Politics on Facebook

If you want to follow New Zealand politics on Facebook – political party, and media information – a very useful list has been set up:

This should be a useful compilation of what’s happening for journalists and anyone interested in following politics in New Zealand.

It has been set up by Geoffrey Miller who has been compiling “all the MPs’ pages I can find, parties, interest groups etc. Anyone involved in NZ politics really who is worth following.”

It’s a work in progress but already works well and looks to be very useful.

There’s no doubt that Facebook has become a major forum for discussion on the Internet in general, and this applies to politics as with many other things.

I’ve seen political parties in New Zealand favouring their Facebook pages over their official websites for getting information out and for generating discussion. Twitter is just a pointer to what’s on Facebook.

Facebook has it’s strengths but a problem with it is that information is very scattered and easy to miss.

So the NZ Politics list on Facebook is an excellent aid to finding local politics if that’s what you’re interested in.

UPDATE: I have added a link to NZ Politics on Facebook on the right hand end of ther Your NZ menu to make it easy to find.

Accessing Facebook account by deception charge

Stuff reports on an interesting and unusual charge against an ex police officer that went before the Wellington District Court on December 22.

Former policeman charged with accessing Facebook account by deception

THE CHARGE

Simon Lindroos is charged with having “directly accessed a computer system, namely the private Facebook account of Melissa Weddell and thereby by deception and without claim of right obtained benefit, namely access, to the private account of Melissa Weddell”.

Lindroos said on Monday that he was not at liberty to discuss the allegation and did not yet know the full details of the charge himself.

He has not yet entered a plea and has been remanded to appear again in Wellington District Court later this month.

They point out that it’s not uncommon for people to access the Facebook and Twitter accounts of friends, sometimes to play pranks.

University of Otago law faculty professor Paul Roth said he had never heard of that particular charge, of accessing a Facebook account by deception, being used in New Zealand.

“A lot of people access other people’s Facebook account … police don’t go around charging everyone for this,” Roth said.

Presumably there are more serious things alleged in this case.

He added that police accessed people’s Facebook accounts “all the time” in the course of their duties.

I don’t know that it’s that common, it would presumably require court approval. In any case Lindroos is no longer a police officer.

Criminal intent is likely to be an issue in this case.

Legal experts say the key issues likely to make the case different from people fooling around with their friends’ Facebook accounts are those of consent and criminal intent.

Wellington barrister Michael Bott said the prosecution would have to prove that Lindroos illegally accessed the account without consent, and would also have to show criminal intent.

Bott, a human rights lawyer, said there could be an “arguable claim” about guilt in this particular case, but most people should not be worried about being charged for activities such as practical jokes on their friends’ Facebook accounts.

“Bear in mind that siblings set each other up all the time and make embarrassing posts … it would be a very sad day when siblings can’t do what they’ve done for centuries.”

He said he had seen the charge used before, when he defended a person who set up an online dating profile using another person’s details. That person was convicted.

I presume to charge an ex police officer the police think they have a relatively serious and reasonably strong case.

 

Conservative Party AGM?

There’s been at least two notifications of Conservative Party AGMs and announcement of a new Board of Management, but no sign of anything happening.

On September 13 Whale Oil (staff) posted 2015 CONSERVATIVE PARTY ANNUAL CONFERENCE AGM ATTENDANCE A BIT OF A FIZZER.

Colin Craig’s Conservative Party scheduled its Annual Conference this weekend.  It started on Friday evening, yesterday was the AGM, followed by a public meeting in the evening, and Colin and his closest friends are having a good conflab at the Centurion castle in Albany this morning.

2222

As I arrived, the Concierge of the Novotel Ellerslie was very helpful and keen to assist me find the conference.   He wondered if I was there for the 50th birthday party?

“No”, I said, “I’m looking for the Conservative Party Annual Conference”.   Not missing a beat, the Concierge suggested I might be at the wrong hotel.

A political party that advertises its Annual Conference, including the all important AGM, and then doesn’t actually have it – is it still a political party?   Party insiders tell me that some members have been nominated for board positions, and (incongruously) ex-member and ex board chair Brian Dodds has agreed to vet them.   The constitution requires an appointment committee.

And a month later (mid-October) on Facebook:

ConservativeAGMFacebook

I’ve searched for news and have found nothing.

The Conservative Party website says nothing about the September non-conference nor the October mystery conference.

The ‘Latest Update’ on the website is Colin Craig Statement of 19 June. Nothing since then, although the website has been updated and no longer shows Colin Craig as Party Leader (my last record of him stated as leader there was on July 28 – see Craig still acting as Conservative leader.

But Craig continues to show as leader on his Twitter account…

ColinnCraigTwitter

…but there hasn’t been any activity there since early August.

Back to Twitter this is his current home page which has also been inactive for three months.

ColinCraigFacebookThe Vote Colin Craig website that links to has also been inactive.

Is there still a Conservative Party?

Another online scam

There seems to regularly be stories about online scams, and a number of these seem to be playing on relationships and ‘love’. Preying on the vulnerable and the gullible is dirty but some people don’t care about the personal damage the do.

There has been two high profile New Zealand drug mule cases. There are often stories off lesser scams, but they can still have a devastating impact, financially and emotionally, on the victims.

In this week’s local community newspaper (The Star) there’s an Online scam warning for women (not easily accessible online).

A woman started communicating with an American on Facebook.

“Within a day he said that he loved me and could see a future with me”.

That carried on for two weeks before he told her he had sent her a parcel with valuable gifts in it, and gave her the track and trace number.

She then received emails from a courier company in Malaysia asking for $2,500 in tax.

She got out a loan and paid the $2,500.

The courier company emailed again saying she would have to pay $15,000 for insurance – so she called the man who told her there was $600,000, a diamond ring, a watch, some jewellery and an iPhone 6.

“He said please, please, please and I’m the type who will do anything for anyone so I went to the bank to get another loan”.

This time the lady at the bank got her to go to the police, but nothing could be done about the $2,500 as it had left the country.

It’s mind boggling how gullible some people are.

It ‘only’ cost this woman $2,500 before someone helped her out of the scam.

A more elaborate scam could have cost Anthony Melmanche his life. He is serving a 15 year prison sentence in Bali.

Can gullible people be helped from their stupidity? Should they be?

Craig still shown as party leader

Despite standing down as leader of the Conservative Party a week ago Colin Crtaig continues to be presented as the party leader online.

I posted on Monday – Craig still appears as Conservative leader online.

The Conservative Party web site still shows Craig as leader on multiple pages.

The last posts on ConservativePartyNZ on Facebook are on last Friday’s media conference with photos of Craig, so at a glance Craig still looks prominent. You have you go to the post of Craig’s statement (amongst three posts) and read through it to find that he has stood down.

There may not be anyone left in the party who can deal with updating their online presence. Or it may be deliberate.

The Twitter account listed on the Conservative website is unchanged at @ColinCraigNZ and that account that has been active since last week’s announcement, linking to several news reports this week, but still shows him as leader.

Colin Craig

@ColinCraigNZ

Leader of The Conservative Party of New Zealand. Someone, like you, who wants a better long term future for our country…

Maybe they are just waiting until Craig is last man standing to save double changes.

Unfortunately for the remaining Conservatives politically Craig looks to be dead man walking.

A Press editorial sums things up – Colin Craig’s career in politics over:

The issue, whatever the truth may be about its details, is a calamitous one for a party that campaigned on family values and its purported embodiment of superior personal virtue.  The party has  imploded so completely that it is hard to see how, even with another moneybags to finance it, it could make its way back. Craig’s political future is surely finished. And those who voted for Conservative will have to seek elsewhere to give political expression to their views.

Craig still appears as Conservative leader online

There is little change online to Colin Craig’s appearance as Conservative Party leader, despite him standing down as leader on Friday.

The website displays Craig and Chairman Brian Dobbs media statements from Friday…

ConservativeWebpage

…but you have to drill down to see any sign of what happened, and even that is a bit vague. Well onto his statement Craig states that he has offered to stand down only:

1.    I have offered to stand down as leader to enable the board to consider the leadership role

Also well into his statement Dobbs says that Craig has actually stood down:

I am grateful to Colin that he stood down to allow the board to explore all possible leadership options going forward.

Despite this the website otherwise still shows Craig as leader. On the Key People page:

Colin Craig

Colin Craig 
Party Leader 

Colin Craig is a respected businessman who has founded and run five successful businesses. 
The largest of these is Centurion Management Services, which has grown from being a “one man band” to a large employer.

With a strong sense of justice, and a desire to see his country succeed, it was no surprise that Colin became involved in Politics; firstly with local business issues, then with Leaky Homes.

In 2009, shocked at the Government”s refusal to be directed by the Citizens Initiated Referenda supported by over 87% of voters, Colin organised and funded the March for Democracy, seeking to require that our democratically elected Government act democratically. In 2010, Colin became involved with looking into the proposed Auckland Super City merger: running polls, making public comment, and subsequently running for Mayor and achieving third place in the election.

At the end of last year Colin launched The Conservative Party of New Zealand. Never being one to wait for someone else to do something worth doing, Colin subscribes to the philosophy that leadership is action, not position. “If someone is a leader, they are out there serving other people” he says.

According to Colin, true leaders are not the people sitting around talking about it, or the people waving around a badge: “Leaders are the people doing the hard yards, putting other people”s needs above their own.”

The accusations against Craig of sexual harassment make the last statement a bit hollow.

The Contact page still lists Craig as leader.

Party Leader

Name: Colin Craig

Email: Via Press secretary

Cell phone: Via Press secretary

The Vote Conservative Party Facebook timeline has links to Craig’s and Hobb’s statement plus photos of Craig and Hobbs but with no obvious indication what has happened.

They don’t have a generic Conservative Party Twitter account, their website links to Craig’s account.

CraigTwitter

Again no sign of Craig stepping down as leader. There’s the same links to the media statements from Friday but nothing since and nothing making it clear what the current leadership situation is.

Some things could take time to change, for example the fixed pages on the website. They have promoted the media conference statements, but have changed nothing as a result of the leadership change.

There is no clear sign that Craig is no longer party leader.

Labour poverty message mangled

Social media doesn’t always work the way you want it to. Yesterday Labour posted on Facebook about poverty – “Since John Key was elected 20,000 more Kiwi children are living in POVERTY.”.

There’s that many numbers thrown around about poverty I’m not sure if that will be an effective message or if it’s just another eye-glazer.

Regardless of that when I say it this morning the Top Comments have mangled Labour’s message.

Matthew Small:

That might be true, but John Key is not to blame for all of it, some people decide to have more kids when they can’t afford it; which statistically puts the kids straight into poverty.

Surgey Teer’s”

Funny how so many people believe that if you live in poverty it is somehow the governments fault. I grew up in poverty, having to stick cardboard inside my shoes because they had holes in, always hungry, all clothes were charity and hand me downs. Theonly person who I could blame was my father and step mother, both did not work and did not want to work. They still had money for cigarettes and alcohol though!!
107 likes

The only people who can change the cycle is you, individually. Work hard, take any opportunities you can. For me, the apathy of my family with regards to work made me strive for success, I did not want my children to go through the same things I did. I did not want them to grow up in a doss hole of an area ridden with crime and scum.

I would never have thought as I was growing up that I would have moved my family half way around the world and would be living in near luxury, but, I earned it and I have never took a cent of charity. I never, ever thought that I was owed something from any government. Yes, they were on the dole, it was difficult and the money was pitiful, but, it should have been less, there would have been more incentive to go and get work.
60 likes

Joy Jackson:

We are a first world country with endless educational and employment opportunities. It is simplistic and defeatist to blame a government because they are not providing you with money you have not worked for. I don’t worry about the National government,
50 likes

That’s not the response Labour would have wanted.

LabourPovertyFacebook

Scrolling down showed standard opposition lines that were less populazr

Mervyn John Peter Oquinn:

John Key doesn’t care about people it’s all about money
33 likes

Donald John Robinson:

Why blame this government, John Key played the same game as Labour, but nearly a million lazy thick incompetent, selfish ignorant New Zealanders didn’t VOTE !!!!!!
24 likes

Carol Kara:

Profits before People should be the National party slogan.
20 likes

Counter message versus same old slogans.

Another problem with this is that it isn’t easy to ‘Get the facts.” There was no obvious links to any facts. Most people wouldn’t bother trying to get them.

There’s also no sign of anything on this on Labour’s home page on their website. It’s not on their News page either.

Googling “labour children poverty living” hits Labour’s Children page that has it’s last post dated 8 July 2014. Nothing on this Facebook post.

So I don’t know what facts they are claiming.

Labour have failed to win hearts and minds on their Facebook post and have failed to provide the facts that they wanted us to get. Or did they want us to get the facts?

I see faux pas and no facts. It’s a mangled message.

SIS jobs increase with risk

NZ Herald reports that More espionage agents being recruited amid threats on social media in NZ spies to combat new terror threats.

In a rare interview, Ms Kitteridge said New Zealand’s risk level had gone from very low to low. That might not sound significant, she said, but it was of concern.

Ms Kitteridge said SIS staff numbers were linked to the threat level and there had been “very active recruitment” since the Prime Minister announced an increased $7 million in funding in November.

SIS annual reports show the number of people working at the agency has almost doubled since 2001 when it had 111 staff and got $13 million in funding. The most recent report shows it spent $37 million — $3 million more than its budget — and had 218 fulltime-equivalent staff. Ms Kitteridge would not say how many new agents had been hired.

New risks through social media are one reason for the increase in staff.

Facebook pages encouraging violence on behalf of Isis (Islamic State) are among factors increasing New Zealand’s official terrorism risk and leading to a recruitment drive for new spies.

(Kitteridge) described the public relations and technical skills deployed by Isis and al-Qaeda terrorist groups through social media as “slick”.

She said it was an “environmental change” which increased the risk to New Zealand. “Geography doesn’t protect us the way it used to. Al-Qaeda and [Isis] are very slick in terms of technology and PR.”

Ms Kitteridge also gave details of the types of activities that have led to the development of a “watch list” of 30 to 40 names.

“We are concerned about people channelling funding. Some would very much like to go and fight in Syria and other people talk about doing things in New Zealand.

“Some we worry about a lot and some we are absolutely aware of them but it’s another level of risk. We work as hard as we can to make sure we are making that judgment right. But it’s not a perfect science.”

She said they would follow up the leads and tips received by the SIS on 30 to 40 people not yet on the watchlist but whom the PM had identified as needing investigation.

The people who required investigation changed constantly as some were ruled out and others placed on the watch list.

Social media have had an increasing role in Islamic extremism, and Britain and the US have prosecuted users deemed to have made comments supportive of terrorism.

And there’s evidence of what is happening on Facebook.

The Herald has this week tracked multiple Facebook pages of Kiwis that have carried recruitment-style material for Isis.

One such person took to social media this week after French police shot dead three Islamic terrorists in Paris, saying: “My dear beloved brothers and sisters, its time to wake up. Get ur guns, get ur knifes, get ur boots, train intensively, increase your (faith) and (certainty), study the virtues of Jihad (for the sake of Allah).”

Contacted by the Herald, he asked for $2,000 for an interview and refused to talk when told he wouldn’t get any money.

Cheeky bugger. And potentially dangerous. Individuals like this may not become violent themselves but they are trying to talk up and encourage violent acts.

Another page displayed imagery of gun-wielding fighters wearing the keffiyeh headdress in Isis colours carrying the organisation’s slogans. The message posted with the images was: “Just 1 bullet away from jannah [paradise].”

The Facebook account owner — who gives the Middle East as his current location — was linked last year to the Avondale Islamic Centre shut by the Muslim community after concerns about the style of preaching. The man was visited by police after threats to Herald staff covering the mosque conflict.

So threats in New Zealand seem to be more substantial than the Government trying to justify laws to increase surveillance.

Collins and Slater appear to have lied about Facebook

On Monday Judith Collins and Cameron Slater denied having any Facebook communications and suggested they could have been forgeries.

@JudithCollinsMP

I have no record of any FB conversations with Whaleoil. Cam Slater has advised that he had no FB conversations with me. Forgeries?

@Whaleoil

Latest smear is false, I have never had FB conversations with @judithcollinsmp. Hackers break the law, media ignoring crime

However @Whaledump has tweeted and dumped:

.@JudithCollinsMP and @WhaleOil think there’s no evidence because they deleted the account that JC was using.

The content of the messages identify them as @JudithCollinsMP’s, clear as day.
http://pastebin.com/URchZJyJ

This includes:

————————-
July 31, 2011
————————-
Facebook User, 7/31, 2:44am

Yes, saw it! She will too as will the others. AB was helping young Nats distribute my Collins Courier newspaper yesterday. I was surprised.
————————-
Cameron Slater, 7/31, 2:45am

as am i

maybe he is looking for some young blood

This is a strong suggestion Collins and Slater may have lied about not using Facebook.

That would make the hole Collins is in even deeper.

Cunliffe Q&A on Facebook

David Cunliffe had Q&A on his Facebook page tonight. It worked much better than his last one (at The Standard) – a mix of policy and personable chitchat.

Cunliffe and Parker

Josh Lucas Evening lads. Q: What would an alternative Labour Budget have looked like?

David Cunliffe We’d deal to big housing crisis – 100,000 new homes. Taxing speculators and banning foreign buyers of existing homes. On jobs we’d get unemployment down to 4% in our first term with our Economic Upgrade. And our Best Start package would give every kid the best start in life, including the most vulnerable. See https://labour.org.nz/budget2014

Simon Gotlieb I’m curious David. We’re pretty certain about where Mr Key wants NZ to be in 20 years. How about you? When my children have children themselves what kind of society would you like to leave them?

David Cunliffe Hey Simon. We’re a bit worried about where NZ will be in 20 years unless we change course. It’s not clear Mr Key has a long term vision. He tends to make shorter term decisions. Our vision is for a NZ where everybody’s potential is recognised, everybody gets an opportunity to do and best they can be. I’m worried we’ve got a generation locked out of the housing market – and child poverty is a ticking time bomb.

Sophie Roil Why should we vote labour

David Cunliffe Because it’s about you, not us – and a fairer society. Take today. The Nats paid parental leave and parental tax credit policy is only half as good as Labour’s Best Start. Worse still, with 285,000 children below the poverty line, their package does not give 1c to the most vulnerable children. Not this year, not next year, not ever. https://labour.org.nz/beststart

Tayna King If you win the election will you remove the laws passed by national to violate the privacy of Kiwis eg: GCSB

David Cunliffe Our policy to immediately set up a full review of the NZ security services. We believe NZers have a right to be free from blanket surveillance, and that nobody should be spied on by NZ security services without a judge’s warrant.

David Kelly John Key’s budget speech — empty posturing, how do you stay sane listening to that drivel?

David Cunliffe You’re right, he seemed more interested in petty political point scoring than in addressing the issues that affect New Zealanders in their everyday lives.

Ian Vaudrey Do you think Labour will ever have a leader that can connect with the working man?

David Cunliffe You’ve got one.

Franquis Vegas ACC is a disgusting mess, leaving vulnerable people more vulnerable in order to make cash. Is there anything Labour will do once in government to fix ACC? Thanks 

David Cunliffe Franquis Vegas, I’ve had people in tears in my electorate office – who can barely walk, and ACC has told them they don’t have a problem. We will change the culture of ACC, so that it returns to the ideals for which it was set up – to help NZers who are the unfortunate victims of accidents, not to re-victimise them.

Naani Abercrombie How are you planning on helping to curb the high price of housing, especially in auckland? If a capital gains tax is part of your plan, what are the details of how it would work?

David Cunliffe We have to stop the crazy price increases which are locking young families out of a home of their own. We need to build more affordable houses – and we’re going to build 100,000 over 10 years. We need to remove the tax bias via CGT excluding the family home (currently renters subsidise landlords’ taxes). We also believe it’s a birthright for Kiwis to buy our homes, not foreign speculators.

Trudi Manning Do you believe in God? How about Aliens?

David Cunliffe One all at this end re God. (We’ll leave the aliens to Colin Craig).

Matthew Bowes What do you consider to be the 3 biggest issues facing New Zealands future? and what would you do to solve them?

David Cunliffe Work, homes, families.

Mawera Karetai We are a family with three kids and no plans to have more. We have a business that makes enough for us to survive and grow a little. We would get $200 per child per week under the new WFF tax credits and free health for all three kids – that will make a HUGE difference for us. What are you offering us? PS – we don’t have a trailer.

BY the way, I am a member of Labour and at the moment I am not sure if I can give Labour my Party vote, since I just can’t see where you give a damn about my family.

David Cunliffe Mawera, remember Labour brought in WFF. Our Best Start package is more generous than National’s immitation. Our economic policies will be better for everyone, including you. Our small business package will be something to look forward to.

Byron Donaldson David Cunliffe come to Westport to meet me I’m a great supporter of the NZ Labour Party please come and visit I’m still at high school and I’m the only student at my school who is a member of the Labour Party.

David Cunliffe I’m sure I’ll be there during the campaign. Well done for flying the flag.

Mihaela Soar By the way the so called surplus : selling strategic assets for 4 billions !

David Cunliffe Yes. And they made a loss compared with their promise, and now only 2% of NZers own those shares. (They’ve privatised our rivers too.).

Roger Tarry what do they mean surplus? we still have an overseas debt dont we?

David Cunliffe You’re right Roger. The vast majority of NZ’s debt is private debt, not Government debt – that’s debt held by Kiwi families and businesses, for things like mortgages. National are only talking about the Government surplus – not New Zealand’s external deficit, which they project will blow out to over 6% of GDP.

Curtis Omelvena Hey David. What could future generations lose if we do not raise the retirement age to 67? What are the alternatives to raising the age? Why do you think the best solution is to raise the retirement age? And could you modify the policy so some hard labour jobs retire earlier.

David Cunliffe Today’s Budget shows spending on super this coming financial year exceeding total Government spending on pre-school, primary, intermediate, secondary and tertiary education.Our aim is to ensure NZ super remains a sustainable, universal, publicly funded retirement policy. In order to do that we have to make the numbers add up in a predictable and fair way. We’re being honest with New Zealand. John Key isn’t. Under our policy, the hard labour jobs you talk about will be able to still retire at 65, because they will receive a transitional payment if they need it – no less than the super.

Simon Morris Why did you vote to keep rivers dirty with national

David Cunliffe We didn’t.

Kawhia Chambers do you truly want to represent the people of NZL or the big corporate banks feeding us an exploding crown dept

David Cunliffe I’m in politics to put people first.

Chris Mckissack if you promise to make the mighty waikato river blue again, ill vote for you 

Simon Gotlieb You’d need to get rid of all the cowshit first Chris. Good luck with that one, what with all the dairy farms

David Cunliffe We’ve said we’ll replace National’s weak NPS on “water quality” with a real one.
Clean rivers will not be allowed to get dirtier. Dirty rivers will be cleaned up. Increases in livestock/fertiliser/effluent will be controlled, not permitted.

Caitlin Blacktopp Aah ive written mine out like 5 times now

David Cunliffe I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.
I must vote Labour.

Alastair Ross Do you agree with economists saying there is little difference between National and Labours economic policies?

David Cunliffe Absolutely not – CGT, monetary policy reform, Best Start for kids, higher wages, cheaper power, fair employment laws. That’s just a start.

Byron Donaldson There was nothing in the Budget about child poverty I think that’s disgusting.

David Cunliffe So do we.

Jgl Lennon What concrete steps will you take to help the unemployed?

David Cunliffe We’ve set an agressive target to reduce unemployment to 4% by the end of our first term. There’s a whole package of policies that will work together.

SPEECH: New Zealand’s economic upgrade | New Zealand Labour

Ethel Leota Whittaker-Masiutama What kind of jobs would you create for “the people” of NZ

David Cunliffe Jobs with higher wages, all around our regions. In 14 out of 18 regions median wages went backwards since the start of this National Government.
Our manufacturing and forestry upgrade policies provide two examples of how we would get more and better jobs in specific sectors – with higher wages.

Stephen Kennedy Hey DC
As you know, we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. What innovative thinking is driving Labour 2014+ ?
Yours in red, – Stephen Kennedy [teacher, married, 3 kids, mortgage, Kiwi]

David Cunliffe We need to tax capital gains, boost innovation, increase savings, reform monetary policy, provide decent work, and help NZ’s industry on the journey from volume to value.

Mo Mosameh We want to know if are you going to change loan policy for postgraduate students or not ? Because it is not fair international students get free education plus 498$ a week as a scholerdhip from our family tax and kiwis students borrow money from studylink to eat.

David Cunliffe Mo, we’re going to scrap the 5 year ceiling on the student allowance. The Nats in this Budget froze the income threshold for student loan payments for another 3 years, because apparently you’re rich if you’re earning $20k..

[Name removed as requested] Change we can believe in hey. Why do you think National ripped off half your policies?

David Cunliffe Because have no vision of their own. They are a pale version, and they haven’t addressed the underlying economic issues.

David Cunliffe Hi all, wrapping up soon. Thanks so much for your questions, and wish we had time for more of them.

Penny Clark I see you didn’t answer my question, was it too hard for you?

Bennett Morgan Penny – there are over 200 questions. A lot to answer in what was originally going to be a 20 minute Q+A. Currently there are 295 questions or comments. Some weren’t getting the response they wanted (in the time available that would have been impossible).

Bobbi Pagani Would you please answer this question I posted on your page (copied at the bottom of this thread).

Bobbi Pagani Ok David let me make this very clear, I have tried and tried to get Labour to answer my question. I was glad you’re heading the Labour Party. But I cannot get my question answered. You just about had my vote in the bag. If Labour will not answer me I’m not voting for you, ok Only one vote, but my property is prominent and last election your Bill board was on my fence. You won’t be getting that either! I’ve tried for months through many avenues. Please reply, I’m attempting till the last minute.

Dawn Elizabeth Pollard I hope you let us know what your full education policy is sooner rather than later…There are a lot of teachers in NZ and a lot of them are not happy with the direction National is heading. Teachers don’t always vote Labour, you need to show them what you will be doing in education!

Bobbi Pagani Yeah, you did not answer my question Yet again. What is it with that question, posted well before closing time?

Nick Lawson To be honest David Cunliffe I don’t feel your answers held much insight. You seemed to answer the really obvious question and have ignored any questions i would have deemed important, or answered them extremely vaguely. This doesn’t fill me with confidence and has actually turned me off labour completely. Just another national waiting in the wings.
Liam O’Connor Tell me why when, given Parker’s own words that paying down debt is the most important thing, you’d force compulsory savings on me for a retirement I won’t have/reach? Surely it’s better to put that money towards paying off my student loan — a debt I’m sure that many Gen Y felt they had no choice but to take to get ahead — than saving for a hypothetical rainy day. It’s bad economics. Needless to say that when I’m already struggling to live in Wellington because that’s where the jobs are (unless I wanna suffer more and move to Auckland) — and we don’t live extravagantly; I haven’t even been on a paid ticket to the cinema for years — the idea of locking away money with a private company until I’m 65+ (if I make it) on top of tax and student loan repayments seems ridiculous. Especially when you insinuate that this policy will help fund your mates in the forestry industry. Seems like cronyism to me, just in shades of red rather than blue.
Bobbi Pagani If you will not answer my question- to your electorate office, on your page several times, and now here well before closing, even though I thought you were great, no, no and no. I’m still giving you a chance to answer and up until the election, if you don’t I’m not going to tick the box for you.
Now I’m going to ask the question of other parties. 
I have not even received from you why you do not answer.
Bobbi Pagani What a waste of time that session was, and I really believed I would get a reply, posting as I did well before closing.
Ok David Thank you for this opportunity!  I want to address the Rates Rebate. (I have previously asked this question both at the Electoral Office and on Labour’s page and got nowhere, no response on the page.)
So, the rates rebate, as I’m sure you know is a rebate available on application to those on a low income. The maximum rebate amounts to about $600, not insubstantial.
There is a narrow timeframe in which to apply for the rebate. There is information required for the application which is usually not even available by the cut off date for the application, you are expected to guesstimate.
If you miss the cut off Auckland Council will deny the rebate entirely. They will require the full rates to be paid and slap on penalties as well.
This did not used to be so. As I recall some twelve or so years ago if there was a cut off date they did not apply it. Now they do, strictly. 
This may be in accord with the letter of the law but is entirely against the spirit of it. The rebate is there by definition for people who are not managing that well, the low income earners would include the sick, disabled, invalids, elderly. It is there to help, I suppose, (or maybe there’s another reason for it?) Yet Auckland Council requires of the very people who are not managing that they get their application in on time, or rather, really, ahead of time considering the required information isn’t even available. It rigorously enforces the cut off date and denies any extension. I think this is unfair so I have stopped paying rates. If the back rebates were allowed my rates would be well towards being paid.
I would like Labour to look at this law and amend it so that Councils do have to allow eligible applications for rebates and back rebates, regardless of date of application and also not be allowed to apply penalties on the rebates they should have allowed. If the rebate application is late they have had the use of money after all. I think this is fair, and in the spirit of the intention of the Act. Do you? Will Labour do this? I look forward to your reply. Regards, Bobbi.

Too long to deal with in a quick fire Q&A but he is getting frustrated.

From Parliament: Budget Debate – 15th May, 2014 – Part 1

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