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Culture of Impunity

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, May 7th, 2014 - 32 comments
Categories: Judith Collins, police, same old national - Tags:

It now appears that Judith Collins would have to commit murder to be relieved of her ministerial warrants – or perhaps not.

I was reading George Monbiot’s latest column – about how Britain is becoming the land of impunity – and saw too many parallels.

After I’d got over the initial desperation to keep G4S away from our prisons, the stories of unfireable ministers and attacks on the poor while fat cats get pensioned off on millions for their mistakes seemed familiar.  They’re trying it here too.

We may not be as far down the road, as we currently only have one minister too big to fail (2 if you consider Bill English should have been fired years ago for his dodgy expenses…), but there are other questions.


32 comments on “Culture of Impunity”

  1. vto 1

    It used to be that you were only a criminal if you got caught…

    Now it seems even that don’t apply no more

    • Colonial Viper 1.1

      We should just call this for what it is – a slow motion takeover of the peoples’ government by crony capitalist corporate culture.

  2. Richard Christie 2

    They’re trying it here too.

    They trialed it here too,


  3. karol 3

    Anti-corruptionNZ website has a run down on the extensive links between Oravida, it’s forerunner Kiwi Dairy Corporation Ltd 9jenny Shipley et al), and Sanford (scampi) tied to Peter Goodfellow.

  4. ianmac 4

    In South Korea the Minister of Transport (equivalent) resigned over the ferry sinking. The teacher in charge of the kids suicided over the loss of life.
    In NZ our Ministers say, “It is an operational matter. Not my problem.”

  5. Tracey 5

    “Mr Speaker, There is a form of poverty in this country. But it has little to do with poverty in a monetary sense. The poverty of which I speak is a poverty of responsibility. A poverty of courage, a poverty of truth, a poverty of love, a poverty of faith. ”

    Ms J Collins maiden speech 2002

  6. Tigger 6

    Impunity is assisted by a compliant media. Witness this ‘opinion’ from Collins fan Rachel Glucina

    Collins is a victim who just needs to do some gardening and deal with her ‘health scare’. If this is what counts as opinion then the MSM really is the sad, irrelevant beast I think it is.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      And consider Tory Armstrong’s little spin piece today – a very polished bit of propaganda that looks like it’s reporting on the issue – but when you look at the phrases he uses, it the emotional message he is conveying is an admiration for Collins surviving, and a smear on the Opposition.

      These two paras are a perfect example of how to appear to say one thing in a literal sense, but convey a message which is the exact opposite:

      There is now little argument – even from her fellow National MPs – that Collins had a major conflict of interest in her dealings with Oravida through her husband being a director of the company.

      But the evidence for claiming that conflict exists is still circumstantial and suggestions she has benefited financially from that link to Oravida remains pure supposition.

      In other words – “everyone knows that she’s corrupt but I’m going to pretend there isn’t enough evidence to convict”. Implied admiration for the fact that so far she looks like she’s going to get away with it.

      And there is the implied admiration for:

      In part, Collins survived yesterday because she knows how to answer questions without really answering them, frustrating her adversaries and avoiding running foul of the Speaker, who often insists a minister make more of an effort to reply in a more informative fashion.

      Notice – no actual condemnation of her failure to answer questions. Armstrong completely lets her off the hook for subverting the purpose of Question Time. No negative words about her actions at all.

      The he finishes off with a swipe at the Opposition:

      After yesterday’s underwhelming performance, Cunliffe and Peters might have to revise their tactics before hostilities resume today.

      By contrast note the use of the negative words ‘underwhelming and hostilities, vitriol, absolute hell, ejected, etc ‘ linked to Cunliffe, Mallard and Peters.

      This is a master class in misdirection.

      • karol 6.1.1

        Ah, but compare that with key cheerleader, Fran O’Sullivan’s criticism of Collins. The cracks and factions within the Nats, slightly exposed – ‘Key pulls chain on Crusher Collins’

        Right now Cabinet minister Judith Collins is deservedly a busted flush.

        Collins still holds sway among a considerable faction of the National Party membership.

        But her imperious arrogance – disgracefully on show when she threatened to dish the dirt on political journalists at the weekend – was a step too far for John Key, who does not want his Government to be embroiled by an undisciplined minister in an election-year war with the media.

        That issue – rather than the slow striptease over Collins’ cosy meetings with her friends from Oravida during her controversial trip to China last year – is what pushed Key to the point where he applied the choke chain to the Cabinet’s Rottweiler.

        Pity Key didn’t yank the chain earlier.

        The nation’s top chief executives delivered their verdict on Collins two years ago when they permanently marked her down and out of the top Cabinet rankings in the Herald’s 2012 Mood of the Boardroom survey. Their perception was that Collins was a bully. She was perceived to have axed the highly respected John Judge as chairman of ACC by hanging him out to dry over some inhouse bungling during the Bronwyn Pullar affair.
        No one in the corporate sector bought that. Even Key went out of his way to defuse the issue by saying the timing of Judge’s departure was “a little bit unfortunate” but he had done a “tremendous job”.

        Key’s coded phraseology when he announced Collins’ decision to take a break from Thursday was not too far distant from that used in announcing Judge’s departure.

        • Bearded Git

          +1 karol. O’Sullivan puts the final nail in-she is a goner. (Though in Collins’ case it seems to take more than one stake through the heart)

  7. yeshe 7

    Rachel Glucina in Herald Entertainment this morning suggests Collins is facing a private health challenge. While I wish her all the best and safe passage through whatever it may be, it does seem to be a gossip column set-up for a face-saving resignation scenario if it becomes unavoidable, even to deliberately dullard Key.


    Crosby Textor classic.

    • Populuxe1 7.1

      Porkchop Glaucoma has rather taken it on herself to be Collins’ mouthpiece. Really not sure I’d want a gossip columnist speaking on my behalf

  8. Plan B 8

    turns out David Wong−Tung is well qualified to be a director of pretty much anything!

    David Wong−Tung is a barrister and proud resident of Counties−Manukau, living at Maraetai with wife Judith Collins MP for Papakura and son James. He has qualifications in law (LLB) and business (MBA) and is a Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors. David has an extensive corporate legal and business governance background. He is a business mentor in New Zealand and the Pacific and a legal mentor in Auckland. David is a Council Member of the Manukau Institute of Technology, a member of Business Mentors News Zealand, Auckland District Law Society Friends Panel and a past member of the Auckland Medico−Legal society. His vision is for Counties−Manukau DHB to excel at frontline services, reducing waiting lists, delivering world−class healthcare and developing programmes and partnerships to improve the health and quality of life to the people of the district. Please rank the Citizens & Ratepayers candidates in your top 7.

  9. riffer 9

    Health scare. Maybe we’ve been a little uncharitable here. Brain tumour isn’t out of the bounds of possibility and would explain much…

  10. Philj 10

    Murder? How many have died or suffered from this regime’s mismanagement of legal highs?

  11. veutoviper 11

    Good tactics, IMO.

    NO questions for Collins in Question Time today!

    Instead, questions to the PM only – Cunliffe Q1; Norman Q6; Hipkins Q8; Robertson Q10.


    She is so arrogant, Collins will probably be disappointed.

    On RadioNZ National Midday report, Grant Robertson stated that this did not mean that there would not be future questions to Collins when she returns from leave. The news item also said that Peters is in Invercargill today – hence no questions.

  12. Philj 12

    Maybe Judy has a future as a gossip columnist or bouncer at KDC’ s front gate?

  13. ianmac 13

    Wait a moment. It is possible that Judith Collins is ill – perhaps seriously so. Therefore on learning of this the Opposition switches to focus on the PM. Humanity or something. Might explain the subdued behaviour of Collins and of Key. So what should we do?

    • veutoviper 13.1

      Whether health problems are a real issue or hints of this are just being used to garner sympathy, that is one of the reasons that I think it has been good tactics to not have any questions today directed at Collins (see 11 above).

      Another reason imo is that Key basically put Collins in the firing line for QT yesterday and today, whereas the real issue now is his lack of doing anything (eg stepping her down from her Ministerial roles) compared to his actions re Williamson.

      Collins is not going to answer questions truthfully – that was obvious yesterday. So a change of tactic to focus on Key rather than Collins covers the bases.

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