And the honours are …

December 31st, 2009 at 6:00 am by David Farrar

The full honours list is here.

The top honour of membership of the Order of New Zealand goes to Helen Clark. In some ways, it is no surprise, as former PMs David Lange, Mike Moore and Jim Bolger were also made ONZ, and Don McKinnon also is a member for holding high international office.

So it was inevitable Clark would be made a member, but so soon after she left office will leave a sour taste for many. One right wing friend commented:

What the fuck Farrar?  First a UN appointment now this!!!

Next Key will name a star in her fucking honour and have her face on the new flag.

Personally I’m still more upset by Cullen being appointed to an SOE Board while an MP.

We have one new Dame, and five Knights.

Aucklanders will know Dame Lesley Max well.

Professor Sir Mason Durie is one of the most prominent Maori health professionals.

Sir Peter Jackson may not have got the tax breaks he wants for the film industry, but he is now KNZM. He has said this award surpassed winning the Oscars. I suspect he would not have said this, had titles for the top honours not been restored. I am so pleased the Government did restore titles.

Sir Douglas Myers recognition is long overdue.

Justice Sir Bruce Robertson is a former President of the Law Commission and current Court of Appeal judge.

Finally it is honorary but nice to see recognition of the amazingly generous philanthropy of Sir Julian Robertson. Robertson first visited New Zealand in the 1950s to spend a year here writing a novel. He obviously fell in love with it. In May 2009 he announced the donation of $115 million of art to the Auckland Art Gallery – the single largest gift ever in Australasia.

Won’t comment on the entire list, but also worth mentioning former Auditor-General Kevin Brady who is made a CNZM. He was the public service at its finest as he stood up to Parliament and insisted that their funding of various pledge cards and the like was illegal.

Labour’s plan to avoid the EFA

April 14th, 2008 at 8:19 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald has obtained confidential strategy notes from the Labour Party Congress, detailing how Labour plans to get around the spending limits they have foisted on everyone else.

It involves taxpayer money again of course – this time Government Departments:

In a private session on the election strategy, run by president Mike Williams, delegates were advised to distribute pamphlets on KiwiSaver produced by the Inland Revenue Department and on Working for Families produced by Work and Income.

They were also advised to tell voters when handing out the pamphlets that National voted against both measures.

Normally in an election a party in Government would pay a hundred thousand dollars or so to produce a party pamphlet which tells people about the good things they have done. But to both save Labour money, and keep them under the limit everyone else has, they plan to get hundreds of thousands of extra Government funded information pamphlets and then scare people into thinking they WFF and KiwiSaver will eb abolished if you dare not to vote Labour.

Now let us remember here that this is not a low level campaign worker thinking “Hey why don’t we grab a hundred KiwiSaver pamphlets in case we run into people interested in them. This is the Labour Party’s most senior campaign official telling every MP, candidate and campaign activist to use taxpayer funded material as part of their election campaign.

The Auditor-General actually saw this possibility back in 2005:

Auditor-General Kevin Brady raised concerns about the use of Government publicity as a political tool in a report he wrote in June 2005, three months before the election.

He said a non-political departmental publicity campaign for a policy such as Working for Families could still have value to the Government as a political tool if it were used in a wider, more politically driven campaign.

And that is exactly what they are doing.

Oh there are going to be so many lawsuits and electoral petitions after the election.