web analytics

English owes us disclosure

Written By: - Date published: 7:27 am, September 21st, 2009 - 13 comments
Categories: bill english - Tags: , ,

I’ve posted before on “mainstream” media editorials, their variable quality and the paradox (in this world of blogging) of their anonymity. Every now and then it means that even The Herald can come up with a scorcher. And the Saturday Editorial on Bill English is certainly that. Usually I would try to “add value” (don’t laugh!) to stuff I quote, but there really is nothing to add here (except perhaps to suggest a theme song for Bill). Extracts from the editorial:

…English remained in a unique position: the $1.2 million Karori house, owned by the family’s Endeavour Trust, in which he lives with his wife and six children, is deemed an official ministerial residence and leased back to the Crown. Until English, under pressure, changed the arrangements, this cost taxpayers – and, by any sensible assessment, benefited English – $47,000 a year.

If these arrangements complied with the letter of the law, English should explain why he changed them when the heat came on. He also needs to explain the trust arrangements. He declared a “beneficial interest” in the trust last year and “no pecuniary interest” this year. What changed, and why? The inescapable suspicion lingers that he was arranging his affairs to maximise his entitlements. That may be legal, but in the middle of a recession when, as Finance Minister, he is calling for restraint in public expectations of state spending, it remains deeply questionable.

The least that English owes the country now is that disclosure. He – and Key – should remember the odium that was heaped on British MPs over their often-grotesque claims and manipulation of the rules: all were within the letter of the law but the public was no less disgusted. As the man in charge of the public purse, English is subject to far higher expectations than strict legality. It is time he answered those expectations. The cost to his and the Government’s credibility is already far too high.

13 comments on “English owes us disclosure ”

  1. Stever 1

    Yes…but perhaps we’re seeing a battle in the Nats going on in public.

    So, it’s not The Herald coming over all intelligent and thoughtful for a bare millisecond, but the Auckland-based, PR-centred, smarmy John Key-axis of the party putting the boot into the conservative heartland.

    This sort of editorial is, nowadays, so uncharacteristic of The Herald that I don’t really see anything other than a nasty, cowardly (because anonymous) attack by the oily faction in The Party.

  2. jcuknz 2

    Your opening sentance is amusing …. anonymity? Which ‘robert’ are you or which edward is eddie etc. Believe me, jcuknz is as unique as my legal name, more so in fact. So this is not the kettle calling the pot black, just an expression of amusement. 🙂

    • Marty G 2.1

      Robin and Edwin isn’t it?

      • r0b 2.1.1

        I’ve commented once or twice that my pseudonym / handle is a “tribute” to the person who was so formative of my political opinions and activism, the late Mr Muldoon.

        I think jcuknz’s comment should get some kind of award though!

    • lprent 2.2

      In major papers (and even minor ones), it is one of many people writing for the ‘paper’ as an editorial. Which is why it it is often quite inconsistent.

      Writers here are pseudonymous which means you can see a body or work by a single author to compare against.

      I think that rOb was referring to the Heralds editorials being anonymous because you have no idea if the piece was written by the same person who had a completely different viewpoint last week.

      Of course we do a few anonymous pieces as well. “The Standard” does announcements that writers aren’t adding significant commentary to. People sending pieces in get posted under “Guest Post” which may or many not have a psuedonym.

  3. gobsmacked 3

    Duncan Garner doesn’t hold back:

    http://www.3news.co.nz/Politics/DuncanGarnersBlog/tabid/1135/articleID/121925/cat/934/Default.aspx

    Note that Garner refers to Bill English’s angry outbursts and abusive language, a story the media knew all about last week but largely kept under wraps.

    • Tigger 3.1

      I think Garner nails the point here but I find it hard to believe this would be acceptable to anyone.

      “Labour will claim he owes $400,000, because he has claimed the out of town allowance for years. So Labour should accept any move that for what it is – and leave him alone if he does it.”

      If this was most people in their jobs and they’d received an entitlement they were not meant to receive they would be expected to pay it back. Over time and bit by bit I’m sure given the circumstances, perhaps all at once if the employer was less forgiving, but the obligation would be to return the money. Why should he be any different?

  4. Red Rosa 4

    Intriguing tangle – but a Nat Spat? That is a conspiracy theory to beat all.

    Nothing to add – the Herald and Duncan Garner do it well. Except to suggest ‘Bungalow Bill’ by the Fab Four as a second theme song, with the closing credits….

    (security word ‘excess’ – now don’t tell me they are randomly generated!)

    • SteveR 4.1

      No, I’m not proposing a conspiracy!

      Surely it’s just normal politics, and if you have a rag like The Herald in your PR grip then why not use it to advance your side?

      Or perhaps The Herald already knows which side it supports and is simply saying what it thinks.

      Business as usual, either way.

  5. jcuknz 5

    My understanding of editorials is that they are written by various individuals with the approval of the editorial “committee” . When there is variation it illustrates that it is being written by an individual member rather than by the committee. [Note. the camel is a horse created by a committee]
    Whether it is edwin or edward doesn’t really alter my point.
    As far as the rest of the thread is concerned I think it is foolish and petty political twaddle. The parliamentary guys particularly cabinet have a hell of a job and irrespective of the criteria the argumernt is currently being argued on, the correct criteria IMO is that he is the Member for Clutha [whatever] and required to largely live in Wellington. Having been successful in his job he has spent a long time and fortunately he has his family with him. So Clutha is his home and it is part of the cost of running Parliament that his Wellington expenses are covered properly.

    • lprent 5.1

      Ummm That wasn’t what you were saying last year. I seem to remember that it was pretty much that politicians should live to a higher standard than everyone else. I seem to remember that you were part of the lynch mob.

      He may be required to spend a lot of time in Wellington. He isn’t required to live there with his family (that is after all what the discussion is about). There is no particular reason why the taxpayers should fund that decision. We do fund the air-travel that is required to go back and forward to electorates. From Wellington it is hard to think of part of NZ that isn’t within 2 hours.

      Helen usually used to come back to Auckland on Saturday and usually spent Sunday and often Monday working from home. Originally that was on fax and land lines, more recently using secure logins to parliament and excessive txting.

      Incidentally and off the top of my head, I can’t think of another electorate MP who is a permanent resident of Wellington whose seat isn’t in the Wellington area. It seems a bit weird to me.

      • jcuknz 5.1.1

        The wise person is prepared to change their mind, it shows a certain level of intelligence as opposed to blind adherance. That comment assumes that your memory is correct on what I said last year, I have no idea what you are refering to. I used to be an enthusiastic supporter of ACT as a varient of socialism, like Labour Progressive Muldoonism and Alliance but over the past decade parties have changed and I have no allegences to any party just my beliefs of what is right. In this case it makes sense for English to have his family with him for his sanity, that of the family, and the country. Helen Clark only has a husband so the example quoted is hardly relevant to the discussion. It is also much easier and quicker to jump on a plane between Wellington and Auckland than to commute between Wellington and Clutha by a rather neglected airport like Dunedin. Or should the country pay for a special extra flights to and from Dunedin and then Clutha to suit the Minister’s timetable? .. I suspect the cost of that would be far more that the sums now being questioned. I’m sure he would much prefer to spend time in Southland/ Otago [?] than stuck in Wellington if the job and airline permitted.. I’m sure your two hour suggestion is quite wrong, Clutha is an easy example of your error.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Govt helps protect shops from ram raids
    The Government is providing further support to help Police protect small businesses affected by a spike in ram raids, Minister of Police Poto Williams says. $6 million from the Proceeds of Crime Fund will be invested in a crime prevention programme to be managed by Police which will include solutions ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Government investing in warm, dry classrooms and new schools and kura
    Budget 2022 has taken capital investment in school property under this Government to $3.6 billion since 2018, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “A further $777m in capital investment means new schools and kura, more classrooms, and includes $219m in capital funding that will go directly to schools over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 hours ago
  • Budget 2022 funding to lower the starting age for bowel screening for Māori and Pacific peoples
    60,000 more people to receive screening each year. Over $36 million across four years to shift the starting age for bowel screening from 60 years old to 50 years old for Māori and Pacific people. Associate Ministers of Health Peeni Henare and Aupito William Sio say Budget 2022 will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Budget 2022 delivers new investment in our Māori and Pacific health workforce
    Budget 2022 will deliver 1900 new health workers and will support 2700 more students into training programmes through a $76 million investment to continue to grow the health workforce for our Māori and Pacific communities, Associate Ministers of Health Peeni Henare and Aupito William Sio announced today. “This Budget specifically ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Startup Advisors Council appointed
    The Government has appointed a Startup Advisors’ Council to help identify and address the opportunities and challenges facing high growth start-up businesses, Research, Science, and Innovation Minister Megan Woods, and Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash have announced. “Startups are major contributors to the knowledge and innovation that we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Government targets innovation-led growth to turbo-charge business potential
    Hundreds of New Zealand companies are set to benefit from the launch of two new grants aimed at fuelling firms that want to innovate, Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods says. “This $250 million investment over the next four years is a sign of my commitment to some of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Budget 2022 bolsters legal aid, ensures continued access to justice
    New Zealand’s legal aid scheme will be significantly strengthened with further investment from Budget 2022, Minister of Justice Kris Faafoi announced today. “Budget 2022 will help around 93,000 more people be eligible for legal aid from January 2023, fulfilling our election promise to make improvements to our court system so ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Rollout of cameras on fishing vessels to begin
    The Government has today confirmed key details of the nationwide rollout of cameras on commercial fishing vessels. Up to 300 inshore fishing vessels will be fitted with the technology by the end of 2024, providing independent, accurate information about fishing activity and better evidence for decision-making,” Oceans and Fisheries Minister ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Speech for TRENZ Hui 2022: “Ready to Welcome”
    It is my pleasure to be here at TRENZ 2022. This is an event that continues to facilitate connection, collaboration and engagement between our businesses and key overseas markets. The conversations that happen here will play a crucial role in shaping New Zealand’s tourism recovery. That’s why TRENZ remains such ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Boosting the Māori economy through Progressive Procurement
    Māori businesses will play a vital role to help lift whānau Māori aspirations and dreams for a better life, while reinforcing New Zealand’s economic security. A successful Progressive Procurement initiative to diversify government spend on goods and services and increase Māori business engagement with government procurement is getting a further ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Continuing to improve Māori employment outcomes through Cadetships
    The continued Budget 22 investment into the Cadetship programmes will ensure Māori thrive in the labour market, Minister for Māori Development Willie Jackson announced today. The Government will invest $25 million into the Cadetships programme, delivered by Te Puni Kōkiri. As the whole world struggles with rising inflation, the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • NZ commits to enduring partnership with Solomon Islands
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Defence Peeni Henare today announced the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Solomon Islands, as part of the Pacific-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force (SIAF). “Aotearoa New Zealand and Solomon Islands have an enduring and long-standing partnership,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ committed to enduring partnership with Solomon Islands
    Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Minister of Defence Peeni Henare today announced the extension of the New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) deployment to Solomon Islands, as part of the Pacific-led Solomon Islands International Assistance Force (SIAF). “Aotearoa New Zealand and Solomon Islands have an enduring and long-standing partnership,” Nanaia Mahuta said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New Zealand Country Statement to the Seventy-fifth World Health Assembly, Geneva
    Director-General, esteemed fellow Ministers, and colleagues, tēnā koutou katoa. Greetings to all. Aotearoa New Zealand is alarmed at the catastrophic and complex health crisis evolving in Ukraine. We reiterate our call for an immediate end to Russian hostilities against Ukraine. Chair, this 75th Session of the World Health Assembly comes at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Passport fees to increase from 25 May
    As part of a regular review by the Department of Internal Affairs, the fees for New Zealand passports will increase slightly due to the decrease in demand caused by COVID-19. Internal Affairs Minister Jan Tinetti says that the Government has made every effort to keep the increase to a minimum ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Additional government support for Buller District flood recovery
    The Government is providing additional support to the Buller District Council to assist the recovery from the February 2022 floods, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan announced today. “The Buller District has experienced two significant floods in short succession, resulting in significant impacts for the community and for Council to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government investment boosts coastal shipping in Aotearoa
    New Zealand is a step closer to a more resilient, competitive, and sustainable coastal shipping sector following the selection of preferred suppliers for new and enhanced coastal shipping services, Transport Minister Michael Wood has announced today.  “Coastal shipping is a small but important part of the New Zealand freight system, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Speech on RM Reform to the Thomson Reuters Environmental Law and Policy Conference: 24 May 2022
    Tēnā koutou katoa It’s a pleasure to speak to you today on how we are tracking with the resource management reforms. It is timely, given that in last week’s Budget the Government announced significant funding to ensure an efficient transition to the future resource management system. There is broad consensus ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Vision for Māori success in tertiary education takes another step
    Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis have welcomed the release of a paper from independent advisory group, Taumata Aronui, outlining the group’s vision for Māori success in the tertiary education system. “Manu Kōkiri – Māori Success and Tertiary Education: Towards a Comprehensive Vision – is the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Whānau Resilience focuses on wāhine and rangatahi
    The best way to have economic security in New Zealand is by investing in wāhine and our rangatahi says Minister for Māori Development. Budget 2022, is allocating $28.5 million over the next two years to strengthen whānau resilience through developing leadership within key cohorts of whānau leaders, wāhine and rangatahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Increase in funding secures future for Whānau Ora
    Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies will receive $166.5 million over four years to help whānau maintain and build their resilience as Aotearoa moves forward from COVID-19, Minister for Whānau Ora Peeni Henare announced today. “Whānau Ora Commissioning Agencies and partners will remain a key feature of the Government’s support for whānau ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt invests in sustainable food producer
    The development of sustainable, plant-based foods and meat alternatives is getting new government backing, with investment from a dedicated regional economic development fund. “The investment in Sustainable Foods Ltd  is part of a wider government strategy to develop a low-emissions, highly-skilled economy that responds to global demands,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand to stay at Orange for now
    With New Zealand expecting to see Omicron cases rise during the winter, the Orange setting remains appropriate for managing this stage of the outbreak, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “While daily cases numbers have flattened nationally, they are again beginning to increase in the Northern region and hospitalisation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Independent panel appointed to review electoral law
    Justice Minister Kris Faafoi today announced appointments to the independent panel that will lead a review of New Zealand’s electoral law. “This panel, appointed by an independent panel of experts, aim to make election rules clearer and fairer, to build more trust in the system and better support people to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Board appointed for Auckland’s most transformational project
    Honourable Dame Fran Wilde will lead the board overseeing the design and construction of Auckland’s largest, most transformational project of a generation – Auckland Light Rail, which will connect hundreds of thousands of people across the city, Minister of Transport Michael Wood announced today. “Auckland Light Rail is New Zealand’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government continues record Māori Education investment
    Boost to Māori Medium property that will improve and redevelop kura, purchase land and build new facilities Scholarships and mentoring to grow and expand the Māori teaching workforce Funding to continue to grow the Māori language The Government’s commitment to the growth and development of te reo Māori has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • PM attends Indo-Pacific Economic Framework talks ahead of US travel
    On the eve of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s trade mission to the United States, New Zealand has joined with partner governments from across the Indo-Pacific region to begin the next phase of discussions towards an Indo-Pacific Economic Framework for Prosperity (IPEF). The Framework, initially proposed by US President Biden in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • NZ to provide additional deployment to support Ukraine
    As part of New Zealand’s ongoing response to the war in Ukraine, New Zealand is providing further support and personnel to assist Ukraine to defend itself against Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. “We have been clear throughout Russia’s assault on Ukraine, that such a ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Stubbing out tobacco smuggling
    Budget 2022 is providing investment to crackdown on tobacco smuggling into New Zealand. “Customs has seen a significant increase in the smuggling of tobacco products into New Zealand over recent years,” Minister of Customs Meka Whaitiri says. This trend is also showing that tobacco smuggling operations are now often very ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister to visit United States
    Prime Minister to lead trade mission to the United States this week to support export growth and the return of tourists post COVID-19. Business delegation to promote trade and tourism opportunities in New Zealand’s third largest export and visitor market Deliver Harvard University commencement address  Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates Anthony Albanese
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated Anthony Albanese and the Australian Labor Party on winning the Australian Federal election, and has acknowledged outgoing Prime Minister Scott Morrison. "I spoke to Anthony Albanese early this morning as he was preparing to address his supporters. It was a warm conversation and I’m ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Aroha Reriti-Crofts DNZM CBE JP
    Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Tiwhatiwha te pō, tiwhatiwha te ao. Matariki Tapuapua, He roimata ua, he roimata tangata. He roimata e wairurutu nei, e wairurutu nei. Te Māreikura mārohirohi o Ihoa o ngā Mano, takoto Te ringa mākohakoha o Rongo, takoto. Te mātauranga o Tūāhuriri o Ngai Tahu ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Boost for tourism networks as borders open
    Three core networks within the tourism sector are receiving new investment to gear up for the return of international tourists and business travellers, as the country fully reconnects to the world. “Our wider tourism sector is on the way to recovery. As visitor numbers scale up, our established tourism networks ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Law changes passed stopping tax evasion on water-pipe tobacco
    The Minister of Customs has welcomed legislation being passed which will prevent millions of dollars in potential tax evasion on water-pipe tobacco products. The Customs and Excise (Tobacco Products) Amendment Act 2022 changes the way excise and excise-equivalent duty is calculated on these tobacco products. Water-pipe tobacco is also known ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Government support for Levin community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to help the Levin community following this morning’s tornado, Minister for Emergency Management Kiri Allan says. “My thoughts are with everyone who has been impacted by severe weather events in Levin and across the country. “I know the tornado has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Statement from the Quintet of Attorneys General in support of Prosecutor General Iryna Venediktova a...
    The Quintet of Attorneys General have issued the following statement of support for the Prosecutor General of Ukraine and investigations and prosecutions for crimes committed during the Russian invasion of Ukraine: “The Attorneys General of the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Australia, Canada, and New Zealand join in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Andrew Little Budget 2022 post-Budget health speech, Auckland, 20 May 2022
    Morena tatou katoa. Kua tae mai i runga i te kaupapa o te rā. Thank you all for being here today. Yesterday my colleague, the Minister of Finance Grant Robertson, delivered the Wellbeing Budget 2022 – for a secure future for New Zealand. I’m the Minister of Health, and this was ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Govt helps supermarket shoppers get a fair deal
    Urgent Budget night legislation to stop major supermarkets blocking competitors from accessing land for new stores has been introduced today, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs Dr David Clark said. The Commerce (Grocery Sector Covenants) Amendment Bill amends the Commerce Act 1986, banning restrictive covenants on land, and exclusive covenants ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Prime Minister: Wellbeing Budget 2022 speech
    It is a pleasure to speak to this Budget. The 5th we have had the privilege of delivering, and in no less extraordinary circumstances.  Mr Speaker, the business and cycle of Government is, in some ways, no different to life itself. Navigating difficult times, while also making necessary progress. Dealing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Future resource management system implementation funding
    Budget 2022 provides funding to implement the new resource management system, building on progress made since the reform was announced just over a year ago. The inadequate funding for the implementation of the Resource Management Act in 1992 almost guaranteed its failure. There was a lack of national direction about ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago