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“Dark, dirty and heartless” – Nats & Nick Smith

Written By: - Date published: 10:56 pm, September 25th, 2013 - 52 comments
Categories: accountability, brand key, Conservation, david cunliffe, greens, labour, russel norman, same old national, water - Tags:

There were two very good speeches in the General Debate in the House today from opposition leaders.  Both of them showed just how dodgy Nick Smith’s record is, and why he should be, yet again, stood down as a Minister.

Russel Norman began his speech by comparing two agendas competing in New Zealand at the moment

1) “A smarter greener more compassionate New Zealand”. (clearly of Labour and The Greens.

2) Government’s agenda of “Dark, dirty and heartless”

Norman goes on to use the example of Nick Smith’s interference in the submissions for the proposed Ruataniwha Dam. (See Adam Bennett’s report a couple of days ago, on the pressure on Smith).

David Cunliffe also gave a very rousing speech, in which he makes a few jokes at the expense of Birther Hooton, and his clumsy and failed smear attempts.  Cunliffe is on fire here, and talks about the Key government having reached it’s tipping point, and “looking tired, ragged and desperate.

Cunliffe goes on to focus on the real issue the government is covering up, that of the Ruataniwha Dam and a Minister of Conservation who,

is such an endangered species that he couldn’t even claw his way into the chamber, Mr Speaker.

Cunliffe spells out three “capital crimes” of which the “endangered Minister” is guilty.

Self contradiction (with Smith’s changing story over the DOC submission)

Excess intervention

Repeat offending (Smith’s history of scandals, e.g his letter of support for Bronwyn Pullar, through the Exclusive Brethren, to being found guilty of contempt of court.)

How long before Key steps up and yet again removes this dodgy Minister from his portfolio?

And today Cunliffe raised further questions about interference to suppress the economic concerns about the Dam project as expressed by the Ministry of Primary industries.

“Dark, dirty and heartless” – indeed.

[Update] In continuing to support Smith, John Key (reportedly) makes a startling declaration about his own disregard for honesty. Adam Bennett reported yesterday: (h/t Tracey)

“I haven’t followed everything step by step, it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest, but I have complete confidence in him.”

52 comments on ““Dark, dirty and heartless” – Nats & Nick Smith ”

  1. vto 1

    Yep, with each passing dodgy deal for mates

    and each passing lie of John Key and his bunch of goons

    their stink increases

    it is palpable in the streets

  2. vto 2

    And “dark, dirty and heartless” indeed…

    New Zealanders have finally become serfs in our land. Proof of this passing is cheerily provided by the Federated Farmers.

    When Lees Valley was sold to foreign US investors a week or so ago, Fed Farmers came out saying that they supported foreign ownership of our land “because New Zealanders cannot afford to pay for it”. i.e. the farm is too expensive for kiwis to buy.

    The irony and hopelessness encapsulated in this view is quite horrifying. For a start fed farmers can’t seem to appreciate that the only reason for such a situation is because foreign landlords have been allowed carte blanche to become our landlords, hence bidding up the prices to this unattainable level.

    Secondly, where does that leave us? Slowly being able to afford less and less of our own land. Serfs and tenants is what we have become. It is not something in the future – it has happened already (as with most tipping points, they pass before the populace realises they are passing).

    And of course the short minds of fed farmers cannot see that of course New Zealanders can afford to buy these larger operations – provided we ban foreign landlords. The problem is not the buyer situation it is the seller situation – they need to get realistic on price to fit within NZ. The foreigners can still invest in the farm business, just not the land itself. Business investment is after all what they crow that they want. Land value speculation is not part of that business investement. Or is it? Actions speak louder than words and if land value speculation is important to these foreigners then we should be very very very careful about such a situation.

    Let them be the tenants of us, not vice versa.

    We have become tenants in our own land and this sale and Federated Farmers view on it is evidence that this situation is now a reality.

    It is fucked in the head. So fucked in the head that my vote is following this issue to the ballot box.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      +1

      Need to ban foreign ownership now and we don’t need foreign investment either.

    • Tracey 2.2

      isnt meridian selling off land prior to the share buy up? Wonder who will buy it.

    • Roy 2.3

      If farm prices were based on what a farm can realistically earn (net) per year, rather than on anticipated capital gain, then farm prices would be a lot lower than they are.

      • vto 2.3.1

        And lower farm prices help everybody. Less of a farmer’s toil would need to go towards interest payments to a bank loan, or alternatively more of a farmers toil can be used for farming rather than just land ownership.

        More of the nations wealth stays with the farmers and the wider community when land values are lower.

        This is a simple truth. Why do people think high property values are good? I suspect the answer would be very revealing …….

  3. Tracey 3

    Quote from Key on the Nick Smith issue

    “it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest”

    Says it all donthcathink?

  4. Harriet 4

    “…..Excess intervention….”

    Cunliffe is over reaching here I believe: DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

    National will now just stare Cunliffe and Norman down over that point.

    And they definetly will – they want a good quick kill where Cunliffe is concerned – and this looks very much like an easy one to me.

    just sayin.

    • vto 4.1

      Harriet you seem to imply that DOC must do what the current government tell them, no matter what the law says which DOC operates under. If so then you are in la la land and best go get some understanding about how the system works. This will highlight how Nick Smith, John Key and all the other little boys along for the ride consistently break the law and our constitutional system. For their own gain.

    • Delia 4.2

      Trouble is Harriet, all that ‘staring down’ is not working anymore. The public are seeing through it more and more, hence the latest Polls.

    • Suitably Clueless 4.3

      You are reaching here Harriet, the Department doesn’t work for any political party. It would make sense that the Department of Conservation would align a bit more politically with the Green Party than with any other party, I think you may be a bit confused with how the arms of government actually work. Look it up on wikipedia, who knows, you may learn something.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.4

      Cunliffe is over reaching here I believe: DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

      Wrong, DOC works for us to protect our environment from deprivations from anyone – including the government.

      • Harriet 4.4.1

        Just listen to Norman:

        He wants to pour battery acid all over the NZ economy to dissolve the issue of nitrogen contaminating the water ways!

        They done the same thing with a carbon tax. No one is going to win from taking that approach – moreso the poor, the underpaid & the underworked. He’s an idiot.

        [lprent: If you want to quote facts, then link or source to it or face getting banned. Read the policy.

        I’d give you a warning. But basically in this case I suspect a simple minded lie by a stupid troll. So you have a 1 week ban unless you can show where Russell Norman said that he wanted to pour battery acid all over the NZ economy.

        I’m also concerned about your habit of diversion trolling. ]

        • vto 4.4.1.1

          yep harriet you’re onto it again. Just keep taking the environment and adding it to your dinner plate. I mean, it is what NZ has done the last 150 years, that is why we have shitted up waterways, might as well keep doing the same thing. Dunno what we will do when there are no river left to take though. Take something else perhaps? Maybe the national parks and conservation estate? There is a lot to eat there that’s for sure. And after that is taken? Any suggestions harriet?

        • vto 4.4.1.2

          oh mr prent, harriet was just becoming fun.

        • Draco T Bastard 4.4.1.3

          Nope, Norman and the Greens are doing what’s needed to protect the economy and making it so that we live within our means (otherwise known as sustainably). National are doing the exact opposite and making it so that the poor will be massively worse off in a few years time once our land is polluted beyond it’s capability to sustain us.

    • Roy 4.5

      DOC is supposed to work for the good of all New Zealand, not for any given government and certainly not for the National Party.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 4.6

      Thats not how it works, Minsters are specifically barred from interfering in operational decisions like this one. DOC has a statuary duty to give their best advice in many instances like this. The minister cant pick and chose on the ones he wants to interfere in. And last time I checked Smith is no expert on water quality science. The levers he can pull are legislative, change the laws.

  5. Tracey 5

    Pretty sure DOC works for parliament and therefore NZers. You remember them Harriet?

    You OK with Key’s lies which have cost taxpayer money and other aspects of NZ society.

  6. Harriet 6

    Submissions that DOC makes with regards to resource consents etc etc must be within the scope of general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he sees fit.

    All company boards with far less revenue than DOCS operate in this way with regards to scope and the general direction of operations – more so if they hold government contracts! It’s nothing unusual – let alone unlawful. Councils do it too.

    • vto 6.1

      “Submissions that DOC makes with regards to resource consents etc etc must be within the scope of general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he sees fit.”

      You are 180 degrees wrong harriet. Why have you simply repeated what you previously wrote?

      completely and totally and utterly hopelessly 0/100 wrong

    • Pascal's bookie 6.2

      Harriet, listen to vto.

      you are just wrong about this.

      Ask yourself why, (if what you are saying is true), Smith hasn’t replied to the questions by simply saying:

      “Sure I saw that draft report and told them it wasn’t what I wanted. So what?”

      He hasn’t said that, because that would be highly improper.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        I think that Harriet has very little idea other than that of corporate style rule. The concept of independent neutral advice seems to have escaped her.

    • Tracey 6.3

      You are wrong. If you were right there would be no discussion because DOC would never have contemplated a submission opposing Nick Smith’s preferred outcome. But they did contemplate it. Do you see your problem? It’s the contradiction.

      DOC is not a Government Board. Apart from anything else it is formed statutorily which a Company Board is not.

      I can understand why you don’t get this, 5 years of National’s brainwashing has got you believing NZ is a company.

  7. Harriet 7

    I was making a general opinion of the Greens.

    I also referenced it as a general opinion “..They done the same thing with a carbon tax…”

    C’mon, the general perception that the Greens themselves give out to the voters about the state of the enviroment is one of distortion, false claims, false scenarios, exageration ect. Everyone knows that.

    I was also of the understanding that this site is affilitaed to Labour. Not National. Not ACT. Not the Greens. And DaviD I believe has not ruled in or out a coalition with the Greens. They’re fair game.

    But yes, I will tone down my comments if you prefer.

    [lprent: It wasn’t expressed as an opinion, it was expressed as a fact. I really don’t care how you want to lie to yourself.

    What you were doing was putting words into the mouths of a politician and not making it clear that was what you were doing. It is a classic strawman technique. It is a technique to create a “general perception” because you can’t even state something is a general perception as being a fact unless you back it up with something like a poll.

    If you are going to make foolish statements, then make sure that it is clear that you are the dickhead saying it. Don’t put words into other peoples mouths unless you have a reasonable proof that they in fact made them.

    …this site is affilitaed to Labour

    No – read the about – we aren’t affiliated with the Labour party (and there are many inside the NZLP who’d be horrified if we were). We are part of the “labour movement”. The NZLP is just one part of that.

    It isn’t hard to argue that both the Green party and the Act party were partially formed out of that movement as well (less so for the Greens than for Act). In many ways it is easy to argue that the National party was formed to solely to provide opposition to the labour movement back when the Reform party and the Liberal party had to coalesce to try to stop the labour movement taking the government benches.

    And in any case it makes absolutely no difference to what the policy is on asserting facts without substantiation. That is just a tiresome diversion.

    Toning down your comments isn’t required. Just stop asserting facts that are not, get into the habit of linking those that are, and always remember that relying on the “common perception” is a good way me expressing my individual perception of how much crap that strawman is. All of those are irritating trolling techniques that I abhor. ]

  8. Roy 8

    It’s depressing to think that people like Harriet, who simply don’t understand how our system of government works, get to vote. I am increasingly of the opinion that we should have compulsory Civics lessons in school.

  9. Roy 9

    BTW Harriet I am a public servant and all the people who are telling you that you are wrong, are correct.

    • framu 9.1

      its funny how people cant distinguish between parliament and government

      well – not that funny – just rather sad

      its right up there with the idea that the biggest winner of elections under FPP is somehow the heir apparant, and that list candidates arent voted in

      civics all the freakin way – i always like this (true) example of the need for this.

      bus passenger 1 “so who are you going to vote for?”
      bus passenger 2 “i dunno, im just going to see whos ahead in the polls and vote for them”

      yes, that actually happened. Heard it with my own ears

      • Molly 9.1.1

        Our household has an (entirely unsubstantiated) theory that given our media and national obsession with sports, that NZers are indoctrinated into picking winning teams.

        When you rate yourself as successful for being supporters of the team that wins – without regard for sportsmanship or fair play – life becomes much easier. That one-eyed vision then translates to politics, which is why the constant polling and reporting thereof before election has more of an impact than it should on uninformed voters.

        Of the uninformed: A clear leader in the polls has a great weight if you are undecided, you will be on the winning team if you vote him in. However, if you see a leader in the polls to whom you are values unaligned, you will choose not to vote, and disengage (at least it means you have not chosen a loser!).

        As mentioned, entirely unsubstantiated – but in line with your anecdote and topic of good conversation for a while…

        • Rogue Trooper 9.1.1.1

          some merit

        • karol 9.1.1.2

          I am reminded of Bryan Gould’s latest article about the “hollowing out” of democracy.

          Very few seem to realise how thoroughly our civilisation has been transformed by the triumph of the “free market” ideology. They do not see that Western liberalism, which has informed, supported and extended human progress for perhaps 700 years, has now been supplanted by an aggressive self-interested doctrine of the individual which leaves no room for community and co-operation. Even the victims of this comprehensive and fundamental change seem hardly aware of what has happened.

          Fukuyama failed to recognise, in other words, that the threat to Western democracy came from within those democracies themselves. It came from the greed and self-interest of the rich and powerful and their ability to manipulate the “free” market to their own advantage, but also from the quiescence and apathy of that much greater number who fail to understand that democracy is necessarily sidelined if the market cannot be challenged. The substance of democracy has been hollowed out, so that only the shell, the forms, remain, because we have not cherished and made a reality of what was our most valuable protection and greatest achievement.

          So saddening.

  10. aerobubble 10

    So a department spent hundreds of thousands of tax payers money, highlight a very real risk to long term tourism and health costs, and this minister’s dept in the last moments before the submission was to be made exchanged it for a positive two paragraphs. Why hasn’t the Minister resigned or sacked one of his staff? Or could it be, the Minister has a record of not facing up to his errors and has a huge incentive not to be caught acting inappropriately as it will be his last days in parliament.

  11. Pascal's bookie 11

    lol

    http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/09/general_debate_26_september_2013.html#comment-1206484

    The difference betwwn this case and the ACC case is he intervened in an ‘operational’ matter in the ACC case. In the DOC case, any submissions DOC makes with respect to resource consents etc must align with general Government policy, so it is quite appropriate that the Minister can intervene if he so chooses. DOC works for the Government, not the Green Party.

    Therefore John Key and Nick Smith must just stare down Labour / Greens on this one and tell them where to stick it.

    So it wasn’t even original ignorance!

  12. The Gormless Fool formerly known as Oleolebiscuitbarrell 12

    “I haven’t followed everything step by step, it hasn’t seemed necessary to be honest, but I have complete confidence in him”

    This is a baseless smear. He clearly means that, to be honest, it hasn’t seemed necessary to follow everything step by step.

    • Pascal's bookie 12.1

      Yeah.

      He’s just going on the record that Nick Smith’s shit sticks to Nick Smith, but as long as he doesn’t get busted he’s still golden.

  13. Rogue Trooper 13

    But wait, there’s more;
    MPI, who shared DoC concerns -” Dam makes no economic sense” , serious concerns about the economic merits of the RWSS and the likely phosphate toxicity occurring , also “watered down ” their submission to the Minister responsible.-RNZ Checkpoint.

    • vto 13.1

      So its not just the blind leading the blind among the supporters like Harriet above but it is the blind leading the blind among the proponents of the dam scheme too as well as the blind leading the blind around nick smith’s table.

      We have dishonesty piled on top of blindness.

      • Rogue Trooper 13.1.1

        blind to everything but their own economic survival and profit. Add up all the issues raised over this Dam, from the conflicting interests between local iwi who opposed and Ngai Tahu who want to invest, the seismic risks, through to economic realities and likely pollution and it appears to be blatant Crony Capitalism, amongst other criticisms. Just a shocking farce.And they wonder what drives people to civil disobedience. Urrrgh!

  14. tracey 14

    Gormless fool lost his sense of humour and perspective

  15. Sable 15

    Dirty politics from a so called government that knows nothing else.

  16. tracey 16

    just want to say that I know what key was saying. I know that the joufnalist didnt put the comma in. I was making a joke of how it was written and how the left coukd twist it if they had an idiot like hooten. for those who thought I was serious. wooooosh.

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