Waka jumping ban

An inclusion in the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement:

Introduce and pass a ‘Waka Jumping’ Bill.

Given the problems NZ First has had in the past over MPs jumping from the party and remaining as independent MPs in Parliament there is obvious self-interest, but I support this. An MP who got into Parliament via a party vote for the party list should either remain representing that party, or leave Parliament.

Even electorate MPs have usually succeeded due to their party, so there’s a good case for stopping them jumping from their party and remaining in Parliament. The best thing for them to do if they feel compelled to leave the party that got them there is to resign, and stand in a by-election under their new circumstances.

Again I can’t find this in the NZ First policies and I don’t recall them campaigning on it, but it has long been a problem that Winston peters wanted to clamp down on.

Newshub in 2013: Public support end to ‘waka jumping’

Asked if there should be a rule change so rogue list MPs can be thrown out of Parliament:

  • 77 percent said yes;
  • 17 percent said no;
  • The rest said they didn’t know.

It was a public issue when Peters kicked Brendan Horan out of the party in 2012:

Newshub: Key: New ‘waka-jumping’ law possible

Parliament may consider fresh “waka-jumping” legislation to stop list MPs leaving their political party but staying on in Parliament without a mandate.

The issue of party-hopping is back in the spotlight after first-term MP Brendan Horan announced he’ll stay on as an independent MP after being given the boot from NZ First amid a family dispute over his late mother’s estate.

“Parliament might sort of hold hands and look at this issue and decide once more to try and put something permanently in place,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast.

The issue, he says, is that “it’s really difficult to write the rules” so they are fair to all sides.

Regardless, Mr Key says there’s still an onus on NZ First leader Winston Peters to prove his case for kicking Mr Horan out, which feels “very odd” to Mr Key.

“Mr Peters did it under Parliamentary privilege so he couldn’t be sued – that’s not always the actions of somebody who’s absolutely sure that their position is right.”

Last year, despite Peters leading a kangaroo court and making unsubstantiated accusations to support kicking Horan out of the party:  Ex-MP Brendan Horan cleared by police after allegations he took money from late mother’s account – but that’s a different issue.

Waka jumping is a problem with our democratic system and could do with being dealt with, but the legislation will have to be careful it’s fair to both sides of any party dispute.

It’s interesting to see the historic list of waka jumpers here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waka-jumping

Due to the frequency of waka-jumping, New Zealand enacted legislation (the Electoral Integrity Act of 2001, expired at the 2005 election) which required any MP who had entered parliament via a party list to resign from Parliament if they left that party’s parliamentary caucus.

Peters to apologise to Horan?

Will Winston Peters apologise to Brendan Horan and offer to reinstate him in NZ First now the police have rejected a complaint Peters made to the serious Fraud Office?

The Police issued this press release this afternoon.

Completion of investigation into Mr Brendan Horan

Statement – attribute to Detective Inspector Mark Loper, District Manager, Criminal Investigations, Bay of Plenty District

Tauranga Police has completed an investigation into a complaint against Mr Brendan Horan.

The complaint was made by Mr Winston Peters MP to the Serious Fraud Office in December 2012.

Mr Peters made allegations about the misappropriation of funds from Mr Horan’s late mother’s bank account, and the complaint was referred to the Police for investigation.

There has been a comprehensive investigation by the Western Bay Of Plenty Criminal Investigation Branch into these allegations over the last 2 years, including review of the file by senior detectives.

After consideration of all relevant information and the Solicitor General’s prosecution guidelines, police have determined that there is insufficient evidence to charge any person with a criminal offence.

Parties involved have been advised of the outcome and the investigation has been filed.

Peters also effectively kicked Horan out of NZ First which made it virtually impossible for Horan to be re-elected as an independent MP in 2014.

I guess Peters could claim he knows best as “insufficient evidence to charge any person with a criminal offence” doesn’t prove innocence, but if the police can’t find sufficient evidence after a two year investigation it’s fair to wonder what Peters based his actions on.

Frances Cook (Newstalk ZB) tweeted:

Horan: two year investigation has taken a toll, particularly when people would point and whisper in the street.

Says he’ll “never” forgive Winston Peters for dropping him from party. Says it’s difficult to forgive himself for ever working with Peters.

Update: Feeling is mutual. Winston Peters says they’ve long forgotten Horan, it’s “unthinkable” that he’d ever return to politics.

From NZ Herald:  Ex-MP Brendan Horan cleared by police after allegations he took money from late mother’s account

Mr Horan learned the two-year police investigation into the claims was over in a meeting with Detective Senior Sergeant Greg Turner at the Tauranga police station yesterday.

“He told me it was a comprehensive investigation,” Mr Horan said. “They went through my bank records, interviewed many people. After the investigation that has taken around two years, there’s no evidence to support any charges being laid against me.”

The allegations stemmed from a family disagreement over the will of Olwen Horan and effectively ended Mr Horan’s brief parliamentary career. He was a first term Member of Parliament for NZ First in December 2012 when the claims were made, with party leader Winston Peters passed information from those who had themselves changed her will to access a greater share of inheritance.

In Parliament, Mr Peters said he had on the “initial complainant and those associated with him, evidence to support their allegations”.

In the wake of his call, “substantive material” was provided which left him with “no confidence in Mr Horan’s ability to continue as a Member of Parliament”.

Mr Horan was kicked out of NZ First and Mr Peters, in Parliament, said the MP had “a duty, I believe, to resign from Parliament”.

Mr Horan continued working as an MP, stood as an independent in last year’s election but was unsuccessful.

Since then, the ongoing police investigation has dogged the former MP and made it difficult to secure sought-after jobs.

I wonder how many political careers Peters has ruined and tried to ruin without producing substantial evidence to back his claims?

 

 

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.

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

Brendan Horan, Winston Peters, Bruce Bayliss and transparency

Has someone working for Winston Peters been using a false name taken from a Fred Dagg song?

In question time yesterday ex-NZ First MP Brendan Horan put allegations to Winston Peters (and highlighted more Peters’ hypocrisy on transparency), at the tail end of question one where Peters had asked:

1. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his statement that “personally I’ve been of the view that transparency is a good thing. As Prime Minister I’ve tried to lead that charge…”?

After an exchange between Peters and John Key on the Trans Pacific Partnership and transparency Horan asked:

Brendan Horan: Would the Prime Minister think there would be transparency in an entity submitting multiple Official Information Act requests in a made-up name, such as, for example, Bruce Bayliss, and does he think such a practice would be transparent enough for a political party research unit?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I have no evidence to support that Mr Bayliss is putting in Official Information Act requests under a pseudonym or false name, but I am aware that Mr Bayliss is associated with, and works for, New Zealand First. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! A point of order has been called.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. There is emerging of late a tendency to get up and ask a supplementary question that has nothing to do with the primary question or any supplementary question or any answer that the Prime Minister might give that would give that member liberty to extend his question. I have got no idea who Mr Bayliss is.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The essence of the question was around transparency and related to the original primary question.

Ironic that Peters claims “a tendency to get up and ask a supplementary question that has nothing to do with the primary question or any supplementary question or any answer“, but that’s another hypocrisy.

During the next question Peters tabled a list of NZ First employees claiming that “Bruce Bayliss” was not one of them. That proved nothing as the claim was that an NZ First staff member was using “Bruce Bayliss”as a false name.

This may or may not be related but “Bruce Bayliss is a name used in a Fred Dagg song We Don’t Know How Lucky We Are:

I was speaking to a mate of mine just the other day 
A guy called Bruce Bayliss actually who lives up our way

This is not the first time Horan has raised this issue. In his opening speech two weeks ago – see Brendan Horan blasts NZ First – he talked about the claimed sacking of two NZ First staff members.

So what really happened? Well, like most victims of workplace bullying, neither of them will talk. But people who know the full story will not be silenced.

It turns out that they dared to question the integrity of Mr Peters’ director of operations, Apirana Dawson. There was a promising young man who was led to the dark side, taken astray by his leader.

This is the same Apirana Dawson who not only leaked confidential emails between New Zealand First MPs to his friend working for the Christchurch Press in 2012 but also traded expressions with the media using the false name of Bruce Bayliss and also filed Official Information Act requests about an MP using that same false name of Bruce Bayliss.

The two sacked employees appear to be not the only people involved with NZ First who have got into trouble questioning Dawson’s integrity. Stuff reported in NZ First social media shut:

Behaviour following “defamatory, baseless” allegations that a NZ First staff member falsified qualifications triggered a complaint against the party’s youth leader, party leader Winston Peters says.

Fairfax Media reported earlier today the NZ First board of directors had accepted a complaint against NZ First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson. Rolinson posted on Facebook last week he had shut down the NZ First and NZ First Youth pages on instruction from Peters.

Rolinson did not make the allegations a party staff member had lied about his qualifications, Peters said.

“Someone else has, and that allegation is utterly, and totally false,” he said.

“From such an allegation, and the behaviour that arose from that, we’ve had to say to certain people – we are going to look into it, find out why he did it, and then we’ll take action if action is required.”

The allegation had been investigated, and found to be baseless, Peters said.

“Fact: I did the interview, I know what he has, I checked it out.

“I got the Victoria University evidence, I got the Massey University evidence, I got all the evidence to my satisfaction. So has Parliamentary Services.

“So why people think this is meritorious I don’t know – if this was a rat I’d squash it before it gets out of its hole.”

David Farrar posts at Kiwiblog on what he thinks this complaint was about.

It seems part of this is over a complaint Curwen laid over another NZ First member, and the Director of Operations in the NZ First Leader’s Office. I’ve been forwarded an e-mail which was sent to the Parliamentary Service:

From:
Sent: Thursday, 19 September 2013 2:30 p.m.
To: PS Customer Service; David Stevenson
Subject: C.V. falsification

To whom it may concern,

I believe that an employee of the Parliamentary Service might have provided false or misleading information to the Service about his educational achievements.

Apirana Dawson tells people that he has a B.A. from Victoria University, yet his name does not appear on the Roll of Graduates. http://www.victoria.ac.nz/students/graduation/roll-of-graduates?firstname=&lastname=dawson

You may wish to check it out.

In confidence,

I have no knowledge of whether or not Api has claimed to be a graduate, or whether he is a graduate. But I am informed this was the basis of the complaint by Curwen to the NZ First Board against Api. The complaint was thrown out but I understand Api has resigned as a member of NZ First, yet remains Director of Operations in Winston’s office.

This claim of not being a graduate appears to be incorrect. A search at Victoria shows:

Dawson, Apirana Raymond James 
Bachelor of Arts, 2013

It may have been a timing issue – Dawson graduated last year. The complaint letter was written in September. Either Dawson graduated earlier in the year and the Roll of Graduates hadn’t been updated by September, or Dawson jumped the gun in claiming he was a graduate.

But when questioned about this Peters resorted to a common defence of his – he got all indignant and huffy. Not transparent “…if this was a rat I’d squash it before it gets out of its hole.” There seems to be a bit of rat squashing in the NZ First hole.

And Peters seems to have deliberately tried to divert from yesterday’s accusation by tabling a staff list that he claimed as proof but didn’t address the accusation.

If “Bruce Bayliss” is being used by NZ First as a false name it is ironic.

Winston Peters and Fred Dagg would seem to be as unlike as Winston Peters and transparency.

UPDATE: I’ve had it confirmed that “Bruce Bayliss” is indeed a name taken from Fred Dagg.

Brendan Horan versus Winston Peters and Barry Soper

It was reported yesterday in NZ Herald that police had received fresh complaints against Brendan Horan regarding his mother’s estate.

Independent MP Brendan Horan says another complaint about him to police is “fantastic” as it gives him another chance to clear his name.

NewsTalk ZB this afternoon reported Police had received a complaint from Mr Horan’s brother Mana Ormsby that the former NZ First MP had inappropriately taken funds from his dying mother’s bank accounts.

Police earlier this month confirmed they were assessing a similar complaint from Mr Horan’s former boss NZ First Leader Winston Peters which was referred to them by the Serious Fraud Office .

This afternoon Mr Horan told the Herald he had not heard from Police today or in the two weeks since news of the initial complaint broke.

He said he would welcome the chance to speak with them if they chose to investigate the latest complaint.

Horan has also commented on Twitter, which resulted in an exchange with Barry Soper from Newstalk ZB.

Horan: I’ve been in my Mt Maunganui office all day and have not heard all from the Police about a new complaint. I welcome any investigation ASAP because another investigation will serve to clear my name yet again.

Soper: Who “cleared” you the “first” time?

Horan: The forensic investigation

Soper: Well that’ll come as a surprise to everyone associated with this case, with perhaps one exception: You!

Horan: I feel sorry for you Barry. Have a nice day.
Time for @barrysoper to put the audio online because he didn’t ask for comment and he didn’t ask any questions.

Soper: Why would I run audio of you hanging up on me?

Horan also suggested:

The reality is my speech Wednesday hit too close to the bone for a certain someone. Here’s the link http://inthehouse.co.nz/node/22718

The transcript of that speech is here: Brendan Horan blasts NZ First

Going by the Newstalk ZB report ( that attributes Soper)…

Police are looking into whether they will investigate Brendan Horan over a complaint laid by his brother.

They say they’re assessing a referral from the Serious Fraud Office, which will dictate whether there is an investigation.

At the moment, no official investigation has been launched.

It’s understood the former New Zealand First MP’s brother has made a complaint over money allegedly missing from his late mother’s bank account.

An earlier complaint was made by Winston Peters to the Serious Fraud Office who handed it on to the police.

Police confirm they are currently assessing the complaints to establish any criminality.

…the timing could be coincidental if it has just been referred to police by the Serious Fraud Office, who shouldn’t be influenced by Parliamentary speeches. I don’t think the SFO are likely to jump if Winston Peters prods them.

But Newstalk ZB is not entirely clear about the current complaint, whether it is via the SFO or from Horan’s brother.

Nevertheless, the Twitter exchange between Soper and Horan is curious.

Brendan Horan blasts NZ First

Independent MP Brendan Horan, who was ejected from NZ First by Winston Peters, fought back against his old party in his opening speech in Parliament on Tuesday.

I take this moment to thank New Zealand First, because there is no way I would be able to stand here and speak on democracy, to talk about true, inclusive democracy, if I had not been so undemocratically dumped by the New Zealand First party.

It is a tragedy of our political system that such a party can be captured by one man who did not even stand in an electorate. I can hear the cult screaming now “But we voted for him.” But what of those people who voted for the principles of New Zealand First, which includes an MP’s first duty being to the people of New Zealand and their electorate, or open and accountable Government?

Or the fact that New Zealand First campaigned for a fair go? What of those voters who believed that that party would give people a fair go? Ask Ben Craven, the party’s youngest candidate in 2011. Ask Josh—

Andrew Williams: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This is the Prime Minister’s statement debate. This honourable member is not speaking at all to do with the Prime Minister’s statement.

Mr SPEAKER: This is a very wide-ranging debate and the member is certainly speaking within Standing Orders.

BRENDAN HORAN: Thank you. As I was saying, ask Ben Craven, the party’s youngest candidate in 2011, and ask Josh Van Veen whether they got a fair go when they were sacked on a rumour, with no investigation, no disciplinary hearings, and no chance for them to say what really happened; just sacked. This breaks every labour law in the real world, but not here within the walls of that political party.

So what really happened? Well, like most victims of workplace bullying, neither of them will talk. But people who know the full story will not be silenced. It turns out that they dared to question the integrity of Mr Peters’ director of operations, Apirana Dawson. There was a promising young man who was led to the dark side, taken astray by his leader.

[continuation line: Mr Williams, you must remember]

Mr Williams, you must remember this article here: “MPs trade slurs over blog ratings”. Here is a beautiful picture of the honourable Richard Prosser—he looks young and vital—and also a very good-looking Denis O’Rourke. “MPs trade slurs over blog ratings”. I am talking about the same Apirana Dawson who leaked confidential emails between New Zealand First MPs to his friend working for the Christchurch Press in 2012.

Andrew Williams: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Surely this is not within the Standing Orders to be getting into personal matters relating to individuals and individual Parliamentary Service staff—surely not.

Mr SPEAKER: I am afraid that on this occasion, when we are having the debate on the Prime Minister’s statement, it is a free-ranging debate. The member making these statements needs to do so responsibly. I cannot in any way cease a speech or rule it out of order at this stage.

BRENDAN HORAN: Thank you, Mr Speaker. This is the same Apirana Dawson who not only leaked confidential emails between New Zealand First MPs to his friend working for the Christchurch Press in 2012 but also traded expressions with the media using the false name of Bruce Bayliss and also filed Official Information Act requests about an MP using that same false name of Bruce Bayliss.

Would taxpayers approve of their money being used in this way—this dabbling in the dark arts? What happened to the principles of that party? One asks what the New Zealand First MPs are doing for Ben Craven and Josh Van Veen, the two young researchers unceremoniously and unfairly sacked on hearsay, the innocent victims of plots and subterfuges, all overseen by the leader of that party.

What have New Zealand First MPs done about this injustice? How would one describe a New Zealand political party that would unfairly sack its most loyal staffers in favour of keeping its dodgiest? Is this another demonstration of a political party leader’s serious lack of judgment? How can anyone in that party speak on workers’ rights and be taken seriously or believed?

Mr Speaker, look closely, you are witnessing the demise of New Zealand First. The question is whether New Zealand First MPs will have the courage and conviction to take the step that was forced upon me and then broadcast their points of view.

As the Speaker says, Horan has a right to speak.