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Tuesday, 7 October 2008

Electoral Finance Act Threatens Privacy and Family Home

Imagine coming home to this on your lawn: it's 1000 knives!

No this isn't something from the "only in America" files it is Bob McCoskrie's front lawn covered in knives, complete with threatening note related to Bob's political activities! How did they get his address? Compliments of the Electoral Finance Act; law abiding critics of the govt have to give their addresses, anonymous thugs then take advantage and attack.

When we were prominent in student politics we had to have unlisted addresses and scrape together funds to pay for PO Boxes after Madeleine received a newspaper cut-out message threatening her to shut up or else for speaking up for freedom of association. But thanks to Labour, gone is the luxury of keeping your home safe if you want to speak up politically.

We have these strict privacy laws, so strict we can't even get each other's details from government departments despite the fact we are married, but the minute you want to criticise the government you have to give your details out to the whole world!

Bob sent us the following email outlining an attack on his home:

Reality of Battle Hits Home

Events over the past weekend have reminded me of just how important it is to speak up on family issues.

Last Saturday night, four women dressed in black came to our family home in South Auckland and placed almost 1,000 plastic knives into our front lawn. They also taped an intimidating note on our front door relating to the knives (anonymous of course!).

I am very thankful that my family and I were in Tauranga over the weekend and my children didn’t stumble across the display. The police have taken away evidence and are testing for fingerprints etc. and our neighbours kindly helped removed the offending items. My neighbours are wondering what sort of friends I have!!

Unfortunately, under the Electoral Finance Act, any material put out by Family First has to have an ‘Authorisation Statement’ which contains the residential address of the person authorising the material. Therefore, because of our VALUE YOUR VOTE campaign, it is fairly easy to figure out where we live.


… the need to publish important information relating to these family issues and the upcoming General Election is too important to stay silent on. (We are aware of other groups who have had second thoughts on speaking up because of this requirement.)

I knew that ’speaking out’ would draw criticism and labelling (and we have been certainly called a number of ‘colourful’ terms!) rather than debating the actual issues being raised - but I always hoped that the debate wouldn’t hit home as it has.THE BOTTOM LINE IS THIS-we will not be silenced.

Whenever we speak up on issues like marriage, the breakdown of family, the anti-smacking law and the role of parents, the pornography industry and public nudity, prostitution, pro-life issues including abortion and euthanasia, and many other topics that families are concerned about, we are going to make enemies . I’m the first to admit that we don’t always get it right, but we cannot afford towalk away from the opportunity. We have to speak up from a family perspective on these crucial issues.

What keeps us going is knowing that there are many many of you who are standing with us on these issues.

Events like this remind me of how much we value your support, words of encouragement (and correction!), financial and moral support, and prayers. (And I would especially ask at this time that you would pray for my family’ protection.)

William Booth - founder of the Salvation Army - said “50 years hence it will matter very little indeed how these people treated us. It will matter a great deal how we dealt with the work of God.”

Once again, thanks for standing with us.

It is your support and encouragement that keeps us going!

Now we don't agree with everything Bob stands for but we do agree with a lot and we certainly admire and respect Bob for standing for what he believes in and we absolutely think he should be able to do that without telling the whole world where he and his family live and without being subject to attacks on his home and personal threats.

Doesn't he rock though? He and his family are subjected to this and the first sentence he writes speaks of his increased resolve continue speaking out.

UPDATE - Another email from Bob:

Another anonymous note..

This time an apology !

We have just received this note - from 'anonymous'.

I see you didn't take our little prank as it was intended, just as a little
bit of harmless fun, just some plastic and spare time, I hope you could see the funny side of it... Never-the-less were truly sorry if this has in
anyway, offended or scared you emotionally physically or mentally... Were Sorry, We're very thankful that this seems to be a very badly thought out prank - especially in the light of all the concerns about knife attacks recently.

Thank you to the hundreds of you who emailed words of encouragement . I t has been very humbling to know the level of support for Family First .

Fortunately we can smile at this one. But we do ask for your continued prayer as we speak out on sometimes controversial issues affecting families.

UPDATE: Media are picking up the story everywhere:

Nine News
Info News
AngloINFO Singapore have the unfortunate title: "Knives Stabbed into Family First Leader"


  1. Good post, this has been all over the blogosphere now and in the DomPOst, Stuff, NZH and ODT.
    Big News indeed!

  2. Good. It needs widespread coverage.

    The more bloggers that put it up the better. It gets the word out there and it shows that we care about what was done to Bob, his family and his organisation.

    We are going to keep running updates as we get them.

  3. I actually leaked it to the Dom Post last night and and it spread from there.

  4. The knives are out for the family.

    It is just plain wrong to trespass and intimidate. Whatever happened to reason?

  5. Reason? That went out when public schooling came in.

    Good on you Dave - well done.

  6. Typical tactic of the right. Make up an attack and blame the left.

    The knives were plastic. Grow some balls Bob.

  7. Make up an attack?

    So what if they were plastic? They were not forks, they were not spoons, they were knives. Combined with the contents of the note they conveyed a message, a threat; the entire stunt was intended to intimidate.

  8. "Make up" an attack? Where to begin! I am privy to several examples of Labour supporters inventing persecution to further their cause (and I also suspect - note that, *suspect* that Helen Clark invented an airplane incident when only her friends were present in order to take the heat off a certain John Tamahere scandal a while ago), and yet when there's a fairly clear cut case of one of their opponents being singled out and intimidated with an invasion of his family property, they dismiss it as something that conservatives should just "get over."

    Tell you what, "anonymous," why don't you take your sentiment and write it to the editor of the Herald. be sure to make it clear that you're a Labour supporter. Do the country a favour.

  9. I guess Anon would be happy for me to go round and put knives into his front lawn with a threatening note directed to him and his family?



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