About trusts

March 4, 2014

It took a while but David Cunliffe has realised, or been persuaded, that he should come clean about the donations to a trust which funded his leadership campaign:

Labour leader David Cunliffe has come clean about the trust set up to handle his donations during the leadership contest last year, naming three donors but saying two others were not willing to be named so their donations would be returned.

Mr Cunliffe has also said that using the trust for the campaign was a lapse in judgement.

He said the three donors willing to be named were Selwyn Pellett, Perry Keenan and Tony Gibbs, who gave a combined total of $9,500. Mr Pellett, a businessman, is a longstanding Labour supporter who has donated to the party and Mr Cunliffe in the past. . .

He said other donors had given a total of $8,300 but were not willing to be named. “That is their legal right. I respect their decision and can’t control it. In their case, the trust will be returning their donations to them.” He said he did not know who those donors were, or whether they were individuals or corporates.

Mr Cunliffe said it was an error of judgement to use the trust. It had meant he did not have to disclose donations in the Register of Pecuniary Interests.

“I don’t think in hindsight that a trust structure fully represented the values I would like to bring to this leadership. Decisions that were made to set up the trust could have been better. I have learned form that and am now making sure I do whatever I can to ensure transparency.”

He said if returning those donations left any shortfall in his campaign funding, he would cover the amount out of his own pocket. He estimated his campaign cost about $20,000. . .

No Right Turn doesn’t buy this:

. . . Which is just sociopathic “sorry I got caught” bullshit. The thing about values is that you live them, and they’re instinctive. Cunliffe’s aren’t. When faced with a choice between transparency and corruption-enabling secrecy, he chose the latter, and then tried to cling to that choice when it was questioned. These are not the actions of an ethical man who believes in open politics – they are the actions of someone trying to get away with something they know is wrong. And actions like this are yet another example of why the New Zealand public thinks all politicians are liars, cheats and scoundrels. . .

The best of people make mistakes, but ethical people do live by their values and this is the third gaffe in three months:

The slip over the baby bonus, by failing to disclose in his speech that it would not be paid on top of parental leave, took much of the wind out of his January sails.

It also deflected attention from a $500 million spending pledge that Labour had hoped would set the agenda.

No sooner was the House back in February than the $2.5m property-owning man was attacking Prime Minister John Key for living in a leafy suburb and defining his own mansion as a doer-upper and his own situation as middle of the road.

The climb-down came at the weekend.

This morning he has admitted it had been wrong to set up a trust for donations to his leadership bid. (If the cost was about $20,000 for his leadership campaign, why seek donations at all?) . . .

Every election is about trust but Cunliffe has also made it about trusts.

He was foist upon the caucus by the unions and party and he’s surrounded by people whose will to return to government is in strong conflict with their wish for another leader.

With every slip he makes, that wish will intensify.

P.S. Liberation has top tweets on the trust which include:

Rob Hosking ‏@robhosking  

Meanwhile, in Matt McCarten’s office …..http://stream1.gifsoup.com/view5/2320932/blackadder-headdesk-

 Graeme Edgeler ‏@GraemeEdgeler  

How can you return the money if you don’t know who the donors were?

Vernon Small ‏@VernonSmall  

Respectfully suggest if your household income is north of $500,000 and a leadership contest costs $20,000 …. pay for it yourself.

Toby Manhire ‏@toby_etc  

Of Trusts Regretted and Accounts Forgotten: a short history of NZ Labour leadership since 2012.


Matthew Hooton ‏@MatthewHootonNZ  

Congrats to @GregPresland for getting Tony Gibbs,@SelwynPellett, Perry Keenan etc to donate to trust w/out @DavidCunliffeMP knowing about it


michael fletcher ‏@fletchermj  

@nzdodo You can have an election Trust or the electors’ trust – but not both


Jolisa Gracewood ‏@nzdodo  

And now we’re all saying “trust” like it’s a bad thing. #newspeak

Marcus Cook ‏@MarcusDCook  

Would Cunliffe be happy if the Rena’s owners paid the entire amount anonymously through a trust?


Michael Woodhouse MP ‏@WoodhouseMP  

Mr Cunliffe and the word trust in the same news article. Not in quite the way he was hoping…

Nick Cross ‏@NW_Cross  

“I didn’t know the money came from Dotcom – Cunliffe” – Predicted headline ~6 weeks from now


David Farrar ‏@dpfdpf  

Trying to decide who is happier over the Cunliffe secret trust for his donations story – @grantrobertson1 or @matuashane or @johnkeypm


One law for their mates

July 28, 2012

You’d think no  party would want to be seen to be opposing the Lobbying Disclosure Bill which is a move to greater transparency.

But Labour has some difficulty with the concept – it wants to exclude its mates:

4A Definition of organisation
  • (1) In this Act, organisation includes—

    • (a) a business, trade, industry, or professional organisation whose purposes include the advancement of commercial interests:
    • (b) a chamber of commerce or board of trade:
    • (c) a company, partnership, trust, association, or society:
    • (d) a group whose purposes include the advancement of commercial interests.

    (2) For the avoidance of doubt, in this Act, organisation excludes—

    • (a) a group of persons acting together to pursue objects of a national, patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, scientific, artistic, social, professional, or sporting character, or other similar objects:
    • (b) a trade union or labour organisation, or a group of any such entities.

Which bit of transparency does Labour not understand?

What makes people lobbying for national, patriotic, religious, philanthropic, charitable, scientific, artistic, social, professional, or sporting character, or other similar objects any better or worse than those lobbying for commercial purposes?

And why should trade unions or labour organisations be exempt from disclosure?

If  Labour wants to give unions special rights and powers  inside the party that is their business. But there is absolutely no reason why such organisations should be treated any differently from any other lobbyists in parliament.

Hat Tip: No Right Turn

NZ’s Best Blog Award goes to . . .

June 10, 2010

The very worthy winner of the Air NZ Best Blog Award is: Cactus Kate.

Cactus Kate (http://asianinvasion2006.blogspot.com) has won the New Zealand Bloggers’ Union’s inaugural Air New Zealand** Best Blog Award Dim Post .http://dimpost.wordpress.com) was runner up and No Right Turn (http://norightturn.blogspot.com) and Whaleoil (http://whaleoil.gotcha.co.nz) were awarded joint third place.http://hot-topic.co.nz); In A Strange Land (http://inastrangeland.wordpress.com); Kiwianarama (http://www.kiwianarama.co.nz); Liberation (http://liberation.typepad.com); and Not PC (http://pc.blogspot.com).

The union launched the awards after another media awards competition, sponsored by a foreign budget airline that uses decrepit Boeing 767s for its Trans-Tasman services and doesn’t even have proper lie-flat beds in Business Class, failed to follow its own criteria in selecting its short list. . . .

. . . In awarding the Supreme Award to Cactus Kate, the judges described the blog as: “Intelligent, persuasive and influential, with the sort of investigative journalism Metro should be publishing. This is a blog which has contributed to changes in the administration of some of New Zealand’s most important regulatory bodies, as well as providing a healthy degree of humour.”

In awarding the Runner Up Award to Dim Post, the judges described the blog as: “Genuinely world-class political satire on matters both weighty and absurd, delivered almost every day. While clearly demonstrating a centre-left perspective, the writer also has the ability to surprise with unpredictable ideas.”

The judges said they struggled most with the choice between No Right Turn and Whaleoil for third place.

Commenting on Whaleoil, the judges said: “While the writer’s vitriol can be distasteful and his spelling and grammar sometimes leaves much to be desired, Whaleoil is the ultimate right wing blogger, delivering scorching critiques of current issues every day, and undoubtedly influencing real political events.”

Commenting on No Right Turn, the judges said: “While there is some doubt about the degree to which the blog has influenced real events and the lack of a comments option could be seen as against the spirit of blogging, No Right Turn provides extremely well researched and well-written contributions – with a decent dose of hard-left anger – on a very wide range of political, social, constitutional and human rights issues.”

The judges recommended that Whaleoil consider investing in a more advanced spell and grammar check program and that No Right Turn consider opening up his site to community discussion.

Congratulations to the winners, placegetters and NZ Bloggers Union which took the suggestion of better blog awards and made it happen, with panache and humour.

And well done Air NZ on not being upset by having its name and CEO associated with the wards without their knowledge.

The judges comments on all 30 nominees are worth a read too in spite of – or some might say because of –  the comments about this blog.

Making the news

January 18, 2010

Good journalists are supposed to report the news not make it.

This has escaped Australia’s Channel 9 which was disappointed by the handful of people who turned out to see Prince William arrive.

A reporter from Channel Nine’s Today show was asked by her bosses to find some fans holding signs.

When she couldn’t, the reporter says she was told by the studio in Sydney to “make some up herself”.

The Channel Nine reporter wrote signs in pen saying “I love William” and gave them to a small group of women.

The reporter then did a live cross in front of the signs but did not mention they were her own creation.

The reporter told the ABC it was a “light hearted running joke on breakfast television” and the signs will not be on the news tonight.

Had the reporter been on the ball she’d have realised the real news story is that royal visits don’t really rate with the public any more which is a symptom of the slow but inevitable move towards a republic.

Journalists following the prince seem to be a lot more excited than the locals:

“It’s low-key to say the least,” said Hello! reporter Judy Wade, a longtime royal watcher who has followed Prince William since the day he was born.

“Compared to people back home, those here really don’t seem that interested at all.

“As one Kiwi I spoke to put it: I think they’d rather spend a nice day like this at the beach.”


But while the lack of interest might be a symptom of a move towards a republic, No Right Turn thinks it might also be a hand brake because too few people care enough to agitate for change:

The British royal-watchers call this “a distinct pro-republican feeling”, but its more that we just don’t give a damn – the monarchy is simply utterly irrelevant to our lives. Though from a republican view, that irrelevance is a two-edged sword; not giving a damn also tends to mean not giving a damn about getting rid of them. Hence the slow drift to republicanism; no-one cares about them, but no-one cares enough to finally sign the paperwork to get them out of our lives either…

I think a republic is inevitable,  I’m generally supportive of that in theory and have no problem with people not turning out in droves to meet the Prince. But I am not impressed by those who plan to protest at the opening of the Supreme Court building today.

I won’t second Alf Grumble’s desire to behead anti-royalists but I think the anti royal protest, and another by Justice staff who want a pay increase, are merely displaying bad manners and a desire for publicity.

Though at least this time the crowd will probably bring their own placards  which will save the reporters from having to make some themselves.

Hat Tip: NBR

Blogger on blogs on radio again

September 1, 2009

Denis Welch is discussing blogs on Nine to Noon  again.

He started discussing the Tumeke rankings and mentioned some of the top 10, but sadly Dim Post who wasn’t mentioned last week, wasn’t mentioned this week either.

Welch reckoned No Right Turn is the best blog and also paid tribute to Poneke.

Putting us in our place

June 9, 2009

Scrubone has posted his first draft putting us in our place on the political spectrum.

Of the eight bloggers categorised one is authoritorian left, two are authoritorian right and the rest are liberal right.

Contrast that with No Right Turn’s graphing the NZ blogosphere in 2003 – one left and one right authoritarian; 13 liberal right one liberal centre and 26 authoritarian   liberal left.

I recognise only a handful of those 2003 blogs, one of those is Big News who was liberal left then and is now authoritarian left.

The money or the holiday

March 25, 2009

Some of our staff take all the holidays owing to them and more; we have to insist others take all they’re entitled to.

Those who take extra time off won’t be affected by the proposal to allow workers to choose the fourth week’s holiday or an extra week’s pay; those who aren’t keen to take what they’re eligible for will happily take the money instead of  packing a bag for a  fourth week off.

Four weeks holiday plus 11 statutory days off adds up to six working weeks plus a day off work in a year. Not everyone wants that much so now they’ll have a choice of taking the money instead.

The existing policy gives workers a vacation which many turn into a staycation, because they can’t afford to go away. National’s policy will enable them to choose a paycation instead.

It’s each worker’s choice, and if blogs are anything to go by this is clearly understood by those on the right but not on the left.

Kiwiblog approves the move and notes the fear and ignorance from opponents. 

Keeping Stock  agrees with the Herald editorial.

Oswald Bastable will be happy to take the cash and use it for his annual holiday.

Whaleoil is please the government will let employees buy back holidays.

The Visible Hand in Economics thinks it’s an excellent policy, thinks the Greens have got it wrong and has a more detailed discussion.

Monkeywithtypewriter may not consider himself politically right but he’s right on this when he says four weeks entitlement, pull the other one.

Meanwhile the sky is falling on the left where:

Bomber at Tumeke! doesn’t understand that the four week’s entitlement doesn’t kick in until a year has been worked so has nothing to do with the 90 day trial period.

No Right Turn takes a very jaundiced view  of employers.

And The Standard is doesn’t believe in good faith.

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