Colin Craig is making up the law. And Jamie Whyte doesn't think rural people should have access to doctors. Or something like that.

A quick couple of points about some typically nutty stories provided by everyone's favourite comic puchlines - the Conservative and Act Parties.

First of all, Colin Craig is on the litigation warpath again, this time against a spoof website According to the TV3 website,

[Craig] says it is "clearly in breach of the Electoral Act", and isn't surprised it was allegedly set up by "somebody who may have some association with the Greens".

Far be it for humble little old me to disagree with the handsome, intelligent and not-at-ALL-crazy Mr Craig (and please don't sue me for doing so ... please!!!), but I suspect this is not an entirely accurate account of the state of the law. In otherwords, I call bullfeathers on it.

Craig is referring to the fact that the website doesn't carry a "promoters statement" on it. Such statements are required on any published "election advertisement" under the Electoral Act. However, such statements are only required on those messages that qualify as election advertisments under that Act.

And, in the definition of "electoral advertisements" in s.3A, there's an exclusion for:

any publication on the Internet, or other electronic medium, of personal political views by an individual who does not make or receive a payment in respect of the publication of those views.

That is why, when Tim Watkin inevitably issues his heartfelt cry in a future Pundit post for people to cast their support behind Peter Dunne and United Future, he will be able to do so without having to include his name and address on that post, or this site generally. His post will not constitute an "election advertisement", because (believe it or not) no one pays us anything to write what we do here. I know! Crazy, right?

So, anyway ... it may be possible that some money-bags has given Coyle a wodge of cash to set up (and, just in case you missed the link and haven't visited it yet, that's But I'm thinking not. Coyle and some friends have had some fun at Craig's expense on the internet. And electoral law doesn't touch that.

Second point I want to make is that rural voters really, really should take note of the fact that the Act Party want there to be fewer doctors to service their health needs in the future. You see, according to its leader, Jamie Whyte, Act is strongly committed to this principle:

[S]ociety should not be a racket, no matter who the beneficiaries are – be they men (who continue to enjoy legal privilege in many countries), the landed nobility or people of [rural background]. Law-makers must be impervious to the special pleading of those who wish to set aside the principle of legal equality.

And as a manifestation of his (and his party's) fierce and unwavering commitment to this principle, one of the first programmes that they will demand be abolished after the election is the National Government's deeply offensive decision to provide guaranteed places at the nation's medical schools to a number of students who were raised rural areas. Oh sure, the idea might sound like a nice one - train rural kids to be doctors because they are more likely to return "home" and provide medical services there. But what you don't realise is that this evil policy undermines the very structure of our entire society, and makes us just like France in the 1780s. And not only that, it hurts those students themselves! Because who is going to want to hire, much less be treated, by some thick hick from Taumarunui who only has their degree because a truly meritorious student from Parnell missed out?

So, if you are a rural dweller who wants to see more doctors in rural areas, you might want to think long and hard about just how attractive you find Act's "one law for all!" and "no special legal privileges!" rhetoric. Unless, of course, you think that it just applies to brown people.*

* Note well - this is a publication on the internet of personal political views by an individual who does not make or receive a payment in respect of the publication of those views. So do you see a promoter's statement attached? No. No you don't.


Comments (7)

by william blake on July 31, 2014
william blake

for Dr Whyte.

Werner Heisenberg, Kurt Gödel, and Noam Chomsky walk into a bar. Heisenberg turns to the other two and says, “Clearly this is a joke, but how can we figure out if it’s funny or not?” Gödel replies, “We can’t know that because we’re inside the joke.” Chomsky says, “Of course it’s funny. You’re just telling it wrong.”

by Deborah Coddington on July 31, 2014
Deborah Coddington

So is this 'racket', this 'special pleading' the same as political parties getting into Parliament with a nudge and a wink from the Prime Minister because they don't have a hope in Hades of getting in under their own steam because they're so bloody useless?

by John-Michael Au on July 31, 2014
John-Michael Au

Just to be absolutely sure that no one misses the link (the fifth time!)- it's

by John-Michael Au on July 31, 2014
John-Michael Au

Well thanks, Pundit, I definitely meant when I wrote that link.

So here it is again (and apologies for the double post).

by Andrew Osborn on August 01, 2014
Andrew Osborn

A amusing case of Unintended Consequences?

In several countries I have witnessed a drift of young people from rural areas to the cities, never to return. The average age of farmers is increasing in many developed nations because of this.

We've all seen this: The kids go to uni, get a degree & a decent job in the city and prefer the urban lifestyle to mucking out barns and working outside in the rain. the policy of giving preference to rural kids in medical degrees hastening the urban drift rather than preventing it?

Should we instead be choosing our medical intake solely on merit and then pay doctors more to work in rural areas if we cannot fill the posts - sort of like a free market?



by Andrew Geddis on August 01, 2014
Andrew Geddis

Should we instead be choosing our medical intake solely on merit and then pay doctors more to work in rural areas if we cannot fill the posts - sort of like a free market?

What? You mean those privileged, pampered rural folk will get more of my hard-earned tax dollars spent on their health care needs than are spent on mine? That I have to wait 6 months for a hip operation, just so that their lifestyle choices are catered to? That's not "equality before the law"! It's Marie Antoinette in Versailles all over again!!

But if you mean that you think it is a good idea to completely privatise medical care so that every individual has to personally cover the full cost of gaining access to it, then I'm cool with Jamie Whyte making a widely publicised speech saying that this will be Act's top priority after the election. But I'll bet he won't.

by Robin on August 01, 2014
So on the website in the "About Us" section it says:

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: This website is a parody and work of fiction. Colin Craig did not say any of the things he said, except for the things he actually did say. Colin Craig is not If he was, it would be very confusing. This was not written by Colin Craig, or anyone affiliated with Colin Craig. Colin. Craig.

is that any defence against defamation or is it legally pointless?

Post new comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.