MP burgled and hacked

August 17th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The HoS reports:

The dirty politics saga has taken a fresh twist with the offices of a National Party politician burgled.

Rodney MP Mark Mitchell had a laptop and phones stolen in the burglaries — and his email hacked.

You don’t break into an MPs office for money, alcohol or drugs. You break in for information. They stole a laptop.

Political commentator Chris Trotter said MPs having their property stolen was “not something that we’re used to in New Zealand politics”.

“It’s something we tend to associate with incidents like the Watergate break-in and that scandal.

“No one would condone the organised theft of political information, it puts the whole system at risk.”

So an MPs office has been broken into. I know of a Cabinet Minister’s partner whose office was targeted. Slater’s e-mail and Facebooked hacked. My office has a spy in it. I don’t know if these things are related, but it is natural to be suspicious. Others on the right have reported hacking attempts, where they have seen files being copied from their computer. We do have political espionage in New Zealand. What we don’t know is if it is a series of individuals with no connection with each other, or co-ordinated.

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Webster apologises to Mitchell

October 26th, 2013 at 1:57 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Auckland City Councillor Penny Webster has issued a public apology to National MP Mark Mitchell for embroiling him in the Len Brown scandal.

In a statement, Webster said she regretted comments by Mitchell about “skeletons” in Mayor Len Brown’s closet had been used “for political cheap shots” and character assassination.

It was revealed last week Brown’s camp were alerted to a sex scandal by comments made by Mitchell to Webster.

“I have decided to make a public statement to set the record straight when I saw him having to defend attacks on his integrity and character by Labour MPs in the Parliamentary debating chamber last night,” Webster said.

“The comment Mark made to me should never have been used for political cheap shots or a character assassination.

”It was not made at a cocktail party or as part of idle gossip. I was in a business meeting with Mark over electoral and council matters when our conversation turned to local government elections and the mayoral campaign. Mark made a passing comment, something like ‘scuttlebutt floating around for a while about the mayor having a skeleton in his closet. If there is a skeleton I hope that his wife and children know because families are always the victims in these sort of things’.”

Webster said she laughed, and said she was sure it wasn’t correct and Mitchell agreed with her.

“It was a generic conversation between him and I, and I deeply regret using his name in a later conversation with the mayor’s chief of staff.”

And Len Brown’s ratepayer funded spin doctors have been using it to try and divert media attention from the Mayor’s actions.

The Mayor still seems to think there is nothing wrong with providing a reference to a woman you are trying to bed, to help her get a job with a Council Controlled Organisation.

Talking of Len’s ratepayer funded spin doctors, Michelle Hewitson interviews David Lewis:

You did have to ask if there were going to be any further, um, troubles. So, are there any more girls? “No. Not that I’m aware of.” Has he asked? “Yes, I have.” And he said no? “Yes.” And he believes him? “Yes.” Well, he has to, doesn’t he? “Yeah.”

So that is an on the record denial via Lewis.

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Mitchell on gang patch bill

May 16th, 2013 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Mark Mitchell speaking on Todd McClay’s bill to prohibit gang patches being worn inside government buildings:

I would just like to talk about one of my first contacts with gangs. It was as a police dog handler working in Rotorua. For those who have lived in Rotorua, who are either in the police or even just as residents and members of the community, will be very aware of the old Mongrel Mob headquarters on Sala Street. When I first started there we had two young ladies come to the police station obviously in a terribly distressed state, and, in fact, one of them probably to this day has not recovered from what she had to endure at the hands of the Mongrel Mob at their pad on Sala Street. What had happened to them is that the Mongrel Mob had two young prospects and one of them was her cousin. As part of their initiation, as part of their pathway towards earning a gang patch, they had been instructed to entice these two young girls—15 and 16—down to the gang pad. Once they got them down there, they then proceeded to put them on what the gang members called the block, and they were gang-raped by patched gang members and the prospects were forced or encouraged to rape them also. So I just want to be very clear that when we are in this House and we are talking about gang patches, we actually understand clearly what a gang patch means and what it signifies. What it means is that when you see a gang member walking around patched up with a gang patch on, it is telling you, it is telling us, the rest of the people in the community, that they have committed crimes against us, and that they have probably committed violent crimes against us.

Gang patches are a form on intimidation. Now I didn’t support the law change for Wanganui District Council as that sought to prohibit patches in public anywhere – and that goes too far. But I think the Government has every right to ban them in buildings such as WINZ offices and courts.

Mr Goff got up and said that currently there are laws available to deal with gang members who decide to wear their patches and intimidate people. He quoted the Trespass Act . Well, what happens with the Trespass Act is that someone has to trespass a gang member. I am telling you now that people are intimidated. Who is going to stand up and say: “I am going to take a step and I am going to trespass someone.”? We are removing that from them. We are removing the intimidation and fear from that person with this piece of legislation.

I’d rather not be the person who has to trespass a gang member to their face.

There is one submission that I do want to refer back to. It was made by Jacob Te Kurapa from the Murupara Area School . Murupara, of course, is in Mr McClay’s electorate. Murupara has got social issues that it is constantly facing and tackling. It has a big gang presence down there with the Black Power , the Tribesmen , the Mongrel Mob . In his submission he said: “Children and students do not need to see gang insignia plastered about our school they need to be protected from it.

Gang patches should have no place in schools.

National, ACT, United Future and NZ First voted for the bill’s second reading. Labour, Greens, Maori and Mana voted against – defending the right of gang members to wear patches in schools etc.

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Cowboy Mark

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

Well done to Rodney MP Mark Mitchell for winning the bull riding contest at the Warkworth Rodeo. I doubt he’ll lose the parliamentary bull riding crown any time soon!

Hat Tip: Whale

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Mitchell wins Rodney

April 26th, 2011 at 9:06 pm by David Farrar

Mark Mitchell has won National’s nomination for Rodney on the first ballot – a resounding victory. Congratulations to him.

I’ve profiled Mark previously here.

Rodney is a very safe seat for National, so Mark is likely to have a relativly long parliamentary career.

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Two interesting profiles

March 27th, 2011 at 3:28 pm by David Farrar

Two interesting profiles in the SST. The first is of aspiring National MP Mark Mitchell:

HE’S HAD violent confrontations with gangs and criminals during 14 years in the New Zealand police force. He’s spent eight years as a top international hostage negotiator, at one point fighting for his life in a five-day siege in Iraq, a story which is set to feature in a movie made by Brad Pitt. He’s built a multimillion-dollar business from scratch.

As he is not a teacher, academic or a unionist I guess he is standing for National :-)

So the company set up subsidiary Threat Management Group to take security in-house. As CEO and shareholder, Mitchell grew the company from eight staff to about 500 in the first year.

The quality of their work soon won them top-level contracts, including protecting crucial infrastructures like ports, and keeping supply chains open.

Mitchell also became adept at kidnap and ransom negotiations, dealing with more than 100 hostage negotiations in Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Darfur.

If Mitchell does become an MP and eventually a Minister, then I’d say make him Associate Finance Minister in charge of bilateral vote negotiations. His background in ransom negotiations should serve well!

Also a profile on current Green MP Kevin Hague:

Then in 1980 he was arrested during an anti-sexism protest at a Miss New Zealand beauty pageant; a moment he states is his “most embarrassing political moment”.

“I ended up in a police paddy wagon with a group of women who wouldn’t speak to me,” he laughs. “They were all lesbian separatists.”

Heh that is very funny.

In the late 1980s he headed the Aids Foundation, before moving to Greymouth with his partner, Ian, and his son, Thomas, to take on a role as the general manager of planning and funding for the West Coast District Health board, before becoming the board’s chief executive.

This is one thing that makes me respect Hague – he does actually have significant management experience. Becoming a DHB CEO is no small thing.

Hague said he had never been the target of taunting over his sexual orientation since entering the halls of parliament in 2008.

The same, he said, couldn’t be said for other gay MPs, citing “prejudice” directed at Attorney-General and Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Chris Finlayson.

“Trevor Mallard, and also Clayton Cosgrove, refer to Chris Finlayson as `tinkerbell’. And I f—ing hate it,” Hague said. “That sort of overt taunting as a `fairy’, it is nothing other than prejudice. I don’t like that culture of abuse.”

Good on Hague for calling them out for it.

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