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04 28th January 2018
1. Don Brash carried out a flying visit the Palmerston North and Feilding on Wednesday spending Hobson’s Pledges cash via a half page ad in the Manawatu Standard…that’s a few thousand bucks folks…in an effort to boost his disciple Don Esslemont in his strange desire to oppose a Maori Ward for Palmerston North.
Well in an effort to present an unbiased view I’m simply going to inform you of what the Manawatu Standard wrote. Part A was written by Richard Mays:
|Donald [Brash] number 1|
“Don Brash, controversial spokesman for lobby group Hobson's Pledge, is to visit Manawatū on Wednesday to rally support for petitions that seek to overturn local council decisions on Māori wards.
Both the Palmerston North City Council and Manawatū District Council voted last year in favour of Māori wards.
Hobson's Pledge is a lobby group dedicated to removing what it sees as legislative favouritism for Māori.
Unattributed pamphlets inviting Manawatū District and city residents to sign a petition demanding a binding poll on Māori wards had been circulated to voters through letterboxes and rural mail boxes.
Brash said Hobson's Pledge was financing the petition.
"A number of locals are unhappy about what has happened and we are keen to support them call for a poll on the issue," he said.
In Palmerston North, the council voted in favour of a Māori ward, even though two thirds of the submissions were against it.
In Feilding, consultation on establishing a ward took place between the council and local marae, six of them voting in favour, four against and two abstaining. In November, six councillors voted for wards, with four against.
Brash said he would be spending the morning in Feilding and the afternoon in Palmerston North. It was up to local petition organisers, Manawatū District councillor Andrew Quarrie, who voted against the ward proposal, and Don Esslemont, in Palmerston North, how they made use of him.
However, the yellow petitions pamphlets, separately worded for both local authority regions, didn't carry any acknowledgement of Hobson's Pledge.
"I don't know why [the petitions] don't refer to us. We weren't trying to hide the fact that we were funding it," Brash said.
"We didn't want the issue clouded by someone from outside. It has got to be something local ratepayers express their views on."
When asked why the local petitions were not attributed to Hobson's Pledge, Esslemont said "it never crossed my mind".
"We never asked [ourselves] the question whether we should put anything on it."
|Donald number 2 [Esslemont]|
As well as the anonymity, there was some confusion about the delivery of the petition pamphlets. Some city suburbs missed out, while some Feilding residents reported that Palmerston North pamphlets ended up in their letterboxes.
Esslemont said he had only been made aware of the problem on Thursday and was talking about it with the distributors.
Next Wednesday, he said Brash would spend time around Feilding's Manchester Square and Palmerston North's The Square, talking with people about signing the poll petitions, which have to be submitted before February 21. A poll required the signatures of 2727 registered city electors and 1004 registered district council voters.
If a poll on the issue was necessary in Palmerston North, it could cost between $100,000 and $125,000.
In the Manawatū District, council spokesman Paul Stein said the poll would cost between $80,000 and $100,000
From: Jimmy Ellingham a Manawatū Standard news director.
Māori ward opponents 'didn't think' about telling us who they are
Don Brash isn't sure why Hobson's Pledge didn't put its name to pamphlets about its views on Māori wards.
OPINION: Everyone has the right to express their views.
It's one of the wonderful things about living in a democracy and means people can broadcast all sorts of opinions, no matter how stuffy.
So it was when a pamphlet headlined "We want a vote on Māori wards" turned up in Palmerston North and Manawatū letterboxes.
Such wards are proving a divisive issue in local-body politics and both the Palmerston North City and Manawatū District councils have voted in favour of their establishment.
Opposition has been loud and clear. Two-thirds of pubic submissions in the city were against the move,[ but only two turned up to speak to the issue] while the Manawatū council vote passed by six to four.[and the PNCC council voted 11 to 4 in support of Maori Wards]
According to the pamphlet, if 2727 people sign an online petition in Palmerston North, the council must hold a binding poll on the issue.
The pamphlet's authors were firm: "We believe that Māori wards are not necessary for council decisions... all of which are for the benefit of everyone, irrespective of ethnicity.
"The added cost of red tape of a Māori ward is the last thing ratepayers need."
Leaving aside the dubious claims that such a ward would come with extra costs, there was a surprising omission.
Nowhere on the pamphlet, not once, did the authors reveal themselves. Contact details merely point to a Feilding PO Box and anonymous email address.
It turns out lobby group Hobson's Pledge is behind them, but, like an anonymous online comment, it's difficult to give its opinions any weight if it's not upfront about them.
It's also tempting to conclude the group was too gutless to put its name to its views, especially given the, for some, toxic association with former National and ACT leader Don Brash, who late last year spoke out against Radio NZ announcers using Māori language on air.
Palmerston North petition organiser Don Esslemont said of leaving the Hobson's Pledge name off the pamphlet: "It never crossed my mind": Seriously? Did it not occur to Esslemont that we might want to know who is telling us to oppose Māori wards, so we can develop an informed view on what is said?
Brash, who the group is wheeling out in Manawatū this week, wasn't sure why the pamphlets didn't refer to Hobson's Pledge.
The war of the wards is a legitimate local-government issue, but in the battle of open debate, the most vocal forgot their basic introductions.
Jimmy Ellingham is a Manawatū Standard news director.
|Bull-Shit Ad used by Hobson/s pledge caption|
With all this press coverage as well a half page ad in the paper, you think that the supporters would pour out in their hundred, all those who opposed Maori Wards but failed to turn up to speak to their submission to the council, only two actually spoke against Maori Wards.
The Manawatu Standard was kind in its remarks on the massive turn out of anti-Maori Ward rate payers…there was around ten supporters and ten opposition members of the public who turned up to greet their great white leader Donald Brash ex-Nats leader and ex Act Party leader and co-leader of Hobson’s Pledge, a far North racist structure best known for its false advertising as demonstrated in this ad: Every last one of the happy youth live outside of New Zealand…not one belongs to Hobson’s Pledge…or even knows who Hobson was!
One last point: I received this information on Friday:
Donald Esslemont went into the Plaza after the main event in the Square at about 1.30pm seeking signatures for his petition. When I saw him approaching other diners; I challenged him about lack of authority to do so, his response was "It's a public place". I phoned the Plaza management who confirmed it is not a public place and they do not permit polling, petitions etc. They said they would remind all their retail outlets and look out for Hobson's Pledge supporters. Email ends.
It would appear that both Donald's failed to follow the rules…is this a sign of their general lack of intelligence? Remember these are the elderly old white males who preach ‘One law for all, but it would seem not for them...
Peter J Wheeler