Labour breaches electoral law again

09/07/2011

The Electoral Commission believes Labour has breached the Electoral Act – again:

The Electoral Commission advised the Labour Party late yesterday that it believes the party breached the recently-amended Electoral Act over the party’s Stop Asset Sales Flyer, says Labour spokesperson Grant Robertson.

Grant Robertson says there is no suggestion Labour has breached the use of Parliamentary resources or taxpayer funding, but the Commission is concerned that the words “authorised by”were not included in an explicit promoter statement.

“Labour had taken the view that the flyer was not an election advertisement under the Act, in part because it had received prior authorization from the Parliamentary Service for its publication”, Grant Robertson said.  “In any event, it was clear at all times that the party knew of the document and consented to its publication”.

“Because the party believed that the pamphlet was not an election advertisement, it did not include on it an explicit promoter statement, which the Act now requires any election advertisement to bear.

If it wasn’t an election advertisement what was its purpose?

“Despite the absence of a formal promoter statement, the pamphlet did include in a prominent way the name and contact details of the party leader, so there could be no doubt as to its author,” Grant Robertson said.

That might be so but the Act requires more than that.

“The commission has told the party that it does not accept its argument that the pamphlet was not an election advertisement.   Nor does it accept that the prominent inclusion of the parliamentary leader’s name and contact details constituted substantial compliance with the promoter statement requirements of the Act  It has also rejected the party’s argument that if there was a breach, it was neither wilful nor consequential.

Does this mean they thought they were spending public money on something inconsequential?

“The party maintains the view that any breach was technical in nature only,” Grant Robertson said. “It regrets that the commission has taken a contrary view, meaning that the matter will now have to be referred to the police for a decision as to whether any prosecution is warranted.

“Labour has advised the commission that it will abide by the commission’s interpretation of the legislation.  It has withdrawn the pamphlet from circulation, along with another similar publication.  Between now and the election, it will apply a wide interpretation of the phrase ‘election advertisement’, and include formal promoter statements in the terms recommended by the commission on all such material.”

How can a party with so many lawyers and so many MPs who’ve spent so long in parliament tget it wrong so  many times before learning this lesson?


Word of the day

09/07/2011

Amigo/a – friend.


Feliz día de independencia Argentina

09/07/2011

It’s Argentina’s Independence Day, the 195th anniversary of the country’s independence from Spain.

The date is easy to recall because it’s the name of the world’s widest avenue – Avenida 9 de julio in Buenos Aires, one of the must-see sites in the city.


The green thing

09/07/2011

From an email:

In the queue at the store, the shop assistant told the older woman that she  should bring her own grocery bag because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. The woman apologised to him and explained, “We didn’t have the green thing back in my day.”

The assistant responded, “That’s our problem today. The former generation did not care enough to save our environment.”

He was right, that generation didn’t have the green thing in its day.

Back then, they returned their bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilised and refilled, so it could use the same bottles over and over again.

But they didn’t have the green thing back in that customer’s day.

In her day, they walked up stairs, because they didn’t have an escalator or lift in every store and office building. They shopped once a week at most, walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time they had to go two blocks.

But she was right. They didn’t have the green thing in her day.

Back then, they washed the baby’s nappies because they didn’t have the throw-away kind. They dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine; wind and solar power really did dry the clothes.  Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing.

Back then they carefully undid parcels, folded the paper and used it again.

But that old lady is right; they didn’t have the green thing back in her day.

Back then, they had one TV, radio and phone in the house and no computers, mobile phones or other electronic gadgets.

In the kitchen, they mixed, stirred, grated and cut by hand because they didn’t have electric machines. 

When they packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, they used a wadded up old newspaper to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, they didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol to cut the lawn. They used a push mower that ran on human power. They exercised by working so they didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity.

But she’s right; they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then they grew almost all their own vegetables and a lot of their fruit – and preserved what they couldn’t use fresh.

They drank from a glass or drinking fountain the tap when they were thirsty instead of from a plastic bottle.

They refilled their pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and they replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull.

But they didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took walked or took a bus and kids rode their bikes to school instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service.

They had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And they didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest cafe.

Back then they reused and recycled because they didn’t have enough to waste. But they didn’t have the green thing back then.


10/10

09/07/2011

10/10 in Stuff’s Biz Quiz (three lucky guesses).


Green could be competitive advantage

09/07/2011

Being greener could bring both environmental and financial gains and this week Environment Minister Nick Smith and Agriculture Minister David Carter launched a green growth discussion document:

New Zealand needs to consider how it leverages off its clean green brand in global markets and how new technologies can be developed to reduce environmental impacts, Environment Minister Nick Smith and Acting Minister for Economic Development David Carter say.

The Ministers today launched the Advisory Group on Green Growth’s discussion paper in Wellington. The eight-member Advisory Group was announced by the Government in January to ensure the Government receives the best advice on green growth initiatives.

“There is significant work occurring internationally on green growth, green jobs, and clean technology. We need to ensure Government policy helps New Zealand take up the opportunities,” Dr Smith said. . .

Mr Carter said: “This is another part of the Government’s plan to build a faster growing economy. The world is looking for products and services that have lower environmental impacts and we want New Zealand to be well placed to take up these opportunities.

The government’s actions haven’t impressed Pure Advantage a group of business people who believe there’s a huge opportunity in enhancing New Zealand’s natural environment in order to improve our competitive positioning in the global shift to green growth.

We have developed a campaign to work with communities, businesses, Government and iwi to create sustainable economic growth, and assist New Zealand to become a leading exporter of high-value produce, renewable energy and clean technology, with a top-tier in-bound tourism industry.

The founding members have funded the campaign – there’s no corporate mandates or shadowy Government funding. Just successful Kiwis interested in seeing a lot more successful Kiwis.

The group wants to open the debate and fund research and discussion in the hope of getting broad agreement about the best way forward.

Once the way forward is understood, we will drive the change to make it happen.

Underpinning our goal will be robust economic research showing the scale of the challenge and why all New Zealanders must reach for the exciting opportunities arising from green growth.

Members of the group include Air New Zealand chief executive Rob Fyfe, former General Motors chief financial officer Chris Liddell, IceBreaker founder Jeremy Moon and brothers, Lloyd and Rob Morrison.

The environmental gains from being green are obvious, providing that is based on science and not emotion.

Pure Advantage and the government both also see the potential for financial gain.


Labour’s prescription more of what made us sick

09/07/2011

Labour obviously hasn’t understood why the economy got into a mess under their watch because they’re proposing to give us more of the same: higher taxes, borrowing and spending.

Labour has admitted it would borrow more than National in the short term to help fund new policies but is confident its plans, including a capital gains tax, would cut debt over the long term.

Not only is this stupid policy, it’s out of step with the way most New Zealanders are thinking.

Individuals and households have been spending less and saving more.

They’ve got National’s message that consumption based on borrowing must be replaced by savings, investment and export-led growth.

Voters who understand what caused the problem and how to solve it are unlikely to support a party whose prescription is more of what made us sick.


July 9 in history

09/07/2011

455 Roman military commander Avitus was proclaimed emperor of the Western Roman Empire.

Tremissis Avitus-RIC 2402.jpg

1357  Charles IV, Holy Roman Emperor assisted in laying the foundation stone of Charles Bridge in Prague.

 

1540 Henry VIII  annulled his marriage to his fourth wife, Anne of Cleves.

1541 Estevão da Gama left Massawa, leaving behind 400 matchlock men and 150 slaves under his brother Christovão da Gama, with orders to help the Emperor of Ethiopia defeat Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi who had invaded his Empire.

1755  French and Indian War: Braddock Expedition – British troops and colonial militiamen were ambushed and defeated by French and Native American forces.

Route of the Braddock Expedition

1764 Ann Radcliffe, English writer, was born (d. 1823).

1789  In Versailles, the National Assembly reconstituted itself as the National Constituent Assembly and began preparations for a French constitution.

 

1790 Russo-Swedish War: Second Battle of Svensksund – the Swedish Navy captured one third of the Russian fleet.

Johan Tietrich Schoultz målning Slaget vid Svensksund.jpg

1793 The Act Against Slavery was passed in Upper Canada and the importation of slaves into Lower Canada prohibited.

1807 The Treaties of Tilsit were signed by Napoleon I and Alexander I.

 

1810 Napoleon annexed the Kingdom of Holland as part of the First French Empire.

1815  Charles-Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente became Prime Minister of France.

1816 Argentina declared independence from Spain.

Map of Argentina colored by Argentina's flag

1836 Henry Campbell-Bannerman, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 1908).

1850 President Zachary Taylor died and Millard Fillmore became the 13th President of the United States.

 

1863  American Civil War: the Siege of Port Hudson ended.

Siege of Port Hudson.png

1867 An unsuccessful expedition led by E.D Young sets out to search for Dr David Livingstone.

1868  The 14th Amendment to the United States Constitution was ratified guaranteeing African Americans full citizenship and all persons in the United States due process of law.

1896 William Jennings Bryan delivered his Cross of Gold speech advocating bimetalism at the 1896 Democratic National Convention.

 

1900 Queen Victoria gave royal assent to an Act creating the Commonwealth of Australia thus uniting separate colonies on the continent under one federal government.

1901 Dame Barbara Cartland, English novelist, was born (d. 2000).

1916 Sir Dean Goffin,New Zealand composer, was born (d. 1984).

 1916  Sir Edward Heath, Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was born (d. 2005).

 

1918 Great train wreck of 1918: in Nashville, Tennessee, an inbound local train collided with an outbound express killing 101 and injuring 171 people, making it the deadliest rail accident in United States history.

1918trainwreck.jpg

1922  Johnny Weissmuller swam the 100 meters freestyle in 58.6 seconds breaking the world swimming record and the ‘minute barrier’.

1925 Charles E. Wicks, Professor, co-author of Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer, was born.

1927   Ed Ames, American singer and actor, was born.

1927  Susan Cabot, American actress (d. 1986).

1929 Lee Hazlewood, American country singer, songwriter and producer, was born (d. 2007).

1932 Donald Rumsfeld, 13th & 21st United States Secretary of Defense, was born.

1932  The state of São Paulo revolted against the Brazilian Federal Government, starting the Constitutionalist Revolution.

 

1933 Oliver Sacks, British neurologist and author, was born.

1943 World War II: Operation Husky – Allied forces perform an amphibious invasion of Sicily.

 

1944 World War II: Battle of Normandy – British and Canadian forces captured Caen, France.

 

1944  World War II: Battle of Saipan – Americans took Saipan.

 

1944 – World War II: Finland won the Battle of Tali-Ihantala, Red Army withdrewsits troops from Ihantala and dug into defensive position, which ended the Vyborg–Petrozavodsk Offensive.

Tali-Ihantala.jpg

1945 Dean R. Koontz, American author, was born.

Seize the Night.jpg

1946 Bon Scott, Australian singer (AC/DC), was born.

1947 O.J. Simpson, American football player, actor, was born.

O.J. Simpson 1990 · DN-ST-91-03444 crop.JPEG

1948 Pakistan issued its first set of Postage stamps, bearing images of the Constituent Assembly, the Jinnah International Airport (Quaid-e-Azam International Airport), and the Shahi Fort.

1955 The Russell-Einstein Manifesto was released by Bertrand Russell in London.

1956 Tom Hanks, American actor, was born.

1958 Lituya Bay was hit by a mega-tsunami – a wave recorded at 524 meters high, making it the largest wave in history.

 

1959 Jim Kerr, Scottish singer (Simple Minds), was born.

1962  Starfish Prime high-altitude nuclear test conducted by the United States of America.

1962 Andy Warhol’s  Campbell’s Soup Cans exhibition opened at the Ferus Gallery in Los Angeles.

1975  The National Assembly of Senegal passed a law that paved the way for a (highly restricted) multi-party system.

1979  A car bomb destroyed a Renault motor car owned by famed “Nazi hunters” Serge and Beate Klarsfeld at their home in France. A note purportedly from ODESSA claimed responsibility.

1982 Pan Am Flight 759 crashed in Kenner, Louisiana killing all 145 people on board and eight others on the ground.

1984 York Minster was struck by a lightning bolt and the resulting fire ravaged most of the building.

 

1986 The New Zealand Parliament passed the Homosexual Law Reform Act legalising homosexuality.

Homosexual Law Reform Bill passed

1989 Two bombs exploded in Mecca, killing one pilgrim and wounding 16 others.

1991  South Africa was readmitted into the Olympic movement after 30 years of exclusion.

1995  The Navaly church bombing was carried out by the Sri Lankan Air Force killing 125 Tamil civilian refugees.

1999  Days of student protests began after Iranian police and hardliners attack eda student dormitory at the University of Tehran.

2002 The African Union was established in Addis Ababa, with the first chairman is Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa.

2006  At least 122 people were killed after a Sibir Airlines Airbus A310 passenger jet, carrying 200 passengers veered off the runway while landing in wet conditions at Irkutsk Airport in Siberia.

Sourced from NZ History Online & Wikipedia


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