15 Ethical “Fails” Under National!

Written By: - Date published: 12:01 pm, August 20th, 2012 - 37 comments
Categories: Ethics, national - Tags:

Reprinted with permission from Dave Kennedy (bsprout) at Local Bodies:


15 Ethical “Fails” Under National!

What is ethical behaviour?

Answer 
Ethical behaviour is characterized by honesty, fairness and equity in interpersonal, professional and academic relationships and in research and scholarly activities. Ethical behaviour respects the dignity, diversity and rights of individuals and groups of people.

Answer
Ethical behavior is the standards that you hold for yourself of the attributes of honesty, responsibility, and how you treat others in all facets of your life. The same standards are applicable to whatever position you hold in commerce, in your community, and even behind your own doors where only you know what you do. Ethical behavior is applying these standards even when it is inconvenient to do so.

Read more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_ethical_behaviour#ixzz23gEayLmo

I am continually astounded by the National Party Ministers who brazenly approach their responsibilities as if governing should only only involve the barest legal or fiscal considerations. Conflicts of interest are brushed aside, abuses of power are common and the recognition of human rights and human dignity are considered unnecessary extravagancies:

  1. How can Paula Bennett claim no abuse of power or breach of privacy in releasing the details of a beneficiary (and show no inkling of remorse)?
  2. Did Bill English ever believe that claiming $1000 a week for a housing allowance for living in his own home was ethical when the median wage is less than $550 a week?
  3. Does John Key really feel comfortable about advancing a bill that embeds travel perks and annuities of around $250,000 a year for past Prime Ministers?
  4. How could Nick Smith have ever believed that writing letters to ACC on behalf of a friend (and using his Ministerial letterhead) didn’t constitute a conflict of interest?
  5. How could Kate Wilkinson promote the erosion of worker rights when employers already have an unfair advantage in today’s employment climate?
  6. Why did Gerry Brownlee denigrate a friendly country to make a political point and why does he allow landlords to profit out of desperation?
  7. What caused Lockwood Smith’s difficulty in understanding why a deaf MP shouldn’t have to use her own funds to be able to fully engage with parliament?
  8. What allows Judith Collins to believe that it is reasonable for ACC case workers to be paid incentives for refusing services to clients?
  9. How can Hekia Parata stand by her policy of increasing class sizes to improve the quality of teaching when most of her colleagues send their children to private schools that actively promote the benefits of small classes?
  10. Why do John Key and Hekia Parata allow “ropey” National Standards data to be made publicly available so that flawed judgments can be made about school performance and also allow individual children to be identified in small schools?
  11. How does Steven Joyce sleep at night when he supported lending $43 million to his old company, “Media Works” despite receiving advice not to?
  12. What justifies Gerry Brownlee’s  request for more borrowing to extend the $12 billion already tagged for motorways that do not pass simple cost benefit analyses?
  13. How can John Key believe that honesty and ethical behaviour are not necessary for John Banks to continue as a Minister in his government?
  14. Why would Anne Tolley believe that gloatingly standing on the crushed car of a teenage offender are the dignified actions of a Minister?
  15. How can Murray McCully not take responsibility for the failure of the Rugby World Cup “Party Central” celebrations, that were his idea, or the MFAT debacle that he initiated.
Judging by the enormous ethical vacuum that exists within this government, some education in this area is desperately needed!

Feel free to add more examples, I got too depressed after listing 15.

37 comments on “15 Ethical “Fails” Under National!”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “7. What caused Lockwood Smith’s difficulty in understanding why a deaf MP shouldn’t have to use her own funds to be able to fully engage with parliament?”

    This shows a blatant misunderstanding of the actual issue.

    Lockwood Smith fully agreed that Mojo shouldn’t have to pay for her needs out of the Green party budget. His position was simply that the rules in parliament, as they stood, prevented him from doing anything else. He was in the process of getting those rules changed to allow it be to covered by Parliamentary Services (and this is ultimately what did happen).

    The only criticism that can be made here is that he didn’t get onto this issue in the days after the 2011 election and left it to drag on for as many months as it did.

  2. mike 2

    Politicians being self-serving spin merchants is nothing new, but this government has taken it to a new level. They don’t even pretend to have ethics, leaving the impression that they consider them unaffordable luxuries.

    “I am continually astounded by the National Party Ministers who brazenly approach their responsibilities as if governing should only only involve the barest legal or fiscal considerations.”

    Exactly, it’s not “What is the right thing to do,” it’s “Can we get away with this legally.” (Corporate thinking.) Which leads one to wonder whether they have NZs best interests at heart, or whether they have some other agenda like, for example, robbing the poor and giving to the rich.

    What irks me is the free pass they get from the media on the ethics question. If it’s brought up it’s just as a tame, shoulder-shrugging afterthought.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Which leads one to wonder whether they have NZs best interests at heart,

      They don’t as can be seen by the fact that they’re making decisions that they know will make NZ worse off.

      or whether they have some other agenda like, for example, robbing the poor and giving to the rich.

      Their actions tell us that that is the only possible explanation as only the rich are becoming better off under this government. All the ‘risk’* that the rich took to get rich seems to have landed on those that didn’t take the risk.

      * Indications are that there was no risk for the rich, only the poor who have ended up paying to keep the rich rich.

      • mike 2.1.1

        No argument from me there DTB. As I’ve said before, sociopaths know they don’t need to fool everyone, just enough people to get what they want. The rest can say what they want, no one’s going to listen because cognitive dissonance won’t let them realize that they got taken in by a conman.

        My theory on the brazen lack of even the pretense of ethics is that sociopathy is infectious when leadership is sociopathic. The party celebrates and follows their saviour and leader John Key. The “let’s piss on the peasants and tell them it’s raining isn’t it hilarious” culture becomes the norm. Being an insider is oh so fun.

        Psychopaths are trying to reshape their world into one that fits their view of how things should be. That is their fundamental motivation. So as a leader, the first thing that happens is that you install a culture that is in your image. Then your actions are not questionable, they are simply the norm.

    • blue leopard 2.2

      @ mike
      +1

  3. Akldnut 3

    16. How can John Key dismiss a democratically elected MP (Richard Worth) without explaining the reason to Worths constituents, citing that its not in the public’s interest to know why!

    17. How can John Key rate a Basket Ball game higher than the ceremony of soldiers who gave their lives serving this country.

  4. Dr Terry 4

    The number of examples is legion. But as many as ever these might be, nearly half our voters support unethical behaviour and believe that we are “going in the right direction”. What does this say about our country? The very word “ëthical” will soon be dropped from the NZ dictionary as a meaningless term.

    • blue leopard 4.1

      @ Dr Terry

      +1

      ” nearly half our voters support unethical behaviour and believe that we are “going in the right direction”. What does this say about our country? ”

      The exact same question arose in my mind.

    • Tracey 4.2

      Agreed. The biggest issue is that this appears to ber acceptable to most NZers. Ethics start with individuals and the ethical standard of our fellow citizens, and ourselves should be of concern.

    • Colonial Viper 4.3

      The very word “ëthical” will soon be dropped from the NZ dictionary as a meaningless term.

      that’s what newspeak is all about. Get used to the future.

  5. Tracey 5

    Speaking of John Banks, the Herald gave him space today to show he either completely misunderstands the situation he found himself in or thinks we are all idiots.

  6. fender 6

    18. Is it ethical for John Key to attempt to give his mates at SkyCity a boost in profits longterm for adding a conference centre that will also need taxpayer welfare longterm, when this casino is already damaging many lives and making plenty of money for nothing?

    19. Is it ethical for Nact to allow Rape Crisis to downsize its services due to a lack of funding while allowing Corrections Dept. to waste money relocating a house for a rapist?

    • prism 6.1

      fender
      About 19. The rapist has to be treated with as much care as possible to try to keep others safe.
      He was sentenced, and has served his sentence, under a law that didn’t allow him to be kept locked up as he should be. So he can’t come under the preventative detention procedures.

      As for the Rape Crisis, is it Wellington that are calling for help or they will have to close? It’s so disgraceful that various governments increase the stresses of daily living with long-term unemployment because they dropped tariffs protecting our businesses more than necessary. When the pressures create instability in society the government doesn’t want to know about it.

      • fender 6.1.1

        My point relates to the expense of relocating a house and the further cost of making it habitable (not a small cost I imagine), while allowing Rape Crisis to go under-funded.

        • prism 6.1.1.1

          fender
          Yes I agree that priorities are wrong – money shouldn’t come out of Rape Crisis much-needed funding to, ironically, house a perpetrator. Preventative detention should have been introduced earlier. Another sad muck-up by governments decades past that they now compound by cutting money to victims of violence and their children.

  7. ropata 7

    Key is an expert a glibly making shit up

    * NZ Super sustainable at current levels
    * Cycleway will produce 4000 jobs
    * No increase in GST
    * Income tax cuts were fiscally neutral and “fair”
    * Changing the minimum wage will cost jobs
    * National has created 63,000 new jobs
    * National will create 170,000 new jobs

    And he has the gall to accuse Phil Goff of not knowing the numbers…

  8. Georgy 8

    What about the recent Hekia Parata action of of sending replies to letters she received to the letter writers employers???

    Teachers wrote to her about their opinions on class size as individuals. They did not write as an employee of a school. They did not identify any school. They used their own private address.

    YET – she sent her reply to each of the individuals Board of Trustees.

    Is this a blatant abuse of power and a blatant disregard of the Privacy Act or what ? ? ?

    • I totally agree Georgy, it was really manipulating and bullying behaviour, designed to make any teacher think twice about questioning government policy. National hates teachers with a vengeance!
      http://saveourschoolsnz.wordpress.com/2012/08/18/parata-bullying-and-intimidating-teachers/

    • Colonial Viper 8.2

      YET – she sent her reply to each of the individuals Board of Trustees.

      Demonstrating to BoTs all around the country how untrustworthy and malicious she is as a Minister.

      Simply brilliant.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      IMO, another National MP that should be in jail. Private details and dealings publicised and done in such a way as to effectively cause oppression by the government.

      • mike 8.3.1

        It’s just disgraceful. I moaned my way through the Bolger years, but never have I felt this appalled and embarrassed by my government. This is just low-rent, vindictive intimidation on a juvenille level. (Now what was I just reading about the emotional maturity levels of sociopaths…)

        Surely such abuse of power is illegal? Privacy Act? Any legal minds here?

        Or is it only unethical? Standard stuff for NAct then.

        • Tracey 8.3.1.1

          The Privacy Act one is clouded by the “settlement” factor. However the HRC is very clear he believes the Act was breached by Bennett. I see Ms Fuller has essentially said she hasn’t got the resources to fight so she agreed to “settle”. How proud Ms Bennett must feel.

          It is NOT ethical to infer/imply that you have evidence/research to support an accusation of beneficiaries being turned down jobs for drug use when you have none.

  9. Frankie and Benjy 9

    Many things to do with the teapot saga strike me as unethical. The one that I found funniest was a candidate not wanting to get elected

    Goldsmith removing Goldsmith signs


    Although John Banks should win the funniest prize except I don’t know whether to laugh or cry, knowing he is still in Parliament (helping run the country, into the ground).

  10. Tracey 10

    How classy of the Pm, using the smoke screen of extended coverage of the death of 3 soldiers to slip his “I reprimanded Bennett now that’s the end to it”, statement. Like a patronising father patting the children on the head and telling them to run along.

    • Carol 10.1

      This bit is telling though:

      http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10828293

      Natasha Fuller, who complained to the Privacy Commissioner, wrote on her Facebook page that she did not have a grudge against Ms Bennett, whom she described as “a fantastic national welfare minister”.

      “I do not have any bad feelings towards Paula and understand that this is her job and it’s a tough job.”

      But she said she felt vindicated because the Privacy Commissioner and the director of human rights proceedings had taken her side.

      “I have had to settle as it was never going to be a fair fight and one I could never win. I’m proud that I have come so far and tried to stand up for my rights but I now have to put the health and safety of my family first.”

      And still Key supports Bennett’s role in the issue by saying:

      He did not want to relitigate the matter now it was resolved, but believed it was a politically motivated case with strong feelings on both sides. He said the parties were satisfied with the outcome.

      “I think that’s the end of the matter and I don’t think we’ll be seeing it again.”

      Weasel words, given Fuller has said it wasn’t a fair fight & the HRC took her side.

  11. Fortran 11

    Perhaps no votes in Ethics ?

  12. Kevyn 12

    How is it ethical to respond to the most expensive per capita natural diasaster in the history of the OECD by claiming that the disaster added $9bn to the deficit when that it just a quirk of the no surprises budget method, ie all the future costs are added in the current year, including EQC insurance payouts but the future revenues such as GST on the rebuild and EQC selling it’s $6bn of investments only get added in future years.

    How is it ethical to Red Zone thousands of families as a de-risking exercise just to make sure the re-insurers don’t walk and crash the housing market (see Hurrican Andrew, Northridge for similar insurance co behaviour in the past.

    How is it ethical to insist that the cost for repairing public facilities be shared equally between central and local government when civilised countries such as Aussie and America keep local governments share to less than 5%, ie more than $10,000 per ratepayer when no other disaster in the OECD has cost ratepayers/property owners more than $500 each.

  13. gnomic 13

    The National Party has always been and always will be (barring a most unlikely miracle) an ethical fail. What has ethics got to do with dying with the most toys, boat/bach/bimmer, and crushing the revolting working classes? And don’t forget to lock your windows, lest a Pacific Islander climb in. After all, it’s not only Maoris. Any further questions?

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    7 days ago
  • Union solidarity with Ihumatao land occupation
    by Daphna Whitmore Every Sunday for the past two months unionists from First Union, with supporters from other unions, have set out to the Ihumatao land protest, put up gazebos and gas barbeques, and cooked food for a few hundred locals and supporters who have come from across the country. ...
    RedlineBy Daphna
    1 week ago
  • Climate Change: The wrong kind of trees?
    Newsroom today has an excellent, in-depth article on pine trees as carbon sinks. The TL;DR is that pine is really good at soaking up carbon, but people prefer far-less efficient native forests instead. Which is understandable, but there's two problems: firstly, we've pissed about so long on this problem that ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • No freedom of speech in Turkey
    Canan Kaftancioglu is a Turkish politician and member of the opposition Republican People's Party (CHP). Like most modern politicians, she tweets, and uses the platform to criticise the Turkish government. She has criticised them over the death of a 14-year-old boy who was hit by a tear gas grenade during ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Speaker: Tadhg Stopford: Why I’m standing for the ADHB
    Hi there, just call me Tim.We face tough problems, and I’d like to help, because there are solutions.An Auckand District Health Board member has nominated me for as a candidate for the ADHB, because her MS-related pain and fatigue is reduced with hemp products from Rotorua.  Nothing else helped her. If I ...
    1 week ago
  • Good little vassals
    The Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security has published their report on whether the SIS and GCSB had any complicity in American torture. And its damning. The pull quote is this:The Inquiry found both agencies, but to a much greater degree, the NZSIS, received many intelligence reports obtained from detainees who, ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    1 week ago
  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    1 week ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • A Step Too Far.
    A Crown Asset? For reasons relating to its own political convenience, the Crown pretends to believe that “No one owns the water.” To say otherwise would re-vivify the promises contained in the Treaty of Waitangi – most particularly those pertaining to the power of the chiefs and their proprietary rights ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Where Money Comes From
    Most people would say, no doubt, that they have a pretty good idea of what money is. They live with the reality of money every day. It is what is needed to buy the necessities of life and to maintain a decent standard of living. You get money, they would ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Banned by the Green Party leadership: Jill Abigail on women’s rights and trans rights
    The article below was an opinion piece that appeared in the Spring 2019 issue of Te Awa (the NZ Green Party’s newsletter) and on the Greens website.  In keeping with their policy of hostility to women defending women’s right to female-only spaces, Green bureaucrats have since removed the opinion piece.  ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • The fallacy of the proximity argument.
    Longer term readers may remember my complaining that, as a political scientist, it is burdensome to have non-political scientists wanting to engage me about politics. No layperson would think to approach an astrophysicist and lecture him/her on the finer details of quarks and black holes, but everybody with an opinion ...
    KiwipoliticoBy Pablo
    2 weeks ago
  • Where We Stood: Chris Trotter Replies To Stevan Eldred-Grigg.
    Joining The Fight: Stevan Eldred-Grigg's argument for New Zealand staying out of the Second World War fails not only on the hard-headed grounds of preserving the country’s strategic and economic interests; and not just on the soft-hearted grounds of duty and loyalty to the nation that had given New Zealand ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Universities back the climate strike
    On September 27, School Strike 4 Climate will be striking for a future to pressure the government for meaningful climate action. This time, they've asked adults to join them. And now, Lincoln University and Victoria University of Wellington have signed on:Victoria University of Wellington has joined Lincoln University in endorsing ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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