Slater versus Boag (Sainsbury interview)

Yesterday Michelle Boag accused Slater of what sounded like receiving hush money (see Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog ):

Boag: I know people who pay money through an intermediary to a particular blogger so that he won’t mention their name.

That was followed by Slater responds to pay for silence accusation:

Slater:  Absolutely it’s a no. You can’t pay me to shut up.

Later in the day also on RadioLive Mark Sainsbury repeated some of Boag’s comments and interviewed Cameron Slater:

Sainsbury: Well pretty strong claims there because effectively what Michelle Boag is saying or inferring is that Camerosn Slater can be bought. That you can pay him not to say nasty things about you and if you want something nice said you pay three hundred bucks through an intermediary. So what does Cameron Slater make of it all. Good afternoon Cam.

Slater: Hey Sainso.

Sainsbury: Has she got you dead to rights?

Slater: No she’s making shit up as usual.

Sainsbury: So what you’re saying is that’s she’s lying.

Slater: Yeah she’s lying. There’s not a single person who has never paid me not to write anything about them, and if she knows of somebody like that then I want their name so I can invoice them.

Sainsbury: Because she appears to be saying that this is done through an intermediary, so supposedly meaning Cameron that you could then stand back and say”I’ve never done this”.

Slater: No well that’s not true. Ah you know I don’t take money to not talk about people. I mean for goodness sake I used to get calls from the ninth floor ah in the Beehive where they’d say “please Cam don’t say that about that Cabinet Minister” or “please Cam don’t say that” and I’d just say to them ah you know GFY basically, um listeners can work that out, I’m not going to say those words on radio.

That in itself is an interesting comment. Did people from the ninth floor of the Beehive ask Slater to pull posts that were already on Whale Oil? Or did he tell them in advance what he was goint to post and they asked him not to post them?

Sainsbury: Do you or have you ever offered good coverage to anyone in return for money?

Slater: No.

Chapter 7 of Nicky Hager’s book ‘Dirty Politics goes into detail that suggests otherwise. Hager claims that payments from lobbiest and friend Carrick Graham were a substantial part of Slater’s income. Rawshark revealed invoices.

And Slater’s response to Plunket in his earlier interview was wuite different, appearing to admit that he did (and didn’t deny it), saying “it’s a little bit sanctimonious of all these media organisations to point their fingers at me when they’re running native advertising, charging PR companies for putting product placement and all those sorts of things”.

Slater:I write what I want to write about ah anything that takes my fancy and if something’s ah poos then I’ll say it’s poos. You can’t pay me to say something’s nice if it’s not. And ah you know I’m certainly never going to say anything nice about Michelle Boag.

Sainsbury: Well certainly not now but ok you’re saying, because she was pretty clear what she was saying this morning and Shaun gave her the chance to, you know gave her the chance to be very clear about it, so what is it? You’re saying that she is lying.

Slater: Yes.

Sainsbury: And what motivated by what?

Slater: That’s not new from Michelle Boag though.

Sainsbury: What, you’re saying she’s a serial liar?

Slater: Well I’ve said that on RadioLive before, she had a complete meltdown once and screamed down the airwaves ah while Mike Williams sat there chuckling ’cause she was upset because I’d um called her a poisonous lying scumbag. Um I didn’t disagree with her.

Sainsbury: Look people listening I mean to be honest people listening to this Cameron probably think this doesn’t reflect well probably on either of you.

Slater: Oh well I don’t really care. Um look Michelle has got um delusions of grandeur, she thinks she’s still relevant in New Zealand politics, but the reality is she’s a really old snarly ah hunk of rancid mutton dressed as rancid mutton.

Sainsbury: Ooh jeepers, Cameron…

Slater: She might think that I might hate her…

Sainsbury: But Cameron isn’t, look, look, I can understand people having a crack at people who are their political enemies if you like, but what it sounds like there, that sounds deeply personal and offensive doesn’t it?

Slater: Ah look, you know the history of our family and Michelle Boag goes back quite some way. Ah she keeps having a crack and ah I keep defending our family.

Sounds like more attack than defence. Sounds very personal and bitter.

Slater: She she might actually think that i hate her but look I don’t hate Michelle Boag, but I tell you what, I would unplug her life support to charge my phone.

Sainsbury: If what she says is so wrong Cameron Slater, if she’s effectively defaming you, why don’t you sue her?

Slater: Well look, you know that’s for cowards running off to court. It’s for gutless wonders um who want to make attention for themselves.

Slater didn’t call Jordan Williams in this post: Colin Craig Demation Filed

Slater: Ah I’ve got big broad shoulders, she can say whatever she likes, it doesn’t it doesn’t ah matter to me, ah, what does matter to me is that she spends every waking moment thinking about Cameron Slater.

Now I don’t spend any moments thinking about Michelle Boag.

He’s spent quite a few moments not just thinking but speaking about Boag, turning her accusation against him into an extended attack on her over two interviews.

And he posted this about it yesterday: Michelle Boag is a bitter old bag and wrong as usual – and also took the time to comment in the thread, as did his wife ‘Spanish Bride’ a number of times.

And Whale Oil started today with this attack on her: Face of the day (posted under ‘SB’ – Spanish Bride).

Sainsbury: She has been a past president of ther National Party. She has been involved with major corporations in this country. She’s been involved in all sorts of stuff. It is, you can’t just write her off as a nobody surely?

Slater: Well I can, I can write off on the basis of what I know about her past. Ah you know she was the first visitor when my father became the National Party President. She was his first visitor on the first day he was the president. She rocked up with three foolscap pages of names of people she demanded board positions for.

John Slater was National party president from 1998 to 2001. Michele Boag defeated him and was president 2001-2002.

Slater: Ah, you know this is these are facts. They’re indisputable. Um she, the cheek of the woman to actually do that when she’d been running the campaign of the person standing against my father just the the utter ah capacity of duplicity for her.

And then ah you know there’s just been a long standing campaign. She doesn’t matter very much. She might have been the past president of the ah of the National Party but her and Bill English have got the record for the lowest ever polling of the ational party so you know I’m happy to stand on my record, she can stand on her’s but she won’t be very tall.

Sainsbury: All right so what you’re saying is there’l be no lawsuit from you. You’re saying she’s wrong but obviously what we do take out of this is there is a lot of bad blood between Cameron Slater and Michelle Boag.

Very obviously,

He says he doesn’t “spend any moments thinking about Michelle Boag” but feelings seem to run deep on this.

You can see this in action by doing a search on Michellle Boag at Whale Oil.

But Slater’s outpourig of angst took over from the original question.

I’d be surprised if Slater threatens people with publication unless they pay him.

But if as it appears he has had a substantial income from PR and political posts there can be some fuzziness about what that money might be paying for.

And as far as Slater versus Boag goes, animosity appears to run very deep.

UPDATE: Slater has posted again on Boag: NO ONE LIKES A BOAG-UN

Mark Sainsbury wanted to get to the bottom of her allegations and I had 6 or so minutes to have a crack back at her outrageous lies.

He had a crack at Boag for sure but the allegations/lies didn’t get much attention. He seems to be promoting the interview as if it’s something to be proud of:

Slater responds to pay for silence accusation

In a panel discussion on RadioLive today Michelle Boag explained how on a certain blog you could pay $300 per promotional post and you could also pay not to be posted about.

Here is the transcript of that segment: Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog

Transcript of the follow-up interview, Shaun Plunket with Cameron Slater:

Shaun Plunket: During the course of the Friday panel this morning Michele Boag made the very clear suggestion that one blog site…Michelle Boag suggested that there is a well known blog site which you can pay through an intermediary to never be mentioned on…

That’s not how Boag put it.

…as well as being paid to be mentioned on or perhaps have nasty things said about your commercial or political opponents. You can actually pay this blog site not to be mentioned by the blog site.

And the blog site she confirmed that she was talking about was Whale Oil Beef Hooked and that is run, well The Boss he’s described as. Whale Oil Be Hooked is Cam Slater, and i thought rather than muck around and seek affidavits we’d just talk to Cam Slater direct and try and sort this out.

Look, what do you say. Essentially the information we have is that people pay you or can pay you via Carrick Graham to not appear on your website, on your blog. Is that true?

Slater: Well Michelle Boag is just a bitter old bag really…

Plunket: No No that wasn’t my question. Didn’t ask your opinion on Michelle Boag.

Slater: The answer is categorically no.

That’s no, I don’t receive any money from anybody to not be mentioned on the site. That’s just a, she’s got no evidence to support that, and if I was a sooky pants who was prone to conniptions and rushing off to lawyers then she’d be in trouble.

I’m not. She just wants to have a slag at me and that’s fine, she can be like that, she can purse her lips and ah roll her eyes and show her nasty side to herself all she likes. It says more about her than it does about me.

Plunket: Ok. And does Carrick Graham in any way work for you as a marketer or you know an intermediary?

Slater: I don’t discuss anything to do with how I operate um ah, my business or what I do…

Plunket: So Carrick Graham is part of your business.

Slater: Carrick Graham’s a mate of mine. We’ve known each other for many many years, it goes back to when he was even before he was dating my sister so you know we’ve got a long association, we’re bloody good mates, and ah and that’s essentially the basis of it.

Answer avoided.

But it’s a little bit sanctimonious of all these media organisations to point their fingers at me when they’re running native advertising, charging PR companies for putting product placement and all those sorts of things. You know I don’t really care what anyone says…

Plunket: Ok but you are saying today, absolutely categorically that you cannot pay, well you can obviously pay to be mentioned on your website right, you do admit you do that right?

Slater: Well just like every other media organisation in the country.

Excluding most if not all other blogs. And some other media organisations might argue that they don’t do paid political promotions presented as blog posts/articles like Slater does.

Plunket: Right. Ok, but you don’t disclose it always, they’re paying you. But you say that you do not like run a protection racket whereas I will not be nasty to you on Whale Oil if you pay me some money every month?

There’s a bit of wiggle room there.

Slater: That that, you know, that would be if I like I said if I was a person who was a sooky pants and ran off to lawyers that would be a highly defamatory comment. But I’m not like that. These are the slings and arrows…

Pluinket: So that’s a no. I just want to check, so that’s a no.

Slater:  Absolutely it’s a no. You can’t pay me to shut up.

Plunket: Alright Cam, I will I accept that you have answered the call, you picked up the phone, you’ve answered the one question I wanted to put to you and you’ve answered it in the negative. And I would hate to besmirch your reputation further by paying this any more attention, this scurrilous accusation.

Slater: Well you know Michelle will hurl these things out there. That’s her business. She just looks like she’s incredibly focussed and still living in the battles of the nineties.

An odd close to a not very probing interview. In response to an oddly vague accusation from Michele Boag.

Boag Audio: Are Kiwi bloggers taking payment to stay silent?

Follow-up audio: Cameron Slater denies Michelle Boag’s claim he takes payment for silence

Boag on paying not to be mentioned on a blog

In a panel discussion on RadioLive today Michelle Boag explained how on a certain blog you could pay $300 per promotional post and you could also pay not to be posted about. She wouldn’t name the blog but Shaun Plunket made it clear it was Whale Oil (Cameron Slater).

Slater later denied paying for silence.

“I don’t receive any money from anybody to not be mentioned on the site,” Slater told Sean Plunket.

This is a transcript of the Boag segment:

Boag: Some particular bloggers I know who charge people not to mention them.

Plunket: Oh really?

Boag: Yep.

Plunket: Oh no hang on, let;s hold it right there. Tell us more Michelle.

Boag: No. Cause he’ll just have another go at me, but I know it’s happening.

Plunket: Ah this is Cameron Slater.

Boag: Not making any comment.

Plunket: Ah well, do you pay Cameron Slater not to say nasty things about you Michelle? Does he offer that…

Boag: I don’t. I don’t. In fact even if I did pay him he wouldn’t stop saying nasty things about me, but I know…

Plunket: Do you know people whom Cameron Slater has said if you pay me this money I will not say nasty things about you?

Boag: I know people who pay money through an intermediary to a particular blogger so that he won’t mention their name.

Mike Wiliams: That is sensational stuff Shaun and you’ve got yourself a scoop.

Boag: There’s no more senstational than that intermediary saying to people “oh, if you want to get promoted on this blog it’s three hundred bucks a pop.

Plunket: Are you prepared to name the intermediary to me or make that information…

Boag: Off air I will.

Plunket: Ok Michelle, I would like you to do that after this panel and we will chase that story down. That is tantamount to a kind of formalised blackmail.

Boag: Well it’s not a kind of, it’s just typical tacky behaviour that you’d expect from that particular source.

Plunket: It’s like a protection racket.

Boag: And let’s wait and see what he says about me today. And he should take regard of the fact that there’s a cyber bullying law now.

Plunket: Michelle I’m just going to ask you did you come on the programme with the intention to make this disclosure today?

Boag: Not at all. I’ve known about this for months.

Plunket: Gosh. I wish you’d told me months ago. It would have been good for the ratings.

After a break:

Plunket: Oh yeah, and the Friday morning panel have just thrown a bit of a spanner in the works of the whole day I imagine, or the news cycle. Michelle Boag telling us that there is a blogger that I presume is Cameron Slater who has an itermediary who will go to people and say “Give us some money and we won’t mention you on our blog”.

Boag: No that’s not how it works. What I said was that the intermediary says if you give me, oh, if you wanna be mentioned on the blog or promoted in any way there’s a price on that. And then if you don’t like it you have to pay for them not to do it.

So he mentions people, right, and the you say hey it no longer suits me, I don’t want that going on, right, you pay and he doesn’t do it any more.

That’s still not very clear. Does she mean that you have a contract to be promoted and if you decide to stop part pway through you have to pay the full contract anyway?

Plunket: Whoa, doesn’t do what? Doesn’t mention you by name…

Boag: That’s right.

Plunket: …or attack your opponents.

Boag: No no. Mention you by name.

Plunket: Ok but who would pay to be mentioned by name in a bad way in the first place?

Boag: No not in a bad way. Look you look at the way bloggers operate. They promote certain people, they get involved in certain discussions and they say so and so’s a lousy candidate, so and so’s a good candidate, so and so deserves to be elected…

Plunket: Yeah, well I knew that was going on.

It’s well known that Slater promotes candidates, MPs and lobby interests and he attacks others as a paid for service – and it’s impossible to know in his posts whether he is doing posts for hire or just expressing his opinion.

But I don’t know of any other bloggers who operate like this. As far as I know it’s the way just one blogger operates.

Boag: Well that’s for sale. Right.

Plunket: So you can get coverage that will help you for a price.

Boag: Yes.

Plunket: Ok. So that’s like paying for advertising.

Boag: Yes except it’s not disclosed.

Plunket: But the more important thing is you’re also saying that if nasty things are being written about you you can get them taken off for a price.

Boag: Um I know someone who has paid not to be mentioned.

Plunket: Oh. Ok and what sort of money are we talking Michelle?

Boag: I’ve got no idea. But I know how much you pay to be mentioned.

Plunket: Ok how much do you pay to be mentioned? Three hundred dollars?

Boag: Three hundred bucks a pop. So if there’s six blogs in a day you’ve paid eighteen hundred.

Plunket: I’ve had all sorts of rubbish written about me on the Whale Oil site, I’ve never paid a cent. Is that ’cause he likes me.

Boag: Because he’s saying horrible things probably.

Plunket: Sometimes they’re nice, sometimes they’re horrible,

Boag: Well I’m not saying that’s what all the content is about. What I’m saying is there is clearly examples…

Williams: It’s a lucrative sideline…

Boag: Well it’s probably the only part that’s ah you know being economically efficient.

Williams: Viable.

Audio: Are Kiwi bloggers taking payment to stay silent?

Follow-up audio: Cameron Slater denies Michelle Boag’s claim he takes payment for silence

The transcript of the follow-up interview with Slater will be posted as soon as I get it done.

Use and abuse of protection orders

Duncan Garner interviewed Judge Peter Boshier yesterday on family violence and protection orders. In that Garner referred to problems with protection orders, and then took calls from men with different experiences.

Garner (in Boshier interview):

What about protection orders, I’ve heard from people on my show this afternoon, from a mother, a woman called Sue and her daughter who both have protection orders against the daughter’s ex, the son-in-law of Sue, who has breached the protection order three or four times and only been fined or different curfews put in. No prison time.

Talkback – Jamie:

I’ve had two protection orders put on me mate and both exceeding ten years ago. I think the protection order is like you know the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.

Clearly I didn’t know how to be in a relationship.

Clearly I didn’t know how to handle my emotions.

Clearly I was uncontrolled.

If I hadn’t been caught, what I learned afterwards, at school or somewhere beforehand, I would have never had obtained a protection order on me.

My second point would be when people sign down and protection orders are put in place, it shouldn’t just be a contract, it should be a contract with the female as well, where they both agree that no one will go in their home.

Garner: How are things now?

Oh no I’m good now because I got away from the relationship. But I’ll give you one example. I sent texts to my kids, ok because I didn’t fully understand the protection order. I sent texts to my kids saying good morning and good night. When I got breached I’d had thirty two texts in a sixteen day period, good morning, good night, and I got breached.

Luckily the police understood and they only breached me twice instead of the three that would have put me in jail eh.

Alan:

I have to say that what’s going on in the media seems to be fairly one sided.

When I was in a bad relationship years ago and we had custody issues, after  two years of not getting information from the school, and I actually got back custody, I went to the school and said why didn’t I get anything?

And they said oh ’cause your wife said she had a protection order against you.

Garner: “And did you?”

No.

Relationship break ups and custody disputes can be very emotional for all involved. Protection orders are an essential part of trying to help deal with these situations, but they can be abused by both males and females.

Protection orders can be used as weapons in relationship and family disputes.

Protection of victims in relationships and especially of children is paramount – but fair use and protection of the rights of all parties is very important.

Transcript: Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier on family violence

Judge Peter Boshier, law commissioner and formerly chief of the Family Court, talks to Duncan Garner about Government plans to find better ways of addressing family violence and on protection orders.

Duncan Garner: The Law Commission is about to release a discussion document on this domestic violence law review, what’s likely to be in it and what we need to do.

What do we need to do with these domestic laws. Do we need to beef them up and sort them out?

Judge Peter Boshier: I think that we need a stand alone domestic violence charge. I think it would focus on the issue and really make everyone much more aware of the true extent of family violence.

At the moment it tends to get a bit merged into other forms of crime, so I think what’s happened in terms of initiatives this week – very very encouraging.

Garner: I was looking at that family violence review report that showed 139 people including 37 children died from family violence and related homicides between 2009 and 2012, so that’s an average of 35 a year. It’s too many isn’t it.

Boshier: Yes, and I think what the Minister’s concentrating on this week is the fact that half of our homicides each year, 50%, the basis of those is family violence.

And when I look at the extent of it that passes through the courts, I’m still doing Family Court work, and I just look at what the extent of family violence is, I’m not surprised that a lot of it ends up in homicide.

So I think there’s a recognition that this is probably our number one social evil right now.

It has probably been our number one social evil for a long time.

Garner: So if it does end up in homicide what can we do earlier in that process so it doesn’t?

Boshier: Two things. One is, and I wanted this to say I’m speaking to you as Chair of White Ribbon, and the importance of me just saying that is that this is very much an attitude change organisation.

It’s aimed at saying that all the enforcement in the world won’t stop people who are determined to kill, but what you can do is begin attitude change.

And I think we’ve done that in New Zealand with things such as drunk driving, smoking, there are other examples where we’ve changed our attitude and we accept that something’s simply not acceptable.

So the first thing I think is attitude change.

Garner: How do you change attitude?

Boshier: I think you breed an ethos that instead of resorting to the fists and power imbalanced by intimidation you resolve conflict in a way in which there’s dignity and there’s a talking through of issues. That’s after all what old cultures of the world have done for years.

Garner: That could take a generational change for some people because they’ve never seen it in their own families.

Boshier: And I think you have hit the nail on the head. There is intergenerational  family violence which means that people grow up against that background, that’s what they’re used to.

I’m not at all daunted by the fact that it may take a long time. What I’m encouraged about when I heard the Minister talking on Q & A yesterday was that if there’s leadership at the top.

You know if there is a commitment by people like you, like me, like the Minister to achieve change, I think society can do it.

Garner: What about protection orders, I’ve heard from people on my show this afternoon, from a mother, a woman called Sue and her daughter who both have protection orders against the daughter’s ex, the son-in-law of Sue, who has breached the protection order three or four times and only been fined or different curfews put in. No prison time.

Boshier: Two things about that. One is that the Police, I believe, understand the importance of intervening meaningfully when there’s an alleged breach of the protection order, and i think that is a change that will occur.

With the courts quite often breaches of protection orders occur with other things and may get a bit lost or diluted when other crime is going on. I don’t want to apologise for that or sanction in any way.

What I would like to say is that if we can focus on a breach of a protection order being just as bad as any other breach of a court order like driving while disqualified, and we say that there is no excuse, and there will be no way out other than accountability, and I want to re-emphasise that word, accountability, by all of us, then I think we’re going to take things more seriously.

Garner: Could I just ask that question again though, with protection orders do you think we will see change then, I think you hinted there that there might be change in that area.

Boshier: My understanding of what I heard the Minister say yesterday was that in the overall review of family violence legislation, which I think is going to be unfolded by the Minister this Wednesday, it’s expected that there will be a number of suggested changes to the extent of protection orders and their enforcement.

I have not been privy to the discussion paper that the Minister is going to release, but I pick up the signs that what’s this far been just a breach of a protection order might now become elevated to a default position where someone’s in real trouble.

Last year I taught in Palau which is in Micronesia, and their family protection legislation has a default position, whereas for the first breach you get seven days imprisonment. For the second breach you get fourteen, and for the third and subsequent you get twenty eight days imprisonment. It’s snap.

Unfortunately our prisons have serious problems with perpetuating violent behaviour.

There’s no real way out of it. And I think the messaging is absolutely unequivocal, so it may be that our messaging needs to be clearer and women.

Look they should expect that if they go to the trouble of getting a protection order it will give them meaningful protection.

AUDIO: Law Commission to propose changes to domestic violence laws and protection orders

From the Q & A interview here are Amy Adam’s comments on protection orders:

CORIN One of the areas where you’re not getting the cut through is clearly around protection orders. Researching for this interview – a staggering number of breaches of people who have gone on to kill and do terrible things. They clearly aren’t working. Will you make it tougher to— easier to get protection orders and tougher if they are breached?

AMY Well, first of all, I wouldn’t say that they’re not working. I think they have a very valuable role in our system. But clearly if they’re being breached, serious consequences can flow. So absolutely we’ll be looking at protection orders, how they work, how you get them, what the consequences are of breach, who takes what action, who has to lead that, does it have to be victim-led, can the police act on their own initiative? So all of these things are being looked at. What we’re seeing is actually an increasing number of prosecutions for breaches of protection orders, which is a good thing, an increasing number of convictions every year for breaches, and we’ve already put the penalties up.

CORIN Do you need, though, to take more—? And this is one of the things that came through from the likes of Women’s Refuge when we talked to them. Do you need more of a zero-tolerance approach to protection orders? Because it seems as though, you know, a bit of a warning, first breach and nothing’s done. You know, and the police miss it or something. Does there a need to be a much tougher approach to the first breach of that order?

AMY I think we need to have very clear expectations that breaches of protection orders are taken extremely seriously. Now, the police do have to look at their arresting practices and how that works and getting it in front of the courts, and then the courts and the judges have to think about how they handle them. As I say, we’ve put that penalty up, so from the first breach, an offender can be liable to three years in prison, and I think that’s right. But I still think there are questions around how can they be more effective, how can we secure the victim’s protection under them more effectively, how can we make them easier to get, how can think about all of the myriad of things that flow from that, like where are the people going to live, how do we physically keep them safe? So there’s a lot of questions to ask, and as I said, the goal of this is to start that discussion, ‘How do we do this better?’

Amy Adams on overhauling family violence laws

“Dad, why don’t Kiwis like us Chinese?”

Shane Te Pou wants an apology from from Andrew Little and Phil Twyford. He feels embarrassed for the Labour Party and sad for his boy who is part Maori, part Chinese and asked “Dad, why don’t Kiwis like us Chinese?”

Te Pou is a long time Labour Party member. Last year he was reported as being on the electorate committee in Tamaki Makaurau.

And in an interview with Duncan Garner on RadioLive today Te Pou says he has probably been caught up in the data leak and has contacted the Privacy Commissioner.

Garner: Now this is a fascinating story this one. Long standing Labour Party Shane Te Pou, been around for a long time, he’s been a member of the Labour Party, I think he was a member at age fifteen actually. He is angry with the Labour Party over this surname saga business, the whole Barfoot and Thompson releasing of the Chinese surnames.

The truth is Shane Te Pou is Maori and his wife is Chinese, and he’s been told they are very likely to have been caught up in this leaked data used by the Labour Party. Shane joins me now. Kia Ora Shane.

Te Pou: Kia Ora.

Garner: What are your concerns?

Te Pou: Oh my concerns are this, that we bought as house with Barfoot and Thompson so I gave them a call and I said “Hey look, is it possible that my information could have been leaked, and could have been used”, and yes they said it’s highly likely.

So I’m aghast that we’ve been trapped in this ’cause I can tell you that just simply because of my wife’s surname that we’re probably on the foreigners’ list, and that’s a personal insult to me and my whanau.

The other thing that I’m concerned about this is that I think this is racial profiling. What they simply did is they got a group of Chinese sounding names and put one and one together and came up with three and I think that’s abhorrent  to the principles of my great party.

Garner: So are you going to hang around in the party, or are you threatening to resign like we saw from Phil Quin? Are you doing the same, what are you going to do?

Te Pou: Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble didn’t get rid of me. These guys aren’t going to get rid of me either brother, but no I don’t intend to do that at all.

Garner: Right so you will stay on, but what do you want from Andrew Little?

Te Pou: I want an apology. I think that you know, here’s the thing, there ought to be constraints on foreign ownership. They need to be universal and they need to be thorough.

But to pick on a particular ethnicity I think is abhorrent, and really goes against the fundamental principles of our party and that’s one of equity.

And I think Mr Little and Phil Twyford, who I’ve known for years, who came to my twenty first, owe me and my whanau an apology.

Garner: So you’ll write them a letter seeking that will you?

Te Pou: Yes. And I’ll contact the Privacy Commissioner. I’ve just found out today that my information was likely part of that so I’ve contacted the Privacy Commissioner and I’m about to send a letter away to the Leader of the Opposition and the leader of my party.

Garner: What are the chances of getting an apology do you think?

Te Pou: I don’t know. I don’t know but you know I don’t like coming out publicly on these kind of issues but I think you’ve got to pick a principled position.

I’ve got a nine year old kid, you know he can do his whakapapa and te reo, ah his Chinese is very good, speaks English and he said  “Dad, why don’t Kiwis like us Chinese?”

And you know, I felt very sad for him.

So I’ve got to this for [him] and I’ve got to do this for many other Chinese who contribute very well and productively to Aotearoa New Zealand.

Garner: Are you embarrassed by your party?

Te Pou: I’m embarrassed by the actions of Phil who I think is better than this, who is a really decent man, as I said I’ve known him, he came to my twenty first.

I just think it was unnecessary and I think the way he did it actually has been a sideshow in terms of what the real issue is. And the real issue is our people cannot afford homes in Auckland and we need to put universal strategies in place.

Garner: Do you buy this argument from your party that there is such a lack of concrete data on who is buying our houses that they needed to do this?

I mean I thought, I’ll be honest with my opinion on this, I thought it was sloppy, I thought it took us nowhere to be honest.

Te Pou: No, it’s taken us nowhere. There oughta be a register. We oughta know who’s buying our properties. There oughta be precautions in place.

But to racially profile, that’s what they did, they got Chinese sounding surnames and then they dumped the information based on that.

It was totally unnecessary and I just, what concerns me is that Andrew and Phil Twyford, who I think are fundamentally decent human beings, they failed to see that.

And I think perhaps if someone like me can say “hey guys, think about this again” I think they might reflect about it and do good, rather than just trying to score a few political cheap points.

Garner: Um Shane, if they don’t apologise to you will you reconsider your position in the party, ie will you resign, or will you hang on ie Roger Douglas and Richard Prebble and just hang tough?

Te Pou: I’m going to hang tough. I love the party. She’s been good to me. You know they gave us universal health and education. I’ve come from a very large whanau. We’re very committed to the Labour Party. My brothers and sisters have worked on campaigns.

My nine year old boy, he’s been delivering pamphlets in three campaigns since he was a five year old…

Garner: How will you protest if you don’t get an apology, which is obviously what you want because you’re offended and fair enough, how will you react if you don’t get what you want?

Te Pou: Oh what I will do and what I intend to do is go through and see if I can extract from the party and from the Leader and from Phil in the first place, and secondly if I have to I’ll go through the Privacy Commissioner.

You know, it’s something I really don’t want to do, but I feel very slighted. And I think thousands of New Zealanders feel very slighted over this issue, and I think in the long term it’s not helpful for our party and it’s not helpful for our chances of winning the election next time around.

AUDIO: Labour Party member Shane Te Pou asks leader Andrew Little for an apology over ‘foreign buyers’ issue

What’s going on with Mediaworks and Rachinger?

The Rachinger plots took another turn today with a story that has gone international. Noosa News reports Intimate photos of journalist published online.

The images were published on a blog this morning showing Radio Live political editor Jessica Williams in a series of personal photographs. Ms Williams was named Journalist of the Year at this year’s NZ Radio Awards.

The pictures were understood to have been taken and sent in a private context to an individual not involved in the blog which published the images. The Herald will not be publishing the name of the blog.

It claimed it had obtained the images when they were circulated with the intent of embarrassing Ms Williams and harming her career but gave no explanation for why it had published the pictures.

A Mediaworks spokesman said the company was aware of “certain matters relating to the publication of private images” of Ms Williams.

It seems that these images were circulated in December and it has been widely known amongst journalists. There has been mention made of attempted blackmail.

Ben Rachinger has been trying to get media interested in his claims that Cameron Slater paid him to hack rival political blog The Standard.

The Nation ran his story in the weekend. The Nation is broadcast by TV3, a Mediaworks company.

As reported above Mediaworks say they were aware of “certain matters” yet ran a story, highlighting it as ‘Dirty Politics’, that was favourable to Rachinger.

It wouldn’t be too much of stretch to think that their RadioLive political editor was aware of their investigation and story.

This raises questions.Was Williams aware of the investigation/story? If so was she in favour of the story being run? Did she contribute to the story? Did she push for the story to be run? If so was it voluntary or under some sort of pressure?

It’s not inconceivable that Williams and/or Mediaworks wanted the story run to try and avoid embarrassment.

Of course there could be a simpler explanation for all this, but are we likely to get one?

National, Sabin, Osborne, train wreck

National’s Northland candidate Mark Osborne was the treasurer on ex-MP Mike Sabin’s electorate committee so will obviously have had some contact with Sabin. It has been asked (and will keep getting asked) what he knew about the police investigation of Sabin that resulted in a court case.

Osborne was interviewed by Sean Plunket on RadioLive yesterday – NORTHLAND CANDIDATE KNEW ABOUT SABIN RUMOURS.

Plunket: What political experience have you got?

Osborne: Oh look I’ve been a member of the electorate executive up here for the last three years as treasurer and Northern Zone chair.

Plunket: So you were involved in the selection of Mt Sabin?

Osborne: No I wasn’t, no I wasn’t involved back at that point.

Plunket: At all?

Osborne: No, not at all.

Plunket: Didn’t know about it. Did it just happen while you were away or something?

Osborne: Oh look it happened before my time, so ah I’ve been…

Plunket: I thought you’d been there for three years.

Osborne: Yes but ah…

Plunket: Ok, but what about his re-selection or confirmation as candidate before the last election, where you involved in that?

Osborne: Yes, yes…

Plunket: Ok so you were involved. Did you know anything about the shadows that hung over him?

Osborne: Not at all. Not a thing.

Plunket: Nothing? You didn’t, hadn’t even heard a rumour?

Osborne: Oh I saw the rumours and the…

Plunket: Oh there were rumours. And you had heard the rumours?

Osborne: Oh yes.

Plunket: Yes. Did you ask Mr Sabin or did anyone ask Mr Sabin to clarify those rumours when he was re-selected as the candidate?

Osborne: Well I can’t speak for anybody else, but ah I asked if he was ok.

Plunket: Well what do you mean, did you ask if there was anything that might damage his candidacy or the National party?

Osborne: No no I didn’t, no I just…

A novice in an awkward situation trapped by an old pro. If the timing was awry he should have jumped on it straight away.

Plunket: Why on earth not?

Osborne: Why on earth not.

Plunket: Yeah. If you’d heard the rumours.

Osborne: Well I just wanted to make sure that he was ok.

Plunket: So you wanted to make sure that he was ok, rather than the party was ok, or that he would be in a position to serve the electorate if he would be re-selected and elected as the MP.

Osborne: Oh well look this was at the very end of last year after he’d been re-elected so ah it was more just as a treasurer you know just saying you know are you ok…

Plunket: So when did you first hear the rumours Mark?

Osborne: Ah right at the very end of last year when they were in the newspaper.

Plunket: Didn’t hear them before he was re-selected…

Osborne: Oh no not at all. I knew nothing.

Still no denial that it wasn’t a known issue pre-election though.

Plunket: Ok. So you knew nothing even though you were on the executive?

Osborne: That’s right no, nothing until it was in the media…

Plunket: The executive knew nothing?

Osborne: Ah well I can’t speak for them but I certainly knew nothing.

Plunket: Well why not? You must have had meetings.

Osborne: Well we never had any meetings that discussed that.

Plunket: But when you, ok when did you confirm his re-selection as candidate before the election?

Osborne: (pause) Well I ah, I was the treasurer so ah I didn’t reconfirm his selection.

Plunket: Where you at meetings where it was discussed?

Osborne: Ah no.

Plunket: Ok. All right. So no one knew. It was just suddenly then after the election ‘Woh, there’s a problem?

Osborne: That’s right. Well from my perspective absolutely had no knowledge whatsoever.

That oozes implausible deniability.

Osborne left wide open the possibility, perhaps probability that this was a known issue before the election, but claims it wasn’t discussed at all by the executive in any meetings.

And that he knew nothing until it was in the media. Even from Dunedin I had heard rumours a month or two earlier. There have been many reports of rumours swirling in Northland.

Key’s and National’s handling of the Sabin issue has been abysmal.

The feeling I get from this is that National chose a candidate who could deny knowledge of or complicity in the Sabin issue.

Of their own doing the Sabin train had very wobbly wheels. And now they have installed a novice driver to try and drive down a very shaky track with the National Party ducking for cover en masse.

I can see a high risk of political wreckage.

Winston was always very adept at political opportunism.

     ^ likely votes  –  National’s Northland train

UPDATE: the train has a stoker – John Key to boost National’s Northland by-election campaign

He’s stuffed up on his handling of the Sabin issue so far so he may add fuel to the Sabin fire.

Kevin Hague – Greens on cannabis

Duncan Garner looked at the cannabis issue and interviewed Green spokesperson Kevin Hague and Labour leader Andrew Little about their views on cannabis on RadioLive.

Kevin Hague: “What we’re trying to achieve is that to ensure that drug use causes as little harm as it possibly can.”

“One is around medicinal cannabis, and it’s very clear that a very large majority of New Zealanders support better access to medicinal cannabis ”

“Our policy says that there should be no penalty for personal use or cultivation up to a certain point.”

SHOULD WE LEGALISE CANNABIS? GREENS AND LABOUR SAY LET’S THINK ABOUT IT

Another US state has legalised cannabis so Duncan Garner asked his listeners if it’s time we did the same in New Zealand and got a resounding “yes”.

More than 1000 people voted in his poll, with, at the time of writing, 86% of people saying New Zealand should follow the likes of Colorado, Uruguay, the Netherlands and North Korea and legalise cannabis.

Transcript of the Kevin Hague interview.

Garner: So where do the Greens stand on this? And will we see some kind of public debate? Or is it simply too hard for our politicians given what America’s doing. Is it time we caught with this or do we just watch and follow, Who knows.

Kevin Hague is the Green drugs policy spokesperson. What are your views in what’s happening in America?

Hague: Oh look I think it’s a very interesting thing, because what we are seeing I guess particularly from Colorado where we’ve probably got the best information so far and probably the longest history so far…

…is that the kinda dire predictions about increased use and increased harm haven’t come about. That actually evidence is pretty strong that there’s actually if anything been reduced harm, and as you mentioned in your intro actually there’s a bit of a dilemma for Colorado legislators, what are they going to do with all the money that’s come in.

Garner: Well the answer to that question could be that it goes into the health system, or it goes into the education system.

Hague: Yes precisely.   What we’ve been calling for is a rational approach to drugs in general and I guess cannabis in particular, where we look at what is it that we’re trying to achieve.

What we’re trying to achieve is that to ensure that drug use causes as little harm as it possibly can.

Garner: So do you think Kevin, if I can take you right back to the start. Do you think we need to change the law here?

Hague: Yeah, absolutely. So we’ve been standing for this for a long time because it’s very clear that the current law is not achieving that goal.

The current law is I mean if you just take the simple fact that most New Zealanders have used cannabis. Well clearly the law as it stands is not reducing demand, and in fact is putting a lot of people in harms way because if New Zealanders are needing to go to you know gangs for example to get their supply well those gangs aren’t concerned with quality or ensuring that under age people don’t get access.

Or ensuring that people who need treatment for example are actually referred. Those are all things that we could do if we changed the law. As well as the medicinal aspects.

Garner: Right, so what would you do with the law? if you were able to draft something and start lobbying around Parliament and get 61 votes, what would a law look like for you?

Hague: Well I guess there’s two different arenas.

One is around medicinal cannabis, and it’s very clear that a very large majority of New Zealanders support better access to medicinal cannabis and you’ll know that we put a bill to Parliament in 2009 and got 34 votes out of 120.

Things have changed over the last five or six years. Apart from the Government.

But the step forward we need to make in that area, more generally our policy says that there should be no penalty for personal use or cultivation up to a certain point.

Garner: Would you decriminalise rather than legalise?

Hague: Our policy is kind of doesn’t use either of those words, and we’re currently actually in light of the experience in the United States and Portugal and other jurisdictions we are looking at overhauling our own policy.

To be completed later.

Duncan Garner on cannabis

Duncan Garner looked at the cannabis issue and interviewed Green spokesperson Kevin Hague and Labour leader Andrew Little about their views on cannabis on RadioLive.

SHOULD WE LEGALISE CANNABIS? GREENS AND LABOUR SAY LET’S THINK ABOUT IT

Another US state has legalised cannabis so Duncan Garner asked his listeners if it’s time we did the same in New Zealand and got a resounding “yes”.

More than 1000 people voted in his poll, with, at the time of writing, 86% of people saying New Zealand should follow the likes of Colorado, Uruguay, the Netherlands and North Korea and legalise cannabis.

Green Party drugs policy spokesperson Kevin Hague said evidence shows legalisation leads to reduced harm from cannabis.

“We need to go to legalisation with regulation, which is pretty much the approach we take with alcohol, which is New Zealand’s most popular drug,” Hague said

Labour Party leader Andrew Little said New Zealand should see what the experience is in US states where cannabis has been legalised but “proceed with caution”.

Intro transcript:

Garner: Talking of reaction we put this poll up yesterday around should we legalise decriminalise cannabis or do nothing about it, leave it as it is?

The reason, the reason why we asked the question is simple, because four  American states, and Washington DC, have made all these moves around legalising cannabis to a point to me in some areas where it looks like they’re trying to create a market for it so they can tax it.

The reason should be that things are unfair and not working in New Zealand regarding cannabis laws, especially on the restrictions on medical use.

Columbia I think is a market that will see about sixty million dollars of tax revenue come in over the next twelve months.

I thought DC had first legalised medical marijuana, and then just made personal possession and growing legal and weren’t establishing a market, but I could be wrong.

So is there any political will here for change? I know politicians here get very nervous about this debate because it could lead to electoral oblivion.

I remember Don Brash put his head up didn’t he when he was the new Act leader, he said ‘oh we should decriminalise cannabis’. I’m not really sure that Don Brash was thinking that, although if he’s a classic liberal perhaps that is how classic liberals think.

Brash (and ACT) had far bigger hurdles than his views on cannabis to overcome, which he failed to overcome.

So where do the Greens stand on this? And will we see some kind of public debate, or is it simply too hard for our politicians, given what America’s doing is it time we caught up with this or do we just watch and follow?

But there’s been no sign of our politicians following. Most just duck for cover and try to ignore it, but cannabis won’t go away, and neither will the problems associated with it’s prohibition.

I’ll transcribe the Hague and Little interviews as I get tome (hopefully by tonight)