Inquiry needed into English-Peda scandal

Written By: - Date published: 9:54 am, December 24th, 2010 - 30 comments
Categories: bill english, corruption, pasifika - Tags: , , , , ,

The day before Christmas, in what will surely be a forlorn attempt to bury the story, Bill English’s office has finally relented after months of resistance and released under the OIA papers on how the unknown Pacific Economic Development Agency was awarded a $4.8 million blank cheque in the Budget. This looks serious.

The Herald has helpfully compiled a timeline of events:

THE EMAIL EXCHANGE

MID-MARCH
Bill English’s office emails Treasury to inform it of decision to give $4.8m over four years to Peda.

TREASURY EMAILS THE MINISTRY OF PACIFIC ISLAND AFFAIRS
“We don’t know a great deal more about this initiative…presume someone in [Pacific Island Affairs] must know about it?”

MINISTRY REPLIES
“The information we have over here on this is very sketchy. Are you able to send us or point us in the direction of the Cabinet papers so we can proceed?”

TREASURY ANSWERS
“We are even more in the dark on this one – there are no Cabinet papers or anything else…Maybe worth asking your minister’s office.”

MARCH 25
Ministry advice on Peda says it is untested, unproven, does not work well with others and is proposing programmes that would overlap with existing ones.

APRIL 1
Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu meets her officials, requesting information to be presented in one A3 sheet to “show the big picture and overlaps”.

APRIL 29
Ministry head Colin Tukuitonga’s email (recipient withheld): “I am unconvinced about the [Peda] ideas.”

MAY 20
Budget announcement of $4.8m over four years going to Peda.

AUGUST
Ministry announces competitive tender process.

YESTERDAY
Four companies win Government contract. Peda not one of them.

So, out of nowhere, this unknown, unproven agency is awarded $4.8 million from the Pacific Affairs budget with no knowledge of the ministry or, apparently, the minister. This seems to be entirely an initiative of English, with Georgina Te Heuheu coming in later to try to cover his tracks.

Why was English trying to give $4.8 million of our money to this organisation, which couldn’t even get a dime when the contract was put to competitive tender?

An independent investigation (not run by Hugh McPhail) into English’s personal links with Peda along those of prospective National Party candidates Michael Jones and Inga Tu’uigamala is called for.

The only explanations for English’s actions that make any sense are a personal favour or an attempt to boost the profile and popularity of National’s two World Cup year ring-ins. It would be staggering if English has fallen to such depths but, then, the man earned the title Double Dipton for a reason.

It’s worth pointing out at this point that this apparently corrupt attempt by English to put taxpayer money into a slush fund for his mates and National Party candidates might have gone unnoticed if he hadn’t been for the sterling work of Pasifika media including Efeso Collins on 531 PI, who was taken off the air for asking too many questions, and the gutsy Pacific Eye Witness blog. Carmel Sepuloni and Su’a William Sio also asked the tough questions in the House.

English may think that he’s managed to get away with whatever he was up to by releasing this information on Christmas Eve but he’s wrong. This is no longer the age when the political media was limited to a handful of gallery journos who don’t come back till work until mid-February, barely remembering December. The gallery and the non-msm media are a lot more tenacious now. English will be hounded until he explains what the hell he was doing with our money.

30 comments on “Inquiry needed into English-Peda scandal”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    They interviewed some dude on Morning Report about it this morning, but he didn’t really say much.

  2. Tigger 2

    So will anyone be chasing Bill English down corridors to get the truth here?

    Thought not. They didn’t chase Pansy either. Or Worth. Or Heatley…

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    THE EMAIL EXCHANGE (put into easy to understand txt)

    MID-MARCH
    Bill English’s office emails Treasury to inform it of decision to give $4.8m over four years to Peda.

    TREASURY EMAILS THE MINISTRY OF PACIFIC ISLAND AFFAIRS
    WTF? Ask PIA

    PIA REPLIES
    WTF?

    TREASURY ANSWERS
    WTF do you mean WTF?

    MARCH 25
    PIA looks at PEDA and wonders WTF these n00bs are.

    APRIL 1
    Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu finally looks in her in-box and asks for a simplified breakdown

    APRIL 29
    Ministry head Colin Tukuitonga’s email (recipient withheld): “These ppl [Peda] are a bunch of n00bs.”

    MAY 20
    Our money promised to the n00bs anyway as requested by Blinglish’s office.

    AUGUST
    After PEDA proven to be n00bs and other questions the Ministry announces competitive tender process.

    YESTERDAY
    Four companies win Government contract. Peda not one of them (because they’re n00bs).

  4. Bill 4

    I thought budget announcements were cast in stone, as it were. So, how does it come about that a budget can allocate specific monies to a specific cause, organisation or whatever, and then just fairly arbitrarily ‘unallocate’ the same monies ( announce a competitive tendering process) three months later?

    • Bright Red 4.1

      good question. The Budget is the Government seeking Parliament’s permission to raise taxes, which must then only be spent on the specific costs identified therein.

      you’ve got a post about it relating to PEDA: /english-misleads-on-peda-money/

      I’m sure a bit of retrospective legislation at the next budget will tidy this up.

  5. randal 5

    how about some good old fashioned anglo saxon words like.
    payoff.
    patronage.
    bribery?

  6. Colonial Viper 6

    Frak this.

    Its of utmost importance that we find out what English’s EXTENDED FAMILY links to PEDA are.

    • marco 6.1

      Or how PEDA started…what government funding was used to start this organisation? Which Minister from the previous Government presured a large Government Department to fund the inception of PEDA’s parent organisation? Why did she do this?

      Hate to be the party pooper but this fiasco goes right back. I agree what has gone on here with English is just plain wrong and needs to be investigated. However if it is, it will sully the reputation of a well regarded Minister from the previous government who will be in this up to her eyeballs.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        However if it is, it will sully the reputation of a well regarded Minister from the previous government who will be in this up to her eyeballs.

        Since I’m guessing that you’re full of it from top to bottom, bring on the inverstigation ASAP and let the chips fall where they may.

  7. randal 7

    colonial viper dont hold your breath.
    that sort of information could lead to a vote of no confidence and the fall of this government.

  8. bbfloyd 8

    it is actually a serious issue when spending announced in the budget, which is then ratified by parliament, is then allocated to other uses,or providers. this has surfaced before with this government. but from what i’ve read from experts in this field, this is one that could, or should have repercussions…

    but, of course, we are in the grip of a seriously corrupt administration that has placed it’s operatives into strategic positions within the relevant govt departments(and media) in order to be able to flout the laws with relative impunity.

    good luck to anyone who tries to call dipton to account on this one…

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      but, of course, we are in the grip of a seriously corrupt administration that has placed it’s operatives into strategic positions within the relevant govt departments(and media) in order to be able to flout the laws with relative impunity.

      good luck to anyone who tries to call dipton to account on this one…

      Thanks, definitely not blind to your points bb. No matter how impossible the task seems, English must be made to explain in full his connection to PEDA, including how hw became aware of the small organisation first up, and then how the sum of $4.8M was determined.

      Are you a little surprised that an old school operator like English would go about allocating these monies in such a ham-fisted way? I am. He must be slipping.

  9. bbfloyd 9

    he must be slipping…. looks as much like overconfidence to me.

  10. BLiP 10

    PacificEyeWitness.com has been all over this and its not just Bill English that needs investigation. John Key and Sam Lotu-Iinga should also be dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight. This is a deeply murkey story which, althought not involving all that much money, goes to the heart of National Ltd™’s deeply cynical approach to securing power.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      A police investigation, or better, should have started months ago.

    • marsman 10.2

      re. ‘This is a deeply murky story.’ This is a deeply murky administration!

      • pollywog 10.2.1

        What irks me since they opened the money up for contract tender was that it was still ringfenced for Auckland.

        It should have been open to all and sundry up and down the country to pilot programmes targetting Pasifikan youth and if they worked then look at franchising them to Auckland.

        and BTW Pollywogs breed and grow in the murk 🙂

    • SPC 10.3

      The real story is why the Finance Minister felt he should (was expected to) deliver on the promises made by someone else. Only someone who could protect him from any consequences – would have had that sort of influence.

      So don’t expect him to be asked to resign by the PM, or anyone to have the balls to investigate this, because we all sort of guess (if not know) where this all leads. And who really wants to live in a country (and be known internationally as such) which is run by a … who was, is and would remain popular into a second term.

  11. Craig Glen Eden 11

    This is just wrong in so many ways. Philip Field looks like a saint now and we know a saint he is not. Shame on Key, English,Inga and Jones.

    • SPC 11.1

      We told Field that he was accountable to our parliamentary heritage and traditions when acting as an MP in office. Now this.

      One can only speculate there was an attempt to show National could deliver patronage to the Polynesian community – via its party member agents – and this might “trickle down” increase their share of the Polynesian vote in South Auckland.

      National obviously hopes to build a network of such middle class tier support that it achieves in the Maori community via chiefly iwi elites and via patronage of the MP (middle class managers of whanau ora etc).

  12. Rodel 12

    Henceforth known not as Pedagate but the ‘Pedafiles’

  13. tc 13

    “..not just Bill English that needs investigation. John Key and Sam Lotu-Iinga should also be dragged kicking and screaming into the spotlight…..”

    And is this ever happens can we establish if Sam has contributed his akl city council full time salary he collected whilst also being an MP to charity as promised.

    I’m not expecting any further shite to stick to Blinglish and Sideshow they’ll have the inexperienced Sam to shaft this with should it all go pear shaped…..bring it on he’s and f’n disgrace already.

  14. burt 15

    This post might provide some ‘noting to see here’ reference material for DPF.

    The Hawke’s Bay DHB report

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  • Who Shall We Turn To When God, And Uncle Sam, Cease To Defend New Zealand?
    Bewhiskered Cassandra? Professor Hugh White’s chilling suggestion, advanced to select collections of academic, military and diplomatic Kiwi experts over the course of the past week, is that the assumptions upon which Australia and New Zealand have built their foreign affairs and defence policies for practically their entire histories – are ...
    1 week ago
  • The Politics of Opposition
    For most of the time I was a British MP, my party was out of government – these were the Thatcher years, when it was hard for anyone else to get a look-in. As a front-bencher and shadow minister, I became familiar with the strategies required in a parliamentary democracy ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    1 week ago
  • More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
    The Green et al (2019) fluoride/IQ is certainly controversial – as would be expected from its subject (see If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help and Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear). Anti-fluoride campaigners have been actively promoting it ...
    1 week ago
  • The return to guerrilla war in Colombia
    by Gearóid Ó Loingsigh On August 29th a video in which veteran FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) commander Iván Márquez announced that they had taken up arms again was released. There was no delay in the reaction to it, from longtime Liberal Party figure and former president Uribe, for ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    1 week ago
  • Air New Zealand identifies this enormous plot of unused land as possible second airport site
    Air New Zealand couldn’t believe its luck that this seemingly ideal piece of real estate had so far gone entirely unnoticed. Air New Zealand’s search for a site to build a second Auckland Airport may have made a breakthrough this afternoon, after employees scanning Google satellite imagery spotted a huge, ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Redline on the Labour Party
    No-one on the anti-capitalist left in this country today puts forward a case that Labour is on the side of the working class.  There are certainly people who call themselves ‘socialist’ who do, but they are essentially liberals with vested interests in Labourism – often for career reasons. Nevertheless, there ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • New Fisk
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s failure
    When National was in government and fucking over the poor for the benefit of the rich, foodbanks were a growth industry. And now Labour is in charge, nothing has changed: A huge demand for emergency food parcels means the Auckland City Mission is struggling to prepare for the impending arrival ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Ardern attempts to vaccinate Clarke Gayford live on television to prove that it’s safe
    Gayford, pictured here on The Project, before things got wildly out of control. A bold public relations move by the Government to encourage parents to vaccinate their children has gone horribly wrong. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern appeared on tonight’s episode of Three’s The Project, where the plan was for her ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Has Mr. Whippy gone too far by parking on our front lawns?
    Mr. Whippy’s business model has driven it down a dark road of intimidation. Residents in major centres around the country are becoming disgruntled by the increasingly aggressive actions of purported ice cream company Mr. Whippy, who have taken to parking on people’s front lawns and doorsteps in a desperate attempt ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Cleaning up the water
    Today the government released its Action Plan for Healthy Waterways, aimed at cleaning up our lakes and rivers. Its actually quite good. There will be protection for wetlands, better standards for swimming spots, a requirement for continuous improvement, and better standards for wastewater and stormwater. But most importantly, there's a ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Fronting up
    Today I appeared before the Environment Committee to give an oral submission on the Zero Carbon Bill. Over 1,500 people have asked to appear in person, so they've divided into subcommittees and are off touring the country, giving people a five minute slot each. The other submitters were a mixed ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
    Anti-fluoride activists have some wealthy backers – they are erecting billboards misrepresenting the Canadian study on many New Zealand cities – and local authorities are ordering their removal because of their scaremongering. Many New Zealanders ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Democracy – I Don’t Think So
    So, those who “know best” have again done their worst. While constantly claiming to be the guardians of democracy and the constitution, and respecters of the 2016 referendum result, diehard Remainers (who have never brought themselves to believe that their advice could have been rejected) have striven might and main ...
    Bryan GouldBy Bryan Gould
    2 weeks ago
  • Government says it will now build just one really nice home
    Following publication of this article, the Ministry has requested it to be noted that this supplied image is not necessarily representative of what the final house will look like, and it “probably won’t be that nice.” As part of today’s long-anticipated reset of the Government’s flagship KiwiBuild policy, Housing Minister ...
    The CivilianBy admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Imperialism and your cup of coffee
    Over the next week or two we will be running three synopses of parts of the opening chapter of John Smith’s Imperialism in the 21st Century (New York, Monthly Review Press, 2016).  The synopsis and commentary below is written by Phil Duncan. Marx began Capital not with a sweeping historical ...
    RedlineBy Admin
    2 weeks ago
  • Still juking the stats
    The State Services Commission and Ombudsman have released another batch of OIA statistics, covering the last six months. Request volumes are up, and the core public service is generally handling them within the legal timeframe, though this may be because they've learned to extend rather than just ignore things. And ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Hard News: Time for a New Deal: 25 years on
    In 1994, I was editing an ambitious street mag called Planet, from a fabled office at at 309 Karangahape Road. The thirteenth issue of the magazine was published in the winter of that year and its cover embodied a particularly ambitious goal: the end of cannabis prohibition.I wanted to do ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Not impressed
    KiwiBuild was one of the Ardern government's core policies. The government would end the housing crisis and make housing affordable again by building 100,000 new homes. Of course, it didn't work out like that: targets weren't met, the houses they did build were in the wrong place, and the whole ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago
  • Solar beats coal
    As the climate crisis escalates, it is now obvious that we need to radically decarbonise our economy. The good news is that its looking easy and profitable for the energy sector. Wind is already cheaper than fossil fuels, and now solar is too:The levellised cost of solar PV has fallen ...
    No Right TurnBy Idiot/Savant
    2 weeks ago

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