Williams vs NZ First

August 29, 2014

Soon to be former-New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams is taking his party to court:

New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams is taking legal action against his party for dropping him as an electorate and list candidate for the general election.

Mr Williams who was ranked number three on the list in 2011, was removed from the list when it was published on Tuesday.

The MP says he has instructed his lawyers to file papers in the Auckland High Court seeking declarations that the New Zealand First Party breached its constitution when it determined its party list.

He believes he has been mistreated by the party and will ask for an urgent hearing following the election on 20 September. . .

He could be doing the country a favour.

Electoral law requires party to use democratic processes in their selections.

Doing what the leader wants, which is what is what most suspect NZ First’s approach, doesn’t fit the usual understanding of democratic.


Williams off NZ First list

August 26, 2014

New Zealand First MP Andrew Williams has been left off his party’s list and another MP, Asenati Lole- Taylor, at 16 is unlikely to return to parliament:

1 Rt Hon Winston Peters
2 Tracey Martin
3 Richard Prosser
4 Fletcher Tabuteau
5 Barbara Stewart
6 Clayton Mitchell
7 Denis O’Rourke
8 Pita Paraone
9 Ron Mark
10 Darroch Ball
11 Mahesh Bindra
12 Ria Bond
13 Mataroa Paroro
14 Romuald Rudzki
15 Jon Reeves
16 Asenati Lole- Taylor
17 Brent Catchpole
18 George Abraham
19 Ray Dolman
20 Hugh Barr
21 Anne Degia Pala
22 Steve Campbell
23 Edwin Perry
24 Bill Gudgeon
25 Brent Pierson

Williams’ selection three years ago was criticised but he’s largely stayed out of trouble since he’s been in parliament.

Lole- Taylor has been in the news for some very silly statements. Some are so silly people have trouble differentiating between the fake Twitter account in her name and her real one.


Mark returning to NZ First

August 19, 2014

Former New Zealand First MP Ron Mark is returning to the fold:

Former MP Ron Mark has rejoined New Zealand First, possibly at the expense of sitting MP Andrew Williams.

Mr Mark, who is the Mayor of Carterton, confirmed today that he would run for the Wairarapa seat. . .

It is understood that Mr Williams, who is currently New Zealand First list’s third-ranked MP, has fallen on a draft list to make way for Mr Mark.   . .

If he gets a winnable position of the list it could solve the party’s leadership succession problem because there is no-one currently on the list who could follow Winston Peters.


Petering out

May 25, 2014

Winston Peters has had more political lives than a cat, but Tracey Watkins thinks he, and the NZ First party which is nothing without him, are petering out:

Anyone who kids themselves that there is life after Winston Peters for NZ First only had to watch the party floundering in the absence of its leader this week.

Frantically trying to head off an attack by their former colleague, expunged NZ Firster Brendan Horan, Peters’ front bench achieved the seemingly impossible feat of making Horan look good by comparison.

They were clueless in the face of Horan’s determination to extract utu from his former party by tabling documents he claimed showed improper use of the taxpayer funded leader’s fund. . .

Not only that, they voted against Labour’s vote of no confidence and had to belatedly ask for their no votes to be counted with the ayes.

Regardless of the ins and outs of Horan’s allegations, however, one thing seems clear: Horan is hellbent on using his last remaining months in Parliament to try to take Peters and the rest of NZ First down with him.

Even if he succeeds he will only be hastening by a few years what increasingly seems inevitable.

With its leader knocking 70, NZ First is a clock that has been slowly winding down since the 1996 election delivered Peters the balance of power. . .

Since the party’s return in 2011, Parliament has been collectively holding its breath waiting for the current team to implode given some of the more eccentric selections – like former North Shore mayor Andrew Williams, notorious for urinating in a public place.

The implosion hasn’t happened yet but there have been plenty of flaky moments. Richard Prosser launched a diatribe against Muslims that prompted hundreds of complaints to the NZ First board. The party’s Pasifika MP, Asenati Lole-Taylor, famously asked questions of the police minister in Parliament about blow jobs and has carved out a cult following on Twitter for her bizarre outbursts. Her most recent was to accuse a press gallery journalist of cyber bullying after he referred to her “shooting the messenger”. Lole-Taylor thought he was alleging she had shot an actual parliamentary messenger. . . 

It’s not quite so funny when you remember we’re paying her salary.

NZ First has never been more than Peters and whichever bunch of sycophants come in on his coat tails.

When he goes the party will go with him.

Whether it’s with a bang at the coming election or a whimper as it peters out over at least one more term is up to voters.

And those who think it could be this election should read Karl du Fresne on Peters in person at a public meeting.

He needs only sway 5% of voters and there could well be enough of the deluded and disenchanted to give him at least one more chance.


Questions to members

September 19, 2012

Question time usually deals with questions from Members of Parliament to Ministers.

Today there are four from a Member to another Member:

QUESTIONS TO MEMBERS

1. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Chairperson of the Local Government and Environment Committee: When will the Local Government Act 2002 Amendment Bill be reported back to the House and approximately how many written submissions have been received on the Bill?

2. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: What is the intention of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill?

3. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: How will the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill help the Reserve Bank pursue a balanced macro-economic policy?

4. ANDREW WILLIAMS to the Rt Hon Winston Peters: Why is the Reserve Bank of New Zealand (Amending Primary Function of Bank) Amendment Bill needed now?

At least three of those could be candidates for patsy question of the day.


Maiden speeches

February 8, 2012

New Zealand First MPs Richard Prosser, Andrew Williams,  Tracey Martin, Asenati Lole-Taylor and Denis O’Rourke made their maiden speeches today.

Prosser’s is here, Williams’ here, Martin’s here Taylor’s here and O’Rourke’s here.

I don’t share their philosophy but I was interested in their stories.


Not enough or too many?

December 5, 2011

Some people are worried that not enough people voted, others worry that too many did.

I wouldn’t go so far as Lindsay Perigo who wants to protect freedom from democracy and makes a call to decretinise the vote:

. . . “When, pre-election, I saw pubescent zombies being interviewed about why they intended not to vote, I was simultaneously relieved that they wouldn’t be adding to the Labour or Green tally … and aghast that more energetic cretinswouldbe.

“I call upon the Justice and Electoral Committee to address the issue of too many airheads voting and thus boosting Labour’s and the Greens’ representation artificially. Only humans should be allowed to vote—and only humans who pass literacy tests, linguistic and political.

“Longterm, individual rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness must be enshrined as absolute in a constitution—and thus placed beyond the grasp of half-wits. Freedom must be protected from democracy.

“Disenfranchising cretins, then de-cretinising the franchise: this ought to be a priority for any new freedom party such as is now being widely mooted to emerge from the ruins of ACT,” Perigo concludes.

But when I read Kerre Woodham’s column vote for Winston and you get other NZ First members? Really? yesterday, I could understand where Perigo was coming from:

 . . . The number of people who called to say they didn’t realise that voting for Winston would mean other people would get in has been teeth-grindingly extraordinary.

“Sooooo,” I’ve been asking, “when you ticked New Zealand First as your party of choice, what did you want to happen?”

“I just wanted Winston to get in to keep the Government honest,” they reply.

“And what about the other members of New Zealand First? Did you know who was on the party list?”

“No,” they replied as one. “We just thought we’d be getting Winston.”

“I was very surprised to see Andrew Williams get in,” one exclaimed. “What’s he doing there?” she asked.

I’m sure there are New Zealand First voters who knew exactly what they were doing and what they would be getting but an alarming number think of New Zealand First as a one-man, Winston Peters band.

We’ve had MMP for 15 years and this was the seventh election to use it yet people still don’t understand how it works.

I’m loathe to add anything to an already over crowded curriculum but there is a case for civics to be taught in school.

I suspect most of those who voted for New Zealand First would be far too old to benefit from the lessons, but maybe their grandchildren or great-grandchildren would learn enough to stop them repeating the mistakes of their elders.


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