A mole has leaked to me a couple of strategy documents from Labour and Greens on the referendum they have just purchased with our money. The documents are embedded below, and they show the extent of taxpayer resources used to purchase this referendum.
CIRs are meant to be about the public being able to send a message to MPs, not MPs using taxpayer funds to relitigate an election result. Some key revelations:
It is very clear that there has been very few ordinary citizens involved in this petition – mainly a legion of taxpayer funded staff and union staff.
- They aimed for 400,000 signatures as they knew a fair proportion would be found to be invalid.
- At the 300,000 mark the Greens collected 150,000, Labour 105,000 and Unions 40,000. The Greens are the ones who used taxpayer funding to hire petition collectors.
- Labour pledged 30 hours per week staff time from their taxpayer funded budget
- Greens were using their permament taxpayer funded staff to co-ordinate
- The unions had a paid national co-ordinator
- They refer to unions gathering “car loads” of organisers and activists to travel to areas
- For their day of action, Greens said they will committ five full-time staff – presumably all taxpayer funded, if Labour does the same. That’s 10 taxpayer funded organisers.
- A list of unions to pressure to do more, including PPTA, NZEI, Nurses Organisation – minority shares in power companies of course being key education and health issues!
This seems to us to be totally outside the spirit of a Citizen Initiated Referendum, which is why we have taken to calling it a Political Party Initiated Referendum.
Obviously, there is someone within the Greens, Labour or the unions who is not happy about the manner in which this process has been undertaken, hence the leak.
It was galling yesterday to hear Russel Norman trying to claim the moral high ground on the issue of asset sales, and trying to redefine the way New Zealand's parliamentary democracy operates. It is even more galling when one considers how much taxpayer funding has gone towards this exercise in sour grapes.
At least some on the Left, such as Chris Trotter and Lew from Kiwipolitico have the honesty to acknowledge the Government's mandate on the issue of asset sales, and its right to move on the policies it took to the electorate in 2011.
Labour and the Greens however still seem to be in denial over the 2011 General Election result. It is time for them to start looking forward, instead of wasting their parliamentary allocation of taxpayer funds on issues that they have already fought - and lost.
Here are the documents leaked to DPF: