BIG NEWS: 11/01/2007 - 12/01/2007

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Trevor and Brenda going on holiday for three weeks

Trevor, Brenda and their adult children want to go on holiday and drink some Heineken for three weeks later this month. If you can assist him give him a call - and at the same time ask how his anger management programme is going. I wonder if Erin Leigh, former Ministry for the Environment staffer, has a house available?


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DHB offers $100 to mums then scraps it

Capital Coast Health said it was going to offer $100 in supernmarket vouchers to every mother who left the hospital six hours after giving birth.

Some people said it was bribery, so the DHB has scrapped the policy before it even started because it said it was not accptable to have a policy that some considered to be bribery.

Well, what else is it? Next they`ll be offering financial incentives to have an abortion - would $1000 be enough?
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Labour and the Exclusive Brethren

One of the reasons the Electoral Finance Bill was drafted was to stop big money from the Exclusive Brethren influencing elections. And $840,000 is big money.I just thought I`d point out - in case you had forgotten - that Labours bill has given the Exclusive "7" Brethren enough ability to spend in advertising equivalent to what Labour' spent on its pledge card at the last election.
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Labour's slide continues

Last weeks poll had Labour 6 points down on 34 percent and National up 3 to 48 percent.

The latest poll widens the gap betwen the two parties, giving National 51.3 percent and Labour 38.1 percent. Wait for these guys to say it is a rogue poll or to say absolutely nothing, in true Standard form.

Labour has gone up because its drop in the past poll was huge. The Greens have been deserted in Auckland, some going to Labour but more going to National. NZ First gets less than 5 percent as well (again).

The support for the Electoral Finance bill is starting to bite NZ First and the Greens -as well as Labour who is running out of coalition support. National doesn`t need coalition support based on this poll as it could govern alone.


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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the 155 page terrorism affidavit

Well, I've read it after it was posted on the Internet as a PDF. Lots of mobile phone numbers to ring and a few scrawled notes that indicate that is not the police who leaked it. The adffidavit is actually 156 pages but a page has been deleted relating to one James Beattie Lockett.

The police were right to be concerned and use search warrants, but I wonder if it was warranted to use the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Now, wonder if all names will be revealed by the courts. Some are still suppressed.
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Today is the anniversary of the election where Dear Leader became PM, in 1999. It is also the anniversary of John Key's leadership of the National Party. It's also the wedding anniversary shared with the person who lives with me.


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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

UN: smacking could be a form of torture

Thats what the UN will be saying next, after this statement on tasers.
An expert had testified to a UN committee that use of the taser has "proven risks of harm... The use of TaserX26 weapons, provoking extreme pain, constituted a form of torture, and that in certain cases it could also cause death, as shown by several reliable studies and by certain cases that had happened after practical use," the committee said in a statement.
Some may say that to use the taser causes death. Well if you use a taser, pepper spray and batons on a person, as well as the force to arrest him, or use the taser three times on a person ( more than 150,000 volts), as has happened in the US, it is more likely to cause death, just like if you smack a kid then kick him and bruise him it is likely to result in child abuse.

So of course tasers can be a form of torture if excessively used. I'm not saying I support the use of tasers, but I definately dont support the carry-on in the US.

People think parents who smack with anger are breaking the law - and they are if they cause bruises - but police should also be seen as criminals if they angrily repeatedly taser people because the first taser shock didn`t do the trick. One even tasered someone because they didn't sign a speeding ticket. Thats a bit like a guy kicking and punching a stranger because he didn't like the way the stranger looked at his girlfriend. Both should be convicted for assault.

Anyway, according to the UN, tasers are not torture in NZ as torture does not not include pain or suffering arising from, inherent in or incidental to lawful sanctions. Tasers are lawful sanctions in NZ. Therefore they are not torture. The UN committee never said tasers were torture but their use can constitute a form of torture. Quite different.

It's how tasers are used that the UN should be more concerned about. Just like it should be more concerned about child abuse than light smacking of children.But like all things, the UN seeks to ban the lowest common denominator because of the irresponsibility of the few.

Link: No Right Turn: Tasers are Torture
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Sunday, November 25, 2007

CYFS and police inconsistant

We have a case where a 13-year old girl gave birth to a child fathered by a 20 year old person she was having sex with for at least two years.

CYFS knew about it, so does the police. Police have decided not to lay charges. Nothing to see here, no evidence, apart form a child, move on. The whanau is not talking. THe girl will get the dpb in a few years but the 20-year old will not be paying child support you can bet on that.

You can also bet that if this was a smacking case the family would not be talking either - but police would be visiting the family because CYFS would be pushing for charges. Thats because CYFS are the new child abuse police and what they say goes.
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Saturday, November 24, 2007

WINZ Case Manager pays beneficiary "under the table"

I know of a person who is on a benefit. This person is looking for a job and told me that a Case Manager at WINZ thought that their section could do with a bit of a spruce up and is paying this beneficary to do it for a few days.

Now I don't have a problem with beneficiaries earning money on the benefit, as long as they declare it. But it seems a bit dodgy to me that a WINZ staffer is offering this person a cash job which will no doubt not be declared to his benefit, and he is not paying tax on it either.


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Friday, November 23, 2007

Clint Rickards resigns from the police

And about time too. Should have done it in February 2004. I hope we`ll find out how much money he gets. Perhaps hes now finished his state-funded law degree and feels it is time to perf off.


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Bradford incorrectly says latest smacking case shows anti-smacking legislation is working

Most people who read this blog ( and so far today thats 800 of you) are aware that I have been opposed to the anti-smacking legislation. However I am also opposed to child abuse, and from what I know about the latest assault conviction - which is as much as Sue Bradford, it appears, and Russell Brown , this person would have been convicted of assault had he been charged before the anti-smacking bill was passed - which is pretty much what Social Development minister Ruth Dyson said today.

The difference is that now there is no defence of reasonable force. Yet the force used to bruise this child, it appears, was not reasonable, so any reasonable force defence would not have been upheld for the brusing - but may well have been for the smacking. So there still would have likely been a conviction.

Unfortunately Brown and Bradford are so blinkered that they don`t realise this - especially Bradford. Bradford said it seemed to be an example of the law being implemented just as MPs who supported the bill intended. Note the word "seemed" In other words she doesnt know, so she is speaking from ignorance.

This case does not show that the anti-smacking legislation is working. Based on the media reports, it indicates that it is irrelevant in this particular case - despitre certain comments from the judge alluding to smacking - as the man concerned got prosecuted for bruising his son, not for smacking him. No bruise, no prosecution. Others have been convicted before the smacking legislation for parental smacking that caused brusiing - this case appears worse as the bruising was an assault before the smacking occurred, and had the bruising occurred but not the smacking, the outcome in court should have been the same even if a reasonable force defence was used.

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Thursday, November 22, 2007

David Parker should be sacked

Trevor Mallard scolded the Ministry for the Environment for hiring Labour activist Clare Curran, and in Parliament today he described the decision to hire her as naive. Yet it was Minister David Parker who advised the Ministry to hire Curran - and Helen Clark said on Friday that it was Parker who was naive and it wasn't such a big deal.

So it is now naive to follow the advice of a Minister.

But tonight we found out why it is such a big deal: Parker wanted Curran to make sure Labour's election agenda was looked after. In other words he managed the selection process, which is a big deal.

A former employee at the Ministry of the Environment, Erin Leigh said she resigned over the political interferance, and so did her boss. This from the TV3 News tonight:
She was there representing David Parker's personal political agenda - it was highly unusual, my advice was to push back on the minister and it could be illegal, Leigh says.

Leigh says her warnings were ignored, and she resigned in protest before Curran started.

She says Parker wanted Curran to make sure Labour's election agenda was looked after
.If this is true - and the State Services Commission is doing another investigation on this - Parker should immediately lose his portfolios as he is not fit to be a Minster of the Crown. Two Ministers interfered with employment processes, one is gone for lying about it, the Ministry lied to the Minister about the tender, then had to apologise, and now we find out that there was not just political advice, but the Minister planted a Labour activist to further his agenda in a "neutral" public service - and a Minister lied about that in parliament today as well.

A Minister who plants what is in effect a political advisor in a Government Department should be sacked. And if Mark Prebble knew about this, he should be sacked as head of the State Services Commission for doing nothing about it because he has not upheld political neutrality of the public service - which is his %*@* job.


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Parent finally prosecuted for light smacking

Was told twice today that a parent has been prosecuted for smacking. A father got diversion for giving his kid smacks on bum with his hand after his child was naughty at school. Was told there will be a story in tomorrows paper - and will link to it tomorrow.
UPDATE The article is here. He was actully sentenced to nine months supervision, so the state is going to pay for counselling that was arranged before the conviction. Green MP Sue Bradford has welcomed the conviction, saying the case is a good example of the May law change working as intended. However the only reason the case went to court was because the woman told a relative that the boy had a bruise on his shoulder and that relative told the police. It will be interesting to see what others think because it wil lead to some debate.

What I`d like to know is if the child had bruising on his shoulder, and the smack was on the bum, was he convicted because of the bruise or because of the smack, given that it was the bruise the parent was reported for. If it was because of the bruise when he grabbed his son, the smack was not what he was convicted for and he should have been convicted under the law before the passage of anti-smacking legislation. Furthermore, the paper's headline would be incorrect and if the smacking link had to be made, it should have been "Man's counselling now free after smacking, and Bradfords comments would be based on ignorance.

If the man was convicted for the smacks on the bum, thats a disgrace. The only way to find out is by getting all the court records, something that lobby group Family First should probably be doing now.

But you can bet the police report that is coming out on smacking won't say much about it. That report was requested over a month ago and the OIA request is now with the Ombudsman.

UPDATE The NZ Herald story here has been updated at least four times today. I Just want to make it clear that the counselling was not for the smacking, it was counselling for anger management and apparent marital difficulties. That is now going to be paid for by the taxpayer. I am confident that this case would have been a conviction before the rewrite of Section 59 of the Crimes Act. This is not a case to prove that the new law is working, despite the sentencing judge's comments. Had there been no bruise, there probably would have been no conviction.

NB initial blog first paragraph was written last night (21/11), hence the apparent erroneous title..


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Big News makes Fark

Apparently a lot of people read Fark. Somehow one of my blog posts must have made it to Fark. No idea how. Nice to get thousands of hits instead of hundreds...Biggest day ever and its only 7:30am.
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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Environment Ministry lies to minister

When Labour activist Clare Curran was hired at the Ministry for the Environment ( remember Madelene Setchell was fired for being the partner of John Key's press secretary,) standard practice was that for contracts between $10,000 and $50,000, there is a requirement within the ministry's operating policy to obtain at least three quotes. The Ministry told the Minister that this had happened, but like I said here Clare Curran was headhunted uncontested and the Ministry's operating policy was not followed as three quotes were not obtained.

More confirmation that the Public Service is not neutral.
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Court overturns Swedish smacking ban

Swedish parents are allowed to smack their children, as long as they dont smack them too hard, according to a recent court decision. A unanimous court ruled that the father's smack did not constitute assault - it was not hard enough to be assault, nor was it done with indifference to the pain it would cause.

It's happend in New Zealand too - except the person got prosecuted by the courts - he was ot allowed to smack his kids lightly - and I`ll link to the story in tormorrows paper when it comes out..

Also here in New Zealand, according to Minister Annette King, when stated laws conflict with parliamentary intent or common sense, we are governed by the law of common sense. So we can smack our kids too. Common sense, really. Well, common to most people outside the House.

UPDATEAs the Herald describes the Annette King Law of Common Sense:
If the law is an ass, then apply the law of common sense. If the law could be interpreted as producing silly outcomes, then assume those were not what the law intended.

Annette King can now kiss her promotion goodbye.
Fark referrals can check this out


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Lobby groups will struggle to keep people informed if EFB goes through

If the Electoral Finance Bill is passed unaltered, lobby groups and churches may not be able to inform their supporters of what parties' policies are in public in an electin year in case that is deemed to be persuading people to vote for a certain party. Not only can they not provide a summary of party policies, they cant even promote their own policies if it is seen to hold a position for or against any political party.

For example, if a lobby group is well known for its anti smacking position or holds a strong position on genetic engineering it may not be able to even keep its members informed by e-mail because that comes under the definition of publishing. The Catholic Church prayed in Mass against civil unions before the passage of the bill, warning their paishoners not to vote Labour. If something similar happened next year, and they put a notice in the newsletter, that would be an election advertisement and the church would break the law.

And if we protest with placards, we will have to write our name and address on the placards. Minister Annette King's private secretary incorrectly told me today that this was current law. King's response to these kind of scenarios is that police won`t prosecute, so it doesnt matter what the law is, because as she said in Parliament today the law of common sense applies when the law is nonsensical.

In other words, if you are in the process of making law, and it is nonsensical, and the MInister admits it, it is a good idea to change it; and if it is not changed we can break the law - and we won`t be caught. So I can smack my kids now because the intention of Parliament is that common sense vetos nonsensical law. So what's the point of law again? Not to be nonsensical, anyway.

Labour doesn't appear to understand that. Annette King is headed for the backbenches.


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Latest poll has Labour 14 points behind National

Labour's slide has started

National is up 3 points to 48 percent, while Labour is down 6.5 points to 34 percent. The Greens are up 1 to 7.5 percent and New Zealand First has broken the five percent threshold for the first time since April.


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Electoral Finance Bill: Human Rights Commission wants to start again

The Human Rights Commission is not happy with the Electoral Finance Bill. It wants to scrap it and start again - or at least have another round of consultation.

The Government has refused to do both and does not want the public or the Human Rights Commission to have any further say on a rewritten bill, even though it was the Governments's fault that the bill was so badly drafted in the first place. In other words, this country is going to wear the consequence of this Government's incompetence in terms of electoral law.

Thats not good enough.

Justice Minister Annette King said the revised one-year election period was "transparent and fair" because the previous three-month limit often left parties guessing when it would start if the Prime Minister had not announced an election date.

There's a solution to that - have a fixed election date, revert back to the three month election period, and for the rest of the year, the Government can concentrate on running the country instead of winning the election.

We dont want a government that is going to spend a third of its term focusing on an election when we elect a parliament to run the country for all of those three years. What about a six month period?

Incredibly, No Right Turn disagrees and is happy for a cocked up bill to progress through the House because although the Government has not given itself much time,their imcompetence is less important than passing a crap bill on time. He strongly supported the requirement for third parties to disclose their donors and the restrictions on anonymous and laundered donations - but, like the Green Party, has now done a $10,000 U-Turn which he refuses to explain.

He needs to learn that Hagars book The Hollow Men is less important than democracy, and less important than getting our electoral laws right.

BTW the select committee has forwarded executive summaries of the bill to all submitters, as they were asked to "to indicate the extent to which all submissions have been taken into account".

Guess what. There was no indication of the extent to which all submissions were taken into account. How surprising. Liars.

This government does not know how to write bills - the EFB has been through the Justice Ministry, advisors, Cabinet, Select Committee, the Human Rights Commission TWICE, Law Commission, Attorney General (well, on his desk anyway, he didnt really look at it critically), and the bill still has laws that are not intended, are unenforceable, and will be broken if nothing changes - but with no consequences.


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Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Electoral Finance Bill restricts legal participation

progressively updated
Report is here. Posted just a minute ago. The statutory declaration regime has gone, and the Human Rights Commission appear to have been of influence. The Select Committee hopes that it has struck a good balance between freedom of expression and equality of participation in the democratic process. But it has created a law that is unenforcable in some instances as those who express a political opinion have to communicate their name and address in doing so - even if it is audible expression.

The revised bill now means that if you have a megaphone at a protest or you speak any political statements in, say, a church sermon criticising the government, you will have to audibly state what your name and address is. Labour, NZ First, United Future and the Greens have deliberately supported this. This should be removed via SOP, as none of the protesters have to register if they spend under the limit, so it is unenforceable unless the entire protest is captured on TV or video.

That is crazy and I can't believe that the select committee thinks it isn't. Wait for the Herald to do a story about unintended consequences after this story.

Third parties can spend up to $12,000 on election advertising before they have to register under the new law - up from $5,000. They can then spend $120,000. But although they can recieve anonymous donations up to $5,000, they have to register if they get three $5k donations.

Third parties are not restricted to registered electors, but those who are NZ citizens or residents. Good. That means that those under 18 can be involved in the poiltical process. The Human Rights Commisson is doing the Children`s Commissioner's job as the HRC advocated for this change, as I also did.

The Human Rights Commission appears to have been responsible for the committee deciding to delete clause 5(1) (a) (iii), which was the clause limiting freedom of speech to anyone who takes a position on a proposition that one or more candidates is associated with. Thats all well and good, but clause 5(1)(a)(ii) means that an election advertisment is "any form of words or graphics" that encourages voters to vote or take a position - so it means the same thing as 5 (1)(a)(iii) does it not?

The Commission also recommeded that further publication should be on the redrafted version of ths bill. It has today expressed its disappointment that it was ignored by the Select Committee members, who dont appear want to have further public input to a dramatically changed bill (as seen on point 30 of this letter from the HRC to the select committee).

Instead the committee is to forward executive summaries of the bill to all submitters " to indicate the extent to which all submissions have been taken into account". Note the word extent.

There has been no consultation/expert opinion bringing the advertising period out to one year.

The purpose of the bill is to promote participation by the public in parliamentary democracy, maintain public and political confidence in the administration of elections.

The bill fails its aim because it restricts such participation.

It will be illegal to make a post in the Usenet Internet Newsgroups that advocates for or against a party unless you include your name and residential address. And it's the same with YouTube videos, and media releases. I`m not going to obey it, and give out my name and address every time, because I dont get a chance to have input into the many changes in the altered bill.

And I won't get arrested, either.
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Monday, November 19, 2007

is this our worst sporting year?

Can anyone recall a world championship win this year that Helen Clark was in attendance?
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PM on Breakfast TV

Labour is still tryingto kid itself and the rest of the country that the Electoral Finance Bill has a level playing ferld. The bill is expected to be reported back in Parliament today, but the playing field is such that there is an upper and lower field - where politicians get more money and are able to spend more money than eanyone else. Clark said this:
At least we have to try to see that in New Zealand we have a reasonably level playing field,
. Clark going on TV is the "try" part. The "reasonable level" part is her spin.
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

An Electoral Finance Bill Supporter

A supporter of the Electoral Finance Bill writes to the NZ Herald. His name is Peter Davis. He works for the Sociology Department in Auckland University. He compares freedom of speech restrictions to advertising restrictions for tobacco advertising,saying limits on the rights to " purchase" speech are justified in the Electoral Finance Bill in the name of protecting democracy Ha!

Of course he doesn't mention how it curtails political opinion that is not bought through advertising, because it may annoy his wife - who so happens to be Prime Minister Helen Clark. Perhaps he`ll have a snuggle with Miss Clark over a microwaved cuppa tea
Then again, perhaps he doesnt like microwaved tea, and Miss Clark will kick up a stink, go to the World Cup netball final tonight, and we`ll LOSE.. Hat tip

UPDATE We lost. Anybody know if Dear Leader was there to cast her spell? Well, she had to be there, as least she wasnt here as well.
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Friday, November 16, 2007

Police think it is "prudent" to support oral sex on TV

What is interesting that after Bob Schollum, Brad Shuipton and possibly Clint Rickards had all manner of sexual contact with all manner of women - including oral sex and sex on the bonnet of a police car - while they were serving police officers, that the police think it is "prudent" to advertise on a programme where the same sort of activity is happening on our TV screens. Genesis Energy is advertising on TV3`s Californication programme despite not approving of it, yet, in a statement, the Police think it is "prudent" to continue to advertise on the programme.

Police may not comment on their support or otherwise of the programme, but as advertisments are there to support and pay for TV programmes, its not a good look when Police are paying for advertising supporting programmes which have oral sex and other violent sexual activity - especially if it thinks it is "prudent" in doing so.

Meanwhile, both Subway and Castrol - who filled in slots where others left - have withdrawn their advertising following their advertisments in last nights Calfornication programme.
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Clare Curran

Clare Curran is a PR hack. She is a Member of Labour. Not any ordinary menber- she is the Otago-Southland representative on Labour's ruling body. She is also contesting David Benson Pope's seat at the next election.

She also replaced Madeleine Setchell after she was fired from the Ministry for the Environment because she is the partner of John Key's press secretary.

In 2006 Curran wrote this paper entitled "language matters" on framing the discussion to generat support for Labour. It states:
How National set the agenda in 2005, not Labour
* The media don’t create the message, they run with it
* The need to come up with a new set of phrases such as “We’ve made mistakes” (would pay to see Helen say that one)
* How to position National as the “enemies of the people”

Curran works for Inzight Coummunications and has claimed to have:
* Shifted public opinion
* Changed behaviour
* Set public agendas
Here's her interview on BFM. She didn't want to talk much about the paper as it was an "internal document".

Just the person the minister wants in the Environment Ministry. Apparently she was headhunted to replace Setchell uncontested- by a minister. Ministers are not allowed to get involved in employment matters - all of which are to be neutral. But this was not a neutral employment matter. So it is quite clear that Labour has no problems with politicising the Public Service, because there are no consequences for doing so. That is the real disgrace.

Martin Kay from the Dominon Post blogs on this politicisation of the public service here


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Genesis Energy happy to support "objectionable" television programme

The Family First lobby group is running a bit of a campaign against a programme on TV tonight called Californication, targeting advertisers on the programme. Most of the initial advertisers have indicated they will now not be associated with the prgramme by continuing to place advertising with the programme.Family First says the show is pornographic. Genesis Energy says it is objectionable.

Genesis Energy is one of the advertisers who are continuing to advertise on the programme. It has a stated aim of social responsibility. Now when they placed advertising, it was TV3 who decided what programme it would appear on. Now that Genesis Energy bosses have realised that they are advertising on Californication, which, in the words of Retail Manager Dean Carroll, is "objectionable", Carrol is happy to willingly support - and promote with financial assistance through advertising - an "objectionable" programme by purposefully continuing to allow their advertisements to be placed on the programme.

That's a little different to the stance of most other advertisers who have either pulled out of the programme slot, or have yet to comment.


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Thursday, November 15, 2007

Helen the hypocrite

Helen Clark has stated, with regards to the terrorist attacks that there is a desire for people to know about the police terror raids. She said that everyone wanted to know what was worrying the police, but any evidence has to come with proper authority, rather than newspapers just publishing the evidence. Asked if a case could be argued to release information in the public interest she said:
I dont know what the lawful route would be, and in my position I have to advise people to act lawfully

As she does not know the law, she cant offer any advice. So she says " act lawfully", whatever that is. Anyway, does that mean that to not offer lawful advice when she knows the law is to abuse her position? Like she did by agreeing the with the unlawful authorisation of her pledge card spending, and not telling her speeding driver to slow down wehn going to a rugby game perhaps.

Furthermore, if the law is unclear, how are we to act? Helen Clark, through her ignorance, has made a good case for calls for the Dominion Post to be prosecuted over publishing of the evidence. Given that the terrorism law was uncelar and none of the evidence can be used in court - and the law is uncear - the Dominion Post should be able to sucessfully test that law.


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Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Today in the House

John Key and Michael Cullen sparring on the Electoral Finance Bill.


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Civil disobedience is on its way

Once the Electoral Finace Bill is passed, you can be sure that there will be civil disobedience against this legislation by those who understand that in terms of electoral law and elections, New Zealand will no longer be a democracy. This disobedience will be timed right in the middle of the election campaign and you can be sure that it won't be the smacking bill that does Labour in, it will be the Electoral Finance Act.

If a person can have his neck broken while being arrested by police, if the Education Ministry can turn a blind eye to sexual abuse in schools, if WINZ can turn a blind eye to most benefit fraud, if parents can break the law by smacking their kids and dope smokers can have smoke-ins every year on J-Day in front of police without getting arrested, then surely civil disobedience is appropriate and people can protest against the government with placards without registering with the state even though it will be against the law.

Labour has no respect for the Bill of Rights. It has no respect for democracy and has no respect for the anyone in the electorate that disagrees with it. A singer could potentially breach electoral laws by advocating in song for a position held by a political party.

However, Chris Knox will be exempt.He`s struck a better deal with Labour.
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Monday, November 12, 2007

MPs, take note

It is extremely rare when any newspaper carries an editorial on its front page. This morning John Roughan from the NZ Herald has done so, on the Electoral Finance Bill. This will bring the Electoral Finance Bill out of the beltway...
When is the Government going to get this message: democracy is not a device to keep the Labour Party in power...Labour seems determined to use the time it has left to skew electoral laws in its favour. It has introduced this month a second electoral outrage - a bill to extend the law legalising the use of public money for political purposes that were ruled improper by the Auditor General after the last election.
The Clark Government's refusal to bow to public opinion on this subject beggars belief.

The Listener also joins in with its second editorial on the bill.
Proposed rules for election-year spending are blatantly unfair. The government’s plans for legislation covering election spending recall that infamous night when MPs set up a superannuation scheme for themselves. This week the government introduced to Parliament a measure called the Appropriation (Continuation of Interim Meaning of Funding for Parliamentary Purposes) Bill, which it intends to rush through before Christmas. If the title was not deliberately chosen to make the bill seem tedious, then it is the government’s good fortune that it certainly has that effect.
It might as well be called the “One Law for MPs Bill”. When combined with the Electoral Finance Bill, which is being considered by a select committee, it makes the rules on advertising in an election period markedly different for MPs than for all other New Zealanders.

The Electoral Finance Bill contains a provision that means it does not apply to MPs. Instead, they will be covered by the “One Law for MPs Bill”. This allows them to campaign next year, right up to the day before the election, using the generous taxpayer-funded allowances given to each party represented in Parliament. What is more, this spending will not be counted as part of each MP’s individual spending cap, nor towards a party’s spending cap.

The public deserve better. Not only because the public are paying for it, but because it is unfair for incumbent MPs to have a legalised advantage and because, in election year, there should be a level of robust participation that the Electoral Finance Bill will inhibit.

The bill’s provisions are a shame and a shambles and New Zealand’s democracy will be poorer if they are passed.
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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Marae Digipoll

A Marae digipoll out recently has the Maori Party polling well on all seven Maori seats. In other words, the Maori Party could possibly win all seven Maori seats at the next election. If it does, NZ First will be history unless the party gets more than 5%. The Maori Party MP's will have such a overhang - because those on the Maori roll dont tend to list vote the Maori Party all that well, but concentrate on candidates - that there will be more MPs in Parliament.

I have seen the breakdown of the voting figures in the Marae Poll. What is interesting is that although most of those enrolled on the Maori roll indicate a vote for the Maori Party MP's, they are also indicating they will vote fore the Maori Party as well. This is significant as if this turned into the election result, this would take list votes off Labour aand NZ First. So the Maori Party - because of the Maori seats - could stymie NZ First's chances of getting in if Winston Peters doesnt win a seat.

What is clear is that nearly all those who are registered for the Maori seats support the Maori Party or Labour. That was not the case last year when up to 13 percent in last year's poll said they would support NZ First. In this poll National and MZ First is listed under " all overs" that combined, doint even equal 3 percent.
I predict that in 2008 the Maori Party will win at least five seats, with possibly the Labour MPs getting re-elected, although if Maori were smarter they wouldnt vote for Parekura Horomia as he is number 5 on Labour's list and will get in anyway.And what is he doing for Maori?

But if Winston doesnt get his seat back and his party gets .72% fewer votes, the Maori seats will knock NZ First out of Parliament.

More later.
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Saturday, November 10, 2007

silly laws

David Farrar has listed some Silly UK laws, referring to a BBC competition. He mentioned six of these but missed some more that werent mentioned on the article. If the UK laws were enacted prior to our legislative system and have not been repealed by our system, it is my understanding that they are laws here as well.

1. It is illegal to die in the Houses of Parliament ( to save the expense of a state funeral).
2. It is an act of treason to place a postage stamp bearing the British king or queen’s image upside-down
3. It is illegal for a woman to be topless in Liverpool except as a clerk in a tropical fish store.
4. Eating mince pies on Christmas Day is banned
5. If someone knocks on your door in Scotland and requires the use of your toilet, you are required to let them enter
6. In the UK a pregnant woman can legally relieve herself anywhere she wants, including in a policeman’s helmet
7. The head of any dead whale found on the British coast automatically becomes the property of the King, and the tail of the Queen
8. It is illegal not to tell the tax man anything you do not want him to know, but legal not to tell him information you do not mind him knowing
9. It is illegal to enter the Houses of Parliament wearing a suit of armour
10. It is legal to murder a Scotsman within the ancient city walls of York, but only if he is carrying a bow and arrow
11. It is illegal to hang washing in the street
12. It is illegal to beat a carpet in the street
13. It is illegal to fly a kite in the street
14. It is illegal to be drunk in charge of a horse, cow or steam engine
15. It is illegal to fire a cannon close to a dwelling house
16. It is illegal to bet or gamble in the library reading room
17. It is illegal to use any slide upon ice or snow
18. It is illegal to drive cattle through the streets of London
19. Section 28 of the British Town Police Clauses Act 1847 makes it an offence (punishable by £1000 fine) to sing any profane or obscene song or ballad, or use any profane or obscene language.
20. It is illegal to light a firework! (seriously: Section 28 of the Town Police Clauses Act 1847)

Silly laws from around the world:

1. In Ohio, it is illegal to get a fish drunk
2. In Indonesia, the penalty for masturbation is decapitation
3. A male doctor in Bahrain can only examine the genitals of a woman in the reflection of a mirror
4. In Switzerland, a man may not relieve himself standing up after 10pm
5. It is illegal to be blindfolded while driving a vehicle in Alabama
6. In Florida, unmarried women who parachute on a Sunday could be jailed
7. Women in Vermont must obtain written permission from their husbands to wear false teeth
8. In Milan, it is a legal requirement to smile at all times, except during funerals or hospital visits 9. There is no age of consent in Japan
10. In France, it is illegal to name a pig Napoleon
11. In Calgary in Canada, one must have a hitching post outside of their business establishment.
12. Still in Calgary, if one is kicked out of the city, the accused is entitled a horse and a day’s worth of rations to see them to the next city. (Old Cowboy rules)

Now, if you`ll excuse me, I have to go to sit an exam.
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Friday, November 09, 2007

Tax Cuts Coming

National MP Murray McCully puts it this way:

As the Budget surplus’ have mounted, billion upon billion, the National Party has consistently called for tax cuts – clearly the Labour Government was seizing revenues that were substantially in excess of its actual needs. But the rejection of tax cuts from Clark, Cullen and co could not have been more strident:

“My view is tax cuts are largely offered as a political bribe, not because of beneficial economic or social effects” said Michael Cullen.

“Tax cuts are a path to inequality and underdevelopment” said Helen Clark. “They are the promises of visionless and intellectually bankrupt people”

Could this possibly be the same Helen Clark and Michael Cullen who triumphantly announced election-year tax cuts last weekend?
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Minister wants to close down unregistered Sunday Schools

Well, it's official. Education Minister Chris Carter wants Sunday School treated like all other licenced creches - because "they need to have safe facilities and they need to have adequately qualified police-checked staff to supervise children".

Marvellous. Whats the point of registering Sunday Schools and creches when their parents are just down the corridor in Church? I can just see it now, the unemployment rate is lowered by each Sunday School having to employ another 120 people to administer the new-licensed Sunday Schools, but they won't be allowed to advertise specifically for Christians because of anti-discrimination provisions. Anyone with a criminal conviction who is currently teaching Sunday School will be booted out after a police check. Churches will employ 8 “roving” Managers to ensure that the Pastor isn’t looking lasciviously at the youngins, form a committee to over see the “roving” managers and their whopping expense accounts, travel etc, made up of various consultants (with little or no experience other than they once went to Sunday School) on massive contracts to provide a quality learning educational Sunday School environment to the nation - as long as we start all Sun School Sessions with a reading from Aunty Helens little red pledge book (paid for by taxpayers money of course after another dose of retrospective legislation) then put forward tenders calling for more parties to come up with a new Sunday School curriculum (”the old King James was obviously wrong, said the Prime Minister in a statement”) awarding yet another large contract to the successful tenderer (who also went to Sunday School once), all the while negotiating a large increase in wages to the new Sunday School Teachers Union so that these unpaid workers can be paid for half an hour a week, and parents can apply for a childcare subsidy through WINZ so each teacher can at least get a couple of bucks extra per kid each week on top of that because the Education Ministry certainly wont be paying Sunday Schools as part of 20 hours free, you can bet on that!

Phew,that was a long sentence. Time for communion methinks.

Ah well, it will be the only time Education Ministry officials get to go to a church service as they start gatecrashing churches interrupting sermons to ask the pastor whether his creche is licenced to run Sunday Schools where nobody is even paid.

They can go to hell.
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Thursday, November 08, 2007

new school curriculum

I think it is good news that the Treaty of Waitangi and tikanga is included in the school curriculum. However I am concerned that there is only one "professional development" day allocated to get up to speed with the curriculum.

I can just imagine what untrained teachers will be telling their kids about the Treaty, let alone about climate change. They`ll probably equate indigenous rights with Treaty rights. They`ll probably say that the four Maori seats initiated by the 1867 Representation Act were initiated because of the Treaty. They`ll probably say that the number of Maori seats have increased due to the Maori Electoral option under MMP, and that option was to provide greater representation to honour the Treaty of Waitangi. And like most MSM journalists, they`ll probably tell their students that Te Reo is one of three official languages in New Zealand.

In order for children to learn about the Treaty, teachers need to know about it before being able to correctly teach it. Most teachers probably don`t even realise that the Treaty is currently part of our Constitution. But let's hope they can spell the word "curriculum" better than this minister of Youth Affairs.
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Wednesday, November 07, 2007

a few changes

You won't notice, but this is an old template that is now Big News. I have changed a few things around so all you will notice is that there are no archives - they are on the old template I`m working on.

Tax cuts

Helen Clark has announced that Labour will be offering tax cuts. Coincidentally, it so happens that it can now afford to- right on the weekend of the Labour Party conference and within a year of an election with Labour sliding in the polls. The announcement did not say when the tax cuts will be reversed, who will get a tax cut, when, and how much.

The announcement came after Michael Cullen recently told the Finance and Expenditure Select Committee that people who think there should be tax cuts on the back of the big surpluses should be taken out and quietly drowned.

The difference between Labour and National on tax is that you can rely on National to have a bettter tax policy and to deliver it.

Its a bitter way with Labour - way bitter.

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Chris Knox has written a song that will be used in Labour's campaign. It's pretty good, but like many of Labours policies it starts well and goes downhill. The song is a bit repetitive towards the end. You can hear it here. Its called " Its a better way with Labour, but sounds like "its a bitter way with Labour".
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Monday, November 05, 2007

Helens halloween special

The reshuffle. More of a trick through crooked teeth than a treat.

We have a minister of Women`s Affairs called Steve,and a Claytons minister. Cosgrove takes over Sport and the Rugby World Cup. Cunliffe is on Health - and only just in the front bench - after smacking his kids in a carpark, and Carter has Education because he has a masters degree and a teaching qualification. The ministers of Social Development, Education and Health have more Ministerial portfolos and are lower ranked than the Minister of Maori Affairs. The Associate Ministers of Education and Social Development are ranked higher than the actual minister.

Hodgson is still on the front bench and is the Tertiary Education and Economic Development Minster so he can stuff up his portfolios in silence. A large Government ministry is not even on the front bench - Dyson has Social Development.

So the portfolio responsibilities and the seniority are all out of whack - especially Horomia - he's one of FOUR associate ministers of Social Development and everyone seems to have forgotten about him today. What's he doing so high up the rankings? Is it because he is a Maori? Given that the woman with crooked teeth has done her Halloween reshuffle, how come nobody is asking why “Horrormia” is so high up the rankings. David Farrar suggested yesterday that he will retain his ranking because he is a Maori. True? How Horoble. Bad trick.

Goff didnt get Health - so he`ll get Finance when Cullen goes. Annette King gets Police, Justice and the Law Commission - to set up her campaign to get the Electoral Finance Bill passed.

Obviously there is not much depth in Labour. Trevor Mallard is the Minister of Labour as a reward for punching Tau Henare in the jaw at work. Wonder what his policy is on violence in the workplace. Heh.

I should have had a coffee after all...
The Lineup is here
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