Socially conservative Pacific Island support base speak out on homosexuality

Embattled David Cunliffe will formally step down as Labour leader today – amid a warning that the party’s socially conservative Pacific Island support base does not want him replaced by Grant Robertson.

Robertson has strong caucus support. But Cunliffe loyalists point to the backing he has from the Pacific Island community in South Auckland. Labour held the Mangere, Manukau East and Manurewa electorates at the election, although its share dropped by around 5 percentage points.

One community leader, who did not want to be named, said many in the community were uneasy about tactics used in the last week to force Cunliffe out. And Robertson’s homosexuality clashed with socially conservative attitudes of voters, who would turn instead to NZ First, he said.

‘‘If Labour want to go from 24 [per cent] to 14 and put NZ First from 10 to 19, that’s the way to go. He won’t unify the party. He will destroy the South Auckland power base, that three Ms.

‘‘It’s not so much Grant, it’s what aligns with their beliefs … it will probably be a tipping point.’’

Full story:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/10558668/Cunliffe-formally-steps-down

 

“Gay” prime minister of NZ may be ‘a step too far’ – says transsexual former Labour MP

Georgina Beyer, the world’s first transsexual mayor and a former Labour MP, warned in late August 2013 that New Zealand is not yet ready for a “gay” prime minister and may be seeing a social conservative backlash.

With the Labour leadership yet again up for grabs, it again raises the question of whether Grant Robertson, the “gay” deputy leader, could be elevated to head the party, making him a strong possibility for prime minister [in the future].

But Beyer, who was an MP for eight years until 2007, said in late August 2013 that Labour needed to be realistic.

“I don’t think we’re ready yet,” she said…..

Grant Robertson, who is currently contending for the Party’s leadership against David Cunliffe, who recently resigned, acknowledged on TV3’s The Nation on Sunday 28 November 2014 that the fact he was “gay”, might stop some people voting for him, just as the fact “I like rugby and drink beer might be an issue with some people as well”. In trying to trivialise the “gay” issue which has proven problematic and cuts very deep with his Party’s largely conservative Polynesian base, he may well run the risk of being perceived as insensitive to their deeply-held cultural and religious views. [Read more...]

Listed Chinese firm targets Lochinver and other NZ farm assets

The goal posts have shifted in the deal to buy Lochinver Station with a second Chinese company now involved in the overseas investment application process.

NBR ONLINE has learned Shenzhen-listed Hunan Dakang Pasture Farming is raising capital to acquire the New Zealand acquisition vehicle from Shanghai Pengxin Group.

The deal includes 16 Crafar farms and the 75% stake in Canterbury’s Synlait Farms, already acquired by Shanghai Pengxin, and also the potential acquisition of Lochinver, a 14,000ha property near Taupo….

For full story go to:

National Business Review. Story by Chief Reporter Duncan Bridgeman. 26 September 2014

http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/listed-chinese-firm-targets-lochinver-and-other-nz-farm-assets-db-p-163047

Labour Party to look at ‘fairly representing’ gay members in Parliament

The 97th Labour Party conference held in Christchurch over the weekend of 1-3 November 2013 approved a remit that required its party list to “fairly represent” gays and lesbians among its selected candidates. The inference implicit in the wording of the remit was that the existing Constitution did not allow for a “fair” representation of such people on its party list.

The Conference delegates voted to delete Rule 293 of its Constitution which had stated:

“There shall be no barriers to nominees on the grounds of sexual orientation or marital status” Gender, ethnicity, age and disability are active criteria listed above.”

Unhappy with the comprehensive and perfectly adequate protections afforded its openly “gay” aspiring candidates – protections that are fully in harmony with the Human Rights Act 1993,  those seeking a more “pro-active” position on the advancement of gays and lesbians, rather than one based on merit alone, sought radical change to the Constitution. [Read more...]

Big jump in money laundering reports

MILLIONS of dollars in suspicious financial transactions, including some linked to child exploitation and drug dealing, have been reported under new anti-money laundering laws.

But police still cannot point to the number of arrests made or prosecutions launched as a result of the restrictive new regime installed in June 2013, or say how many of those reported as suspicious required more investigation.

In the first year of the Anti-Money-Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism Act being fully enacted, placing increased onus on banks and other financial institutions to detect suspicious transactions, almost 87,000 transactions worth $3.5 billion were reported to police.

In the previous year, before the law was passed, almost 12,000, worth $545 million, were reported.

Information released by police under the Official Information Act shows the suspicious transaction reports had “detected or contributed to [the] investigation of crimes including money laundering, drug dealing. large scale transnational fraud, abuse of trusts and companies and payments suspected to relate to child exploitation.

The size of the suspicious transactions reported in 2013-14 ranged from small sums to millions of dollars, averaging out at $40,400 a transaction. [Read more...]