web analytics

Heatley: Not a crook, an idiot

Written By: - Date published: 10:58 am, March 31st, 2010 - 26 comments
Categories: parliamentary spending - Tags:

The Auditor-General has found that Phil Heatley wrongly bought $1,402 worth of private goods and services on his ministerial and MP tabs.

That’s OK according to the PM because Heatley didn’t intend to break the rules. Well, I guess that’s OK then. Of course, you have to assume that Heatley is a total idiot in that case, a babe in the woods with no idea of rules that are obvious.

I mean what kind of fool would you have to be to think that $70 of wine for your wife and yourself at your party conference was a legitimate ministerial expense?

How naive do you have to be to think that flying your kid to Queenstown and taking them down to Kaikoura is something you can put on your MP expenses?

If he’s not a crook he’s an idiot. Neither ought to be qualifications for being a minister.

There remains too the question of what was really behind the resignation. Most commentators dismissed Heatley’s ‘it put it down as food and wine but it was only wine’ as a cover story hiding something more. I recall Brent Edwards saying that, as with the Richard Worth resignation, we will probably never get to the real truth. I fear he is right because it seems certain that the media will happily accept the AG’s report as the end of the issue.

26 comments on “Heatley: Not a crook, an idiot”

  1. vidiot 1

    Shall be interesting to see what other IDIOTS get their knuckles smacked. There will be a few long term troughers that will be having kittens about now.

  2. Armchair Critic 2

    It’s a new National (low) standard – ignorance IS now a valid defence.

    • burt 2.1

      Ignorance as an excuse is not new for politicians. Labour told us in 2006 that the rules were confusing and others did it too…. But go on, tell me how it is different when Labour do it !

      • Armchair Critic 2.1.1

        Hey burt, you’re back. And with a “Labour did it too” and a “retrospective” in less than ten minutes. Did you come up with anything new while you were banned? How about a good reason to support Heatley’s reinstatement?

      • burt 2.1.2

        I don’t support his reinstatement. He has no excuse for not knowing the rules. Politicians don’t, by convention, have the right to say they didn’t understand the laws they pass. But precedent says it is OK for politicians to say the rules they wrote for themselves are confusing. It’s crap isn’t it.

  3. bored 3

    Hell, to point out the obvious Heatley is:

    1. An idiot.
    2. Keeps good company with a lot of other idiots.
    3. Has an idiot boss.

  4. burt 4

    Ha ha, the rules were confusing and others probably broke them as well…. Sounds like some validations will need to be passed under urgency… But hey, that’s what we do when accountability is a just a word not a principle.

  5. Joe Bloggs 5

    speaking of which, when do the Labour expenses get released?
    Now those will make for interesting reading.

    Bet there’s already a couple of troughers waiting verrry nervously for those little gems to be published….

    • burt 5.1

      Trevor Mallard is on record saying that if he got caught like Heatley did he would resign. I wonder where he will find wiggle room if it comes to that ?

    • gobsmacked 5.2

      Out of interest, why does every rightie pretend history began with Helen Clark? Why does every issue have an arbitrary cut-off date, in 1999?

      Sure, let’s see the expenses of the last government. Fair call. And equally fair: the one before that, which included Ministers called Bill English, Tony Ryall, Maurice Williamson, Murray McCully, Nick Smith, Lockwood Smith, etc …

      If their past spending is fair game, and they’re still in Parliament, let’s shine a light on how they spent our money. All of them.

      Any objections? And on what grounds?

      • burt 5.2.1

        No objection. I also campaigned that we should have seen the sum of electioneering spending that was validated over a period of 14 years . Given Labour spent $800,000 over and above the legal limits in 2005 it would be very interesting to see what had been going on across all parties in the 14 years that were sealed in a box and given a green tick of acceptable.

        There needs to be a bar somewhere where we don’t dig any further but that bar should be based on law rather than convienance.

        • Sam 5.2.1.1

          Stop trying to re-write history and compare apples with apples. There was a change in the interpretation of the rules in 2006 which caught out nearly every party in the house – National included. This is no way the same as a minister not knowing the rules that have not changed in some time.

        • burt 5.2.1.2

          Sam

          You keep pretending that the AG didn’t know what he was talking about and that he changed the rules if that makes you feel better. Remember though, the normal way in a democracy that allegations of breaking the law are managed is via a court, not via parliament. It is hard to call a parliament a democracy when that parliament rules in it’s own favour regarding allegations of breaking the law killing a standing court case as it does so.

        • burt 5.2.1.3

          Sam

          Also, please don’t forget the written warning from the Chief Electoral Oficer (David Henry) that the pledge card would be deemed an election expense and needed to be accounted for as such. Labour acknowledged that then changed their mind about how to account for it after the election. “deliberate” and “intentional” are words that spring to mind. But hey, changed the rules sounds better eh.

          • lprent 5.2.1.3.1

            burt: It looks to me like this is diverting off (again) into a completely different topic to the post. Move it into OpenMike. That is what it is there for

  6. Vivienne 6

    He is a crook an idiot and a lier. He is back in cabinet to sell more state houses, destroy NZs rare dolphin species and further plunder fragile fish stocks.

    • burt 6.1

      rOb will be here soon to justify how it was OK for him to not understand the rules and to justify his reinstatement as natural justice. You simply can’t expect MPs to be accountable when doing so would effect the ability of the govt to govern…… Waiting for rOb.

  7. the sprout 7

    great to see ignorance is now a legal defence after all.
    great too that being incapable of following basic rules on spending and accountability are nolonger prerequisites for being a minister of the crown.

    • burt 7.1

      great too that being incapable of following basic rules on spending and accountability are nolonger prerequisites for being a minister of the crown.

      NOLONGER…. what are you talking about. That requirement was dropped in Labour’s last term with;

      a) The election spending debacle.
      b) The handling of Winston Spencer-Trust-Peters.

      It’s crap, but you can’t pin this as a new low standard, National are yet to even start plumbing the depths Labour got to on these issues.

  8. Tigger 8

    This is truly bewildering. It’s a poor management decision not to stand him down longer given the circumstances. Heatley himself said he needed a decent break. Reciple for disaster. Which, of course, is awesome!

  9. Lanthanide 9

    The answer to “How naive do you have to be to think that flying your kid to Queenstown and taking them down to Kaikoura is something you can put on your MP expenses?”

    From the stuff article:

    “Among her findings, Ms Provost said Parliamentary Service had wrongly told MPs they had a right to unlimited travel for children under 5, potentially affecting 16 MPs including Mr Heatley who should have taken “a more conservative approach”.”

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 10

    The Prime Minister has announced that silly mistakes are not a bar to a seat at the cabinet table ,but are indeed a prerequisite.
    In addition he has announced a new Ministry of Silly Mistakes as this is an area that has not had the representation at the highest levels in the past. He said we will be ahead of Australia.

  11. deemac 11

    does burt have a job? or is he paid to troll here? I certainly couldn’t spare so much time to visit a site I don’t like

    • felix 11.1

      does burt have a job? or is he paid to troll here?

      Those are both the same thing, aren’t they?

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Significant investment in Raukūmara Pae Maunga to prevent Raukūmara forest collapse
    An iwi-Crown approach programme to restore the Raukūmara forest on the East Coast of the North Island and boost employment opportunities for whānau, particularly rangatahi/young people, will receive $34 million funding, Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage has announced. “Raukūmara Pae Maunga is a partnership with Te Whānau-ā-Apanui, Ngāti Porou, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New partnership central to delivering more Māori housing
    Government agencies and partners are working closer together to provide more Māori Housing through the Te MAIHI o te Whare Māori – the Māori and Iwi Housing Innovation Framework for Action (MAIHI). MAIHI is a kaupapa Māori approach that drives a system change to give effect and impact on Māori ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • Manawatū Gorge replacement highway drives forward
    Site work is soon to begin on Te Ahu a Turanga: Manawatū Tararua Highway, the project to replace the former SH3 route through the Manawatū Gorge, Transport Minister Phil Twyford said today. Phil Twyford was today in Woodville at the signing of a formal agreement by members of the Alliance ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Pacific Ministers meet to discuss regional economic priorities
    The Pacific Islands Forum Economic Ministers Meeting (FEMM) begins today and will focus on the major economic and social impacts of COVID-19 on the Pacific.  FEMM is an important congregation of Economic Ministers and senior officials from around the region, and for the first time, the annual meeting will be ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Formal apology and payment to George Nepata
    Cabinet has approved a formal apology and ex gratia payment to former soldier George Nepata, announced Defence Minister Ron Mark. This payment is to recognise the New Zealand Defence Force’s failure to provide Mr Nepata with a safe system of work in April 1989 when, as a result of an ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    13 hours ago
  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago