Poll hits dirt, rewards clean

There can be many reasons for poll movements but whether by coincidence or not the parties most associated by dirty smear politics have all dropped in the latest NZ Herald poll, and parties not associated with dirt have gone up, especially the Greens.

Dirty parties:

  • National 50 (down 4.9)
  • Labour 25.2 (down 1.3)
  • NZ First 4.3 (down 0.3)

Clean parties:

  • Greens 13.7 (up 3.8)
  • Conservatives 2.6 (up 1.4)
  • Maori Party 0.7 (up 0.2)
  • Act 0.6 (up 0.6)
  • United Future 0.4 (up 0.4)

Others

  • Mana-Internet 2.1 (down 0.1)
  • Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis (down 0.1)

Having made that point poll to poll movements are not as important as trends.

Herlad poll trends Aug14

  • National’s last poll result may have been an outlier.
  • Labour continue to trend down.
  • Greens have surged but time will tell if it is temoporary or becomes a positive trend.

Herald poll trends small Aug14

  • Winston Peters has been struggling to sustain a profile in a very competitive media.
  • Conservatives will be hoping they are on the rise but 5% is a long way up from there.
  • Internet-Mana climbed initially but may be leveling off.
  • Maori, Act and United Future will be grateful for any scraps they can get.

The poll of 750 respondents was conducted between August 14 and 20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 per cent. On the party vote questions 12.5 per cent were undecided.

Source: Greens spring in polls as National takes hit

What would “one law for all” be?

If we had one law for all what would that law be?  Thou shall not hurt anyone else? Thou shall not tell fibs (especially in politics)?

ACT Party

Act Party leader Jamie Whyte has stirred up a race debate by promoting one law for all.

He means that one race (Maori) shouldn’t have separate laws or privileges or Parliamentary seats to anyone else. That’s fine in theory, but very contentious and controversial in practice, as Whyte is finding out.

But it’s having the desired effect, raising Whyte’s and Act’s profile on the potential constituency that matters for them to start to make an impression in the polls. See comments at Kiwiblog in Jamie Whyte on race based law.

Conservative Party

This is also one of the Conservative Party’s key policies (from very sparse offerings).

OneLawForAll

One Law For All is one of four very brief policy statements on their Issues page.

Another is the Conservative’s ‘bottom line’ policy “On Our Watch Referendums Will Be Binding’. In the unlikely event that they have a watch in Parliament they won’t get support for this, an issue that seems inspired by Craig’s obsession with getting the ‘smacking’ law repealed.

Craig wants one law for all if it involves Maori ‘privilege’, but he wants parents to have a different law than children when it comes to being hit. One could agree with Craig that there’s some crazy thinking here.

Another of their policies is YOUR FIRST $20,000 TAX FREE THEN A FLAT TAX. Act at least have some consistency, wanting one tax rate for all instead of no tax for those earning under $20,000 and then tax whack the rest of us.

NZ First

NZ First seem to stake a claim to the ‘One Law For All’ slogan but it doesn’t stand out in their policies. Their website doesn’t have a page for ‘Winston Peters Rhetoric’ but their is plenty of that elsewhere, for example in Budget in Reply Speech – Winston Peters.

We believe in one law for all – irrespective of ethnic background.

Not the crumbs of tokenism from the Cronies Club Tables!

New Zealand First believes that we must train, skill, educate and employ our own people first.

There’s no excuse for the hiring of cheap labour from overseas when so many are on the unemployment scrap heap back here.

On the issue of foreigners speculating on housing in New Zealand – we’ve had the courage to say it for years but successive governments have refused to act.

Ok, one law for all as long as you’re one of “our own people” and not “from overseas” or a “foreigner”.

NZ First and one law for all seems to be contradictory.

One Law 4 All Party

There is also a party set up and now registered to address this issue – One Law 4 All.

To keep faith with 1Law4All supporters from across the political spectrum, we have the one bottom line – that of legal equality of all citizens regardless of race, ethnicity, culture or religion.

Should we win a position in government, 1Law4All will take a middle-of-the road position on all other issues or proposals by other parties. Should this be difficult to define or involve highly controversial legislation, we will seek a majority public consensus and vote accordingly. We will not have personal conscience votes.

Legal equality is a bottom line but on anything else majority public consensus will enable the overruling of minority rights and needs.

Several Questions For All

‘One law for all” and legal equality sound fine in theory, but life and legislation can be more complicated than that. How would the above parties answer the following questions?

  • One assault law for all or separate law for parents?
  • One tax for all or different tax rates?
  • One property law for all or ‘one of us’ versus ‘foreigners’?
  • One immigration law for all regardless of race, religion, age, skills?
  • Can anyone put flashing lights on their car and run red lights and speed?
  • No age limit for marriage, sex, voting, firearms, driving, alcohol?
  • Superannuation for all?
  • Early childhood education for all?
  • Domestic Purposes Benefit for all?

And what seems to be at the centre of all the ‘one law for all’ posturing is the Treaty of Waitangi. Should New Zealand declare all treaties invalid – one treaty for all or no treaties for anyone? There’s quite a few, for example see Treaties and International Law.

Or just selected ones?

Back to Act

While Act want no legal or other privileges for Maori…

Treaty of Waitangi and Race Relations

ACT supports the vision of a free society and would seek to remove all race-based appointments in parliament or any other branch of government.

…they sound more reasonable regarding the Waitangi Tribunal:

We would work towards ensuring the Waitangi Tribunal process ends on the basis of full, fair, and final settlements.

But a quick scan through their other policies suggests they support some targeting and don’t propose universal rules for everyone.

ACC: “The one-size-fits-all compulsory, government-owned monopoly insurance provider is failing New Zealanders.” So they don’t support one insurance provider for all.

Crime and Justice: “ACT supports tough, appropriate sentencing for all offences including burglary (three strikes you’re out), livestock theft (weapon and vehicle confiscation) and murder (sentenced by degree).” Selective application of three strikes, which is targeting some offences and offenders differently to others.

One law for all, unless getting tough on (some) crime will get more votes.

‘One law for all’ is a simple political slogan in a very complex real world.

Polls and election prospects

A number of recent polls have given pointers to where the parties stand with less than two months to go until the election.

National

National have been polling in the high forties through to mid fifties but are expected to drop back a few percent in the final count. They are aware of this and are trying to minimise that drop by playing as safe a game as possible.

They have had some hiccups with embarrassments through Claudia Hauiti (now withdrawn from candidacy) and Gerry Brownlee’s airport security slip-up. Hauiti was National’s lowest ranked MP so she won’t be a loss, and Brownlee has front footed the damage control with what appears to be genuine contriteness.

National have just announced their list with no real surprises. They will say this week what other parties they will be prepared to work with and give a nod to some potential support parties in electorates.

They have yet to reveal much about policies. There main plank seems to be more of the same, steady sensible management of the economy.

That will be enough to win the most seats by far but they are not expected to get enough to rule on their own so their fortunes may be dictated by small parties. They will be hoping Winston Peters isn’t the main dictator.

Likely result range 45-50%.

Labour

The polls have not been good for Labour with the last twelve results being in the twenties, as low as 23%.

David Cunliffe continues to fail to impress as leader. He says his string of apologies are behind him but he is dropping in preferred Prime Minister polls, the latest having him on 8%. Some hope he will show his mettle in leader’s debates but it’s unlikely he will do enough to shine over the seasoned Key.

Media are writing Labour off and talking more about how low they might go instead of how much they might get. There’s good reason for this, they look divided and disorganised.

Labour’s best hope seems to limit the damage and not get any lower than their record low in 2011 of 27.28%. A more common hope is probably that their vote doesn’t collapse.

Likely result range 20-29%.

Green Party

The Greens bounce around in the polls, usually in the 10-15% range.

They look to be the best organised party by a long shot, and seem determined to finally get into Government. They deserve it on their own efforts but they are relying on Labour who will be worrying and disappointing them.

Without Labour improving substantially Greens look like at best competing for attention and influence amongst a mish mash coalition but more likely being denied by Labour’s failure.

Many voters are happy to see Greens in the mix but one negative is there is a wariness (and in some cases fear) of Greens getting to much influence, especially on economic matters. Some Green good, too much Green scary is a common sentiment.

Likely result range 10-15%.

NZ First

NZ First have been polling from a bit under to a bit over the magic 5%.

Most expect them to lift a bit in the run up to voting as happened last year but National will be taking as much care as possible not to hand Winston Peters another opportunity like the cup of tea debacle.

Peters is a seasoned campaigner and the media help his cause because he is good for stories, but time will tell whether there is too much seasoning in the old warrior and too little substance in the rest of the party as the other MPs have failed to impress.

One thing that may make it harder is direct competition for attention  and votes with the Conservative Party.

Likely result range 4-6%.

Maori Party

Poll results have been low for the Maori Party. That doesn’t usually matter because in all elections they have contested so far they have got more electorate seats than their party vote would give them so it has been unnecessary. Last election they got 1.43%.

It’s tougher for them in electorates this time with Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia retiring. It will be challenging for them to retain their current three seats, with some suggesting they might lose most or all of them.

There will be strong competition from the Dotcom financed MANA Party, but they may be helped by Labour’s woes.

For the first time the party vote may matter to the Maori Party, especially if they only hold one electorate seat.

Likely result range 1-2%.

Conservative Party

Polls have been in the 1-3% range. It’s now looking unlikely National will help Colin Craig in an electorate so they may have to get 5% to make it. That will be difficult, especially if Winston Peters competes openly with them.

Formed just before the last election the Conservatives got 2.65% and hope to improve on that. They have had much more exposure but that may have lost as much support as it has gained. Craig still seems politically naive. He has tried to turn the ‘Crazy Colin’ meme to his advantage but that’s a risky strategy.

Conservative fortunes are relying on National’s decision this week but it’s not looking positive for them.

UPDATE: John Key has just stated that National won’t help Craig in East Coast Bays so Conservatives only hope is getting 5%, which looks a big hurdle.

Likely result range 2-3%.

ACT Party

Act has been polling poorly, often under 1%.

Act were in turmoil last election with a very Brash takeover and installing John Banks as Epsom candidate. Banks won to save Act but has had a troubled term.

Act have made a concerted effort to rebuild over two elections. They have split responsibilities between Jamie Whyte as party leader and David Seymour in Epsom. Seymour looks a good bet in Epsom but the political jury is still out on Whyte and Act.

Much could come down to how Whyte looks in the minor party debates. He is intelligent and has good political knowledge but can look to serious and too polite – he hasn’t been forceful enough in interviews.

Act may benefit from being an alternative to giving National sole charge.

Likely result range 1-3%.

United Future

UnitedFuture has been languishing in polls, as often on 0% as slightly above.

More than ever UF hopes seem to rest solely on Peter Dunne in Ohariu. His chances are reasonable there. He has held the seat for thirty years so is very well known. He hasn’t had the best of terms but seems determined to rebuild his credibility.

Dunne looks to have been helped by all the major parties:

  • National have a new candidate who looks likely to campaign for the aprty vote only and has been given an almost certain list position.
  • Labour’s Charles Chauvel resigned mid term and has been replaced by a relative unknown.
  • Green’s Gareth Hughes has withdrawn from the electorate to promote youth and party vote and has been replaced by someone.

Like last election voters are likely to return Dunne and ignore the party. The party seems to be virtually ignoring the party.

Likely result range 0.3-0.7%.

Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party

ALCP rarely feature in opinion polls, but they manage to get votes in elections. In 2011 they got 0.52%.

They are under new management this time and are likely to get some stoner and protest votes but 5% is just too high a hurdle for the influential media to pay them any attention.

Likely result range 0.4-0.8%.

Internet Mana Party

As a newly formed combo IMP have been polling 1-2%. They have a huge budget so will feature in the attention seeking stakes.

And while Kim Dotcom can’t stand as a candidate his attention seeking will keep him to the forefront of party success or failure.

Dotcom is promising a town hall circus five days before election day – he thinks this will destroy John Key and National but it could just as easily backfire.

His personal crusade is to oust the National Government. He is more likley to fracture the left wing vote and scare people off a Labour let government.

IMP’s monetary might will gain them some party votes but may fail in the ultimate aim.

Likely result range 2-4%.

Summary

IMP could be pivotal in the final result but it looks most likely to be a failure for them and a win for National with a few small allies.

Horan responds to speculatory accusations

Speculation about independent MP Brendan Horan at The Standard has been refuted by Horan.

A post by ‘Geoff’ was full of speculation and accusation and absent any facts – Why does David Farrar hate Winston Peters so much? Farrar responded in Best ever thread on The Standard.

The post included speculation about Horan’s motives and possible collusion with Farrar and National in his questioning of Winston Peters and NZ First in Parliament over the past few weeks.

Lately, Brendan Horan has begun to attack Winston in parliament, somewhat out of the blue.
What is his motivation? Is this National attacking Winston through the satellite state of Brendan Horan?

Why would National do that? Have they decided, in private at least, that a coalition with Winston is intolerable? That’s seems risky because they may need his help to form a government after the election.

Are they just trying to diminish his vote, hoping that most of his supporters would vote National if they abandoned Winston? That would explain the use of Horan as a means to attack Winston without completely jeopardising a post-election deal with him.

How much of a say does David Farrar have in the National party’s election strategy?

Perhaps Farrar is by-passing National and feeding attack lines to Horan directly?

It’s all very fishy. Can anyone shed any light on this?

Horan’s attacks on Peters are not “somewhat out of the blue”. He indicated to me last year that after his family business was dealt with (the excuse Peters used to kick Horan out of the NZ First caucus and party, absent any facts) he would be revealing concerns he had about NZ First.

Geoff’s accusations themselves seemed very fishy, or fishing, and any questioning of them were slapped with Standard threats.

[lprent: Don't be stupid. You are likely to pick up a ban if you accused an author or the site of ulterior motives without proof or a reasonable theory. In the latter case it would usually be after you wank on about it repetitively for some time making assertions without proof.]

In other words you can’t question the “ulterior motives without proof or a reasonable theory” of authors who “wank on about it repetitively for some time making assertions without proof” without risking being attacked or banned – a normal double Standard.

Horan later posted a comment in response. It deserves a right of reply post but that’s not likely to happen at The Standard.

Hi all,

1) I’ve had no contact with David Farrer.
2) All questions I’ve asked have been on behalf of people bullied by the leader of NZ First.
3) I was challenged by media to supply evidence and I did.
4) My sources are Past employees, past and current party members and former NZ First Party MP’s.
5) The speaker is investigating the Leader of NZ First and I’m happy for due process and natural justice to run its course.

Regards,
Brendan

I’ve been following Horan’s questions in Parliament and I follow David Farrar’s posts and tweets and I have seen nothing that puts any doubt on what Horan says here.

I’ve also had recent contact with an ex NZ First employee who is not impressed by some of what Peters has done within NZ First.

Winston Yeah/Nah

A comment at Kiwiblog from ‘minus’ points out Winston Peters contradicting himself.

Winston YEAH / NAH
Speaking from Auckland, Mr Peters said Mr Horan’s claims were lies. While he confirmed NZ First had used parliamentary funding to develop the software, he denied the software was used for party political purposes.

“It’s used to enable our expansion into sector groups, all sorts of commercial and social interest groups where we’re able to spell out what our policies are and interact with them.”

“It is run by someone who knows precisely what the law is as to the appropriateness of use and what you can and cannot do.”

However he also said the software had not been launched yet.

1st sentence Winston denies the software is used for party political purposes.
2nd sentence Winston describes uses which seem to be party political
3rd sentence confirms that someone uses it
4th sentence denies it is used at all – “had not been launched yet”

Kī tōnu taku waka topaki i te tuna, Winston

Quote source NZ Herald: Peters dodges Horan’s allegations

Horan’s accusations against NZ First

Brendan Horan accused Winston Peters and NZ First of misusing funds and parliamentary staff yesterday.

• NZ First used about $20,000 from its taxpayer-funded leader’s budget to purchase the Vanguard “constituent management software”.
• Mr Horan claims Vanguard is used to seek memberships and donations which is against Parliament’s rules.
• NZ First staff who are paid by Parliamentary Service are running the software which is also against Parliament’s rules.

(http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11259250)

Budget Debate – 21st May, 2014 – Part 6Date: 21/05/14Topic: Budget DebatePeople: Andrew Williams, Barbara Stewart,Brendan Horan, Richard Prosser

Starts at 5:45

The draft transcript:

BUDGET DEBATE

15:59:30~BRENDAN HORAN (Independent)

I turn now to Vote Parliamentary Service. Recently I have received information that raises real questions about the use of parliamentary funding by a party. I am writing to the Speaker asking that the Parliamentary Service investigate these matters and report to him. There is a clear precedent for this when in December 2001 the then general manager, John O’Sullivan, reported to the Speaker on the Alliance electorate liaison unit. That report swept aside any uncertainty that might have existed and clearly stated the rules. The Leader of New Zealand First cannot claim to be ignorant—

Richard Prosser: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

BRENDAN HORAN: —but in the past 18 months has—

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Order! [Interruption] Order! There is a point of order.

Richard Prosser: The Budget debate is around the Government’s allocation of funding for various means and the use of that funding—.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): No. Look—[Interruption] Order! The member will sit. The member in opening talked about Vote Parliamentary Service. That is what he is speaking on and he can continue in that vein. I am listening very carefully to what he is saying. That comes under Speaker’s rulings. I am inviting Brendan Horan to continue.

BRENDAN HORAN: It is good to see he had a voice there, but a shame he does not have a vertebrae.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Order! That is completely out of order. That is an attack on the integrity of a member of this House. The member will withdraw and apologise for that comment.

BRENDAN HORAN: I withdraw and apologise for that comment.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Brendan Horan—continue.

BRENDAN HORAN: He has deliberately withheld information from the board of the NZ First Party. The NZ First Party—

Andrew Williams: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Under Standing Order 117, “Personal reflections”, a member may not make an imputation of improper motives against a member, an offensive reference to a private member’s affairs”—Standing Order 117.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Look, I know that this is a very interesting subject. This debate is about the spending not the person. We are in a debate on Vote Parliamentary Service. Anything to do with the appropriation and the way that money has been appropriated, how it is being used, and how it is being spent is a matter for debate, and that is what we are on now. So Brendan Horan will continue.

BRENDAN HORAN: The NZ First Party is using taxpayer-funded computer software for party political purposes such as campaigning and fundraising. The programme codenamed “Vanguard”—

Barbara Stewart: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Again Mr Horan is transgressing Standing Order 117, making a personal reflection a member or a—

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): No, no. The member has talked about a party. He has not mentioned any individual in this matter.

Hon Annette King: That’s cute.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Sorry? And if we look at Standing Order 117 it says that “A member may not make an imputation of improper motives against a member, an offensive reference to a member’s private affairs, or ae personal reflection against a member.” I am listening very carefully to this. The member must keep focusing on the appropriation to Parliamentary Service, the use and appropriation of that money and any concerns that the member may have, if that is the way that his speech wishes to continue.

Andrew Williams: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Speaker has in the last 2 weeks on numerous occasions advised members that if they have any issue in this regard, it should be referred in the normal manner through the Privileges Committee or through other official channels; it should not be raised in this House. The Speaker has made that ruling on numerous occasions. We would like that to be upheld.

Brendan Horan: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): The member will sit. That may well be the case that there is a referral to the committee, but this is a debating chamber and members in this House have freedom of expression, freedom to express their views. I am listening very carefully to this. I will ask the member to focus on Vote Parliamentary Service. As I have mentioned before, the debate is about the appropriation of the money and the use of that money, and the member should not bring into account the integrity of any member of this House. All members are honourable members. I will ask the member to focus on that.

BRENDAN HORAN: Vote Parliamentary Service —the New Zealand First Party is using taxpayer-funded computer software for party political purposes such as campaigning and fund-raising. The program, code named Vanguard, is a constituent relationships management system that stores personal details of voters and is used for mass mail-outs. Other political parties have these programs too—

Barbara Stewart: I raise a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. This program has not been launched. It is not part of—

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): That is not a point of order. I will ask members that on point of orders, they have to be relevant to the matter. That is not a point of order.

BRENDAN HORAN: Other political parties have these programs too, but they are funded by the parties themselves and operated outside of Parliament. New Zealand First paid tens of thousands of dollars out of the leader’s budget to develop this software and has its parliamentary staff working to run the program for election year. This is a clear breach of Parliamentary Service guidelines. An internal party strategy document dated 9 March 2014 states, under the heading “Funds”: “Campaign fund request, first two weeks April—Self-funding after initial distribution, followed by use of Vanguard appeals to focus groups”. A memo to the party board by the president, Anne Martin, dated 10 March 2014, states: “The director of operations canvassed the use of Vanguard computer program. Suggest board advised of its uses, including candidates’ college program as well.” This use of parliamentary resources for fund-raising appeals and political campaigning is more than questionable, especially from the New Zealand First Party, which promised a fair go in the last election. The public has a right to know what its money is being used for and whether it is being used legally. A company called Lone Star Market Research was registered on 1 August 2012. The company’s sole director is New Zealand First’s director of operations in Parliament, and is a member of the party’s campaign committee. The company was set up with the intention of conducting political activity for New Zealand First. New Zealand needs an assurance from Parliamentary Service and the leader of New Zealand First that Lone Star Market Research has not received one cent of taxpayer money, nor had the use of parliamentary resources. New Zealand First—[Interruption]

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Order! There is a point of order from Barbara Stewart.

Barbara Stewart: I raise a point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker. This information is totally incorrect. It is just fantasising, and although I realise it is a wide-ranging debate—

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): No, no; I do not need any help. I have indicated that anything relating to Vote Parliamentary Service is in order. If the member ties that into Vote Parliamentary Service, that—

Barbara Stewart: But it’s wrong.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Whether it is wrong or right is a matter for debate. This is a debating chamber. It is not for me to judge the accuracy of the information that has been presented. So long as it ties into Vote Parliamentary Service, it is in order. Brendan Horan has 1 minute remaining.

BRENDAN HORAN: Vote Parliamentary Service—the New Zealand First Party membership secretary, present at board meetings and recorded in the minutes of those meetings, is paid by Parliamentary Service for a full-time, out-of-Parliament support role in the New Zealand First office in Bank Street, Whangarei. This is a clear conflict of interest. This paper trail leads down the pathway to inappropriate use of public moneys, serious conflicts of interest, secrecy, and a lack of transparency and accountability, and all from a party that purports to hold everyone else to task. There seem to be clear breaches of the Speaker’s directions on provision of services to MPs and parties. Staff would seem to be in breach of the Parliamentary Service code of conduct. I call upon the leader of that party to open his leader’s budget accounts to the scrutiny of the Speaker first, and then to the public of New Zealand.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): I call the Hon Chris Tremain. [Interruption] Point of order, Brendan Horan.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I seek leave to table an email received on 6 May 2014, stating facts re Vanguard.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any objection? There is objection.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I seek leave to table the minutes from the New Zealand First board meeting on 2 March 2013.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any objection? There is objection.

Brendan Horan: Point of order, Mr Assistant Speaker.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): How many points of order do you have?

Brendan Horan: Well, there are number—

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Order! One moment. Look, points of order will be heard in silence. I am asking the member how many points of order he is intending to bring forward.

Brendan Horan: Three more.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): OK.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I seek leave to table a New Zealand First memo to electorates in mid-July.

BUDGET DEBATE

16:14:54~The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch)

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any objection? There is objection.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I seek leave to table a report to the board by Anne Martin, of 10 March 2014.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any objection? There is objection.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I seek leave to table a report of a strategy meeting on 19 March 2014, entitled “Use of Vanguard for fund-raising”.

The ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Lindsay Tisch): Leave is sought for that purpose. Is there any objection? There is objection.

 —

Reported afterwards by Felix Marwick (Newstalk ZB chief political reporter):

Here’s what NZF MPs Prosser, Lole-Taylor, & Stewart had to say after Horan’s allegations in Parliament today

http://chirb.it/bcsFyn

Peters selective facing questions

After making serious insinuations in Parliament yesterday about Brendan Horan (ex-NZ First and now independent MP) Winston Peters participated in a Q & A on Facebook – see Winston Peters Q & A.

A few questions and responses related to what happened in Parliament yesterday.

Comment From Trixie: Hello Winston I think you would be great in a reailty tv show. ever considered it?

Winston Peters: Have you watched Parliament lately? That’s a reality comedy show!

That’s very ironic and cynical considering the Peters made accusations in Parliament yesterday afternoon – see Wrong dishonourable Winston Peters. He seemed to treat the withdrawal and apology he was required to make as a joke.

The questions in the Q & A seem to have been filtered or selected for ‘suitability’. On the Facebook thread announcing the Q & A more awkward comments and questions went unanswered.

LeeLee McMillan Why are you so nasty?

Roy Varma Winston back to his usual election year crap. You are very good at accusations and running your mouth under Parliamentary Previledge. I have a simple challenge why don’t you repeat your bullshit outside Parliament or are you scared of being sued. My understanding of the law is you can’t be sued if you can provide the evidence for a statement or allegation. I am not loyal to any political party but I don’t have time for bullshit when there are important issues to debate.

Ravey DM Jimmy Saville comment was a bit on the nose matey

Tony Visser I used to not mind you. But your jimmy Saville comment today would be one of the most disgusting thing I’ve ever heard in Parliament. Calling someone a pedophile. Your a disgrace. Time for you go. Say it out side the house you wimp

Even for Winston Peters accusing Brendan Horan of being like Jimmy Savile is just beyond believe .. unbelievable .. Shame on you Winston ..

Rusty Kane Under parliamentary privilege .. Gutter politics at it’s worst .. how low can you go .. looks like Brendan is going to react with some of his own dirt on Winston tomorrow .. the public just love this stuff .. not ..

Nick D’Angelo I’m surprised Winston would take such a low road. And it’s VERY low. I welcome Brendan’s response, it’s only fair.

Total shame on you Winston Peters for likening Brendan Horan to to Jimmy Saville. The inference is absolutely abhorrent. You have gone to far this time. You should retire from politics, because this type of bully-boy tactics not only shows you for who you really are but also shows your party and politicians in general in a bad light. We do not want this kind of behaviour from our country’s leaders. I note you certainly weren’t brave enough to repeat it outside the House.

This was just touched on in the Q & A.

Comment From Andrew: When you called Brendan Horan the Jimmy Savile of NZ politics, did you mean he has a fondness for cigars, or tracksuits? I’m confused.

Winston Peters: Take a wild guess.

Outside the protection of Parliament he is less specific but Peters continues his insinuation.That could be a patsy question with the intention of airing the smear without Peters taking any risk himself.

And ironically:

Comment From Steven: What do you want in a politician that stands for your Party

Winston Peters: Integrity. Commitment. Loyalty to voters. Serious ability.

He certainly hasn’t led by example on integrity. He has reacted very poorly to being on the receiving end of attacks in Parliament. When the boot is on the other foot he fights even dirtier.

He was happy to run an orchestrated Q & A but avoided addressing more open and awkward attention.

Winston Peters Q & A

Winston Peters opened a Q & A thread yesterday on his Facebook page.

The link to start asking your questions for the Q & A is now open via the tab on my page. Will be back here at 4pm to answer as many as possible.

It wasn’t clear to some that the Q&A was on a different tab on on his page. Questions were posted almost immediately on the timeline page and continued into the evening. Peters didn’t address any of them, but he participated in the Q & A.

Full contents of the Q & A – questions seem to have been filtered, see Peters selective on facing Facebook for unanswered questions and comments.

NZ First: Hi. Winston will be here at 4pm to answer your questions. Please keep them short and to the point – that way he can answer more questions in the time he has available.

Comment From Lydiote xx
Hi Winston, What is your favourite meal after a long day at work? I need dinner ideas!!!

Winston Peters: Lots of greens and fresh fish.

Comment From Bev Stratford
Winston, do you think we should keep giving Assies benifits NZ’S don’t get over there

Winston Peters: Yes we should and seriously work on getting Kiwis in Australia a fair go, like there used to be before people coming to NZ used residency as a bolt hole to get into Australia. The Australians reacted in 2001 as New Zealand First warned they would for a long time before that.

Comment From Karl
Hi Winston, are you running a candidate in the Rangitikei electorate this election?

Winston Peters: Nominations are open, candidates will be announced in due course.

Comment From Lisa Vanderpump
Mr Peters! What is your wine of choice? Rose?

Winston Peters: Depends on what the meal is, lunch or dinner, but preferably something light.

Comment From gillian templeton
the MOE are in discussion with the three special needs schools in chch. as parents and the schools themselves we dont want what they are trying to force on us, can you help?

Winston Peters: Could you send us some details to our education spokesperson, Tracey Martin, and myself?

Comment From Trixie
Hello Winston I think you would be great in a reailty tv show. ever considered it?

Winston Peters: Have you watched Parliament lately? That’s a reality comedy show!

Comment From Deb
Hi, where do you stand on Labour’s idea of Compulsory KiwiSaver for everyone at 9%? Especially if it’s not government guaranteed?

Winston Peters: It’s not Labour’s idea – we have stood for compulsory savings since 1996, offered a referendum on it in 1997 which was sadly defeated. But of course the problem didn’t go away. What we offered back then was a tax cut, which went to personal savings, and long term would have bolstered both the savings of the nation and individuals.

Comment From Luke.
Hello Winston, can I ask is the current government going to be involved with geo engineering programs, ‘ie’ aerosol programs which Australia, UK, America to name a few are hammering these programs now. Or typically do the government members not like discussing this topic?

Winston Peters: That’s a fair subject and other countries have reacted to scientific concerns and we should be much further down the track on this debate than we are.

Comment From Bevan
Kia Ora Winston, How does NZ First engage with ethnic communities in NZ? What strategies does NZ First have in place to empower leadership and innovation in our youth?

Winston Peters: All communities are ethnic, and the importance is that that is respected. Fundamentally, we all come from different backgrounds, trying to create one country where we feel that our values and principles are respected by the law.

Comment From Chelsea
what do u think has caused the housing bubble in auckland and what would you do 2 try and fix it. is it fixable?

Winston Peters: Lack of supply of housing against exaggerated demand from high immigration and offshore buying without having to even live here. We will never get on top of this until we address housing demand against affordable housing supply. What would we do – it’s on our website – you’ll see our policy towards landbanks, low interest loans and ability to afford a house at no higher than 30 per cent of weekly income as a benchmark.

Comment From J. Cooper
.what options do you propose to get out of the “eggs in one basket” economy that is causing huge issues, not just in the widening economic disparities but also to the future of our environment.

Winston Peters: We have seriously got to add value to far more of our primary resources before exporting. Second, give real substance to import substitution with a proactive buy NZ policy and third, provide the real taxation and depreciation incentives for the new IT and other industries to emerge and compete and survive long term.

Comment From Elle Bruce
Good afternoon Mr Peters, My concern is mainly around CYFs and its appalling dealings with Foster children, What avenues are open to improve this tragic service and hold CYF workers more accountable for their poor performance and ‘passing the buck’ attitude.

Winston Peters: There are clearly are too many problems emerging and that may point to systemic failures within CYFS. We can set out to fix the system up but we will do much better if we can stabilise families with their income from first world jobs and wages, and be intolerant of citizens who neglect or are violent to their spouse or child.

Comment From Daniel
Would you be able to give us an idea of what would most likely be in the NZ First tax policy, or if not is there a specifc date when the policy will be announced? Regards

Winston Peters: The policy will be out before too long because we have spent a lot of time working on it, we are confident it will be both appropriate and responsible and result in a far more prosperous economy and much higher incomes per person. We are going to send real signals to the industries and people that can change NZ’s future for the better, rather than just tax breaks for our mates.

Comment From Lorraine Taylor
What will you policy be on ‘government funding for Epipens and Anapens’ should you get voted in, in the next election ?

Winston Peters: I apologise for not being as informed on this subject to the degree you would like, but I will get up to speed. Our health spokesperson Barbara Stewart would be the best person to contact, but if you’ve got any information you’d like me to have, please send it to me.

Comment From Richard
Would NZ First put in place a capital gains tax on residential houses ?

Winston Peters: No.

Comment From Jan McKeogh
What do think about John Key and his promise not to touch superannuation, presumably this includes the scandalous theft of overseas pensions?

Winston Peters: I don’t trust that promise cos many of the National Party’s financial backers are leading the charge for that to happen right now as are members of his caucus. They broke their word in 1991 on the surtax and then attacked Super 1 October 1998.

Comment From Guest
Hi Winston.. I believe you are against the signing of the TTP.. if you are in power what will you do to prevent this happening without at least being disclosed as to content.. and a quick second where do you and your party stand on the current Food Bill being put to parliment at the moment? Thanks

Winston Peters: We support the Food Bill because people need much more information to be wise consumers. We’re against the current settings of the TPP debate because a) no information has been given out to parliamentarians b) we suspect that it could serious damage to some of our primary production and c) enable multinationals to attack New Zealand’s sovereignty on commercial issues. In short, if it’s so good, why not tell the people the facts ?

Comment From Leah
Hi Winston i would like to know what your party main priority will be and if you will guarantee you will not go back on your word should you get a seat and be part of the new government.

Winston Peters: We don’t need to get a seat to get back into parliament. Although I’ve received countless criticisms about past negotiations, not one critic can put up one fact to prove that I broke my word after the election from that given pre-election. NZF is a democratic party and we make these decisions as a party, having regard to those who voted for us.

Comment From Morgan Le Quesne
Morgan Le Quesne Winston, please can you tell what the official average income is and does superannuation really reflect that. Does it work on gross or net income?

Winston Peters: Super works on net average income and the average income sadly appears to vary according to who is giving out the statistics. To be honest, it’s probably around 38-39,000 at the moment and 70 per cent of New Zealanders don’t even get that.

Comment From Ben
With the recent publicity on legal highs have Nz first’s opinions changed in regards to cannabis reform, it’s sounding more and more people are pro cannabis now

Winston Peters: Our views on cannabis have always been to hold a referendum. Let the people decide and we can live with what the majority decide.

Comment From Guest
My question is will you continue to challenge Gerry Brownlee over the reprehensible behaviour of EQC. It has long been apparent that Ian Simpson has long had a perverse agenda to reduce payouts,with the result thousands of Canterbrians continue to suffer both financially and emotionally.

Winston Peters: We most certainly will. Because Cantabs have suffered from not receiving in time the money that was due to them for repairs.

Comment From Ashleigh Sidney
Hi Winston, What will you do to help us Kiwis in Australia?

Winston Peters: The best I can, but remember who warned from 1996 onwards to the consequences of massive immigration to NZ. Back then of course, they were all shouting racist and xenophobe. Now they’ve come to their wits, they haven’t got the decency to say we were right after all. But we would deal firmly with the Australian government our social ANZAC pact. But the best thing to do is for yourself and the 300,000 other NZ’ers in Australia to vote and remember the party that has the record on this!

Comment From David S
What is more appealing to NZF – being with differently-orientated/aligned parties in government (with an influence on legistlation), or in the opposition with more like-minded parties?

Winston Peters: Great question. It’ll depend on policies announced over the next four months by various political players and what the people and the party thinks of them.

Comment From Alan
Is it likely that the Supers could be increased to 70% of average earnings

Winston Peters: We returned Super to its highest at 66% of the net average wage and then bought in the SuperGold Card to expand the spending power of that 66% income.

Comment From Helen MacKay
Do you think changes should be made to the Telecommunications and Broadcasting acts to make closed captioning mandatory in New Zealand?

Winston Peters: Yes

Comment From Rosie Matthew
If someone is given a life sentence, shouldn’t they be in jail for life?

Winston Peters: Depends on the offender and whether there is any chance of rehabilitation which must be first proven before release.

Comment From David S
Do you feel the speaker and media unfairly gave the illusion you had no important information with regards to Judith Collins the other day?

Winston Peters: It’s not an illusion to prove that in a confidential paper that she told the PM of her benefit from the Chinese Government but failed to disclose it publicly as every other Minister did for government’s that helped them abroad.

Comment From Jim
Hi Winston. Will NZF merge the Poison Centre 0800 helpline with other health helplines?

Winston Peters: I’d rather answer this question after you’ve sent me information as to why it should/shouldn’t be done.

Comment From Anele
What will NZfirst do to address Child Poverty in NZ?

Winston Peters: It’s not child poverty. It’s family and societal and political poverty. We used to be world leader in social equity which is a vision that modern politicians have tragically lost. We still believe in a fair society, that’s why we are for a minimum wage much higher than $15ph and for supporting businesses that employ New Zealanders in better paid, secure, permanent employment.

Comment From Ashleigh Sidney
Winston what will you do to help Kiwis in Australia who fall upon hard times?

Winston Peters: Can’t answer that question while they remain in Australia. We can only tell you what we’d do if you move back.

Comment From Rosie Matthew
If you were prime minister, would you keep serious criminals behind bars for longer?

Winston Peters: Yes, but we would more clearly delineate what is serious crime and introduce short, sharp sentencing which will be an option to longer terms. In short, at court, offenders will be given a choice: five years in the slammer or two years hard labour. The second option has far more likelihood of changing them for the better and save more than $95k per prisoner, per year.

Comment From Hank
Do you believe that every NZ citizen (and PR), regardless of which entry scheme they use (ie $10M investment scheme) should be able to read and write basic English?

Winston Peters: English language was always in the criteria for admission. It still should be.

Comment From Rob
Hi Winston- Currently govt is looking to squash more people into Auckland because of “increased demand”. Solutions provided are to lower the quality of life for existing residents and squash more people in, cut down trees etc. What would your solution to this be ?

Winston Peters: We have a serious regional development policy. There is serious spare infrastructure capacity in the regions and we’d give incentives for business to move and stay there. In addition, part of our immigration policy will give much higher points for immigrants prepared to go to the regions for a specific term. Once there, we believe many of them will stay. Stagnant, static, small city populations will change for the better.

Comment From Hank
Does NZF believe in a compulsory superannuation? And if so, would that be the continue support of Kiwisaver?

Winston Peters: We do. But we would offer a KiwiFund, much like the Cullen Fund management where the fees will be much lower and based on the Cullen Fund performance, returns and savings will be much higher.

Comment From Hank
Auckland is one of the most expensive cities for people to buy houses. Young Aucklanders struggle to get onto the property ladder. What is NZ First’s policy on the housing in Auckland, and in NZ?

Winston Peters: Our housing policy is on our website. But for Auckland specifically, we’ll stop overseas buying, cut back immigration numbers, give Auckland a chance to breathe and get on top of the chaos that is there now.

Comment From Shayne
Would you hold a referendum on compulsory savings or Kiwisaver instead of pushing it through? It should not be a govts job to force people to save money or put it into a scheme as frail as this. So, are you planning to get the people’s wishes on this?

Winston Peters: I gave the people the chance to have their say in the referendum of 1997. Every other political party attacked it, politicised the issue, but many of those now say they are for it. You go figure.

Comment From Robert
Why are a quarter of all National MPs not going to stand for re-election?

Winston Peters: Because there is a tea party process going on inside National where sitting MPs have been targeted, by often inferior outsiders and they have succeeded.

Comment From Tom B
How do you feel about Brendan Horan being “fired” from NZ First and then staying on as an independent MP? I thought that once list MP’s were expelled/fired from caucus, they had to leave Parliament all together

Winston Peters: Well he should have gone given the seriousness of our concerns but he stayed on, deprived us of resources and staff. At least he’ll be gone in four months time.

Comment From Hank
What is NZF’s policy on raising the retirement age?

Winston Peters: Super is costing 4.1% net against GDP. It is not unaffordable in that context. Moreover, ability to pay social welfare and super is very much aligned to running a sound economy. Because we haven’t, the very people that have failed as sound economic managers now say the old people are to blame. They are wrong, trust they will be found out at this election.

Comment From Andy Pine
So will you approach the TPP with as much gusto as you can ..as in the wine box? where you made something happen?

Winston Peters: Yes – but none of us have seen any of the details, whereas with the wine box I had a box full of evidence requiring careful investigation which we did, plus exposure against great opposition which we ignored.

Comment From Max Waters
What is NZF’s position in regard to the FATCA IGA with the US and in particular as it affects the privacy & civil liberties of ordinary Kiwis? Thank you.

Winston Peters: This is about allowing the American Inland Revenue to pry into the affairs of people with an American connection, no matter how long ago they began working and earning in NZ. This is a circus where the Govt is trying to pass a law before they even get a settlement or arrangement with the US government. What a complete debacle that issue is in terms of sound public policy.

Comment From Anele
Why did you decline the invitation to do the Campbell Live At home with the leaders segment?

Winston Peters: I didn’t decline the invite. I said he and his wife could come and have a great night. Just leave the cameras at home. I like my privacy, just like the next person. Am still waiting for him to say yes!

Comment From Andrew
When you called Brendan Horan the Jimmy Savile of NZ politics, did you mean he has a fondness for cigars, or tracksuits? I’m confused.

Winston Peters: Take a wild guess.

Comment From Brendan
The track’s going to be heavy in Oamaru this Friday. Any tips on horses in that meet?

Winston Peters: Never give a tip. Nobody remembers when you are right, they sure hold it against you when you are wrong.

Comment From Guest
Dear Winston, John Key has said that “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear” so why is the TPPA being negotiated in secret? Rom.

Winston Peters: That’s exactly the point. If there is nothing to hide, why don’t they show us the terms and the details of the negotiations.

Comment From Kaye
one thing we admire about you Winston, is your “one People, one Nation’ quote, I hope you have plans to live up to this statement

Winston Peters: I have argued for that since the day I arrived in parliament because it is the only way we can get on as a country of 4.3 million people against huge competition from the rest of the world. Fractured and divided we hamstring our ability to compete.

Comment From Guest
Have you ever looked at the economics of paying old age pensions outside NZ? That is to those who have qualified through the years through tax decuctions. I constantly encounter elderly who choose to travel in their senior years and are told to come home or be cut off. many older citizens could live comfortably outside NZ with family or in cheaper countries. Their absence would reduce the demand for health care and could take a load off the tax payer. And give the older citixzen the right to enjoy his last years where it suits him. Check it out!

Winston Peters: We are doing work on that right now but can’t give the details just as yet, but hopefully soon.

Comment From Julie Ford
Hi Winston, we now have problems with Muslim community in Auckland with a jihad ordered against some security men. Are our hands tied to get rid of such an individual who has made death threats?

Winston Peters: We expect everyone that comes here to respect our flag, whatever National flag it may be, respect our laws and respect other citizens. Now that means we are all in the same boat and if some don’t like that boat, we’ll they’ve got plenty of other options overseas.

Comment From Jan McKeogh
Do you think if National wins the election (God help us),NZ First will be wooed into forming a coalition?

Winston Peters: First, no one is going to win the election and any pollster that says so will be proved wrong. That means there will have to be some form of coalition of confidence and supply arrangement, of which there are many variations including a unique case of New Zealand First’s policy as we set out in 2011, before the election, of going on the cross benches and keeping the government honest.

Comment From Richard
Would NZ first allow a coalition where the Green Party has a right of veto ?

Winston Peters: We would not allow any party the right of veto.

Comment From Guest
I’m confused. What is the difference between a racist / zenophode and someone who is being patriotic?

Winston Peters: Often, there is no difference at all because the first two are insults which usually come from people who have no intention of defending the New Zealand population, our resources and policies that put the people of New Zealand first. Notice how they are all panicking about the Auckland housing crisis but go back one year or twenty years and note their deafening silence over that period. Or worse, insulting us for raising our legitimate concerns.

Comment From Steven
What do you want in a politician that stands for your Party

Winston Peters: Integrity. Commitment. Loyalty to voters. Serious ability.

Comment From Anele
There’s been speculation that National could increase GST to 17%. Would NZfirst raise gst?

Winston Peters: National is denying it, but then they denied that they would increase any taxes at the 2008 election. National got into government and put it up from 12.5 to 15%. So if they could deny it and then do it once, whats to stop them from doing it again?

Comment From Rosie Matthew
Should Judith Collins be sacked or be forced to resign?

Winston Peters: This issue is not over by a long shot.

Comment From Anele
How much would you raise the minimum wage to?

Winston Peters: We’ll announce that in the upcoming campaign.

Comment From Brent Clifton
Hi Winston , Do you think ACC is doing the is doing a good job for Kiwis

Winston Peters: Yes it is. But its been the victim of far too much politicking on the question of cost and what Nick Smith said in 08 and 09 has been proven to be absolutely false. That’s why they are lowering ACC levies now for 2015. However, there are aspects to ACC and its treatment of genuine victims which have been highly unsatisfactory.

Comment From Billy
Where do you get your suits from, and why double breasted suits? I like the pocket squares! (very classic)

Winston Peters: No place in particular, I try to not impulse buy but if I like something and the price is right, I consider it for a few days and if I still like it, I buy it. That’s if I can afford it! Just of interest, I do believe that everybody has a colour range for them and when you know your own personal colour range you’ll find you buy much more sensibly and don’t have stuff in the wardrobe for years because it doesn’t suit you and you no longer like it.

Comment From Ishta
What do you feel about Key’s determination to be on the UN Security Council? Also your stance on TPPA and GCSB?

Winston Peters: There are aspects of our recent international engagements which makes the Security Council job seriously difficult to attain. You’ve seen my stance on the TPPA and on the GCSB we would want a serious internal investigation into how we got caught up in a raid where the Minister for the GCSB (the PM) claimed he never knew about it. That claim of course is simply incredible because if it was true then why weren’t there people sacked for their non disclosure to their Minister.

Winston Peters: Have a good evening everyone – see you back here again soon.

Wrong dishonourable Winston Peters

Winston Peters has a long history of making accusations under the protection of Parliamentary privilege. He has made a career out of trying to wreck the careers of others.

At times Peters has raised valid issues but more often than not his attacks are empty bluster. Promises of having evidence often come to nothing.

So the standard he has set is low.

Today he stooped even lower.

Brendan Horan has been trying to needle and nail the leader who threw him out of NZ First. Peters attacked back.

This House should not be used in that way particularly by the Jimmy Saville of New Zealand politics.

It wasn’t a one off smear, he tried it again. And when asked to withdraw and apologise he tried to build on the smear:

Yes, I did make that reference, it is true, and I apologise.

He was made to “apologise according to the rules” but it was accompanied by a trivialising smirk and laugh. This was very nasty behaviour and totally inappropriate for a Member of Parliament.

He is officially titled “Rt Hon Winston Peters” but ‘right’ and ‘honourable’ should be stripped from him.

Peters was wrong to make an unsubstantiated accusation like this, it was dishonourable scumbag behaviour. It reflects very poorly on Peters, on Parliament and the New Zealand First Party.

If Peters does nothing to apologise then the New Zealand First Party should hold him to account. If the party has any honour.

Draft Hansard transcript:

POINTS OF ORDER

Tabling of Document—

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to table a document, New Zealand First board meeting minutes from March 2013, which point to improper use of taxpayer funds.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Leave has been sought. I will allow the member the Rt Hon Winston Peters to speak before I put the question.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This House should not be used in that way, particularly by the Jimmy Savile of New Zealand politics.

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Brendan Horan: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: I need no further assistance. The way forward is for the House to decide this matter. Leave is sought to table particular minutes of a political party dated—I have forgotten—March some time. Leave is sought for that document to be tabled. Is there any objection to it being tabled? There is objection.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to table a document from New Zealand Racing that shows the ownership of the racehorse—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member has described the document. This is information from the New Zealand Racing Conference. Leave is sought to table it. Is there any objection? There is objection.

[Continuation line: Mallard: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is this one of these]

Hon TREVOR MALLARD (Labour—Hutt South): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Is this one of these documents that is available online? The question is why that member was not asked that. My understanding is that it is.

Mr SPEAKER: I am not sure whether it is available. Possibly it might have been better to do that.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I think if the member had properly explained what he was trying to table, there would not have been opposition. He referred to the word “ownership”, and Jimmy Savile—

Mr SPEAKER: Order!

Brendan Horan: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat at the back. I have put the leave. The House has decided. That is the end of the matter.

BRENDAN HORAN (Independent): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I draw your attention to Standing Order 116 , and I take offence at the disgusting comments from—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Can I refer the member to Speaker’s ruling 20/8: “Constantly raising trifling points of order is itself disorderly.”

Hon ANNE TOLLEY (Deputy Leader of the House): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. There is a protocol in this House, which is in the Standing Orders, that if a member takes offence at an offensive remark aimed at them, the House upholds it. That was a really offensive remark.

Mr SPEAKER: Sorry. Then I apologise to the House. I never heard anything that I considered—

Hon Anne Tolley: He referred to him as Jimmy Savile.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! I never heard anything that I thought was offensive. But, as is the practice of this House, if the member did make a remark at which offence has been taken, then the member should stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): Yes, I did make that reference, it is true, and I apologise.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will stand, withdraw, and apologise according to the rules, without adding—

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): I withdraw and apologise.

Mr SPEAKER: Thank you.

Video: 20.05.14 – Question 5: Rt Hon Winston Peters to the Prime Minister

Winston Peters stoking immigration fears

For years Winston Peters has played on racism and xenophobia in promoting much tighter controls on immigration and property ownership. Some of his policies and ideas are absurd.

Nation needs smart immigration, says Peters

When NZ First originally sounded the alarm years ago, other parties accused it of being racist and xenophobic, he said.

“We took all that crap from them and all of a sudden now they’re saying: Oh, maybe they’re right.

“Well, of course we’re right on this issue. We are not anti-immigrant.”

But Peters knows how to play on anti-immigration fears and especially of prejudice against some nationalities. He often plays an anti-Asian card.

And he’s often not right on the issue. He issued a media release on Friday – Immigration Invasion Means Disaster For Many Kiwis – the heading alone is deliberately designed to inflame fears.

Speaking to a Hutt Valley Grey Power meeting this morning, the Rt Hon Winston Peters accused the Government of “betraying New Zealanders” and any chance of improving housing and infrastructure in Auckland, with an immigration policy that will bring in net 41,000 migrants a year.

The Auckland housing market is hobbled by lack of supply, not any “betrayal” of “New Zealanders”. And the the immigration policy doesn’t “bring in net 41,000 migrants a year”.  Since dropping off a high of 42,500 in 2002 it has averaged around 10,000 until the current surge to possibly just over 40,000, but it is predicted to drop off again.

And the current surge is mostly due to economic problems in Australia plus a growing economy in New Zealand that has far fewer Kiwis heading across the Tasman and more returning. Immigration policy can’t control that.

“Even Treasury has warned of the extra demand, inflationary pressure and higher interest rates from such a policy.

“There are serious concerns in New Zealand that so many areas of critical under investment are being totally ignored whilst the doors are thrown open even wider to mass immigration.

The “doors” are not “being thrown open even wider to mass immigration”. The door is always open to New Zealanders to come and go as they please. There’s been little change to controls on new immigrants.

“What National plans is to bring in more than the population of Wanganui every year, the mass majority of whom will go to Auckland, choking the already overloaded system, driving wages down even further with artificial competition for employment and resources.

He’s partly correct in that the immigration plan for many years is to allow 50-60,000 new immigrants a year into New Zealand. That is in part designed to get more skilled workers into the country. But this is usually offset by New Zealanders going overseas. As recently as 2012 there was a net migration loss.

Net immigration gains are designed to contribute to economic growth and boost employment and wages.

“No government has the right to sell its people out like this. The National Party is trading away our future and our birthright, along with our land and our assets.”

“History will condemn this Government because it has inflicted the cynical values of spiritually and morally bankrupt Wall Street traders on what was once the greatest country on earth.

“Don’t blame the immigrants but the silly politicians who enable all of this to happen.

“In September New Zealanders will have their last chance to stop this unfocused invasion where the National Party, at enormous cost to New Zealand people, plays host,” said Mr Peters.

On The Nation on Saturday journalist Andrea Vance:

This is perfect timing, these Treasury documents, these forecasts are perfect timing for Winston, it plays absolutely to what he is saying. And it is dog whistle politics but immigration is an issue that really gets people talking. People are worried about house prices and it does feed into, you know, a nasty streak really in politics.

Bernard Hickey:

And he can also take it beyond this social aspect, he can go beyond the issue of we don’t want these people coming here. He can now say it’s not just about the people, it’s about what it’s doing to our economy, and if you’re in Gore or Palmerston North and your interest rates have gone up, your kids can’t get there first home loan, he can say to them “that’s because of all these people coming in to Auckland”.

But one of Peters’ policies is to make these immigrants go to the provinces for five years, places like Gore and Palmerston North. The problem won’t just be “up in Auckland”, he wants these immigrants to live next door to the people he is trying to promote fears to.

It’s been reported that Peters says this policy would be a bottom line in any coalition deal. On The Nation both Bill English and David Cunliffe said they wouldn’t support the policy.

Peters’ pledges of bottom lines need to be looked at with some scepticism but he will campaign on the fears regardless. And apart from the dictatorial aspect of forcing people not to live in certain places the policy has significant flaws.

  • Some immigrants want to join family already living here, forcing them to live in separate areas would be draconian.
  • A lot of immigration is granted on the basis of work skills and qualifications in occupations we need to boost, but jobs for the highly skilled are far less likely to be in smaller cities and towns.
  • How would you stop people from commuting to larger cities, or owning a rural crib but also owning a city apartment?
  • How would you stop people working or doing business at least partly in the large cities?

And how would this be policed? Give immigrants regional passes and arrest them if they are found outside their designated area? Deport them for visiting their children?

The impracticalities of the policy won’t stop Peters from promoting the fears and prejudices. That’s how he campaigns. It’s absurd but it might work for him, he only needs one in twenty voters to buy his bluster.

 

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