Jones admits he was not sure of Liu true identity

May 23rd, 2012 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

First an easy rebuttal of Jones claim that he was told Liu would be executed if he went to China. The ODT reported:

The department’s case officer, Johannes Gambo, told the court Yan boasted that he had politician friends who would ensure he was granted citizenship.

When told he would not receive citizenship, Yan said he was 99 per cent sure he would, according to Mr Gambo.

“He said he had a lot of support from members of Parliament … he was going to take them to China.”

Do you really think he would be planning to take his MP mates to China, if he was at risk of being executed and organ harvested?

Also an amazing concession by Shane Jones, as reported by Stuff:

Labour MP Shane Jones knew there were serious questions over the true identity of Chinese millionaire Yong Ming Yan when he gave him a New Zealand passport. …

Mr Jones admitted he knew there were questions about Yan’s identity. “I certainly know that there was a live issue as to whether or not this man is who he says he was … there was always a mystery … Those were allegations.”

So Jones has said that he was not sure that Liu or Yan was who he claimed he was, yet he still gave him citizenship!!

I can’t think of another non third world country where the Minister grants citizenship to someone on the urging of his mates, despite not even knowing if that is the person’s real identity.

The papers about this case are on the Investigate site and worth a read. Some salient points:

  • Nowhere at all in the papers is there any mention at all of fearing of going back to China. It is all about how much he has invested in NZ. So the reasons Jones says he made his decision on are not even in the official papers. It is all this mystery official’s verbal briefing!
  • The fraud charges in China are for NZ$2.7m
  • The papers clearly state he is entitled to reside indefinitely in NZ in terms of the Immigration Act, so this was NOT an issue about whether or not he might be deported to China. That is a total red herring.
  • According to the Chinese Government he stole another person’s identity in 1999 by falsely registering their birth, and used this to obtain two false passports. He stole the identity of Yang Liu.
  • The papers refer to Liu claiming he has worked to develop trade and good relations between China and NZ, including involvement in formalising agricultural agreements. Does this sound like someone terrified of China, and who fled because he was facing persecution?
  • The papers also refer specifically to humanitarian considerations and does not detail any applicable in this case.
  • The letter from Dover Samuels fails to disclose Liu donated to him.
  • Strangely the Samuels letter says Liu deeply respects NZ’s anti nuclear policy. God knows what that has to do with anything, unless it is code for being a Labour Party donor.
  • The papers make it clear that Rick Barker was the Minister initially dealing with this issue.  He must have recused himself only after a very late stage. Recall that Labour fundraiser Shane Te Pou took Liu down to meet Barker.
  • A follow up letter from Samuels borders on the hysterical and accuses the officials of subjecting Liu to “mental torture”, and that his treatment is not the mark of a civilised country. Samuels seems to think citizenship for migrants is a right, not a privilege.
  • Pansy Wong’s letter of support refers to the Immigration Minister not revoking Liu’s residency, and citing this as grounds for citizenship. So Cunliffe’s decision not to follow the advice of his officials, is then used to advocate for Liu to get special treatment from Jones, against official advice again.
  • Wong’s letter was just addressed to DIA, and did not in fact advocate what the decision should be, just that they should commence consideration and take account of his community contributions. I find that quite different to Samuels who directly advocated the outcome to the Minister in the strongest possible terms.
  • Chris Carter’s letter, like Pansy Wong’s, cites Liu’s contributions but does not call for a particular decision and is a general reference, not an advocacy letter direct to the Minister. I find no fault with Carter or Wong, except that they would both have been wise to have declared Liu had donated to them campaigns.

I suggest people read the full file. There are parts redacted but hopefully after the court case they will become public also.

A great cartoon by Hubbard Emmerson.

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Still voting

September 28th, 2011 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

I was surprised to see a report that Chris Carter had voted against the Video Camera Surveillance (Temporary Measures) Bill.

He arrived in Kabul two weeks ago.

But no it seems his resignation is timed to not occur until the end of the September.

So is it proper for the Greens to be casting a proxy vote on behalf of an MP who has left New Zealand and is now working for the UN in Kabul?

And isn’t it a fitting end to Chris’ parliamentary career that he is double dipping – being paid his parliamentary salary as well as his UN salary for a few weeks.

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Chris Carter valedictory

September 6th, 2011 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Chris Carter does his valedictory speech at 5.45 pm today. I hear the entire National caucus will be there, with popcorn.

While I have been as harsh a critic as anyone, over Chris’ sense of entitlement to overseas travel, I think it is fair to note that his parliamentary career should be remembered for more than just the overseas travel controversy.

Chris was the first MP to be openly gay. That may not mean a lot to most of us, but if you are a member of a minority group, it is a big thing to see someone like you able to serve in the House of Representatives. Since Chris came out in the 1990s, he has been joined by Tim Barnett, Georgina Beyer, Charles Chauvel, Chris Finlayson, Kevin Hague, Grant Robertson, Maryan Street and Louisa Wall. That list shows how today being gay and an MP is no big thing, but even 15 years ago it was quite significant.

During my time in Parliament, I got to know Chris reasonably well as we had some mutual friends in common. I always found him very funny and likeable, and he performed well as a whip for labour. Good whips needs to be able to work with their counterparts from other parties.

While I don’t think he shone as Minister of Education, he only held the portfolio for a year. He spent five years as Minister of Conservation and I think most people would acknowledge he was a very committed and effective Minister in that role.

As I said, I think Chris lost the plot in recent years. His political radar failed him, and he didn’t realise that his level of overseas travel was excessive, even if approved. Also his attempts to undermine Goff were clumsy and amateurish.

Being expelled from the Labour Party would have been a terrible blow for Chris. He is tribal Labour to his soul. But I suspect he has been told that he will be allowed back in, once there is a new Leader. So he may not have much longer to wait.

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Chris Carter off to fight corruption!!

August 31st, 2011 at 5:08 pm by David Farrar

Andrea Vance reports:

Expelled Labour MP Chris Carter is leaving New Zealand to tackle corruption in war-torn Afghanistan.

Te Atatu MP Carter is to take up a post in Kabul with the United Nations. He has previously said he would leave parliament at the election.

It’s understood Carter is to quit next week before flying out that weekend.

Our loss is Kabul’s gain.

Will Chris give a valedictory speech?

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A job for Chris

June 6th, 2011 at 1:53 pm by David Farrar

Belinda McCammon at Stuff reports:

Axed Labour MP Chris Carter looks set to take up a job with his old boss, Helen Clark, at the United Nations before the end of the year.

The independent MP has just returned from a three-week trip to New York where he said he had positive meetings over working at the UN. “I had some very interesting and productive interviews, so we’ll see.”

If Carter does take up a job at the UN, he will join former PM Clark, who is the administrator of the UN’s Development Programme.

Carter said nothing was confirmed. “Until it’s in the hand, it’s not in the bag.”

If the role is confirmed, Carter said it was likely he would leave to take up the job before the November 26 election.

However his departure would not cause a by-election as it is within the six-month threshold.

Who says the taxpayer doesn’t do enough to help people find jobs. Three weeks in New York is what anyone can get. Must have been some very extended job interviews.

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Stories on Hughes and Goff

March 27th, 2011 at 9:56 am by David Farrar

So many stories, I’ll try and cover them in the one post.

In one story, David Fisher in the HoS writes of how Andrew Little and Phil Goff have still not discussed the Hughes affair. Amazing.

David Fisher in Herald on Sunday writes in a second story on previous allegations (one of which was blogged on Whale Oil around a year ago), and on the fact that Goff knew for longer than he initially said (again a point Whale has made). Fisher also reports that Tizard says it would be nice to be an MP again so she can say “stick it up you” to those who didn’t want her back (which is most of the Labour Caucus and none of the National Caucus).

Matt McCarten writes in the HoS:

Why is the Labour opposition so hopeless? I had assumed that leader Phil Goff was competent enough, albeit lacking in charisma, to survive until the November election.

Now I don’t. His performance this week has been appalling.

Ouch. And more:

The handling of the Darren Hughes incident exposes Goff’s hypocrisy, his lack of judgment and, more importantly, his political smarts. You couldn’t get a more inept management of a crisis.

It was always a long shot for Labour to win November’s election, given the dismal polling of the party and their leader.

Goff’s mismanagement this week has taken any chance now.

McCarten concludes by saying Goff has to go. Ironically this will probably make Goff safer as Labour MPs won’t like being seen to do what McCarten says!

Jonathan Marshall in the SST has an interview with the 18 year old’s mother in this story. And in another story, Georgina Beyer and Chris Carter both say Goff should go. Again, this may help Goff :-)

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Carter now votes with the Greens

February 21st, 2011 at 5:37 pm by David Farrar

NZ Herald reports:

Te Atatu MP Chris Carter, who was expelled from the Labour Party last year, has struck a deal with the Greens that will see them cast his proxy vote when he is not at Parliament.

Mr Carter, who was expelled after criticising leader Phil Goff said he still considered himself a Labour MP “in values and philosophy” and would have preferred to cast his vote with his former party, ” but this has proved impossible”.

Following his expulsion from Labour, Mr Carter said he had notified the party’s whips of his wish to keeping cast his vote with them but had receive no response and his vote had been irregularly cast.

“I realised that I had to seek some way for constituents to have a voice recorded in Parliament.”

Maybe Chris will also stand for the Greens in Te Atatu? :-)

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Unbelievable

December 23rd, 2010 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Independent MP Chris Carter was going to use his international travel perk for an overseas holiday but cancelled it after media found out, it was reported tonight.

Mr Carter booked flights for himself and his partner Peter Kaiser, business class to Colombo, Sri Lanka, just before Speaker Lockwood Smith last month stopped MPs from using the taxpayer subsidy for holidays, TV3 News reported.

It would have cost an estimated $13,900 – with 90 per cent paid for from the public purse.

Would have been somewhat fitting if the last use of the MP perk had been by Chris Carter.

Mr Carter is quitting politics at next year’s election, and as a former MP he will be able to use the international travel rebate for the rest of his life, without media scrutiny.

It may give him the incentive to quite before the election, so he can start using it earlier.

And Kate Chapman at Stuff also reports:

Mr Carter was not keen to discuss details of the trip when contacted last night. “We have cancelled it. We’ve lost the deposit. We’ve cancelled. We’re not going. Ok, fair enough? You guys have had yet another victory. So thanks, that’s the end of the discussion.”

Poor Chris. This transparency thing is a real burden.

Mr Carter has accused Dr Smith’s office of leaking the details of his trip.

“The leak had the date I was leaving, the hotel I was staying [at] in Singapore, the flight numbers – the only people that know that are Parliamentary Travel and the Speaker’s office, I’m quite sure that Parliamentary Travel wouldn’t have leaked it, so that only leaves one suspect,” he said. The leak was ” incredibly pathetic, vindictive and spiteful”.

Dr Smith has denied leaking the documents and said he did not even know about Mr Carter’s planned trip.

“I didn’t want to comment because I didn’t want to lend dignity to his accusation, but I didn’t even know he was going anywhere, so there was no way I could possibly have leaked anything.”

I have no idea who leaked it, but I agree unlikely to be parliamentary travel. The parliamentary travel office probably have awarded Chris the title of “Most Valued Customer” for his outstanding contributions to their sales targets.

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Will Carter go early?

December 21st, 2010 at 9:09 am by David Farrar

Derek Cheng in the Herald reports:

The Labour Party will be ready to fight a byelection in the West Auckland seat of Te Atatu next year if incumbent MP Chris Carter quits before the end of the parliamentary term.

If Carter goes, it wll add to the record number of departures. MPs who were elected to this Parliament, and left are:

  • Richard Worth, National
  • Pansy Wong, National
  • Helen Clark, Labour
  • Michael Cullen, Labour
  • Winnie Laban, Labour
  • David Garrett, ACT
  • Jeanette Fitzsimons, Greens
  • Sue Bradford, Greens

So eight down, and maybe a ninth to come.

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4th time lucky for Twyford

December 18th, 2010 at 3:32 pm by David Farrar

As widely expected Phil Twyford won the Labour nomination for Te Atatu, which should eventually kill off his nickname as “Shadow Minister for the Homeless”.

Now the focus will be on whether Chris Carter finds a job in the next few months. His book is due to be completed in March and published in May.

Anyway congrats to Phil Twyford – better late than never!

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The Te Atatu selection

December 18th, 2010 at 9:03 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

Labour Party president Andrew Little says its next candidate in Te Atatu will have to repair damage done to it by ousted MP Chris Carter to stop the seat slipping into National’s hands.

The party will select its candidate today. After a threat from Mr Carter to stand against the party as an independent if his preferred candidate, Phil Twyford, does not win that selection, Mr Little said Mr Carter was now irrelevant and any remaining local support was “dwindling rapidly”.

How does Andrew than explain the letter from the Te Atatu LEC which said that they supported Chris Carter unamiously?

Mr Carter said he believed Mr Twyford had the best chance of keeping the seat out of National Party hands. Although not a local, Kingsland resident Mr Twyford had a profile from his work opposing the Super City. Mr Carter said if Mr Twyford was not chosen, he himself would consider standing again to keep the seat in centre-left hands.

Mr Twyford has the support of at least three unions with voting rights – the Service and Food Workers’ Union, the Maritime Union and the Amalgamated Workers Union.

Mr Little is standing aside from the selection panel because Mr McCracken was an EPMU organisere about five years ago. However, Mr Little said yesterday that the union had not endorsed any candidate.

With Chris Carter threatening to split the vote as an independent candidate if anyone but Twyford is selected, and with three unions behind him, and the EPMU neutral, even Phil should be able to clinch the nomination.

Mr Carter said he did not know what his political future held and he might leave politics before the election if a good job came along – forcing an unwelcome byelection for Labour.

And this is what will be his ultimate revenge. Twyford gets the nomination, then Carter suddenly picks up a job (maybe with the UN) and we have a by-election. And if Twyford wins the by-election, it brings Judith Tizard back into the Labour Caucus for seven months or so.

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Te Atatu LEC expresses no confidence in Goff

December 6th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

A fascinating letter turned up in the post the other day. It was a copy of a letter from the Labour Party’s Te Atatu Electorate Committee (LEC) to Party President Andrew Little.

The letter has the unanimous support of the LEC and expresses their “disgust” at the way Chris Carter was treated by Labour.

It is to be expected that they are supportive of their former MP, but what is exceptional about the letter is the explicit statement of no confidence in Phil Goff.

They specifically state Goff’s leadership is uninspiring, and that they are concerned about his policy flip-flops. They attack him for his attacks on Helen Clark’s legacy and say he is betraying the legacy of a popular and successful Labour Government.

They go on to say that they have been expressing these concerns over Goff’s leadership for many months, including to their area representative.

Now remember that this is a letter agreed to unanimously by the LEC. It shows that this is not just an issue about Carter’s travel, but that there is serious discontent with Goff’s leadership in this solid red electorate.

In National over the years I’ve seen electorates get unhappy over various issues and write to the Board about them. I’ve never seen an electorate committee use the harshness of language about the leader, that the Te Atatu LEC is using – its is unprecedented.

The letter is below. You can click twice on each page to see them full size.

I found the references to Goff betraying Helen Clark’s legacy especially interesting – they indicate to me that the Clark loyalists will roll Goff straight after the 2011 election, unless he wins.

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Carter names Mallard

November 11th, 2010 at 3:57 pm by David Farrar

NewstalkZB reports:

Independent MP Chris Carter today Identified his former Labour colleague Trevor Mallard as one of 17 MPs that opposes Phil Goff’s leadership

Chris Carter claims former Labour colleague Trevor Mallard is one of 17 MPs who oppose Phil Goff’s leadership.

Mr Carter was expelled from the Labour caucus earlier this year after publicly undermining Mr Goff.

At the time, he said he there were 17 Labour MPs who wanted to get rid of Mr Goff.

Asking a question in Parliament today, Mr Carter described Mr Mallard as his “very good friend and former colleague”, causing chaos in parliament.

He went on to say Mr Mallard was one of his 17 good friends.

Now that Carter has named one of the 17, there is little doubt he will name them all – I suspect around one a fortnight.

I am hearing that Labour are so frustrated by him, that they are seriously looking at selecting Twyford in Te Atatu, so that Carter will resign, triggering a by-election which will see Judith Tizard return on the list.

It seems that Judith has become the lesser of two evils, and if it gets Carter out of Parliament, they will have Judith back for eight months. The alternative is Carter announcing another name every fortnight up until the election.

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How Chris Carter could really do over Labour

October 28th, 2010 at 9:43 am by David Farrar

I think I have worked out the ultimate revenge scheme for Chris Carter, which would make Labour regret throwing him out.

It’s quite simple.

  1. Chris waits for Labour to do candidate selection for Te Atatu
  2. Then if they select front runner Phil Twyford, Chris resigns from Parliament
  3. Having selected Twyford as the general election candidate, they have to stand him in the by-election also
  4. Twyford wins the by-election
  5. Judith Tizard rejoins the Labour Caucus as a List MP for the next year

I think the prospect of Judith returning to Caucus would make even Phil Goff join up to the “We forgive you Chris” club :-)

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Carter says Jones would be a better leader

October 15th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Chris Carter has finally named an MP whom he says would be a better leader for Labour than Phil Goff – Shane Jones. The NZ Herald reports:

Yesterday on Radio Live, Mr Carter also mentioned Shane Jones as one of those he believed could be a better leader than Mr Goff. He has previously refused to name them.

By coincidence Matthew Hooton writes in the NBR:

Which brings us to Mr Jones.  Just as Mr Brown was ridiculed after his head-banging incident, Mr Jones suffered public humiliation from his penchant for porn.  But time heals, and Mr Jones is the latest manifestation of the Maori leader who can appeal across racial lines.  He’s the Labour man business thinks it can work with.

Moreover, his ambition is great, having been the golden child of his hapu from the day he was born.

Unpopular with Labour’s rainbow and feminist wings, securing the leadership would require him to produce polling showing him as capable of transforming Labour from a possible to a probable.  Even then, he would face opposition from party president Andrew Little, who needs Labour to lose in 2011 if his own leadership ambitions can be fulfilled.

Nevertheless, having decided to stick with politics despite his porn humiliation, Mr Jones is not there to muck around.

He’s already raising his profile and briefing journalists about his comeback.  The time for him to act is now.

And again, by coincidence, TV3’s Patrick Gower blogs:

Watching the miners in Chile, I can’t help but think of the Labour MPs – stuck down a dark hole, with an incredible effort needed to get them out.

It’s leader Phil Goff’s job to get them out – now he’s finished burying Chris Carter.

And one man who needs a lifeline is Shane Jones.

This call is never going to resonate as much as “Bring Back Buck”. But someone has to say it – Goff should “Bring Back Shane Jones”.

Is Jones Labour’s saviour in waiting?

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Carter’s website

October 15th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

From Chris Carter’s website:

Well they say a week is a long time in politics. The last 3 months have been an even longer time for me. I know that you are probably wondering what on earth went wrong and why.

The simple truth of the matter is that I have had a really difficult 12 months in Parliament. Not from the people I would expect in the National or ACT parties but from some members of our own team. I felt really angry and let down by Phil Goff and his advisors over their lack of support for Peter and I over the vicious media campaign against my travel expenses. After all none of my travel was private and all of it was approved by Cabinet when I was a Minister and by the party leadership up until a couple of months ago. Remember Phil Goff and Annette King were members of the Cabinet that signed off all my ministerial travel.

Three months ago a journalist called me and revealed that Phil Goff’s office had leaked details of my travel expenses again to the Press Gallery. I had not even received these figures myself. I flipped out and in anger and poor judgement lashed back.

It would be interesting to know if this can be verified. While I have little sympathy for Carter over his travels, if Goff’s office did leak his travel expenses then that is an act of very bad faith.

It would seem that the current leadership of the party think that me saying in public that Phil Goff is a nice guy who works hard but doesn’t have the charisma or the clear policy directions to win the next election is more of a crime than some of the criticisms levelled by other Labour MPs in the past at Labour leaders. Richard Prebble called David Lange mentally unbalanced in 1987. Annette King and Phil Goff tried to roll Helen Clark in 1996. John Tamihere said he had 15 MPs to roll Helen Clark in 2005 when he did that infamous interview in Investigate magazine.

I think the difference is Tamihere didn’t carry on repeating it.

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Carter AWOL

October 14th, 2010 at 6:13 pm by David Farrar

NZPA reports:

Expelled Labour MP Chris Carter is to have his pay docked for not showing up to Parliament.

But the punishment is more in name than reality as he can only be stung for $10 a day missed. As an MP Mr Carter earns about $145,000 a year.

Mr Carter flew home to Auckland after being expelled from his party during a marathon six-hour meeting in Wellington on Monday night.

Mr Carter took six weeks off after being ousted from the parliamentary wing of his party.

Speaker Lockwood Smith said Mr Carter had now been absent for more than 14 sitting days and he could not certify his absence this week was because of illness or another good reason so deductions would start.

“I am making this public statement because it is important that members attend the House and be seen to do so,” Dr Smith said.

Carter has been seen at a gym in Auckland, rather than at Parliament.

If he refuses to turn up, then perhaps the House could instruct him to appear before it. Refusing to do so under those circumstances would be a contempt of Parliament.

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Carter is probably telling the truth

October 14th, 2010 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour MP Charles Chauvel is thought to be one of the three members of Parliament Chris Carter claims he plotted with about a leadership change on the night before he sent an anonymous letter to media.

Mr Chauvel denied plotting against Labour leader Phil Goff but said he could have been in Mr Carter’s office on July 28 – the night on which Mr Carter claimed he met with three other Labour MPs to discuss the best time for a leadership change. …

His submission to the disciplinary meeting in defence of his actions was leaked to media and included the July 28 meeting as well as a further claim that there were 17 Labour MPs with whom he had discussed a change of leadership.

I think on this occasion, Chris Carter is telling the truth. And the Labour MPs all denying that have ever had any such descussion about the leadership are probably relying on Clintonian definitions.

I have some experience of being in an Opposition (as staff, not MP) which is struggling in the polls. Let me tell you that the leadership is discussed constantly, and by most MPs. The notion that Labour has spent two years in Opposition, are constantly 20%+ behind in the polls, has a Leader who fails to make 10% as Preferred PM, yet they have never discussed leadership options is insane. I would even wager on any given night there are MPs talking leadership options. This is how MPs socialise – discussing who will be the next Leader, and when. Most of us discuss the rugby – MPs discuss the leadership!

So Carter I am pretty sure is telling the truth that he would have discussed leadership changes with at least 17 MPs.

Now Labour MPs in their denials use terms such as “plot”, saying “I have not plotted against Phil Goff”. This is different to have you ever discussed the leadership and under what situation would you want to change it (such as Labour staying below 30% for more than three months). An MP will not regard their frequent conversations as plotting, until it reaches the stage that there is a definite challenger and you are commiting yourself to that challenger.

As far as I know there is no challenger (mind you Shane Jones looked like he would before his hotel porn episode put paid to that), and hence Labour MPs can deny formal plotting. But as sure as hell, a very common topic of conversation will be the leadership and whether they would do better under another leader.

Carter suggests that in at least one discussion, they had discussed the best time for a leadership change. Again, this is quite plausible, but it does not mean there was in fact someone willing to challenge. The conventional wisdom is you don’t change leaders in election year, so any change would have to occur in the second half of 2010. It would be quite natural for MPs to be talking in terms of “If there is a challenge, then it has to be in November”.

So if Carter does name any names, the questions that should be put to them is not “Were you plotting to roll Phil Goff?” to which they can honestly answer “No” but “Did you have discussions with Chris Carter about the leadership of Labour?” which they will find it harder to deny.

UPDATE: A reader writes in:

Both Chris Carter and Charles Chauvel were on the Select committee hearing submissions on the Local Government Amendment Bill over the period that Carter drafted and dropped off his letter.  Indeed they sat next to each other.

Carter was really edgy and kept on getting up and leaving and at one point he asked Chauvel to leave the room with him.  They had a 5 minute chat and then they both came back into the room.  Chauvel was then looking just as worried as Carter.  At the time I thought it all very strange and was wondering what was going on.  I then heard the news on the radio as I was driving and everything fell into place……

Very interesting information.

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Is Carter bluffing

October 12th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Tracy Watkins at the Dom Post reports:

Labour Party president Andrew Little revealed today that Mr Carter had threatened to disclose the private information of other Labour MPs if expelled from the party.

Mr Carter, the MP for Te Atatu, was expelled by Labour’s national council after a lengthy hearing last night.

During the meeting Mr Carter threatened to disclose private information about unnamed Labour MPs if he was expelled, Mr Little said.

”He just said he had a lot of information on a lot of individuals in the caucus and that he wouldn’t hesitate to disclose that if it suited him to do so,” Mr Little said.

So was Carter bluffing, or is he going to start planting stories with the media?

Mr Little revealed this morning the vote to expel Mr Carter was not unanimous but overwhelmingly in favour.

Hmmn, I wonder who voted against?

UPDATE: Talking of revelations, Phil Quinn, a former parliamentary staffer for Labour, has made his own about Chris Carter:

Chris Carter had a secret poll taken in ’96 to ascertain whether he could hold Te Atatu with Clark at the helm.  I know this because I conducted the poll.  The results were unequivocal: Carter would lose big time, which he went on to do.  Chris was not keen on backing Mike Moore — a figure of derision on his side of the Party — but his clear preference was for Goff to run.  The numbers, however, forced Mike Moore’s name into the race.

Based on conversations he and I had at the time, I have every reason to believe that Carter was supportive of a Goff ‘coup’ in 1996.  Plenty of people know this, including Goff himself, and it is to their credit that they keep quiet.   For my part, I am tired of the sanctimony of people — Carter being the latest–  who try and misrepresent those events as treachery.  Leaderships spills happen, some for good reason, some for ill.  Some succeed, like Clark in 1993; some fail, like 1996.  Such is politics.  The tendency within NZ Labour to vilify the vanquished in these internal party disputes is not entirely non-Stalinist.

Carter shouldn’t be allowed to get away with such shameless hypocrisy. Surely?

Fascinating revelations. Does Helen know this?

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Carter expelled

October 12th, 2010 at 7:13 am by David Farrar

The Labour Party NZ Council has expelled Chris Carter as a member. I am surprised as I thought some pressure had gone on to just suspend him for a couple of years. I guess his recent comments ruled that out as a compromise option.

Derek Cheng at the Herald reports:

Party president Andrew Little said Mr Carter’s actions on July 29, when he sent anonymous letters to journalists in Parliament’s Press Gallery undermining leader Phil Goff, were likely to foment internal discontent and encourage external ridicule.

“They were deceptive, they were clearly calculated to cause damage to the caucus and foment discontent and disharmony in the caucus and cause damage to the party’s reputation,” Mr Little said.

“At no time has there been an acceptance of the gravity of [the actions] or a display of contrition.”

The lack of contrition I suspect was a key factor. Recall Carter gleefully going on TV and repeating his key message time after time after time – that Labour can not win under Phil Goff.

Mr Little said: “Had the author of his letter to the gallery not been revealed, it would have caused considerable harm to that caucus and the way it operates, and there’s no question that the publicity in the days that followed caused damage to the party.”

He said that in other leadership challenges, there had been direct contact with the leader, not a “furtive, sneaky letter”.

And that is a key difference. Richard Prebble called David Lange unbalanced to his face – he did not write anonymous letters to the media about him.

This is a victory for Phil Goff. Now Carter is truly an Independent MP, his comments and doings are of far less media value.

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Garner interviews Carter on The Nation

October 10th, 2010 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The transcript is interesting:

DUNCAN My guest this morning is former Labour MP Chris Carter, now Independent.  Chris thanks for joining us this morning.

CHRIS CARTER – Fmr Labour MP

Duncan it’s been a pleasure.  We’ve had our differences but I’m pleased to be here.

DUNCAN And I’m glad we’re shaking hands, so the country can see that.

Had almost forgotten their little run in.

DUNCAN Who should be leading the party?

CHRIS So when people see a party stuck, making no traction, log jammed if you like, they start to ask what can change it.  Now policies maybe, but in the end it comes down to the leader, cos the leader’s the public face.

DUNCAN Who should be leading the party?

CHRIS Now there are three reasons why people are unhappy with Phil.  Can I go through those?

DUNCAN I’d like you to answer the question.  Who do you think should be leading that party if Phil Goff shouldn’t be?

CHRIS I’d like to respond to that Duncan by first of all saying that’s for the caucus to decide, and I’m no longer a member of that caucus.  I’d like to say secondly that there are at least four or five people in there that have got the qualities, the experience, the energy and the determination that could do a good job as leader.

DUNCAN Name them, name them.

CHRIS I’m not going to name any of them, but what I’m saying is that I’m confident that that Labour caucus could provide a number of people who could do a different job to Phil.

At this point various Labour MPs sighed in relief that Chris did not name them, as doing so would be a kiss of death to them.

The fact is that as unlikely as it is that Phil Goff will become Prime Minister in 2011, it is even more unlikely that another Labour MP will do any better. And any future leader is better to not become Leader now, so their brand is fresh for the 2014 election.

Now why are people unhappy with Phil?  You know I’ve said he’s a decent guy, he is a  good guy, he’s a hard worker and he wants Labour to win, but there’s three reasons why he’s not going to.  First of all there’s the perception that he’s from the 80s and that it’s just not working.  So we’ve had 18 months it’s not working, people are saying if it’s not working we need to change the leader.  Secondly he fudges on issues.  He fudged on the GST issue, he fudged on the four weeks holiday, and he fudged on tackling Paul Henry actually, and all of that really annoyed people.

Here Carter’s analysis is basically correct. It is very unlikely that NZ will elect someone who entered Parliament under Muldoon, as the new future focused Prime Minister.

And absolutely there is disquiet amongst the left MPs over what Goff has said and done on stuff like four weeks leave and Paul Henry. They feel he can not be relied on. That is why he will not survive long after 2011, but he will survive until then.

CHRIS I’m going to appear before the Council, I’m going to make a strong case about yes I stuffed up, yes I did an inappropriate thing, but hey Richard Prebble called David Lange mentally unbalanced, you know Phil Goff and Annette King tried to roll Helen Clark, none of them were kicked out, so …

A fair point, but the difference is how they went about it. You do not get expelled for trying to roll your leader. You do get expelled for sending anonymous letters to the press gallery. Mind you I think they will suspend not expel him.

DUNCAN And when did you last speak to Helen Clark and what did she say to you about this departure?

CHRIS I spoke with her yesterday on the phone, actually she rang me up from New York and she’d heard about the book.  I hadn’t spoken to her for some weeks, and she sent me this text saying what’s this about a book?  And so she rang me up to discuss about the book and we talked about resources and the way I’d do the book.

DUNCAN She’s going to help you write it?

CHRIS No she’s not gonna help me write it, but she’ll no doubt be a critic of it, but I’d expect no less from her.

I suspect Chris Carter’s book, when it comes to Helen Clark, will make the Brian Edwards biography look like a savage character assassination :-)

So what am I gonna do, well I’m thinking I’m really interested in journalism, I might become a journalist.

I am sure he could get a job at Radio New Zealand. Or maybe TVNZ need a new Breakfast host.

DR BRIAN EDWARDS – Media Consultant and Commentator

Well I want to ask you a couple of things.  I wonder first of all whether you think you deserved all the odium and contempt that was heaped on you about the travel business? That’s the first thing.

CHRIS Absolutely not.

BRIAN Oh okay.  And the second thing I want to know is if Phil Goff hadn’t forced you into what was in the end quite a humiliating performance in front of all the journalists, your second apology if you like, would any of this happened?

CHRIS Probably not Brian because I would not have felt used as a scapegoat.

What a smart question from Brian Edwards. He got Chris Carter to admit that none of this would have happened if Goff had not demoted him for his excessive travel.

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Nine seeking Te Atatu

October 9th, 2010 at 10:07 am by David Farrar

The fact nine people are seeking Labour’s nomination for Te Atatu, reflects its safeness for Labour. No as safe as Mana (National won the PV in 2008), but whoever gain the nomination probably has a long parliamentary career ahead of them.

So who are they:

Phil Twyford – his fourth attempt to gain a seat after being rebuffed or scared off in Mt Albert, Auckland Central and Waitakere. As Chris Carter is said to be backing Twyford this should help him with the local electorate votes. Will Head Office back him though, and will the often union dominated floor votes go his way? A fourth loss would be even  more humiliating.

Rajen Prasad – he had a top twelve list ranking from Labour in 2008 but has been near invisible in Parliament. My only sighting of him has been booing National MPs at Backbenchers. Given his age also, I would be surprised if he could beat Twyford. In fact I wouldn’t want to place much money on him having that high a list ranking next time either.

Nick Bakulich – A PI funeral director standing in the local body elections. Former public servant, and a church elder.

Jim Bradshaw – law student.

Dr Michael Kidd – barrister, stood for Waitakere Council in 2007. Appears to be past middle age, which may count against him. In safer seats you tend to look for someone who can do 15 years or so.

Hamish McCracken – I’ve lost counts of how many elections and nominations Hamish has lost. He does get union support though, and maybe people will feel sorry for him.

Anne Pala – a community advocate who also sought Waitakere nomination off memory. My spies say she was highly regarded in terms of political skills.

Greg Presland – could be a substantial candidate. Has been very involved behind the scenes with Labour, and when he is not commenting on blogs is a lawyer. A previous City Councillor and Labour appointed him to various boards.

Kate Sutton – Last time I checked Kate has the Woman Vice-President of Labour, and gained the job at a very young age. She has strong support from the younger activists and is pretty feisty  would run a hard campaign. I’m not sure, but don’t think she is from the West which could count against.

So who are the front runners – I would say it is a choice between Twyford, Presland and Sutton, but reserve the right to change my opinions as the contest moves on.

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Goff definitely made the right call

October 8th, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Martin Kay at the Dom Post reports:

Mr Carter revealed yesterday that he had offered to reconcile with Mr Goff in a joint press conference similar to that attempted by ACT leader Rodney Hide after Heather Roy was deposed as deputy.

“I reluctantly agreed two weeks ago to send Goff a message that I would do a Heather Roy-Rodney Hide-moment press conference, where I would admit to a moment of madness and he would admit to not giving me the support that he should have over the media beatup around travel, but we got the message back last Friday that [there would be] no reconciliation, no negotiation.

My God. Chris actually proposed a Rodney-Heather style press conference as something positive to be emulated?

And further he wanted Phil Goff to publicly apologise to him, for not defending him over his travel?

I can say without hestitation that if Phil Goff had agreed to this, his political career would be over.

If any staff member actually advised him to take up Chris’ offer of a reconciliation press conference where he apologises for being critical of Chris’ travel, then that is a sure sign that they are in fact a National Party plant in your office.

If any MP advised Phil to agree to the reconciliation press conference, then they are planning to become Leader in the near future.

What is interesting is that Carter’s sense of entitlement over the travel is what is really driving him, not the performance of Phil Goff.

Carter also gave an interview to gaynz.com, where again he said he was picked on for being gay.

“To have Phil Goff say it’s not homophobic – of course it’s homophobic. Why was I different to everybody else? Because I was the top spending MP? I wasn’t actually. Because I was the top spending minister? I was number four actually.

The Prime Minister, Foreign and Trade Ministers all have international travel as an integral part of their job. With other Ministers it is an occassional requirement.

I have to say, I was loyal to him a lot longer than he was loyal to me. Hanging me out to dry over that ministerial travel – he was one of the ministers that signed it off.”

This sounds like a fair point, but overlooks the reality of ministerial approval. Ministers are not treated like junior sales clerks, where their boss scrutinises travel applications and turns them down if not convinced. If a Minister decides to apply for overseas travel, they will almost inevitably have it approved. Ministers are expected to use their political judgement about whether their amount of travel can be perceived as excessive or extravagant. And in this area. chris did not show judgement – and still does not get it.

Carter questions why any concerns about the travel spending were not raised at the time, saying he believes there were no concerns. He says every trip has to be approved and if he had not gone another minister would have.

And it would have been better if others had gone.

The reality is that a Minister could find enough worthwhile conferences and seminars in their portfolio area that they could spent half their job overseas. And taken individually one could justify each and every trip. But what one should do is look at your total travel, and exercise judgement as to whether you are spending too much time overseas.

The proudly-gay MP, who has been the voice and face of gay New Zealand in Parliament for almost two decades, at least in the eyes of the mainstream and the media, has one lingering disappointment. Two weeks ago he received an invitation from the British Labour Party to come and speak at the Rainbow Network Fringe event in Manchester.

“I felt that I couldn’t go because of my estrangement from the Labour caucus. No other New Zealand Labour Party politician has ever been invited to speak at the British Labour Party Conference before.”

So his big regret is that he had to turn down another overseas trip! Incredible.

And without wanting to be a party pooper, there is a massive difference between being invited to speak to a British political party conference, and to a fringe event at the conference. I have been to the Conservative conference so this is from first hand experience. There are generally 80 – 150 fringe events at a party conference. It is not a huge thing to be invited to speak at a fringe event. At the risk of sounding immodest, I could probably arrange for myself to be a guest speaker at a fringe event at the Conservative conference. If I did, I would not of course have the NZ taxpayer pay for me to attend!

Carter says he has a personal connection to the area as his family emigrated from Preston, near Manchester.

“That’s been my greatest disappointment really, in this whole drama.

Not going to Manchester is his greatest disappointment? I really thinks words fail me.

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Lining up for Te Atatu

October 7th, 2010 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

The race for Chris Carter’s plum Te Atatu seat is suddenly wide open after a rush of nominations.

Apart from Mr Carter, who is still seeking the nomination despite being expelled from the Labour caucus, it is believed six people are vying to stand in the seat for Labour at the next election.

Among those believed to have thrown their hats into the ring are list MPs Phil Twyford and Darien Fenton and former Epsom candidate Kate Sutton. Another of Labour’s 2008 candidates, Hamish McCracken, could also be in the mix.

Twyford v Fenton could be interesting as there is a bit of history of tension there. After Twyford missed out on Waitakere, someone suggested on his Facebook page he could consider Northcote. Darien jumped in and basically said naff off, she’s been working hard there.

Kate Sutton would be fairly strong contender, but I don’t know if she has Westie roots. Hamish McCracken seems to try for every seat.

Will it be 4th time lucky for Twyford? Will Carter be expelled? Will Carter stand as an Independent if he is? To find out tune back in tomorrow at the same bat time on the same bat channel!

UPDATE: Carter has announced he will not stand in 2011:

Member of Parliament for Te Atatu (Labour), Chris Carter, has announced his decision to withdraw his candidacy for the Labour Party in the electorate of Te Atatu for the 2011 General Election.

“In good conscience I cannot campaign on behalf of a leader I have criticised,” said Mr Carter. “It would not be fair to him or ethical of me.

So not standing, as he can’t honestly say he supports Goff.

“Of course there are some things I wish I had handled differently. At the same time I also regret that, during the pressures I have faced in the past year, I did not receive the support, advice or guidance I expected from my party leadership. However I want to look forward to focussing on continuing to serve the people of my electorate and it is for the Labour Caucus to resolve the Leadership Question.

I can’t imagine Phil Goff’s initial response to the Paul Henry comments would have helped his position with some of his caucus members. Goff’s response was that it was just “Paul being Paul”. Goff could have inflicted some damage on John Key if it were not for that initial response. I can only imagine how furious some Labour MPs are at Goff for the missed opportunity.

‘I look forward to seeing Labour returned to the Treasury benches in the near future.”

Chris has also said that Labour can not win under Goff. So his implication is pretty obvious.

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Who will stand for Te Atatu?

October 6th, 2010 at 9:06 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Renegade MP Chris Carter’s views on who should replace him in the safe Labour seat of Te Atatu are interesting but irrelevant, Labour president Andrew Little says.

Not really. He has the unanimous backing of his electorate committee so I imagine his views on his successor will be highly influential.

Mr Carter told the Dominion Post newspaper that he had asked Auckland lawyer Deborah Manning (known for her representation of represented Algerian asylum seeker Ahmed Zaoui) to stand in the seat but she declined. His second choice was Phil Twyford.

Heh, isn’t that Phil’s problem in all the other seats also :-)

“We have a clearly set out selection process and it doesn’t involve former Labour MPs having a say over who a potential successor might be,” Mr Little said.

“They are interesting comments but they won’t help us select a candidate for Te Atatu.”

But they may. If he is still a Labour Party member, then Chris could get elected to the selection panel.

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