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Auditor-General to enquire re English

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, September 25th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

Herald reports that AG will make preliminary enquiries into English’s housing payment.

This follows a suggestion in today’s Business Herald that his credibility is affected by ongoing questions and the AG should investigate.

35 comments on “Auditor-General to enquire re English ”

  1. burt 1

    I posted the same on Kiwiblog;

    As much as I would like to see English held to account if he has rorted the system I fear the Labour party set a precedent that the interpretation by the AG is not worth the paper it is written on when it is inconvenient for the govt to be bound by it.

    The lovers of corruption will get behind National if National decide they know the rules better than the AG.

    It will be good to get it cleared up though, lets hope National set a higher standard of accountability than Labour did. Would be shame to see English stand in the dock over this, but that would be more palatable than having National validate his actions because it is expedient to do so.

    • r0b 1.1

      I fear the Labour party set a precedent that the interpretation by the AG is not worth the paper it is written on when it is inconvenient for the govt to be bound by it.

      Goodness Burt, when did Labour do that?

      My guess is you mean in 2006 re his report after the 2005 election, when Labour fully complied with the recommendations of the AG, and also paid back money that he deemed was spent inappropriately even though they weren’t required to do so. Is that the precedent you are referring to?

      Sorry Burt, your attempts at smokescreen and distraction will not work. English is in trouble here and you can’t save him.

    • burt 1.2


      You really need to learn to stop digging. You are making a fool of yourself where you could STFU and hope that you are not forced to make a bigger fool of yourself if the AG pings English and National don’t hold him to account.

      English has paid money back – is he in the clear now according to the rOb standard of accountability ?

      • r0b 1.2.1

        You really need to learn to stop digging.

        Gosh thanks for the advice Burt, Yeah I guess I should just sit back and let you tell your lies.

        English has paid money back

        No he hasn’t. He’s been collecting the allowance while living in Wellington since the mid 1990’s, up to about $400,000 by some estimates. He has by no means paid the money back.

        is he in the clear now according to the rOb standard of accountability ?

        Nope! Paying money back is a sign of wanting to make amends (or be perceived as making amends), but it has nothing much to do with whether his actions were improper, that’s what the AG is determining. It may be the case that the AG finds that nothing improper has gone on, as was found in the similar case of Hobbs and Bunkle. But they were stood down during the AGs investigation, as English should be too, don’t you agree Burt?

      • burt 1.2.2

        Yes, he should be stood down while the AG investigates, good call.

        • jcuknz

          You are a comedian Burt …. reading the legislation on the subject thanks to David Farrar at Kiwiblog … I fully expect the AG to rightly say you are jumping up a gum tree.

  2. Peter Johns - bigoted troll in jerkoff mode 2

    maybe we can have a law such as Harry Dunhoven got done for him retrospectively when he was found to have a dutch passport of when Labour overspent on the 2005 election. This site will be in favour of that surely.

    • burt 2.1

      Peter Johns

      Oh no it will be different this time…. It’s OK when Labour do it…..

      As much as I would like to see English cleared by the AG – it will be gold if the AG pings him and National validate it saying the ref made a bad call.

      • Armchair Critic 2.1.1

        Yeah burt, let’s hope he gets away with it ‘cos he’s only acted immorally, not illegally. I mean, if it’s only immoral, it’s okay.
        Waiting to hear what you think about the Speaker retrospectively stripping MPs convicted of serious offences of their travel entitlements. Surely you are coming out to bat for Philip Field, stopping the slide toward dictatorship, that sort of thing. Or is it okay when National do it?

        • burt

          Armchair Critic

          The way I understand it if an MP is convicted of a crime carrying a maximum penalty of more than 2 years in prison then removing their ‘perks’ is the right thing to do. So, as I understand it National have followed the rules correctly here.

          • Maynard J

            Even though it will be applied retrospectively? As I understand your reasoning, if one side does something, then it is equally good/bad if the other side does it, no matter the circumstances or context.

            So, in BurtLand, you are a hypocrite for attacking Labour doing something retrospectively but not applying the same standard to National.

            Or are you going to argue that this case is different to every other case you have ever mentioned since the election, just because you judge it to be the ‘right’ thing to do?

          • burt

            Maynard J

            So help me out here, how far back has the speaker ruled Field can’t claim expenses?

            If he has gone back prior to Field being in court then I’ll be making a song and dance about it.

          • burt

            Oops, make that prior to the outcome of the court case, then I’ll be shouting about it.

          • Armchair Critic

            I think it might be retrospective because it is being applied to actions undertaken before the rule was changed. The issue of how far back expenses can not be claimed is just one element of the retrospective nature of the rule change. And I haven’t seen anything about the speaker disallowing PF’s prior claims.
            To have no retrospective impact, surely the rule change would only apply to MPs that commit and are convicted of serious offences after the rule change comes into force.

          • burt

            I agree, and if TPF spends 20 odd years in prison – then he can’t claim expenses anyway. I’ll be watching this one. Cheers.

    • Bright Red 2.2

      Duyenhoven accidently breached an archaic law no-one knew about and that didn’t matter. It would have been a clear breach of the democratic will of the people of New Plymouth if he had been made to resign just because he had renewed his double citizenship with the Netherlands.

      I’m not sure but I would assume that National voted for the law.

      • burt 2.2.1

        Bright Red

        Since when was ignorance of the law an excuse for MP’s ?

      • Bright Red 2.2.2

        edit: Duynhoven

      • insider 2.2.3

        Of course it was an innocent mistake by Harry, but has that “archaic law” been repealed? Not as far as I am aware. Funny how in getting the speaker to delberately delay the issue and passing a law to protect him (and possibly a couple of others in Labour who didn’t fess up) that Labour didn’t tidy up this apparantly archaic and so presumeably redundant law?

  3. Rob A 3

    I’m starting to wonder if John Key is sniggering into his silver dinnerware. This could give him the perfect excuse to get rid of some of the more hard right elements in the Nats that (I believe) are still calling many of the shots.

    • SMSD 3.1

      Really? The likely consequence is a drop in influence/effectiveness for Bill English. How would that harm the hard right of the party, given that English seems more like a relatively moderate tory than a hard right ideologue (hence his replacement by Brash)?

      Would Key even want to get rid of the far right element?

      I think if he had his way, he probably would be fairly hard right, but he realises that in order to get a second term, he has to be more moderate.

  4. Ianmac 4

    I think that the AG wants to look at some documents in a preliminary to a “full” investigation. Not yet an “investigation.” If Bill not only lost his rank but resigned from Parliament would there be a by-election? Is he an elected MP or List?
    It is a case of “What goes around…..”

    • Bright Red 4.1

      He’s Clutha-Southland, so there would be a by-election.

      • burt 4.1.1

        A by-election eh…

        I think National need an inquiry with very narrow terms of reference first. That could take about 9 months to complete then it could be followed by about a year of garden leave – that should get National close enough to the next election so that a by-election is not required. As long as English never threatens to stand as an independent – he will be fine.

      • Kevin Welsh 4.1.2

        Yep, apparently he lives in Dipton.

        • burt

          As a local candidate standing on a platform of ‘I ripped off the townies’ English would probably do just fine in southland. Shadbolt’s getting a bit weary on it now anyway. English appears to be between a beer fridge and pizza store at this stage. Poor bugger, my heart bleeds for him.

          • felix

            …between a beer fridge and pizza store…

            That’s a new one for me. Not entirely sure what it means but it doesn’t sound like such a bad place to be, on the face of it…

  5. simon 5

    happy happy joy joy…Steven Joyce

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    How about a Speakers ruling that MPs who falsely claim for accomodation allowances , as an MP, are no longer eligible.

  7. Jasper 7

    There’s been precedent set by Bunkle and Hobbs so English will have a case to answer.

    Additionally, the placing of Lynn Provost (previous Deputy Commissioner) will mean that she’s not likely to be wishy washy like Brady is.

    Expect to see English gone by lunchtime.

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