Cronyism

Written By: - Date published: 9:51 am, September 29th, 2016 - 70 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

So Paula Bennett has been giving a lolly scramble to her National mates with the Rules Reduction Taskforce.

Which is fine, because the Taskforce did great work in finding out that the ‘loopy’ rule of lolly scrambles being illegal wasn’t in fact true.

I’m sure that was worth giving $10,000 to former National candidate Mark Thomas to find out.  And another $15,000 in fees to other National cronies – former MPs Tau Henare and John Carter, and well-rewarded donor Ian Tulloch.

They eventually managed to come up with a $750,000 report and 75 recommendations like: don’t make more loopy rules (that was $10,000 worth of work…), and that builders should have much more self-regulation (because there’s never been a problem with building standards producing leaky homes or anything).  National intend on adopting 72 of the recommendations.

In unrelated news National’s carefully appointed Productivity Commission has released another report.

70 comments on “Cronyism ”

  1. Richard Rawshark 1

    Shout it loud, make sure every single person in NZ knows what she did, and how they lined their pockets.

    Election losing stuff.

  2. Richard Rawshark 2

    Just asking, any Cronyism go on while Labour were in power? huh.

    Probably not as blatantly pathetic as this or say taking some kids to the USA to learn hop hop but hey..

    • ropata 2.1

      Funny how the media made a big song and dance about helping some kids stay in education, but nothing about NatCorp(tm) giving away millions to their mates in stupid task forces and charter schools and CERA

    • framu 2.2

      wasnt the hip hop thing more to do with the business potential and how it applied to NZ – as research?

  3. ropata 3

    But this is all nothing compared to the SCF bailout, or McCully’s Sheep Farm, or Collins’ Oravida insider deals, or Bill English bleeding Solid Energy dry and bankrupting it, or even John Key’s super dodgy SkyCity deal (not to mention his sterling work for Hollywood bigwigs by selling out Kiwi workers, and illegally raiding Kim DotCom)

  4. Wensleydale 4

    That’s the great thing about taxpayer’s money. It’s free. It’s like some giant incontinent man with a bladder full of $100 bills is just pissing all over the Beehive, and it would be terribly remiss of them to not take advantage of such largesse. So it’s jobs for the boys, you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours, nudge, nudge, wink, wink – let’s laugh all the way to the bank.

    And once we get thrown out of parliament for being corrupt, money-grubbing wastrels, we’ll all get cushy jobs on boards, as directors, because, you know… quid pro quo and all that.

  5. Draco T Bastard 5

    National cronies get cushy, over paid job, finds what National tells them to find and makes recommendations that they were told to make.

    • TC 5.1

      Yup wheras a fact based indepedant approach risks setting alight neolib straw men and debunking their rhetoric.

    • Honestly I think it’s more that they pick people knowing who they’re getting than that they tell them what to do. So if they want an actual independent opinion for something high-profile, they pick someone who’s an independent that they trust. If they want a certain decision, they pick one of their cronies if they think the enterprise won’t be covered by the media.

  6. Groundhog 6

    Short memory Ben? Or are you just too young?

    “Trevor Mallard’s denial that state-owned enterprise boards aren’t weakened by cronyism was dealt a body blow today by findings of a Victoria University survey of SOE directors. Dr Richard Norman, of Victoria University’s Management School, surveyed directors of nine SOEs. The directors were concerned appointments were being made for political or diversity reasons – not for their capabilities.”
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0606/S00370.htm

    • Oh, look, the predictable “labour did it too” defense.

      Labour shouldn’t do this. National shouldn’t do this. It’s that simple.

      • Bob 6.1.1

        Yip, we should vote out National and bring back Labour now that they have seen the error of their ways and got rid of that crooked Trevor Mallard…oh wait

        • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1.1.1

          Nah, the reason is the National Party is an unemployment and homeless family factory.

      • Groundhog 6.1.2

        Oh I agree. But Ben’s entire post was about National. I’m just providing some balance.

        • …but it’s not necessary balance. If we all agree that both Labour and National shouldn’t do these things, it is still a good argument for changing the government that we find the current one engaging in this sort of behaviour, so that they learn it will cost them elections and eventually stop.

          I do also wonder at the fact that Vic Uni was concerned that some appointments were being made just for diversity. In general diverse organisations make better decisions because they have breadth of perpective as well as depth of perspective, but yeah, you do have to make sure you’re not appointing lightweights just to get diversity. However I believe that there is enough talent all of New Zealand’s communities to find talented people from diverse backgrounds who can staff boards of whatever state organisations we need, if people know how to look properly. It makes me wonder at exactly how rigorous that study was.

          This is ideally why we really need someone independent to work together with the government on these kinds of appointments, to remove the temptation to make them political.

          • Groundhog 6.1.2.1.1

            “it is still a good argument for changing the government that we find the current one engaging in this sort of behaviour”

            Well it might be one argument, but only if, on balance, the replacement will be better. And not just on that one issue at hand. It is near impossible, given current personality and policy, that you can argue a Labour led government would do a better job of leading NZ. On the economy alone they fail miserably.

  7. save nz 7

    Straight out of Kafka when the Loopy Rules Report is found to unfounded but still costs $750,000! Where is the MSM outrage?

    “Last year the taskforce released its report The Loopy Rules Report: New Zealanders Tell Their Stories.

    The report cost $750,000 and one of its key findings was that many of the rules complained about did not actually exist.

    Half the taskforce members were appointed by the Local Government Minister at the time, Paula Bennett, and had clear ties to the National Party.

    On the taskforce were former National MPs Tau Henare and John Carter, former party candidate Mark Thomas and Ian Tulloch who helped fund a National MP’s campaign.

    Documents released to RNZ under the Official Information Act show they were each paid $500 a day to take part.

    In total they were paid more than $25,000 in fees.”

  8. aerobubble 8

    South Cantabury Finance.

    • Fustercluck 8.1

      +1000 Making those shonkey deposits eligible for the guarantee scheme was straight up theft in favor of the Nats cronies. That one move should have dropped this cabal operating the Cabinet-ocracy that is our current dictatorship into the dustbin of history.

      • alwyn 8.1.1

        Including SCF in the scheme in the first place was the work of the Labour Party, a fact that you are only too willing to forget.
        When the original scheme was due to expire the then National Government had two alternatives. They could announce that SCF would not continue in the scheme, or they could keep them in it and try and turn the rotten mess around.
        If they had taken the first option SCF would have immediately collapsed and the guarantee called on.
        Taking the second option didn’t work out, but hindsight is a wonderful thing.
        The truth is, of course, not something that is highly esteemed by those suffering from a rabid case of KDS.

        • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1

          Actually, they had a third option: Find that SCF was in breach of contract, which they were, and throw them out with no appeal.

          • alwyn 8.1.1.1.1

            This topic has been gone over time after time.
            If we had thrown the SCF out of the scheme we would probably have got away with refusing to guarantee anything invested after the announcement. If we said we weren’t going to honour the guarantee for anything deposited prior to that time we would have had the worst of both worlds.
            For SCF depositors we would have ended up with a massive class action case that we would have ended up having to pay out on.
            For every other institution in the scheme, and every other organisation which deals with the Government we would have demonstrated that the New Zealand Government cannot be trusted, and that its contracts are worthless.

            There would have been an immediate, enormous, flow of money out of the New Zealand banking system into the Australian banks. I would have been one of them shifting my money. It wouldn’t be because I thought the major New Zealand banks weren’t solvent. It would have been because I expected everyone with any sense to do the same thing and the last person left would lose everything.

            Other companies planning to go into contracts with the New Zealand Government would have wanted their payments up front. Do you really want New Zealand to follow the policies of Donald Trump’s companies?

            • framu 8.1.1.1.1.1

              so why did officials advise english to not re-admit them to the scheme?

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1.1.1.2

              For SCF depositors we would have ended up with a massive class action case that we would have ended up having to pay out on.

              No we wouldn’t as SCF broke the bloody contract that they had with the government.

              I am surprised to find you advocating for people to breach contract with no consequences though.

              Or is it that you think that companies should always be able to breach contract with the government with no consequences?

              For every other institution in the scheme, and every other organisation which deals with the Government we would have demonstrated that the New Zealand Government cannot be trusted, and that its contracts are worthless.

              No we wouldn’t. We would have shown that NZ honours and enforces binding contracts.

              There would have been an immediate, enormous, flow of money out of the New Zealand banking system into the Australian banks.

              That’s not actually an issue. It’s just another of the lies that the private sector have used to take control.

              Other companies planning to go into contracts with the New Zealand Government would have wanted their payments up front.

              If they don’t want to do business with the NZ government that’s their choice. The NZ government certainly shouldn’t be treating it as a threat. Or perhaps they should and declare them persona non grata in NZ if foreign owned companies and put in place a block from them doing business with government, both local and national, ever again if NZ companies.

              • alwyn

                “I am surprised to find you advocating for people to breach contract with no consequences though.”
                I am not.
                The point is that we weren’t paying out to SCF. That went bust, as it damn well should have.
                We paid out to the people who had deposited funds with SCF. What contract with the Government did they breach?
                How could we get away with refusing to pay out on a guarantee that they had accepted from the New Zealand Government when they had done nothing, at least legally, wrong?
                The only thing we could have claimed is that they shouldn’t have been so silly as to believe that the Government would keep its word.

                Consider a similar case.
                Is the New Zealand Government allowed to stop putting any more money into the fund that pays superannuation to retired civil servants?
                Then we just stop paying them anything at all and they can exist on the National Super. Perhaps we can say that, although they personally haven’t done anything wrong, they were simply stupid to believe that the Government would honour its promises and that they therefore deserve to be stiffed.

                • Draco T Bastard

                  We paid out to the people who had deposited funds with SCF.

                  Two things:
                  1. SCF going bust was the risk that they took with their money
                  2. We guaranteed SCF by contract – not their customers. When SFC broke the contract for that then their customers also lost the guarantee

                  How could we get away with refusing to pay out on a guarantee that they had accepted from the New Zealand Government when they had done nothing, at least legally, wrong?

                  They didn’t accept the contract – SCF did.

                  The only thing we could have claimed is that they shouldn’t have been so silly as to believe that the Government would keep its word.

                  Bollocks as we didn’t have a deal with them – we had a deal with SCF and they did breal the contract.

                  Consider a similar case.
                  Is the New Zealand Government allowed to stop putting any more money into the fund that pays superannuation to retired civil servants?

                  That’s not a similar case as that is a contract between the government and each citizen.

                  You’re just making up excuses to justify paying money for a broken contract.

        • framu 8.1.1.2

          which would have not paid out the unsecured overseas investors – who to this day remain secret.

          and “rabid case of KDS.”? – grow up.

        • aerobubble 8.1.1.3

          Guarentee on deposits works fine in OZ, UK…

  9. Scott 9

    I thought that would be called nepotism.

    Cronyism implies having a lack of proper regard to their qualifications. Cronyism: the appointment of friends and associates to positions of authority, without proper regard to their qualifications (Oxford online).

    That sound more like the appointment (by his union mates) of Andrew Little to lead the Labour Party.

    • framu 9.1

      “That sound more like the appointment (by his union mates) of Andrew Little to lead the Labour Party.”

      the affiliated unions are a block of potential votes along side the party members and caucus

      the unions did not put andrew little into the leaders role – the total votes did!

      • Wensleydale 9.1.1

        Stop pointing out that Scott doesn’t know how democracy works. You’ll embarrass him, and that’s mean.

        • Bob 9.1.1.1

          “Stop pointing out that Scott doesn’t know how democracy works”
          Yeah, you should be explaining democracy to him, you know, an MP’s vote is worth 159 times as much as a member, an EPMU delegates vote is worth 29 times more than a member, a Meat Workers Union delegates vote is worth 22 times more than a member and so on.
          Then, the Unions (whose vote is worth significantly more than Jo and Jane Bloggs) get to advise their own members who they think would be best for them and effectively double dip on their already inflated vote share.

          Ladies and Gentleman, Labour democracy at it’s finest.

          • Wensleydale 9.1.1.1.1

            Those dirty unions! Have they no shame?! I hear they eat babies and burn down retirement villages too.

          • ropata 9.1.1.1.2

            Forgotten Cunliffe already?

          • Stephanie Rodgers 9.1.1.1.3

            The combined union vote accounts for 20% of the vote.
            Membership vote accounts for 40%.
            Caucus vote accounts for 40%. Interestingly, each MPs vote in a 32-seat caucus is worth more than a full percent.

            Now, if you’d like to propose a genuine democratic change to the voting system for Labour leadership elections, instead of just repeating the anti-union lines Kiwiblog fed you, I’m sure we’d all be keen to hear your ideas.

            • Bob 9.1.1.1.3.1

              “Now, if you’d like to propose a genuine democratic change to the voting system for Labour leadership elections, instead of just repeating the anti-union lines Kiwiblog fed you, I’m sure we’d all be keen to hear your ideas.”

              Firstly, the only blog I read is The Standard, I used to read Whaleoil and Kiwiblog years ago but got over the content, and the agro nature of the comments.
              With regards to a genuine democratic change to the voting system, how about:

              1: Let the MP’s decide the leader. They are nominated by the members and voted into parliament by the members, so why not let them decide on behalf of the people that voted them in. They are the ones that have to deal with the leader on a regular basis, it makes more sense for the majority of the MP’s to decide and offer a more stable caucus. The one change that could be made to make this more democratic, let the members decide the list order.

              2: Every member gets a vote on the leadership. ONE vote. Union Delegates and MP’s aren’t any more special than the members, so why are their votes worth more and why should they be allowed to double dip votes (as an MP/delegate AND as a member?).

              I am not anti-Union, I think unions are unfortunately still needed in a number of industries, primarily service industries. I am anti people like Wensleydale and framu claiming that Labours leader process is “democratic” when it is simply nepotism disguised as democracy.

              • ropata

                Why are you complaining about the Labour process on a thread filled with examples of National doing dirty back room deals behind closed doors? Also, you need to look up the definition of ‘nepotism’. Also, you’re an idiot if you think union delegates should get less votes. These guys represent thousands of people who paid union fees and need a voice.

                • Bob

                  “Why are you complaining about the Labour process on a thread filled with examples of National doing dirty back room deals behind closed doors?”
                  Read the thread above

                  “Also, you need to look up the definition of ‘nepotism’”
                  “nepotism
                  ˈnɛpətɪz(ə)m/
                  noun
                  noun: nepotism
                  the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends”

                  So the guy that is most closely tied to the Unions gets the first vote of the Unions, but not the first vote of the Members or Caucus, and funnily enough the Unions make his biggest rival their last choice so he misses out on leader (because their vote is worth 40% of the overall). Yeah, no nepotism there…

                  “Also, you’re an idiot if you think union delegates should get less votes. These guys represent thousands of people who paid union fees and need a voice.”
                  All of whom have the opportunity to vote as members if they are really that interested, so please explain why the delegates get to decide on behalf of these people?

                • scott

                  Nepotism means: the practice among those with power or influence of favouring relatives or friends, especially by giving them jobs (Oxford online).

                  It is much the same an cronyism, but without the same disregard for qualifications that cronyism implies.

                  I initially drew the distinction because of that difference. In this case the appointees seem qualified (even if it is jobs for mates), but in the case of Andrew Little he has proven incapable of winning an electorate seat so I don’t think he should be considered qualified to lead the political arm of party.

              • framu

                1: Let the MP’s decide the leader
                2: Every member gets a vote on the leadership

                could you explain this contradiciton?

          • millsy 9.1.1.1.4

            Do you want unions banned Bob?

            • ropata 9.1.1.1.4.1

              Bob is probably Don Brash

            • Bob 9.1.1.1.4.2

              Not at all, they are unfortunately still required in a number of industries.
              What I want is for Labour supporters to stop lying to themselves and calling the leadership vote democratic when it is clearly weighted heavily towards a select few, lets call them the 1%.

          • framu 9.1.1.1.5

            and just how democratic are the nats and act on internal issues?

            • Bob 9.1.1.1.5.1

              Very. The party members vote for their local representatives, if those representatives get voted into parliament they get to decide their leader. Simples.

              • framu

                sounds awfully like the unions voting on behalf of their members doesnt it

                and you confusing two different election cycles – is that deliberate

                • Bob

                  Very much so, right up until you look at the weighting of votes:

                  National:
                  1 MP = 1 vote

                  Labour:
                  1 EPMU Delegate vote = 29 votes
                  1 Meat Workers Union delegates = 22 votes
                  1 Rail Union delegates = 8.3 votes
                  1 Dairy Workers Union delegates = 6.9 votes
                  1 Maritime Union delegates = 3.8 votes
                  1 Caucus Member vote = 159 votes
                  1 Labour party member = 1 vote

                  Other than that, it’s exactly the same…

      • Bob 9.1.2

        “the unions did not put andrew little into the leaders role – the total votes did!”
        Yet Grant Robertson was the first choice of both the Caucus and Party votes…

        • framu 9.1.2.1

          so frickin what?!

          if youve got a problem with how the labour party chooses to run their internal systems then join up

          the fact remains – the total vote count under the system they use is what put little in charge. This constant dumb arse meme that its a union jack up is utter BS

          • Bob 9.1.2.1.1

            “if youve got a problem with how the labour party chooses to run their internal systems then join up”
            Yeah, that worked real well for CV…

            “the fact remains – the total vote count under the system they use is what put little in charge”
            The fact remains, it is an undemocratic process fraught with nepotism. The Unions, along with the undemocratically elected Labour list MP’s get an overly weighted say on who the new leader is. Put it this way, Andrew Little is only in parliament at the moment because someone put his name above Maryan Street’s on a list, now his vote is worth 159 times more than hers.
            Keep telling yourself that is democracy.

            • framu 9.1.2.1.1.1

              “undemocratically elected Labour list MP’s ”

              what have you been doing with your party vote all these years?

              • Bob

                Explain to me the democratic process Labour use to decide the list positions of each candidate

                • ropata

                  piss off, thread derailer

                  • Bob

                    Not a fan of reality ropata? Or just don’t like being shown up as supporting elitism within the Labour party?

                    • ropata

                      Not a fan of you harping on about LP internal admin as if there is some big scandal, when the Nats are polluting the news with blatant rorts and cronyism. Check your moral equivalence meter, you are acting like a dirty politics monger from WO

                  • Scott

                    To Ropata

                    I thought Bob had a point but then I read your eloquent rebuttal and I realize the error of my ways. Well said Dr Ropata, you make me feel like I’m in Venezuela now.

    • North 9.2

      Who ever went mad and thought Tau Henare had any talent ? Except for being “Ray Henry of the Union” then troughing and scabbing hard out. Prick’s made a career of it.

  10. Craig H 10

    Good to see National believes in job creation as a function of the state…

  11. Observer Tokoroa 11

    .
    . Why can’t people be like Bob?

    . Why do workers expect a bit of money for doing work ?

    Shouldn’t they be sucking up to Bob and begging him to take his over generous wages back? Every worker in New Zealand knows they don’t need any money to live on. None. They are so happy to be serfs for blowhards like Sir Bob.

    Fortunately, there are plenty of wealthy Bobs about to make workers happy slaves.

    Is very likely the only constructive thing Bob has ever done – is to make a slave or two.

    . On ya Bobby !

    .

  12. Sirenia 12

    $500 a day is a lot more than the SSC’s standard day rate for government work which is about $350.

    • ropata 12.1

      The actual work by the “task force” was probably a couple of days of making shit up, and a few junkets. Nice way to get 10 or 15 grand apiece

  13. Mike the Lefty 13

    Rules Reduction Taskforce!!!
    What a joke!
    National always brags about how they are committed to reducing red tape and compliance costs for businesses.
    And yet if you ask any small business operator apart from those who are paid up members of the National Party they will tell you that under National red tape has become totally absurd, out of control and they spend most of their weekends catching up on paperwork and reports.
    And yet we are told that it is the left that is responsible for all the red tape,
    Another item in the article entitled “The Ten Greatest Fallacies concerning National Party governments”.

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