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Key hides advice, Collins goes to ground

Written By: - Date published: 11:36 pm, March 6th, 2014 - 76 comments
Categories: same old national - Tags: , ,

Radio New Zealand has reported that John Key is refusing to release the advice he claims clears Judith Collins over her conflict of interest. And is now claiming that the Cabinet rules are ” just a guideline anyway”

In the meantime Collins was a no-show in Parliament today with Chris Finlayson providing cover for her. Which is kind of funny when you consider what a big deal she makes about being tough.

The best take on it today is from Danyl who has quite insightfully noted:

Collins and her fellow Nats are a little bewildered at the suggestion that there’s something wrong about her taxpayer funded promotional visit to a company run by her husband that donated a large sum of money to the National Party, while everyone else stands around with their jaw open, stunned that the Minister of Justice could do something so stupid.

That captures John Key’s government perfectly – so full of their own sense of privilege they’re shocked, just shocked, when anyone questions their dirty little scams.

76 comments on “Key hides advice, Collins goes to ground”

  1. McFlock 1

    Exactly.

    They used to be proud that they could break the rules and nobody could do anything about it.

    Now they’ve forgotten that rules exist, and break the ones that people can do something about.

  2. tricledrown 2

    Crusher collins crushed by her own corruption.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    John Key is bull shitting and hoping to continue to fool the fools of this country. Any person with a little sense worth his salt will know this to be true.

  4. freedom 4

    Dear Prime Minister
    If Cabinet Rules were guidelines they would be called Cabinet Guidelines

    • lprent 4.1

      Besides didn’t he use exactly the same excuse for Richard Worth, Pansy Wong, Nick Smith, John Banks, Peter Dunne, and god knows who else.

      If he wants to rewrite the Cabinet Rules, then that is what he should try to do. Open it up for debate.

      This pathetic and tattered excuse is really just crap.

      • Clemgeopin 4.1.1

        The biggest problem that democracies face all over the world including NZ is that lots of nice people are busy, complacent, docile, trusting and do not take much interest in politics and get hoodwinked by crooks in leadership, the government spin merchants and the manipulating media. People and the nation generally end up getting the government that they don’t really deserve.

      • fender 4.1.2

        They have their usual but Labour said it too

        Rt Hon HELEN CLARK (Prime Minister) : “I am aware of paragraph 2.81 of the Cabinet Manual. I would, of course, note that the manual is not a rule book; it provides guidance. I advise all Ministers to act in ways consistent with that guidance.”

        • Murray Olsen 4.1.2.1

          That may be technically correct, but there is a difference in that Key sees guidelines as vague suggestions that don’t really have to be followed. Helen Clark was saying the opposite; that they should be followed at all times. I’d love to see them bring that up in parliament actually. Any Labour MP who was awake should be able to make a dog’s breakfast out of anyone making the comparison.

        • Ant 4.1.2.2

          Good old National Party whataboutery!

          Doesn’t really matter if they are guidelines or rules, this looks dodgy as anything, Collin’s told some porkies and there are photographs that say otherwise, the $55,000 donation is just icing on the cake.

  5. Stuart Munro 5

    Key can say what he likes – the nation should not be paying for Judy to take photo-ops in China to plug her hubby’s (poor sad suffering bastard) company.

    Of course, he could choose to explain that Pansy Wong was sacked for doing exactly that, but that’s different because she’s Chinese. Somehow I think he might choose not to though.

    • Ross 5.1

      Pansy resigned because her hubby was touting for business in China. She wasn’t sacked.

      • Draco T Bastard 5.1.1

        She had the choice – resign or be sacked. Collins should be given the same choice.

        • Ross 5.1.1.1

          I’m not sure that’s correct. I recall Key saying at the time that it was no big deal but I could be wrong. Richard Worth wasn’t sacked for touting for private business in India…though he was sacked subsequently over another matter (and possibly due to an accumulation of issues). Apparently Key gave Worth a “bollocking” re his Indian trip.

          I agree that Collins should be held to account.

  6. North 6

    Collins naive ???

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/opinion/news/article.cfm?c_id=466&objectid=11215279

    The Herald being ‘seen’ to disapprove.

    Madame Hubris proceeds and will continue accordingly because that is her wont and because she can. The pursuit of personal and common-ilk advancement.

    Madame Hubris bathes in self-advised ‘exceptionalism’.

    • RedLogix 6.1

      That was exactly my response too. FFS how could anyone possibly pass off Judith Collins as naive?

      This is The Herald doing a piss-take.

      • freedom 6.1.1

        Does this sound like the career of someone who is naive?

        After leaving university, she worked as a lawyer, specialising in employment, property, commercial, and tax law. She worked as a solicitor for four different firms between 1981 and 1990, and then became principal of her own firm, Judith Collins & Associates (1990–2000). In the last two years before election to Parliament, she worked as special counsel for Minter Ellison Rudd Watts (2000–2002).[4]

        She was active in legal associations, and was President of the Auckland District Law Society and Vice-President of the New Zealand Law Society (1998). She served as chairperson of the Casino Control Authority (1999–2002) and was a director of Housing New Zealand Limited (1999–2001)

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judith_Collins

        • Ron 6.1.1.1

          Wait a minute, aren’t those two organisations that have seriously stuffed up their Raison d’être
          Wonder what the connection is oh wait a minute…

          She served as chairperson of the Casino Control Authority (1999–2002) and was a director of Housing New Zealand Limited (1999–2001)

          • Naturesong 6.1.1.1.1

            Yup, she was in control of the CCA when they traded additional gaming tables for a Convention Centre.

            In response Labour wrote and passed the Gambling Act 2003 to ensure this sort of corruption didn’t could not happen again.

            Weirdly, when National did it again, they tried to say that Labour had set the precedent.
            The saddest thing is, that people believe them. 😯

            Collins isn’t naive, she’s corrupt, and has history.

    • freedom 6.2

      “I go to a lot of things where I say I use your toilet paper,”

      I thought there were no toilets on Planet Key?

  7. ScottGN 7

    It must be bad if the Herald feels compelled to give the Nats the wet bus ticket treatment. Funnily enough though, calling Collins naive is probably going to get her more riled up than anything stronger.

  8. bad12 8

    Did the advice from the Cabinet Office to Slippery the Prime Minister really clear Judith Collins of having embroiled the office of the Minister of Justice in a conflict of interest,

    Our Prime Minister,known to have a relationship with the truth that at best could be described as ‘passing,(at speed i might add), in refusing to release such advice to the House where He has made the claim of innocence on Collins’s behalf supposedly based upon the advice of the Cabinet Office gives every impression that He now has something to hide,

    It would stand to reason, having used this so called Cabinet Office advice in an attempt to deter Labour’s Grant Robertson that our Prime Minister would, in the face of Robertson’s determination to hold Collins’s feet to the fire, simply table the advice in the House,

    Did Slippery the PM actually receive any such advice from the Cabinet Office in the first place, His refusal to release such a document,after having told the House that He has it,would tend to suggest that the advice He received did not completely exonerate Collins from allegations of having conflicting interests, or, no such advice existed full stop at the time Slippery the PM told the House that He had this advice,

    What is the game our Prime Minister chooses to play with this issue, one of letting ‘slip’ yet another lazy lie in the hope that the media will soon become bored with such allegations of conflicts of interest,???,

    Politics???, perhaps the PM enjoys having Judith Collins taken down a peg or two with these revelations all the while being careful to be seen to be ‘protecting’ the wayward Minister so as not to expose the divisions in the National Party ranks,

    IF, Slippery the PM has this supposed advice from the Cabinet Office He would surely have shut down Grant Robertson’s questioning by simply tabling it in the House or releasing it to the media,

    Until such time as this occurs i for one can only conclude that Slippery is being just that, and, no such advice from the Cabinet Office actually exists…

    • RedLogix 8.1

      If this is the game, is it not a risky one?

      I’m thinking that if Key is going to claim advice that clear Collins – then surely there exists some mechanism to compel him to release it eventually?

      If it’s necessary to produce evidence in the House to support an accusation of corruption like this, then surely the evidence purporting to defend it has to eventually be produced as well?

      Or am I missing something?

      • Pasupial 8.1.1

        RedLogix

        I/S seems to think there’s no chance, and if anyone knows about OIA requests it’s them:

        “The natural thing to do here would be to OIA the Cabinet Office to see whether they really did say that, and whether their reasoning stacks up. But there’s no point, because the Ombudsman has ruled [para 54 – 57] that such advice is “inherently confidential”, and need not be disclosed even when politicians use it as a shield in public. Apparently the (supposed) word of the “respected and impartial” Cabinet secretary should be enough for us. But that’s just hierarchical obey-your-“betters” bullshit. In a democracy, we don’t trust anyone. Trust is for suckers. We want to know that our politicians are behaving properly. That requires transparency. And where there is no transparency, where we are forbidden to know, we cannot trust, and we can only regard those politicians as guilty and corrupt.”

        http://www.norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2014/03/no-transparency-no-trust.html

        • RedLogix 8.1.1.1

          Thanks.

          I realise I was putting up a ‘naive’ scenario – but it’s sad to see that it’s the Ombudsman’s Office they are hiding behind..

          • karol 8.1.1.1.1

            I had thought Key said in the House in the last week, that Robertson could OIA the advice about Collins visit but I can’t find it.

            However, I did find this – NZ Herald Thursday:

            blockquote>Mr Robertson denied he had timed the allegations to detract attention from Mr Cunliffe’s campaign funding. He also denied working with NZ First on the issue. Ms Collins recently responded to a request from NZ First about her China trips under the Official Information Act but Mr Robertson said he had not seen that. Labour had asked some questions to get information in August last year and worked on it further last month.

            I can’t find the reply to NZ First.

            • Ant 8.1.1.1.1.1

              Yep he states it in the RNZ story, so it sounds like John Key has given his stamp of approval on releasing it 🙂

      • bad12 8.1.2

        Red, i think Slippery the PM thrives upon such ‘risks’, Blips list more than suggests that the ‘litany’ is just one big trail of lies,

        Has He got away with this, yep big time, my belief is that the PM gets His ‘buzz’ from such actions, from ”National will not be raising GST” to today He has simply ‘slipped’ bullshit into the political discourse at every opportunity, even when there appears to be little or no gain either personally or politically for Him having done so,

        As far as compulsion goes surrounding the release of such advice from the Cabinet Office to the Prime Minister i simply do not know,(whether such advice is also covered by the Official Information Act is at the moment a mystery to me as well),

        We can be sure tho that if such advice exists it will be in writing as all such ‘conversations’ are, with times and dates attached,

        Question time on Tuesday might be of interest as i doubt Grant Robertson will let the matter rest…

        • RedLogix 8.1.2.1

          Red, i think Slippery the PM thrives upon such ‘risks’, Blips list more than suggests that the ‘litany’ is just one big trail of lies,

          Yes that makes sense. It’s entirely consistent with his money trader mentality. It’s all about ‘what can I get away with’ as distinct from the ‘what can I achieve’ sensibility which drives most people.

          Because one day Key will be gone from New Zealand politics and no-one will be able to name a single thing of lasting value his government left behind.

          • bad12 8.1.2.1.1

            Red, in light of what Pasupial has commented above i would bet money that Slippery the Prime Minister received no such advice from the Cabinet Office as He says He did,

            Obviously knowing that there is no chance of the Opposition forcing this supposed information into the open allows the PM to say whatever He likes about such advice and other than challenge what He says in the House the Opposition is effectively kneecapped in any attempt to prove or disprove anything,

            i watched Grant Robertson in the House yesterday forced to address the questions for Collins to Findlayson who run a circular argument around the questions, Grant looked a bit deflated by it all,(chin up Grant their time will come),

            There’s a wider picture here as well, while us lot with full knowledge of Slippery the PM’s ‘litany’ will put anything He utters under the microscope in a ‘smoko room’ sense when we view the actions of the Prime Minister it would have to be in the vein of ‘Clever Bastard’,

            Using ‘advice from the Cabinet Office’ removes Slippery from the personal when defending Collins actions, the skeptical out there in the ‘real world’ while not viewing this issue a of huge importance would have a ”but He would say that” approach to the PM’s defence of Collins,

            Inserting the approval of the Cabinet Office, as independent advice, supposedly offered, takes the personal out of what the PM says and adds to it the air of independent authority…

            • Draco T Bastard 8.1.2.1.1.1

              Obviously knowing that there is no chance of the Opposition forcing this supposed information into the open allows the PM to say whatever He likes about such advice and other than challenge what He says in the House the Opposition is effectively kneecapped in any attempt to prove or disprove anything,

              Not really. The opposition can keep on saying that no such advice exists else Key would produce it. It doesn’t, after all, have any national security issues about it and it is in the public’s interest that it be produced.

    • ScottGN 8.2

      Also if the advice was sought before Labour raised this matter in the House doesn’t that suggest that, in spite of Key and Collins’s flippant (toilet paper?) and arrogant attempt to downplay the matter, someone in government thought it was serious enough to seek the opinion of the Cabinet Office.

      • Puddleglum 8.2.1

        That’s a good point.

        If the advice were received at that point, or even before the trip, it suggests that there may have been quite a premeditated intent to use ministerial status to help the company while keeping it within the realm of the ‘deniable’ so far as Cabinet rules were concerned … “So, if I did X would that be ok? How about Y? …” (That is, seeking the advice almost establishes such an intent.)

        How about not doing it at all, given the clear interest you had in the company?

  9. felix 9

    Key is really showing his true colours. What happened to Smile&Wave?

    • Skinny 9.1

      What Key is really saying is “we got $55,000 and some in donations, with the promises of alot more to come from this cash cow, what message are we sending our corporate sponsors and the party’s family, the very last thing we want is them getting the idea that we are democratic.”

      • PapaMike 9.1.1

        Skinny

        Are you able to confirm that the $55,000 donation from Oravida was only given to the National Party ?
        Did any other Parties get a donation ?

        • karol 9.1.1.1

          See for yourself – only National is listed as getting a donation from Oravida.

        • Skinny 9.1.1.2

          Look I can not confirm it but I understand Banks got 2 seperate envelopes handed to him while out door knocking in Epsom, during the last election campaign. My information is from a reliable family source who lives in one of the better streets of the leafy suburb. Their surrounded by right-wing fuckers. Anyway going on Banks ‘previous form’ one could assume there was 25 k in each envelope, so yeah maybe ACT got a backhander?

          There is another source that may have answers, since he has a vested interest, aswell as Judy Doll’s family in the ‘cash cow’ company. I am referring to Nationals ‘shadowy’ party president, Peter Goodfellow. He is in town at Nationals, Whangarei, Electorate, candidate selection meeting tonight.

          I will ask him for you, as I am not a member, it’s going to have to be via the unorthodox method of a loud hailer. However, some of my crew who are protesting Goodfellow slashing their recreational fishers rights, so his Sealords venture can make even larger profits, will try land the ‘big fish’ and reel Peter in so we can get detailed answers for you!

          P.S hope to have a photo op of holding the prize catch up by his tail. I hope your not squeamish as he could be gutted depending on the rules and standing orders of the fisherman. My advice to you Pop is be seated if your weak at the knee’s.

          • Skinny 9.1.1.2.1

            Unlike the other 15 Nat rats abandoning HMS Slippery Key, list MP Paul Foster-Bell is going to be made to walk the plank by Sealords pirate (rape & plunders our fisheries) Peter Goodfellow. 

            We know Key-National are full of snake oil merchants so quackery is a natural fit, therefore the Doctor is it.
              http://m.nzherald.co.nz/northern-advocate/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503450&objectid=11215529

  10. captain hook 10

    shifty key is on the downslope now. He and his cronies have absolutely no idea of the public purpose and playing fast and loose with the rules that connect the underpinnings of our democracy is a sure fire sign that he has given up all pretence of good governance and now its every man for themselves before they get the boot in November.

  11. ianmac 11

    Wonder where my post went? Perhaps Mr Key has his troops out moderating the Standard.

  12. ianmac 12

    And anyway there is no issue re Judith Collins. Political Columnist Jane Clifton on the Panel yesterday said this issue has no legs. And she knows! 🙂

    • Ross 12.1

      Remind me again who Jane Clifton is married to?

      • greywarbler 12.1.1

        She had a change of partner but I don’t know where or when? Didn’t it used to be McCully, she would be too quick witted for him I should think. It would be like the hare and the tortoise wouldn’t it?

        • Skinny 12.1.1.1

          McCully is trouble that’s why they prefer him living the life abroad. Key will be hitting the bottle hard Muza won’t have a bar of the ‘list only’ option. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least if he is positioning himself to roll Key, earlier than his intended return to go back to America.

      • rhinocrates 12.1.2

        Well now it’s Mallard. Awful taste in men, I have to say, but apparently they have some (invisible) redeeming features, or as Kissinger was supposed to have said, “Power is an aphrodisiac.”

  13. ianmac 13

    Anyway my missing comment said that Mr Key has hoisted himself. If the Cabinet Office was detrimental to Collins actions, Mr Key cannot disclose it or else he would be shown to be guilty of Misleading the House.
    So he has to sit tight with an extra roll of toilet paper.

    • Naturesong 13.1

      I wondered about this so reviewed question time.

      05 Mar 2014 – Question 9
      Grant Robertson to Minister of Justice
      InTheHouseHansard

      Rt Hon John Key: Is the Minister aware of whether the Cabinet Office has provided any advice on whether the Minister’s visit to Oravida’s premises in China is in any way a breach of the Cabinet Manual?
      Hon JUDITH COLLINS: Yes, the Cabinet Office, I understand, has advised the Prime Minister that my visit in no way contravened the Cabinet Manual.

      So even if the Cabinet Office made no such recommendation, no one has mislead the house.

      And they call Cunliffe tricky 😯

  14. Penny Bright 14

    FYI – in case you missed this?

    6 March 2014

    NZ Prime Minister
    John Key

    OPEN LETTER / OIA request – re: the alleged ‘conflict of interest’ of Minister of Justice Judith Collin’s perceived endorsement of Oravida milk.

    Dear Prime Minister,

    Please provide a copy of the advice purportedly provided by the Cabinet Office, upon which you are relying, which substantiates your following reported statement:

    Prime Minister John Key said the Cabinet Office “unequivocally .. said no there’s no breach.”

    Yours sincerely,

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption / anti-privatisation Public Watchdog’

    ……………..

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11214597

    Collins told Oravida its milk was ‘nice’

  15. MaxFletcher 15

    “just” guidelines?

    Right. How glib.

  16. Tracey 16

    2008

    John key campaigns on holding his team to “higher standards” than clark held hers.

    Contrast collins visit with john keys to open the panelised house factory in chchch yesterday. I see nothing wrong with key’s visit.

    Can those who have railed on about cunliffe truly not see the difference?

  17. irascible 17

    This blog from Frankly Speaking provides some nice insights into the murk around the Collins saga.
    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/oravida-ltd/

  18. Populuxe1 18

    The MSM reporting negativey about National – see it does happen

    • Blue 18.1

      Sure. David Cunliffe is ‘untrustworthy’ and ‘a fake’ but Judith is ‘naive’. Riiiight.

      • logie97 18.1.1

        Paul Henry (the Holmes-Mimic) was giving a review of David Cunliffe the other night and looking down the camera lens saying “… sorry, I just can’t trust you”.
        Can anyone retrieve Blip’s list and send it to Henry?

        • newsense 18.1.1.1

          If only Cunliffe had played some golf so Paul Henry would like him!

          Paul Henry: under Twunt in the dictionary. see also : fawn, obsequious, disingenuous, egotistical, blowhard, white man anger

        • karol 18.1.1.2

          Some friends from England were in NZ recently, touring the country. I didn’t talk to them much about NZ TV and definitely didn’t mention Paul Henry.

          Just before they left NZ after a few weeks travelling around the country, they said to me, “We really don’t like Paul Henry at all. How did he ever get a TV show?”

          • Blue 18.1.1.2.1

            Friends from Australia were the same during his ill-fated TV stint over there. A typical comment was ‘I really don’t like the guy with the glasses. He’s a dick.’

            • xtasy 18.1.1.2.1.1

              Blue, maybe put all the “dicks” together, so they can “rub it off” and have a great time all together.

              Apart from that, in NZ you get away with more than in other countries, certainly the ones in most of Europe, I would say:

              Tricky Patrick Gower in NZHouse of Cards

              But then again, it may not be as bad as in some third world “developing” places, but the arrogance of some presenters here is starting to even question that.

  19. Tracey 19

    the former lawyer and head of the law society may be many things. Naive is not one them.

  20. Tracey 20

    Anyone who genuinely doesnt understand why collins has badly overstepped the mark needz to read this…

    ” One exporter who had received an invitation said Chinese distributors and customers would be impressed by getting an opportunity to meet Key.

    “In China you just can’t do that,” the exporter said. “Getting into a room with the Chinese President – that’s just never going to happen. The fact that there is such good access to the Prime Minister will definitely be appreciated.”

    It’s understood that around 30 New Zealand companies have been invited to the meet-and-greet session.”

    Justice minister pops in to husbands company and has a glass of milk. Innocently. Roflmao

  21. big bruv 21

    “Collins goes to ground”?????

    Christ man, she has been all over the radio today. I heard her tear Chippy Hipkins a new one on Larry Williams show tonight.

    Do try and tell the truth.

    • xtasy 21.1

      big bruv – take a gasp of air, you are here on TS, not Kiwiblog, or are you too drunk to realise this?

  22. xtasy 22

    Some “inside” information has told me that Key likes the good old “drop” of wine, spirits and beer, and he is one mind that is shaped and “sharpened” by that “indulgence”.

    So he is doing just the same as his alcoholic father would do, to hide the bottles and whatever “damage” may be associated, and move on with it. The same applies to this case, where Collins is highly compromised, it can hardly be clearer that there was a conflict of interest, but the best defence is TOTAL DENIAL.

    And as a person familiar with alcoholic issues, with whatever comes with it, denial is NORMAL to Key, it is the way to deal with all major issues, and he is reassured of this, because he has a “co-dependent” partner, that is the MSM, also known as the “mainstream media”. They got given heaps of bottles of wines by way of “presents” by Key over the years, and they better also “disclose” this, or they will only fall on their swords, which have been sharpened, to defend their “co dependent” ally, John Key, no matter what, in election year 2014, all the way to another win.

    I know for a fact, there is a very high rate of alcoholism present in the media persons we daily rely on. But they get away with hiding in the closet.

    So the ranks “close”, and we have the manipulations and lies we get. Wonder why Key and Nats let the liquor industry off on alcohol regulation? Give it another thought, please!

    P. S.: Just for notice, many, may years ago, I associated with some Press Club persons, and I went to their “club”, and I never met so many alcoholics in one place, representing the “media” of NZ!

      • xtasy 22.1.1

        Yeah, I remember the photo, and it goes back a bit. I wonder, where it was taken, who is that other chap, and was it an “award” of sorts. He certainly looks “worn out” to say the least. I would not jump to conclusions on that picture alone, but add up all the info there is, and the hereditary factor, maybe our ‘grand leader’ needs time out, and recovery, rather than a third term???!

        I have enough experience with the matter at issue, so this only convinces me more, we have a “drunken sailor” run the ship called “NZ Inc”! Yes, I am sure, he has had it, he must go, and we need a change, that is clear.

  23. Hami Shearlie 23

    If you speaks with Wong Tung, you gets in twubble!

  24. mick 24

    Remember Patsy Wong ?

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