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Corruption must never be tolerated

Written By: - Date published: 3:20 pm, October 1st, 2009 - 95 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption, national/act government - Tags:

I have to disagree with my comrade Zetetic’s post arguing that it’s best if Bill English stays in office.

Yes, this scandal has permanently destroyed English’s credibility and I can see how having a lame duck Deputy PM and Finance Minister plays into the Left’s hands. But I do think our touchstone should always be principle, not opportunism.

English saw nothing wrong and sees nothing wrong in using his power, his privilege, and the trust we the people have placed in him to manipulate the rules to take taxpayer money that was not intended for him. His dodgy trust dealings may skate just within the letter of the law but he clearly breached the intention of law and, in doing so, breached the trust we placed in him.

This country is extremely fortunate to be one of the least corrupt in the world. That has not happened by accident. It has happened because whenever corruption has appeared the blow-torch of public opinion, backed by strong institutions and principled politicians, has been turned on it and it has been burned out.

Corruption is anathema to our way of life. We cannot have our leaders exploiting their power for personal gain as English has clearly done. Wherever and whenever we find corruption it must be ruthlessly and completely purged, lest the contagion spread. English’s corrupt behaviour is a cancer that must be rooted out, even though it may suit us in the immediate term for him to remain.

English is corrupt and we must not tolerate corruption. Ever. He must go.

95 comments on “Corruption must never be tolerated ”

  1. outofbed 1

    I see where you are coming from and it is very commendable.
    If he goes , which it seems that he must if the Government is to retain any credibility.
    then it is a victory for the “blow-torch of public opinion”
    But if he stays the benefits for the left are huge.
    And it will certainly help no end to turn the tide
    All in all it is a win win.

    And I don’t really mind which option wins out

  2. mike 2

    Is this a piss take?
    If not how can you accuse someone of corruption who worked within the rules.

    Unlike the labour party who where caught breaking the law – changed the law and only begrudgingly paid it back and don’t get me started on it’s support parties…

    • snoozer 2.1

      you don’t think exploiting loopholes when you’ve been placed in a position of trust is corrupt?

      I wouldn’t want to employ you.

      • Rob 2.1.1

        Well in business, when you have the behaviours and practices that have been in place for a number of years with a number of people, you generally have to restructure in a very careful manner.

        Also you have to ensure that what ever solution you arrive at fits over the entire organisation.

      • Scribe 2.1.2

        I seem to recall the word “corrupt” essentially being banned from this site when applied to the Labour government. Now it’s all over the place. Interesting.

  3. Tim Ellis 3

    I see Marty that you’ve stooped to defaming people. Are you really that desperate for attention?

    [lprent: First this doesn’t defame under any normal legal definition, as Marty has elegantly defined what he opines is corruption and why. He has then suggested that English fits the criteria. That makes it a simple opinion about a definition of corruption and not an accusation. Besides corruption itself isn’t defined in NZ law as a criminal offense far as I’m aware (unlike malfeasance which is).

    Secondly read the judgement in Lange vs Atkinson which cheerfully makes it damn near impossible for politicians to get past a status hearing for defamation or libel cases. Effectively politicians or ex-politicians have very little ability to win a defamation or libel case about their activities in politics.

    Face it, you’ve descended into being a moronic spinner desperately spinning a line without enough understanding of what you’re talking about. Now that is probably a statement you could take a case over. However I’d simply have to prove that it was true – which is easy. ]

    • snoozer 3.1

      Tim, I see you’ve stooped to specious legal threats because you want to silence people’s free speech, rather than debating with them – because you know you can’t win the debate. Are you really that desperate to silence this issue?

      • Tim Ellis 3.1.1

        No snoozer I am not Bill English so I’m not capable of making legal threats in this regard.

        As for specious, if you are going to call somebody corrupt and allege criminal behaviour you had better have much better evidence than Marty has presented here.

        • snoozer 3.1.1.1

          Where does Marty allege criminal behaviour? umm, oh he doesn’t.

          “His dodgy trust dealings may skate just within the letter of the law”

          And, Tim, in a free society you’re allowed to call someone corrupt if their actions appear corrupt to you. Maybe you don’t want to live in a free society but, for now at least, you do.

          • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1

            snoozer we don’t live in a society that is so free that there isn’t a consequence to defaming people. You’re not free to go around punching people you don’t like, either.

            • snoozer 3.1.1.1.1.1

              yeah but punching people is illegal. It’s not defamation to say someone’s actions are corrupt if you think they are on reasonable grounds, particularly if you’re talking about a politican.

              You need to learn your defamation law.
              You also need to learn the definition of corrupt.

              Face it, you’re not concerned about possible defamation. You just don’t like what Marty’s got to say and you’ve got no argument against it, so you try to scare people into silence instead.

            • Tim Ellis 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Actually snoozer I don’t think anything I say here at the Standard is remotely scary to anybody. I’m not a lawyer and I doubt you are either but I’d welcome an opinion on whether calling somebody corrupt is defamatory.

            • Yentel 3.1.1.1.1.3

              quite a backdown, Tim, from your first comment: “I see Marty that you’ve stooped to defaming people”. Now you don’t know if it’s defamation and are freely admitting you haven’t a clue.

              So full of bluster, so full of crap.

            • felix 3.1.1.1.1.4

              That’s right Tim, it’s “not remotely scary”. Which is all the more amusing because you do indeed “try to scare people into silence”.

              This is textbook trolling, Ellis-style – when someone says something you can’t answer without losing face, respond to what you wish they’d said and hope no-one notices the difference.

            • rocky 3.1.1.1.1.5

              If someone sues you for defamation, there are essentially three possible defenses, the strongest of which is that what you said was true. Unlike criminal law, where the burden is on the prosecution to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt, in most civil law, including defamation, it is up to you to prove your defense.

              Possible defenses are:

              1. Truth. You have to prove that what you said was true.

              2. Honest Opinion (used to be called “fair comment”). You have to prove that the statement in question was your genuine opinion on a matter of public opinion (largely used for cases of criticising politicians).

              3. Privilege – you’re not liable if you can prove you were entitled to make a statement because it’s subject to absolute or qualified privilege.

              “Absolute privilege” applies to judges, lawyers and witnesses in legal proceedings, to MPs for things they say in Parliament, and to statements made by various officials dealing with “affairs of state”. There can be no liability in defamation for these statements, even if the person making the statement was motivated by malice.

              “Qualified privilege” applies if you had some kind of duty to make the statement to someone who has a corresponding interest in receiving it. The person making the statement must do so in good faith and without any improper motive. Unlike “Absolute privilege”, this defense doesn’t work if you acted out of malice or ill will.

              Examples of where “Qualified privilege” can be argued are: where the statement was a report of court proceedings, a statement made at a meeting of public bodies (ie, council meeting), or a statement made in the investigation of a crime.

              I expect the honest opinion defense would work if you were sued for calling Bill English corrupt.

              Marty G didn’t allege a criminal offense had been committed. He said he believed Bill English’s actions were contrary to the intentions of the law. Very different thing, and again, no doubt honest opinion.

              • lprent

                An interesting branch of the law. Have a look at the judgement in Lange vs Atkinson. That really expanded the opinion defense against politicians as also being in the public interest. Personally I always felt that it might have expanded it so widely as a reaction to the way Muldoon used defamation as a weapon against political opponents. There is some stuff around in the news about the hassle that Margret Lange (?) had even looking at taking a case because of the expansion.

                With the internet it also gets complicated because of there is a whole lot of issues about where the case should be heard and who can be made a party to the suit.

                I guess that you’re still having fun in law.

                • rocky

                  Sure the internet thing makes it difficult to sue Marty G when no one knows who he is. But someone could sue you Lynn as the owner of the site, and you could be liable for anything defamatory on the site (I seem to remember hearing a legal opinion somewhere that with blogs, you’re likely to be liable even for defamatory comments, but only if you moderate your blog. If you don’t moderate at all, you’re more likely to get away with it).

                  Of course Lynn if you were sued for defamation, in the disclosure period a judge could order you to give up the name of the person responsible for a post, and if you didn’t know who they were, at least their IP address.

                  It doesn’t even matter where the site is hosted. If you are the owner, you are subject to NZ law and the courts do have jurisdiction as much as they would if you made the comments on the street.

                  • lprent

                    If you don’t moderate at all, you’re more likely to get away with it).

                    Stephen Price in the Media Law Review.

                    but someone could sue you Lynn as the owner of the site

                    Actually I own the domain name…. The site is a co-op. The content on the site is ‘owned’ by the respective authors and commentators in so far as anyone can be bothered with it. It is running on free software on a rented virtual server that I’m not even paying for anymore (thanks to the generous people using the paypal button). I merely technically admin the site, do some moderation and sometimes write posts.

                    …in the disclosure period a judge could order you to give up the name of the person responsible for a post, and if you didn’t know who they were, at least their IP address.

                    Yep, and this is where it gets interesting at several levels. The big problem with defamation law is that question of the accuser not having to present a case. There is no prerequisite judgement about if there is a case to answer as there is in every other branch of the law.

                    In the disclosure period you have a countervailing argument of Marty’s privacy, explicitly stated in several areas in this site. So getting a judgement to give up the IP would require that judge would have to rule that the case presented by the accuser would have to override the explicit right of privacy on this site. That means that a lot of the accusers case would have to be prevented, especially why they did not think this was honest opinion. Personally I think by that time it would be getting too tenuous for a judge to do the order.

                    Anyway, I personally don’t remember numbers. I’d also be locked out of the site by people protecting their privacy and their own content. They’d have to get a court order to physically access the site to find that IP in the US courts. If the data hasn’t moved……

                    What the accuser is left with is to try and run a case against some-one who essentially ‘owns’ a domain name. Gets a bit tenuous….

                    • rocky

                      Your admission that your reasons for setting the site up this way is specifically to get around the law might make a judge rule that you are responsible for it.

                    • Tim Ellis []

                      Further LP, honest opinion is a defence, but it’s a defence that the defendant has to establish. If there’s a prima facie case of defamation to answer, then any attempt you might make to obstruct releasing the identity of the defendant wouldn’t be looked on too kindly, in my view. Not that I’m a lawyer, but I would have thought with all your legal training you might understand that.

                    • lprent []

                      That is the whole point. I disagree with the requirement that the accuser in a defamation case gets a free run.

                      So I’ve constructed the system here to be as difficult as possible to play the types of legal games that Crosby just did with Hager. As far as I can see your basis of argument is that I should lie back and enjoy being raped by some small minded rorter from dipton. I’m not obstructing anything, I just made sure that I reduced my potential legal exposure. If you think that is a problem then perhaps you should look at exactly what most of corporate law is.

                    • lprent []

                      If the accuser wishes me to release the private details of a third party to find out who they are taking a case against, then they HAVE to establish a case. That isn’t a defamation case at that point, it is getting an order to overturn privacy. To do that they will have to present at least part of their case to a judge to get an order (that I cannot comply with).

                      There is no bush-lawyering. It is simply designed to be difficult……

                    • Tim Ellis

                      Nice try, LP. A judge might just say you own the domain, you’re responsible, rather than play a part in your bush-lawyery games. I doubt a judge would decide that there is a right to privacy that overrides defamation.

        • felix 3.1.1.2

          You’re “not capable” of most of the shit you try to pull here, but it’s never stopped you before.

    • outofbed 3.2

      loved it

    • CuriO 3.3

      Yes but for a statement to be opinion it must also be based on a correct statement of fact. You are correct on that you have not committed defamation here. However TV3 may have. For weeks in the early part of the story they actually reported facts incorrectly. Therefore they don’t get the defence of truth. The only possible defence they have is discretionary privilege that is usually apportioned to the media. However in precedent cases the Media hasn’t reported facts incorrectly, and if so, not for such a length of time. I think TV3 will be hoping Bill is exonerated by the AG as he should be. Otherwise they are going to get sued and should lose.

      By the way I have commented on Bill’s situation very extensively in the story this post is based on, ‘he should stay’ or whatever it was called.

    • Tim Ellis 3.4

      Thanks for the legal advice LP, but if you don’t mind if I want legal advice I’ll consult an actual lawyer rather than a C++ programmer. Likewise I’ll refrain from offering you immigration advice. Given your partisan ruling last week that Felix and others hadn’t been personally abusive towards me, it doesn’t surprise me that you would engage in conduct that is contrary to your own site’s rules. No doubt you’ll have a valid and tribal reason for slagging off at me but I think you’re kidding yourself if you think you’re maintaining a higher standard of commentary than the sewer.

      [lprent: Ummm I suspect that you haven’t bothered thinking this through. I’m not just a programmer as you like to label me (I abhor people who think that labels describe a person obviously don’t talk to many – they are seldom simple enough for a single word). Programming is more like a passion that became an occupation. I trained in earth sciences, then moved into business and trained in that. But generally I pick up any knowledge that is floating around and study that.

      Before I helped to start this site I had a good look through the legal position on this site. Because I’ve done some law in several of my business courses, plus my ex was a lawyer (and I suffered legal principle through her training) and so are a number of friends and family. I’ve also been involved in political circles for a long time, and they tend to be mildly obsessed about legal responses to their statements. So it wasn’t too hard to find out and >understand the legal position on topics that affect this site. Also I consulted a couple of lawyers…

      So I’d say that you made yourself look like a vacuous fool to me when you brought up the defamation line. I’m sure that it might have worked on others, but I just expressed my contempt for your understanding.

      On the subject of moderation. we enjoy having a robust debate here. We just don’t like flamewars, so the guidelines are to prevent those. We also react to content relating to the site or authors. Read the policy. It is evident that you still don’t understand it. ]

      • Pascal's bookie 3.4.1

        Perhaps you should refrain from crying ‘defamation’ instead. Or at least defend it when challenged instead of crying like a big old WATB.

        (If you pay close attention you’ll see that my ‘abuse’ there is a conclusion, not a premiss. That’s significant to your complaint, shit-for-brains. What’s actually being attacked is the crappy nature of the things you say, and a conclusion is being drawn about why you say it.)

        • Tim Ellis 3.4.1.1

          That’s okay PB, I understand the source of your anger isn’t me, but how long it will take for the Labour Party to crawl its way back as a credible opposition.

      • felix 3.4.2

        Ellis-in-Wonderland,

        If you honestly want to improve the standard of discussion here (and I don’t believe for a moment – based on your utterly dishonest and cowardly behaviour to date – that you have any such interest whatsoever) then all you need do is fuck off and not come back. Don’t suppose that’s an option for you though. A job’s a job after all.

        • Tim Ellis 3.4.2.1

          No doubt yet again LP will deem this comment as not abusive or designed to reduce participation in comment threads. Hold your head up high Felix, you’re making these threads worse than the sewer.

          • felix 3.4.2.1.1

            …for you.

          • lprent 3.4.2.1.2

            Wrong. It fits outside the guidelines about when we moderate, although it is getting bloody close to the bounds.

            In this case felix made a point. The personal abuse is related to his opinion on that.

            What we stomp on is pointless abuse, typically just spinning a line because it sounds good or where it just disparages an entire group of people. Generally it is indefensible because it carries a whole pile of assumptions that are manifestly incorrect. For instance if I said that all people that disagreed with me were pin-brained rednecks. I’d be over that promptly and dropping hot coals.

  4. TightyRighty 4

    oh the humour that pours out this site. the amazing memory bypasses that go on. It’s not corruption, 3 speakers of the house have rubber stamped the Right Honourable Bill English’s actions. But, for the sake of argument, assuming it was, would you have a problem if he enacted retrospective legislation to validate spending ruled unlawful?

    • cocamc 4.1

      TR – LOL
      We’ll have to get some retrospective legislation else the lefts beloved Hunt and Wilson will be complicit in this activity and just as guilty

    • snoozer 4.2

      Speakers relied on English’s word, he was lying.

      • Ianmac 4.2.1

        Yes Snoozer. If the beneficiary misleads when making the application, they must at the first instance trust her/him. Did Bill mislead?

  5. outofbed 5

    “3 speakers of the house have rubber stamped the Right Honourable Bill English’s actions.”
    Yes they believed Bill word on his declaration
    Just for one wild moment speculate that Bill has been economical with the truth

    Who’s fault would that be the speakers or the dipper?

    • TightyRighty 5.1

      it’s not good to answer a question when the first question hasn’t been answered. weak, i believe, is the term for it.

  6. Tim Ellis 6

    Lest we forget the actual history, it’s great to have Marty revising it for us. Mr Field was removed from office by “principled politicians”.

    • snoozer 6.1

      Yeah Tim, there was Lockwood Smith for a start.

      Tim’s logic is that if Labour didn’t behave perfectly, National is allowed to behave worse.

  7. SPC 7

    The tradition is that the Speakers believe what the MP tells them. They rule on the basis of what they are told. Whether what they are told is true, or not, can become an issue at another time.

    The real corruption is that we have an entire (Tory) class of people who use Trusts to hide income and qualify for WFF and student allowances for their children. Then take $30million to subsidise their childrens private education (taken from Adult Education). It’s not surprising that the MP’s they vote for are little different.

    The real corruption is that it was so brave for Goff to accept the idea of a bi-partisan CGT when many MP’s own an electorate house and one in Wellingtomn as well (paid for by the taxpayer funded allowance) – given so many MP’s have a personal interest in there being no CGT (because they own more than one residence). And of course by owning a house in Wellington they need a (family) Trust to pay their housing allowance to, to justify receiving it. Bill is not alone.

    • Herodotus 7.1

      SPC sorry to be picky, “A Tory Class” what qualifications do you require?
      The systems you refer to were setup by the past Labour govt. I think this was a result of poor legistation and prep work by officials to allow such gapping holes re eligibility. I agree that once known these should be closed. I hear nothing out of the Beehive from any party/media to address this.
      p.s. There are legimate reasons for family trusts.

      • SPC 7.1.1

        You can qualify for the “Tory (privilege) class” by gaming the system to legally qualify for support when having no need of it and all while knowing that this support was not intended for those without any need for it.

        Transferring income or assets into a Trust to qualify for WFF, student allowances for children …

        While the exploitation of loopholes should result in them being closed (all those with Trusts having to apply especially for WFF and student allowances – undergo an audit of Trust arrangements (similarly for MP allowances), I don’t think the existence of loopholes in anyway exonerates the people who operate “unethically” albeit within the law.

        And while the two main parties are sitting on their hands while this is going on, we effectively tolerate this “legal “gaming of the system. There is no way the media and politicians would be so quiet on this if beneficiaries were the ones doing it. It’s a Tory middle class entitlement to smart operate the system privilege thing.

        And will MP’s do anything about it, they effectively use the taxpayer to buy a second house for them and they protect themselves and others form CGT.

  8. Gosh where have we heard these lines before “corrupt corrupt corrupt”. Don’t sink to the right’s level. English is not corrupt, he’s made some mistakes, there is a huge difference. Having him as our deputy PM is unlikely to lead to people fleeing the country out of fear or see flocks of investors go elsewhere because of our “corrupt finance minister”.

  9. Tim Ellis 9

    Nice to see that some on the Left are so courageous that they start attacking their own when people like Mr Quinn have the guts to put his name to his own ideas.

    • BLiP 9.1

      There was a time in New Zealand when one could have robust debates in public using their real name – people like you spoiled that.

      • Tim Ellis 9.1.1

        Nice try BLiP but I’ve never outed anybody. I’ve had a lot of people try and bully me about where I work though. From none other than commenters at the standard.

        • felix 9.1.1.1

          Nonsense, Tim.

          From what I’ve observed, everyone here is quite satisfied with your story that you work as a lowly auditor for a retail bank, a job which can be performed entirely at night, freeing up normal office hours for full-time blogging.

          I admit, it sounds like a fairly taxing lifestyle and I certainly don’t begrudge you your stimulants – whatever it takes, eh – but I can’t see why anyone would have cause to doubt your authenticity.

    • snoozer 9.2

      Hey Jake, you’ve got Tim standing up for you now. Ironic, because he’s probably sitting in your former office.

      I mean, come on, look at your post. You’ve internalised the Right’s lines and repeated them. Then DPF’s picked up your writing and paraded it saying ‘look, smart lefties think Bill’s done nothing wrong, all those other lefties are dumb’.

      You’ve allowed your view to be captured by the other side’s spin and, in doing so, given aid to them. Yup, doing well.

      Tim, I’ll criticise whom I want, left or right. Unlike you, I’m not resolutely blind to the failings of others on my side of the divide.

      • Tim Ellis 9.2.1

        Actually snoozer I’ve been quite open about what I do, only to have various people on here deride me for it and challenge me on whether I am real from the comfortable spot of anonymity.

        I doubt you would be making the attacks on Mr Quinn the way you do if you had to sign your own name to the slurs you make against him.

        • Yentel 9.2.1.1

          why is it a slur to criticise someone’s political actions?

          • felix 9.2.1.1.1

            Tim “Ellis-in-Wonderland” (nice one ak) has a new definition for just about any word or phrase you can think of.

            For example “personal attack” means mentioning someone’s name when you criticise their actions and “anonymous” means Tim doesn’t know your phone number and address.

  10. um, i was (not that it has anything to do with my post)

    • Joe 10.1

      No you weren’t. You were a junior media assistant to DBP before he got forced to resign. You weren’t very good either.

      Don’t pretend you were a press secretary. You reported to the press secretary.

      You might also want to be honest about the extent of your career as a “radio broadcaster”.

      • JakeQuinn 10.1.1

        I’m obviously not even sure who you are “joe” but i seem to remember coming back from the Justice ministry after leaving Benson-Popes office to work for Tizard and then a few months for Cullen. Im not sure what your angle is here, but i don’t want anyone else thinking i’m fibbing. Oh and I had the pleasure of co-hosting a breakfast show and being a production engineer in central hawkes bay in 2002.. Who are you?

        • mike 10.1.1.1

          No Jake I’m sorry but they are right and you are wrong – no matter how much proof you have about your own life – you are a liar

          It’s just the way folk around here deal with someone who dares to talk reason and doesn’t follow the ‘right is evil’ line

        • Joe 10.1.1.2

          Oh, I forgot about Judith Tizard. Great job you did on that one. I also know for a fact you never held the position of press secretary for Michael Cullen. What exactly did you do there?

          As for your broadcasting career, Central Hawkes Bay? Come on man, are we talking Dannevirke here? Waipuk?

          The reason I’m having a go at you for inflating your CV is that you’re just another empty careerist, and not even a particularly talented one, and yet you think you can lecture people like you’re some kind of expert.

          Your English comments were just idiotic, and show you’ve internalised your opponents’ spin. Your advice to Labour was exactly the worst possible course of action they could take.

          No wonder you’re being defended by the likes of Farrar, Tim Ellis and Mike. They know a useful idiot when they see one.

          IrishBill: Take it elsewhere joe.

          • Tim Ellis 10.1.1.2.1

            No what I see Joe is a coward who is attacking a real person from anonymity.

      • Rob 10.1.2

        Joe, you really are very nasty.

  11. Daveski 11

    This post is six months late (or early).

  12. Ianmac 12

    Marty. It is not as though I/we can decide the outcome for Bill English. But if he stays we can predict that X will happen. If he goes we can predicy Y will happen. That seems OK to me.

  13. deWithiel 13

    TightyRighty

    I realise facts are of little interest to right wing idealogues, but while Bill English might be a politician of the right and, technically at least, an Honourable, he’s neither particularly honourable nor is he a Right Honourable, ie a member of the British Privy Council. The last Rt Hon in the NZ Parliament was Helen Clark.

    • TightyRighty 13.1

      point noted, though points deducted for being a dork. the only honour Helen Clark brought to her time office was dishonour. paintergate, speedgate, doonegate, owen glenn, winston peters, mike williams, taito phillip field. lots of honour hiding somewhere in there im sure, though i can’t see it.

      • ak 13.1.1

        Paintergate! sheebus, Standardistas, righty nutjob nerves and sphincters jangling furiously here.

        You know it’s big when Ellis in Wonderland reverts to a limp litany of “you did it to” – and behold they now sink even lower with the screaming gall to accuse Labour of defamation for using the “c” word! – after a billion, baseless “corrupt, corrupt corrupt” chants from their own decrepit mob!

        Simply staggering. Keep on this one with a fury: as soon as young burt wades in with a few retrospectively validateds, you’ll know that Doubledippergate is case closed.

        • Tim Ellis 13.1.1.1

          ak, I’m pretty moderate. I have never screamed corruption from the rooftops. I’m not responsible for the extremists who have, just as you’re only responsible for the individual things you say, and just as the individual writers here at the standard aren’t responsible for the extremist things you say. This tribal them and us thing is puerile in my view.

          • BLiP 13.1.1.1.1

            Talking With Auditors Takes so long I can’t help but find puerile ways to amuse myself.

          • ak 13.1.1.1.2

            pretty moderate
            I know you are Tim, and glad to hear you have no wish to join the ugly extremists from your side of the great divide. In which case of course, you need take no offence from, nor need to reply to, my comment.

            puerile
            Ah well that’s where we disagree Tim. The people I have regularly “audited” over many years are rarely in boyish mood as a result of tory policy and attitude. Might I humbly suggest you venture on occasion beyond your desk: tears of the adult variety can be edifying for even the most cynical auditor.

  14. Bryan 14

    “This country is extremely fortunate to be one of the least corrupt in the world.”

    You’re kidding yourself. Private sector corruption in particular is becoming endemic in NZ. We just make it hard to prosecute, so the figures stay low and a blind eye can be turned.

  15. Victor 15

    Jake, Time, Mike . .. You guys can huff and puff all you like, but the problem is that JK has morphed from the hollow man to the invisible man. This ain’t going to die until the PM puts his body on the line for English. Until then the ‘dogs’ will run wild.

    The problem is that JK willl never put his body anywhere, for anyone, except JK. And for now, he is content to sun himself in Florida.

    Stew on, for the character of the man you backed is slowly becoming clear to us all. And until he is prepared to make a stand on this, English has to dangle . ..

    So there you go. Oh, and I think it is incredibly pathetic that JK has not deigned to comment on Samoa, Tonga – the worst tragedy to hit our region for god know how long. Maybe he can fly over it on the way home. Katrina anybody?

    • Victor 15.1

      Ok, I now see that John Key will go to Samoa Sunday. But his silence for so long was another disturbing anecdote that the NZ press did not draw attention to . . .

      • mike 15.1.1

        silence? there were press releases from John the same day it happened – can you read through the gimp mask?

        • Victor 15.1.1.1

          Mike,

          I looked up the press releases. There was a single plain vanilla press release from JK on 30 Sept. Nothing else. . . The bottom line is that Florida is too far away to be relevant. For god’s sake, Florida is too far away for a US politician to holiday in (but they tend to want to avoid white trash on their holidays, so avoid Florida. It would appear JK cannot differentiate).

          On the focus of this thread, where is JK’s explicit support for Bill?

      • the sprout 15.1.2

        kind of reminds me of New Orleans and another millionaire slacker “leader”

        • Victor 15.1.2.1

          And looking at the NZ Herald, it looks like Chris Carter’s on the ground presence and geniune empathy has trumped JK’s back by Sunday story .. .

  16. Victor 16

    Be sure to know who you are patronising

    So tell me where?

  17. Ollie 17

    Does that mean that the Greens should be forced to leave? their superannuation scheme owning their house, and them maxing out their allowances at 24,000 is ridiculous and unethical to the max!

    • Zetetic 17.1

      You’ve been reading too much Kiwiblog. You know that stuff rots the brain.

      The point of the out of town allowance is to fund the accommodation costs of MPs who are not normally resident in Wellington when they are there.

      The Greens’ out of Wellington MPs live in homes owned by the Green Party Superannuation Fund. They pay rent to that Fund. They claim the rent from Parliamentary Services. If it weren’t the Fund, there would be another landlord, but same situation. If the Greens had bought the houses individually and were paying mortgages, they would get those covered by Parliamentary Services too. They are paying market rents, not overpaying, which would be unethical.

      English was claiming the out of town allowance despite the fact he didn’t live out of town. He changed his trust so that he could exploit the loophole in the rules and he said his primary residence was in Dipton when based on the tests it is clearly in Wellington.

      English rorted the system to get an allowance that wasn’t intended for him.

      The Greens say ‘if someone’s got to own the properties we rent, it may as well be our Superfund’, there’s nothing ethically different in that than if they had bought the properties individually and were getting the mortgages covered – in fact, that would probably cost the taxpayer more because most rental properties are negatively geared.

      • The Greens say ‘if someone’s got to own the properties we rent, it may as well be our Superfund’, there’s nothing ethically different in that than if they had bought the properties individually and were getting the mortgages covered in fact, that would probably cost the taxpayer more because most rental

        I believe there’s a lower limit on the amount available if it’s an MP’s own property. Also, I certainly can’t see it costing more, because I understand the Greens are already claiming the maximum.

        • rocky 17.1.1.1

          There’s no lower limit on the amount available if the MP owns the property. But if the MP owns the property the allowance will only pay the interest, if the MP rents the property the allowance will pay the rent. Both up to the same limit.

  18. outofbed 18

    If the Greens are rorting the system
    Yes sure they should be held accountable

  19. Trevor Mallard 19

    While sometimes I think it is great that this debate is being had,and othertimes I worry about NZs reputation – I still can’t understand why Bill English decided to hand it to the left like this. Beyond belief really.

    • burt 19.1

      If National say the rules/laws are confusing and that others were doing it as well AND that this is how we have always done it so it’s right to validate it – will you agree with them? If not why not ?

    • outofbed 19.2

      a mixture of greed and arrogance i would say

  20. RichWhite&Fey 20

    “This country is extremely fortunate to be one of the least corrupt in the world. ”

    Err .. so tax rorts rife in the property industry have never existed, and Bob Muldoon never played favourites.

    Yeah right. Try telling that to people about to leave the country.

  21. Rodel 21

    Well done Bill. The best (Post modern?) spin I’ve heard this year.

    “….Obviously the system has struggled to accommodate my situation…..”

    The scary thing is that this guy, ‘managing’ our finances, our money hopes that people will accept this as truth but even worse he might believe it himself.

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