Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Spending our money

Over at Kiwiblog, DPF blogs:

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:
  • 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!
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.

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:


BEH said...

Boo, effing, hoo!

Grant McKenna said...

So- does this mean that calling this a Citizen's Initiated Referendum in Parliament is a lie?

Keeping Stock said...

At the very least Grant, it raises issues as to whether Labour and the Greens have misled both the House, and Parliamentary Services.

BFH said...

Boo hoo hooo hoo hoo!
Tewwibly unjust for you Tawies!

Kent Brockman said...

This just in.......
The left wastes taxpayer monies, Pope found to be Catholic, what looks like a dog confirmed is a dog.

Keeping Stock said...

And if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and waddles like a duck, it's probably....a duck.

bsprout said...

Now let me get this right!

It's OK for the Government to spend $26 million dollars of tax payer money on promoting and setting up the assets for sale ($1 million dollars on the latest advertising)?

It's not alright to spend a few thousand dollars on ensuring that all voting New Zealanders have a say on whether they want the assets sold or not?

We have had constant reports on the Government and its Ministers and Ministries activities that have shown appalling process (ACC, Housing NZ, Christchurch Schools, Parata, Sky City, Warner Bros...) and yet you have the gall to suggest it is a scandal that Labour and the Greens spent money to support a democratic process.

The Government is spending millions to influence thinking around a flawed decision while the Greens spent money to ensure people could vote either way.

A real case of fraud or deception (I think this is what you were implying) was when John Banks was allowed to stay in parliament to maintain the Government's one seat majority and the only mandate that they have to sell the assets in the first place. There were more votes for parties that opposed the sales.

Keeping Stock said...

Apart from the fact that we spent millions of dollars on an election which the Leader of the Opposition said was a referendum on asset sales, the Government is entitled to make an appropriation to implement its policies bsprout.

As for your "we got more votes than you" argument, did you vote for MMP? After all, the convention in an MMP environment is that the party that receives the most votes gets the first bite at forming a government. Your party pushed incredibly hard for the retention of MMP bsprout, so don't complain when the vagaries of our MMP democracy aren't to your satisfaction.

Anonymous said...

Yes the NP led government did get the mandate for asset sales last election ……………….. but did they get the mandate for 'gay' marriage? I'd like to hear from the watermelons and the socialists (and bs prout and BFH) why they are not so worked up about NZ'ers having a say on whether they want the gay marriage bill or not. Selective indignation about NZ'ers rights shows the hipocracy of what you are demanding.

bsprout said...

KS, the sale of state assets has been extremely controversial and most polls have shown around 80% opposition. I don't believe that an elected Government should be able to thumb their nose at the country and do as they like for three years.

According to Abe Lincoln a democracy is government "of the people, by the people, for the people" and the way National enthusiastically bailed out Wanganui Collegiate while closing Christchurch schools means that they have swapped "people" with "wealthy".

Becks Norbol said...

A million-plus dollars spent on flogging the Mighty River sale to the public of New Zealand but that's alright, eh KS, because it's your team that's doing it!
No worries, million bucks, John's got a lovely smile.


Nookin said...


It seems that you may have just returned from some interplanetary adventure. While you were away, there was an earthquake in Christchurch and there was actually a lot of damage. So much so that school communities are no longer the same and some areas are no longer fit for habitation. I know that this will come as a very significant surprise to you but in these circumstances, there needs to be a degree of reorganisation and somebody has to take a lead.

You also probably missed the bit about the government also building a number of new schools in Canterbury.

Then again, maybe you did not miss that but you deliberately decided that it was irrelevant because it did not fit in with your own fallacious storyline.

bsprout said...

Nookin, i have no problem with schools closing in Christchurch as long as the same process and criteria are used elsewhere, when it obviously isn't.

This Government claims that Maori and Pasifika children are their priority but gave $35 million to private schools when they first took office and then bailed out Wanganui Collegiate by $3.9 million. This support went against advice and represented $9,000 per student and will cost the taxpayer $3 million a year from now on. is this equitable?

Struggling children have not received the same support and there was even an attempt to close one kura in Christchurch and combine it with another when there was no roll change and no justification to do so. Rich kids get support, Maori kids get shafted!

The Ombudsman was appalled by the process applied in Christchurch.

Anonymous said...

The primary reason I voted National was to support the asset sales proposals. National received a mandate to do so, and now, despite whining from maoris re water, and the Left's apparently unsupportable opposition to it, I just want the deals done. The term "assets" seems to be readily applied without recourse to distinguishing them from liabilities.


Bill Tumbleweed said...

Cactus Kate advises:

" Right now a principled right winger should vote for Matt McCarten over Bill English or Peter Dunne.

Bill English still wishes to die in a ditch. He has been backed into a corner.

"We put the proposition forward on the basis of fairness between all those people who pay for their car parks and those who have car parks provided," he told reporters.

The problem is his Boss promised no new taxes.

There is no fairness in car parking. Just like Bill diddled his housing allowance. No fairness."

Good advice, Kate.

Keeping Stock said...

Go away Guyton. You know that you are not welcome here.