Apr 3 2023

National Party caught using Newshub footage without permission

A shot from the now-deleted National Party video

The National Party’s been asked to remove news footage that it had used without permission in a new advert.

The social media ad shared earlier this afternoon asks people to visit National’s social media at 7pm for the “full story” on the Stuart Nash saga. The ad is styled like the titles of a true crime documentary, though it’s not entirely clear what will be shared by the party later this evening.

The Spinoff approached Newshub to ask whether it had cleared the use of news footage and a voiceover that appear in the advert. “We were not aware of this advertisement and have formally requested all Newshub footage be removed,” a Warner Bros Discovery spokesperson said.

It’s not the first time the National Party’s been slapped on the wrist over its choice of media. Last year it removed an Instagram video after being instructed to do so over copyright reasons. And famously, in 2017, the party breached copyright in 2017 over its use of an “Eminem-esque” tune that then-party campaign manager Steven Joyce described as “pretty legal”.

At the time of publishing, the latest social media ad remains on Twitter.

A shot from the ad reading 'The Stuart Nash Scandal'
A shot from the ad

Terms of reference for Nash review announced

Stuart Nash and Chris Hipkins in Hawke’s Bay. Photo by Kerry Marshall/Getty Images

The prime minister has confirmed the terms of reference for the review into communications between former minister Stuart Nash and Labour Party donors.

Nash was dropped from cabinet last week after it was revealed he had shared private information with a pair of donors. He has today confirmed he’ll leave parliament at the October election.

“The review will be carried out by the Secretary of the Cabinet and is expected to report back in two months,” confirmed Chris Hipkins.

“It will look at whether there were other breaches of cabinet collective responsibility or confidentiality, or perceived or actual conflicts of interest in communications he had with people and entities who made declared donations to his 2017 or 2020 electorate campaigns.”

Communications in scope are those by letter, email, text message, WhatsApp or Signal between October 26, 2017 and March 28, 2023 when Nash held ministerial portfolios. “New Zealand should rightly be proud of our open and accessible government. I hope these measures will go some way to further increase transparency and the integrity of government,” said Hipkins.

The prime minister said he was supportive of the Ombudsman reopening its investigation into why the email between Nash and the donors was withheld after an Official Information Act request uncovered it in 2021.

Lobbyists to lose parliament swipe card access as part of transparency measures

New PM Chris Hipkins has his work cut out for him in 2023 (Image: Archi Banal / Getty Images)

The prime minister has announced steps to introduce greater transparency around lobbying in the political system.

It comes in the wake of a series of reports from RNZ’s Guyon Espiner that shone a light on lobbying activity and the work of lobbyists.

Speaking at a post-cabinet press conference today, Chris Hipkins said he’s ordered a major review of all lobbying activities, which will require “considerable work” and consultation. As such, this advice won’t be delivered until next year.

“This was last looked at in 2012 and ultimately didn’t land because it was too broad in scope,” said Hipkins. “I want parliament to take another look, learning the lessons from that process.”

In the meantime, Hipkins unveiled three immediate measures to increase transparency. Firstly, Hipkins has written to parliament’s speaker to suggest removing swipe-card access for lobbyists. “Currently, some lobbyists as well as business and union representatives have swipe-card access to the building. My view is they should go through the front door like every other New Zealander,” said Hipkins.

Secondly, Hipkins has called on third-party lobbyists to develop a voluntary code of conduct that would enhance transparency by, for example, including the names of the clients they represent on their websites. “Others involved in lobbying, for instance peak bodies, industry associations and other entities may also wish to sign up for this as well,” he said.

“The government will offer assistance from the Ministry of Justice to help draft the code and to provide research on overseas practises and guidance.”

Thirdly, a refreshed cabinet manual will be published this month. “[It] makes it clear that, while in office, ministers’ conduct and decisions should not be influenced by the prospect or expectation of future employment with a particular organisation or sector,” Hipkins said.

Stuart Nash confirms he’ll quit politics at 2023 election

Stuart Nash (Photo: Getty Images, additional design Tina Tiller)

Disgraced MP Stuart Nash has confirmed he will quit politics at this year’s election.

Nash was turfed out of cabinet last week after it emerged he had revealed private information to Labour Party donors. He confirmed at the time he wouldn’t trigger a byelection in his Napier electorate by quitting immediately, but also would not say whether he intended to contest the 2023 election.

In a post shared to his personal Facebook page, Nash said the decision to step down was made after a long conversation with his family – and an “eye to the future”.

“Nearly six years in cabinet, nine years as the Member of Parliament for Napier and 12 years in parliament since 2008, have provided me with the most amazing opportunities to really make a difference to our country and my electorate of Napier. But it’s now time for someone else with passion and drive to step up,” he said.

“There are many many highs – and a couple of obvious lows – and I have made a number of life-long friends from both sides of the House as well as up-and-down this wonderful country.”

Napier MP Stuart Nash
Napier MP Stuart Nash (Photo: Getty Images, additional design Tina Tiller)

Nash said it had been his privilege to serve in cabinet under former prime minister Jacinda Ardern “managing crisis after crisis after crisis, while driving forward an ambitious and progressive agenda of continuous economic and social improvement and transformation”.

He continued: “While the work has been very rewarding, and both intellectually and professionally stimulating, it has also been incredibly taxing on relationships with family and friends. It’s now time to address this balance.”

Nash’s statement ended with a lengthy quotation from US president Theodore Roosevelt that Nash said was one his favourites: “It is not the critic who counts: not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly, who errs and comes up short again and again, because there is no effort without error or shortcoming, but who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, who spends himself in a worthy cause; who, at the best, knows, in the end, the triumph of high achievement, and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who knew neither victory nor defeat.”

Efeso Collins lands provisional 12th spot on Green list

Efeso Collins (Image: Archi Banal)

Former Auckland mayoral hopeful Efeso Collins has landed spot number 12 on the Green Party’s provisional list.

Based on the most recent 1News poll, that would see him become a member of parliament come October’s election.

Collins confirmed his parliamentary intentions in an exclusive interview with Hayden Donnell on The Spinoff earlier this year. He revealed his plan to run a two-tick campaign in the Panmure-Ōtāhuhu electorate currently held by Labour’s Jenny Salesa.

The first eight slots on the Green list are filled by current MPs, with co-leaders Marama Davidson and James Shaw at the top followed by Chlöe Swarbrick, who is also the MP for Auckland Central.

Interestingly, despite the departure of long-serving MPs Jan Logie and Eugenie Sage, Golriz Ghahraman has moved back two spots from seventh to ninth, with newcomer Hūhana Lyndon moving into eighth.

Julie Anne Genter has also swapped places with Elizabeth Kerekere, who moves into fourth, while Ricardo Menéndez March jumps from 10th to seventh.

“With more Green MPs, we can set the direction of the next government and take faster climate action, protect nature, and rebalance wealth so everyone has what they need to provide for their family,” said Shaw.

“Since we first entered government five years ago, the Green Party has delivered change for people and the planet. I am proud of everything our MPs have achieved, but we all know the pace of change has been too slow.”

The initial list will now be put to a vote of all members of the Green Party, who will be given the opportunity to choose this ranking, or rank candidates in their preferred order.

A final list will be formed from this vote of all members and will be released at the end of May.

Efeso Collins (Image: Archi Banal)

The Green Party’s initial list for the 2023 election is:

  1. Marama Davidson

  2. James Shaw

  3. Chlöe Swarbrick

  4. Dr Elizabeth Kerekere

  5. Julie Anne Genter

  6. Teanau Tuiono

  7. Ricardo Menéndez March

  8. Hūhana Lyndon

  9. Golriz Ghahraman

  10. Lan Pham

  11. Steve Abel

  12. Fa’anānā Efeso Collins

  13. Darleen Tana

  14. Kahurangi Carter

  15. Lawrence Xu-Nan

  16. Benjamin Doyle

  17. Francisco Hernandez

  18. Scott Willis

  19. Stephanie Rodgers

  20. Suveen Sanis Walgampola

  21. Gina Dao-McLay

  22. Celia Wade-Brown

  23. Reina Tuai Penney

  24. Mike Davidson

  25. Dave Kennedy

  26. Nick Ratcliffe

  27. Rochelle Francis

  28. Sapna Samant

  29. Dr Alec McNeil

  30. Richard Wesley

  31. Neelu Jennings

  32. Kair Lippiatt

Vodafone’s rebrand coincides with new Starlink deal

One NZ

Vodafone’s rebrand to One NZ has coincided with a pledge to provide 100% mobile connectivity across all of New Zealand.

The telco has confirmed a deal with Elon Musks’s SpaceX satellite brand that will mean a phone connection, initially providing the ability to send texts, will be available anywhere in the country.

That will later be extended to allow for voice calls and mobile broadband as well, though the cost for these services hasn’t been announced yet.

It will operate via Starlink, described as a satellite “constellation” that’s aiming for global mobile coverage.

According to Stuff, One NZ boss Jason Paris said that the company’s mobile network currently covered 98% of inhabited locations around New Zealand – but just over half of all geographical areas. The Starlink connection will eventually mean people can use their phones “whether you’re out on your boat, climbing a mountain, fixing a remote road or on your farm”, he said.

The Bulletin: Cabinet reshuffle could be on the cards for today

Prime minister Chris Hipkins may announce a mini-reshuffle at his post-Cabinet press conference later today, reports the NZ Herald’s Thomas Coughlan. If it happens, the announcement will focus on Stuart Nash’s portfolios following his sacking last Tuesday.

“One option Hipkins was toying with last week was to not fill Nash’s empty seat around the Cabinet table as a signal to the backbench that they don’t simply get promoted into Cabinet as a result of someone else’s incompetence – and a signal to current Cabinet ministers that if they do not collectively up their game, then their workload would increase,” Coughlan writes.

Want to read The Bulletin in full? Click here to subscribe and join over 37,000 New Zealanders who start each weekday with the biggest stories in politics, business, media and culture.

The bus cancellation ‘crisis’ is real

Auckland’s Khyber Pass Road bus lane (Photo: RNZ / Cole Eastham-Farrelly)

There’s been a lot of talk in recent months about the vast number of bus cancellations in main centres like Auckland and Wellington. Now, RNZ has broken down the numbers to reveal just how many are failing to turn up on an average day.

Data journalist Farah Hancock found that, in Auckland, an average of 1,085 buses failed to turn up on any weekday. In Wellington, it was 448.

So far today – bearing in mind I’m publishing this at about 8am – there have already been close to 500 confirmed bus cancellations in Auckland and 300 in the capital.

Auckland transport blogger Matt Lowrie told RNZ it was evidence of a “system in crisis”, adding that transport outcomes can only be achieved if the system works better as a whole. And Ben McFadgen, chief executive of the Bus and Coach Association, said that for people to actually use their city’s public transport network, they first needed confidence in it. “We need to have buses turning up,” he said.

Last month, Auckland Transport was criticised for encouraging people to travel at off-peak times due to so-called “March madness”.

Check out the full RNZ investigation here