Ball back in Key’s court

Written By: - Date published: 12:29 pm, June 12th, 2010 - 118 comments
Categories: accountability - Tags: , , , , , ,

Shane Jones and Chris Carter are for the chop. Labour will lay down the gauntlet to John Key to apply those same standards to Murry McCully and Tim Groser. Key is desperate to avoid that, we know how lax his standards are.

There will be some who say that it is overly harsh on Jones (Carter on the other hand…). After all, the taxpayer isn’t out of pocket like we are having paid thousands for McCully and Groser’s late night drinking habits, or Bill English’s house. But Jones must know his fate in inevitable.

He can take solace, though, by looking across the debating chamber. There he will see on the government benches Maurice Williamson, who was once suspended from the National party caucus, John ‘Hone’ Carter, who was sacked as government whip after ringing John Banks’ talkshow pretending to be a workshy Maori, Bill English, who led his party to its worst ever defeat, Steven Joyce, who masterminded the strategy that lost National the unloseable election, and, of course, Phil Heatley. Jones will realise that rehabilitation is possible, in time.

He can even look at the speaker Lockwood Smith, who would now be a senior minister if he hadn’t told a reporter that Asians make good fruit workers because of their small hands and Polynesian seasonal workers don’t know how to use toilets, and remember that sometimes there are second prizes in life.

Labour’s going to need to clean up its act and some heads will roll. Expect Key to squirm as he refuses to hold his ministers to account, once again.

118 comments on “Ball back in Key’s court”

  1. ianmac 1

    Since the spending of Ministers will now be published every few months, will this lead to scrutiny and ridicule of current Ministers, even for legitimate spending, such as $22,000 (shock horror!) for Minister to stay at flash hotel? Will Key be embarrassed?
    As you say above all is not lost for Shane Jones. People forget stuff like who will remember the English housing crisis?

  2. I am really struggling with this issue. What I would like to see is how soon after the expenditure occurred it was repaid. If this was within the month or so then apart from a “technical” breach there is really nothing to worry about, moral questions concerning the viewing of porn aside.

    I would be interested also to see how many versions of the “rules” there were. My experience of Wellington is that there was probably a different version in each office and probably also a dozen different understandings of what the rules said and a half hour description of the rules when asked. We are dealing with Ministers in charge of multi million dollar budgets for who a bunch of flowers or a movie are on the scale of things infinitesimally small.

    It is interesting that the MSM is now concentrating on Phillip Burdon. He is next on the list to get back into Parliament presuming that Judith Tizard elects not to go back, which I understand is likely.

    But a reorganisation does present a very good opportunity. Jacinda Ardern would be a great spokesperson for the Environment and this would give her really good traction for the Auckland Central campaign.

  3. burt 3

    Shane Jones and Chris Carter are for the chop.

    Did they say they were thinking of standing as independents ?

    • Marty G 3.1

      They’ll lose their spokespersonships. Not out of Parliament.

      • SHG 3.1.1

        Yeah, I bet Goff is just DYING to make a move that would bring Tizard, unelected, back in to Parliament on the List. That’d be a real public-relations winner.

        Or would he do so only to sack her for her – what did the Dominion Post call it? – “Bollinger bolshevism”? That would be cool.

    • burt 3.2

      So it’s only a matter of time then that they leave seeking other political futures at which time Labour will trow the book at them or they will slip quietly off to a plum role on a SOE board somewhere. Something in tourism would seem to be ideal for Carter. I’m not sure what Jones could do but I’m sure he’ll pull something off.

  4. Micky – I think you mean Mark Burton

  5. Ian 5

    If Jones had watched The Sound Of Music at the taxpayers expense, would anyone have cared? Probably not. If this happened in Europe (the Jones thing) would anyone have cared? Probably not. Seems we NZers have a good deal of the puritan in us. It just seems ridiculous that we put people to the sword over a few dollars spent on movies.

    • seth 5.1

      He ordered 50 porn movies, sometimes 4 in a night………

      • Marty G 5.1.1

        if it had been 4 rom/coms a night would that be ok with you?

        It’s not the content.

      • burt 5.1.2

        I don’t care he sometimes watched 4 a night, good on him I say. But the deal was always that he pay for them and he expected us to. As far as I’m concerned that’s his only mistake. I’d be equally pissed if he charged up pay per view Disney classics on my dime. That’s his personal crap and he can pay for it himself like the rest of us (the people he was apparently serving) do.

      • burt 5.1.3

        OK, lets put this to a broader social test;

        How would we fell if Nandor had clocking up a $200 tab in an Amsterdam cafe? Any different to Tizzard’s refined taste in wine while in Auckland? It’s not what they are doing folks, it’s who they expect to pick up the tab for their personal indulgences.

        • felix 5.1.3.1

          I’d need more info.

          If it’s a technical breach of the rules but actually paid back in good time (including any interest incurred) according to the apparent custom then I don’t really care – whoever it is or whatever they bought.

          If it’s an honest and infrequent mistake involving a small amount of money overlooked or forgotten about and then paid back when the Minister becomes aware of the mistake then I don’t really care – whoever it is or whatever they bought.

          However if there is any effort made by the Minister to avoid or delay paying their bills then I would prefer to see the back of them – whoever it is and whatever they bought.

          Seem reasonable?

    • Sideoiler 5.2

      @ Ian I don’t think that many people are bothered that Jones watches porn,First he lied when asked if the movies were porn and secondly he thought the taxpayer should pay the bill, that the reason people are annoyed.

      • RobertM 5.2.1

        I don’t think so. Its often said Profumo would have been alright if he’d told the truth. But really does anybody believe that. Jones had been singled out because blue movies are anathema and demonised to a certain sector of the feminist, religious and rural electorate. In a sensible political system no one would need their votes. But. But the whole expenses thing is piddling-there minor technical breeches that no one would care about anywhere else. At the time of the Profumo incident possibly half the Tory cabinet spent their nights with call girls, rent boys or at the tables. And it would have been much better if it had never been exposed. In l963 half the Tory Cabinet and half the Labour shadow cabinets were genuises , brilliant guys and Barbara Castle ( I think Thatcher was an undersecretary). Now the talent is minimal in top level politics. Real talent has been driven out of politics in all nations by the hollier than vow public and hypocritical media. The expense account exposure is disastrous. Yet Heatly who is an obvious idiot and fundamentalist, should have been thrown out to stop the rot. Even Denning a very conservative and moralistic judge was sensible enough to be persuaded to excise the revelations about Sandys(Churchill son in law) a notorious phillanderer and others.

  6. Bill 6

    Did I hear that right?

    Did Annette King really say that Shane Jones now has to keep his head down and his bottom up!!??

  7. RedLogix 7

    If someone secretly taped John and Branaugh Key having sex in a hotel room, and then published it on the net…everyone would rightly condemn this as a gross (and criminal) breach of privacy.

    The fact that John Key is a figure of public interest would be no excuse.
    The fact that the room had been paid for on a ministerial credit card would be irrelevant.

    There is a legitimate expectation that what people do in the privacy of their bedrooms should remain private. So can anyone tell me the difference between this hypothetical example, and what has happened to Shane Jones?

    The fact of a few raunchy ppv movies is not an issue; they are perfectly legal and commonly watched by millions of adult men and women all the time. The fact of a man probably having a quiet wank in the privacy of his own bedroom, puts Jones in exactly the same boat as almost all other humans in history.

    What has happened here should have been obvious at the outset; our media has indulged in a veritable orgy of prurient, gutter-press wowserism at its lowest. Paid media hacks, the lamentable pair of Armstrong and Watkins especially, have made foolish spectacles of themselves sniggering like idiot schoolboys behind some old-time bike sheds…while utterly oblivious to their own cowardly and indefensible breach of principle.

    A shameful day for both a media that’s given these ethically failed pundits a bully platform to rant from, and for all those gullible kiwis who’ve mindlessly fallen for it.

    • seth 7.1

      50 porn movies charged to a state credit card. And you are questioning what is wrong with this?

      • illuminatedtiger 7.1.1

        I would check your facts before making statements like that.

      • RedLogix 7.1.2

        One or five hundred? How is the number relevant?

        The charge appeared on the credit card because it was included with the other items, such as room and meals. And then later any personal items were repaid in the course of a routine reconciliation.

        As a matter of simple practicality this is a common practise in many organisations, especially where a single card is covering the bill for a number of ministers and officials, it’s not reasonable for everyone to stand around in reception going through the bill line by line and separating out the personal items on the spot. There usually isn’t time.

        You tell me what is wrong with this.

    • J Mex 7.2

      Are you serious Redlogix?

      Shane Jones can watch pornos if he wants. He just can’t charge it to his taxpayer supplied credit card.

      • RedLogix 7.2.1

        J Mex,

        Sure…but why do you keep omitting the the fact that Jones reimbursed the cost ages ago as a matter of routine reconciliation?

        • Draco T Bastard 7.2.1.1

          Because fact gets in the way of him being able to QQ about all the thieving government ministers. It is, after all, difficult to call them thieves if they’ve paid it all back in line with usual practice.

          • J Mex 7.2.1.1.1

            Draco. It was not ‘in line with usual practice’. Jones took 15 months to pay some of his expenditure back, and only then because he was leaving office.

            He was also told that what he was doing was not o.k – Even if he paid it back immediately.

            Seems like it is you guys not letting the facts get in the way of your agenda

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks Jmex. Can you let us all know the source of your information? I would love to be able to see it so there coule be a real debate.

        • Bill 7.2.1.2

          It’s the age of politician as celebrity…which means that politics don’t matter a fuck. A lens of vacuous moral blah that used to be reserved for insubstantial Hollywood silicates is now being superimposed on our perceptions and is the lens through which we are meant to properly view and judge all elected public servants.

          He reconciled the costs in a proper and timely manner or fashion? Doesn’t matter. He used the card in a fashion that is widely accepted as normal etc, etc, etc? Doesn’t matter.

          He did something not altogether wholesome according to the book of ‘Faux Prud, Outraged & Righteous’ and so must be thrown down the cellar stairs to where the bad people live.

          Just another piece of audience participation orchestrated by ‘Brown Short’ shit sacs who slime and ooze beneath veneers of sincere insincerity while raising the curtain on a ‘holier than thou’ and utterly fucking debased political pantomime.

          • RedLogix 7.2.1.2.1

            That last para’s a piece Bill. I’m jealous 🙂

            What I want to see is the left getting out of cringe mode here and taking the attack back to these shit sacs. The general rule used to be that a public figure’s private life was off-limits unless there was:

            1 An egregious question of hypocrisy involved; ie a polly who made a big show of ‘family values’ and is then caught out in multiple affairs.

            2. There is a political aspect to the behaviour; eg an affair with a politically linked lobbyist, for instance, that opens the door to the blackmail or compromise.

            Neither of these factors are even remotely in play here. What we actually have is a media which has dramatically failed a very basic test here. All public figures and politicians should be concerned that their personal and sexual lives are now open season for any low-life panty-sniffing snoop.

            • mickysavage 7.2.1.2.1.1

              Agreed.

              It used to be that if a politician was homosexual then the discovery of this would result in a witch hunt and the eventual ritual burning at the stake of that politician’s career.

              This no longer happens, thanks to the bravery of people like Chris Carter.

              So now they have to find a new reason for burning at the stake and misuse of a credit card with a topping of pornography gives a perfect excuse for one. I also get the impression that the attacks on Chris are motivated in some cases by latent homophobia.

              • RobertM

                Yes but Chris was Helen’s boy. Clark was just one of those liberal women of a certain age who liked to flirt with and patronise the gay boys. They were sort of her court. But Helen’s or possibly H2s political management is part of the reason why we have arrived at a politics and media piched at a 10 year olds moral understanding. Pure simplsitic black and white. Helen gave the bad girls and bad boy a hit with a wet bus ticket, a detention if you were Dyson, a temporary exile if you were friend Lianne or the boot if you were a right wing brown boy like Tamahire if you dined with a fundamentalist journalist like Wishart. Beheading if you were a drunk like Peck. But it was all infantile. They were done for minor crimes of no importance to impress the proles, while Cullen and Clark fed the voters with money that the country didn’t have. Were all the victims of the Clark, H2, Howard, Crosby textor black arts of political management where the masses and media are fed, just like feeding time at the zoo.

                • SHG

                  one of those liberal women of a certain age who liked to flirt with and patronise the gay boys

                  You don’t mean “a lesbian” do you? 🙂

        • J Mex 7.2.1.3

          “Sure but why do you keep omitting the the fact that Jones reimbursed the cost ages ago as a matter of routine reconciliation?”

          Because he didn’t. He paid around $6000 back in 2008 in one lump sum before leaving office. That is not “routine reconciliation”

          He also ignored repeated warning that personal spending was not to be used on ministerial cards even if it was later paid back.

          He also denied charging adult movies to his Ministerial card and then changed his story later that day when Journos had proof.

          • RedLogix 7.2.1.3.1

            Because he didn’t. He paid around $6000 back in 2008 in one lump sum before leaving office. That is not “routine reconciliation’

            Reduced to hair splitting now? Somehow the repayment of $6000 doesn’t count because you don’t approve of the schedule. And this justifies the abuse of privacy how?

            He also ignored repeated warning that personal spending was not to be used on ministerial cards

            The term ‘personal expenditure’ can have differing contexts. Obviously going out and say buying a new private car on the ministerial tick is out of the question. On the other hand some personal items that appear as line items on a hotel bill incurred while travelling..and it simply isn’t reasonable or common practise to separate them out at the time…is a different matter.

            A number of credible people have confirmed that this has been normal, acceptable practise for a very long time. I can confirm that during more than a decade of corporate travel I used my card in exactly the same manner. And sometimes the interval between reconciliations was pretty long too. No-one got too stressed so long as I got it all straight in time for the annual accounts and audit.

            He also denied charging adult movies to his Ministerial card and then changed his story later that day when Journos had proof.

            He should have simply said “Fuck off…none of your prurient panty-sniffing business.”

            • infused 7.2.1.3.1.1

              Spin it all you want Red. You are not allowed to charge personal shit to the cc. What’s so hard to understand? Keep beating around the bush.

              • RedLogix

                Get a grip. Obviously you have never used a corporate credit card, and have never done extensive business travel. There is always a policy that says you must not use the card for exclusively personal expenses, in an exclusively personal context.(eg doing the household grocery shopping with it.) That’s what the rule is for.

                But in practise there is always some flexibility around personal expenses that are line items on accounts incurred while travelling in a business capacity. It happens commonly enough and it’s often not reasonable or convenient to get the hotel to separate them out, reprint two separate invoices and pay for them separately while in the rush of checking out in the morning. It’s especially not practical if there is more than a few in the party on the one account. And try pulling this stunt if it’s a big busy operation with a queue of similarly time-stressed travellers behind you.

                If you don’t understand that, then you really just don’t want to.

                • SHG

                  RedLogix, you are dreaming mate. The ministerial guidelines were black and white and all the Labour Ministers knew it. They just thought the rules didn’t apply to them.

              • felix

                So you’re calling for everyone who has done the same to be sacked or just Jones?

            • J Mex 7.2.1.3.1.2

              Shane Jones ran some of his personal expenditure on his card for 15 months. He repaid it just before he lost his job as a minister. Makes you wonder if re-elected if he would have been happy to leave the tab running.

              Hardly ‘routine reconcilliation’

              And yes. If I put 6 grand of personal expenses on my company card and took 15 months to pay it back, I would be taking the piss.

              “The term ‘personal expenditure’ can have differing contexts.”

              Groceries, Books, Magazines, three movies in one night – That meets the definition and ‘contexts’ of personal expense.

              “He should have simply said “Fuck off none of your prurient panty-sniffing business.”

              Except he bought this shit on himself. “I purchased magazines – and I hasten to add, not playboys or penthouse or anything like that” – Shane Jones. National Radio

              • J Mex

                I should also add.

                He was told – In no uncertain terms. That what he was doing was not o.k.

                Your employer might not have “got too stressed so long as I got it all straight in time for the annual accounts and audit.”

                But Jones’ did:

                – “The policy is unarguable! Departmental credit cards are NOT to be used for personal expenditure regardless that the user pays back the sum after the fact.

                I’m sure that this is too ambiguous for you, RedLogix?

              • RedLogix

                And yes. If I put 6 grand of personal expenses on my company card and took 15 months to pay it back, I would be taking the piss.

                Oh suddenly we are moving the goalposts. It’s now about how LONG he took to sort it out according to you. Crime of the century for sure, and certainly justifies any amount of abuse and humiliation heaped on him.

                Because lets get this clear. This kind of bullying witch-hunt, the unwarranted misuse of private information to intimidate, humiliate and silence political opponents has become a trademark behaviour of this nasty bullying government. Like all good bullies they are adept at putting on a nice agreeable front when they think it’s necessary, but their real character is revealed when they turn and eviscerate someone the moment they think they can get away with it.

                It’s classic authoritarian behaviour. Remember Muldoon, and his vile homophobic attack on Colin Moyle? Just because he could?

                I’m sure that this is too ambiguous for you, RedLogix?

                And like all good authoritarians, when all else fails you resort to pettifogging, literalistic, inflexible application of the ‘rule book’ to justify your bullying.

                • J Mex

                  Bullshit.

                  Let me make this crystal clear.

                  – Jones was not allowed to do what he did – by the rules of his employment.
                  – Jones did it anyway
                  – Jones was told repeatedly that he wasn’t allowed to do it.
                  – Jones kept doing it anyway

                  Your excuse is that he paid it back.

                  – Jones took an extraordinarily long time to pay it back.
                  – Regardless, he wasn’t allowed to do it and pay it back

                  Then he lied about what he had done.

                  • Carol

                    He didn’t so much directly lie about what he’d done. He fronted up about the personal spending. It was the movies that he said “he couldn’t remember” what they were or if they were of the “adult” variety. I got the impression he fudged on that as much for personal as for political reasons: ie his wife didn’t seem to know he watched porn movies while away.

                    He didn’t lie about the spending. And it is the spending that is the issue – or should be. But it was only when it was discovered that his personal spending was on porn movies that he got into real trouble, and the press beat it up.

                    There’s a bit of moralistic deflection going on with this from the media.

                  • RedLogix

                    Regardless, he wasn’t allowed to do it and pay it back

                    So it always come down to this with right wingers; lacking an ethical foundation to their lives, they substitute a micromanaged, inflexibile, capricious application of policy instead. Very ironic for a people who love to wax on about the paramount rights and dignity of the individual.

                    And this is how in your mind a spot of tardy book-keeping justifies a national witch hunt, a panty-sniffing, prurient invasion of a person’s privacy…. just because you can. Disgusting.

                    • J Mex

                      I am sure that you would be running these exact same lines if a National minister had used his ministerial card to buy groceries, some magazines and some hookers with his ministerial card, and paid it back 15 months later?

                    • RedLogix

                      I am sure that you would be running these exact same lines if a National minister had used his ministerial card

                      In general I don’t tend to say much about that sort of thing. The main exception I made was Double Dipton’s rather massive rort of his housing allowance; that really was past the pale. But of course nothing much happened to him, except that he paid some of it back after weeks of public approbrium. Apparently this is ok if a Nat does it.

                      buy groceries, some magazines

                      Small, trivial items purchased like this in the course of business travel are really neither here nor there. Especially not expediture that appears as line items on a single hotel invoice for multiple people. I don’t care, you don’t and no-one else does either. What you are doing here is called faux-outrage.

                      and some hookers with his ministerial card

                      Given that this would be clearly an exclusively personal expenditure, and normally paid for in cash quite separately I can’t see the relevance.

                    • Jmex

                      I am sure that you would be running these exact same lines if a National minister had used his ministerial card to buy groceries, some magazines and some hookers with his ministerial card, and paid it back 15 months later?

                      I am now going to invite a frontal attack by revisionist wingnuts but Goff’s discrete discussion with Key about Worth’s behaviour in the interests of his wife was a classic example of what a right winger would never do. As soon as the scent of scandal went past their nose they would have gone in for the kill and the more damage caused the better.

                      Goff’s behaviour was different.

                      Now brace for the historical revision to start.

      • the sprout 7.2.2

        agreed RL.
        assuming Jones should resign for this is patently insane.
        it’s like a Jerry Falwell Moral Majority campaign, only a little more sanctimonious.

  8. gingercrush 8

    Steven Joyce, who masterminded the strategy that lost National the unloseable election,

    unloseable isn’t a word and wtf is with revisionist bullshit. Exactly what strategy are you talking about that lost National the 2005 election?

    As for your post. Sure Jones can redeem himself. I just don’t know why anybody on the left would want him to. The guy was a dickhead. Arrogant and pompous without substance. And Labour have a number of politicians who in the past showed some bad judgement. Lianne Dalziel and Ruth Dyson spring to mind immediately. But Jones does not hold an electorate. He was not a great cabinet minister. To me he barely shows any political skills whatsoever. And he will fast become an outsider looking in within the Labour Party. For that Labour Party’s future is a younger more left-wing party that when it finds itself in a position to govern again are set for some real success.I doubt that Labour Party wants anything to do with a race-baiting pompous politician.

    Oh and Williamson and John Carter are outside cabinet, hardly good positions to be in any party. As for Groser and McCully. McCully has been in scraps and gotten himself out of them so many times he clearly has more than nine lives. While Groser is a valuable minister who has extensive knowledge in trade and negotiations at a world level. That type of talent can survive many scandals.

    John Key already looks good because he released these details and has agreed to keep releasing such details. He already told Brownlee off and made Heatley resign. And he can conveniently use Groser and McCully’s roles as Trade and Foreign Affairs respectively to at least get some of the scandal off those two.

    Phil Goff has a good to make himself look good except nobody will care because Goff is what English was to the National Party. Only at least Labour’s Party vote should hold.

    • RedLogix 8.1

      The guy was a dickhead. Arrogant and pompous without substance.

      Cripes if that’s the criterion now in play for sacking…can I name a few Nat MP’s as well?? Not to mention the whole of the ACT caucas.

    • Zaphod Beeblebrox 8.2

      SJ shouldn’t be sacked for watching movies or even using the card, but he should for political incompetence. Who would be stupid enough to try and rip off the public purse for such a measly amount at such huge potential political cost?
      Its interesting that the biggest transgressors were the worst ministers. Goff will be thanking Key hugely for this.

      • RedLogix 8.2.1

        Who would be stupid enough to try and rip off the public purse for such a measly amount at such huge potential political cost?

        Once again. The private expenditure was later reimbursed as a part of a routine reconciliation ages ago. Taxpayer’s precious purse no ripped off.

    • Salsy 8.3

      I agree, the last thing Goff should do is to play into NACT’s hands and remove yet another usable organ from the barely functioning anatomy that is Labour. What he should do, is exactly what Jones has done and use it as an opportunity to grow Labour. For a change the media will want his opinion, all he need to do is show
      a) His ministers spending pales in comparision to National
      b) lets not be prudish John Key visits strip clubs..
      c) If the tax payer really is worried about a few dollars, then lets have a good look at Nick (foot in mouth) Smith, and other out spoken Ministers from NACT who cost serious tax payer money for being plain dumb.

    • Pascal's bookie 8.4

      He already told Brownlee off and made Heatley resign.

      Speaking of revisionist bullshit. Heatley resigned on his own accord having a big public crying session and saying he deserved a long time in the wilderness. Key didn’t think any of that was necessary and reinstated him as soon as possible.

    • illuminatedtiger 8.5

      Wow a harsh piece of tory criticism, nay anger there. Tell me gingercrunch, why do you lot make yourselves out to be so righteous and perfect whenever someone attacks one of your ilk?

  9. I don’t know – so what if a guy or girl charges a movie up whilst they are away on business – they are away on business after all and it is hardly a big spend. But is it ok if it is porn? To me – no. Can’t explain it, its just how I am. Whether my feelings are replicated across NZ is the point I guess.

    • RedLogix 9.1

      But is it ok if it is porn? To me no.

      Fine. I’m not challenging your personal point of view. You are entitled to determine what’s important to you and how you feel about it.

      But the reality is that this kind ppv movie is commonly watched by millions of adults, men and women. As I was typing away on this the other night, the main character in the local soapy/drama/comedy “Go Girls”, on primetime TV, was quite openly fucking in a pub dunny…sure you didn’t get to see any actual tits or bums, but there was absolutely nothing coy about it either. Seems like mainstream NZ is able to cope with this.

      But then how do you feel about the real issue at stake here; the egregious and wholly unwarranted invasion of Jones’ privacy? No-one would accept the hypothetical scenario of the Key’s been recorded having sex and the tape being made public …so why the blind spot about a Labour politician’s private life being similarly abused?

      Because an abuse is what it is.

      • Fabregas4 9.1.1

        Yep, but what I am suggesting is that a movie charged while away on business is no big deal but the line gets drawn for me when the movie is porn – that is somehow just not right – not from a moral perspective but from a business perspective. If I send staff away I encourage them to have a meal out on the firm as a sort of recompense for the inconvenience of being away – but I sure as heck wouldn’t be stumping up for a night at the strip club or the like. This is where I think Shane Jones crossed the line. This is also where I think he personally (and in particular his judgement) comes into question – does anyone really want a person who thinks that charging up porn is ok to represent them? And if they say yes – just what would not be reasonable expenses?

        • RedLogix 9.1.1.1

          And if they say yes just what would not be reasonable expenses?

          It was always a personal expense. It was repaid. So what is the issue here?

          Sure if you want to make a personal judgement about Jones watching a bit of pron, then you are free to do so. But in the interests of moral consistency I await your call for ALL politicians to now go on national TV and make sworn statements about ALL aspects of their personal sex life, history and habits…so as you can make an informed decision about their whether they’ve crossed your personal line or not.

          Or would you find that an altogether excessive invasion of privacy?

          • Fabregas4 9.1.1.1.1

            Then it depends on if they charge their particular predilection to the company card (whether they pay it back or not – it is charged to the company, appears on the company card, statement etc. I wouldn’t want the accounts people seeing ‘adult movies’ om an employees business card being paid for by me.

  10. Oh Dear 10

    Oh dear. It seems this writer doesn’t know the difference between the trade minister charging up drinks to entertain foreign ministers of other countries when on official business, and buying porn and spending five thousand dollars on limousines for personal comfort.

    • Pascal's bookie 10.1

      It was the minibar in his hotel room. Circa $NZ40 each for those teeny bottles of Jim Beam. If that’s how our Minister of Trade entertains his counterparts he should be sacked for that. But everyone knows it was just him helping himself to an overpriced nightcap and charging it to the taxpayer.

  11. test of goffs leadership still think jones will be back.the question is when is he back will phil goff be the leader

  12. really 12

    I’m sorry but Goff and Labour aren’t laying down any gauntlets for quite some time, not until they have collectively regained some of the credibility pissed away by Jones, Carter et al.

    The real question is when will the distress call go out to Helen Clark.

  13. rightofleftcentre 13

    Jeez Redlogix, do you get the feeling that you’re running around stamping out fires only to see for every one you stamp out two more ignite?
    You don’t seem to get it that despite your incredibly clever rationalisations for the behaviour exhibited by these credit card rorts, the vast majority of the consituency see them as odious and inexcusable abuse of privilege. Guess you’ll just have to educate them to your way of thinking. For your sake I hope you can do that before they get to the ballot box!

  14. I completely accept your point Redlogix, but the political situation has little to do with the substance of what Jones did. It’s a witchhunt and Jones’s silly behaviour has led to him being labeled chief witch.

    No gain in trying to stand up for the witch during a witch-hunt.

    • RedLogix 14.1

      No gain in trying to stand up for the witch during a witch-hunt.

      Well it’s how they get away with it. It’s how all nasty, authoritarian bullies get away with it. No-one stands up to them.

    • No gain in trying to stand up for the witch during a witch-hunt

      depends what you’re here for i guess

      • Marty G 14.2.1

        it’s a matter of cutting your losses. Having this drag out for months isn’t going to help the Left get back into power in 2011.

  15. kriswgtn 15

    English ripped off the taxpayer for a hell of alot more $>> what was done to him?? NOTHING

    What was done to Hyde when he took his gf on tour??NOTHING

    They only apologized AFTER they got caught and paid the $ back

    Jones paid the $ back as soon as he returned 🙂

    Nats have only done this to take the heat of all their state asset sales and you know it to be so

    If you book into a hotel as a MP- and use your card to do so- of course what you use will be AUTOMATICALLY charged to said CC

    I am not defending Jones- he had shit show in hell of becoming leader

    Bring on Cunliffe

  16. Ray 16

    You just don’t get it Red
    Shane and the rest of these fools signed a piece of paper that said they had read the conditions
    “not for personal expenditure”
    I suggest you scan Catcus Kate on the use of plastic and what and whom to bill
    Jones was warned and was slow to pay
    The big question I would have for him was surely he knew this was coming so why did he not front up earlier and why did he lie when confronted
    “I am a film buff”

  17. Doug 17

    MPs’ expenses: Three MPs and peer to face trial as privilege claim dismissed.
    This should happen in NZ.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/7820813/MPs-expenses-Three-MPs-and-peer-to-face-trial-as-privilege-claim-dismissed.html

    • Come on Doug. Have you read the allegations?

      Mr Morley, the former MP for Scunthorpe, has been charged with two counts of false accounting. The first charge alleges that between April 2004 and February 2006, he dishonestly claimed mortgage expenses of £14,428.
      The second charge alleges that between March 2006 and November 2007 Mr Morley dishonestly claimed mortgage expenses of £16,000 for the same property when there was no longer a mortgage on that property.
      Mr Chaytor, the former MP for Bury North, has been charged with three counts of false accounting.
      The first charge alleges that in May 2006 he dishonestly claimed £1,950 for IT services by using false invoices. The second charge alleges that between September 2005 and September 2006 he dishonestly claimed £12,925, for renting a property in Regency Street, London, when he was in fact the owner of the property.
      The third charge alleges that between September 2007 and January 2008 the MP dishonestly claimed £5,425, purportedly for renting a property in Bury, Lancashire, from his mother.
      Mr Devine, the former MP for Livingston, is facing prosecution on two charges. The first charge alleges that between July 2008 and April 2009, Mr Devine dishonestly claimed £3,240 for cleaning services using false invoices. The second charge alleges that in March 2009, he dishonestly claimed £5,505 for stationery using false invoices.
      Lord Hanningfield has been charged with six cases of false accounting. He has been suspended from the parliamentary Conservative Party. Lord Hanningfield denies the allegations but has announced he is standing down from the frontbench in the House of Lords as shadow transport minister.
      The counts allege that between March 2006 and May 2009, he dishonestly submitted claims for expenses to which he knew he was not entitled, including numerous claims for overnight expenses for staying in London when records show that he was driven home and did not stay overnight in London.

      Jones’ behaviour is entirely different. He used a credit card to pay a bill which was 90% legitimate and subsequently paid back the 10% which was not covered in the policy.

      You guys are on a witch hunt. You do not care how innocent the breach is you just want blood.

      • Doug 17.1.1

        Micky
        You do not care how innocent the breach is you just want blood. Innocent you say all MP’s signed a form that the Credit Card was not to be used for personal use, bloody fraud I say.

        • RedLogix 17.1.1.1

          bloody fraud I say.

          Oh park the high horse. Your heart’s not in it.

          $50,000 spent on combing through boxes full of expense reports and credit cards going back years. Expenses from dozen’s of Ministers, hundreds of officials, and literally thousands of trips and nights out of town.

          And the best they could find was this; a handful of individuals who’ve been a bit slack around the margins, representing a tiny, tiny fraction of the total expenditure…much less than that spent on the witchhunt. And those expenses deemed to fall outside of policy… all ultimately reimbursed years ago.

          Actually you should be pleased that the system has been shown to work so well.

          • the sprout 17.1.1.1.1

            $50,000 spent on combing through boxes full of expense reports and credit cards going back years

            and compare that to $209,000 of taxpayers’ money wasted on defending just one of nick smith’s defamation cases

  18. Carol 18

    Why are there so many threads on this issue (mirroring the over-heating of it by the MSM), and nothing on Bennett’s welfare forum at the end of this week – the appalling NZ child poverty figures & Sue Bradfords important contributions?

    Jones did wrong. He should be demoted. But there are far more important issues facing the country right now.

  19. ak 19

    By golly, She sure does work in mysterious ways. This won’t hurt Labour at all in the longer run – au contraire: a healthy slice of humble pie for Jonesy will not only work wonders for his er.. personality and work ethic, and enhance relations with the MP, but it also gives Phil the timely opportunity to bring in some well-overdue youth and brains. Move up that fresh young redhead and the lass with the teeth and watch the cameras roll in. Perfect timing in the cycle. Next goal: signing up Sue Bradford and making her welfare spokesperson.

  20. Oliver 20

    Phil Goff said that Phil Heatley should be sacked for $70 expenditure on wine that he paid back.

    Therefore, Phil Goff established personal standards that misspending on the Ministerial credit card worthy of the sack.

    Presumably this means that any Minister of the previous administration that spent taxpayer money that they were not meant to, even if they paid it back, should be sacked – by Phil Goffs standards.

    Otherwise Phil Goff is a “stupid liar” by Trevor Mallards definition

    Peace

    [lprent: Interesting viewpoint and almost certainly wrong. I suspect you are either lying or maliciously misinterpreting about what Phil Goff said. This sounds like the usual wingnut myth-making.

    This site has a policy about unsubstantiated assertions of ‘fact’. You need to link to a credible source for what Phil said, or retract your statement, or get banned. In the meantime you get auto-moderated. ]

  21. Oliver 21

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10651095

    “not least because he insisted Housing Minister Phil Heatley did the correct thing in resigning from the Cabinet for putting two bottles of wine on his ministerial card.”

    [lprent: What you said was Phil Goff said that Phil Heatley should be sacked for $70 expenditure on wine that he paid back.. The Armstrong article said that he approved of Heatley standing down – which is quite different. You haven’t proved that Goff called for Heatley to be sacked. My finger is hovering over the ban button. ]

    Also – it’s clear enough that Trevor suggests when JK says one thing, and does another her refers to him as “stupid liar” – even if quoted out of context, but that’s just semantics of the point I am making

    • Oliver 21.1

      Iprent, you are trying to distinguish between commending the move of standing down, and believing standing down to be the right course of action.

      If it is good enough for Heatley to stand down (and be reinstated when the Auditor General came back with her report) then surely those MPs that misspend should also be stood down.

      [lprent: Your statement was that Goff said that “Heatley should be sacked”. That was a outright lie. He never said any such thing. According to Armstrong he may have said (after Heatley resigned) that it was the right thing to do. Without context it is difficult to see why he said that.

      But the point was that you were challenged here on your assertion. You had to provide supporting evidence. You clearly failed to to do so. That is one of the cardinal sins of debating here. When I see a challenge to an assertion of fact, I will frequently follow them up to ensure that the statement is either proved or retracted. It prevents disruption trolling – which appears to have been what you were doing with random inaccurate quotations that you couldn’t sustain.

      You’re still arguing about it rather than retracting your statement. That makes you stupid as well. ]

  22. kriswgtn 22

    Watchin Holmes trying to be witty jus about made my eyes bleed

    The guy clearly has forgotten that WE the taxpayer were paying close to how much?? for his designer clothes on top of his already overblown salary when he fronted the holmes show..1 million wasnt it?

    Sanctimonious bastard

  23. Oliver 23

    On top of that, clearly Jim Anderton had a problem with people breaking the rules as he wrote a letter around Bill English’s spending. It would be reasonable to take from this that Jim Anderton has a dim view of people breaking rules.

    The Auditor General exonerated Bill English – (Something that many Labour supports have a hard time coming to terms with) but Bill English did not break any rules and even then still paid it back – well done!

    http://oag.govt.nz/2009/ministerial-accommodation-entitlements/anaalysis.htm/?searchterm=bill%20english

    Where as spending money and reimbursing it IS against the rules of a ministerial credit card, and Jim spend $22,000.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/3801598/Chch-MPs-spending-scrutinised

    Surely those at “the standard” wouldn’t let this kind of hypocrisy go on?

    [lprent: I’m not much into hypocritical liars. Since you are one – one month ban. You have already failed to prove your point on Phil Goff. Looks to me like you’re doing much the same lying about other people now. ]

    • ihavegonemad 23.1

      But this site is populated by hypocritical liars …… most supporting one side or the other of the hypocritical liars in parliament….just saying.

  24. Anne 24

    A very good point was made by Michelle Boag on Q&A . She would like to see a similar exercise on credit card and related spending habits carried out on certain political journalists. I don’t think Holmes responded!

    Wasn’t happy about the obvious spin on one or two of her other comments though.

  25. swimmer 25

    I was impressed with Mike Williams, the money was all paid back and this kind of dirt digging would put high calibre people off standing for parliament. Also, these expenses are in the past and have no impact on the day to day lives of ordinary New Zealanders.

  26. Gosman 26

    Has MartyG revised the opinion he expressed on this thread a while back on standards of Ministerial behaviour regarding spending?

    High ministerial standards

    Interesting that he was holding up Shane Jones then as the modicum of approproate behaviour for actually bothering to pay back spending that he shouldn’t have made in the first place.

  27. ianmac 27

    I think that standing down for a Government Minister means standing down as a Minister, not as a Member of Parliament. Even as a List MP. You cannot be made to do that except for certain criminal offences. Not sacked from Parliament
    So for a MP in Opposition they may be stood down from Spokesman roles, and/or demoted to back benches or, like the Irish in the 19th Century, be boycotted by Caucus.

  28. kaiserm 28

    McCully and Groser will not be removed nor should there be any call to remove them. they have portfolios just as Cullen and Peters did that require high levels of expenditure in travel. The actions of Heatly and Brownlee were small chips in comparison to those of these massive troughers and in the case of the latter quite probably a mistake, as I believe Carter may have been when labelling Labour party Coffee mugs as kitchenware. Even Mr McCarten agrees that Labour have done entirely wrong.

    Don’t get me wrong I don’t mind them buying mirrors on the cheap for their offices or even the odd bag of sweets but thousands worth of massages, limo trips(if aussie wanted us to use limos they should have paid for them) and porn is the limit.

  29. Santi 29

    The very honest Len Brown. AKL super city aspirations starting to crumble.

    “The rev­e­la­tion comes as offi­cial doc­u­ments show it took Brown 437 days to repay his coun­cil for a fam­ily Christ­mas ham he bought from a butcher .
    He told host John Camp­bell he used the coun­cil card to buy per­sonal items because he left his per­sonal card with his wife, Shan Inglis. He said the fam­ily had only one card.

    The per­sonal expen­di­ture totalling $638.27 was repaid on March 5 this year, 437 days since he made the first per­sonal purchase.”

  30. ianmac 30

    Kaiserm: “limo trips(if aussie wanted us to use limos they should have paid for them) and porn is the limit.”
    Carter was pretty insistent on the reason for the limousines was not his decision to make, and that the Aussies insisted and that it was approved back at Ministerial services. You use this as an example of “troughing”. I wonder what will happen to your words should Carters story turn out to be true?
    And Trevor Mallard was pointed out as hiring expensive limousines in New York. It was a bus and was the cheapest way of transporting the delegation. Taxis for a large group or bikes would be very difficult to arrange in NY. But lets keep repeating the story even if false.

    • ihavegonemad 30.1

      The only reason people pick on Carter is because he is gay ……………… I mean there’s no other reason, he’s been the most circumspect of MPs never one to potter around the world on the taxpayers back rorting it up …………. no people should not question anything he does he’s brilliant. People only pick on him because he’s gay.

  31. QoT 31

    I’ve seen a comment somewhere which asked a very interesting question: if it’s so damned difficult to get hotels to split bills between your business and personal cards, why not put the costs on your personal card and then claim back only the business-related expenses later? And if, as I’ve seen many commenters claim, it’s just so tricky figuring out which card is which in dim winebar lighting, why not put a sticker on one to distinguish it? Keep them in different wallets?

    Entirely my own opinion, and in full disclosure I have neither business nor personal credit cards, but it *does* actually bug me that politicians are charging personal costs to ministerial credit, I don’t actually care that they paid it back later, especially with clear direction from Min Services saying that’s not okay, and I certainly am not swayed by arguments that “but everyone does it, teacher”.

    • RedLogix 31.1

      I’ve seen a comment somewhere which asked a very interesting question: if it’s so damned difficult to get hotels to split bills between your business and personal cards, why not put the costs on your personal card and then claim back only the business-related expenses later?

      That’s a good question. When I was travelling, something like two weeks per month in the 90’s for a global corporate, my total credit card bill was something in the order of $1500-2500 per month. Of that maybe only $50-200 would be reimbursable as private expenses, ie around 5% of the total. If we did it the way you suggest then I would have been personally funding substantial business expenses incurred on behalf of my company.

      I don’t actually care that they paid it back later, especially with clear direction from Min Services saying that’s not okay, and I certainly am not swayed by arguments that “but everyone does it, teacher’.

      And yet judging by your suggestion above you are happy for employees to fund much, much larger costs on behalf of their employer out of their own pocket…just so long as the employer repays it later?

      • QoT 31.1.1

        Right, so it would be wrong for you-as-employee to “fund” business expenses, but it’s fine for state-as-employer to fund personal expenses? Which is completely besides the point that there was a policy. It was explicit on the point that “oh I’ll repay it later!” was not sufficient.

        If you don’t want to have to carry business expenses on your own credit until such time as your work recompenses you, plan ahead so you don’t have personal expenses on your hotel bill. Buy a water bottle. Pack a DVD. If it’s just $50-200 a month’s worth of stuff I simply cannot comprehend how it’s impossible for you, or anyone with a business credit card, to just, you know … not bend the rules for personal convenience.

        • RedLogix 31.1.1.1

          You’ve explicitly made it clear that you DO think it reasonable for an employee to fund from his own pocket quite large and substantial business travel costs, while at the same time you DON’T think it’s reasonable for an employer to fund far smaller personal costs that may be incurred in the course of that same travel. I find that a rather weird perspective.

          Well you can argue the moral purity of the former case all you like, but in reality any real corporate employees/travellers would laugh at you for suggesting it. Business travel, especially when takes you away from home two or even three weeks a month is damned stressful, tiring and not in the least glamorous… and certainly comes at a cost to family life, a higher cost than many people anticipate. (As I discovered for myself..)

          And most reasonable employers realise this, and reasonably tolerate a few extra personal expenses incurred in the course of travelling for the company to appear on the card for a month or two until it’s all reconciled….even if when there is a corporate policy apparently to the contrary. It’s just not that big a deal.

          Of course the point of the policy is to rule out completely inappropriate spending, like buying the family grocery shopping, or putting a new car on the company tick. But only fools and over-excited bloggers insist that all policy must always obeyed to the most literal jot and title…all rules have some degree of flexible discretion around them at the trivial end of matters.

          I will also add that most people travelling for business or govt purposes very frequently finish up getting to airports or travelling home on what is really their personal time, well outside of normal business hours.

          Travelling on a Sunday afternoon so as to be ready for an early Monday meeting, or getting home at 9:30pm on Friday evening totally shattered and useless the next day… is pretty much par for the course. But no-one outside the organisation sees this ‘invisible travel time’ and its never compensated for.

  32. kaiserm 32

    well my opinion on this issue effectively is as follows:

    from now on Ministers should have to return all receipts to parliamentary services within 7 working days of the end of their trip or the business deals, anything on the card that can’t be accounted for in receipts regardless of loss or otherwise will be costed back to the minister for collection. Any non blatantly wrong misuse of funds and mistakes will be able to be paid back within 30days under total confidentiality ie in the case of those rules around expenses on whether it is business meal or personal meal, sweets , travel insurance payouts coverages etc. this way ministers can actually be seen as to whether their expense was legitimate or not as after the 30 day amnesty had run up the ministerial/parliamentary services will release any outstanding debt knowledge to the public. Any blatant misuse of funds would be released at that time also for press scrutiny if they wished

    in this way Ministers can be seen to be telling the truth or not by whether they pay it back to the services immediately within the confidential period, there is immediate scrutiny of taxpayer fund use without any 12-36 month waits and receipt collection problems and taxpayers can see within a month whether the minister has been nicking off with our dosh

    as for the individual aboves query on Carter’s sexuality…refer Finlayson
    and of course on the issue of the “limo” – Personally I question that- if it was charged as a limo then it is a limo…otherwise he/ the staff would have charged a transit bus hire, and of course it couldn’t have been out of his hands simply because it is his credit card and he can simply take it off the staff and revoke the expenditure well ahead of time while of course also hiring a cheaper service or getting the other side to provide it. I definately agree btw with hiring private vehicles for NY..

    • RedLogix 32.1

      That’s a reasonable reasonable suggestion kaiserm…although you might find that your timeframes are in practise a little tight. All sorts of odd combinations of events can occur that can legitimately create delays longer than 30 days and create an unecessary pressure on administration far exceeding any accrued interest costs.

      Any non blatantly wrong misuse of funds and mistakes will be able to be paid back within 30days under total confidentiality

      Which should have been the case here. It’s one thing to scrutinise the expenses Minister incur in the course of their public business. But personal expenses, expenses that were repaid ages ago…should have ALWAYS been off-limits. Just because they appeared for a period on a ministerial credit card account, doesn’t change their personal nature.

      The public had no legitimate right to know about any of this, and there was never any justification for the gross invasion of Shane Jone’s privacy.

  33. kaiserm 33

    Yes I agree, there is a vast difference between a mistaken meal or even a meal thought to be legitimate and a binge on the taxpayers expense… but of course it depends what is considered personal and public expenditure and this little issue of whether certain Ministers knew what they were getting away with…Jones with the Pornography situation would have and has admitted to knowing he’d pay or it…could you really argue that was a mistaken expense on the public credit card…he should have known far better as a minister to know that even if he was going to pay it back it would still show up on the public credit card receipt and simply in our country we still take a very iffy view to our ministers using taxpayer money, even as a form of loan to purchase pornography…we haven’t become that progressive yet 😛

    When I say within 7 working days, I mean that as the final closure as 7 days after they work back into the beehive or their electorate office lets say- showing they have properly returned from whatever business they had been undertaking

    Personally, I think the public does have a right to know when ministers are using those credit cards in a blatently wrong way…even as a form of temporal loan they should use a bit of a moral compass to think what NZ would allow…we wouldn’t allow porn just as we wouldn’t allow thousand dollar massages or bottles of champagne that were over a hundie…remember its our money they are spending even if they pay it back it comes back on us that expense…

    • RedLogix 33.1

      Well you cannot have it both ways. It’s either a legitimate expense on the taxpayer that we have a legitimate right to know about, OR it’s a private expense that we do NOT have a right to know about.

      As you have correctly pointed out, a legitimate public interest could only arise AFTER a minister had egregiously failed to reimburse. And even then the details of the expense are hardly relevant; just because some people might want to judge the expense morally iffy…still doesn’t justify the breach of privacy.

      My overall point is this, politician’s private lives are off-limits (just as they are for everyone else) unless there is some compelling public interest to the contrary.

      Can you think of any valid reason why we should know, or care if Jones was watching “The Sound of Music” or “Debbie Does Dallas”?

  34. kaiserm 34

    That is not the problem… the problem is the expenditure that he thought he could get away with it when as an ex Labour minister and current opposition frontbencher he’s meant to be looking out for people who can barely afford milk and cheese let alone “blue movies”!

    use of a business credit card to buy porn in almost all other businesses would result in severe reprimands or sacking, if it was his personal credit card I would be outraged at the press for revealing his private actions that has not happened here. A minister clocked up taxpayer money for porno and should be punished as such – remember they are paid quite a hefty salary for the purposes of their personal expenditure…why do they need to drag that into their public finance..

  35. RedLogix 35

    the problem is the expenditure that he thought he could get away with it

    I don’t think he ever said that it was anything other than private expenditure, and repaid ages ago.

    he’s meant to be looking out for people who can barely afford milk and cheese let alone “blue movies’!

    Sorry but this is still just prying your nose into Jones’ private spending. You’d be outraged if someone started exposing details about your private life…

    use of a business credit card to buy porn in almost all other businesses would result in severe reprimands or sacking,

    Doubt it. Big hotels the world over have these ppv movies that people watch all the time. It’s a significant profit center for many of them. And all of them bang it on the same bill that gets paid with the corporate credit card…so this surely isn’t the first time this has happened.

    why do they need to drag that into their public finance..

    So if it’s ‘public finance’…why did Jones need to repay it? It’s either was either a public expenditure or a private one…you simply cannot have it ways.

  36. kaiserm 36

    well actually you can have it both ways, certain expenditure is public and certain is private hence why you given them a period to pay off any private expenses they may have incurred on their card. Simple really.

    • RedLogix 36.1

      well actually you can have it both ways,

      No this is one of those things that is a binary choice…like you can’t be a little bit pregnant.

      given them a period to pay off any private expenses they may have incurred on their card.

      Well in this case the period may have been a little longer than desirable …but it WAS paid off several years ago. And certainly while I agree with your suggestion around a tighter reconciliation regime, it’s wholly unreasonable to retrospectively apply it.

      By your own logic the expense was private…and we the public had no legitimate right to know about it.

  37. kaiserm 37

    it was private on a public issued credit card utilising taxpayer money…I think thats something the public should know generally..if not paid back within an acceptable timeframe..

    • RedLogix 37.1

      So now, you accept that the expense was private, but it all just comes down to whether you think the expense was repaid in an ‘acceptable timeframe’. We can of course relitigate history and retrospectively apply tighter rules we can dream up to our tiny little bloggers heart’s content…but in the end the putative repayment schedule was not was this was all about, was it?

      What I’m seeing is a sensationalist, ethically challenged media running a cheap, gutter-press snigger-snigger story…simply because they could. A shame on them, and all those who’ve uncritically sucked it up.

  38. kaiserm 38

    well…the public gets what the public wants, and if there is profit to be had generally it will be taken 🙂

  39. Rharn 39

    If Goff gets tough on Jones and etc it can not help but stamp him as leader who will brook no nonsense from his Caucus. Key on the other hand by taking no or little action against McCully and etc shows that he has little control over his Minister and is weak in ethical standards as well. (what’s new?). I’m not too sure that Goff can gain traction on this but I note that Cunniliffe seems to have emerged unscathed.

    Annette King has remained silent on this. Maybe a reshuffle with her might be a point to ponder on.

    • lprent 39.1

      Annette King tends to work quietly in the background than the foreground, with some pretty results over the years.

      I’m afraid that being a clotheshorses for the media is probably one of the lesser tasks for a politician. After all almost anyone can do that. Seems to be about the only thing that John Key is good at.

  40. kaiserm 40

    well annette king won’t be moving from where she is, she’s a old labour face that i think would stay even if Goff was shafted, I think Key knows how good those ministers are at their job and is willing to look the other way for the whole mini bar and drycleaning thing…frankly I’m fine with the drycleaning …the minibar…I think he could have paid himself unless sit was a one on one trade deal….: P (I’m joking!)

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