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Media taken for ride over credit card coverage

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 79 comments
Categories: Media, news - Tags:

Journalists’ reaction to the credit card fiasco today (especially Stuff’s ridiculously huge revolving headline) fell right into the National government’s lap. It was a classic set piece by the government that did not warrant the saturated coverage it received. My message to the media: Come on guys get spin wise!

Let me first state very clearly what I think about the credit card Ministerial spending. It was stupid, idiotic, and completely unacceptable from all concerned Ministers. Shane Jones, Chris Carter, and Tim Groser will and should hang their heads lower over the affair.

But this story did not warrant the build-up or coverage it’s received so far. Not by a long shot.

Sure, it’s worthy frontpage news today. I’ll concede that much.

It did not however deserve three days of drawn out headline coverage, especially when it was very clear from the beginning that this whole affair was a carefully managed media strategy run out of the 9th Floor of the Beehive. Yes, I hate to break to you, but this was (a quite clever) set piece delivered by the Nats and lapped up by media. The Government cleverly hyped it for months, leaked anticipation of its release, leaked tastly tidbits, and finally delivered a document that was going to take days to digest.

With all the effort and spin that went into the story, the media should’ve had the sense to step back with a critical eye for a moment and say “Wait… We’re really being used and taken out for a spin here” [yes.. pun intended]. Instead we received days of ongoing coverage, a rolling giant headline on stuff, and 10 minutes in the 6pm news bulletins (is that more than the election?).

And no, Shane Jones’ porn isn’t an excuse. You’re not all the Truth for goodness sake.

Come on guys, you can do better than this.

79 comments on “Media taken for ride over credit card coverage”

  1. tc 1

    Having just surfed both news and the 7pm dross it came as no surprise the msm has not so much fallen for it but rather followed the directives layed out by their masters……heel msm…..who’s a good boy then.

    It’s great TV, always a furtile topic and especially when you get so much time to prepare as campbell showed what a theatrical bufoon he can be given the material.

    Now wait and see if there’s matching coverage of any dodgy stuff from irrelevant nact mp’s once the msm lapdogs have time to digest the meal they’ve finally been given after been thrown some juicy appetisers.

    • Oliver 1.1

      Wonder how much of taxpayer money John Campbell spent on all the props for tonights show – on the taxpayer wallet

      • joe90 1.1.1

        Wonder how much of taxpayer money John Campbell spent on all the props for tonights show on the taxpayer wallet

        Campbell on the taxpayer tit, golly, great source there Olive.

    • The reason that it attracts so much attention is that it is really stupid. Anyone can understand it.

      Key’s trust rorts on the other hand are really complicated and the general audience was turned off by it.

      Wow. Our sensitivity to and tolerance of scandals depends on our understanding …

      How terrifying is that?

  2. Armchair Critic 2

    Spending $5k on follies like porn, then paying it back – stupid (and unacceptable).
    Spending $50k to find the $5k, and not paying it back – pricelessly stupid.
    Still waiting for anyone from the MSM to ask Mr Key whether he thinks this was a good use of $50k.

    • sean14 2.1

      Let’s ignore shoplifters then, as long as they have nicked under $100 worth of stuff, because it will cost more than that it police and court time to prosecute.

      • Armchair Critic 2.1.1

        Let’s trawl back through all the speed camera photos and issue infringements to everyone who was exceeding the speed limit by 1km/h, because that would be a wonderful use of police resources – according to your logic.
        C’mon sean, tell me you think this was a great use of $50k. Tell me it was excellent value for money.

        • Thomas Beagle 2.1.1.1

          I think that $50k was a great use of money.

          Transparency in government is important and worthy paying for.

          • Armchair Critic 2.1.1.1.1

            Transparency in government is important…
            Me too, so I want to know what happened with Richard Worth.

    • burt 2.2

      So when it’s your team we do a cost benefit analysis to justify or dismiss a thorougher audit of parliamentary expenditure?

      Do the same rules apply to the other teams when they are in charge because I’m sure all sides would agree to that if we the public collectively thought it was a good idea.

      Lets say then that if the cost of misdeeds is not financially measurable (such as the perversion of an election) then we just don’t investigate (rather validate) because we will never get past the cost benefit (in the public interest) test. Excellent idea Armchair Critic, lets mock how much it cost to discover what went on outside of parliamentary rules, that will do wonders to restore our faith that the place is operating in our best interests.

      • Armchair Critic 2.2.1

        I don’t have a team.
        I think a C/B analysis would have been a waste of time because the benefits could not have been ascertained without incurring the costs.
        If you are so keen on knowing how much spending went on outside the rules then surely you encourage keeping digging. We’ve has a parliamentary democracy for a quite a few years now and while the records might not be complete, I’m sure if we keep digging we’ll find lots of other fascinating stuff. Sure it will probably cost a lot more than the actual expenditure that is outside of the rules, but what the hell, according to you that’s the price of having confidence in democracy. Do you make a habit of spending other people’s money on pointless shit? Retrospectively?

      • burt 2.2.2

        So you think that keeping controls on how public money gets spent is pointless shit?

        Hell, lets just all get a tax-payer credit card to buy personal stuff with, will be cheaper to just let it go and move on…

        You are defending the indefensible, no surprise becasue as we know it’s OK when Labour do it.

    • It’s not up to him. If you want to push the repeal of the OIA, be my guest, but be prepared for a fight.

      • Armchair Critic 2.3.1

        If you want to push the repeal of the OIA…
        What makes you think I want to do that?
        I want the Prime Minister to express an opinion on whether spending $50k to identify repaid mis-spending almost an order of magnitude less represents good value for the taxpayer. I doubt he will be capable of expressing an opinion publicly, at best I expect fudging and generalisations.
        If he was smart he would confirm that section 15 (1A) and (2) of the OIA allow for the reasonable costs to be recovered, and he would acknowledge that the requesters would be invoiced for the costs. But you probably already knew that and were just raising the repeal the OIA shit as a distraction.

      • burt 2.3.2

        So you think only rich people should be allowed to request information under the OIA. You’re not a fan of accountability and democracy are you. Labour supporter by any chance ?

        • Armchair Critic 2.3.2.1

          So you think only rich people should be allowed to request information under the OIA.
          No, WTF did I say that? I think that if someone makes an OIA request that costs $50k and leaves the cost with the taxpayer and the PM just let’s it lie because it’s politically expedient, that’s corrupt.
          You’re not a fan of accountability and democracy are you.
          I’m more of a fan than you could comprehend, apparently.
          Labour supporter by any chance ?
          Occasionally I vote for Labour, and more often than National, but no, I’m not a Labour supporter.

        • burt 2.3.2.2

          If people need to be weary of the cost of an OIA request then only people who can afford to pay the cost will make them. Clearly if people are making frivolous and time wasting requests then that is different. But to suggest that the $50K cost of uncovering the self serving corruption in this case is a waste is making excuses for the tossers who think they can just spend our money however they like. This case was tax payers money well spent.

  3. Herodotus 3

    Is there anything important out there like the start of the W recession, Europe in financial troubles, or an oil coy and drilling coy appearing to be negligent and do not cover any claims (I can only hope and pray for real justice)
    Obviously not all there is is a few $000 dollars that are not that material and some poorly made decisissions (Mainly by Mps I have never heard of) and some very partisian views supporting or attacking this behaviour. Perhaps those expressing their blindly partisian views should take a look at themselves in what they are attempting to justifiy (either side) and see how they have undermined some of their credibility, as it is not the issue just this blind support of the “US” team.
    p.s. re the spending of $50k for this spending report, how is Government House minor renovations proceeding and at what cost. it was originally about $45m

    • comedy 3.1

      Good point and to quote the Air NZ best blog awards..

      [deleted]

      [lprent: good quote. Pity you already picked up a ban for a week for insulting an author. ]

  4. comedy 4

    By calling me retarded you win the prize of taking a week off. And your comment goes. – MF

  5. Oliver 5

    I think the thing that made it worse for Labour was Heatley resigning over $70 worth of expenditure (until the OAG had their review) and Labour were taking it for all it was worth with heaps of quotes that are surfacing again. Including Trevor Mallard calling for Heatley to resign over the affair, thus by his standard, Shane Jones should also resign

  6. really 6

    You have made a mistake in your headline, it should read “Taxpayer taken for a ride by Labour members over credit card use”

    • Craig Glen Eden 6.1

      What about ” National minister continues to drink at the trough despite Keys tough talk”

      or ” National ministers continue to steal from taxes payers”

      or “Nat/Act minsters spend more in 18 months than Labour ministers do over 9 years”

      or ” Sloppy PM fails to control Ministers spending”

      • really 6.1.1

        Minister for Porno.

        • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1.1

          Minister for Porno Richard Worth resigned over more than just watching porn!

          • mickysavage 6.1.1.1.1

            Actually CGE the rumour that I heard (from an impeccable source) is that the final straw was when the Government of a foreign (religious) country was presented with an invoice by Worth for the provision of services which would upset the moral norms of that country.

            Jones watching a movie that he subsequently paid for has nothing in comparison …

            • seth 6.1.1.1.1.1

              Just like I heard from an impeccable source that …

              Oh no you don’t – MF

  7. Lama 7

    You’re kidding, right? There’s no way to dress this up as anything other than what it is, and your facile attempt to claim the Nats’ media manipulators have pulled the wool over a bunch of extremely experienced journos’ eyes is insulting at best.

    Jones was stupid, he’s stolen from the taxpayer and he should go. If a UK MP can resign because her husband charged porn to her taxpayer-funded card, Jones has no leg at all to stand on. He should do the decent thing, apologise, and resign.

    • Bored 7.1

      And going on your advice and obviously high moral standards he can bring along his house mates McCully and Groser, perhaps Carter, and for that matter Double Dipton et al. What a total balls up from both sides of the system.

      The good thing is we dont need any illusions that these people are representative humans with a full set of virtues and vices, just like us, so who better to represent us?

    • Craig Glen Eden 7.2

      What about English, Heatly,Brownly. Grosser, they should all go to aye Lama?

    • RedLogix 7.3

      Jones was stupid, he’s stolen from the taxpayer and he should go.

      Sorry but exactly what was ‘stolen’?

      It was reimbursed ages ago as part of a semi-regular reconciliation. This is how corporate credit cards get used all the time. Taxpayer wasn’t out of pocket for anything more than a few bucks of interest at most.

      Heatley’s personal expenses on the other hand were only found out more or less after an external audit…not such a good look at all.

  8. Carol 8

    And why is the media not making as much fuss about this piece that happened yesterday at Paula Bennet’s welfare seminar?

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10650823

    An international expert has upset the Government’s welfare reform agenda by proposing a universal child allowance to tackle child poverty.
    The head of social policy for the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), Dr Monika Queisser, told a forum organised by the Government’s Welfare Working Group yesterday how New Zealand was “out of step with other countries.

    But 15 per cent of Kiwi children lived in families with less than half the median income, compared with an OECD average of 12 per cent.

    “The gap between material deprivation of children and older people is biggest in New Zealand out of 27 countries,” she said.

    She said the Labour Government’s Working for Families package had stemmed the rise in child poverty but “has not reduced the high child poverty rate”.

    • seth 8.1

      because its extremely obvious by now that throwing money at people and/or problems does not improve their lot in life, and does not improve the probability of them getting out of where they are.

      • Pete 8.1.1

        So why is it that the big story of “pulling oneself up by the bootstraps” is commonly talked about in reference to the current Prime Minister and Minister for Social Development and Employment if indeed it is “extremely obvious”? Is it because it now doesn’t serve the new story of ‘success’ since the budget was announced?

        Would the best way to improve these people’s lot in life be to ask them to pay proportionately more of their incomes (if they are on low incomes – WFF recipients), or their benefits (if they are on them) and increase the incomes of those who aren’t living hand-to-mouth?

        And if the above isn’t the answer, and ‘throwing money at people and problems’ isn’t either then what is? Because isn’t the tax change supposedly ‘throwing’ money at those on higher incomes to *chuckle* ‘grow the pie’?

  9. TightyRighty 9

    Those poor helpless fools in the media. outlasting administrations. being professional. then to be outwitted by old smile and wave and his merry team of relaxed alchies. the contradictions between what is expressed on this site, and don’t quote the policy, these are views shared by all contributors here, are amazing. on one hand we have a do-nothing, on-holiday-relaxed money trader who couldn’t think his way out of kindergarten, and on the other we have a rat-cunning, master media manipulator, and typical lying politician. what to believe?

    • Michael Foxglove 9.1

      My answer to you TR is George W Bush.

    • Bored 9.2

      Had a few? Getting looser TR? A little incoherent, but hell we cant read you anyway, its hard to focus when you are laughing so much. I could have just called you a retard but that seems to attract bans. At some stage please actually give us an argument, reasonably constructed logic or similar. Something that might challenge us. I know that this might be a challenge for you, but hey have a go.

    • Zorr 9.3

      Strangely enough, neither of those two scenarios are actually mutually exclusive.

      Logic 101 fael.

  10. Bored 10

    I would like to point out that whenever you watch the news on TV the politicians are always surrounded by a retenue of support staff, normally private secretaries and that lowly life form the Press Secretary (formerly of the MSM and now in the art of paid spin). these creatures are in the employ of you and me, the tax payer.

    One has to question the worth of this expenditure if these paid minders cant find time to ensure that the expenses claims of their “bosses” are not vetted and “sanitised” at source. What the hell do they actually do if their Minister “bosses” get so exposed? What shabby treatment they give the hands that feed them.

  11. the sprout 11

    10k for credit card charges.
    209k for Nick Smith’s defamation defence.
    The msm have most certainly been taken for a major ride.

  12. Lew 12

    I disagree. This is a legitimate matter of public interest, and while it was blown out of proportion, the scandal around moral and ethical behaviour is relevant. The electorate wants to know, and the media have a duty to let them know.

    If only Labour were competent enough to run media campaigns half this good on twice as much evidence. The system is what it is. They know — or ought to know — how it works. Rather than bleating about how the system’s not fair, I’d prefer they use it to their advantage so they can get on with the business of governing, or failing that, being a credible opposition and preventing the government from riding roughshod over anyone who gets in their way because they enjoy a degree of electoral impunity.

    L

    • Oh Lew

      You are so intense on Labour and then stand by while National systematically destroys the country.

      Do you ever weigh up the respective merits and decide on who is better, even if not by much, before commenting?

      • Lew 12.1.1

        No, I don’t go easy on Labour because I think they’re better on balance. Fuck that. The foremost duty of a supporter is not to be a cheerleader. If Labour are useless or evil, they’ll get it all the more strongly from me because I expect National to be useless and/or evil, whereas I expect more of Labour.

        L

        • mickysavage 12.1.1.1

          So you are harder on Labour even though they are better?

          • Lew 12.1.1.1.1

            Yes. I hold them to a higher standard, since they claim a higher standard, and I think there’s some legitimacy to that claim.

            In the apparently vain hope that they won’t rest on their laurels, take the outrageous piss, fall into elementary political traps, and turn every silk purse they stumble across into a sow’s ear.

            L

            • mickysavage 12.1.1.1.1.1

              So Helen’s Government was not much different to Key’s Government?

              Are you being serious?

              • Lew

                Wherever did I make such a claim?

                L

                • So you are harder on Labour even though they are better? …

                  Yes. I hold them to a higher standard, since they claim a higher standard, and I think there’s some legitimacy to that claim. …

                  So Helen’s Government was not much different to Key’s Government? …

                  Wherever did I make such a claim?

                  You are right. I take it that you agree that Helen’s Government was better than the current rabble but you will be more critical of Labour than of National because Labour is more left wing. Wow, this is a really difficult standard. I expect attacks from the wingnuts but from left wingers because Labour is better but not better enough?

                  • Lew

                    The point is that I don’t just reflexively fight the corner of the crowd I happen to like the most. I criticised Heatley and Gorser and Brownlee in February, and I’ve done so again now. But it’s all the more galling when the Labour party — which claims to be a better sort than the National party — fails.

                    This sort of stuff is bad when Labour does it, and it’s bad when National does it. That National does it too doesn’t make it any less bad when Labour does it. This isn’t defensible, so why defend it?

                    There is no “fair”. Nobody deserves a free ride. It’s as I/S says: no pity. The response should be proportionate, but in this case I think it is, as I’ve argued: it speaks to character.

                    No political party needs one-eyed yes-people and cheerleaders who’ll baby it and defend it when it’s manifestly in the wrong. That breeds laziness and entitlement. It’s the sort of shit which gets Sarah Palin on your presidential ticket. It needs people who’ll demonstrate that if the party wants their support it will need to be competent, disciplined and effective; to produce quality policy, to frame and communicate it well, and to demonstrate high standards of conduct. Stop defending uselessness and mediocrity. If you want Labour to win, tell them you’re not prepared to stand for this sort of shit.

                    L

                    • Just to add to the excellent points Lew’s made:
                      When it comes to politics I’m motivated by my values which are centre left – for the first couple of terms of the last Labour government I supported Labour, now I support the Greens and National because (in various ways) they seem closest to my personal values than the other parties in Parliament.
                      Many of The Standard bloggers and commentators seem to have no values (that I can see) and see politics as a sports game in which you pick your team and cheer them on no matter how poorly they’re doing while you boo the enemy team irregardless of what they say or do. That might be amusing for you guys but it’s not really contributing to the debate.

                    • Pete

                      I’m with Lew and Danyl, micky (except supporting National – on most of their policy).

                      I expect better from Labour as well, and I find that blindly following them and defending every single thing doesn’t help the parties garner support by swing-voters, or those who are otherwise unsure.

                      We should hold all parties up to the same scrutiny, except where they provide additional levels for themselves – whereby that should be the standard we expect. There is a minimum expectation, and then there are self-imposed expectations – that’s my interpretation of what Lew is trying to say – and I completely agree.

                      And for the record, I’m actually quite put off by Labour at the moment, because they just don’t maximise their opportunities, promote sound policy as well, or establish real points of difference between them and the incumbents…

    • RedLogix 12.2

      Labour let themselves be pushed on the back-foot when there is no need for it. This is a stupid little ‘scandal’ that I’m willing to bet the majority of the electorate knows quite well is just another outbreak of petty political blood-letting.

      Porn? Ha…90% of grown-ups have seen it. No-one really cares about it as a ‘moral’ issue. Christ on a bike…”Go Girls” on prime-time TV has the main character fucking in a pub toilet as I write this. Get some perspective. We’re not in the 50’s anymore.

      If Labour had simply gone on the attack and stayed there, instead of falling back into a patently hypocritical cringe of faux-grovelling… the whole thing would have rebounded on the Nats as it should have.

      • Lew 12.2.1

        I think if Shane Jones had made his “red-blooded man” speech at the first possible opportunity, rather than once the machine had already spun up to speed, he’d come out of this looking a damned site better. Even as it is, I think there’s a chance he’ll exorcise some of the joyless lesbian puritan demons lingering around Labour.

        L

      • mickysavage 12.2.2

        Agreed

        If I was in control of the next Labour Government there would be NO ministerial visa cards and also no limos. They should catch taxis or trains.

        But Labour is getting thrashed about something which is quite minor and in the background really egregious stuff is happening …

        • Lew 12.2.2.1

          If the background stuff is so egregious, it should be really easy to make a story out of, right?

          No?

          Then fire your fucking comms department and hire a competent one.

          Or maybe it’s actually not so egregious after all, in the view of them what matter.

          L

  13. I am really over this.

    I suggest that the reasons for Richard Worth’s sacking should be released and we can then compare this to Shane Jones’s actions and have a real debate.

    On the one hand we have the watching of a Hotel R18 movie that he did pay for although belatedly.

    On the other hand we have … [Feel free to fill in with whatever you think which will be legitimate until Key says why Worth was fired]

    Honest, I am really over this. Jones is being pilloried for something that is not that good but way less serious than …

    • Herodotus 13.1

      He did attempt to cover up ZB this morning then with Susan Wood tried to play semantics. He was given a spade and kept on digging then like Princess Fergie went on a charm offensive. On all interviews both TV stations and radio it was the same message almost carbon copy statements. I thought someone like him would have fronted up yeah I did watch a few skin flicks, so. He may have widened his appeal as someone a bit more real. But no he fell into the experienced politician of denial until the evidence proves otherwise. For me that is his real down fall. Pity he could have made a bad day into his phoenix rising to greater glory.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        So Jones fessed up within 6 hours of the news breaking. Good on him.

        And Worth?

        • Herodotus 13.1.1.1

          Jones fessed up after the evidence did not support his original case. Re Worth I was waiting for the texts and emails that Phil had, but from what was reported was nothing. I think Worth was a smoking gun that was disposable, not even sure why Worth warrents such a high position on the list. Jones may not warrent to be the face of any senior positions, but I think he still has some “worth” to contribute toward Lab and NZ with an alternative view to the Labour follow the line thinking. Otherwise I think he will be lost to NZ as he gets courted from America. Not sure of his iwi connections and willingness to forgo many US$ for the greater good of Maoridom.

    • gingercrush 13.2

      Of course you’re over it mickey savage. Anything is needed for you to forget what a lousy bunch of hypocritical idiots the Labour Party is. You want the focus back on Key. Except, the blind trust issue was pathetic and was messy with Hodgson making it even more messy. That is why no one is talking about today. And as for Worth. The guy is now no longer in parliament so why you expect the media to keep following that is beyond me. The media have rather small minds and will no doubt quickly forget this current Credit Card spending scandal.

    • Inventory2 13.3

      “a” hotel movie micky? Surely, you jest.

      10/1/2008 – 11/1/2008 – 4 movies
      21/1/2008 – 1 movie
      14/2/2008 – 2 movies
      22/2/2008 – 1 movie
      29/2/2008 – 1 movie
      7/3/2008 – 2 movies

      Need I go on? But the real issue is Jones’ credibility. He told Mike Hosking this morning that they weren’t “buff” movies. At 9.40am, Stuff reported that Jones “couldn’t recall” whether he’d watched adult films. By early afternoon, he’d ‘fessed up, after Barry Soper and other journos had rung hotels and verified the cost of said adult films. Five hours; three stories; silly fellow.

  14. Rharn 14

    The difference between the Nat rorts and Labours is that Labour MP’s acted stupidly. The Nats on the other hand went to some length in trying to hide their rorts and when caught tried to justify them. Only when this stratagem did not work did they come clean. Still I’m pretty pissed off with Shane Jones. Here was one guy who could take on any Minister and Key to boot. Not so easy now. Time will tell how much damage has been done. Not much in my view. Nothing wrong with a bit of porn it’s just getting caught that’s the real crime. Just what Jones was thinking of putting this shit on his card I’ll never know. Dumb just bloody dumb.

  15. Cactus Kate 15

    I support full disclosure of these expenses.

    It was worth it just to see that Judith Tizard has excellent taste in champagne.

    She goes up immensely in my estimation.

    • So why was Worth sacked?

      • Pascal's bookie 15.1.1

        Made John Key look bad.

        He told JK that he hadn’t done anything wrong and that he would both sign an affidavit to that effect and sue anyone that went public.

        Key stupidly accepted that and didn’t ask to see the texts and what not. When similar allegations arose, and the old ones became public, but no affidavit was forthcoming and no one got sued. Ergo, Keys lack luster investigation was at risk of becoming public. Ergo, attack the victim, sack Worth, keep your mouth shut about the whole business, smile, wave.

  16. Name 16

    When I heard Sean Plunkett go after Jones on Morning Report – “was it a porn film? Was it porn? You can’t remember if it was porn? You say you’re a movie buff but you can’t remember if it was porn or not” – I knew that the Israelis could murder another dozen peace activists, the top could blow off BP’s bust pipe-line, the Reserve Bank could hike interest rates to 5%, Iran could test a nuclear weapon, the Tea-Party could take every Super Tuesday Primary and the Euro could achieve parity with the Dollar, and all we’d hear all day is, “Tut tut. Porn. How awful. I’m shocked, I’m shocked.” Jesus effing Christ.

    It’s not illegal to watch porn. I think it’s a bloody sight healthier to prefer watching porn rather than mainstream films like ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre’, ‘Saw’ or ‘Hostel’. I can relate to Jones far more for watching porn for an evening alone in a strange hotel in a strange town than settling down with the bloody Gideon Bible for company, and he does us a favour spending $20 on a film rather than expecting us to cough up $2,000 so he can take his wife/girlfriend/boyfriend with him for the real thing.

    But it isn’t a MSM conspiracy against labour politicians. It was just the grubby little mind of Sean Plunkett trying to make a big story out of a little one and, in his usual style, finding the lowest common denominator.

    • infused 16.1

      You miss the point. These things should never be charged to a MPs credit card. It’s like a work credit card. Only work related stufff should be billed to it. Even if you pay it back later, it’s no excuse.

      Corporations follow this approach, govt should be no exception.

    • jcuknz 16.2

      I swop between my credit cards and it costs me nothing to do this. Likewise it is no cost to government for an MP to swop between the cards he is trusted to use. If the bill was paid within the due period there is no cost to Government/ us the taxpayers. Even if it wasn\’t and both bill and penalty was were paid it still doesn\’t cost Govt. {Just as I type this somebody is pointing this out on 9 to Noon, sounded like Jim Anderton]
      I\’m sure all those in \’sensitive\’ positions will be disturbed that the billing was not more discrete. Though it does serve as a warming to the rest of us.
      So far my biggest concern that an ex-minister used the \’B\’ word on Morning Report instead of \’telling off\’ etc.

  17. deemac 17

    the media storm over this today contrasts with the easy ride given to Bill English and Phil Heatley. Heatley is back in the Cabinet after a few weeks and a little weep. No difference between him and Jones (unless the porn was something illegal or you are a prude). Both did something stupid and wrong but somehow the penalty differs according to which party you belong to – that’s hypocrisy.

  18. dave 18

    There wouldn\’t have been as many stories on the Jones porn issues if Jones had come out and told the truth (when asked) on Morning report instead of \”not ruling it out or ruling it in\” when asked about whether the videos he got were porn. Jones handled that one pretty badly – surprising really, as he appears to have handled other things rather well.

  19. McFlock 19

    This is such a load of crap. I had to go on a business trip recently – the boss said “charge everything to the room, standard practise is that you reimburse the company for minibar, pay per view and any other personal stuff. Breakfast & dinner are on the company while you’re there”.

    Of course, after this beat-up I’m glad I had a good book and didn’t get peckish during the night…

    • Inventory2 19.1

      McFlock – that’s fine, because the rules were laid out to you in advance. In the case of Ministers both in this and the former administration, Ministerial Services has repeatedly advised that it is NOT appropriate for personal spending to go on ministerial credit cards. That is the issue here; that Ministers from both the major parties have played the game outside the rules. If you or I did that in a business environment, there would be sanctions. MP’s ought not be above the rules or the law.

      • jcuknz 19.1.1

        Who’s running the country …. beaurocrats in ministerial services or the people we elect?
        It appears that you are wrong with regard to private enterprise as somebody pointed out the common sense way that is operated in PE as above. At least not all PE are following the silly rules the Bs in the public service come up with. And I know after 30 years in PS that often interpretation and implementation of the rules vary with location.

  20. Irascible 20

    The media in NZ,aided by the spinsters, are busy looking to emulate their UK brethren and topple targeted MPs reputations and credibility in a holier than thou exercise. Compared to the UK situation the local media must make themselves hysterical about the crumbs, the trivia and the infotainment fascination with the “celebrity frailties.”
    The NZ exercise is also being used by NACT to divert attention from its ineptitude and fascination with “politicotainment” rather than governance. Strange isn’t it that NACT supporters Quax & Ross should drop a similar campaign attack onto Len Brown in the days immediately before the big reveal of the MP’s credit card expenditure.

  21. Pat 21

    If the only outcome of all this is that Shane Jones never gets to be leader of the Labour Party, surely it was $50K well spent.

    • Pat 21.1

      Oh and kudos for Goff for being out of country. A good political move. It means he doesn’t have to be the face in the news trying to justify the rorting. And once the dust settles a bit, he can fly home, take the morale high ground, and demote the offenders. One of whom was a pretender to his throne.

      All in all, a good week for Goff.

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