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$444m for road consultants, $128m out of poor kids’ mouths

Written By: - Date published: 7:33 pm, July 18th, 2012 - 69 comments
Categories: benefits, class war, transport - Tags:

Never let this scumbag government tell you that they’re making responsible cuts in tough times. When the Greens tried to amend the social welfare bill currently before Parliament to ensure no kids would “unduly suffer”, National vetoed it saying that would eliminate $128m of the savings National’s planning to make. Get that? By the government’s own numbers, National’s welfare reforms take $128m from poor kids causing them to “unduly suffer”.

And, even when the Greens gave them the opportunity to fix this travesty that will literally take food out of the mouths of New Zealand’s poorest children, they didn’t. Got to make those savings, even if tens of thousands of poor kids suffer.

But when it comes to consultants to write reports justifying National’s per-ordained transport agenda… well, there’s an open chequebook. In just the next three years, they plan to spend $138m on investigation and design for the roads of national significance, out of $444m all up.

These are the choices a government faces. This isn’t about more debt or less – it’s about the choices made within those bounds. National has decided that overpaid consultants are more deserving of our tax money than poor kids.

Some decisions that National makes a merely bad. Some are evil. And this is one of them.

The next election really can’t come soon enough.

Update: this is the amendment that Holly Walker wanted insert into the Bill. Remember, the main purpose of the Government’s Bill is to create sanctions for beneficiaries who don’t meet certain tests:

“The chief executive must not impose a sanction under subsection (1) against a person who has 1 or more dependent children, if the chief executive is satisfied that the sanction may deprive the child of food or shelter, or would otherwise be detrimental to the wellbeing of the child.”

That is what Paula Bennett vetoed. She didn’t even allow it to go to a vote. And by vetoing it on the grounds that it would reduce the ‘savings’ created by the Bill by sanctioning beneficiaries by $128m she is admitting that is the amount she plans to take away from families with consequences that will deprive children of food or shelter or other be detrimental to them. Her excuse? That WINZ staff sitting in their offices wouldn’t be able to know for sure if children of beneficiaries would be negatively affected, so they would err on the side of caution…. well, when it comes to the wellbeing of children, we can’t be erring on the side of caution, can we?

69 comments on “$444m for road consultants, $128m out of poor kids’ mouths”

  1. mike e 1

    We johnny got the hand up from this country now he is denying the same for any body else.

    • aerobubble 1.1

      Worse. Key believes that a CGT will harm our economy like it does Australia’s.
      Key believes his tax cuts to the richest would stimulate the economy.
      Key, who never heard of the land wars, when he describe our history as uneventful
      also believed that Maori got all their drinking water from rainfall and so have no
      usage rights over water.
      Key, who earnt his millions working for a firm now imploded by the global fiscal
      crisis, believes that we should trust his economic expertise when he says getting
      a zero budget will be a glorious victory for every kiwi. Set a low target that
      even Labor could meet, apply the most bland and simple metric, and declare victory,
      just like any NY and London banker has been doing to justify massive bonuses.

      Sorry, but to vote National is to show economic incompetence, because if the
      above were not enough, selling your best performing assets, just when its value
      was going to start spiking, for bottom dollar, by claiming you were selling the
      owners of the asset a stake in their own asset, as the best possible policy!!!!
      The only reason Key won at the last election is he seized on the opportunity
      to make himself the victim of media aggressiveness, at the teapot crisis.

  2. The Greens are doing well.

    Learn up Labour.  Less of the folksy chats or pedantic process discussions and more of the sharp to the point proposals that show what a soulless hopeless bunch are running the country right now.

    • Sanctuary 2.1

      I have written off the top of the Labour party. It is full of neo-liberal left-over institutionalised no-hopers who believe accountability is for everyone else. Mallard only turns up to eat his lunch. Most of them seem to sit around with an agrieved sense of entitlement looking forward to the day government magically falls back into their laps.

      Evidence for the prosecution? The top 10 of the Labour list of 2011, which rewarded incumbents for three years of ineffectual opposition with feather bed places:

      1. Phil Goff
      2. Annette King
      3. David Cunliffe
      4. David Parker
      5. Ruth Dyson
      6. Parekura Horomia
      7. Maryan Street
      8. Clayton Cosgrove
      9. Trevor Mallard
      10. Sue Moroney

      What, in the name of Christ, has King, Parker, Dyson, Horomia, Street, Mallard and Moroney done in the last five years to justify their lofty status on the party list?

      • David H 2.1.1

        Oh come on Apart from Cunliffe (At lest he has some good ideas) the whole lot need to go. That will allow some new blood, with new ideas, to come through. (You wouldn’t play international rugby with the team from 1995) And then and only then will we be able to mount a credible opposition. At the moment the Greens are showing the way, and I find that I agree with a lot of what they say, as there is nothing coming out of Labour at all. So until the great dinosaur cull of 2012, starts then I fear Labour will slowly but surely slide into 3rd place, behind the Greens. Then it could be a downward spiral to oblivion. But also you should add Shearer to that list, what has he done since becoming leader? From what I can see nothing and even in parliament he is ineffectual Shonky just laughs at him all the time ( I said that would happen just after he was installed as leader)

        • weka

          then I fear Labour will slowly but surely slide into 3rd place, behind the Greens.

          Does that matter? Won’t it just mean that the Greens attract people to stand as MPs who would previously have gone with Labour? The Greens will assimilate the left that abandons Labour to the neoliberals.

        • Dr Terry

          Shearer appears still to be relying on the out-dated stories of his own “heroism” to keep himself popular.I would love to see a few heroics from him in the here and now (especially when it comes to National’s wicked and vile attacks on children – who, of course, have no vote).

    • keepinitreal 2.2

      It used to be the case that our governments waged war against poverty and now they are waging war against the poor…

  3. Every question at the next question time should be about why the government thinks undue suffering for children is okay to save a mere $140 million.

    And that’s just undue suffering. This still doesn’t say the poor can’t have it hard, it just can’t be completely unfair and unjust to their children.

    • Tom Gould 3.1

      Matthew, please try to keep up. The new model is about making more seriously rich people who can trickle down their philanthropy to the unfortunates. They even have a new poster boy. A bit smarmy and not very smart, but he can sign a cheque. Tax deductable, of course. So a new virtuous circle is created. Taxpayers fund massive overt and covert subsidies, government passes preferential laws, these guys make loads of money, they pay a wee bit of tax for appearances, give a small percentage of their personal gains to the deserving poor, write off the donations, get a knighthood for their good works, and everyone is happy.

    • aerobubble 3.2

      Its simple really. Once upon a time you could walk from one end of the land to the other, hunt and gather, drink from water sources, then populations grew and we negotiated a better living standard and accepted property rights in exchange (firstly like Maori did, by respecting community rules). Now we cannot walk everywhere, gather anything, drink from any water supply. That contract explicitly states we all should receive a better standard of living, than just getting enough to eat, being able to move freely and entertain ourselves, never met, living in poorly heated homes because we can’t gather sufficient fire wood, eat increasingly poorer quality foods that mess with our bodies demand for the right type of foods at the right times… …we have basically given up our identities
      to big media, and lost control over our own standing to ourselves, this inevitable leads to crisises where men feel they have no respect and lash out against their spouses, and women who feel they have lost their status blame their men… etc. We gave up so much because contracted to live in a society where we would GAIN more. More than the standing of being able to heat, feed, provide for our families not just the basics, but a culture of self-worth and status. But even our status is reduced to buying the latest fad clothing, or music, to buy the latest mantra media produces so we can justify our exploitation of each other. And hey, he’s a doozy I heard the other day, argued by a voice at the Human Rights Commission, because we have it so good here we should feel lucky, yeah, we should feel lucky to be expect increasing exploitation here in NZ because we exploit the world so well and have left so many elsewhere trying to get a share of the great scam, give up their resources, their rights to land and water, just to end up in poverty in their own land, forced fed by a growing elite of self-serving planet eaters. Cut high paying wages, and high paying dividends, by raising the top rates of tax, and start delivering on the contract.

  4. fender 4

    National only endorse welfare for risk taking investors chasing big returns, their crony business mates and the public tit addicts like the Shipleys of this land.

    How a bunch of soulless buffoons got to run the country and the vulnerable into the ground should embarress those that made the mistake of giving them the opportunity.

  5. weka 5

    That WINZ staff sitting in their offices wouldn’t be able to know for sure if children of beneficiaries would be negatively affected, so they would err on the side of caution

    Is there a link for that? I’d like to see Bennett’s own words.
    WINZ staff should be able to determine whether children would be affected because it’s their job, when determining a beneficiary’s entitlement, to take into account the beneficiary’s overall situation. That is, that should be the staff’s job, and would be if WINZ hadn’t dropped case management. If staff now can’t competently assess any given situation, it’s because they’re no longer allowed to get to know their clients, and each time the bene has contact with the department they get a new person to deal with, often someone who doesn’t know them.
    Honestly, I can’t tell if that’s massive incompetence on the part of upper WINZ management, or if it was deliberate. Either way, Bennett seems to think it’s ok that her staff can’t do their jobs properly.

    • fender 5.1

      “Either way, Bennett seems to think it’s ok that her staff can’t do their jobs properly.”

      That’s the way these tory dinosaurs want it, don’t want the staff getting too friendly with the clients because torys think everyone is corrupt like them and will abuse privilege the way they do.

      With the lack of Social Development taking place now its clear that Key thinks it’s ok that his Minister can’t do her job properly also.

    • David H 5.2

      “because they’re no longer allowed to get to know their clients, and each time the bene has contact with the department they get a new person to deal with, often someone who doesn’t know them.”

      And that’s the key to this . If the staff member does not know the person and their circumstances,then it’s easier to say no.

      • weka 5.2.1

        Which in turn places more stress on the WINZ system, as people end up more and more in crisis and having to go back to the department but in a worse situation that WINZ still won’t be able to get their heads around. Frontline staff will be getting stressed as well, and middle management, and anyone who is in the job because they actually care. Eventually it will become obvious to everyone that Something Is Wrong, and when the MSM finally start talking about this, hey presto NACT have a mandate to pursue their real agenda, which is benefit reform.
        Colour me cynical, but this is exactly the same shit that the Nats did to WINZ (or whatever it was called back then) in the 90s. Fortunately they lost an election and Labour at least reversed some of the crazier inhouse policies. 

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    I agree with “mickysavage”.  Too often the Greens have got the plot and we don’t.  I love the Green’s proposal to add the casinos to the proceeds of crimes act.  A compulsive gambler steals from their boss and from their family and the proceeds end up with the casino.  The casino should forfeit the money to the victims.  Why didn’t Labour MP’s think of that?

    • felix 6.1

      Why didn’t Labour MP’s think of that? The answer is simpler than anyone in Labour wants to believe.

      While the Labour Party is concerning itself with branding, with positioning in the market, with figuring out what plays well with voters, with recreating an identity, with returning to the roots, with rejuvenation etc etc you know what the Greens are doing? They’re doing and saying what they think is right.

      Just like that.

      Oh sure, they’ve got some smart branding and messaging too, but you know what? It’s pretty easy to create a brand around a bunch of smart, honest, committed people working hard and speaking their minds.


      • Glg 6.1.1

        I know what you mean. I don’t even know who Labour think their electorate is anymore. They seem afraid of upsetting the white racists who are never going to vote for them anyway.
        I personally did not like Norman when he came on the scene, but I have been impressed with both him and the whole green team. What policy they come with is humane, sensible and practical. Have voted Green for the last couple of elections, prior to that I always voted Labour.

      • muzza 6.1.2

        The Greens will show their true colours again, dont worry about that.

        Still no party for the average kiwi, notice the gap!

      • Kotahi Tane Huna 6.1.3

        Felix it really is that simple. The marriage of principle and pragmatism needs a trial separation.

      • David H 6.1.4

        And they got me… I like a party that’s pro active.

      • Feste 6.1.5

        I’m sure when the Labour Party started out it was “a bunch of smart, honest, committed people working hard and speaking their minds.” And over the years it became staid, comfortable, hide-bound, lethargic and unimaginative. It happens to people, companies, churches, political parties, all living things. No doubt in time the Greens will go the same way and we’ll need something new.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.6

        felix: +1

      • QoT 6.1.7

        They’re doing and saying what they think is right.

        Well that’s clearly no way to run a political party. The focus groups would be in uproar!

    • Dr Terry 6.2

      Exactly, where is Labour? Eventually it will sink in to the minds of the populace that the Greens are the most effective opposition.

    • mike e 6.3

      Casino’s only return 2% to the community they need to be returning far mar infact the same as all other forms of gambling.
      Pokies and casino’s should be all under the lotteries commission as others have suggested on this site.

  7. The greens have got it all wrong again ….. feeding starving children dose not help Kiwi Saver profits

  8. muzza 8

    Imagine what it looks like at the “Supercity”, and the CCO’s!

    The consultant/contractor rort is rife, with permanent staff in many cases there to offset the costs by providing cheap labour.

    Just some basic poking around reveals the levels of consultants inside council, a little more time spent and you can join the “relationships up”

    Its no different from central level, but we all get to pay the bills for the lot!

  9. fnjckg 9

    emotional and physical child abuse is a cancer upon New Zealand

  10. vto 10

    $444,000,000 for roading consultants.

    $1,700,000,000 for greedy South Canterbury Finance investors.

    $400,000,000 for farmers irrigation.

    $35,000,000 loan for Mediaworks.

    $6,500,000,000 sale of soes to support the NZX.

    $1,000,000,000 each year for the upper income tax cuts.

    but no $128,000,000 to stop kids from suffering.

    This government disgusts me. I spit on them.

    • marsman 10.1

      Hear hear vto!

    • Carol 10.2

      I share your disgust!

    • Tracey 10.3

      should read for MISLED SCF investors. Stop blaming the victims. I dont agree with the 20m givent o foreign investors not covered by the guarantee and the rest probably should not have either BUT put the blame where it belongs, and that is not at the victims feet.

      • vto 10.3.1

        Have to disagree there Tracey. Investors in most finance companies chased the extra 2% over a bank term deposit without doing their homework on where their invested money was being invested. It was clear that money, if homework was being done, was being invested in significantly riskier investments. People should have done their homework instead of just chasing the extra 2% and hoping it would be alright.

        Of course, some of the finance companies were simply ripped off by crooked operators, but they were a small minority. The majority of finance companies failed because they borrowed short from investors and lent long to business. The lendings long to business were also in structures where it should have been an equity stake not debt. The finance company model followed by most of them was fundamentally flawed. All of this was explained and outlined in finance company prospectuses (except, as said, the crooked ones).

        Ask yourself – why did people put their money into SCF rather than a bank term despoit?

        Perhaps also Tracey you could explain how SCF investors were victims? I would be interested to hear the explanation.

        • DH

          “…how SCF investors were victims?”

          That’s not so hard. Most of the finance companies were crooked in that they grossly understated the risk in their prospectuses. The extra 2% wasn’t a true weighting for the risk that investors could lose all or most of their money. Sure the risk was higher than cash in the bank but it wasn’t promoted as the kind of risk that could completely wipe out the entire asset base of the company.

          At a 2-4% risk margin you should still reasonably expect a payout of 90-70cents in the dollar from an orderly windup if the finance company went bust. Those finance companies were ponzi schemes IMO, a lot more people should have gone to jail.

          • vto

            Have to disagree again DH. I read many of those prospectuses and the business model was outlined in them for people to see. It was spelt out where the money was being lent.

            The crooked ones are separate. I am talking about SCF and most others. It was all there for people to see. And in fact even if you look at those prospectuses which are being dragged through the courts now, they are the ones from 2007/8 which was when they were in the final death throes. All prospectuses prior to 2007/8 back to 1990s had clear information in them.

            People didn’t do their homework. They blindly chased the higher return.

            And weka, below, yes I agree there is massive culpability on the part of so-called financial ‘advisers’, but that is a separate matter again. That is financial advisers, not finance companies. In fact those advisers were a disgrace. They were more crooked than the crooked ones as they chased the commission they received on getting someone like your parents to invest, without explaining the risk properly.

            • DH

              Disagree with that. The prospectuses falsely claimed the worth of securities on loans. The big losses were on property developments and the loans were grossly misrepresented to investors. The finance company directors knew full well that many of the loans could not be repaid at end of term and would need to be rolled over. They lent on stages and the developers could never repay borrowing until the final stage was completed…. can’t sell a half-built property development can you.

              • vto

                DH: “The prospectuses falsely claimed the worth of securities on loans. The big losses were on property developments and the loans were grossly misrepresented to investors.”

                Well that was the whole point of my point above – they weren’t misrepresented (the ones I refer to above). Happy to have evidence showing otherwise if you have it.

                DH: ” The finance company directors knew full well that many of the loans could not be repaid at end of term and would need to be rolled over. They lent on stages and the developers could never repay borrowing until the final stage was completed…. can’t sell a half-built property development can you.”

                This is exactly as most all business and property loans are set, by all lenders including the major banks. This is standard practice and was not the core of the problem.

                • Dh

                  Of course it was the core of the problem. They lent money to a developer to complete a stage of a development. The loan was for a fixed term and was claimed in finance company reporting to be repaid at end of the term. That made the books look to be in reasonable shape, with loans maturing and cashflow appearing on paper to match maturing investments.

                  No-one stopped to ask just exactly how these developers were going to repay the loans. Where were they going to get the money from? They didn’t have the money and the construction stage brought no revenue so the only source of funds to repay the finance company was to borrow more. Further to that they’d need to borrow even more again to complete the next stage.

                  If you were a finance company lending money you’d want guarantees that it’s going to be paid back. They can’t have avoided realising that the developer would not have any money until they started selling completed units so how did it come about that finance companies lent money knowing that the developer would not have a saleable asset at the end of the loan term or the guaranteed funding to repay the loan?

                  • vto

                    Well, as I said DH, like pretty much all business and property loans (home loans are different of course), the loans are made with the lender being well aware that the only means of repayment is sale of the asset or re-financing. These sales and refinancing are virtually never in place at the commencement of the loan, but rather both lender and borrower enter into the loan on the knowledge that either sales or refinancing will be found within the term of the loan.

                    As said, this is standard practice.

                    • DH

                      Just don’t get it do you, easier to blame the victims. The point is that finance companies declared short term loans with good cashflow projections in their accounts & prospectuses when they were always going to be funding the entire development. Many loans were only ‘repaid’ when the finance company lent the developer more money, the loans weren’t paid back at all. They went broke because they ran out of money to lend before the developments were finished. They were ponzi schemes.

                    • vto

                      DH, I completely and utterly get it. I have borrowed from them, have family who invested in them, others close with ownership of them, and assisted in formation of them. Your view doesn’t quite match the facts. As I said at the beginning, all of this was out in the public arena for people to do their homework on. Either they didn’t do their homework, or their advisers were criminally negligent.

                      In additon, you have completely missed my point that those practices around repayment of loans are standard practice. Was previously and still is now – with all lenders, from major banks to loan sharks. Of course people simply can’t always repay unless they have sold or refinanced – why the fuck would someone borrow such sums if they had the cash sitting around to repay it?

                      And it is not about blaming the victims here – there are victims scattered all over the road over the finance company crappola. They are numerous and of many different shades.

              • rosy

                “They lent on stages and the developers could never repay borrowing until the final stage was completed…. can’t sell a half-built property development can you.”

                That’s what selling off the plan is for. Pay as you go financing – works when the market is ‘confident’, then it all comes crashing down. They gamble that they get enough suckers signed up in time.

        • weka

          “Ask yourself – why did people put their money into SCF rather than a bank term despoit?”
          Because they were advised to? My parents lost $30,000 in one of the other finance company collapses. They are generally cautious with their investments, and basically took the advice they were given by someone they trusted (and paid for the advice).
          I do agree that people who think it’s ok to make money out of thin air do need to take some responsibility for their choices. They could for instance insist that their money was invested ethically.

    • Johnm 10.4

      good one VTO!

    • Treetop 10.5

      They are oblivious to what the actual and real problems are in the country, and it’s not building a frickin road in 10 years time.

    • UpandComer 10.6

      Amazing vitriol.

      Farmers irrigation to help our exports

      SCF bailout under the Labour Deposit Guarantee Scheme which the govt was obligated to provide.

      6.5 billion of partial asset sales for all the good reasons which Labour obviously understand, the hypocrites, because they won’t buy them back knowing the alternative is worse.

      1 billion for tax cuts is wrong.

      Oh and that 128 million out of ‘kids mouths’ is hyperbolic rubbish. National is doing more to help people rotting on welfare then any other political party ever. I and everyone else trying to get on with things and sick of paying millions to no-hopers who keep having more and more kids spit on you and the likes of you. Cheers

  11. Tracey 11

    Can someone point me to a comparison of roading consultant spending over, say, the last ten years, so I can see if it is disproportionate to previous years?

    I also recall the axing of a self defence course for secondary school girls from which many were reporting instances of abuse, over 90% said they felt more confidant following the course and so on.

    “The project has consistently delivered positive results, with over 90% of girls participating saying that they felt stronger, more confident, and more educated in techniquesto deal with unsafe situations.
    Still as long as the truck lobby gets more roads, what does it matter how young people feel.

    ken Shirley was ta his bullying best on Nat Radio the other day, practically hollered down the Greens spokeswoman who tried to explain their is no evidence of the usefulness of the west link.

    • joe90 11.1

      Heard that.A piss poor performance by Robinson letting Shirley get away with his loud mouth bully boy tory tactics.Unfortunately I’ve not been able to find the audio.

  12. Observer Akl 12

    Is Labour asleep?

    Just at the time the country needs them …..

    Key, Turia, Peters, Norman – all of them out playing as hard as they can.

    what a pity Labour is

  13. Johnm 13

    The asset sales are a daylight robbery from the commonwealth of NZ. The same with the tax cuts for the wealthy. The wealthy should be taxed more not less!

    Poor children must be protected and to enable sanctions against their family is further daylight robbery from the commonwealth of NZ which assures all kiwi children minimum living standards.

    Key is a Banker who made his 50mil pile in the global casino he is continuing banking off our commonwealth, what’s left! Will his ilk make another 50mil out of the resultant wealth transfer?

  14. tracey 14

    It must be great having so much knowledge vta. Now you just need to learn some compassion. Tgey wld have been victims without tge bailout. Many of those people relied on advisors. I suppose if someone took their car to a mechanic and were told they needed to fix some stuff, you would say, ” no, you must learn to be a mechanic yourself, dont rely on the mechanic.”

    • vto 14.1

      No Tracey, that is not what I say. You have missed the detail and nuance in my point. I have plenty of compassion. I also have people close to me who have lost their livelihood thanks to SCF. In addition, our own family has been dramatically affected by finance company failure.

      The advisers are the ones who need sending to the dungeons.

      But it is inescapeable that people chased the money. Chased it too hard.

      But on a wider note, this is yet another example of how the capital markets in NZ have failed NZ and all of us. From before 1987 right up to today. It is no wonder that the NZX struggles and limps along. Yet here is Key trying again to bolster the capital markets and their failed settings – using state asset sales and taxpayer money no less. It is appalling.

      The capital markets operators (like Mark Weldon and the new NZXceo) need to stand up together with John Key and face the New Zealand public. They need to stand and answer. The public has had enough of our capital amarkets and capitalists who operate them. It will be a generation before the public comes back.

      • Tracey 14.1.1

        Bridgecorp was offering only 15 more than banks… we both agree the advisors were the problem. I haven’t missed the nuance or detail of your point, I simply disagree with it. There is a difference.

        By your logic those who deposit money into banks which then required a bail out were greedy and part of the problem. The mattresses it is then?

        • Draco T Bastard

          By your logic those who deposit money into banks which then required a bail out were greedy and part of the problem.


          The mattresses it is then?

          Nope, a state bank that runs all essential banking services (EFT_POS, money transfer, government guaranteed deposit and creating money) with all private financial organisations being just a financial services group. These groups would be limited to only loaning out what was loaned to them with the legal understanding that it could all disappear.

  15. Thank you Eddie, even more evidence that this Government doesn’t care about our vulnerable kids:

  16. Seen this?



    Give the public – ratepayers and taxpayers – the ‘devilish detail’ which shows EXACTLY where our public monies are being spent!

    The NAMES of the consultants / private contractors
    The SCOPE of the contracts
    The TERM of the contracts
    The VALUE of the contracts

    Publish these details in Council / CCO / Government Department / Crown Entity / State-Owned- Enterprise Annual Reports so that they are available for PUBLIC SCRUTINY!

    Provide COST-BENEFIT ANALYSES which prove that the contracting out of public services which used to be provided -in-house’ by ‘public servants’ directly employed by local and central government is a more cost-effective use of public monies – or cancel theses contracts and CUT OUT THE CONTRACTORS who are effectively on corporate welfare!

    Make it a MANDATORY requirement for publicly-available ‘Registers of Interest’ for local government elected representatives and staff / consultants (including those employed by CCOs) who are responsible for property and procurement – in order to help minimise potential ‘conflicts of interest’ between those who are awarding and those who are awarded contracts.

    For other checks and balances to help ensure GENUINE transparency in New Zealand ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world (according to Transparency International’s 2011 Corruption Perception Index – which is actually based upon the subjective opinions of anonymous business people ) – check out:



    Shouldn’t New Zealand arguably be the MOST ‘transparent’ country in the world – if we’re supposed to be the least corrupt?

    So – how come New Zealand hasn’t even ratified the UN Convention Against Corruption?

    When are other political parties (apart from the Greens) going to pick up some of these commonsense demands?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation campaigner’

  17. Treetop 17

    Just what is Bennett going to say in the green paper (welfare of children) that food and shelter is not essential. I reiterate that the recent Work and Income changes should not be implemented until after the green paper was assessed, (a draft is due out in about a month).

    We now have a two tier funded welfare system for deprived children in NZ. Glenn vs NZ Government. Glenn knows how deprived some NZ children are and his timimg is perfect. The one thing that Glenn has to be careful about is that the government do not receive any praise for even one dollar that the Glenn Family Foundation give. 80 million is going to make a difference.

    Last Saturday when Glenn was interviewed by Kim Hill he said he no longer donates to political parties, he does not hold a grudge against Winston, that Winston did some good things for racing. Glenn’s proudest achievement is his six children.

    Making a real difference to the plight of struggling NZ children will be Glenn’s legacy, not some political beat up, because it is too small minded for a man of Glenn’s intellect and compassion.

  18. Tracey 18

    Interesting take on it. My first thoughts about Glenn’s recent activities is that he is now buying his way to a knighthood with donations to south auckland and sport…

    • Treetop 18.1

      My thought about Glenn getting a knighthood is that if he gets one he will deserve it. Glenn did raise the Monaco consulate thing with Hill. Glenn was transparent about Monaco being a legal tax haven and that he was not short of the funds, he explained that while he was there he could assist concerning NZ issues and that simply being known as Glenn, this would not be that effective. I have not quoted him but he came across as being sincere.

      Glenn has a new book out which I will read and the other book I will read is the Chris Brit one on the Crewes, when a free copy comes my way.

    • Seen this?


      ‘More troubling is Owen Glenn’s oft-forgotten and rarely discussed business past. In the mid-nineties Glenn paid a settlement of $US1.5m to the Federal Maritime Commission after being prosecuted for fraud by the US government. This related to misstating the size and weight of his cargo shipments. Further to this, Peter Dickson – his appointee on the board of his New Zealand operations, was involved in a $20m money-laundering case in the US, Caribbean and Canada.”

      Penny Bright
      ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

      • Treetop 18.2.1

        I did not say the man was perfect and he got done for misstating the size and weight of cargo shipments.

        Are you implying that Glenn was involved with the Dickson money laundering?

        • Colonial Viper

          I did not say the man was perfect

          Indeed, real boats are ones which rock.

          Any insistence that people should lead their lives free of error and misjudgement is completely unrealistic and you are asking to be lied to.

  19. Blue 19

    @Tracey “My first thoughts about Glenn’s recent activities is that he is now buying his way to a knighthood with donations to south auckland and sport…”

    Really? My first thought when I saw it was “My God, what a generous man”. But then again, I don’t colour my judgments on a mans character by his nett worth. Maybe you should contact him and tell him to keep his money?

  20. weka 20

    Front page of the ODT today has an article about Willie Apiata leaving the army to work with at-risk kids, only the article seems to place large emphasis on John Key’s opinion about this.
    The online version has far less emphasis on Key.

    • Treetop 20.1

      Glenn will head hunt Apiata (with cash and not a gun) and Apiata’s new wife who is a chef, to feed the rumbling tummies of the forgotton children of NZ.

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