National MP Jami-Lee Ross quits party before Simon Bridges announces he's been expelled; Bridges welcomes police investigation into Ross' claims he's broken donation disclosure rules

Jami-Lee Ross

National Party Leader Simon Bridges has denied Jami-Lee Ross' accusations he tried to disguise political donations, saying he welcomes a police investigation into the matter.

The Botany MP, on Monday named by PwC the likely leaker of Bridges’ travel expenses, has called Bridges “corrupt” and accused him of breaking the Electoral Act.

Ross claims Bridges tried to disguise a $100,000 donation from a Chinese businessman Yikun Zhang, a $10,000 donation from the Cathedral Club, and a $14,000 donation from an Exclusive Brethren-related company, Cubro Ltd.

He says he’ll take his accusations, including a recording he secretly made of Bridges, to the police on Wednesday.

Ross also claims Bridges tried to push him out of the party by accusing him of harassing four women. 

However Bridges says Ross’ claims are "baseless" and "entirely false".

Supported at a press conference by Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, Amy Adams, Todd McClay and Mark Mitchell, he clarified the National Caucus has unanimously voted to expel Ross from the party.

As the Caucus met earlier in the morning, Ross announced his resignation from the party.

Bridges says the party has taken the strongest action it can against Ross and is "united" and "strong". 

"Everything about his behaviour – the lies, the leaks, and other matters as well are entirely unacceptable,” Bridges says.

However Bridges has been unable to give a straight "yes/no" answer to questions asking him to clarify whether he facilitated a $100,000 donation from Zhang.

Ross has since tweeted pictures of Bridges and Zhang at a "private dinner". 

Ross says he’ll stand in the Botany by-election as an independent.

He claims he has the support of other National MPs, but wouldn’t say who. No MPs have expressed support for him. 

“I once thought Simon Bridges was capable of being Prime Minister. Now I see what’s he’s really like," Ross says. 

“Simon is a flawed individual without a moral compass and without any underlying principles, except power.”

We welcome your help to improve our coverage of this issue. Any examples or experiences to relate? Any links to other news, data or research to shed more light on this? Any insight or views on what might happen next or what should happen next? Any errors to correct?

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143 Comments

It's a day for Simon and Garfunkel by the looks of it. 'Bridges over troubled water?'

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H_a46WJ1viA

'When you're weary, feeling small
When tears are in your eyes, I'll dry them all (all)
I'm on your side, oh, when times get rough
And friends just can't be found
Like a (Simon) bridge(s) over troubled water'

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Post election one would have thought the coalition was the likely contender for fracturing & self imploding. Not so, it is the opposition. National are not alone in this but they have had their fair share of low calibre and troublesome MP’s. Gilmour, Barclay in recent times. Something is awry in their selection criteria & process perhaps. In fact we have far too many MP’s apropos our electorate. Perhaps if we got them down to the 90 or so pre MMP, and as recommended by the relative Royal Commission the deadbeats could be culled in the process.

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Blame JK

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Agreed. How did someone like Gilmour even make the list?

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You could pin a blue rosette on a donkey and almost half of NZ would vote for it, so deep (or shallow, depending on your view) is their political affinity.

Correct, Bridges says jump, blue monkeys jump. Blue monkeys say jump, will the Bridges?

Haha recommended by the Royal Commision. How about recommended by the democratic process of Referendum in 1999 by the common-sense people of NZ? Leading to 9 years of Labour with no reduction in the number of MPs... Don't get me wrong, National are just as undemocratic. Both parties need a cull. Maybe should follow the prescription of MPI and attempt "eradication" of the bad-apple MP's

NZr’s at the the time (hasn’t really changed much) were sick and tired of the whole political scene. Hence the movement to replace FPP. The politicians did not want change. Mule headed and subjective as always, a light bulb came on and. they thought, heck if they don’t like or rate 90 of us, they won’t vote for 30 more of the same. David Lange recorded that as the most reprehensible collective act he ever witnessed in parliament.

All the burning bridges that have fallen after me
All the lonely feelings and the burning memories
Everyone I left behind each time I closed the door
Burning bridges lost forevermore

Selling popcorn at this time is probably a better bet than trading houses.

Don't forget the Soda Pop as well

JLR has burnt Bridges.

Why is anyone surprised. It was written on the wall the day he took over

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Hopefully some of Don-Keys activities get dug up :)

John Key is too smart to ever do such a dumb thing

He's just better at hiding it.

If it is true this is very serious for National and perhaps a crime for Bridges (former Crown prosecutor as well). If the claims are false then Ross might face a defamation suit. Overall, not good for National as a party and again shows that parties need to make sure they get the right people.

Color me a bit dim, but why wouldn't you just disclose the source of the donations, or, have a better way of hiding them if it is really a questionable Chinese transaction. Something like claiming something about a casino....oh that's right they tried that for the last ten years, it was called Auckland housing speculation.

Bridges now speaking, says cacus voted unanimously to expell Ross. Says caucus is united & strong, won't tolerate Ross' 'appalling behaviour; lies, leaks and other behaviour as well, unacceptable.' Says claims about donation 'baseless'- https://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/368771/live-simon-bridges-responds-to-jami-lee-ross

Ross is 'lying, leaking & lashing out' and should go to the police who should investigate, Bridges says, adding he has done nothing wrong. "There is zero chance of me having done anything illegal, I can guarantee you that."

Well, and with apologies to Mandy, he would say that wouldn’t he!

I wonder if the same people who were quite vocal about Clare Curran's fiasco will make their presence known on this sideshow?

*crickets*

It will be interesting to see if there is one law for MPs/white-collar-criminals and another law for everybody else. Though I'm not an expert in electoral law, these accusation sound damning and speak to illegal behavior.

MPs have done things or par with this in the past and felt the consequences from their respective party and constituency.

MPs are PAID to represent their electorate and pass/amend legislation, yet National are busy playing stupid games and trying to "score hits". It's pathetic behavior - National look like a bunch of overpaid clowns! REALITY - GRIP IT~!!!

Secretly recording Bridges indicates to me what type of person JRL is unless of course the recording was done by rogue elements.

Perhaps the Turkish secret service have provided it.

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Jami-Lee Ross and Simon Bridges deserve each other.

No conversation is 'secret'! Everything is recorded if you are in business/politics.

The Search and Surveillance Act 2012 may differ in interpretation to yours?

http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/2012/0024/latest/DLM2136542.html

If you are a party to a conversation, you are well within your rights to record it... I assume that's what bw is implying?

Not true...you'd need to request the permission of the other party to record the conversation as in their view they may have perceived it to be a 'private' conversation.

mmm.
Depends on how the interpretation of "Generally unfair" to not inform them falls.

Guess it would be interesting when the Official Information Act clashes with the Search and Surveillance Act...

If I recall correctly illegal recordings where the other party is unaware he is being recorded are not admissible evidence.

This trial is going to take place in the court of public opinion.. the rules are far more relaxed. And the slipknots are tied far earlier.

No, as long as one of the parties recorded is aware of the recording taking place, it is legal.

That can't be correct - it must come down to intent. A private conversation i one in which both paries expect that they are the only persons privy to the information being discussed. To record the conversation and pass that information onto another party, would violate the 'private' part and make it a public conversation.

Well I am relying on a quote by Kevin Milne advocating for consumer viz “ Yes, in New Zealand you’re legally entitled to record the people you are speaking to on the phone without telling them.” Now admittedly that was seven years or so ago. And yes your point is quite pertinent as there is no mention of what you can or cannot do with the recording or where you can take it. Perhaps if it kept in the private circle itself it is not a problem. Although, I myself once had occasion to record a meeting without declaring it. My lawyer would have been more than happy to use it in court if it had got that far.

Correct - you can record it, but you can't do anything with it (i.e. make it public). It becomes a question of intent and in theory it can only be passed upon legally if the law has been broken (which might save JLR..) or if life is in danger (i.e. someone telling you they're going to harm another individual). Or if you happen to have pre-approval from director of GCSB/Prime Minister before recording!

Thanks. Interesting. Glad to know that.

I'm in the botany ward, and would not vote for JLR if he stands as an independent.

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Well given that National could stand a wooden indian and still win Botany, speaks volumes, really

Um, casual racism much?

Do you not know what a wooden indian is? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NyeNk1mF0K4

Poor Old Kaw Liga? Now only a certain age group would pull that one out. But do like the metaphoric dull wooden dolt connotation that runs alongside.

Went looking for an image of a cigar store/wooden indian and Kaw Liga came up. Bet you could not have resisted it as well. There was also Hank Williams lll with a version of it, but it wasn't the best

It was one of those sort of swing songs, Guy Mitchell era, that the radio would always be playing when you were sick in bed away from school. For years I hought it was poor old Elijah, & never quite got how exactly it could connect to the prophet!

Me too, I think karaoke corrected that for me

I met JLR many times when he was a (teenager) Councillor at Manukau back in 2005. Personally I think he's a bit of a nappy and not surprised at all when he was identified as the leaker!

He's not the leaker. That's the least of his worries now. Admitting to that wouldn't change anything for him at this point. We'll find out who it is eventually.

Seems like JLR doesn't have much of a future in NZ. Who would give him a job in any organisation fronting role or anything requiring personal trust after this debacle? In retrospect Bridges seems to have played things pretty fairly. Will be interested to see what if anything comes of JLRs allegations of Bridges breaking laws - police are extremely lax in prosecuting matters relating to breaking electoral law.

If he's telling the truth he'll be fine.

No, he's history.. the question is whether he drags Simon down with him.

He'll be out of politics. But if he's telling the truth, he'll be fine in NZ which is what the comment I was referring to was discussing.

Yes, I was responding to this part of the original statement "Who would give him a job in any organisation fronting role or anything requiring personal trust after this debacle?"

He's toast. He didn't come out straight away when asked to do (allegedly) illegal things, and he's backstabbed the party leader. He failed at both the high level integrity test, and the faithful lieutenant test.

Regardless if he’s telling the truth he’s made a prominent well connected Chinese businessman lose face. Nobody will now go near JLR.

Either he is telling the truth - he found out something 6 months ago which he tried to exploit for personal advantage. Or he is lying.

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Not Surprised.

Chinesse businessmen donating $100,000.00 - Tip of the iceberg.

Current Government, if clean should look into foreign donation/lobbying in politcal environment in NZ (As that will mean that the government is working for rich foreigners and plaining policies to suit them - no wonder National turned a blind eye to foreign buyers role in NZ housing market).

The suspicion is that money has been going to the Nats that has come from the Chinese govt. Fine, I guess, if it comes from the Chinese greengrocer down the road, but the Chinese govt. Wonder if that could be got to the bottom of?
Personally, I think every cent should be declared for the inspection purposes,if not for the perusal of anybody and everybody at any time.

Donating $100,000 - Tip of the Ice Berg. You are correct. Fear of foreign money / influence in NZ parliment is no more a fear but reality.

I was afraid of that

Worse yet the Brethren.

Surely they should be paying taxes if they're influencing decisions?

On a slightly more serious note, I think we have matured enough not to need in the definitions of what constitutes a charity for taxation purposes "the promotion of religion". Just get rid of that and many of these rorts, gone, such as Gloravale, rich as Croesus yet still able to claim charitable status, most likely because of that.

Very much so, I'd vote for a party that introduced a "Render Unto Caesar" bill, it's in their books that they should. Sanitarium can pay some tax as well.

http://www.plymouthbrethrenchristianchurch.org/faqs/technology-law-polit... please read for the facts so you can make more informed comments. Ill put my hand up as belonging to the brethren and if you want my accountants phone number he'd be happy to advise on the million dollars plus in tax I have paid and the hundreds of employees supported while competing on a level playing field as a small business owner since 2005.

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I don't know which of those slicked down, used car salesman looking guys looks more like a slicked down, used car salesman to me, but that was a considerable amount of detail that Ross went into.

Jacinta could be a "stay at home "PM, enjoy play time , change nappies and she would still smell less of shit ,and poll way higher than her opposite.

Jacinta? Jacinta who?

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What I am surprised about is that no one is talking about the greater internal war within the National Party. Looks at the bunch that have put their weight in behind Bridges. They all have a bit of previous form, not much integrity in the bunch. Of Barclay and Collins I would say they are downright rotten. Bridges was their chance to put on a respectable face for the team, but he represents their only chance. This will spark a wider fight for power.

Similar in Australia with their Right Wing divisions. Swap the name 'Tanya" for the Labor soldier on the hill to Jacinda, and chuckle as Labour, here, watch National tear itself apart. No need fro them to do anything....
https://tinyurl.com/ycg9udqh

Where's Boatman? - suspiciously quiet here today....

Probably too busy doing damage control for National.

I am right here , reading the comments .

I dont know what to make of it yet , so I will reserve judgement until I have either a clearer picture or all the facts.

So Simion welcomes a new investigation here... Hmm...

Jami Lee maybe will start a party with his two mates in cacus...? If he can keep winning Botany then he'll be a new Winnie. Good luck with that. Maybe he'll go Green Blue on it! Eh, Expat?

Nah, won't happen, the immigrants will just keep dutifully ticking National

Maybe so. Safe seat alright. I can't see Jami leaving politics all together if and when he looses the seat. He's be a councilor from 18yoa. This whole saga continues for many years to come. National just made a professional enemy.

Ex Expat, you're very quiet today.... What's your take on JLR's tweeted image of Bridges and the alleged $100K donation? Fake news huh ;-)

In Singapore this week chasing up some potential contract work so not full au fait with the current news. Re JLR, I think Simon was weak. Not as weak at Jetsinduh with Meka the Muss and Curren, but I think he should have anticipated JLRs options and publicly executed him yesterday. Let's face it, JLR's working life in NZ was over no matter what he did, but he could have shown a more ruthless front to scare the monkeys.

As for the accusations, let the Police do their job and see where it comes out. If Simon and others have done wrong then they should meet a similar fate as JLR. Whatever the case, I'll still vote for the party and my local National candidate. To do otherwise is to deny my children a real future.

Strange that your children's future is being held to ransom when mine isn't. Suggest you change the topic of dinner conversation perhaps? What your children will thank you for later on might surprise you.

I hope that my children will go on to earn an income as good as their old man once had. As such, I don't want them to be lumbered with the socialist burden of the indigent and indolent i.e. Comrade Taxinda's nirvana Your children may have a different future in mind. Let's hope they don't have their snouts in the trough mine will be expected to fill, if they stay in NZ (I hope they don't as that would show a lack of spirit)

I hope your children will go on to not be as ideologically flaccid and disingenuous as their old man.
I don't want to be burdened by their WFF draw downs, like I have been by their father who despite his self proclaimed indispensability can't find a job.
Socialism when it suits is the name of the game, eh expat.

As far as I can tell, your children will be burdened more by the likes of yourself than your deplorables.

I can't recall saying I was indispensable. I was simply well paid for a role that is not currently in demand i.e. advising distressed companies. At 57, I have to accept that I've reached the end of my salaried career unless the DGM predictions come true. Contract work is still a possibility, but I need to be aware of tax implications. I filled the trough unwillingly but am not unwilling to take what is mine. A sentiment it appears I share with life long troughers like Winstone. It just shows how ridiculous the rules are that I can quality for WFF.

JLR is pretty short sighted. A traitor has no room in either sides.

80% of chance that his accusation of Simon could be false.

JLR should learn how to 韬光养晦 - work hard while keep a low profile and prepare for a better future

Not if he is exposing corruption, too much of which seems to be creeping into this country

As I said 80% of chance that JLR provided false accusation.

Otherwise, the entire National caucus would be 'corrupted', which would be very unthinkable and improbable.

Maybe just 80% of them then, okay. My guess as good as yours.

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Given the recent history of the party, I don't think its that unthinkable and improbable...

Indeed, entirely thinkable and veritably quite probable.

"Otherwise, the entire National caucus would be 'corrupted', which would be very unthinkable and improbable"

*cough* Jian Yang *cough*

xingmowang, "If Bridges was to have even the slightest chance of killing the story he had to discredit Ross immediately in relation to that allegation. That he did not do" ---- https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143235

20% chance it's true - huh?

"Hand it to policy for a thorough investigation", I think it is a perfect response from Simon.

There absolutely no need for Simon to gain credit by discrediting JLR. This would do exactly the opposite.

...a simple yes/no the $100K donation took place would have sufficed. Now it looks like another wasteful (and likely taxpayer funded) litigation process that's going to hide the truth from the public for many months. A complete and irresponsible waste of money in my view.

How can you vote for Jamie-Lee Ross? Even if his concerns around the donation are correct the mind explosion that has transpired since then is alarming. Leaking Bridges expenses, and now the petulant little tirade he has gone on now. If he had raised the issue with the caucus and they refused to act he could have made a principled stand and walked.

Given he was on leave for personal issues does someone need to be asking Jamie.. 'R U OK?'

Listen to this song -- 'R U OK?' from Lei Jun -- CEO of Xiao Mi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRU-fwS6aAU

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Allegedly leaked.

If he exposes a bucket full of corruption - which we have been warned about - then he needs applauding.

key and the last lot smelt badly.

Don't forget this warning -

https://thespinoff.co.nz/society/06-10-2018/crunch-point-on-china-interf...

JLR is as thick as a plank. He's living in and representing Howick. Accusing an Asian businessman for potential corruption is a very smart move. I bet he thinks it's black and white case!

Chairman Moa, JLR stressed that he did not think the businessman had done anything wrong here; https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143343

How exactly is Chinese businessman Zhang Yikun at fault? If the $100K donation did indeed happen, it might then appear that Bridges squandered the opportunity to say "谢谢, 但 不用了,谢谢"

More professionally and formally, and hypothetically, one should say "谢谢的政治募捐。我会按照规定程序记录你的捐款。谢谢你对国家党的信任和支持。干杯"

LoL.....

RP, at fault or not Chinese people hate losing face in public.. he should know that living in Howick

Anyone else listening to an interview of Bridges by Ryan Bridge on Radio Live. Bridges sounds utterly dreadful, not even going near answering questions.

If Bridges did fudge the numbers or donations , he must face the music .

I am not sure we have all the facts yet .

It’s the end of the road for Bridges, even if he manages to hang on for a while longer.

But I don’t believe he’s anywhere near as bad as he’s portrayed. (I’d happily have a beer with him.)

In any case, there’s still enough time for National to get sorted before the 2020 General Election.

TTP

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End of the road for the National party. After revelations in "Hollow Men", the endless lies of 3% foreign buyers. Icing on that cake of course was the prime minister selling his mansion to a wealthy Chinese. National list MP Yang Jian who previously worked with Chinese military intelligence, and probably still does. Now these shady 100K donations. The whole thing stinks of corruption.

dream on mate .

Interesting how we are increasingly seeing the exposure of the corruption and inner workings of the National Party.
No core values, other than “whatever works”, personified by JK, but now the party is struggling to maintain that clean veneer. “Be sure your dealings will find you out”.

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NZ National Party, selling New Zealand out since 1997.

That is a telling comment Andrew. I don't think you make any secret of your profession as a farmer, and that is supposed to be National safe ground.

Look how Chinese banks are stacked with ex Mp's with no banking experience.

"Shipley has just completed her nine year term as chairman of Genesis Energy. She is a director of milk, water and food export company Oravida and chairman of China Construction Bank New Zealand. She runs her own consulting and advisory business and has a number of international board roles."

https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/industries/107619078/dame-jenny-shipley...

Protected species territory

Oravida pokes its head up again. Labour promised to undertake an enquiry into Oravida Kauri and Kauri Ruakaka - so far silence

what a lost opportunity for both sides, national needs a new national buddy party, JLR thinks he should be leader.
they should have sat down and done a deal, you go set up a new party we will support you with a seat (which we can pull if you FU) all we need is you to get a couple more Mp's in
give him two elections, if he doesn't pull any numbers pull the seat, dont let it end up like ACT

Mitch Harris Radio Live bringing up the topic of mainland Chinese money corrupting NZ politics. Could be interesting listening. Give him a call if you know anything

https://soundcloud.com/nzherald/simon-bridges-on-newstalk-zb

Painful interview. Bridges refusing to answer basic questions that should be easily answerable.

My impression is he's betting / hoping JLR has no evidence of his claims or that any evidence is inadmissable or insufficient, and in the meantime he's being studiously noncommittal in his answers, lest something come back to bite him.

Rick
That was painful to listen to, but hilarious too. Like a 7 year old school boy squirming in front of a headmistress after stealing someone dinner money.

I agree. Why can't he just say "yes, the National party received a donation and has not broken the law."

'Shanghai stock exchange was up 1% in the first hour of trading but on news of Simon Bridges media interviews this evening has fallen back to close down another 0.85%. Fears grow in Shanghai that their political influence in New Zealand may have taken a major hit after 10 years of good times had by all.'

I suspect he would have answered the question with a simple "No" if they had never received a $100k donation from the donor in question.

Of course he would have. The National Party will claim that JLR acted on his own in splitting up the funds and falsifying the return. Note the language they have already employed about a 'Lone Wolf'.

As predicted - and Paula got the job (no surprises there);

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143785

As Alice would say, it just gets curiouser and curiouser...

National Party deputy leader Paula Bennett says issues raised with Jami-Lee Ross had nothing to do with harassment, but were about inappropriate behaviour from Ross as a “married Member of Parliament”.

https://www.odt.co.nz/news/national/ross-accused-inappropriate-behaviour...

Simon should remember that in parliament,while your opponents are in front of you,your enemies are behind you.
As he stood there with his senior colleagues just behind him,his shoulder blades will have been twitching,as he anticipates his own Ides Of March-Et Tu Judith? Afterwards,as his political corpse is hauled away,he will be praised as a great leader,then quickly forgotten.

How many remember the wet bus ticket Judith was slapped with?
http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9818950/Judith-Collins-comes-cl...

This woman lost all integrity over her denial in this conflict of interest.
Not to mention her stance on the Pike 'inferno'
https://www.newshub.co.nz/home/politics/2017/06/judith-collins-doesn-t-w...

National, you need to start again. For the good of democracy in New Zealand.

Is it illegal or unethical to engineer the splitting of large political donations to avoid identity of the donor?
Does this whole episode highlight the amount of political influence that other states have in NZ?

Yes and yes.

These national idiots are making the Col look like the better option already. Same old nasty arrogant faces, will struggle to vote for them. They need to get rid of the whole lot and start with new candidates if they want to have any chance next time.

Rightly said, they will go through what labour did... def. not in time for next election, unless the col fail badly

Too many people jumping to conclusions on this site. If there is a recording that is going to be presented to the police today that supports the JLR claims and further investigation of the money trail supports it then I'm afraid Bridges is toast. Just watch how fast that "Committed National " caucus turns on him then and appoints a new leader.

If JLR's claims are true, does it stop with Simon Bridges or is there an underlying theme beginning to emerge with the National Party over the past decade?

As Anne-Marie Brady's paper points out - both major parties have sullied their copybooks - granted National more so than Labour - which is a really good reason for Labour and NZ First to get in there to nip it in the bud now.

we need State funding of political parties, the politicians don't want it but it would take the money out of National and the Unions out of Labour.

I completely agree.

JLR has done us all a big favour in exposing this political party donation issue - as it turns out this one was (in part exchange) for a place on the NZ Honours list;

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12143435&...

Soon we'll get more reporting on the connections of the individual to the CCP.

Politicians of every colour, perhaps excepting the minor parties, are into it big time. Mayoral candidates included.

State fund all political parties is really the only way to go - and the added bonus is - they will have to demonstrate their productivity and innovation skills in working with near-equal sums of money to get their policies across during political campaigning.

We need to stop this political corruption rort dead in its tracks.

"Soon we'll get more reporting on the connections of the individual to the CCP."

Oh, yes.

https://croakingcassandra.com/2018/10/17/the-swamp/

Everyone should read it in full, but here's the flavour of it;

After 15+ years in New Zealand he hasn’t learned English, he remains close to various PRC bodies including the embassy/consulate in New Zealand, is actively involved in various United Front entities and activities (including the cultural associations, which aren’t simply the equivalent of the Cornwall or Sussex associations, but vehicles through which the PRC seeks to exert control over ethnic Chinese in other countries)…..and he seems to assiduously cultivate connections to key figures in both our main parties (at least) – and, in turn (and this is the real shame) to be courted by them. And they give him official honours, for what seem – in effect – to be primarily services to the PRC.

Only a concerted effort by a citizen-organised movement is going to rid us of this sordid direction in NZ politics.

More;

https://www.newsroom.co.nz/2018/10/16/279660/zhang-yikun-and-the-alleged...

Go the media!!!!! Present company included! :-).

Absolutely, we pay MPs to represent us, not businesses, foreign entities, unions etc.. No donations, no unsaid quid pro quos. They're elected by the people to serve the people, with the people's interests at heart.

Controversially I'll also add that I think there should be a maximum age limit on voting, if people under 18 are prevented from voting then people who are more statistically likely to die before the next election should also be prevented from voting. Anyone over the average mortality age should have no say in the future of the country. A Logan's run of voting if you will.

The question is would state funding of political parties stop it.. or just drive it further underground?

And then there is always the fun question of what is the threshold to get state funding. Set the bar too low and it could becomes quite lucrative to set up a new minor party and say thanks for the free money, set it too high and it just further entrenches the strangelehold of the established parties and makes it impossible to get new parties into parliament with no funding.

it's the best option, it won't solve all of our problems but it's a great place to start.

Paula Bennett on Morning Report:

[Bridges] certainly thinks that it may have come up that he had said 'I want to support the National Party.' Simon, knowing, I think, that Jami-Lee knows him, probably did put him onto it.

Did Bennett just accidentally slip the dagger in?

Omg what a boring bunch ,finally sex and money ,what has labour given us
Margret Pope lol

Omg what a boring bunch ,finally sex and money ,what has labour given us
Margret Pope lol