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Auditor-General must investigate Wongs

Written By: - Date published: 11:57 pm, December 8th, 2010 - 58 comments
Categories: corruption, john key - Tags: , , ,

Fresh evidence was presented in the House yesterday by rortbuster Pete Hodgson that makes a lie of testimony Sammy Wong gave to the investigation into his and his wife’s travel on taxpayer money. A proper inquiry by the Auditor-General must now be undertaken. There are also questions over John Key’s involvement.

You’ll remember that the Parliamentary Service investigated disgraced former Minister Pansy Wong and her husband Sammy’s use of her MP travel perk after Hodgson revealed that she and he had conducted private business while using that perk, which is against the rules. The investigation looked into trips that the Wong’s had taken on that perk. Based on the Wongs’ description of the purpose of each trip, it concluded that there was no “systematic abuse” of the perk.

One of the trips, according to Sammy, was to investigate his family genealogy. Hodgson today tabled evidence that, in reality, Sammy met with his business partner, former National PM Jenny Shipley and “he helped former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley launch a $40 million investment into a biotechnology centre, in which Mrs Shipley has shares”.

This, I think means two things: 1) the Wongs used the travel perk for business on more than one occasion, which is suggestive of “systematic abuse” rather than accidental or incidental abuse 2) the Wongs misled the Parliamentary Service investigation, which, frankly, should never have relied on the mere word of those being investigated in the first place.

When the Parliamentary Service report came out, John Armstrong and others condemned it as a whitewash. This new information makes it a sham.

Clearly, these matters need re-investigation by a competent body, which is obviously the Auditor-General. And let us not forget that Pansy also took four trips as minister to China that have not been investigated at all yet. These, too, should now be subject to the A-G’s inquiry.

Now we come to the issue of John Key’s involvement in all this. Here’s how it played out in the House:

Hon Pete Hodgson: When did he first become aware of the link between Pansy and Sammy Wong and Lianyungang Supreme Hovercraft Ltd?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: When I first met Pansy Wong she introduced Sammy as her husband, so I was aware of the link then. In terms of the question the member asked, I have no recollection of that date.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Does he recall having dinner with Sammy Wong in New Zealand on 19 September 2008 and receiving a progress report on Liangyungang Supreme Hovercraft Ltd at that time?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: No…

… Hon Pete Hodgson: I have a number of documents to table. I will try to group them. The first document I seek leave to table is off the Lianyungang Supreme Hovercraft website, which is no longer existent. It is both in English and in Mandarin, and it refers to the dinner between Sammy Wong and the Prime Minister on 19 September 2008.

Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sort to table that document. Is there any objection? There is no objection.

The look on John Key’s face when Hodgson tabled those papers ( about 2.55 in the vid) is what Audrey Young famously called his ‘Tranzrail eyes’. He looked caught out and uncertain of what more was to come.

I can’t speculate on what this all means. Although I’m confused as hell as to why the Leader of the National Party was getting updates on a Chinese hovercraft business.

And we’re not getting any answers out Key and Wong. After Question Time, Key walked through the waiting media “refusing to stop or acknowledge media queries” while Wong snuck out the back way. This unwillingness to front up can only deepen concerns.

58 comments on “Auditor-General must investigate Wongs”

  1. BLiP 1

    Merry Christmas National Ltd™ – cos you deserve it.

  2. Can’t blame Key for pushing past the media throng… he’d have needed to change his trousers post haste.

    Pete Hodgson is shaping up as the new Winston Peters – minus the deceit and the dance floor moves.

    But who’s going to do this stuff when he retires? I can’t see anyone else lifting their nose out of the trough long enough to criticise their “Parliamentary colleagues”…

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Their must be someone in the Labour wings that can be trained up.

      • Marty G 2.1.1

        The staff are key. Labour lost many of its best researchers in the post-election purge but hodgson got at least one back. Having the mp willing to front the research is also vital.Mallard will when hodgson is gone and maybe hughes. Needs to be someone reasonably experienced and senior

    • bobo 2.2

      Just watched the replay of question time tonight, the OTT “who me??” look of Key when asked was he at the Wongs that night was priceless. The Wongs are the just the tip of the iceberg, interested to find out more about Shipley and Key’s dealing in this, maybe he has another trust we don’t know about or a “pension plan” as they call it.. Would be easy to give info or political help to a company to be paid back down the road to avoid no direct link..but then again Key was careless in covering his tracks with his trans-rail shares, also looks like he aint the best of picking companies either , transrail shares lost money and this the hovercraft company is being sued…

      • Cnr Joe 2.2.1

        yeah, these are new eyes, his ‘ whats wong with that’ eyes. Tranzrail eyes are for when hes caught on the hop.

        that bitch Shipley still owes me some money.

        • felix 2.2.1.1

          Yep, the eyes say “what’s wrong with that?!” even as the mouth is saying “I didn’t do it!”

          He’s not even a good liar. Seriously, you’ve got to be a fucking idiot to be fooled by this 2-bit salesman.

          • Tigger 2.2.1.1.1

            Notice how slouchy he also gets at these times. His body goes almost limp when he’s caught out – trying to look relaxed rather than stiff with guilt.

          • Colonial Viper 2.2.1.1.2

            Seriously, you’ve got to be a fucking idiot to be fooled by this 2-bit salesman.

            The electorate is never wrong. Isn’t that so?

            • felix 2.2.1.1.2.1

              Don’t know if I can objectively say they’re wrong but I’m fairly confident I could make a case for a lot of them being fucking idiots.

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Well, now we know why Mrs Wong was incommunicado for two weeks – She along with Jonkey and Mr Wong were getting their stories straight. It’s what those caught doing wrong do to try and hide the fact that they were doing wrong.

  4. bobo 4

    A bit of history repeating perhaps?
    Shipley on the run.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=2874

  5. Tanz 5

    Poor Pansy, give her a break. It’s not as though she is the only one, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. She is no worse than the other troughers.

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      Much worse: she’s shamed the entire Asian community with her actions.

      • Tanz 5.1.1

        That’s a bit lame. So, Carter shamed the gay community? Whatever.

        • felix 5.1.1.1

          Bullshit Tanz.

          If you know of another minister who has been using their publicly funded private travel subsidy to conduct business, you should say so now or shut the fuck up.

          You’ve tried this exact same line every time the Wongs are brought up.

        • john k 5.1.1.2

          my wife is chinese and she want wong deported,i dont see how you can call her poor pansy as her and the husband are both rich,and one day may look at sexy as Shipley if they spent enough time at dinners with her riping off the tax payer

      • stargazer 5.1.2

        bullshit. i’m not responsible for her actions & refuse to be tainted by them. what a bizarre thing to say. are you tainted when anyone of your ethnic demographic behaves badly?

        • Colonial Viper 5.1.2.1

          Good on you for standing strong, but I also get that people stereotype. Wong liked to be seen as a community leader, her performance has a reflection on that community.

          And to answer you, of course I was not suggesting that you were responsible for Pansy Wong’s actions .

    • lprent 5.2

      No.

      In the mid 2000’s the National and Act parties introduced a widespread use of a poliitcal pattern of behavior into politics here – I think that they stole it from Winston Peters. It said that regardless of the seriousness of offenses by MP’s everything that they do should be blown out of proportion. Don’t focus on the policies, just smear the people. That the way the political game was played from opposition was the number of scalps of politically injured, disgraced and exiled MP’s.

      I personally find it stupid, because the triviality offenses like Benson-Popes get muddled up with the serious like those of Taito Phillip Field. It also makes parliament and government a harder place to work..

      However National and Act seemed to think it was required – so we are demonstrating how it should be done. Of course the left appear to be considerably better at it than national or act based on the results of the last two years harvesting. Either that or NACT politicians are more venial than was anticipated.

      But NACT can expect this to continue at ever higher levels of proficiency to enure tha the political idiots on the other side learn that this type of politics is not useful for running a government, and both sides can use it against each others governments.

      Which is why The Standard authors assist in the task, much like kiwiblog and it’s assorted clones did during the last government.

      That is my view on it.

      • BLiP 5.2.1

        Well said. The level vindictive nastiness which seeped down from the National Ltd™ opposition into the workplace, pubs and blogs is what prompted me to switch from lurker to regular commentator. Their smearing didn’t even have to involve facts, just bald, white, pudgy, middle-class male ignorance.

        Don’t like it back up ’em, do they?

  6. toad 6

    One of the trips, according to Sammy, was to investigate his family genealogy. Hodgson today tabled evidence that, in reality, Sammy met with his business partner, former National PM Jenny Shipley and “he helped former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley launch a $40 million investment into a biotechnology centre, in which Mrs Shipley has shares”.

    Now that is interesting. As a retired MP who was in Parliament before 1999, Shipley has a travel perk entitlement too. The investigation should also be widened into what she has been using hers for. We’ve already seen former Ministers David Butcher and Roger McClay criminally convicted for fraudulently using theirs for business purposes.

  7. Key’s justification for not referring Wong’s case to the Auditor General is beyond belief. If it was ministerial spending he would but since it is parliamentary spending he will not?

    Talk about a double standard …

  8. joe bloggs 8

    Yawn…

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      First time I’ve seen you bored while we are talking about bludgers, Joe.

    • pollywog 8.2

      yeah…i’m tired of Key’s bullshit as well

      • Craig Glen Eden 8.2.1

        The irony of all this is once this has all unravelled Key and Wong could end up not just in prison but with no right to even vote.

        They could make Winston look like a Saint. Winston must be pissing himself now.

        • toad 8.2.1.1

          Wong maybe, but Key? You know something we don’t, Craig?

        • marsman 8.2.1.2

          Here’s hoping!

          • Craig Glen Eden 8.2.1.2.1

            So we have Wong in China confirmed doing business once which is a breach of the rules.

            Then we have another visit when Mr Wong Lands in China on a ancestry trip and the very next day gets a invite from his family to be at a gathering where Jenny Shipley one of Mr Wongs business partners just happens to be laying a foundation stone! Wow what a coincidence.
            But wait theirs more according to the Herald
            “Meanwhile, a spokesman for KiwiRail has told the Herald the company understood that Mr Wong had been engaged by Pacific Power Developments (PPD), a New Zealand registered company with links in China “to arrange meetings in New Zealand for state owned CNR (China North Rail)” in 2005.

            CNR’s overseas trading arm, CNR Loric later won a contract to supply 20 locomotives to KiwiRail in an agreement signed in June last year”

            Would this be the the same Rail company that John Key had shares in? Ambitious for NZ or Ambitious for John Key. Who is helping fund the National Party? Oh some one called Pansy has been helping out a bit with the odd 200 grand, oh shit Her last name is Wong what a coincidence.
            Also why is John Key receiving briefings about some Hovercraft company?

            • Jim Nald 8.2.1.2.1.1

              Frankly, I am pissed off with the antics of the two Wongs. They appear more and more like a twin act, double deal. And the shenanigans increasingly look like they lead to the door of both Nat PMs: the current and the ex.

            • bobo 8.2.1.2.1.2

              Curiouser and curiouser 🙂 weren’t we told last year that Kiwirail couldn’t build them here due to capacity by Steven Joyce so they didn’t even get to make a bid? Is this possible linked?

            • ghostwhowalksnz 8.2.1.2.1.3

              Heres the family ties Sammy was investigating –

              Qiqihar Railway Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Harbin Railway Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Changchun Railway Coach Co., Ltd.
              Changchun Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd.
              CNR Dalian Locomotive & Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co., Ltd
              Tangshan Railway Transportation Equipment Co., Ltd.
              Tianjin LJ Railway Transport Equipment Ltd.
              Beijing Feb. 7th Railway Transportation Equipment Co., Ltd.
              Beijing Nankou Railway Transportation Machinery Co., Ltd.
              CNR Datong Electric Locomotive Co., Ltd.
              Taiyuan Railway Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Yongji Xinshisu Electric Equipment Co., Ltd.
              Ji’nan Railway Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Xi’an Railway Rolling Stock Co., Ltd.
              Lanzhou Jinniu Railway Transportation Equipment Co., Ltd.
              CNR Dalian Locomotive Research Institute Co., Ltd.
              Qingdao Sifang Rolling Stock Research Institute Co., Ltd.
              CNR Logistic Development Corp., Ltd.
              LORIC Import & Export Corp., Ltd

              All ‘offspring of ‘ CNR ( China North Rail)

              • RedLogix

                I’m hearing that the KiwiRail people on the ground are very sceptical about the probable quality of the CNR locos being delivered. According to one person on the inside, there are a number of very similar locos lying idle in Pakistan because within a few years of delivery they had so many problems the Pakis had to abandon them.

                Scuttlebutt from semi-reliable source.

    • Bright Red 8.3

      guys. joe bloggs has said yawn, so I think it’s best if we all just ignore this issue and hope it goes away like he is.

      • Jim Nald 8.3.1

        more like a yawning gap between what was disclosed/reported in the hugh mcphail/speaker so-called investigation and the fuller story

  9. lprent@8:24 – thanks for that clear description. It rings like a true bell.

  10. Cnr Joe 10

    seems to me – heh – the Wongs live in China interspersed with reaaally loong trips to N.Z to conduct ‘business’.

    hey – that Shipley heinousness is in business with Sam Wong innit?
    but he gets invited by his old’ family friend’ ( the owner ) to an opening She is cutting the ribbon for?
    and yet , what, he only hears about it – when? before heading back to China to flaff around with family trees, ( an orchard? forestry interests?) The morning after he arrived?
    these stories are going to get rever more ridiculous as befits these crummy crummy people, these right wing politicians, these venal swipes.
    Tranzrail eyes
    Eye done no Wong eyes
    Worthless to me eyes
    Can’t stand the Heatley eyes
    The Mesmerist continues his reign

  11. B 11

    WongKey-gate?

  12. Ms M 12

    Tuesday November 30, 2010 12:42 John Key
    12:42 Moderator: Craig asks: What do you plan to do with your life when your term/terms as Prime Minister Finishes?

    Tuesday November 30, 2010 12:42 Moderator
    12:42 John Key: I’m likely to have some engagement in the commercial world. I have no interest in going to the United Nations, or holding any other elected positions.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4405723/Live-chat-Prime-Minister-John-Key-text

    • Jim Nald 12.1

      might as well ambitiously set up things now for some likely engagement in the commercial world ?

  13. Treetop 13

    I have just looked into my crystal ball and the response I got was, that Mr Preest will get a settlement from Mr Yang over the hoovercraft deal going belly up to avoid litigation. This would ensure that Mr Wong was kept out of any connection with the hoovercraft business.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10686807

  14. The Voice of Reason 14

    Oh oh, Pansy, looks like the A-G reads the Standard:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10693149

  15. BLiP 15

    EDIT. Changed my mind.

  16. Well at last these bastards are being exposed for what they are .A two faced lot of sleaze bags. the Textor/Crosby run campaigns of muck throwing has rebounded. We’ve had the creepy campaigns against Helen Clark, from disgusting accusations, to smear. All without proof ,but of course mud sticks. Then we had the disgracefull attacks on Chris Carter. The Phillip Field afffair was overkill and I still believe he was set up. The ACT/Nat dirty tricks brigade bought in a couple of skinheads to accuse Benson-Pope and ended his career. Some of us oldies will remember the fascist Muldoon and the way he ruined Moyle and Amos .
    Well their cover has been exposed . Lets get them good and proper.
    My gut feeling is that this is big, very big . Im also beginning to think Key is involved , the so called blind trusts will at sometime have to be opened.
    Just remember Key is worth 50 million . How the hell does anyone make 50 million?

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      Just remember Key is worth 50 million . How the hell does anyone make 50 million?

      Knowing all the big deals going down all the time, you simply take your bonus money (in itself worth hundreds of thousands at the start or millions a year later on) and put it where its going to make more. Not talking insider trading or anything like that here, just talking straight old being aware of the investment landscape. The first million is the hardest to make, but if you get that in your pay, then it snowballs from there.

    • BLiP 16.2

      Just remember Key is worth 50 million . How the hell does anyone make 50 million?

      He didn’t *make* $50 million. Him and his mates stole it when they looted Thailand.

  17. ghostwhowalksnz 17

    One thing that has made me curious?

    Why werent Sammys credit card records used in the Inquiry?

    Surely if he was on family visits he wouldnt be using a business credit card for internal chinese hotels, car hire ,meals etc.
    IRD would be very interested if business and private were being mixed.

  18. Irascible 18

    The connections between the dots get drawn even darker and more definite. When do the NZ Police begin to investigate the dealings of the Wongs, Shipleys and Key?
    Is it too much to ask that a full and proper investigation into wong-gate is begun immediately by someone other than a retired civil servant under instruction from the Speaker?

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    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government drives low-emissions transport momentum
    Up to 110 new EV chargers nationwide in cities and regions 50 electric vehicles for ride-sharing The Government is helping deliver more infrastructure and options for low emissions transport through new projects, Energy and Resources Minister Dr Megan Woods says. Tauranga, Nelson, Levin, New Plymouth and Oamaru are just some ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Kiwis better off under Coalition Government
    New Zealanders are increasingly better off under this Government as wages rise and families have more disposable income, Finance Minister Grant Robertson says. Stats NZ reported today that average household disposable incomes after housing costs rose 4.9% in 2019. This was the highest rise in four years and came as ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Another step towards restoring rights for screen production workers
    All New Zealanders need to have their voices heard at work to ensure we have an inclusive and productive economy. Today we introduce a Bill to do this for workers in the New Zealand screen industry, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says. “The Screen Industry Workers Bill will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Enhanced Taskforce Green for Southland and South Otago
    The Government has announced further help for the Southland and Otago regions to speed up recovery efforts from the floods.  “I’ve approved Enhanced Taskforce Green (ETFG), making $500,000 available to help with the clean-up in Fiordland, Southland, and the Clutha district in Otago,” Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni said.  ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Employers and Industry take the lead to connect students to vocational education
    Following the announcement that more than 340 schools will be funded to run events promoting vocational education, the Government has announced it will fund a further 257 events to be run by employers and industry. “These industry-run events will allow more than 30,000 students to connect with more than 2,000 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rental reforms a step closer with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill
    Today the Government is making progress on a fairer and more secure rental market for renters and landlords with the introduction of the Residential Tenancies Amendment Bill in Parliament.  “This Bill includes a series of reforms to improve the wellbeing of the 609,700 households that live in rented homes, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Biosecurity Minister announces world first eradication of pea weevil
    A Government programme to wipe out pea weevil has achieved a world first, with Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor today announcing the successful eradication of the noxious pest from Wairarapa. This means the nearly four-year ban on pea plants and pea straw was lifted today. Commercial and home gardeners can again grow ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Temporary Accommodation Service activated for Southland flooding
    Southland residents hit by flooding caused by heavy rainfall can now access help finding temporary accommodation with the Government activating the Temporary Accommodation Service, Minister of Civil Defence Peeni Henare announced today. “The Temporary Accommodation Service (TAS) has been activated by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment to help ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bridges: Over-hyped and under-delivered
    “Is that it?” That’s Finance Minister Grant Robertson’s response to Simon Bridges’ much-hyped economic speech today. “Simon Bridges just gave the most over-hyped and under-delivered speech that I can remember during my time in politics,” Grant Robertson said. “It’s not surprising. Simon Bridges literally said on the radio this morning ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Police to trial eye in the sky in Christchurch
    A trial deployment of the Police Eagle helicopter in Christchurch will test whether the aircraft would make a significant difference to crime prevention and community safety. “The Bell 429 helicopter will be based in Christchurch for five weeks, from 17 February to 20 March,” said Police Minister Stuart Nash. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Momentum of trade talks continues with visits to promote Pacific and Middle East links
    The Government has kept up the pace of its work to promote New Zealand’s trade interests and diversify our export markets, with visits to Fiji and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker. Building momentum to bring the PACER Plus trade and development agreement ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Coalition Govt’s investment in Customs nets record drugs haul: 3 tonnes stopped at borders in 2019
    The Coalition Government’s investment in a strong border and disrupting transnational organised crime produced record results for stopping drugs in 2019, says Minister of Customs Jenny Salesa. The illegal drugs were seized at the New Zealand border by Customs, and overseas by Customs’ international border partners before the drugs could ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago