Posts by Felix Marwick

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  • Legal Beagle: $420,259.33,

    From what I was told Labour sought clarification in mid-April, 2 weeks before its donations return was due. That was when they were told by the Electoral Commission that it counted as a donation and had to be declared as such.

    Why they didn't seek that advice sooner is unclear. Tim Barnett was emphatic in his view that it was an honest mistake and there was no intent to deceive.

    Below is the full statement that the Electoral Commission gave to me after I asked them about the matter:

    The Labour Party’s 2012 donations return disclosed a bequest received by the party in 2012 that should have been disclosed to the Commission within 10 working days of its receipt.

    Section 210C of the Electoral Act 1993 requires a party secretary to file a return with the Electoral Commission in respect of every donation, or series of donations from the same donor, in the preceding 12 months, that exceeds $30,000, within 10 working days of the donation being received by the party.

    A party secretary commits an offence and is liable on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding $40,000 who fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with section 210C.

    The Commission has enquired into this breach of the Electoral Act.

    The Labour Party explained the donation was the first bequest received by the Labour Party for some years and the party secretary and his predecessor, under whose charge the bequest was received, were not aware until the party sought advice from the Commission on 19 April 2013 that a bequest is treated as a donation for the purposes of the Electoral Act.

    The party has advised it has since changed its financial processes to provide for the management of bequests and has filed a section 210C return for a party donation exceeding $30,000.

    The Commission does not intend to take any further action in this matter.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't,

    I think part of the angst/hostility on the part of cyclists is largely due to the fact that if there is an accident they either die or get seriously hurt. From personal experience I can say that having regular near misses on the commute does raise the blood pressure toa certain degree.

    If they were infrequent it wouldn’t be so bad. But if you commute by bike you quickly discover near misses are far more common than you’d expect, or like.

    The video below is just a sample of what I’ve experienced over the past 6 months.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Moz,

    I get it now. You're referring to your Australian experiences. I'm happy to say the police here (or at least the ones I've dealt with) have been very helpful.

    My score so far, since commuting with a camera for the past seven months, is one driver done for failing to give way (careless driving) and one for careless driving causing injury.

    Admitedly in the 2nd case I had 3 eyewitnesses that all but rendered the video evidence unnecessary.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Moz,

    camera footage will generally be regarded as irrelevant, even after your death. Definitely not evidence that could be used to prosecute, but commonly not even as a means to substantiate your complaint.

    I haven't found that to be the case at all. In fact I've used it twice successfully

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to Kiwiiano,

    No worries the helmet was replaced. And as for neurosurgeons, well should they ever need to shave my head it won't require a lot of effort. Male baldness has sorted that one out for them in advance.

    FWIW I've had two heavy bike crashes over the years. The one where I wasn't wearing a helmet resulted in a hefty concussion and me losing complete track of about 2 hours of my life. The one where I was wearing a helmet I was able to get myself off the road and out of harms way, albeit with an arm that was slightly worse for wear. From my own personal experience I favour wearing a helmet.

    As for hi-vis gear I ride with it, though I'm unsure as to how effective it is. I can't say I've noticed it having an effect on the number of near misses I have (as a rule at least 2 a week). I ride with four lights, two front, two rear, a reflective sash on my bag, a flourescent flashed jacket, and I've even put additional reflective tape on my bikes for added security at nights.

    And shit like this still happens. (excuse the language)

    Hell, you can be lit up like a Xmas tree and visible to the astronauts on the international space station and someone will still come within a whisker of killing you.

    Having said that it's not all bad drivers. on the way to work today I saw a mtbiker going down the centreline overtaking traffic past the Wgtn Botanic Gardens. While there was oncoming traffic

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: When "common sense" isn't, in reply to BlairMacca,

    Trust me Blair you'll appreciate wearing one if you hit the road. I had an off last December. At the time I didn't think my head hit the road that hard. However, when I checked the helmet 6 weeks later I got a hell of a a surprise to find a whacking great crack right through it.

    I shudder to think what might have happened if I hadn't been wearing my lid.

    Oh and I was wearing hi-vis when the above happened

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Calling the race before it's over, in reply to Paul Williams,

    Not quite, upthread I thought I read from Stephen at least (possibly Felix too) that Carmel Sepuloni and Andrew Little acknowledged the obvious.

    Phil Goff, David Parker, Damien O'Connor, Jacinda Ardern, Kris Faafoi, and Ian Lees Galloway also referenced it publicly as well. I've had on the record quotes from all of them

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Calling the race before it's over,

    I'd have to say there was some chaos around the remits on the leadership selection. There was a distinct period on Saturday afternoon where few people appeared completely aware of exactly what was being voted on and how it affected votes previously taken.

    There was at least one occasion where someone stood up and asked ';what are we voting for?" There was another where two people, who were both arguing for exactly the same point (albeit in different ways) actually voted against each other.

    I sought clarification from three separate senior party members on the implications of the amendments passed - just to be sure my understanding was correct. I got three different, and contradictory, answers.

    There was certainly a groundswell from members for more say, and this did add to the passion of the debate. (That's to be expected as they've pretty much been kept at arms length in the recent past.) However to think this wasn't affected by factional politics within the party is (IMHO) a little naive. The passing of the remit for the 40% trigger was significant, and so too were some of the people that spoke in support of it and against it. In a sense it outlined what's been going on in caucus for some time.

    And it was more than just democratic debate. I think Carmel Sepuloni's statement that she thought some MPs made the wrong decision in the leadership vote last year showed the discussion went beyond constitutional reform and directly into leadership views.

    Andrew Little also directly referenced the leadership issue in the remit debate, albeit with a different view to that of Carmel Sepuloni.

    As for the focus on Cunliffe. There are only so many interpretations that can be put on his recent actions. He could easily have shut down the leadership issue at any time over the weekend. He chose not to.

    I know some in the Labour Party are upset the media focussed on the leadership issue over the other reforms. However the issue was started by those in the party, not us. A leadership spill has to be reporter and we weren't the ones that timed it so that it coincided with the party conference. Responsibility for that lies elsewhere.

    For the record I did write (and tweet) about other events at the conference. Though I'm not sure anyone paid them much attention.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: "Because we can",

    this is lifted from the q & a section of the Minister’s press release released on Monday. It may, or may not, assist the discussion.

    As at the end of August this year there were around 319,000 people or 11.6 per cent of working-age New Zealanders on benefits. More than 161,000 people have received a benefit for at least half of the last 10 years and 139,000 have spent more than a decade on benefit since 1993.

    edit – oops, I should have read the complete thread as I see this has already been posted. Apologies.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Tired and emotional, for reals,

    As I said earlier I’m all for fair use and linking. Dissemination and sharing of news is a good thing. I have nothing against that. Ripping off the work of others is just a bit damn cheeky as far as I’m concerned. Bloggers, quite rightly, hate it when reporters rip off their material without attribution. Reporters feel the same way when it happens to them.

    I guess it all comes down to who you think drives the agenda in the stronger way. Do political bloggers use news sources to fuel their work? Do reporters rely on blogs in the same way? Admittedly I might be biased here but I think things are more weighted towards the former rather than to the latter.

    As far as the cease and desist approach is concerned I’m not convinced that it would work. The costs involved would probably be prohibitive. I believe though that the Herald did raise the issue a few years back. As I recall it created somewhat of a stir in the blogging community.

    As for my use of Twitter, well there are a couple of drivers behind it.It humanises the reporter, it makes you more than just a byline and delivers a form of accountability to your audience.

    It’s a good way to keep a running brief on political happenings. There are a lot of political animals out there and if I can give them info of interest then Twitter’s a good avenue to provide that. After all not all the stories I write make it into the bulletins or onto the website. The other reason that I use it is because it’s a good way to interact with people who read my stories/read my tweets. It’s a great medium to provide answers to questions people may have on stories I’m covering. As a rule of thumb I avoid the rabid partisan approaches, but I do try to give answers to genuine questions if I can.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

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