Government MPs’ travel woes

Written By: - Date published: 12:45 pm, November 6th, 2009 - 64 comments
Categories: corruption, national/act government - Tags: ,

roddersrealsmallNot content with living in a fantasy world, Rodney Hide had to spend taxpayer money to visit Disney World as well. OK, actually it was Universal Studios but it looks increasingly like Hide’s $50,000 trip kindly paid for by you and me was actually nothing more than a world tour with his girlfriend.

Sure, they stopped off at a few supercities on the way for the purposes of appearances but Hide clearly didn’t pick up any lessons from them because his scheme for Auckland remained unaltered. In fact the point of going to London was really to attend Crome’s borther’s wedding, not to learn about its local government structure. Then there was a quick stop in Toronto to see the prime example of a supercity gone wrong and ignore the lessons first hand. Before the two lovebirds went on to the main attraction – Universial Studios (which seems a strange choice of entertainment for a 51 year old and a 31 year old but I won’t judge).

Like I’ve always said, I don’t have a problem with the spousal travel allowance per se, my problem was that Key had siad ministers shouldn’t use it then turned a blind eye when they did. Now, it looks very much like all of this was just a taxpayer-funded romantic jaunt with a fig-leaf of official buisness. Key will have to announce himself comfortable with it, naturally, he doesn’t have the ability to pull his ministers into line.

A week ago, we mentioned Hone Harawira was AWOL. Our source had the country wrong but, still, partial credit.

honerealsmallHone’s press release yesterday was a hilarious send up of the medium, including a section starting “here are your questions” spoofing the slightly sinister habit of governments including Q+As in their press releases on new policies, where they decide not only the answers but the questions too. Still, he doesn’t explain why he skived off to Paris, and neither does the email exchange between Hone and a (now former) supporter read out on Morning Report.

Tariana Turia’s attack on him this morning is slightly surprising. I mean, we all know what Key’s response for one of his own would have been – “I’m comfortable” – whereas Turia really lays into her MP. That’s good but it also raises questions about the relationship between the two (Turia hadn’t talked to Hone before lambasting him in public). Fundamentally, their conflict is about politics not perks – Turia wants power, Hone wants them to remain true to the Maori Party’s principles.

The stain of corruption and misuse of taxpayer dollars just keeps spreading over this government, and the Prime Minister has neither the will nor the power to stop it. Sure, he’ll talk big in the media, but we all know nothing will happen.

64 comments on “Government MPs’ travel woes”

  1. randal 1

    well everyone knows wodney is a flake.
    so when do we get the first installment of what i done on my holidays by wodney?

    • Chris 1.1

      Shhh… don’t tell everyone! Wodders is really Krumpy the Clown and visiting Disneyland was part of his reality tv show to be released next year by Guyon Espiner.

  2. So you think its okay that Home said “White Mother Fuckers???”

    If you want to support racists , thats up to you Eddie.

    • felix 2.1

      Is that racism because he described someone as white?

    • The Voice of Reason 2.2

      And where does Eddie say that it’s okay that Hone said “White MF’s”, Brett? That’s right, Eddie doesn’t say that at all. Sharpen up, FFS, and don’t accuse posters of racism where none exists, lest you go the way of Tim ‘nice, but dim’ Ellis.

      • Pat 2.2.1

        When is Tim’s ban due to expire, BTW?

        [lprent: Looked it up the other day. It was mid-month. ]

        • bill brown 2.2.1.1

          Who cares?

          • The Voice of Reason 2.2.1.1.1

            I do. Tim has served a useful function for the training of newbie posters since forever. Rather like a wounded gazelle that the mother lion leaves for the cubs to finish off, Tim is the easy kill of the blog world.

  3. Scribe 3

    The stain of corruption and misuse of taxpayer dollars just keeps spreading over this government, and the Prime Minister has neither the will nor the power to stop it.

    Eddie,

    Can you please list the instances of corruption? I think you can argue there has been some misus of taxpayer dollars, as happens in any Government, but to allege corruption is a major accusation.

    We know a minister from the previous Government was corrupt; a court ruled so. We have yet to see/hear credible allegations of corruption against the current lot.

    • felix 3.1

      So you feel that any and all allegations of corruption during the entire 9 years of the last govt were spurious and not credible, as no court had ruled anyone from that govt to be guilty of corruption at that time?

      • burt 3.1.1

        Court cases are no match for corruption felix – Darnton VS Clark proved that.

      • Scribe 3.1.2

        I’m just remembering what was effectively a ban on calling Labour corrupt last year on this site. What good for the goose an’ all that….

        [lprent: It wasn’t a ban on that…. That was just the bullshit that trolls getting booted permanently from the site preferred to believe, rather than they were acting like morons from the netherworld. It was a ban on dropping the same comments on the site over and over again. That particular meme kept recurring in what was pretty obviously an organized graffiti operation. So it got stopped – read the policy. ]

        • burt 3.1.2.1

          Like shock horror – Labour supporters have double standards … who would have guessed.

  4. Bright Red 4

    awesome photoshops!

    That email exchange between harawira and the lawyer(?) is really interesting. Both of them refer to ‘whites’ as a pejorative term

  5. [And that’s you banned for six months for repeating that smear on our site. See you in April 2010.]

    • burt 5.1

      Rodney called out and was a fighter against waste of tax payers money – How time dims the memory, eh Inventory2.

      Rodney must stand and face the consequences of his words vs his actions – Labour and their previous behavious are not in the frame with this situation.

  6. Eddie for some reason didnt mention Hone’s comments, but he call his press release a hilarious send up.

    Felix:

    If Hyde said “Black Mother Fuckers”

    Then will be a public outcry and you and the rest of the posters on the standard would call for his sacking and rightfully so.

    • Bright Red 6.1

      If was the other guy who used the term “white motherf*ckers” not Hone. Did you bother listening to the article?

      • Bright Red 6.1.1

        actually sorry, Buddy Mikaere uses the term first and then Hone uses it in response http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/mnr/mnr-20091106-0844-Hone_Harawira_correspondence-048.mp3

        it’s a pretty robust conversation and the language about ‘whites’ and ‘motherf*kers’ was introduced by Buddy. I’m not defending either of them. I just wish you would cut the drama queen crap.

        • Roddersisatrougher 6.1.1.1

          BR

          According to the press

          “Mr Harawira wrote back starting his email; “Gee Buddy, do you believe that white man bullsh** too do you?

          “White motherf****** have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullsh**.”

          Now I don’t get to excited about potty mouths but an MP should know better, what do you think would have happened if someone in a similar position had said “dumb nig*** selling their land for a few blankets and beads”

          Combine this with his troughing and I suspect he’s using up his “brownie’ points.

          • Bright Red 6.1.1.1.1

            yeah, I’m not defending Harawira, his comments are racist. I just get sick of Brett’s hysteria

    • felix 6.2

      You just said it, Brett. Does that make you a racist?

    • Daveo 6.3

      The press release doesn’t mention white mfers, you tool. That’s the email exchange.

  7. burt 7

    I stood up for Rodney and ACT only because they were champions of the tax payers (me). (Association of consumers and tax payers)

    Rodney made a name for himself doing shit like not using business class air fares he use to have audio clips on his website talking about how disgusting it is that parliament waste our money because of their sense of entitlement in spending tax payers money. He went on about how $50 is a lot of money to some people yet parliament spends it like they just don’t care that every $ they spend had to come from a workers take home pay .

    Now look at him . The bastard has betrayed everything he stood for. Sack him !

    • felix 7.1

      Good on you, burt.

    • Pascal's bookie 7.2

      That’s great burt, but wrong thread, and it’d be more useful at KB or somewhere else.

    • Bright Red 7.3

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me for a decade, shame on me once I eventually cotton on when the evidence is shoved in my face.

      • Pat 7.3.1

        It’s spooky how Rodney seems to be mirroring his arch nemesis, Winston. Think about it:

        – both rallied against wasting of taxpayers money etc when in opposition.
        – both stuggle to be a team player when in Government.
        – both see no problem in abusing Ministerial travel, (remember Winston and Vegas)
        – both were personally responsible for the fatal blows to their party (well not quite yet in Rodney’s case, but ACT is wholly reliant on the good people of Epsom, just like NZF was wholly reliant on Tauranga).

        .

        • burt 7.3.1.1

          Indeed. He fooled me but I saw the light – pity about the 4.5% that still support Winston eh.

      • burt 7.3.2

        Bright Red

        Laugh at me as much as you like, it just highlights my position is one of principle and yours is one of being tribal. I proud to be above being tribal even though it forces me to admit major mistakes of judgement from time to time.

        • Marty G 7.3.2.1

          Ha, I thought it highlighted your position of being a sucker.

          I don’t mean to be harsh, it’s hard to change your mind when you’ve got it wrong and you’re to be applauded for having the strength to do that rather than stubbornly stick to a bad choice, but when the choice was so obviously wrong in the first place I hardly think it’s a slight on others that they weren’t also fooled

    • Rich 7.4

      I’m not sure who *can* sack him. The shadowy figures of the ACT council, maybe.

      Certainly not John Key. He isn’t going to dump a coalition partner (though he could probably hang on with the Maori Party and Peter Dunne)

      A conspiracy theorist would suggest that Hide is behaving as badly as possible in order to discredit MMP and encourage a vote for FPP to get rid of perceived shitheads like himself. Permanent NatLab governments might be just the thing for Hide’s business backers.

  8. Noko 8

    I don’t want to be pedantic or anything, but you mispelt ‘Tornoto’, ‘Universial’ and you repeated a line “he doesn’t have the ability to -pull his ministers- -pull his ministers- into line.”

  9. tc 9

    It’s yet another measure of the arrogance of this gov’t that there’s no apology or spin to appear to be addressing these issues….even if you intend to do jack all you should at least make an attempt to……not NACT inc matey.
    Taxpayers = serfs that serve us and fund us.
    Bow down before your political leaders and consider yourself lucky to be led by them is the pervailing atitude with NACT, I mean you did vote us in is their intelligent fallback position.
    Yet more 80’s corporate behaviour from a gov’t that is in the business of serving business and not the taxpayers.
    Go wodders, you’ll get yours in 2011. As for Hone, I reckon he’s looking to breakaway to preserve his mana and get re-elected as a non MP candidate….who can blame him at least he’s showing some steel.

  10. George D 10

    No toilet breaks for the workers, but MPs can take breaks from their work and skip off to Paris…

    • Macro 10.1

      Exactly! George
      And don’t forget Universal Studio’s
      And girlfriend’s bro’s wedding!
      There is a word for all of this – it’s “hypocrisy”

  11. Bright Red:

    It was Hone that used the term, “White Mother Fuckers” wasnt it?

    • felix 11.1

      Yeah I think so. But you’ve used it a few times now too. Are you a racist?

      • Geek 11.1.1

        Stop being stupid. Quoting someone or pointing out when someone uses a term does not infer the opinion on the person doing the quoting. The fact that Hone clearly thinks of White people as White MF’s shows he is a racist. If Anett King were to refer to Maori as Brown MF’s she would correctly be referred to as a racist. Hell I imagine any non Maori politician that used a similar term in such an acid way would find them selves out the door by the end of the day.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          Thanks oh learned one. The point I’m making to Brett (which goes further than this thread) is similar to the one you raise in that they’re both issues of context.

          What Hone said was “white motherfuckers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries”.

          If you accept the part about the lands and the ripping off (which is uncontroversial to anyone with even the briefest reading of accepted NZ history) then to find the first part racist you have to believe that Hone thinks all white people are guilty of this.

          As he doesn’t say this it’s a bit rich for you to state it as a “fact” that he’s racist in the middle of a lecture to me on context, wouldn’t you say?

          It’s all very reminiscent of Cullen calling Key a “rich prick”. Idiots immediately decided (with no evidence whatsoever) that Cullen thinks all rich people are pricks.

          And all because they don’t know how to read.

          • RascallyRabbit 11.1.1.1.2

            Sorry felix but your logic doesn’t follow –

            As an example I will paraphrase and Fisk your logic:

            What Smith said was “Brown motherfuckers have been stealing our property and assaulting innocent people for centuries

            If you accept that part about stealing and assaulting (which is uncontroversial to anyone with even the brieftest reading of accepted NZ crime statistics) then to find the first part racist you have to believe that Smith thinks all brown people are guilty of this.

            There is no denying the fact that it is a racist comment, the use of the word motherfuckers can only be deemed pejorative and breaking it down to the issue of the colour of the skin can also be deemed pejorative. If he had simply said Europeans have been doing such and such then yes there would be more of an argument that he was simply restating accepted history and fact.

            As I am personally a techniclour rainbow of colours and races (A Cliff Curtis if you will) I know what it is like to be the centre of such comments from both sides of the argument.

            Whilst I don’t condone what Hone said as I believe the context in which it was written to a supporter is not too different to the countless politically incorrect bar-side conversations that many people have around the country everyday. I similarly cannot condone standing up for him because the logic of having a different set of rules for people (especially MP’s) based on any percieved white-guilt is one of the greatest fallacies of modern political liberalism.

            Using such terms by a standing politician is either completely wrong or it isn’t. I would like to believe it is wrong and I will naively believe that most people here would agree.

            • felix 11.1.1.1.2.1

              RR,

              Sorry I missed this the other day, and yeah you’re probably right about my logic.

              What I really disagree with is the idea that some commenters were pushing that just using the words “white mf” is in itself racist but I think I agree that in the context he used them it probably is a bit racist. I think.

          • QoT 11.1.1.1.3

            I think another aspect is that this is classic tone argument. If Hone said “white people have been …” then they’d only be able to whinge about how they never personally stole land from Maori and they haven’t personally benefited from that theft etc etc insert generic privileged-class whining.

            But because Hone said “white motherf*ckers”, they get to pull out the good old “why are you so angry, POC?”, “you just need to express yourself better“, “I guess we can’t have a rational conversation with you” string of arguments.

    • Rich 11.2

      Occurs to me that, when used about ACT, that’s descriptive. They’re all white (since Donna Awatere Huata got busted), and they’re motherfuckers, after all.

  12. torydog 12

    Hone needs to grow up and respect the people who pay his salary………he is completely arrogant and doesnt seem to grasp the fact he doesnt have the right to say”he doesnt give a shit what people thing”, really Hone, then I want a refund on your MP salary……

    I hope for once the Maori Party leadership actually do something rather the make statements followed up swiftly by doing nothing!….just like John.

  13. torydog 13

    No wonder they were last cab off the rank for Helen….who needs that mess of a party dragging ya down!

  14. Herodotus 14

    One of our Race relations made a comment many years ago (Sorry cannot recall who or when) that a minority race cannot make racist comments.
    I am no physiologist, just an observer of everyday life. Hone appears to me to be trying to make himself into a martyr or wants to get out of the place so partakes in self-destructive actions then become a martya.
    If I or someone reporting to me followed his actions i.e. Coy paid trip then went AWOL that would result in at least a severe written warning to sacking, plus some of their expenses not being reimbursed. Fortunate Hone is not in the corporate world.
    The Maori party has so much to offer all of us, pity an individuals actions just destroy its wider support/acceptance of their cause. Unless Hone has a cunning plan to jeopardise Sea & Foreshore act for some greater gain to Maoridom?

  15. Felix:

    Dont blame the messenger.

    Hone has to go.

    • lukas 15.1

      I agree with you Brett, trouble is, Hone is an electorate MP so can not be sacked. The Maori Party could grow some balls and kick him out of their party, but that would still leave him in parliament taking trips to Paris and the like

  16. dave 16

    Just one point, I am aware you are all discussing Hone and his email

    but have many of you read it in full?

  17. Dave:

    He lost me at White Mother F***kers

    The fact that he took the time to write it and had plenty of chances to think about not sending it, but he did anyway, shows that he has a real problem and that the Maori Party didnt do any research on who should be its candidates.

    • felix 17.1

      He lost me at White Mother F***kers

      And that’s the trouble right there, Brett. If it’s just the words that offend you then you’re no better – you’ve repeated them too.

      But if it’s what he’s saying that offends you then you need to explain what he’s saying, and to do that you need to read further than “white motherfuckers” before you switch off.

      If you’re just offended by the swearing, then fair enough. But you haven’t made a case for racism yet.

      • the sprout 17.1.1

        hear hear.

        i can’t get over the precious hoha hoohah for god’s sake.
        Hone doesn’t say all whites are MFs. as rich says above, the usage is descriptive and meant in the colloquial sense. the people in question are white and are, figuratively at least, MFs. it’s not an uncommon word these days even if it might offend more delicate ears. he’d probably call some others brown MFs going by some of his party’s reaction and i’d agree with his sentiments.

        hardly surprising he’s a bit pissed when he does do an awful lot, then suddenly his self-funded day off with his wife is compared with Rodney’s $50,000 theft of tax payer money to pay for a tryst with his girlfriend, and the kupapa in his party then start talking about him resigning over one intemperate outburst.
        preposterous!

        equating the two, let alone suggesting Hone’s actions are somehow worse, is racist whether those who do so recognize it or not.

        Kia Kaha Hone
        here’s one for you

        • RedLogix 17.1.1.1

          Exactly sprout.

          Hide will get away with it scot-free, Harawira will get dumped. The system reserves an extra kicking for the brown/working class dudes when they are down.

          I copped a lot of flak for saying this over Philip Field’s sentence; but it looks to me like the same dynamic is at work here.

          • the sprout 17.1.1.1.1

            yeah i think you’re right.

            ok for a whitey minsiter of the Crown to nick tens of thousands to show off to his girlfriend what a big noter he is…
            but heaven forbid a Maori should step one inch out of line, or speak his mind – hang him! hang him!

            and yes, the PF scenario was precisely the same dynamic

  18. prism 18

    rich you are using really objectionable language

  19. prism 19

    Interesting how sensitive so many bloggers here are about racism. The term m;;;uckers apparently doesn’t rate in comparison. Saying, doing, whatever is felt in the moment without attempt at control is probably the basic cause of violence in this country. A good place to live in has people who attempt respect for each other and control of their actions and words. The ‘mother’ term is particularly nasty and sickening to hear by mothers.

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    3 weeks ago
  • Minister faces questions over dam debacle
    Today’s Supreme Court ruling dismissing an appeal to allow a land swap for the controversial Ruataniwha Dam is a victory for our conservation estate and Hawke’s Bay ratepayers, but leaves the Conservation Minister with serious questions to answer, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Too little too late on Wellington housing
    The announcement today on social housing in Wellington by the National Government is a pitiful and cynical election ploy, says Labour’s Wellington Central MP Grant Robertson. “In 2012 Housing New Zealand emptied out the Gordon Wilson Flats, taking 130 places ...
    3 weeks ago