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Key: up to Labour to stop us rorting

Written By: - Date published: 12:33 pm, November 17th, 2010 - 25 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, national/act government, slippery - Tags: , ,

With Pansy Wong in hiding on John Key’s orders, rort-buster Pete Hodgson laid the blame her corruption and all the other rorts squarely on Key yesterday. In question after question, Key couldn’t make a serious defence of his record. Then, he made an extraordinary admission: his ministers will keep on rorting – it’s up to Labour to catch them.

Here are the questions  from Pete (video at bottom of post):

4. Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) to the Prime Minister: Does he believe clear and unambiguous leadership is now needed to ensure that rules regarding the private interests of Ministers are upheld?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister) : As Prime Minister I have responsibility for protecting the integrity of the decision-making process of executive Government and maintaining public trust in the executive. I have always expected and demanded that my Ministers act lawfully and behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Was he showing clear and unambiguous leadership when, even before he became Prime Minister, he happened to forget how many Tranz Rail shares he owned?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Yes.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Was he showing clear and unambiguous leadership when he set up a blind trust to manage his real estate, dairying, and wine interests, which was blind in legal theory but which had 20/20 vision in practice?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member is wrong in his accusation.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Was he showing clear and unambiguous leadership when he reinvented a new ministerial housing system, supposedly to save the taxpayer money after the Bill English debacle, only to find that his system costs more because Ministers can, and do, pocket more money without having to show that their expenses are real?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: I am satisfied that the new system works effectively, is fair, and balances the needs of both taxpayers and Ministers.

Hon Pete Hodgson: Did he show clear and ambiguous leadership when he initially denied wrongdoing by the Hon Dr Richard Worth, the Deputy Prime Minister, Bill English, or the Hon Pansy Wong, only to have to backtrack when the facts emerged?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: The member is incorrect in his statement.

and, then the killer from Trev:

Hon Trevor Mallard: Does he stand by his statement on Breakfast this morning in relation to the Hon Pete Hodgson: “If he’d asked a question that was the right one, I’d at least, um, even—even reluctantly give him some credit.”; if so, is he suggesting that if the public want transparency around his Ministers’ misuse of taxpayers’ funds, that depends on the right questions being asked rather than his Ministers’ honesty?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY: Yes


Update: No Right Turn points out that National also blocked a Greens notice of motion calling on the Speaker to establish an independent review of MP’s expenses and allowances yesterday. How many other ministers would be out the door if the books were really opened up?

25 comments on “Key: up to Labour to stop us rorting ”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    I watched this at the time and could not believe Keys response. So much for raising the bar and transparency in Government, but as usual the MSM don’t pick up on this. Political reporters? What a joke.

    • freedom 1.1

      take National Radio yesterday, even at the 5pm news, two hours after the event, they had still not reported National blocked the call for an independent review of expenses

  2. insider 2

    If you knew Parliamentary procedure you’d know that the yes might only apply to one part of the question not the whole, including Mallard’s premise. So Key effectively said “yes, I stand by my statement”. That’s all.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      And yet it extends to the actual question. JK really is saying that he will not hold his MPs to any sort of ethical standard.

    • freedom 2.2

      insider, respecting your correct assertion of parliamentary procedure, Key’s statement was clear.

      The Prime Minister stated that transparency ‘is given credit’ with an answer,
      but only to the right questions.

      hammer the words into any shape you want,
      but is this how you want your government to function?

    • The Voice of Reason 2.3

      Even if you were correct, insider, the statement on Breakfast is bad enough. It confirms that honesty only applies if the right question is asked. That’s not transparency, that’s cowardice.

    • Lanthanide 2.4

      “So Key effectively said “yes, I stand by my statement”. That’s all.”

      But that’s not what he actually said. If he had said that in reply, then your interpretation would be plausible. But he simply said “yes”. Other times ministers are asked compound questions, they explicitly make it clear when they are answering only part of the question (and the Speaker usually backs them up, saying that the opposition should ask better questions). Key didn’t take the time to do so, so we must assume he meant “yes” to both parts of the question.

    • Armchair Critic 2.5

      If he meant “Yes, I stand by my statement” he should have said that. Because that would have made his answer very clear, and this is an important issue – they campaigned on transparency, ffs. So clarity is important.
      But he didn’t say “Yes, I stand by my statement”. He said “Yes” to the whole thing.
      My vague recollection of Muldoon was that he could be devastating with short answers. Key tried the same method and was devastating, but not in the way Muldoon was. I saw the exchange live on Parliament TV and was totally shocked that Key gave such a stupid, thoughtless, tactically naive answer.
      I still despair at the poor quality of political journalism in NZ today. Is there no one out there with the drive and intellect to dissect these clowns?

      • Draco T Bastard 2.5.1

        If he meant “Yes, I stand by my statement” he should have said that.

        Go read the question very, very carefully. Even by saying “Yes, I stand by my statement” he actually would have been agreeing to the rest of it as well because of the nature and wording of the statement.

        • Armchair Critic 2.5.1.1

          I don’t need to read it again. I saw it live on TV and I read the transcript later on last evening to confirm that what I heard was what was said.
          What was said is genuinely astounding, though it seems that Chris Finlayson is trying to look just as ridiculous with his answer to Q7 today.
          Part of my point was that John Key is very loose with his language, and is therefore not particularly suitable for the role of PM.

    • felix 2.6

      Nah, insider is right – ministers can answer any part of the question and they don’t have to state which part they’re answering.

      But in this case it doesn’t matter. Yes to either leg of the question is pretty damning.

    • bbfloyd 2.7

      at least you aren’t hurling abuse insider…. you might be better off with the namecalling though.. your attempt at obfuscation is lamentable at best. it didn’t cause me a seconds discombobulation… D-

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Jonkey’s answer to Mallard is the important one. The NACT government has no intention of being open, transparent or honest and yet there is nothing about it in the MSM.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    NAT DNA is pretty simple to analyse. Get away with as much as you possibly can for as long as you can. You can see it in Pansy Wong, you can see it in John Key. Birds of a feather.

    • Jim Nald 4.1

      And Shipley?

    • Chris73 4.2

      And Liarbours DNA is to tell lies and throw mud and its ok because the ends justifies the means…

      [2008 called – they want their propaganda back. Oh well, I guess I’ll release it from moderation anyway. As ever citizens, don’t feed the troll. — r0b]

  5. randal 5

    parliamant is becoming a joke.
    the nats are all inheritors and wannabees.
    they claim to be the party of business but there is no new business and the lot that have turned up to this parliament couldnt organise a piss up in a brewery.

  6. No Right Turn points out that National also blocked a Greens notice of motion calling on the Speaker to establish an independent review of MP’s expenses and allowances yesterday.

    I’ll unashamedly repeat myself: Gilbert Myles and I invested hours in researching the UK Parliament model of an Independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards, whose oversight extended to use of entitlements, Declarations of Members’ Interests, and a lot more besides.

    Not a one-off look at a particular administration but an ongoing, nonpartisan, independent body able to listen to, and investigate, concerns raised by the public as well as the parties.

    We then drafted (with the help of lawyers, for whom Gilbert donated the fees) a Private Members Bill to introduce such a Commissioner to NZ, taking into account NZ conditions.

    I can’t speak for Gilbert but for my part I’m more than happy for a party to have access to that draft and to our research – which I believe Gilbert still has – as a basis for their own proposition, provided whatever they put forward was a) nonpartisan in application b) ongoing and c) entrenched (so they couldn’t emasculate it when in power, as happened in the UK).

    Over to you, Labour, if you claim to be serious about doing more than shooting these fish who’ve so obligingly assembled themselves in a barrel.

  7. LOL. You’ve got to give it to him, he’s absolutely shameless but then he learned from the best.

    Here’s a few degrees of separation for ya. John Key worked for Merrill Lynch as you well know. He was according to his own website European head of Bonds and Derivatives. That is the very shit now collapsing the financial system. He was also the global head of foreign Exchange playing with the big boys and hedge funds at the time of the Asian crisis. What makes it really interesting is what happened in New York on Wall street from 1997 until 1999 the same time as the Asian Crisis by the way.

    The very time our Smiling Assassin worked in New York and had his own office in the Wall street head quarters of Merrill Lynch. It was the time of the repeal of the Glass Steagall act. The very act keeping the Wall street banksters from being able to make the absolute dream killing: Owning the world!

    The man instrumental in this feat was a man called Robert Rubin. Robert Rubin at the time held the title of United States Secretary of the Treasury under Clinton. He was also a member of a little known advisory committee called the Foreign exchange committee. Advising in that function no less then the Federal Reserve of New York and the grand master of monetary magic Alan Greenspan. Serving as it where two masters of the three masters. The banksters and the corporate government. Te ones missing out were the population of the US but who cares when you’re having fun.

    And this is were it becomes interesting for New Zealand. Rubin named the most corrupt Capitalist ever and responsible for the repeal of the act shared this committee with a man whose name we all should know because he was the one bragging about bringing John Key to the big time. Yep, John Key’s direct boss (According to his “unauthorised” biography which after I confronted journalist Eugene Bingham about the omissions and lies he had written had all references removed to his banking career and his connection with bonds and Derivatives or Andrew Krieger. No worries, the original is safe for those of you wanting to read it.) Stephen Bellotti. Both were appointed in 1996. The appointment usually lasted three years and what is so interesting is that when both left another man was appointed to follow Belotti up. Three guesses who that was.

    Stephen Belotti left Merrill Lynch in 2003-4 to start working for Blue Sky Capital investment as a stategist in Capital markets and John Key left his function at the FEC and Merrill Lynch in March 2001 to become the fastest rising Politician in New Zealand. What ya reckon?

    His boss was cozy with the most corrupt Capitalist ever and Johnny boy followed both men up in the very same committee helping Alan Greenspan build the biggest bubble this world has ever seen and which is now blowing up in our faces leaving the worlds economy in tatters only possible because the very year John Key entered the very Sanctum of Wall street responsible for this bubble the very act keeping that from happening was repealed and his function at Merrill Lynch was selling the very financial instruments now causing the global economic collapse.

    Oh yeah, he learned from the best and when he and his mate’s are done, New Zealand will be bankrupt, selling it’s resources, land, mining rites and it’s children’s children’s future just to have a scrap of food on the table while Johnny boy sails of into the sunset towards a well deserved retainer enjoying his pad in Hawaii.

    Other high profile mates of Rubin? His deputy Secretary Lawrence Summers whose protege is Timothy Geihtner the current Secretary of Treasury is instrumental in organising all the big bailouts after Paulson and who for some reason was very cuddly with John Key at the last APEC meeting in a “surprise” meeting talking about a nice free trade agreement which y’all have recently found out is free and beneficial for the top but not so free for the rest of us.

    No conspiracy of course, just the old boys network. ROFL.

    Captcha: EXCESSIVE. You’ve got to be kidding me. LOL.

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