web analytics

Key, a Worthless Prime Minister?

Written By: - Date published: 8:30 am, April 10th, 2009 - 24 comments
Categories: john key - Tags:

Yet another twist in the Worthless saga. It turns out that he used his diplomatic passport on the trip to India – which was a ‘private’ trip. John Key in his usual spineless way has issued another limp ‘warning”. It appears that even Worth does not believe the warning.

Colin Espiner says

Worth admitted in Parliament on Wednesday that he had used his ministerial diplomatic passport when travelling to India on private business with two other MPs in February.

Worth said he had used the passport, which confers special status on ministers and allows them to avoid lengthy airport queues, in accordance with the Cabinet Manual.

But Labour MP Trevor Mallard today distributed copies of the Ministerial Office Handbook – the rules ministers are expected to adhere to – which clearly states that all private travel must be undertaken on ordinary, private passports.

You aren’t allowed to play around with diplomatic status for private reasons  for exactly the reasons that Richard Worth is now being pilloried. It gives your host country the impression that your trip may have some official sanction.

This is apparent to anyone with a grain of common sense, but not apparently to a new Minister of the Crown who apparently hasn’t read the handbook – which I find hard to believe. To me it appears that he lied to parliament.  I’m annoyed by someone masquerading as my representative to do their private business. It reeks of a attitude of contempt for the responsibilities of office.

I’d suggest that someone puts him in front of the privileges committee to find out what in the hell else he has been doing. Otherwise it appears that the truth will not be made public. John Key appears to have issues with controlling his ministers and expecting them to conform to a standard of behavior. He has  apparently said….

Key has said Worth is effectively on his final warning, although Worth has said he does not believe this to be the case.

Under Helen Clark, almost any offense from being over the limit while driving to having an assertion  of mis-accounting of  donations was sufficient to cause a minister to lose their portfolios. However it appears that John Key has a far more tolerant approach to a far more serious assertion of a minister abusing the privileges of their ministerial role for private gain.

Trevor Mallard, a recipient of some of the discipline that Helen administered to her ministers, had this to say

What kind of Government does Mr Key want to operate? One where rules set out to ministers are clearly adhered to? Or one akin to a banana republic where rules are flouted for political expediency?

So what will you do Prime Minister? Do nothing and stand by a minister who with one business trip has breached guidelines around ministerial travel, conflicts of interest and use of diplomatic passports?

Or are you going to do what you should have done two weeks ago and relieve Richard Worth of his ministerial portfolios?

Indeed! It appears that John Key has far lower standards of expected behaviour from his ministers than Helen ever did.

24 comments on “Key, a Worthless Prime Minister? ”

  1. Ms X 1

    You are comparing apples with pears. Most of Labour’s ministers were accomplished, experienced ministers with knowledge and understanding of how things work. What we appear to have now is a cobbled together bunch of people who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time. Their leader has no establishment experience and is keen to be liked. By all. No matter what. Of course he is going to fall down and be taken advantage of. Perhaps he needs a course of instruction from Supernanny.

  2. RedLogix 2

    What we appear to have now is a cobbled together bunch of people who were lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

    I’m tempted to believe this, but no. Many of these guys were Ministers in the 90’s National govt, and Worth himself is a senior lawyer who has been in Parliament since 1999, and a long history of public life. He has no excuse for not knowing the required standard around these issues.

    Personally I don’t think Worth is an especially bad guy. I’m willing to accept that in the first few hectic and heady months of power he’s allowed his enthusiasm to overwhelm his better judgement. His best course of action (as it always is) would have been to make a full and frank admission of the mistake, offered his resignation (as did David Parker for instance) and put the matter into the hands of the PM.

    The real deal has been the mishandling of the issue by the PM, in particular Key has been backed into a corner defending a Minister whose misjudgments are now being dribbled out into the public arena. It invites comparisons with Helen Clark, whose record holding her Minister’s to account is demonstrably stronger.

    At this point I have to think it will all end badly.

    • lprent 2.1

      Yeah this is what I’m getting peeved about. Worth obviously has a problem with being a minister. But Key doesn’t appear to be accepting his role in being responsible for controlling the ministers. The way that this one keeps trickle feeding out into the public is damaging. But what freaks me is that Key is doing bugger all.

      How politically inexperienced the PM is is starting to show.

    • The Baron 2.2

      A far better argument – and I agree…

      This whole thing has been an unfortunate waste of time. Worth clearly fucked up, should have given his mea culpas, and taken the punishment – and Key shouldn’t have hesitated to dish it.

      Instead we have this lingering mess of an issue, when (as you all keep pointing out) there are far more meaningful things that need debating and sorting out.

      So, I agree. Cut Worth adrift. A few more years on a backbench will help him learn the difference between public and private.

  3. ghostwhowalks 3

    Wasnt Worth also an executive partner at Simpson Grierson. I take that to mean his legal work was pretty sloppy, but he could run the office staff and be a meeter and greeter alongside the receptionist.
    hes all ready parlayed his full time work as a backbench MP into study for a PhD at a Melbourne university, Could there be some sharp elbows used to free upgrades of business/ economy class to first class on airlines

  4. Irascible 4

    Worth’s behaviour is atypical of the National Party, after all their traditional PR firm “Pomp & Arrogance” was left on the sidelines during the election campaign as an unwelcome truth machine.
    Worth, Key & Co. are getting back to their real roots – that of routing the ordinary people in the community… Worth’s behaviour and attitude extends into the decision to create the monolith of the Black Hole of the Auckland super sucker city. A concept designed to over-ride the social and community needs of the citizens in the existing cities like Manukau, Waitakere & North Shore.

  5. RedLogix 5

    Of course the explanation may be quite simple. In exchange for standing aside in Epsom in 2002, Worth was ‘assured’ of a Ministerial post. Which means that Key has a somewhat higher bar to leap over before appearing to renege on this promise just yet.

  6. BLiP 6

    So, another National Party election promise, this time in relation to the standard of behaviour required from its Ministers, bites the dust. What’s this, Worth’s third blatant conflict of interest breach and so far he’s received:

    1 – a “bollocking”
    2 – a “carpeting”, and
    3 – a warning

    . . . what’s next – 15 minutes on the “Naughty Spot”?

    • r0b 6.1

      No no BLiP. No it’s really serious for Worth. He has “effectively received” a final warning. Or – ummmm – has he?

      “Key has said Worth is effectively on his final warning, although Worth has said he does not believe this to be the case.”

      That’s some real strong leadership there from Key…

  7. Trevor Mallard 7

    I think Worth is gone – he is only a Minister as a consolation prize when Key jumped Smith over him for the speakers role. If Worth is still a minister when parliament resumes it will show that Key is not capable of maintaining minimal standards for Ministers.

    • lprent 7.1

      Yep, and that is the question of the post. Exactly how competent is Key at running a coherent cabinet. Worth effectively went off and did his own thing, carrying the mana of cabinet with him. If that gets repeated across some of the loons in this cabinet, then we’ll have a government in chaos. Much as I dislike NACT, I don’t think that helps NZ much.

      All comes down to Key and his management skills in a government environ’s.

  8. gomango 8

    I think Trevor is right – Worth will be gone. I suspect the only reason he hasn’t gone yet is that Key is seeing who publicly supports Worth within his own caucus, and that Key will allow Worth a dignified exit. People still don’t get what Keys background in investment banking has given him (apart form the dough). I posit that global investment banking is (or certainly was) the only industry where machiavellian scheming, divide and conquer tactics, feints, feral behaviour etc is worse than NZ politics.

    While not wanting to debate the wider issues of competency etc, one thing is sure – Key and a lot of his intake (Foss, Tremain, Joyce etc) are better versed in scheming ,plotting and the end game than all but the most hardened inner sanctum Labour Party apparatchik. And he has alos taken the view that (while I agree Worth should be sacked) the public don’t care. Certainly next to the excesses of Winston, Benson-Pope and a host of others the public perception is nowhere near as bad.

    • lprent 8.1

      I think that the point there is about public perception. It helps when you have the major media outlets braying for blood. Of course they haven’t really done the same with Worth – I wonder why..

      What Worth has done is far worse in governance terms than either Winston or Benson-Pope were accused of.

      All were economical with disclosure. Winston was accused of bad accounting for his party. Benson-Pope of having a staff member saying that he would be uncomfortable with an appointment in his ministry, leading to accusations of exerting undue influence in the public service. Neither were particularly serious.

      Worth has used his position as a Minister to support his private business interests overseas. That is heinous because this prick was purporting to be representing me as a member of the NZ public to sell his tacky flying school.

      gomango: I’d say that you lack a sense of proportion. I’d suggest that you grow one. Then apply the same standards you were braying for last year. This idiot should be dismissed for bringing a reputation of corruption to Key’s ministers.

      captcha: not legal

      • gobsmacked 8.1.1

        Trevor

        Could you, or somebody, explain exactly what happens when a Minister misleads the House? I was under the impression that Ministers – even MPs – who do so are forced to resign.

        Richard Worth, in the House, March 31, said:

        “I did not speak as a Minister of any portfolio at any event or ceremony during my visit to India.” (Hansard)

        All the evidence from India contradicts this (media reports etc.). There are even photographs on the Minister’s own website! Everyone knows he was treated as a Minister, and wanted to be.

        So how has he got away with it?

  9. gomango 9

    lprent

    i don’t understand your point. I absolutely agree Worth should be fired. What i was pointing out were a few reasons as to why I thought he hadn’t been. You acknowledge the point – his just as serious misbehaviour doesn’t fierce up the general public, unlike Peters. If you want me say “John Key should sack Richard Worth because Worth is an idiot who has misled at least his leader, certainly the public, and probably parliament (though the standard of proof required there is more related to how you can stack a committee) and has exercised a complete lack of judgment, far below (the admittedly poor) standards of a politician”, then there. I say it. Sack him now.

    I think the only person I was braying for the sacking of last year was Winston. And I stand by it. He clearly lied to the public on many, many occasions, and has acted in a corrupt fashion. Lets put the partisan BS to one side and judge people by impartial standards. If you still defend Winston, then you are partisan fool blinded to what is actually right and wrong.

    • lprent 9.1

      I don’t like Peters – never have. I also don’t like NZF.. However…

      I still haven’t seen anything that Winston did that was more than a technical illegality, ie filing late returns and not declaring things that had no real impact. This shows in the lack of charges against either Peters or NZF

      What I did see was a lynch mob urged on by the journo’s. I saw Hide, Farrar, and others claiming things that were ‘possible’ that were just lies and for which there was no proof or any eventual result. I also saw the same people ignoring similar offenses by other parties and people – for instance the Act party electoral returns for 2005 and 2006 look quite suspicious.

      To me it looked like a concerted attempt to drive NZF out of politics, which succeeded. Anyone who participated should feel ashamed – that includes you. Effectively what you’ve done is lower the bar for dirty politics in NZ.

  10. gomango 10

    Thats absolute bollocks.

    There are clearly things Winston lied about. Helicopters. Trusts. Donations. Bloodstock sales. Dinners. Meetings with certain “identities.” Maybe they havent been proved to evidential standard but that is more due to a lack of willingness to investigate properly. Bring Ross Meurant back for some testimony under oath.

    For someone like yourself who claims to espouse liberalism you should be pleased to see the back of someone who plays the xenophobic race card every election. Who more than any other politician has openly pandered to and essentially bribed certain electoral groups.

    Your attitude is why I never have and never will join a political party of any stripe. The end game is not power at all costs – which is why you mourn Winstons demise – with him Labour may well have put together a coalition. Thats what rubs you the wrong way. Both passionate sides of the debate in NZ have the same issue. “We are so right in what we want to implement, that any means to get there is ok. The proles will thank us in the long run.”

    The end does not justify the means. Unfortunately pretty much every party thinks that way after a while. Parroting the party line is as prevalent on the left as it is on the right. To anyone not in the “tribe” both positions look moronic.

    And just to clarify again, if Key doesn’t sack Worth, I think that would be a disgrace.

    I don’t see how I have personally lowered the bar for political standards in NZ. Our elected representatives and party apparatuses are perfectly capable of doing that by themselves.

    • RedLogix 10.1

      And exactly how many of Hide’s allegations, made in Parliament under privilege, turned out to be anything other than bare faced lies?

      And exactly why you think a coalition govt with this proven false allegator and liar is by the same logic you apply to Winston, any more acceptable?

    • r0b 10.2

      Winston was a liar and a knave, though not actually guilty of anything much (his actual legal mistakes were similar to ACT’s).

      But if you want to talk lies, Winston is strictly small time. The biggest liar is John Key. Almost his first significant act in the NZ political scene was to lie. In 2003 when Brash challenged English for the leadership Key said he supported English but then he went and voted for Brash. After that was the infamous smoking gun email lies: “Mr Key cut short the impromptu press conference press conference when asked for the second time whether he had received any offers of actual financial support from the Exclusive Brethren. Radio New Zealand is now reporting that Mr Key says that he may have received the email but not opened it.”

      Then there was his big, ongoing lie over his vested interests, his TranzRail share holdings, where he was caught lying by a TVNZ reporter (on camera), and finally forced to admit the truth.

      Let’s not forget the lies about policy flip flops. Key described global warming as a “complete and utter hoax”, in 2005 and then in 2006 he said “I firmly believe in climate change and always have”. Liar. Key lied about National’s position on Iraq.

      There are many further examples of him lying to edit the inconvenient past. The multiple inconsistent “explanations” for his “love to see wages drop” comment. On one occasion even his usually faithful fan Audrey Young had to tell Key off for lying, and John Campbell was famously driven to describing him as “As slippery as a snake in wet grass”.

      So just remember next time you’re telling off a polly for lying, John Key is the biggest liar of them all.

      • BLiP 10.2.1

        Spot on. Well written, well thought out and and with impeccable references. All you say is true. Trouble is, for a lot its just pearls before swine. John Key has said that he is Jewish, that his is Christian and also that he doesn’t have any spiritual understanding. The former is most likely true.

    • lprent 10.3

      The end game is not power at all costs..

      The fact remains that Peters and NZF have never been convicted of anything serious. Sure it had to be investigated, and that was done. No allegation been taken forward into charges – which is what happens to almost anything with any evidence. There wasn’t any, so no charges were laid.

      Hide on the other hand has knowingly lied in the house about Peters, making allegations that subsequently proved to have no basis in fact. Because it was done in the house under privilege, there is no redress for Peters or NZF. That is a clear violation of any principles of justice.

      That has been my position since the allegations were made. Read back in the comments last year, and you’ll see that I have been absolutely consistent on this.

      For someone like yourself who claims to espouse liberalism you should be pleased to see the back of someone who plays the xenophobic race card every election. Who more than any other politician has openly pandered to and essentially bribed certain electoral groups.

      I prefaced my original comment with that I didn’t like Peters, or NZF. For that matter, I’d prefer if Labour hadn’t had gone into coalition with them. However they didn’t do the things that they’re alleged to have done by Hide in any legal sense.

      You appear to be trying to convict not on the allegations, but on Peters doing other things that are perfectly consistent with the political process. On that basis you are outlining, you should also convict Key for some offense because he pandered on tax-cuts.

      I don’t see how I have personally lowered the bar for political standards in NZ.

      I absolutely despise people like Hide who ignore the law when making up their allegations. Who seem to want to convict not based on evidence, but on innuendo done under privilege.

      They get irresponsible idiots like you and a lot of journo’s to go along with it, in the absence of any substantial evidence because they (like you) are too damn lazy to actually look at facts or the law. That diminishes the political standards because the same thing will now be done again – something for which you should hold yourself responsible.

      Are you clear now why I think that you are responsible for lowering political standards?

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    20 hours ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago