary website.

I noticed that she had a BA from Victoria (incomplete). I immediately thought of you and hopes that the information helps for this latest crusade of yours to bring greater honesty to MP CVs.


The Herald has picked up on the story and reports:

National list MP Aaron Gilmore has claimed a high-level finance industry qualification he does not have in a CV published on Parliament’s website.

The Chartered Financial Analyst Institute yesterday told the Herald Mr Gilmore was not a member, although he listed membership as part of his list of educational and professional qualifications on his parliamentary web page. …

A spokeswoman for the international Chartered Financial Analyst Institute said yesterday Mr Gilmore was neither a member of the institute nor of the CFA Society in New Zealand. He was a CFA programme candidate, meaning he is registered as studying towards the CFA qualification which would give him membership.

So he is studying towards a qualification which would give him membership. Now if the Herald is correct, this is an exaggeration, which is not a good look for an MPs – and could even be an offence. Yes many people exaggerate somewhat on their CVs, but if you are in public ife I think it is a wise idea to be very conservative with what you put on your CV.

Because after all, if one day you are exaggerating on your CV, then the next day you may end being a Minister who lies blatantly to the media and gets sacked by the Prime Minister for it.

For those interested, the CV is here.

The Credit Contracts and Consumer Finance (Break Fee Disclosure) Amendment Bill

May 6th, 2009 at 7:00 pm by David Farrar

National List MP Aaron Gilmore has put together a useful private member’s bill. It will:

require banks and other credit providers to include the dollar amount of any break fee payable in the credit contract, as well as a plain English description of the calculation.

Transparency is a good thing. This is the first private members bill by a National MP since the election, so hopefully it will get picked from the ballot.

The full bill is after the break:


Three more MPs

January 15th, 2009 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

And another three MPs profiled in the Herald– Grant Robertson, Aaron Gilmore and Carmel Sepuloni.

Grant Robertson

Mr Robertson cited the proposition put forward in 1939 by Education Minister Peter Fraser and leading educationalist Clarence Beeby that every citizen, whether rich and poor, town or country, had a right to a free education of the kind best fitted to them.

He said he had come to Parliament to develop this vision for the 21st century.

No surprise Grant is a former student associaton president.

He said being gay was a part of who he was, as was being a fan of the Ranfurly Shield – currently held by the Wellington Lions. His sexuality had defined his politics “only inasmuch as it has given me an insight into how people can be marginalised and how much I abhor that”.

Mr Robertson, 36, said he and his partner of 10 years, Alf Kaiwai, “were living proof it pays not to stereotype”.

“We met playing rugby. I was the number eight and he was the halfback – a great combination.”

This month the pair swapped vows and rings in a civil union ceremony at Old St Paul’s in Wellington.

And congrats on the wedding civil union.

Aaron Gilmore

Aged 35. Came in as number 56, the last on National’s list. Is the luckiest new member having got in by less than 40 party votes from throughout the whole country.

It does not get much closer than that with over 2 million votes cast.

Named after “the great Elvis Aaron Presley”. Is an amalgam of “Irish, Scottish, Danish and a little bit Maori but I am 100 per cent Kiwi”. Admits to having done well enough to be known by some as a “rich prick”. Contracted a rare eye condition when he was 25 and told he would never see again, but thanks to modern technology he can.

“About 25 years ago I sat in the living room of our family state house in Corhampton St, Aranui. It was early August and freezing cold as that night we didn’t have enough money to put into the meter for electricity. We had some light from large candles on the table and my grandmother and I were having Weetbix for dinner. The next morning we couldn’t afford breakfast and I went hungry till a teacher bought me lunch.”

Another state house kid who has done well. How dare National keep attracting such people!

Carmel Seploni

Former equity manager, research project manager in Pacific health and student mentor adviser at University of Auckland. A trained teacher, who worked at the Robert Louis Stevenson School in Samoa. First MP of Tongan descent.

Born and raised in Waitara. Father was a Samoan-Tongan-migrant who worked at the freezing works and was a staunch unionist and Labour man. Mother’s parents were Pakeha sheep farmers from Stratford and “resolute Tories”. Is the mother of a young son.

I don’t know Carmel, but she is well regarded within Labour I understand, and like Grant is likely to be a Minister the next time Labour get into Government.