English misleads on PEDA money

Written By: - Date published: 1:00 am, June 21st, 2010 - 15 comments
Categories: accountability, bill english, budget 2010, Parliament - Tags: ,

The stink around the $4.8 million awarded to the Pacific Economic Development Agency keeps growing. Last week, Georgina Te Heuheu revealed that the allocation was pushed by Bill English, not by her as Pacific Island Affairs minister. Which seems very odd. Also, strange is both Te Heuheu and English have been saying that the money might not go to PEDA at all.

There’s a big problem with that. The Budget says the money is to go to PEDA and the government can’t just change that.

Parliament is the sovereign entity in our country. The Government (the Crown) has to ask Parliament’s permission before it can spend or raise any money. That rule, which makes Parliament supreme, has been a confirmed part of our constitutional heritage for 400 years since the Petition of Right.

As Parliament’s website notes:

“The Crown cannot spend public money, levy taxes, or raise loans without the authority of Parliament. Public expenditure is authorised through a variety of annual Acts which mostly lapse at the end of the specified financial year. The Treasury and Controller and Auditor-General check for this Parliamentary approval before allowing money to be paid from the Crown Bank Account.”

The Budget is the way that the Government  asks Parliament for permission to raise and spend money. It is a very detailed collection of documents – over 5,000 pages, detailing the Government’s intentions in huge detail. On the money for PEDA it says:

So, “This appropriation is limited to the purchase of services from third party providers to support improved
education, skill development, and entrepreneurship of Pacific peoples in Auckland.”…. “An additional $1.200 million in funding is being provided for 4 years to fund programmes aimed at improving Pacific Economic Development in Auckland.”

The conditions on the spending will be “Adherence to the performance measures and standards to be agreed in the Purchase Agreement with the Pacific Economic Development Agency.”

And there are only two non-departmental providers listed, Pacific Islands Business Development Trust and PEDA.

The Government has asked Parliament for permission to give this money to PEDA in return for unspecified services. Now, technically, the Government can, if needed divert money from one expense to another and pass retrospective legislation later. But, remember, this Budget is for the fiscal year that hasn’t even started yet. The Budget hasn’t even passed Parliament yet. For the Government to already be saying it might not stick to the details of the Budget is a huge abuse of the democratic process.

Of course, the reality is that the money is going to PEDA. The Government isn’t really going to send the money to someone else. It’s just a diversion tactic. The scary thing is that English is willing to say he will abuse the fundamental rules that make Government accountable to Parliament to muddy the waters. Whatever is going on with PEDA, it’s something English is desperate to close down as quick as possible.

15 comments on “English misleads on PEDA money”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Just another give away of taxpayer money to NACTs mates. The misdirection that Blinglish and Te Heuheu are engaging in just shows how unaccountable to those taxpayers (us) that the NACTs wish to be.

  2. Tigger 2

    Ambitious for National supporting New Zealand…

  3. Ron 3

    What infuriates me most about this is that if it had been a Labour Government doing this it would have been all over the news for days on end -“race related funding, dirty deals and corruption”.
    I’d be ashamed to work for any of our news outlets these days.
    Captcha “expenses”

    • RedLogix 3.1

      In the last HoS I counted seven articles either directly or indirectly related to smearing Labour MP’s expenses, most of them recycled fluff milking the last drops of emotive impact for propaganda purposes. OK so it had been the story of the week.

      But here’s the kicker… I could find nothing, that’s right zero, about ANYTHING the govt was actually doing, neither positive or negative.

  4. r0b 4

    Lynn – we have a breach in the spam wall! See links below. I won’t clean it up, I’ll leave it as is for you to diagnose. Sorry about the spam people.

  5. wyndham 5

    Is there any connection to Mrs. English ?

  6. BLiP 6

    This appropriation is limited to the purchase of services from third party providers to support improved education, skill development, and entrepreneurship of Pacific peoples in Auckland. . . . [snip] . . . An additional $1.200 million in funding is being provided for 4 years to fund programmes aimed at improving Pacific Economic Development in Auckland.

    I suppose the argument could be made that keeping Sleepy Sam elected is, sorta, kinda an education, skill development, and entrepreneurship endeavour and so too is having someone of his calibre a form of improving PI economic development in Auckland. He is, after all, learning from the masters of turning public service into nothing but a series of economic opportunities for people of the same ilk.

  7. Lanthanide 7

    Lynn, can you stop back-links from showing up in the comments counter? As I type this, it says there are 22 comments, but there are only 6 and the rest are links. Also several of the links are appearing 2 or 3 times each, as well.

    • BLiP 7.1

      Mind if I join in this customer focus group?

      Can we please have it so that when a link is clinked a new tab/page is opened instead of dropping The Standard. So often I click away, get interested in something and wander off and then have to fire up The Standard again. Petty, trivial, yes, I could use the right-click but customer is King and all that blah blah.

      Chur bro.

  8. Key needs to show English the revolving door that leads back to Dipton over this cos
    when the Herald says…

    What is needed here is a good dose of openness, transparency and accountability. National expended a lot of energy criticising the previous Government on these grounds.

    Now it needs to show the courage of its convictions and explain how and why the allocation was made in the first place.

    Anything less will feed the fires of suspicion.

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10653305&pnum=2

    …then you know this story has got legs that Blinglish can’t runaway from.

    • ianmac 8.1

      Thanks pollywog: I cross fertilised your link to red Alert.
      If the partisan Herald writes so in an Editorial, something must have stirred them. Be interesting. (Dated 3:59 am. Funny I missed it?)

      • pollywog 8.1.1

        Funnily enough ianmac…

        i got wind of it from Kiwiblog, the denizens of which i have been trying to get some meanigful response out of, as i am want to do

        🙂

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