MP won’t say who he works for

September 23rd, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reported:

The lowest-ranked NZ First MP is refusing to say what job he did before politics.

And his leader Winston Peters is also refusing to say what his 11th-ranked MP Mahesh Bindra does for a living.

“I can tell you, he’s not a spy,” said Mr Peters this morning.

Mr Bindra, who came in at number 11 on the party list, is currently employed in the public service but will not say which department he works for.

“The (public service) Code of Conduct doesn’t allow me to say the department I worked for.”

Total crap. It does not. Scores of other public servants have stated what their current job is, when they stand for Parliament.

Mr Peters said he believed Mr Bindra had signed an agreement with his employer which stopped him from disclosing where he worked.

“When you are working for a government department, they sign a confidentiality form. If you’ve signed a document, you’re still caught by the document you have signed.”

Mr Peters said he would not disclose Mr Bindra’s employment because doing so would break a confidence.

I suspect Mr Peters has been misled. No department would include in a confidentiality agreement that you can’t reveal you work for them – except the SIS.

He said it was “utterly correct” the public should know about any candidates employment background and hoped it could be revealed tomorrow.

After the election!j
.

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Winston wants a Labour-NZ First Goverment

September 16th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

I’ve said for some time that Peters will ask Labour to block the Greens, so he can claim he has saved NZ from them, and this is looking likely. The Herald reports:

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters said today that voters should consider a Labour-New Zealand First as a potential alternative Government, not Labour and Greens, in what is the most definitive statement from him yet on post-election options.

That suggests that would keep the Green Party away from the cabinet table in any Labour-Led Government as he did in 2005.

If you vote Winston, you’ll get David Cunliffe as PM. It will be a Labour-NZ First Government but propped up by the Greens and Internet Mana.

 

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Wrong wrong wrong

September 15th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

John Armstrong writes:

Peters has a track record of competence as a minister. He is a realist. His party would bring stability to a governing arrangement.

Stability and Peters are not words that go together.

I think it would be better for National to go into opposition than be in coalition with Peters, and subject to his every whim. It will not end well.

If National gets 46% but can’t quite get a majority without Peters, then I say let Labour form a Government propped up by the Greens, NZ First, Mana and Internet parties, plus of course Dotcom wielding power in the background. It will be a terrible two or three years for the country, but National would easily win in 2017.

If NZ First are not essential to being able to form a Government, then you might do a deal with them (as National has done with the Maori Party). If say National has 57 MPs, NZ First 9 and Conservatives 6.  You could do a deal with both, as you only need one of them to govern. You can’t be held hostage by Peters.

The other possibility is to just run a minority Government, with NZ First abstaining.

But the moment you are reliant on NZ First, then the stability of the Government is threatened in my experience. When a backbench NZ First MP has a brain fart and says something monumentally stupid (The Reserve Bank is foreign owned) or offensive (people who look like Muslims should not be allowed to fly), then the PM will be asked about whether he is comfortable his Government is propped up by someone who thinks or says that. And the Government gets dragged down by the lowest common denominator.

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Williams suing NZ First

August 30th, 2014 at 11:45 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First MP Andrew Williams has started legal proceedings over being dumped from the party list ahead of the election.

Williams is seeking a declaration that the party breached its constitution when it determined the list, removing him as an electorate (East Coast Bays) and list candidate.

Williams had been ranked number 3 on the party list in 2011, and said he was given no reason for his demotion.

“I regret that I have no other option other than to take my party to Court to protect my reputation”, Williams said.

He had been “mistreated” by the party.

“I do not, however, wish to derail NZ First’s campaign, so I am asking for an urgent hearing following the election.

“As the matter is now before the Court, I do not intend to make further comment.”

Peters is notorious for not following his own rules. He unilaterally kicked Horan out, without even consulting his caucus.  Williams appears to have suffered the same lack of due process.

University of Otago law professor Andrew Geddis said the precedent in a case like this had ironically been set by Peters, when he was in the process of being dumped by National.

Do as I say, not as I do!

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The latest nonsense claim from Peters

August 29th, 2014 at 8:10 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Justice Minister Judith Collins has said NZ First leader Winston Peters was wrong when he said one of her people approached him about negotiations after the election if she was National leader.

This evening Peters told TV3 he had “backdoor approaches myself from the Collins’ camp… If you can’t talk to [National leader] John Key after the election, can you talk to her?”

Peters believed the move was an attempt to undermine the prime minister which Collins was likely to be aware of.

“I didn’t think the bag man was coming without her consent,” Peters said.

Collins had previously said she was not responsible for what others did, but came out more strongly this evening.

“Winston Peters is wrong. I have never approached him nor have I asked anyone else to approach him,” she said in a statement.

This is a silly almost made up story. Not made up that someone may have had a conversation with Peters, but made up that it was an approach on behalf of Collins.

I’m 95% certain I know who Peters is referring to. He is not an MP. He is not an official of the National Party. And he is not close to Judith Collins. In fact I don’t think he has had a conversation with her in almost three years!!! I’ve had more conversations with Winston Peters in the last two years than this person has had with Judith Collins, so does that mean if I say something, it can be seen as being on behalf of Winston Peters?

This is just Peters trying to get himself publicity.

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The NZ First list

August 26th, 2014 at 2:14 pm by David Farrar

NZ First have announced:

1 Rt Hon Winston Peters
2 Tracey Martin
3 Richard Prosser
4 Fletcher Tabuteau
5 Barbara Stewart
6 Clayton Mitchell
7 Denis O’Rourke
8 Pita Paraone
9 Ron Mark
10 Darroch Ball
11 Mahesh Bindra
12 Ria Bond
13 Mataroa Paroro
14 Romuald Rudzki
15 Jon Reeves
16 Asenati Lole- Taylor

Andrew Williams has dropped off the list entirely, after he criticised his draft ranking of 13. I must say that I don’t see what he had done to deserve his demotion (unlike Lole-taylor who had made numerous blunders). Williams did some dumb stuff as Mayor of North Shore, but had been pretty restrained as an MP.

A huge promotion for the MP for Wogistan, Richard Prosser.

If NZ First make 5% then Fletcher Tabuteau and Clayton Mitchell will be MPs. It is good to see NZ First bringing some new blood in.

Fletcher Tabuteau is their Rotorua candidate and has run a marketing and communications company. He is now a educator in business teaching.

Clayton Mitchell is their Tauranga candidate and a local City Councillor. He has said he will carry on doing both, if elected.

Ron Mark would get in if NZ First gets close to 7%.

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Has Labour’s bribe backfired on them?

August 22nd, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour’s support among the elderly has slumped despite making free GP visits for pensioners the centrepiece of its election campaign launch recently.

A breakdown of the party vote according to age suggests a dramatic fall from 29.3 per cent among pensioners in last month’s poll to just 17.6 per cent in today’s poll.

Once the poll results are broken into age groups they are simply indicative.

But what makes the movement more credible is that New Zealand First, which assiduously courts the grey vote, has gone from 4.7 per cent support among the over 65-year-olds last month to 8.9 per cent of the older vote in today’s poll.

We can estimate how significant these changes are.

We don’t know how many over 65s were in the poll sample of 750, but let’s estimate 200.

A fall from 29.3% to 17.6% has a 99.3% chance of being a true fall, and only a 0.7% chance of being just random sample differences. So it is safe to conclude Labour has fallen in support from over 65s despite their bribe.

An increase from 4.7% to 8.9% has a 94.8% chance of being a true increase, so it is likely they have gained support from over 65s.

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Prosser 3rd, Williams dumped

August 20th, 2014 at 6:59 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First MP Andrew Williams is set to be dumped to a seemingly unelectable position on the party list, and former MP Ron Mark is set to rejoin the party ahead of the general election. 

Stuff understands a draft copy of the NZ First list, determined by the party’s selection committee last weekend, has Williams ranked at 13 and Mark at 9.

The draft list is understood to have MP Richard Prosser ranked at No 3.

Prosser became infamous in 2013 for writing in his regular column in Investigate magazine, that all young Muslim men – or those who “look” Muslim – should be barred from flying on Western airlines. The rights of New Zealanders were being “denigrated by a sorry pack of misogynist troglodytes from Wogistan”, Prosser wrote. He later apologised for the comments.

The guy who said the most racist thing in the last three years is rewarded with the No 3 spot? Only in NZ First.

I also can’t understand why Williams would be ranked so low, at 13.

While Williams did some silly stuff as Mayor of North Shore, my observation of him as an MP is that he has generally been quite sound and hard working. He hasn’t generated anywhere near the negative headlines of MPs such as Prosser and Lole-Taylor yet he is the one dumped. This is very weird.

Williams said his ranking on the list came as “a bolt out of the blue”.

“I think most people would agree around Parliament I’ve been a pretty able MP,” he said.

“I’ve performed for the party, I’ve done a lot of hard work for the party and I’ve represented the party as well as I could.”

The ranking was no reflection of his ability or contribution, but attributable to internal party politics, Williams said.

“I’ve had the most portfolios of any MP. I’ve had 11, plus I’ve been an associate to Winston on foreign affairs, trade, SOEs and finance,” he said.

“So I’ve had a very heavy workload, and the portfolios I’ve had have been pretty solid ones, like local government, veterans’ affairs, conservation, environment, energy; all of which I’ve been solidly batting on.”

Williams said he would like to know what the selection committee’s criteria were for selecting the top 10 candidates for the party.

He had sought an explanation for the drop but had not received a response.

I think he has been hard done by.

The return of Ron Mark at No 9 is interesting. They’ll need to lift their vote slightly to get him in, but if they do, then they may have a potential sucessor to Peters.

UPDATE: Have spoken to someone close to NZ First and they say that the sole criteria for list ranking is total devotion and loyalty to Winston, so in that context the list makes sense!

They also made the point that while Ron Mark has some relationships with people in National, he is also very close to someone in Mana, and his inclusion should not signal they’ll go with National, but equally be used to form a Labour-Greens-NZ First-Mana-Internet Government.

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Garner on Xenophobia

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

Duncan Garner writes at the Dom Post:

So suddenly we’re all against selling off farms to foreigners. Well, it’s not really just foreigners, is it. Let’s be honest – we’re worried about the Chinese buying our farms. They’re not like us. There you go, I said it. Clearly many are thinking it. Cue Opposition politicians lining up to scratch our collective itch. Nationalism? Racism? Xenophobia? All of the above? The reality is we’ve been hocking off our farms to overseas buyers for years and no-one seemed too fussed. Australians, Germans, Russians, the Swiss and the Americans – no worries.

You expect it from NZ First, but not from Labour.

The debate has flared up over Lochinver Station, near Taupo. A reputable Chinese company wants to buy it for $70 million. They bought Crafar Farms and, from all reports, have improved it. They promise to upgrade Lochinver and keep the 20 Kiwi staff on. The sellers, the Stevenson family, want to take the money and reinvest it in their other business interests, such as quarries, and create about 8000 jobs over time. Surely we support that – don’t we? Labour has effectively pledged to stop the sale if it gets into government. Let’s pause and consider the hypocrisy: Labour’s position is a massive change of heart.  And Winston Peters, who was in government too from 2005-2008  must have been asleep at the wheel. Labour allowed Poronui Station to be sold in 2007 – that’s the farm next door to Lochinver Station. Labour Cabinet minister David Parker even asked a question of himself in Parliament about that sale – trumpeting the benefits of foreign investment.

They are such hypocrites.

In the last term of the Labour-NZ First government, an average of 762 square kilometres of land was sold every year. The amount sold in the past five years under National has been about 390sq km a year. The Campaign Against Foreign Control of Aotearoa estimates about 8 per cent of our best farmland is in foreign hands. Should we have banned film director James Cameron from buying his farms in the Wairarapa? He’s about to make Avatar 2, 3 and 4 in New Zealand and that will create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs. Should he have been told to bugger off? Labour leader David Cunliffe is even suggesting that Australians be banned from owning big farms here too. He’s taking ‘‘advice’’ over it – which is code for he’s making up policy on the hoof.

What’s new. And for outright racism, here’s Winston:

“As they say in Beijing, two Wongs don’t make a right.”

Winston defends the joke on the basis he heard it Beijing. But jokes are all about context. When you make the joke in the context of spreading fear and phobia about Chinese, then it is not funny, but nasty.

Jamie Whyte points out:

David Cunliffe’s suggestion that Australians be banned from owning big farms invites retaliation from Australia. 500,000 Kiwis currently live in Australia and many own land there or would like to.

Last year, Cunliffe told Australian government ministers and business leaders to give Kiwis “a fair go.”

Cunliffe said it is unfair that New Zealanders in Australia are treated differently from Australians in Australia. Yet he seeks to be Prime Minister on a promise to treat Australians differently from New Zealanders.

The inevitable retaliation would have a delicious irony, with Russell Norman’s support for the policy losing him his right to buy land in his home country. But that joy will be far outweighed by the terrible losses to New Zealanders.

The freedom to move back and forth across the Tasman, and to buy and sell property in both countries, is a great advantage to New Zealanders. The government should guard it jealousy. It should not be put at risk for the cheap political purposes of a desperate politician.

Land sales are regulated. Anything over a certain size must meet a national interest test. You can debate whether the test should be altered, but those parties advocating an outright ban are trying to reintroduce Fortress New Zealand from the 1970s.

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Will Mark succeed Peters?

July 31st, 2014 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Carterton mayor Ron Mark is not ruling out a return to Parliament.

The former New Zealand First MP said he had been approached by several parties including National.

“I have been asked by a number of parties. NZ First asked me last time and I said no and they have asked me this time and I am thinking about it,” Mark said.

Mark, 60, was a NZ First MP for 12 years before exiting Parliament, along with the Party, at the end of the 2008 election.

He said National have made it very clear that he would be “welcome in their tent”, with the Maori Party and Act also eager to talk.

“It’s all very flattering but you’ve got to think about what it is you really want to achieve and how best to achieve that, more importantly what the Wairarapa needs,” Mark says.

The horse may have bolted when it comes to National, however, with the Party announcing its list at the weekend.

Mark said he believed NZ First was well placed to return to Parliament at the September 20 Election.

“People have said to me you have to come back because we are going to be in Parliament and I said to Winston [Peters] that if that is the only reason for joining then that is the wrong reason.

“I am sure they will be back there, the question is will I be with them . . . I know that they are anxious to have me.”

If Ron Mark does return to Parliament as a NZ First MP, it will be to be Winston’s successor. That is not a bad thing.

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Peters (sort of) rules out Mana and Maori

July 30th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Winston Peters says NZ First will sit in Opposition rather than go into coalition with any “race based” party.

On his way into Parliament today, Peters repeated earlier comments that NZ First might sit on the cross benches rather than go into a coalition that undermined its principles, including its opposition to what it calls “Maori separatism”.

“We are not going to be in any combination that is race-based,” Peters said.

As usual Peters has left wriggle room. What does go into coalition with mean? For example National has no coalition partners at the moment – only supply and confidence partners. Secondly National is the party in a relationship with both ACT and Maori Party but ACT does not have a relationship with the Maori Party directly.

And what does sit on the cross benches mean? Does that mean still vote for the Government, vote against the Government or abstain on supply and confidence?

I imagine that any journalist that ask Peters those questions will get abused, called a moron, and told their position is absolutely clear.

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A 21% chance he would die in office

July 30th, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Speaking to a full house of mostly middle-aged or elderly people in Nelson, Conservative Party leader Colin Craig introduced the man he wants to be their MP – 81-year-old John Green.

Good to see he is active at that age and wanting to engage. I couldn’t resist morbidly working out the chance that, if elected, he would not survive the three year term. He has a 93.3% chance of getting through the first year, 92.4% the second and 91.5% the third which combined is a 78.9% chance, or a 21% chance of not making it.

That got me thinking about other elderly politicians. Winston will be 70 next April and according to Stats NZ has a 10.8% chance of dying in office in the next three year term – if he is elected.

For the John Key haters out there, he only has a 1.1% chance of dying in the next three years, and if he gets a 4th term, only a 1.4% chance of dying during that Parliament!

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Gower on what Peters will do

July 29th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Patrick Gower writes:

Kim Dotcom has done John Key a big favour.

He has pushed Winston Peters into Key’s arms and made it highly unlikely that the NZ First leader would choose the Labour-Greens over of National if he held the balance of power.

Key’s dalliance with Conservative Party leader Colin Craig was all about having some insurance against a Labour-Green-NZ First Government.

One of Key’s big worries was that that Peters would go with the Labour/Green side in some form. But the arrival and ongoing rise of the Internet-Mana party has changed all that.

On current polling numbers, a Labour-led Government would need the Greens, NZ First and Internet-Mana to get anywhere close.

And David Cunliffe has repeatedly and pointedly refused to rule out working with Internet-Mana to form a Government.

Despite his previous antipathy towards the Greens, I think Peters is now close enough to them on central economic issues to work with them in Government.

But Internet-Mana is a different story – Peters won’t want a bar of them.

Peters thinks Dotcom is a criminal and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira is a separatist.

This is what he told me when I interviewed him on The Nation two weeks ago, and asked if he would work with Internet-Mana: “We don’t back race-based politics, we’re in this for everybody in this country as equals and the second thing is the idea of somebody coming here with a criminal record and setting up after five months a political party to run New Zealand is simply an outrage”.

That’s pretty much a “No” to Internent-Mana right there.

So looking at the current political landscape, a Labour-led Government might need the Internet-Mana actually in a formal coalition itself, or use it’s votes to get a majority.

Any way Internet-Mana is involved would be anathema to Peters.

Let’s get a few things straight here:

  • Peters is not going to form a Government that involves Dotcom.
  • Peters is not going to form a Government that involves Harawira.
  • Peters is not going to form a Government that involves Annette Sykes (she would be in on current 3 News-Reid Research polling).
  • Peters is not going to form a Government that involves John Minto (close to getting in on current polling).

Peters is looking for a legacy.

He does not want that legacy to be the fourth player propping up an untested Labour-Green-Internet-Mana combo, cutting out a popular Government out on the other side.

I think Gower is right that Winston is not keen to put a Labour-Green-Mana-Dotcom alliance into Government. However he may support Labour on condition that Cunliffe doesn’t give Greens or Mana any ministerial roles. But the problem will be they’d be able to block any legislation he agrees with Labour.

However Peters, if he holds the balance, may over-reach and demand too much of National. I don’t think Key will agree to a deal at any price, and if so then Peters might still go with the left.

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Armstrong on why he thinks Peters will not run for East Coast Bays

July 24th, 2014 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

As captivating and entertaining as such a contest would have been, Winston Peters is unlikely to throw himself feline-like into the pigeon loft and stand in Murray McCully’s East Coast Bays seat.

The idea of putting himself up as the New Zealand First candidate initially seemed like a very cunning plan to disrupt the political footsie being played by Colin Craig’s Conservatives and the National Party in order for the former to get a toehold in Parliament and the latter to remain in power.

But the warning bells ought to have been ringing in the New Zealand First camp after Christine Rankin, the Conservative Party’s chief executive, urged Peters to “bring it on”.

It would give the Conservatives a lot of publicity, and allow them to position Craig as the natural successor to Peters.

Peters is not in the business of giving rivals who are after the same votes as him the means to raise their profile. When it comes to winning the seat, Peters is (for once) handicapped by his refusal to reveal his post-election intentions. East Coast Bays is one of National’s safest seats. Around two-thirds of both the electorate vote and party vote in the seat went to National in 2011.

Peters would need a big chunk of the National vote to shift his way. But why would National voters back him and risk seeing him install a Labour-led government?

All Craig would need to say is “Vote Peters. Get Labour”. 

Yeah I can’t see East Coast Bays voters voting for Peters if it means he may make David Cunliffe Prime Minister, and support a Labour-Green-Mana Government.

Also Peters hates losing electorate contests. He has never got over being beaten by Clarkson and then Bridges. Losing to Craig would be an unendurable burden for him.

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Meet your future NZ First Minister!

July 22nd, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

I really don’t know what is more terrifying. A New Zealand Member of Parliament who thinks the Reserve Bank of New Zealand is foreign owned, or the fact she still insists it is after being corrected.

I look forward to seeing the NZ First list rankings next month.

The comments on Twitter are gold.

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A question.

July 21st, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

He [Peters] also announced a new policy to tackle binge drinking and drug taking.

“We propose, to the degree that it could cause serious harm to themselves, or someone else, it will be an offence to be drunk or seriously drug affected in a public place, or while trespassing on private property,” with offenders paying fines of up to $2000 or three months in prison.

Would this policy apply to someone who say drank wine for six hours at GPK Bar in Takapuna, and then on the way home pulled down his trousers and pissed on a tree?

Is Winston saying that someone in such a situation should be eligible to go into prison for three months?

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A stupid and unaffordable policy

July 21st, 2014 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

NZ First has announced a plan to remove GST from food, as part of several policies announced at its party conference.

This is incredibly stupid. Our GST is the envy of much of the world for its lack of exemptions. When you start doing exemptions, then you get gaming of the system. Does food include fast food? does it include pre-packaged meals? Does it include caviar? Does it include dining at top restaurants? Does it include drinks?

Peters said the policy was estimated to cost $3 billion a year, and would be funded by a clamp down on “tax evasion and the black economy”, which it estimated to cost $7 billion a year, and what Peters said was “drawing on the projected surplus of billions in the years ahead that result from running a sound economy”.

This is just intellectually dishonest. Basically this policy would blow the deficit out by $3 billion a year. There is no magic wand you can wave to locate and tax the black economy. The reality is that if you want a $3 billion a year tax cut, then you need a $3 billion a year spending cut.

 

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A potentially cunning move by Peters

July 20th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

NZ First Leader Winston Peters is taking the fight to Colin Craig by refusing to rule out standing against the Conservative Party Leader in East Coast Bays.

Mr Peters said many people had suggested he stand in East Coast Bays given the “outrage” of a potential deal between Mr Craig and National.

“I think it’s an exciting thought… we’ll wait around and think about it.

“I’m not ruling that out.”

That’s quite cunning. If National didn’t stand, who would win the seat? It would also give NZ First a lot of publicity.

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Conservative and NZ First policies

July 19th, 2014 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Some of the Conservative Party’s key policies are so similar to New Zealand First that leader Colin Craig has been accused of plagiarism.

The two parties will outline their vision for New Zealand and their election plans this weekend at their annual meetings in Auckland.

The Conservatives have begun laying their election platform in a series of billboards and leaflet drops over the past month.

The four key planks of their campaign will be tougher penalties for criminals, a tax-free band below $20,000 of income, making referendums binding and scrapping Maori entitlements.

A few of their priorities so closely resembled New Zealand First’s manifesto that leader Winston Peters said they appeared to be stolen.

It is true that the Conservatives and NZ First have many similar policies – they are both competing for socially conservative and economically conservative voters. That’s not plagiarism, just a reality of where they are on the political spectrum.

Both parties want to end asset sales, stop the sale of farmland to foreigners, scrap the Emissions Trading Scheme and introduce tougher sentences for criminals.

Mr Craig told the Weekend Herald it was inevitable some of their policies would be similar because they were both competing for a similar pool of centrist voters. But he emphasised key points of difference.

Conservative is more radical on Maori issues, saying it will scrap the Maori parliamentary seats, repeal the foreshore and seabed legislation, and wind down the Waitangi Tribunal while not allowing any new claims.

New Zealand First says it is up to Maori to decide whether Maori seats remain.

Which is my policy also. Gulp.

Conservative is also more sceptical about climate change. Mr Craig has not prioritised reducing carbon emissions, while New Zealand First says it is important to switch to cleaner fuel and introduce environmental “bottom lines”

So some differences, but a lot in common. I suspect most voters will decide between them on the basis of what they think of their leaders.

Both parties are hardline on law and order issues. New Zealand First would introduce a 40-year minimum non-parole period for murder, and a “castle doctrine” law which allowed deadly use of firearms by homeowners against burglars.

40 years non parole is too much, even for me.

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NZ First self-defence policy

July 18th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A hardline law and order policy by NZ First would offer greater protection to homeowners, farmers and shop keepers who shoot to kill intruders during home invasions or burglaries.

Along with a 40-year mandatory non-parole sentence for premeditated murder, NZ First wants the Crimes Act amended to give certainty over the use of “reasonable force” for self-defence.

Ahead of the party’s annual convention this weekend, law and order spokesman Richard Prosser said the policy was a response to a string of incidents that had seen farmers and shopkeepers in court over their use of firearms or even hockey sticks against would-be robbers.

Mr Prosser said so-called “castle doctrine” laws in some US states, which saw Texan Joe Horn acquitted after his 2007 fatal shooting of two men who had burgled his neighbour’s home, were “so over the top that it wouldn’t be something that I think anyone in New Zealand would give consideration to”.

“But what I do think people have a desire for is the ability to actually defend themselves and their families in their own homes.”

Mr Prosser wants a regime based on that introduced in Ireland in 2011 following controversy over the 2004 shooting of an Irish traveller by a farmer.

NZ First’s proposal would allow for homeowners to use “any firearm that is lawfully available to that person” to defend themselves.

It is unclear exactly what NZ First are proposing.

If they are proposing that you can legally shoot anyone illegally on your property, then I can not support that. The penalty for tresspassing and/or burglary should not be death.

If they are proposing that when a homeowner has a genuine fear for their safety, or their families, then they can use firearms for self-defence – I can back that. But shooting someone in the back, as they are leaving, is not self-defence (for example).

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Labour loses the vote of a former Minister

July 18th, 2014 at 10:17 am by David Farrar

Former Labour Minister Dover Samuels just said on Radio Live that he would not be giving his party vote to Labour this year, because it is no longer in touch with or representing the regions. He is party voting NZ First.

Samuels was a Labour MP for 12 years, and a Minister for almost six years.

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NZ First promises trains almost no one uses

July 14th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

A $300 million cash swap from roads to railways is at the heart of New Zealand First’s transport policy for the election, including restoring the Gisborne-Napier line, and looking at extending the Wellington line to Levin and into Wairarapa.

The Gisborne to Napier line had basically no passengers and freight volumes dropped 75% in the few years before it closed. This would be akin to puring money down the drain.

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Winston forgets his own scheme?

June 17th, 2014 at 6:47 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Winston Peters has called out Dame Jenny Shipley over the superannuation debate but said she’ll never do it because he will make a mockery of her.

The veteran New Zealand First leader had immigration and the super scheme high on his agenda at a Grey Power meeting in Hamilton, where he promised members free GP visits and discounted power bills for SuperGold card holders.

More than 100 over-50s packed the Age Concern headquarters in Hamilton yesterday to hear Peters go on the attack against “so-called retirement experts” who wanted to lift the age of entitlement, reduce pensions and cut back health and home help.

He said Dame Jenny, chair of the Financial Services Council, wanted to privatise the retirement system and issued her with the challenge.

This is one of his bigger hypocrisies.

It was Peters who in 1997 proposed a scheme to effectively privatise the retirement system and have compulsory individual finds for everyone. It was Shipley who campaigned against the scheme – and won.

He told Grey Power members more than $22 billion in fees would be siphoned off Kiwisaver over the next 30 years to many offshore accounts and said he would start a “Kiwifund” after the election.

“It will be a state-owned and run alternative but run by you and owned by you because those people in your age will be saving in that plan.”

KiwiBank already has a fund, so Peters is promising something that already exists.

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Winston’s $158,000 and the Susan Couch trust

June 15th, 2014 at 12:00 pm by David Farrar

Readers will recall that after the illegal spending by most parliamentary parties in 2005, all parties repaid the taxpayer except NZ First who did not repay the $158,000 identified by the Auditor-General as illegal.

NZ First said they would donate the $158,000 to charity, but almost every charity turned their donations down on the grounds it was money owed to the taxpayers.

Finally Winston said most of it had been donated to the Susan Couch Trust.  Couch was the poor woman almost killed at the Mt Wellington-Panmure RSA by William Bell.

The curious thing with the trust is that two of the four trustees were Winston’s lawyers, and the trust deed didn’t say it was specifically for Susan Couch – it was just named after her.

So what has happened to the trust. Well the charity register gives us some details.

The transactions have been:

  1. $86,593 donated in 2009
  2. $53 donated in 2010
  3. $1,151 given to Susan Couch in 2010
  4. $2,859 donated in 2011
  5. $907 given to Susan Couch in 2011 and $710 to a L Stephenson
  6. $600 donated in 2012
  7. $968 donated to Susan Couch in 2012

So good to see some money is going to Susan Couch, but still several questions.

  1. Where did NZ First donate the other $72,000 – if anywhere
  2. Why does the Trust not earn any interest on the principal?
  3. Why is it paying out only 1% or so of capital?
  4. Why have the accounts for 31 March 2013 not been filed, as required to by law
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Horan’s side

June 14th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

The mother of MP Brendan Horan protested against changes to her will in a recorded statement in which she questioned what had happened.

Olwen Horan’s lawyer also raised concerns about the changes by a new law firm which happened two months before she died.

The Weekend Herald has found the changes were instigated by the MP’s half-brother, recently discharged bankrupt Peter Horan.

He and another half-brother, sickness beneficiary Mana Ormsby, discovered before Mrs Horan’s death that she had no money left from a decade-old lottery win they believed they had a claim to.

The changes included a $150,000 payment to Peter Horan which had not appeared in her earlier wills.

It also included the clause seeking an investigation into spending from Olwen Horan’s account by two other siblings, Brendan Horan and Marilyn Bleackley.

The revelation ended Brendan Horan’s political career with NZ First. A police investigation is currently under way into the spending although the trust executor’s inquiry found “no evidence which would enable me to found a claim against Brendan”.

This is highly relevant information.

I was one of those who said that the original allegations did not cast Horan in a favourable light. But this further information casts it in a very different light.

Peters booted Horan from the NZ First caucus without a semblance of natural justice. There was no vote or even discussion in caucus. Peters just announced it by fiat. Horan was never allowed a hearing where he could put his side of the story.

It is no wonder he is so aggrieved by Peters. The hypocrisy is great as Peters once took National to court alleging a lack of natural justice in the decision to now allow him to stand for Tauranga again. Consistency is not his strong point.

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