New Zealander of the Year nominations

Nominations for New Zealander of the Year were used as a political campaign to promote Metiria Turei, have become dominated by the number of nominations for an Australian politician who recently denounced his New Zealand citizenship, Barnaby Joyce.

Nominations for New Zealander of the Year for 2018 close on 18 September (well short of the end of the year). The top 10 will be announced at the end of the year (30/12), the top 3 will be announced on 24 January 2018. The website doesn’t say under ‘Key Dates’ when the winners will be announced – it will be at a gala in Auckland on 21 February 2018.

Why are they always announced in Auckland? There are some other parts of the country too.

2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards Update

The New Zealander of the Year Awards office is pleased to provide the following nominations update for the 2018 New Zealander of the Year Awards.

• 371 nominations have been received for 2018 New Zealander of the Year.

• Support for former co-leader of the Green Party Metiria Turei has continued to grow since her resignation and she has received the most nominations.

• Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has received the second most. At the conclusion of the nominations period the Awards office will assess Mr Joyce’s eligibility based on his citizenship and other criteria.

 

After nominations close on 18 September 2017, a judging panel – comprising representatives of awards patrons, presenters, sponsors, community leaders and independent experts – will evaluate the nominations. The shortlist of 10 candidates to be considered for the New Zealander of the Year Award will be announced in December.

Comment from New Zealander of the Year Awards manager, Glyn Taylor:

“With three weeks to go, the nominations for 2018 New Zealander of the Year come from all fields of achievement and community service. It’s also not unusual for people of the moment to attract significant support during the public nominations period.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the expected upswing in nominations in these final weeks. The independent judging panel will then consider each nomination on how a particular individual has contributed to making New Zealand a better place to live”.

Barnaby Joyce’s denouncement of he New Zealand should rule him out, and he has hardly “contributed to making New Zealand a better place to live”.

Turei’s nominations are premature at least. Some may see her putting the Green Party at risk of dropping out of Parliament a contribution, but the reality is that while she risked her career to speak up for poor people and against poverty it’s very arguable about how much she has actually achieved.

By the end of the year she may be virtually forgotten. Remember Russel Norman? Kevin Hague? One an ex Green leader too, the other an ex Green MP, and arguably both have done as much or more for New Zealand than Turei, but they don’t have political point scoring campaigners behind them.

If the Greens do poorly in next month’s election then even the political faction pushing her barrow may fizzle somewhat.

If a political campaign succeeded in making Turei New Zealander of the year it would be as lame as a political knighthood or damehood.

Turei may yet prove her worth as an advocate for the poor in the future, but she has gone backwards rather than forwards this year, and so has what could actually have been able to make a real difference, the Green Party.

We should be looking more at others on the list who have been overshadowed by politics and farce:

• Other nominated New Zealanders for 2018 Kiwibank New Zealander of the Year include:

o Kristina Cavit – founder and director of The Kindness Institute
o Grant Dalton – managing director of Team New Zealand
o Kelly Dugan – CEO and founder SmileDial NZ INC
o Mark Dunajtschik – philanthropist
o Heather Henare – CEO of Skylight and former CEO of Women’s Refuge New Zealand
o Dr Mike Joy – senior lecturer in ecology / zoology at Massey University
o Mike King – mental health advocate
o Lizzie Marvelly – musician, writer and activist
o Michael Meredith – award winning chef and co-founder of Eat My Lunch
o Kathryn Ryan – broadcaster
o Annah Stretton – fashion designer and founder of Reclaim Another Women
o Dr Ingrid Visser – founder of Orca Research Trust

ALL AWARDS

NOMINATE

Contrasting comments on Hipkins

Contrasting comments on the involvement of Chris Hipkins in citizenship in relation to Australian politics.

David Farrar at Kiwiblog:  Labour causes rift with Australia

This is a huge blunder by Hipkins, who used his special position in the NZ Parliament to try and help Australian Labor topple the Australian Government.

But what is a big thing is for an MP of one country’s Parliament to use their role to help the parliamentary party of another country’s Parliament. And that is what Chris Hipkins did by asking these two written questions (12)on behalf of Bill Shorten.

It would have been obvious to Hipkins that Australian Labor wanted this information to bring down a Government MP. He may not have known it was the Deputy Prime Minister but he would have known why Australian Labor was asking, and also be aware the Australian Government has a one seat majority in the House of Representatives and so the loss of even one seat could bring down the Government.

Here’s why Hipkins involvement was important, even though there had been media inquiries also. There is no deadline for DIA to respond to inquiries by foreign journalists. Even if it was a NZ journalist asking, they could take up to four weeks to answer under the OIA.

But by having Hipkins ask a parliamentary question, the Minister is obliged to answer within five working days or one week. So Hipkins was able to get Australian Labor the information as much as three weeks earlier.

Make no mistake this has caused huge anger within the Australian Government. Helping the Opposition to try and bring down the Deputy Prime Minister will mean very frosty relations if Labour forms a Government in New Zealand.

Mickysavage at The Standard:  Strewth Cobbah

You would think that New Zealand Labour was in possession of nuclear tipped medium range missiles and had threatened to let off a few into the sea near Tasmania just to make sure they worked.

Such has been the overwhelming response from Australia’s right about Labour’s Chris Hipkins asking Peter Dunne twosimple questions:

Are children born in Australia to parents who are New Zealand citizens automatically citizens of New Zealand; if not, what process do they need to follow in order to become New Zealand citizens?

Would a child born in Australia to a New Zealand father automatically have New Zealand citizenship?

And these were simple written questions to get bits of information, not significant oral questions where the opposition tries to embarrass the Government.  There have been over 7,000 of them this year.

You do not have to be a media genius to conclude that the tip off to Gartrell may have come from within the ranks of Australia Labor.  But to think that New Zealand Labour and Hipkins were responsible for what happened requires multiple levels of stupidity.

Their basic problem is that the media was already onto the issue well before Hipkins asked his questions…Hipkins had nothing to do with it.

Australian media may have beaten him to it, but Hipkins still got involved in some  questionable digging after talking to a mate working for an ALP senator.

I guess the right in Australia and in New Zealand are fearful of losing power and are lashing out in an attempt to damage their opponents.  But it is clear to me that on both sides of the Tasman the clock is ticking for the right.

So far Ardern seems to have handled things well, but she has made it clear she doesn’t approve of Hipkins getting involved.

The clock could be ticking for Hipkins.

Just now on RNZ – Ardern “refused a request” to be interviewed this morning, and Hipkins isn’t answering calls.

Hipkins’ ALP colluder has worked for NZ Labour

More details on the Australian Senator’s chief of staff named as the person who colluded with Chris Hipkins over citizenship questions – he was a New Zealander who has worked in Parliament here for Helen Clark, Michael Cullen and Phil Goff.

NZH: Citizenship saga: Man who spoke to Hipkins is a Kiwi

A former staffer for former Prime Minister Helen Clark and Finance Minister Michael Cullen was the Australian Labor Party staffer who spoke to Labour MP Chris Hipkins, prompting questions by Hipkins about citizenship in Australia.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported Marcus Ganley, Australian Senator Penny Wong’s chief of staff, was the Australian Labor Party staffer who had spoken to Hipkins – a conversation Hipkins said prompted him to ask questions of Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne on the legal citizenship status of an Australian born to a New Zealand father.

Ganley was an adviser to former PM Clark and former Finance Minister Cullen during the Labour Government until 2008. He then advised Phil Goff as Opposition Leader.

Hipkins worked as a policy adviser to Trevor Mallard and Helen Clark prior to becoming an MP in 2008, initially under Clark’s and then Goff’s leadership.

In a written statement, Wong said a staff member in her office had “informal discussions with New Zealand friends about domestic political issues, including the section 44 debate.”

She said the questions Hipkins asked were not asked on behalf of Australian Labor.

“At no point did [Ganley] make any request to raise the issue of dual citizenship in Parliament, a fact confirmed today by Hipkins and the New Zealand Labour Leader.”

So, prompted by Ganley, Hipkins did some digging on citizenship here, supposedly  having no idea about the interest in Barnaby Joyce’s citizenship status.

Was it general dirt digging by two individuals independent of their parties? If so they have both seriously embarrassed their parties, and raises questions about the way they operate.

Julie Bishop, the Australian Foreign Minister, has said she would find it difficult to work with NZ Labour, prompting a strong response from Ardern.

Hipkins is currently the sixth ranked Labour MP, he is 7th on the party list for this election, and is Labour’s Shadow Leader of the House.

Hipkins’ claims over dirty collusion doubted

Chris Hipkins has already put new Labaour leader in an awkward position over his asking questions on citizenship on behalf of the Australian Labor party. Ardern has publicly reprimanded Hipkins.

This has lead to a political spat with the Austrian Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop, slamming Labour here for (allegedly) trying to interfere with the Australian government. The coalition that Bishop is a part of has a bare 1 seat majority, and if Barnaby Joyce is forced to resign over a ridiculous constitution technicality a by-election would make things difficult there.

Ardern has snapped back strongly, alleging that Bishop had made false accusations. So far Ardern has appeared to deal with things pretty well – much better than Bishop handled the pronunciation of Ardern’s name.

But there could be more problems for Ardern, for NZ Labour, and especially for Hipkins.

Journalists don’t believe his denial he knew what was behind the request from Australia ask questions here about Joyce’s citizenship.

Hipkins appears to want us to believe he asked questions on behalf of Australian Labour acquaintances without knowing it had anything to do with Joyce.

It is questionable enough that Hipkins tried to stir up dirt against a bare majority government. It is very difficult to believe he would do this without knowing what was behind it.

 

I don’t think this story is done yet.

RNZ:  Barnaby Joyce renounces NZ citizenship as spat builds

Australia’s Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce says he’s been told New Zealand has accepted his request to renounce his citizenship, as trans-Tasman tension over the situation builds.

Australian media inquiries led to the dual citizenship of Mr Joyce being revealed, but Labour MP Chris Hipkins had also asked similar questions to the Internal Affairs Minister, following discussions with a friend linked to the Australian Labor Party.

Mr Hipkins’ involvement has now led to a diplomatic spat between the Australian government and the New Zealand Labour Party.

In federal parliament in Canberra this afternoon, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull accused the Australian Labor Party and its New Zealand counterpart of collusion.

“No one’s ever doubted the loyalty of the Deputy Prime Minister to Australia, but what about the leader of the opposition, conspiring with the Labour Party of New Zealand to undermine the government of Australia?”

Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said she had reprimanded her MP, but Australia’s Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said this afternoon it would be difficult to trust a Labour-led New Zealand government.

Speaking to reporters this afternoon, Mrs Bishop said she was disappointed.

“New Zealand is facing an election, should there be a change of government I would find it very hard to build trust with those involved in allegations designed to undermine the government of Australia.”

She said Australian Labor leader Bill Shorten used a foreign political party to raise questions which were deliberately designed to undermine the Australian government.

Ms Ardern came out swinging in response, saying in a statement it was “highly regrettable” that Ms Bishop had “chosen to make false claims about the New Zealand Labour Party”.

“I have been utterly transparent about this situation. I stand by my statements this morning that I knew absolutely nothing about the Barnaby Joyce case until it broke in the media yesterday afternoon,” Ms Ardern said.

She said she had no knowledge that Mr Hipkins had lodged his question.

Ms Ardern said Mr Hipkins exercised a lack of judgement.

“We were asked a question about a point of law, but as I’ve said, regardless of the circumstances it was not appropriate for us to be involved in any circumstances.”

Ardern has clearly distanced herself from Hipkins and from what he did.

Mr Hipkins insisted his friend did not ask him to lodge the question, he had no idea it was related to Mr Joyce, and he was just interested in the topic.

“Had I known that was where things were going to land up, I wouldn’t have got involved in it.

I’m sure he wouldn’t have, but it’s too late to not do it.

“There has been absolutely no collusion between the New Zealand Labour Party and the Australian Labor Party when it comes to the situation the Australian deputy Prime Minister has found himself in.”

But the question of collusion between a NZ Labour MP and someone involved in the Australian Labor Party is unlikely to be left at this.

Labour’s opponents are not letting it rest either.

Australian constitution could be an ass

The third Australian MP to fall foul of their constitution on citizenship is deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, although he is contesting it in court without resigning like the other two.

RNZ: NZ govt says Australia’s Joyce is NZ citizen

New Zealand Internal Affairs Minister Peter Dunne has confirmed Australian Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce is considered a New Zealand citizen.

Mr Joyce is the latest politician to be caught in a dual citizenship controversy across the Tasman.

Several senators have resigned, or are facing scrutiny, over their citizenship status.

Under the Australian constitution, anyone with dual citizenship cannot stand for federal election.Mr Dunne said Mr Joyce’s father was a New Zealand citizen and he passed citizenship on to his son.

His father emigrated to New Zealand and became a citizen here, then moved to Australia and had a child (Barnaby) with an Australian woman. That automatically makes Barnaby a New Zealand citizen. There must be a lot of dual citizens in Australia.

“It’s automatically passed on, I don’t know whether he (Mr Joyce) knew or not,” Mr Dunne said.

“He says he didn’t know, he says he was under the belief his father had renounced the New Zealand citizenship.

“But the fact is it is all irrelevant – if he was eligible to receive the citizenship at the time, under our legislation he does, regardless of his subsequent circumstances,” Mr Dunne said.

Mr Joyce said this afternoon he was asking the High Court to rule on his citizenship status and whether he was eligible to be in Parliament, the ABC reported.

He said legal advice suggested he has not breached the constitution, but the court should consider the matter.

If Joyce is ruled ineligible to be an Australian elected representative then their constitution is an ass.

Section 44 of the Australian Constitution lists the grounds for disqualification on who may become a candidate for election to the Parliament of Australia.

44. Any person who –

(i.) Is under any acknowledgement of allegiance, obedience, or adherence to a foreign power, or is a subject or a citizen or entitled to the rights or privileges of a subject or citizen of a foreign power: or
(ii.) Is attainted of treason, or has been convicted and is under sentence, or subject to be sentenced, for any offence punishable under the law of the Commonwealth or of a State by imprisonment for one year or longer: or
(iii.) Is an undischarged bankrupt or insolvent: or
(iv.) Holds any office of profit under the Crown, or any pension payable during the pleasure of the Crown out of any of the revenues of the Commonwealth: or
(v.) Has any direct or indirect pecuniary interest in any agreement with the Public Service of the Commonwealth otherwise than as a member and in common with the other members of an incorporated company consisting of more than twenty-five persons:

shall be incapable of being chosen or of sitting as a senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

But sub-section iv. does not apply to the office of any of the Queen’s Ministers of State for the Commonwealth, or of any of the Queen’s Ministers for a State, or to the receipt of pay, half pay, or a pension, by any person as an officer or member of the Queen’s navy or army, or to the receipt of pay as an officer or member of the naval or military forces of the Commonwealth by any person whose services are not wholly employed by the Commonwealth.

Almost every part of section 44 has proved difficult to interpret and apply. Its replacement or revision has been frequently considered, particularly by a Constitutional Commission in 1988 and by a parliamentary committee in 1997, but their proposals have not been pursued.

(i) Allegiance to a foreign power

Subsection 44(i) has generally been interpreted by the High Court of Australia as meaning that persons with dual citizenship are not permitted to stand for election and that a person must take “reasonable steps” to renounce their citizenship of the other country. Its interpretation has been difficult. There is the preliminary awkwardness that the Constitution itself does not require a member of the Parliament to be an Australian Citizen, although Constitution s 42 does require members to swear an oath or affirmation of allegiance to the monarch; however, Australian citizenship has been made a statutory condition of eligibility for election.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Section_44_of_the_Constitution_of_Australia

So this will go to court for a decision to see if Joyce can remain.