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Joining the (blue) dots

Written By: - Date published: 5:48 pm, February 27th, 2008 - 42 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags:

golf.jpgPerhaps you’ve heard about the Blue Chip blues?

The company is in the news again today, and not just for allegedly breaking a sting of laws.

The couple featured in the article have lost their home and hundreds of further ‘mum and dad’ investors may still lose their savings.

The photo at left (no, it’s not from Lockwood’s infamous calendar) is of Blue Chip chairman Jock Irvine, Greg Turner, Blue Chip Managing Director Mark Bryers, Larry Graham and the Honorable Lockwood Smith.

Blue chips associations with the National Party don’t end with Lockwood though. It turns out that Blue Chip has more than its fair share of National Party connections – and not just casual ones forged over a couple of rounds of golf by the looks of things.

I wonder how much knowledge Burqa Bob had of Blue Chip’s dodgy investment practices when they sponsored his stadium. We’d certainly see his crocodile tears in a different light.

And I wonder how all these National Party connections were made… Perhaps an introduction by former National Party politician and Deputy Prime Minister Wyatt Creech who was once an independant director of the board (PDF)? Or perhaps it was former National Party cabinet minister John Luxton who served in the same position (PDF)?

I wonder if Blue Chip or the people associated with them ever donated to National Party campaign funds by way of an anonymous trust?

I wonder if they ever donated to any individual candidates?

Given National’s recent apoplexy over the non-issue of a fully disclosed donation of $8000 by Owen Glenn it would be good for the sake of transparency if National MPs came out and said what kind of contacts they have had with the Blue Chip board members.

For the sake of completeness it might also be good if the ex-National Party MPs outlined their roles in the events leading up to the collapse of the company.

The investors who have lost money are at least owed that.

42 comments on “Joining the (blue) dots ”

  1. You are over reaching here. firstly that is a pic taken at gulf harbour when blue chip sponsored a major golf tournament. Lockwood is the electorate MP for that area. Blue Chip as a company did not even exist prior to labour being in govt so maybe we can spray insinuations about labour being to blame? No that would be silly just like your insinuations.
    Blue Chip is and has always been a huge rip off. This will be a bigger disaster for ordinary kiwis than the Bridgecorp collapse. When finance companies go broke people lose savings. The blue chip collapse has seen people lose money they borrowed to invest and in some cases left with enormous liabilities they have no hope of covering.
    Trying to tangentially insinuate national culpability in this disgraceful ripoff is a new low for this blog.

  2. toms 2

    If you want a right wing corruption, keep an eye on the Hawkes Bay DHB. Hawkes Bay has traditionally had a mildly corrupt squattocracy that sees itself as having feudal rights to running things in the Bay. Since about the beginning of the decade they’ve been aided by a local paper whose editors have turned have turned it into an attack rag that would make Fox blush. The connection colusion between the extremist Christian agenda of the local newspaper editor, the Exclusive Bretheren, the National Party candidate Tremain and the smear campaign against Labour in Hawkes Bay has gone uninvestigated for to long. The DHB is heavily politicised by the peculiar brand of feudal reactionary right-wing caudillos in the Bay who clearly consider the place to now be a fortress for their political agenda.

    All Hawkes Bay needs is a researcher of the likes of a Nicky Hager to draw the strands.

  3. That’s one theory TomS, another might include Annette King, her husband and peter hausmann getting uncontested tenders awarded and then rescinded. This will not end well for the health ministry and it’s new sheriff. Perhaps Nicky the trustafarian Hagar might like to look into that particular barrel of croneyism.

  4. Lockwood
    Luxton
    Clrkson
    Creech

    …god with that many associations with senior National MPs it’s like a trading subsidiary of the National Party.

  5. Adolf Fiinkensein 5

    You dozey pricks don’t seem to realise that nobody takes any notice of anything you say. You are like a bunch of dead mutton birds on a rock off Stewart Island. where? who? What? All grease and sinew with no feathers or muscle.

    Welcome to opposition.

  6. Dean 6

    “god with that many associations with senior National MPs it’s like a trading subsidiary of the National Party.”

    It’s just a shame Owen Glen isn’t in there, or else you’d be steadfastly ignoring and/or trying to say it was ok.

  7. Phew eh, not bad research if I do say so myself. Where’s Robinsod to screech “research unit” when you need him?

    Lets see, Creech and Luxton haven’t been MP’s since 2002. I guess that 6 years isn’t that much of a disconnect for you guys?

    Since BCFS seems to have only started up during Teh Party’s reign, it might be more likely that the anonymously donated to them instead, looking for (and apparently getting) a rather lax regulatory environment.

    Finally, I thought you would of held this one off until Phillip Field appears in court to face 15 counts of bribery and 25 of attempting to pervert the court of justice, while he was a Labour MP ?

  8. Tamaki resident 8

    Well Adolf, it got your attention!

  9. randal 9

    ITS ONLY WORDS AND WORDS ARE ALL I HAVE BUT NOW I’VE GOT THE CASH!

  10. Sheeeee-it! You guys are really scraping the barrel now. As Barnsley Bill pointed out, the photo is from a golf tournament – you’ve also smeared Greg Turner, organiser of Golf Tour NZ, and Larry Graham who was at that point the CEO of NZ Golf. Then again, throw the shit hard enough, far enough and often enough, and some is bound to stick – it’s a wonder you hadn’t photoshopped John Key in there as well!

  11. insider 11

    Taito Philip Field. Need I say anymore?

  12. insider 12

    BNZ. Wasn’t there some Labour inovlement in its near bankruptcy? The name is on the tip of my tongue…

  13. insider 13

    That should have said “in concealing its near bankruptcy”

  14. John 14

    Toms

    Right wing corruption at the Hawkes Bay DHB eh would you like to elaborate and while you at it if it’s so reactionary and right wing why on earth do they have a CEO with a CV as below.

    Chris Clarke, Chief Executive Officer

    Chris Clarke’s background of top-level health appointments, backed by accountancy and law qualifications make him well suited in his position of chief executive officer of Hawke’s Bay District Health Board. He has strong strategic and leadership qualities, and is a good communicator.

    Prior to joining HBDHB Mr Clarke was director of health services development at Capital and Coast District Health Board. He holds degrees in law and commerce from Canterbury University.

    His experience in the health sector is extensive, including general manager of public health and hospital services of the Southern Regional Health Authority, and general manager of strategy and communications for the same organisation. In 1994 he spent a year with the World Health Organisation working with developing nations in Eastern Europe. He also worked in the UK for the national health service in Wales, as part of a New Zealand health service exchange fellowship. Chris Clarke also worked as executive assistant to the then, deputy prime Mmnister, Helen Clark, from 1989 to 1990.

  15. insider 15

    I wonder if Sovreign Yachts has donated to Labour?

  16. Chemist Peter 16

    Remember boys 32%. Bluechip were able to trade under laws overseen by Labour, after 8 years we have more crooks after our money, this of course does not include the thieving pricks from the present govt. Yet again, the sub standard sets new levels of BS, man I can smell it from here.

  17. Insider, you are clearly confused. it was the labour party and it’s tame numpty Anderton that made the donation to sovereign yachts via the public purse. Or as I like to call them Sovereign Property developers, allthough they did build Owen Glenns boat Ubiquitous .

  18. insider 18

    So Barnsley are you saying that Labour’s largest donor was connected to one of Labour’s largest receivers of largesse?

    Quel dommage! How murky can you get? Where will these red dots lead?

  19. Gooner 20

    This is utter codswallop Eddie.

    The stadium sponsorship was because Bryers’ dad played Rugby for BOP and also for NZ Maori All Blacks.

    Creech and Luxton resigned as directors years ago.

    It is clear from the newspaper articles that Blue Chip had cashflow problems so it is absurd it would then donate to political parties or candidates.

    Isn’t February of election year a little early to be panicking with trash like this?

  20. milo 21

    All this stuff is starting to remind me of spitting image, back in late 1980s. Two classics – one on Reagan; turning “The President’s Plane is Missing” motif into a running gag about “The President’s Brain is Missing.” 🙂 But even better, the dead Politburo members being propped upright and wheeled out to deliver important speeches by ventriloquism. Now I wonder who that reminds me of in the New Zealand parliament?

    I can sense a comedy series coming on about the attack dogs of a failing party …

    (But don’t worry, the wheel will turn! This is the worst part of the cycle, after almost nine years in government, it gets pretty tough.)

  21. r0b 22

    What a lot of righties here tonight with their nighties in a bunch. Methinks they do protest too much!

    I don’t know anything about Blue Chip, or the local circumstances. To me the main issue is the one alluded to at the end of the post, the utter secrecy regarding National’s donors. I can’t put it any better than Colin Espiner:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2008/02/22/time-to-tell-us-about-your-donors-national/

    After a week of climbing into Labour boots and all over the Owen Glenn saga, one thing has become abundantly clear: the Nats have lost any defence of their right to keep their own campaign donations secret.

    It is the height of hypocrisy for National to claim, as both its leader John Key and deputy Bill English have done this week, that “Labour’s relationship with its largest donor looks very murky indeed’ when National’s own relationship with its donors is not so much murky as totally hidden.

  22. r0b 23

    (But don’t worry, the wheel will turn! This is the worst part of the cycle, after almost nine years in government, it gets pretty tough.

    Sure enough, it all goes round on the wheel. I think there are a lot of young folk here, who haven’t seen many turns of the wheel yet, and they do tend to get quite excited.

  23. r0b 24

    But don’t worry, the wheel will turn! This is the worst part of the cycle, after almost nine years in government, it gets pretty tough.

    Sure enough, it all goes round on the wheel. I think there are a lot of young folk here, who haven’t seen many turns of the wheel yet, and they do tend to get a mite excited.

  24. Paul 25

    Keep up the good fight guys, as there is no way in the current idol worshiping environment that the media has got itself into that the hypocrisy and lies of National will ever see the light of day.

    Which is what makes Espiner’s piece even more remarkable.

    Funny how the first comment on Espiner’s piece is by a one A Fiinkensein, the very same A Fiinkensein posting here claiming that no one cares about Nationals murky dealings. Sorry mate, message to you, plenty care and there is one hell of a long road between here and the election.

    Labour isn’t allowed to be transparent, yet national is allowed to be murky. We’d love some standards (sorry for the pun), as National has already suggested some bloody high standards for Kiwi Parents with the threat of financial punishment or incarceration.

    National has no credibility, but as long as the media is down on all fours with their mouths open taking whatever Mr Key and his merry band of liars tell them, and as long as the people are willing to buy what the media are selling them, there is no chance for us all.

    Keep it up guys, the attacks from the likes of A Fiinkensein show that you are getting through.

  25. Camryn 26

    National’s blind trusts aren’t murky. The intention is to shield the political party from knowing who the donors are, so favours and policy adjustments can’t be granted. The left makes constant insinuation that National just uses the system to pretend not to know who their donors are, but that’s just speculation. The blind trust system itself is a good one.

  26. The intention is to shield the political party from knowing who the donors are…

    I nominate this for funniest statement anyone has made on this blog ever.

  27. Camryn 28

    Well, that *is* the intention. You assert that the system is being subverted, but it’s up to the accuser to provide evidence.

    Do you think that the ‘large donor is known to the party and openly expects government positions from them’ model is a better design?

  28. AncientGeek 29

    Do you think that the ‘large donor is known to the party and openly expects government positions from them’ model is a better design?

    Yes – because it is open to public scrutiny.

    With the blind trust system, the design is wide open. People can give a donation known to the party. But for plausible deniability reasons, putting it through a blind trust. It gives you the worst of possible solutions. There is no paper trail to follow, and therefore no way of correlating donations with subsequent government actions.

    A better design is to make all significant donation’s public.

  29. Camryn 30

    r0b – No, I still haven’t. I don’t have access to a copy in the US. I understand it contains emails, but that they can’t be verified. Still, I’m open to the possibility the blind trust system was being abused but I stand by my defence of the intentions of those who built it in the first place. I still think it is a better system, and I’ll elaborate next…

    AncientGeek – The ‘large donor is known to the party and openly expects government positions from them’ model clearly did *not* mean that the donation is public. Some of Owen Glenn’s lending was not public. Pre-EFA, Labour never had a system to separate itself from its donors in any way, nor to open them to scrutiny either except on it’s own terms. You can argue that National’s system to prevent corruption was abused at one point in time, but at least it had one.

    Basically, I’d rather that politicians not know who is making large donations to them. For that to happen, the wider public can’t know either (obviously). If politicians are to know, then the public must also know. It can’t be “politicians know, we don’t”.

    The EFA allows for large anonymous donations, but has replaced the blind trusts with Helena Catt. It’s a point in that legislation that I can actually agree with (while noting that Labour often claimed that the legislation was actually going to stop them, but only limited them to an amount they chose for partisan reasons).

  30. Jeez – National in bed with dodgy money-men. Who would’ve thunk it?

    Oh and TDS? I see you’re still trying the old misdirection game. You must be getting hot under the collar though – it’s “would have” not “would of”. I guess you need another Robinsod schooling…

  31. Tamaki Resident 32

    “I understand it contains emails, but that they can’t be verified.”
    Camryn – the fact that National refer to them as “stolen emails” verifies that the emails did exist.

  32. r0b 33

    You assert that the system is being subverted, but it’s up to the accuser to provide evidence.

    Camryn, have you read The Hollow Men?

  33. Matthew Pilott 34

    Camryn – you make interesting points regardign donations. if it were possible to have no party know where any of their donations came from, that would be ideal. You’re then supporting a party because of what they’re doing, not what you want them to do.

    However, while the money side can be kept tight (you can hide the source from a financial perspective) there’s nothing that could ever stop people simply calling a politician/party and saying “I’m willing to make a million dollar donation, if you’re going to do X”. In reality, it will be more subtle and complex than this, but you see my point.

    With public donations, everyone knows, and everyone can decide whether there is something more (sinister) to it. It also may restrict donations as wealthy groups will realise they’d get less influence for their dollar under greater public scrutiny!

  34. deemac 35

    surely the standard has made it if the right are having to draft in trollers from the US to attack it? of course they may not know anything about the situation in NZ, but ignorance of the facts never prevented them from having an opinion!

    [lprent: He definitely isn’t a troll – goes for debate rather than flames. Besides I know him – worked with him before.]

  35. r0b 36

    r0b – No, I still haven’t. I don’t have access to a copy in the US.

    Then with respect Camryn, you don’t know who or what you are defending here.

    I understand it contains emails, but that they can’t be verified.

    Brash resigned for purely unrelated matters I take it?

    Still, I’m open to the possibility the blind trust system was being abused

    Yes, and its possible that the sun comes up in the morning too.

  36. To be fair to Camryn he’s not a troll – he makes good contributions and I doubt very much if he is being paid for this (unlike TDS!)

  37. Camryn 38

    Thanks Robinsod.

    deemac – I’m in the US for work, but I’m 100% Kiwi and was living in NZ until 2006. I’m getting paid by a US employer to do something else while I’m doing this.

    rOb – I intentionally used vague and hopefully non-inflammatory language as I’m trying to talk about the system that I thinks works best, and not get sidetracked on one instance where it may have been subverted but that I don’t know enough about. To you, who’ve read more about it, I probably sound cautious about something you consider obvious.

    In light of that, I accept Matthew’s good point re: sunlight. I’m saying “I’d prefer total blind if possible” and Matthew’s say “I understand where you’re coming from, but it’s not possible so let’s go to your next best… everybody knows everything”. That’s a line of argument I can get on board with…

    My issue after that becomes that people who want to be anonymous then try to find other ways to donate that aren’t donations e.g. 3rd party campaigns. Then we start to get into the debate that has been done infinitum on blogs re: the EFA period.

    In that debate, I don’t particularly like either option – I don’t like that people have restrictions on what they can say and how they can spend their money, but I don’t particularly like that the alternative (no restriction) is we’re back to square one with regards to potential anonymous assistance to political parties via spending on their behalf with the added risk that politicians might actually NOT know about campaigns to “assist” them and so the messaging that would’ve been moderated through the party by an anonymous donation to the party is now going direct to the public in a more partisan or destructive form. Not cool.

    So, I know it’s a tightrope, but I think the EFA erred too far in terms of restriction, and is also poorly drafted, and was pushed through in a way that was unnecessarily divisive.

    Uh… I think I got off topic.

  38. Steve Pierson 39

    Camryn. There’s no doubt the emails in the Hollow Men are correct, no-one has ever denied their contents are true. The real questions is who inside National leaked them, bringing about Brash’s resignation: as the Romans would say Cui bono?

  39. r0b 40

    Uh I think I got off topic.

    Agreed.

    Also agreed that there are no good solutions to this mess (its politics after all), only varying degrees of bad.

    But let’s get back on track, and back to specifics. Do you agree with Colin Espiner in his recent article (extract below). If not, why not?

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/blogs/politics/2008/02/22/time-to-tell-us-about-your-donors-national/

    After a week of climbing into Labour boots and all over the Owen Glenn saga, one thing has become abundantly clear: the Nats have lost any defence of their right to keep their own campaign donations secret.

    It is the height of hypocrisy for National to claim, as both its leader John Key and deputy Bill English have done this week, that “Labour’s relationship with its largest donor looks very murky indeed’ when National’s own relationship with its donors is not so much murky as totally hidden.

  40. AncientGeek 41

    Cam:

    Basically, I’d rather that politicians not know who is making large donations to them. For that to happen, the wider public can’t know either (obviously).

    I don’t think that there is any way to prevent politicians from knowing who is giving them donations if the donor wishes them to know. It is a ‘chinese wall’ solution that relies on the donor not whispering over the wall.

    If someone says I’m going to give you $500k, because I think that you’ll be nice to me (or even worse when you’re nice to me) with a date, then the money turns up around that date….

    Besides you have to remember that most of the donations will be solicited – thats what party presidents spend most of their time doing from what I understand. So they would usually have a good idea about who is giving donations. A lot of the time senior politicians will be dragged along to help get the donation. It isn’t particularly different from any charity.

    I feel extremely uncomfortable with that happening at the back end of the political process – there is just too much room for unsavory things to happen.

    I think the only effective long-term solution is to make it that there is always a person and/or organization known to the public in the appropriate accounting cycle.

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