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Labour formally lays complaint with Police calling for urgent Inquiry into Collins allegations; Winston says full Inquiry a bottom line; Mana-Internet squabble

Labour formally lays complaint with Police calling for urgent Inquiry into Collins allegations; Winston says full Inquiry a bottom line; Mana-Internet squabble

By Bernard Hickey

With less than three weeks to go until the September 20 election, here's my daily round-up of political news on Tuesday September 2, including Labour Deputy Leader David Parker's formal laying of a complaint with Police calling for an urgent inquiry into allegations against Judith Collins that she perverted the course of justice.

Prime Minister John Key released some of the details of a ministerial inquiry early on Tuesday afternoon.

He said the independent inquiry by a retired judge or QC would investigage "allegations that Ms Collins undermined the then Director of the Serious Fraud Office, Adam Feeley, during her time as Minister of Police with responsibility for the Serious Fraud Office."

He said he expected the inquiry would take some weeks to complete its work and would be likely to report back after the election.

"The matters to be investigated in relation to Ms Collins are serious, and I believe it is important the inquiry have sufficient time to conduct a thorough review of those matters before reporting back," he said, adding the terms of reference would be discussed with the person running it before it was finalised and announced "in the coming days."

Key's office said the Inquiry would be held under the Inquiries Act 2013 and would have the same powers as a Royal Commission of Inquiry or a Public Inquiry, "including powers to obtain information from any person, order disclosure of evidence to a person participating in the inquiry, take evidence on oath or affirmation, and summon witnesses."

The difference is that a Royal Commision is appointed by the Governor-General (on the advice of Ministers) and reports to the Governor-General and its report must be presented to the House of Representatives.  A Government Inquiry is appointed by and reports to one or more Ministers. Any such Inquiry may be postponed or suspended if a Police inquiry is launched and continuing it would prejudice the Police inquiry.

Labour lays complaint

Parker, who is Labour's Shadow Attorney General, sent a letter to Police Commissioner Mike Bush on Monday titled: "Conspiring to defeat the Course of Justice and other matters"

"You will be aware of allegations against the former Minister of Justice Hon Judith Collins, Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham and others concerning: Undermining of the Serious Fraud Office, Undermining of the Financial Markets Authority, Undermining of the head of the SFO, Intimidation of witnesses, including Mr Gapes, in relation to the SFO and FMA investigation into the affairs of the Hanover Group of companies and their directors," Parker said in the letter.

"You will also be aware of allegations against the former Minister of Justice, Cameron Slater, and others concerning: Use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to incite threats In respect of the Minister, the corrupt use of personal information regarding Simon Pleasants to obtain an advantage (section 105A of the Crimes Act) and use of that information (section 105B of the Crimes Act)," Parker said.

"You will also be aware of allegations against Jason Ede, Cameron Slater, Aaron Bhatnagar, and others concerning: accessing the Labour Party computer system in breach of section 249 and 252 of the Crimes Act  The use of dynamic (ie changing) email and computer addresses to avoid detection," he said. 

"These are serious matters that go to the heart of administration of justice in New Zealand and public confidence in democracy and the rule of law. would ask that you urgently investigate these matters. I am concerned that there is evidence, including computer records that urgently need to be secured and preserved. In making this request, I am aware that you exercise your role independently, and that these decisions are yours to make."

Full Inquiry a bottom line

Meanwhile, New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters told Morning Report a full Royal Commission of Inquiry into 'Dirty Politics' would be a bottom line in any government-forming negotiations.

"It doesn't matter what parties we are talking to after the election on this matter we want a proper respectable Commission of Inquiry, with the appropriate commissioner and the appropriate terms of reference - and that is a bottom line," Peters said.

"An inquiry should get at the truth and the personnel and the terms of reference are critical for that to happen. Anything short of that will be deeply condemned by the public because the truth will have been denied them," he said.

John Key yesterday ruled out a full Royal Commission of Inquiry yesterday and said any Government inquiry would be focused on the actions of Judith Collins in relation to her then SFO Director Adam Feeley, and nothing more. However, he said anyone wanting to lay a complaint with the Police was welcome to do so.

Green plan for NZ$18/hr minimum wage

Elsewhere, in policy news, the Green Party announced it would lift the minimum wage to NZ$18 an hour by 2017 and introduce a Living Wage (currently around NZ$18.80/hr) for core Government workers.

It would also legislate to create a minimum four weeks pay for redundancies and require companies to report on the gap between the top an bottom pay rates in their companies.

It released its full policy on work, including lifting the minimum wage to NZ$15/hour by December 2014 from NZ$14.25/hour now. It would then increase it by NZ$1 an hour each April 1 until it reached NZ$18 an hour by 2017.

“Under National, wages are not enough for many workers and their families to cover the basics and they are not enough to raise kids out of poverty,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“In contrast to National the Green Party is committed to make work pay, and to be a real pathway out of poverty. Our minimum wage policy will raise pay packets for half a million New Zealanders in our first term. 

The Green Party also pledged to allocate NZ$70 million a year to amend abatement rates to Working for Families so parents who work could keep more of what they earn.

Green forecast the higher minimum wage would increase tax revenues by NZ$1.949 billion over the next four years, but would cost the Government NZ$1.107 billion over four years in higher wage costs. The living wage change would cost NZ$70 million extra over the four years. This would create a net benefit for the Government of NZ$762 million in total over the four year forecast period.

Labour's policy is to increase the minimum wage by NZ$2/hour to NZ$16.25/hour within its first year in Government, before eventually returning the minimum wage to two thirds of the average wage by the end of its second term.

Key vs Hooton

Yesterday, Prime Minister John Key also rejected as "absolutely not true" suggestions from National Party-aligned PR man Matthew Hooton in his Radio NZ Nine to Noon commentary slot that the PM's office interfered with Hooten's firm trying to do work for CERA, in breach of the State Sector Act.

"They're absolutely nonsense," Key said, adding he had checked with his chief of staff Wayne Eagleson. Hooton has previously called for Eagleson's sacking. Key went on to say he didn't want to go into "what Matthew is going through."

Hooton issued a statement in response: "I am very disappointed the prime minister has chosen not to get himself properly briefed on this matter before making disparaging comments about me to the parliamentary press gallery," he said.

Hooton later said on Twitter that he believed Key's press conference comment was a reference to his recent decision to quit drinking, which he had mentioned on his Facebook page.

Collins messaging Slater

The Herald reported on an online conversation between Judith Collins and Cameron Slater in 2011 about the Urewera raids and whether a Police video might be leaked to Slater. The conversation is not directly incriminating for Collins and she denied over Twitter ever having such a conversation with Slater on Facebook. She said it was forgery and she would lay a Police complaint.

Meanwhile, Mana candidate Georgina Beyer was reported by TV3 as criticising Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom 's motives and Mana Leader Hone Harawira 's control of Mana.

"His reason for becoming involved in New Zealand politics in the way he has is one of retribution against people who he feels have slighted him," Beyer said of Doctcom.

"When I start seeing the leader starting to forfeit some of his long-held beliefs for the sake of political expediency I begin to worry," she said of Harawira.

One Maori MP

Maori TV reported a poll showing Te Ururoa Flavell was likely to win Waiariki for Maori, given he had 50% support, while Mana's Annette Sykes was on 21% and Labour's Rawiri Waititi was on 17%.

(Updated with Green policy of lifting minimum wage to NZ$18/hour by 2017, more detail from Key on the Inquiry into Collins' interactions with Feeley)

I'll update this regularly through the day.

See all my previous election diaries here.

See the index for's special election policy comparison pages here.

We welcome your comments below. If you are not already registered, please register to comment.

Remember we welcome robust, respectful and insightful debate. We don't welcome abusive or defamatory comments and will de-register those repeatedly making such comments. Our current comment policy is here.


FYI Updated with Green plan to lift minimum wage to NZ$18/hour by 2017.

Bernard , you missed Sue Bradford's comments that the double murder in Ashburton yesterday was a result of the " brutal policies " of the " office " ( National government ) ....
.... just when we thought she couldn't sink any lower .... Ouch !

Actually I think it has more to do with failure/neglect of our mental health system. I suspect there are many a mental health ticking time bomb (this individual having been tresspassed from WINZ was obviously considered to be one by them) for which there is no where for them to be referred to.

Agree 110%.
As a superannuant who has never been charged with anything worse than parking and speeding offences I have visited the Ashburton and Blenhiem WINZ offices.
Both times the experience was not as I would have expected. 

Quite intriguing that you have linked deficiencies in mental health to Sue Bradford :-P

I read it as Collins said it was a forgery and she might (not would) lay a complaint.  

"Ms Collins said she had "no record" of "Facebook conversations" after the Herald sent her material supplied by Rawshark. "I believe you have forged documents. You are likely to have been taken in by a criminal. I am now considering lodging a complaint to police regarding what I believe to be forgeries."
When asked why she referred to Facebook when the Herald never said where the transcripts came from, she said..."

The Gold Cardies are gonna luv the minimum wage uplift, as their boat rises when the average wage tide comes in.....wonder if the Big Brains behind the Greens' financial astrology section have spotted That conjunction?

More likely have the Golden oldies figured that one, hopefully not to subtle.

Well if the Greens get in I'm considering leaving the Country....along with many others!!!

Wow I may vote green so I can wave you off.
"many" oh like the handful of libertarians? off to chile to await the collapse of NZ like the american libertarians are?
sounds like heaven.

Good Steven you vote for the Greens.....and I'll remember that when I sell my assets off to an offshore investor.
What many people are not realisng is that most NZ'ers have stayed in NZ under National......does that not send a message to you? National might not always get it right but they certainly have to be seen as the best of the worse........
Being labelled a Libertarian is actually good at least I know I am a free and independent thinker untarnished from the perpetuating Political, State and Educational fed propaganda machines.
Government and Economics need to be split.....and until this happens then you and any person supporting this contolled system are holding all the people hostage!!
The role of Government was clearly identified in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and not one political party adheres to all the Articles within the Declaration.

The reason people havn't been leaving New Zealand has very little to do with the current government.  It has simply been a reflection of the world economy.  From 2008 onwards the UK US and europe have been in crises.   The usual OE has been made more difficult as there are far less jobs avaiable.  Even the "uneducated OE" to the mines in Western Australia is unavailable.  
As for yourself where exaclty do you plan on going?  Somewhere with less tax? no capital gains tax?  Good luck with that.  

Looks like a good portion of the population are still permanently decamping's just offset by arrivals.
NZ has to be business friendly......our neighbours in Australia recognise that it is business that creates jobs while in NZ far too many people think it is the Government that creates jobs.......Aussies tend to protect the right to work through business whereas in NZ the right to work is through for  me it has more to do with attitude, hence the consideration given to relocation. Issues like CGT is just another notch in the belt of becoming a Government controlled communist country......whereby the Govt has control of what, whom, why, how and where everything should go.
I am disgusted at the good business opportunities that have been declined in NZ....opportunies that would employ people, lift people from the lower income brackets, bring more tourists here,......I can't change people's entrenched beliefs that some kind of disaster is lurking around every corner hence the people's desire for Big brother putting up numerous obstacles.....hence my best vote is the one I do with my passport.

excellent, goodbye.

I'm sadden that some of the most impressive business got shafted by the high NZD, like that laser-electronics firm in Auckland.   Really promising high tech business but undercut by foreign currency pressure.

You know what I love about the idiots that generally make that comment you've just made Peak, in almost the next breath they give no credit to the NZ Govt for the economic performance here - they almost make out its an accident and not something a Govt has influenced.  And then what's even more stupid, believe it or not, in the very next breath after they've just said that they say what a wonderful job the opposition will do as the next Govt in trying to do exactly that.

Tell you what Grant - subtract the effect of the Christchurch rebuild from NZ economy for the past few years (or are you claiming the earthquake was National policy?). Then subtract the boost of the last few years of the dairy boom (a function of principally Chinese demand surging (rather briefly it seems, if the recent dairy price falls continue) - also nothing to do with the government). Then come back and tell us what exactly National deserve credit for - a) an earthquake rebuild (only economists could imagine that rebuilding a city actually represents an increase in GDP - hell why dont we blow up a city every year and rebuild it the next, we would have the most rapidly rising GDP in the world)? or b) a one off surge in demand for a commodity from an overseas market? c) or both a) and b)?

King - the earthquake is  a zero sum game at the very least. Yes it's been a positive for growth in the last couple of years but it was a huge negative for growth for the first part of the period, a negative that National had to cope with which the whiners conveniently forget - one of the multitude of challenges that the Govt had to cope with.  With regards dairy, it's been more general across most of Agri, but then one of the reasons that the country has been able to take advantage of it is that over their two terms the Govt has been single mindedly focused upon facilitating whatever it took to ensure NZ farmers could boost production i.e. The exact opposite to what Labour's coalition partner the Greens indicate that they will do when in power.

No problems you selling to anyone you feel its OK to. Of course with the Green's in a foreign investor might just not want to buy.
In terms of a "message" ie ppl staying, well all else being equal. 
So under Labour we had an Australian mining boom, I know quite a few ppl who left NZ to earn very good money in semi-skilled work that they could never do here. 
Under National we saw a GFC which dried up some of those jobs as the chinese slowed down buying iron ore. Ditto NZers working and going abroad.
Both these events are nothing to do with National being in Government.
In fact this piece has quite a good overview of the meny factors,
"The income gap between New Zealand and Australia was highest in lower skilled jobs"
So some of the so called poor are prepared to move to get work, rather than lay about on beaches claiming benefits. So much for right wing propaganda, maybe its more lack of opportunity.
So in terms of you being a free thinker, well if your "thinking" isnt based on reality and a solid look at the facts its not likely you will get a good decision, but that hopefully is your problem.
Off you go ranting again on rights....and your weirdo defination of them. Plus of course the rest of us have been brainwashed. Yeah you just know you are superior, must be frustrating for you when 99.99% of NZers simply dont want to listen to your "wise" counsel.

Bit drastic!? I'll miss you :-(  (but not enough to vote the Nats back in!)
Am wondering now - how many people have been considering leaving the country because of the current crop of parliamentarians?

Notaneconomist - we will organise a whip around to buy your ticket - I am sure there will be plenty of donors.

I like the seats at the front of the plane.......I'm thinking there will be at least 30 tickets required......given your surity on plenty of donors I'm sure your whip around will cover the costs.....

only 30 out of 4million?

Haha that is a real insight into how people on the left think and analyse data!!

While it's fun to take sides in political debates don't lose sigt of the fact that both sides are really very similar.  If you didn't know who won the election and just had to guess who one by the changes you noticed in the country I really doubt you could tell who won.

The average wage and salary earner might not notice any difference unless they become unemployed....but I'm very sure that everyone in business would be able to tell the difference.
While it might be fun debating politics.....there is also the serious side of how policies will affect business particularly agriculture and exports.

Yet business seems to do better under a left Government, but then everyone knows data has a liberal bias eh?

It might appear that business has done better.....that's what inflation intiatially does.....but eventually the feel good factor dissiptes and the real problems are is absolute stupidity to assume that asset price increases transfers directly to a busines doing better!!!
Increased prices through the mechanisms of any Government induced inflation also increases the overhead costs to the upside making NZ less efficient at production all at a time when we are competing in a world market with huge variations in political policy and legislation.
Take a look at farm land.....the asset price increases which allows the farmer to borrow against those increases against the rising tide of inflation from the implementation of political policy of the day.
Artificially increasing prices through inflationary mechanisms enforced by Government is a controlled market.  Those who create illusions are just playing with the people, Those who believe those illusions are possibly ignorant, uneducated, inexperienced etc
It seems that it is not me who has a predisposition to bias!!!

The tide has turned.. I think it's going to be multi colour at the finishing line.  CGT will be the talk of the town.

A month ago, it was probably a clear blue win, now I agree all bets are off, its going to be an interesting evening.

... so you're happy that the election outcome will be determined by a bunch of short term factors ( stolen emails / Dotcom / Slater / Collins / Feeley ) , rather than longer term stuff , such as the economic and social policies proposed by the major parties ....

They're not short term factors, Gummy. It shows how the current MP's are operating, long term.

Unfortunately, majority of voters don't think long term and holding on to that notion  "what's in it for me?" when they cast their vote. WP knows this and is playing that game very well.

As opposed to short term how much $s do the nasty nats put in my pocket? thats as shallow as it gets.
So no Im happy the truth on how awful the Nats are behind the scenes is coming out and NZers can vote on what they think on it.
"stolen emails" and you never commented on climate gate? yeah I bet.
Longer term, well exactly why I wouldnt vote National,  they dont think longer term.

Many voters don't know and/or don't want to know about long term stuff and economic and social policies; they consider that they vote some trusted people in to government to do the job of looking after those things as their job.   

 So all the recent messyness shakes peoples trust in those people - how can you trust a minister of justice to see you are protected and secure, if she's been (alledgely) playing odd political games behind peoples' backs.  How can a leader of a party, who looks so squeaky clean, not know about the shady dealings of his associates...because how can he be trusted to lead, if he can't be seen to lead his own party.   That's why Labour kept failing - nothing to do with policy, nothing to do with smear, simply the people who don't want to think about running the country decided they couldn't be trusted with seeing through important responsiblities - Where many don't really like Key, nor do they trust him, but they do think he'll see his responsibilities through one way or another.   And those are the hard voters to sway because they don't like smear campaigns and dirty politics, but they really don't want to hear promises or predictions either

Perhaps those advocating CGT might find themselves facing complaints at the UN......they are only able to tax for the purposes outlined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Political parties controlling the economy by a various array of tools like CGT and OCR etc are corrupt.

If Collins and Slater claim that evidence of criminal actions is a forgery (such as leaking classified documents) I am sure that investigating authorities will use their legal powers to require Facebook to turn over the logs of conversations at known time and dates to see if the evidence is true. After all Facebook was the third party to these conversations, and such warranted obtaining of evidence was entirely possible even before the Government expanded the police and security services surveillance powers. Using those new warrantless powers to investigate leaks of SIS data would be a bit creepy, even if I am no fan of Collins.
And I am sure the investigating authorities will be no less diligent in their pursuit of evidence of crime than they would be for any other subject of an investigation.

FYI updated with more detail from Key on the Inquiry into Collins' interactions with Feeley

Winston's bottom line - excellent decision for his party as many possible supporters would have been concerned about him not committing not to go with National post-election. This certainly answers those concerns.

Bottom line or not .. the real risk for NZ First will be to form an alliance with National, get a royal commission up, and then for NZF to subsequently find it's supporting a toxic time-bomb
The best outcome would be for all the minor parties to sit on the cross benches and allow National to form a minority government
Then the minor parties will hold the power

I do believe regardless of the outcome of the election that we do have a constitutional crisis on our hands.  I don't think there is any precedent associated with the possibility of such widespread alleged attempts to pervert the course of justice. No matter who is in charge - a number of MPs might end up facing criminal and/or civil charges of one kind or another.

Not with the way the Commissioner of Police is appointed - Mike Bush is not going to rock the boat.

Plenty of opportunity for private prosecutions. Heck, Bernard and, for example, could take one given their business is reported to be one of the targets too. It looks like these folks and their complicit politicos cast a very wide net indeed. I rarely attend public demonstrations but if there's a party to celebrate seeing some of these folks behind bars - I'll most certainly be there. I'd consider it a part of my duty as a citizen.

Personally i've been subject to some withering attacks on Whaleoil, i couldn't figure out where the information came from.
They have been over the line for ages and imune it seemed to prosecution. Its geat to see them getting some of their own back. They have destroyed the very thing they tried to protect, I guess they failed.

I hadn't thought of that TOG. Of course Winston is demanding a full Royal Commission of Inquiry that will be appointed by the Governor General and reports back to Parliament and the GG. There is no way he will accept an inquiry appointed by Key and reporting back to Key.
Until the outcome is known NZFirst/Winston will sit on the cross benches and 'allow' National to form a 'minority in effect caretaker' government until its innocence or guilt is determined.
Given the polls (National in the high 40s% and NZFirst above 5%) we are already in a constitutional crisis!

The parliament is in caretaker mode right now
It is pretty audacious of the Keyster to try and set up a narrow enquiry with pre-determined terms of reference without consulting the other parties (while in caretaker mode). He will just antagonise the other parties by ignoring convention
He is either "playing dumb" or he has totally lost the plot

Constitutionally we are not yet in caretaker mode - as the present government has the confidence of the House. Lucky for them this all broke once the House went into recess.

I keep thinking that the Governor G must be about to get a call from Her Majesty asking  what the hell is going on , perhaps suggesting a chat with Mr Key in the morning, with a 'please explain'.
 The National party are oviously hell bent on proving the Peter Princible correct

Clicked on your link AndrewJ.
I think John Cleese had something to add to this topic in his 'There Is No Hope' show.
Could you give me a preview?
"Well, I’m a funny kind of professor at Cornell, and there is a psychology professor there called David Dunning who discovered that in order to know how good you are at something, it requires almost exactly the same skills and aptitude as it does to be good at that thing in the first place. In other words, if you’re a really good tennis player or mathematician then you know how to tell how good you are. But it also means if you’re absolutely no good at something then you lack exactly the skills to realize your idiocy. It explains why so many idiots out there have no idea that they’re idiots."

Dilbert had something to say on the matter

also why in sales it is no use trying to sell on technical points.  you can prove a product is great, but the buying decision has to come from the customer.  Customers base their buying on comfort and expectation, both of which are emotive not cognitive.  So the less they know the easier it is to sell to them.

Reading between the lines I think NZF going with National will not happen, its looking way too toxic.
I think there are 4 outcomes,
a) National with Act and PD have enough seats to Govern without NZF.
b) National with Act and PD get NZF to agree to support them on a per vote basis.
c) Labour with Green's, PD and NZF have enough MPS to Govern.
d) Labour with Green's, PD and Mana dont  have enough MPs to Govern, so get NZF to agree to support them on a per vote basis.
Likelyhood in the above descending order.
Place you bets.

If PD is Dunne - he's Nats all the way - got a resounbding lot of applause at an old folks home in Ohariu when he said he wasn't going to read Dirty Politics. True Blue.

Yep PD = Dunne, frankly he'll go with the best baubles IMHO.  His politics have got a lot more liberal than when he voted against civil union now his party have dumped the fundie contingent.

I can't see NZF getting in with Green or Internet, as they know it will just be a Labour puppet show, and with Cunliffe leading I doubt they will see cohesion that gives 3yrs confidence.

And Green won't ever get on with National, they will alienate what little voter support they have.

Dotcom will never sign with Key, so that's out for Nat support.
Act will sign with Nat, as will Conserve just to get comfy chairs.  I doubt Key wants to play WP's game and would try to form minority government rather than get into that bed...

Whether Labour will put a handout to WP or Dotcom ... interesting mess.  I must get more NZD sell....

Well if you bothered to watch what the Green's, Labour and NZF are saying I think its very possible we'll see all three as a Govn assuming they have enough MPs as that group.
NZF has said it wont go with Mana/Internet party I think.

Thank you for highlighting this statement from Winston

I heard Winston on Morning report this morning and while he stated a Royal commission was a bottom line he stopped short of saying he would not do a deal with National.  Old Winston likes to keep his options open.

But that's as he should do as he draws swing votes from those disillusioned with the two main parties - in particular those National voters who don't like what they see going on in the National Party.  He is both smart and sincere.

The real bottom line is that Key has either lost control or is complicit with some of the revelations.
Would something similar have happened under Clark? Remember she had Heather Simpson as co-pilot.

(Potentially libellous comment deleted, Ed).


That post was relevant
Prosperopink should re-post his comment with just the facts, without drawing any conclusions

Yes please re-post.

Warning: Do not post potentially libelous comment on You will be banned if you do after our warnings. 

Is held liable for liabelous comments made by commentors?  

Potentially yes.

Published facts available in the public domain
Mark Hotchin has been implicated in the Judith Collins, SFO, Adam Feeley, Whaleoil emails saga

Prosperopink pointed out that Judith Collin's husband David Wong-Tung is a director of Oravida which in turn is owned by Deyi Shi who in turn purchased Hotchin House on Paratai Drive for $39 million

The close personal friendship between Ms Collins, her husband David Wong-Tung, mega-rich businessman Deyi "Stone" Shi
Deyi Shi the founder and principal of the Oravida Group of Companies

Exporter pays $39m for Hotchin House

Maybe the copyright symbol should be attached to the blogger's name which then makes the blogger liable not interest !!!!!
Removes the potential liability away from interest......
Or copyright could be owned by a company that doesn't trade anything just holds copyright.

Sue ppl with money not someone(s) who has none. 

Someone sued WP once, he must have piles (of money)

so if you're asset poor the law/justice doesn't apply?

In this case an asset == money.
In terms of money if your antagonist has neither there is no point in sueing as the costs and damages wont be paid.  However a media tycoon used to do this in order to shut ppl up.
regards would be the publishing party, so they could end up as co-defendent, being party to the civil damage.  

ObWarning: I'm not a lawyer or trained to give legal advice.  (I only looked at suing someone for libel a few times and these are things I paid money to find out.)

- - -
What might be better considered is if made operation of an account reliant on agreeing to uphold a minimum "code of conduct", and in that public posted notice one of those "code of conduct" items is not to post _derogatory_ remarks.

Libel is a bit of a shaky ground, being that it relates to legal terminology as well as popular use, so while the publisher can be held responsible for libel, the actual meaning of libel in the legal sense is quite narrow despite the number of people who love using it as a passive-aggressive threat to cower others (if you aren't doing what you tell you too then I will sue you for libel, so delete these comments.  after all the cost of preparing a defence is enough to put most people off.)

Wherreas, derogatory statements can be pursued as part of a libel case, but in and of themselves aren't a threat of legal action.  Enforcement of a "code of conduct" is entirely at the discretion of the site owner (as long as it doesn't violate other peoples' rights)

yes everyone, apparantly only the ex-Minister of Justice is allowed to publish comments about someone being a criminal who isn't doing time for a crime...  (which could be considered libelous).  the rest of us are not permitted an opinion unless it is acceptable.
 Note that there are _tests_ for whether something is libelous.
(1) It names a specific entity
(2) It can be believed or taken serious
(2a) the person must have some form of credibility
(3) It must cause material harm to the person libeled
(4) the libelled person must act in a manner to discourage or remove the material (ie bitching about it to all your friends/collegues/media doesn't count as "removal")
(implied 5) the comment must be negative

As an interesting aside, calling someone(test 1)  libellous (test 5), and removing their privileges (3) by act of administration(2, 2a) could be considered libel.  Please desist (test 4).

Cowboy, as you well know, these things are not decided by you or me. They are decided in a Court after you have been called to answer an accusation.
There are litigious people involved in this election circus.
I don't want to be forced there by cheap comments on by you or anyone else. You must not freeload on my business. People's livelihoods are at stake.
Don't even go close to the line on Feel free, however, to make such comments elsewhere. 

Sadly other people use that power to threaten and abuse others into line.
Very sadly acting the small dog and letting them get away with it enables them and encourages them.

Learn your rights.
Learn the legal definitions.

Don't let those litigious people get away with their habits.  Remember they hope you'll run before you get to the court room steps.   If you know the rules and where to draw the line, then you make them pay the fees, you make their livlihoods shaky, and then when you get to court (and you find a few people might contribute some funds if your opponent frequently absues their legal rights)...when you get to court add a counter claim of vexious litigent.

True, you can't have libel published.  But there is freedom of speech and press.  That person MUST show loss - and if they get nailed as a vexious litigent then that stops a public nuisance because the courts (even the civil ones) take a very dim view of rorts or vexious claims.

And I'm sure that if *I* can stare down the police prosecutor right at the courtroom door, then you can chase away a few bullies too.

Some interesting facts:
1) In 2010 Mark Hotchin placed his Paritai Drive mansion on sale. The mansion cost $43m to build:
2) A few years later (Nov 2013) , one Deyi Shei, founder and chairman of the Oravida Group paid $39m for the pile. Most Kiwis know the value of their house down to the last $ and one assumes Mr Hotchin is no different, so Mr Shei seems to have got himself a bargain - $4m or so below the build price. Auckland house prices recovered strongly from 2010 onwards and 2013 was a sellers market for most property in the big city.
3) Justice minister Judith Collins is married to David Wong Tung, a director of Oravida.
4) Justice minister Judith Collins has had to resign over allegations that she had undermined the head of the Serious Fraud Office when she was the Minister responsible for that organisation.The SFO investigation was, of course, into alleged illegality at Hannover group, of which Mark Hotchin was a director.

Thanks all, for posting sources.
Everything I said had been in the public domain so don't know why interest .co is running scared. I am getting seriously concerned about the (apparent)reluctance of the MSM to do their duty. That is allegedly in my humble opinion if I am allowed one.
re the Inqiuiry...our beloved leader needn't be reluctant for a wider beam  to be shone onto this (alleged)cesspit . In his own words concerning spying "if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear"

I thought it was John Banks who said that :-).

If you want to avoid the 'we will get sued for libel' tag just present the facts as they are, and make no comment. It is then for the readers to assimilate the information and draw any conclusion. But you are correct the MSM is missing in action on most of this (and the behaviour of the Herald has been a disgrace). They are not even placing the facts in front of the people. It does make you wonder how deep is the control exerted on the media by the parties involved. We should all be very concerned.

You are welcome to start your own news service anytime you think others are not getting your point of view across "properly".
Then you can libel anyone you want, and take the consequences directly. I suggest you study NZ libel laws before you start your venture, however.
Please don't expect me to pay for costs you try to impose on me. That's freeloading.

So are you saying that listing facts that exist in the public domain (and passing no comment) is in itself libellous? If so that is a fascinating take on libel (and truly we are screwed).

Trouble is some ppl dont care they just want to shut someone up long enough for the situation to get old.  In the meantime someone like DC gets the costs of having to employ a lawyer to fend off the case(s).
Bear in mind that some posts elsewhere eluded to not being liked for its "liberal bias" and hey presto a great way to take offline by investing a bit of dosh. That isnt democracy but it looks like some ppl at least dont care.

the civil libel cases aren;t the ones that have to be worried about, you don't need a lawyer for many of them.  It's when the police (and secret police) start getting a bee in their bonnet - the police will let scammers rip people off for years and do nothing effective, but as soon as someone high profile gets their face in the media then they pull out the stops and are likely to seize everything, the blue wall of righteous silence make it nigh impossible to stop them finding something to justify their actions.

Nothing to hide .... Isn't the the Motto of the TPPA ?

The Motto of the TPPA is classified, and will become public in due course when the TPPA is ready to be signed into law* Only radicals who hate our freedoms would talk about the secret government negotiations. Why do you hate our freedoms?
{Note, I haven't had a brain haemorrhage, that is meant to be ironic}
*Technically, if the Motto is part of the negotiating process it is going to remain secret for many years after the TTPA is signed. As per the secret agreements that have been leaked about keeping what people were doing in the negotiations secret.

  It feels like a bit of an over reaction David. It is after all a political thread which you have started and not some dry financial news. Did you expect that people wouldn't have something to say? People are very concerned about what is perceived as corruption at the highest level.

David is correct in his action

If I recall your comment correctly in your final sentence you made an un-substantiated assertion of "corruption" that is not supported by any facts in the public domain

About the only thing you could possibly accuse the main character of so far is stupidity

Having not read the popsting, remember that people ARE entitled to have opinions, they are even entitled to publish those opinions.  And yes the opinions are even allowed to wrong, baised and ill-conceived.  Being Wrong is actually a legal Right.

So you can actually accuse a person of corruption in NZ, publicly and in print, and not be libellous - the points to remember is it has to be _your_opinion_, and it can't materially (including reputation) damage the person you're accusing.

Usual disclaimers apply: I'm not a lawyer, not trained or authorised to give legal advice.  Don't live your life by what you read on the internet, go out and find the answers yourself.  (and don't just presume/make stuff up*)

* oh...and be warned many kiwi lawyers are lazy sods, if they "err on the side of caution" they've covered _their_ ass even if they undermine your rights and position - so make sure they elucidate their answer, and make sure you quiz them down to the legal points and statutes involved.

It needs to be truthful and a fact however.

disclosures don't have to be factual or truthful.

fact and truth are not a defence in libel cases.  public good is, but that is very hard to prove

Winston Peters always wades into the muddy swamps , seeing conspiracies and wineboxes where none exist , he would demand a Royal Commission into the price of peanut butter if he thought it would get at least one more vote for him , ... I mean for NZ First ... same thing really ...

Whaledump hacker passed on the Slater/Collins correspondences to Patrick Gower at TV3 instead of posting them to the twitter account directly. Assume hacker did this so that TV3 become the conduit to releasing the material to The Inspector-General of Security and Intelligence Services?  

Its normal process.  The news have an interest in publishing, frequently those in positions of power, if they are doing their jobs correctly, should already be aware something is up - therefore it's "insurance policy" to make sure the information gets to the publishers before the government/authorities can declare publication illegal/against national interests.

Whaledump on Katherine Rich is posted.

Interesting reading.
I am amazed at just how much astro turfing is going on on such minor stuff.
Corporations cynically buying good wll by putting peanuts into charities and at the same time wanting to lock down water so they can charge the equiv of a can of coke for something that is essentialy free. Oh boy was that an an eye opener into this behaviour.

This update now on Katherine Rich's wiki page:
''Emails leaked to political writer Nicky Hager indicate that Rich, in her role as Chief Executive of the Food & Grocery Council, has while on the board of the Health Promotion Agency (a Crown entity) fed prominent blogger, Cameron Slater, with posts that denigrate individuals in academia and the media who report on news or support health initiatives inimical to the interests of the food, alcohol, tobacco and soft drink industries. The posts have been published as if by Slater himself on his blog Whale Oil Beef Hooked as recently as February 2014. ''
This is getting unbelievable. Wake up NZ, we are being transformed into a banana republic by the forces of power and privilege.
One has to imagine Whaledump is saving some of the most damaging revelations to the final week before the election. A terrible fear may well be lurking behind John Key's rictus grin.

"some of the most damaging revelations"
Worse than this utterly amoral hoodwinking?

Worse from the stand point of National. It is not difficult to see what the King Hit of revelations would be. Didn't Dotcom promise some monster announcement on the 15th of September?