Brash goes but will Nats change their ways?

Well Brash has resigned from Parliament and National will hope that his departure will take the heat out of the revelations in Hager’s book. But I’m not so sure. Until National comes out and admits it broke the laws around campaign spending and supports reform of the campaign spending laws there will be a big cloud over them. The Nats President Judy Kirk and the Nats Board were aware of the identity of the big donors according to the evidence in Hager’s book, yet they declared them as anonymous in their donations return. Under the Electoral Act this is defined as a corrupt practice. And whatever the Act says this is a dangerous development for our democracy. We’ve gotta clean it up.

49 Comments Posted

  1. Big Bruv –

    I’m not saying Coleman shouldn’t press charges. I’m suggesting the reason why he hasn’t.

    Eredwen, don’t you enjoy arguing with someone whose line of argument is so – well – surreal?! BB’s ‘arguments’ are like oxygen to an issue like this – keeps them burning away merrily even while the Nats desperately try and tone the whole thing down.

    Although I do suspect Big Bruv may be a little blue troll … a ‘smurf’, as it were, it’s still fun. At least for now.

  2. Why this descent into petty point scoring arguments with various rightwingers? Some here purported to be on frogblog “to learn about the Greens” …

    Frankly I have better things to do with my time.

  3. Phil

    I would suggest that Coleman described the woman (or more than likely the wimin) perfectly.

    I cannot wait to find a Labour MP who is acting like a prat (should not be hard to find) it seems I have free license to thump them.

  4. lightcircle Says:

    December 5th, 2006 at 8:51 am
    It *is* intriguing why there have been no charges laid by the Associate Health Spokesperson of the “Lock em up� Party.

    Problem is if Coleman prosecutes the man who thumped him it will become apparent what he did to provoke such a response.

    Lightcircle

    I suppose all criminals are victims are they, do you have ANY sympathy for the victims?

  5. the reason why coleman won’t lay charges is because evidence would show he lost it..

    and called the woman who squirted water at him a ‘f*cken c*nt’..

    repeatedly…

    that’s why no charges will be laid by dr coleman..

    national health spokesperson..

    (and they said irony was ‘dead’..eh..?..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

  6. It *is* intriguing why there have been no charges laid by the Associate Health Spokesperson of the “Lock em up” Party.

    Problem is if Coleman prosecutes the man who thumped him it will become apparent what he did to provoke such a response.

  7. lightcircle

    Sorry but that is utter rubbish, the only thing Coleman should be ashamed of is his PC apology.

    Just because you have a dislike of big business does not mean that it is wrong or evil, that fact that you do not mention that the man who punched Coleman should have been arrested only proves you to be one eyed about this.

    And please tell me why the hell the Nat’s should change their ways, look at the crap this country is in after seven years of left wing government, I cannot wait until the next election where I hope the Nat’s stay true to their core beliefs and take a bloody big Axe to everything PC and the social welfare system.

    The sooner we get some personal responsibility in NZ the better.

  8. Jonathan Coleman’s recent behaviour at the U2 concert proves that the Nats aren’t planning to really change their ways – even while Key frantically reinvents the party to the media and Hager’s book does the rounds, they continue to please themselves – and, of course, their big corporate backers.

    The extent of his misbehaviour is almost funny (could it have been more prattish?) Associate Health Spokesperson for his party, hosted by British American Tobacco, smoking a 12-inch cigar and decked for insulting a woman in the corporate box next door … the Nats prove once again they can effectively ankle tap themselves with their own arrogance and greed.

    And his excuse? “As a first-time MP I’m living life in a goldfish bowl and it is a bit of an adjustment.” A more pisspoor apology I cannot imagine – and very late in the day, apparently after having his privileged elbow twisted by another of the good ol’ boys. (Mr “I’m dreaming of a Merrill Lynch windfall”).

    Thanks Jono – you couldn’t have found a better way of keeping Hager’s book in the public eye.

  9. Russel

    It strikes me that the entire EB thing is a god (excuse the pun) send for the left.
    It is really only they who are making any noise about this, the facts are that while the Nats MIGHT have broken a few rules they did not arrogantly deny they had stolen money from the tax payer, when confronted with the facts they paid it back.

    One thing I did like about the Greens was (and I could be wrong here) the perception that you argued the issues and did not get involved in the politics of diversion, it seems I got that wrong as well.

    How are the greens and your bed pals (Labour and Winston) getting on with paying back the money you owe?
    Given that some of it is mine I would quite like it back .

  10. Billbass – the best evidence available is that in Nicky’s book which so far has held up under scrutiny (Brash knew about the EBs). His book presents evidence that National’s Leader, President and Board were aware of the identity of a number of major donors even though these donors names don’t appear in their donations return for 2005. Either these donations were not accounted for at all, or they were identified as coming from private trusts (with an accountant as the only public face), which effectively meant they were declared as anonymous when in fact they were not.

    The fact that they were declared as coming from these private trusts does not alter the fact that the true source of the money was declared as unknown to the party when it was known, it was declared as ‘anonymous’ when it was not.

    So can they legally get away with it under the current Electoral Act? Not sure. It is certainly against the purpose of that section of the Act which is to make parties reveal the identities of donors if they know who they are.

    But you’re right – I should’ve said “Until National comes out and admits they broke the spirit and possibly/probably the letter of the laws around campaign donations there will be a big cloud over them.” And yes Edge has made me look at it more carefully and better explain my argument which is the neat thing about blogging.

    But Billbass surely you can’t defend this kind of behaviour?

  11. Russel – you’ve certainly changed your tune. In the original post you wrote: “Until National comes out and admits it broke the laws around campaign spending and supports reform of the campaign spending laws there will be a big cloud over them.”

    And you are now writing:
    “Phil, the legality is unclear to me, that’s why I want the Electoral Commission to look into it.”

    Are you now resiling from your original position? Is this because Edge gave you a legal lesson in Electoral Law, and just like Hager you cant back up assertions with facts?

  12. Henry

    The first reason we can’t do it on line is because most of NZ is not even getting a 56K dialup connection.

    The second reason is that even with a population of only 4 million , it would be impossible for an MP to keep up with the traffic volume.

    The third reason has to do with anonymity and identity. Who said what and did they REALLY say it. I can probably explain to my mate’s grandma how to log in and send an e-mail, or receive one, but if I want to teach public key encryption and digital signatures I may as well pack it in.

    Which is why despite its desireability, we can’t make it from where we are now to there anytime soon.

    I agree with the aims, but my only solution about method is to force back the noise.

    respectfully
    BJ

  13. PS I think the Greens ought to expand the principle of “Appropriate Decision Making” to include an official argument format eg
    1. brief summary of each point in its most easily understood way.
    2. expansion
    3. Reply to each point
    etc etc

  14. bjchip Says:

    December 2nd, 2006 at 3:20 pm

    Democracy on the merits of the ideas of the parties involved is more instructive to politicians and the nation as a whole, than philosophies that fit on bumper stickers.

    Instead of a newsmedia dominated by poncey celeb journos we need delivery monitored by people trained in critical thinking? The rhetoric of parliment is so primitive. Why can’t politicians just present structured arguments on line> no need for a debating chamber??. Interest groups can do likewise. I’ve watched televised debates and they fail because no one organises the threads, follows points to the finish or keeps score.
    The aim of our political system should be to identify a realistic sustainable vision for humanity (goals) and atune a system where the best ideas come to the surface. People should step back; ideas should step forward. Let Christians defend the idea that God made everyone in a forum, without all the stirring rhetoric (subject it to critical thinking) or pressure put on individual politicians.
    Henry

  15. Insider, not aware of any connection between Nicky and our 2005 campaign. And on the emails, I hadn’t seen them till they came out publicly. I wish I had known earlier as I would’ve told Nicky to act sooner so that it might be possible to intiate prosecution int he 6 month period after the filing of the donations return.

    Phil, the legality is unclear to me, that’s why I want the Electoral Commission to look into it. And we have been very proactive initiating ways forward on climate change policy – See our six pack of climate change bills eg http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR10290.html and our turning down the heat proposals from March – http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR9693.html. And there will be more.

    On John Key, I agree it changes things. Will blog about it sometime soon…..

    Russel

  16. so russell…you say that what national has done is probably not against the law..

    cd u please tell us why you laid a complaint with the police against national..?…

    if you already knew that…?

    was that just mischief on your part..?

    or an ill-thought out knee-jerk response..?

    and given the tone and timbre of your comments since (the apparent) centring of national…
    you appear to favour remaining in that ‘b*tch’ role to labour..?..to be used and cast aside at will..?

    i can totally understand you not wanting a bar of the ‘brash-model’….but key is sounding more and more like labour/clark should be/have been..

    cos’ all labour have proved in seven years is that they have done diddly-squat for the environment….(or for the greens..eh..?..and despite jeanettes’ rearguard action on that solar energy thread..she didn’t really address/answer any of the raised/proven objections..eh..?..)

    and as for the fall-back line that ‘they aren’t as bad as national..”..

    well..that’s now gone..eh..?

    cos’ i’d say you are going to see key/a re-centred national develop/present strong (solution-centred) environmental policies….that you will be unable to ignore…without doing yourself/greens’ credibility a great..possibly terminal..injury..eh..?

    so..you/the greens are going to have to face the fact that you will have to deal with national..possibly even have to go into coalition with them..
    if they present better green policies than labour..eh..?

    now..i know this idea/thought must have you/sue b and assorted other alliance refugees..(lets’ not forget keith)..breaking out in a cold sweat..eh..?
    (and just quietly..that does push my schadenfreude button..eh..?..)

    but you are all going to have to get to grips with this new reality..russell..

    you have no choice…

    and just on that policy question..

    shouldn’t these developments focus you all even more on the fact that you have to come up with coherent/strong/solution-driven policy…?

    cos’ that field is not now only yours to play in..eh..?

    and any wishy-washy mealy-mouthed nothing..consisting mainly of handwringing and platitudes policy…however picture-perfect the ‘process’ used to develop said policy….just won’t cut it..eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)…

  17. Even

    I have gone through this in detail as well Even… though I didn’t talk to anyone else in formulating the solution. We went through it in detail on a different thread. Interesting discussion, and I feel a winning proposition.

    http://blog.greens.org.nz/index.php/2006/11/27/1475/#comment-19749

    There is no obvious way to make the private advertisements fair, so there should be none. Democracy on the merits of the ideas of the parties involved is more instructive to politicians and the nation as a whole, than philosophies that fit on bumper stickers.

    BJ

  18. “I see in the near future a crisis approaching that unnerves me and causes me to tremble for the safety of my country… Corporations have been enthroned, an era of corruption in high places will follow, and the money-power of the country will endeavor to prolong its reign by working upon the prejudices of the people until the wealth is aggregated in a few hands and the Republic is destroyed.” – Abraham Lincoln, Nov. 12, 1864

    Solution: Public financing, Public Service Media, Common Wealth

    Solution: Dems for Social Credit.

  19. I certainly support a large number of changes to electoral law (some as a result of the recent election, others, longer standing):

    1. Prosecution of breaches of the Broadcasting Act by political parties should be as corrupt or illegal practices under the Electoral Act, with the same penalties.

    2. Re-calculation of list seat allocation should occur if necessary following electoral petitions.

    3. Financial penalties for certain corrupt and illegal practices should be increased.

    4. The should be liability for political parties, and corporate liability sheeting to holders of certain offices in political for electoral law breaches (leader, president, board).

    5. The six month time-limit for prosecutions of offences by political parties and candidates under the electoral act should commence from the filing of the election returns; political party breaches of the broadcasting act breaches from the filing of party broadcasting returns; broadcasters breaches of the broadcasting act from the filing of broadcasters’ broadcasting returns; others’ breaches of the electoral act from the date of the election.

    6. The spending allocations under the broadcasting act (if they are to remain) should allow parties to spend their own money to even the playing field with those granted the highest (e.g. at the last election Labour received $1.095million of broadcast advertising, National spent $80,000 less than Labour but broke the law).

    7. Use of Parliamentary funds for electioneering should be expressly prohibited – it is incredibly anti-democratic that a party in Parliament should have such a great in-built advantage over a party outside Parliament (this may mean that non-Parliamentary funds should be used as state-funding, but there should be no statutory benefits of incumbency).

    8. Overhang caused by a party earning more seats than it is entitled to should be treated the same as overhang caused by an independant being elected; or at the very least overhang occuring within the level of the wasted vote should be ignored.

    9. Anonymous donations aren’t a big one for me, we’ve seen what some members of the present government do when they come across someone who supports the other side; I agree that in an ideal system donations would be public, however, while the possibility of ‘vengeance’ being sought by an unscrupulous government remains I’m not sure we should risk removing so many people from the political arena.

  20. Yes Edge I agree that the use of the anonymising trusts means it’s entirely possible that they stayed within the law in the 2005 return. If the evidence in Hager’s book is accurate, then they knew the identity of the donors behind the Trusts but were able to record the donation as coming from the Trusts when in fact they were aware of who it was actually from. Is this within the letter of the law? Probably yes but some uncertainty which the Electoral Commission will hopefully clear up. Is it within the spirit of the law designed to make parties declare the source of their large donations unless they really don’t know their identities? I don’t think so. Would most National Party voters and supporters really be comfortable with this if it were widely known? Doubt it.

    And what about the 2004 National Party donations’ return with its $95,000 “anonymous” donation? Do you accept that if the National Board knew the identity of that donor they were in breach of the Act in letter and spirit?

    And here’s another interesting angle. National did not receive one single donation formally called “anonymous” in 2005 (and just one for $95,000 in 2004). Remarkably, not a single person in the world who donated over $10,000 to the National Party did so as an “anonymous” donor. Rather every single one of the donations from persons unknown came through the Trusts. Coincidence or collusion? If the evidence in Nicky’s book is correct – that the Board knew the identity of the big donors – then someone told those donors, or they organised themselves, to put all the money through the anonymising trusts.

    So what was the role of the National Party in organising the anonymising trusts? We don’t know is the short answer but it seems unliekly that they would go to all this trouble to organise donations and then pay no attention to how the money is actually devliered. According to Hager the biggest one, Waitemata Trust which gave $1.2m, has as it’s public face the accountant Robert Browne who is also the former electorate chair of the national Party branch in East Coast Bays, where Brash stood as a candidate.

    My question to you Edge is the same as my question to the National Party, do you support cleaning up the system so that this can’t happen again? Or are you happy with this continuing?

  21. Don’t know of any involvement Hager had with the Greens with that one, Insider. He admits to having given a few of the Nats’ emails to the Sunday Star Times, but, as far as I know, no-one in the Greens got any.

    The Greens worked out the Brethren connection without Hager’s help – a former EB member gave them an EB address book, and one of the names in the address book was the one on the anti-Green leaflets.

  22. insider said:
    Tell us Russell about Hager’s links with the Green party.

    Nicky Hager’s book Seeds of Distrust was published during the 2002 election campaign. It actually did the Greens (and Labour) a lot of harm. Before it came out, opinion polling had the Greens on target for 11 to 13 MPs and a Labour-Green majority Government a probability. In the end, the Greens got 9 MPs and were not part of Government at all.

  23. Jeeves

    Not read the Hager book. did it detail the amounts given and by whom? If not where is the lack of anonymity? If john smith says he made a donation, without a paper trail there is no evidence that it was made or the value.

  24. Edge – I sincerely hope that you too are not offering advice on electoral law although I suspect you might be the cause of National’s monumental stuff up on anonymous donations.

    Under the electoral act, the contributers to these anonymous trusts *have* to be anynomous.

    “The following are considered to be anonymous donations:…

    …a donation by way of a solicitor’s trust account cheque that is not a donation from that law firm

    …Concealing the identity of a donor when the donor is not anonymous is an offence.”

    To help you avoid making silly mistakes again:

    http://www.elections.org.nz/parties/donations_disclosure_overview.html

  25. Tell us Russell about Hager’s links with the Green party. How much involvement has he had in your campaigns? Did he anonymously donate emails to you? Did he assist in your strategising during the election? Doesn’t the public have as much a right to know that as Brash’s involvement with various ‘right wing’ lobbyists etc?

  26. The election spending row and The Book will eventually be just water under the bridge, and Key has come out fighting talking large portions of sense. Eventually means “before the next election”.

    It looks reasonable that NZ will settle for centre/green politics (though “green” probably means “greenwashed”), so it’s just a question of centre-left-ish (coalition) or centre-right-ish (coalition). Labour have their work cut out for them, as it’s easier being in opposition than being in government.

    Despite the fact that Brash retreived National from the unelectable, and then failed to make his exit at the appropriate moment (to see how it should be done, see John Major – “When the curtain comes down it’s time to leave the stage”) his exit appears to have had nothing less than a galvanising effect on National, a party reborn.

    More currently: Whats the Greens position on Michael Cullen overruling a judge’s decision to issue an arrest warrant against a visiting former Israeli general suspected of committing Middle East war crimes…..?

  27. “The donations were anonymous for all intents and purposes because the true source of the money was hidden behind the trusts such as the Waitemata Trust.”

    All purposes except one.
    The Electoral Act.
    Kinda important when you’re accusing someone of corruption.

  28. It makes it clear that political parties are far too beholden to their big donation contributors and it shows the limitations of democracy’s coexistence with capitalism. Sohbet ve
    Chat

  29. This whole argument exemplifies the reason why the private sector has no business buying and creating ads during a political campaign.

    Brethren or Union or Business Council, they have no individual vote, they aren’t running and their damned opinions are strictly self-interested rants with limited accountability and no value to the practice of real democracy.

    It makes it clear that political parties are far too beholden to their big donation contributors and it shows the limitations of democracy’s coexistence with capitalism.

    Big Bruv suggested more stringent controls of the same sort as already exist. My solution is more extreme with the entirety of campaign information distribution being done by the state itself. As for the book… the past is regrettably, not recoverable… can’t start over from the last good saved game. I’d give ’em all a pass if they’d fix it for the next election, but I don’t even expect that.

    National has always been the most powerful opposition to Green principles and so it gets most of our attention… and this is a wide open Blog fer crissakes,,, we talk about what is interesting *now* and Nick has done a nice job of focusing attention. There’s no doubt at all we’ll be talking about something else in a few days.

    respectfully
    BJ

  30. Kiwinuke

    “He(l)p me out Big Bruv honey I’m just gettin awful confused.”

    Having read your post “BABE” I can totally understand.

    Care to discuss the issue’s at all?

  31. They should NOT have added the cost, as the brethren would of produced the pamphlets anyway without nationals approval (as a democracy should allow). Labour should (maybe) have taken into account the zero interest student loans in their election spending as its going to cost millions and will probably be the worst waste of cash, after the treaty.

    I’m glad national didn’t disclose they were with the brethren, because labour may of got in with more than 50% of the seats, without nz1st to control their bizzare ideas; we would have a overpriced water front stadium, less police, all the hospitals would all be on strike and the underclass/dole population would of been increased with more refugee imports.

    Who is promoting the Green party message, i have seen very little and yet to see a “Buy Kiwi Made” anything, another good idea swept under the carpet by labour because they don’t care about Kiwis. Another thing is has ANYone read the latest in nuclear power, i believe the Nats have and realise that its not the boogey man anymore, its well tested, and now with thorium causes less radiation waste than coal dust, yet labour is sold millions of dollars of coal sand to china (probably worth billions really). Greens should concerntrate on the real problem, OUR environment

  32. “big bruv Says: (November 30th, 2006 at 8:13 pm)
    lightcirlce

    I think you have just about touched on every possible stereotype in that little rant.”

    Big Bruv -just which post were you reading babe? I must have muh steoreotype blinkers on again didn’t manage to spot even one o’ them nasty lil critters in there. How do you spell h-y-p-e-r-b-o-l-e anyway?

    “And please, spare me the rant about the Nats only being interested in the rich getting richer, you seem far more intelligent than that.”(BB)

    And I jus don’ unnerstand how that lil gem fits up with Lightbaby’s “rant” (your word honey)

    “Or are you happy just to be a cog in the big wheel which the far Right are turning, so a favoured few will keep getting richer and richer?”(LC)

    Now I thought LC was talking about the Far Far Right that that Communist Trotskyite conspiracy-theorist Hager accuses of subverting the liberal sweethearts of the true National Party. So just why were you getting confused betwixt and between the two? They are diff’rent ain’t they?

    And I really adored you for this bit:

    “I assume that you have taken issue with my comments about social welfare, should you wish to discuss this subject in a rational way then i am more than happy to do so, if you are only interested in name calling then I cannot be bothered.”(BB)

    Mmm … must have muh bothersome name-calling blinkers on too, didn’t spy a one in LC’s postage.

    And while we’re on this plate how does this delicious morsel:

    “You see(m) to be rather bitter about the level of funding the Nat’s receive, could this be the real reason you want the tax payer (me) to fund your campaign?”(BB)

    come from the same menu as this from your ealier pastry?

    “While Key is running around the country trying to impress one and all with his new inclusive style he runs the very real risk of alienating a lot of the new support, all of a sudden the ACT party are looking like a real option..”(BB)

    From my front porch that looks like a recipe for the mystery shoppers and bag ladies of the FerFar Right to head off and act up with Rodney. So mightn’t the all-inclusive new John and Bill cooking team be keen for a little taxpayer sponsorship of their recipe book.

    Hep me out Big Bruv honey I’m just gettin awful confused.

  33. I think that I have been caught up with National in the last little while because of Hager’s book and the implications for democracy. Democracy is one of the Greens charter principles and it’s hard to see how we will get progress on sustainability without democracy – witness the USA where the Republican attacks on democracy have undermined efforts to address climate change (remember the climate scientists reports that were edited by Bush’s right wing staff).

    Most of our focus is actually on the Govt when you look at our press releases over the last six months.

  34. Gerrit

    The fixation many Greens seem to have with the Nat’s is something I cannot work out, I can only assume it is more to do with social policy rather than environmental policy.

    Given that the Nat’s have been in opposition for 7 years now I do struggle to find any other reason, thats a pity really because a lot of what they (the Greens) have to say is worth hearing, it is just the Marxist stuff that turns so many off.

  35. This fixation with National (as judging by the last few posts on this blog) begs the question – is it doing any good promoting the Green party message?

    I say no because while you are concentrating on rubbishing the National party you are not promoting ther Green party!

    My only comment on Hagars book is that it is rubbish unless the emails are produced in full and the actual contents can be read in the contexts they were written.

    Taking a bit here and a bit there you can spin any story to read what you want.

    National is getting the headlines with their new leader while Greens, etc, are sniping at the sideline. Fast getting to be the half full glass party.

    Jeez get a grip and get on with being our representatives in parliament promoting issues and legislation as you were elected to do.

  36. lightcirlce

    I think you have just about touched on every possible stereotype in that little rant.
    Would it make you feel better if I had also said that I wanted to kick out all immigrants and kill all Maori?

    I am sorry that not all of us who favour right wing politics are like that, you seem to have a very narrow view of us, this surprised me given that many of your number here seem to be tolerant people.

    I imagine the police would want to look into that deep and dark hole, but I would suggest that the Nat’s have nothing to fear as it seems all the police ever come up with is prima facie cases when it comes to pollies (or does that just apply to the left wing parties)

    You see to be rather bitter about the level of funding the Nat’s receive, could this be the real reason you want the tax payer (me) to fund your campaign?

    If you have read a few other threads here you may have noticed that I support certain green party policy, i am sure that this revelation will see you rush off to the shower lest you become infected by the nasty right winger.

    And please, spare me the rant about the Nats only being interested in the rich getting richer, you seem far more intelligent than that.

    I assume that you have taken issue with my comments about social welfare, should you wish to discuss this subject in a rational way then i am more than happy to do so, if you are only interested in name calling then I cannot be bothered.

  37. Big Bruv, I find your comments illuminating. Is this how the typical core National supporter feels about his (or less likely, her) party being subverted by the far Right?

    The money that National has paid back does not include the much greater expenditure on electioneering materials produced by (1)the Fairtax lobby group and of course (2) the Brethren. Nor does it have anything to do with the vast sums of anonymised donations channelled through trusts, donated with the express intention to influence the direction and tactics of the National Party.

    Hager’s book presents considerable evidence that the political and organisational leadership of the National Party were aware of the identity of major party donors yet in their donations return to the Electoral Commission these names were not mentioned. As Russel has pointed out, this means that either National did not declare these donations at all, or they declared them as ‘anonymous’ when they actually knew the identities of the donors.

    I imagine the Police and the Electoral Commission will be looking into this deep, dark hole … and I hope they’re going to do something to clean it up.

    Don’t you wish you belonged to a party which actually took account of the genuine wishes, opinions and guidance of its grassroots members? Or are you happy just to be a cog in the big wheel which the far Right are turning, so a favoured few will keep getting richer and richer?

  38. Hi Edge

    Yes I know it’s the Secretary who is legally responsible under the Electoral Act. Hager’s book uses emails from Brash to argue that he knew the identity of the donors, and he uses the minutes from the Board meeting to argue that the Board knew the identity of the donors. So are you arguing that even though the Leader and the Board apparently knew the identity of the donors, the Secretary did not? And is that how you want National to operate? Is that really OK with you? It’s just not credible in my opinion.

    The donations were anonymous for all intents and purposes because the true source of the money was hidden behind the trusts such as the Waitemata Trust.

    cheers

    Russel

  39. Labour was not the only party guilty of illegal over-spending – and does anyone actually decide who to vote for based on election advertising?

    As I thought, though, it looks as if Key will lose some of the neocons and gain some of the centre… interesting. What a pity I won’t turn 18 until about two months after the 2008 election – assuming there’s no snap election between now and then – it should be interesting.

  40. The Nat’s have already said they broke the law and have paid it back, unlike some!

    They have nothing to apologise for as far as I am concerned, I would doubt that they will be dumb enough to support tax payer funded election campaigns.

    And please Russel, if you want to talk about corrupt practice then have a look at the people you keep in power, you cannot have it both ways.

    While I accept that John Key makes the Nat’s almost certain to be the next government I am not sure I want a watered down version of the Labour party, Don Brash saved that Nat’s, he took them from nothing to a party that would have won the election had it not been for Labour’s illegal over spending.
    While Key is running around the country trying to impress one and all with his new inclusive style he runs the very real risk of alienating a lot of the new support, all of a sudden the ACT party are looking like a real option for those of us who want one rule for all Kiwis, a zero tolerance policy when it comes to crime and a total overhaul of the out of control social welfare system.

  41. Russel – I hope you’re not in charge of ensuring the Greens abide by the Electoral Act.

    1. Even if the President knew, it’s only the secretary (who actually signs and forwards the return) in the gun for an Electoral Act breach.

    2. The National Party did not declare the donations as anonymous. Anonymous donations are those under $10,000. Donations over $10,000 cannot be anonymous, and these weren’t. Most of them, as you are well aware, came from the Waitemata Trust. The Waitemata Trust is not anonymous. It is the Waitemata Trust.

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