Chauvel resigns from Parliament

February 19th, 2013 at 12:07 pm by David Farrar

Charles Chauvel has announced:

Labour MP Charles Chauvel has today announced his resignation from Parliament.

“I have written to the Speaker, resigning my seat effective Monday 11 March.”

Charles Chauvel said that he had accepted a position with the United Nations in New York, advising on Parliamentary Development and Democratic Governance. 

Good God, is there any limit to how many jobs Helen can arrange for Labour MPs?

While Chauvel was not in favour with Shearer, it is still not a promising sign for Labour that an MP who is in the shadow Cabinet bails out of Parliament for a job. It indicates a lack of confidence he will become a Minister after the election.

Chauvel entered Parliament in 2006 and was always thought likely to become a Minister. He would have been appointed one if Labour had won in 2008.

This means that Carol Beaumont will be eligible to return to Parliament as a List MP. That is great for the union faction, but not so good for renewal.

Regardless of politics, I wish Charles well in his new job.

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The loan shark bill

July 21st, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A members bill to stop loan sharks is up for its first reading tonight but the Labour MP behind it is fearful it will be voted down.

Carol Beaumont’s Consumer Credit (Responsible Lending) Bill was introduced to Parliament last August.

It would allow maximum interest rates to be set and would require a lender to reasonably believe a borrower would be able to repay a loan.

It also seeks to limit the ability of lenders to recover more than they initially lent in the event of a default.

Ms Beaumont said her bill was aimed at preventing loan sharks from charging excessive interest rates and lending irresponsibly.

“Many loan sharks lend out money at obscene rates, without checking to see whether the borrower will be able to meet the repayment requirements.”

This bill is well intentioned, but may have unforeseen consequences. A maximum level of interest rate you can charge could in fact lead to many lenders increasing their rates to the ceiling. Limits often become targets.

But having said that, I think Parliament should vote the bill through to a select committee. It is an honest attempt to deal with what is a real problem. It would be good to allow a select committee to hear submissions for and against what the bill proposes.

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Bridges, Graham and Beaumont

January 16th, 2009 at 8:02 am by David Farrar

Today’s three MPs in the Herald:

Simon Bridges

New MP Simon Bridges wants New Zealanders to reconsider the right to silence for those accused of serious and sexual crimes and to trust juries with more information.

Mr Bridges, a former Crown prosecutor in Tauranga for eight years, used his maiden speech to challenge parts of the legal system, saying the accused’s right not to face questioning in cases such as rape put victims who had to face often gruelling cross-examinations in an uneven position.

“Martin Luther King jnr once said that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. In many trials I have seen injustices – indeed manifest indignities – performed on the weakest in our society as court rules work against them … in short, juries need to be trusted with more information and victims of sex crimes treated more evenly when compared to the accused.”

Mr Bridges told the Herald the question of whether an accused should face questioning was particularly relevant for sexual crimes or crimes against children where the victims themselves faced often gruelling cross-examination.

“I’m a reasonably experienced rape trial lawyer and I can think of specific women cross-examined for days, while the accuseds just sat on their hands and didn’t give evidence. There have been acquittals where I am sure factually that the accused was guilty.”

The right to silence has long been considered fundamental to the criminal law ethos of”innocent until proven guilty”.

Mr Bridges said he believed the law should be”rebalanced”and he intended to work on the issue as an MP.

He said juries should also be trusted with more information, such as previous convictions, in some cases as the current laws could obstruct a fair verdict.

Not sure I agree with Simon, but he makes a strong case about the unfairness of victims being cross-examined for days on end, and the accussed not having to give evidence at all. I’m more sympathethic though to his thoughts on juries having more information.

Kennedy Graham

Former diplomat and academic – most recently he lectured in international law at Canterbury and Victoria universities. Was involved in NZ establishing a nuclear-free zone, including fronting on it as a diplomat before the UN in Geneva and New York.

In his own words:
“We are drawing down on Earth’s natural resources, borrowing forward on the human heritage, irretrievably encroaching on our children’s right to inherit the Earth in a natural and sustainable state.”

It will be interesting to see what influence Kennedy has on the Greens foreign policy, as his views are presumably somewhat different from Keith Locke’s.

Carol Beaumont

Says her late father Ron takes credit for teaching her how to speak out and fostered debate, but also sowed the seeds of feminism in her when he dismissed her wish to follow in his footsteps and become a mechanic as “unsuitable for a girl”. She was chairwoman of the Melville High School Student Council, worked as a cleaner and was in the Cleaners’ Union.

In her own words:
“In the course of the campaign I saw the huge number of people who work for community good in sports groups, marae, in youth groups, in community safety groups, in churches and in community development initiatives. They are ambitious people. It is important to reflect on the meaning of the word ‘ambition’ because recently it has been used by many only in the context of the individual. It is more than that. I consider myself ambitious and have always wanted to use my skills in roles that challenge me but my real ambition is in wanting to make a difference for others.”

Beaumont was reasonably well regarded as CTU Secretary but her loss of Maungakiekie to National means she is reliant on keeping a high list place.

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Focus on three Auckland Seats

October 20th, 2008 at 9:40 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald looks at Auckland Central, Epsom and Maungakiekie.

Auckland Central:

That is not troubling the motivated Kaye, who is running a vigorous and old-fashioned door-knocking campaign. National Party sources say that although raised in conservative Epsom and Kohimarama, she is more socially liberal and environmentally active than most in the party.

On the other hand, Tizard has more than 40 years of family political history and nous to draw on. Name recognition, strong links with the gay and other communities and being a junior minister in transport and the arts help. Then again, she has received criticism for her now-defunct role of Minister for Auckland Issues.

Epsom:

Worth, who became a list MP, is standing again, but says he is firmly concentrating on increasing National’s party vote of 58.5 per cent in 2005 to 70 per cent.

“How people decide to cast their constituency vote is an issue for them.”

With Act polling well below the 5 per cent threshold to gain list seats in Parliament, National needs Hide to win Epsom and hopefully provide two or more Act MPs for a National-led coalition.

Maungakiekie:

Labour is replacing one unionist (Mr Gosche is a former national secretary of the Service and Food Workers Union) with another, Carol Beaumont, secretary of the Council of Trade Unions. …

Samoan-born Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga is the National candidate. Not only is he among a new bunch of young, highly educated 28-to-45-year-olds offering new blood and values for National, but he is also part of an attempt to boost the party’s ethnic diversity.

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More Labour Candidates

April 5th, 2008 at 10:32 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports that to help counter the under-representation of unionists in Labour’s caucus, CTU Secretary Carol Beaumont will be the likely Labour candidate for Maungakiekie.

They also mention that Jacinda Ardern and Raymond Huo are expected to get good list rankings. Ardern is London-based.

At some stage I will set up a list of list-only candidates for parties also, to complement the list of the major electorate candidates.

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