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Labour’s strong week – National and land sales to foreigners

Written By: - Date published: 9:05 am, April 30th, 2016 - 63 comments
Categories: david cunliffe, grant robertson, labour, national, phil twyford, same old national - Tags: ,

David Cunliffe Phil Twyford

Labour managed a couple of good blows on the government this week.

David Cunliffe disclosed that a Mossack Fonseca related entity had purchased a significant block of farmland in the Taranaki.  Through the judicious use of google a canny staffer managed to show that the beneficial owners had been held criminally liable for the depositing of carcinogenic material in a river in Argentina and the story had legs for a second day.  Then by questioning whether the owners really were of good character for the purposes of the Overseas Investment regime the OIO was forced to announce that it is reinvestigating the application.

It appears that the checks the OIO made included a brief use of google and a reliance on the applicants confirming they are of good character.  You have to question the thoroughness and quality of the background checks made and wonder in how many other cases have they been sub optimal..

From the Herald:

The Overseas Investment Office has re-opened its review of the sale of Taranaki farmland to foreign investors after Labour MP David Cunliffe revealed the Argentinian owners were prosecuted for pollution and discharging toxic chemicals into a river in Buenos Aires.

The OIO approved the $6 million sale of Onetai Station in Taranaki to Ceol and Muir Inc in 2014, a company linked to the Mossack Fonseca firm at the centre of the Panama Papers controversy. The owners behind it are Argentinian brothers Rafael and Federico Grozovsy.

Mr Cunliffe has questioned whether the brothers met the ‘good character’ requirements for OIO approval after uncovering documents showing a court found the Grozovsky brothers criminally responsible for chemical pollution of a river at their tannery in Buenos Aires in 2011. In a statement today, the OIO said those reports raised “serious issues” and it was now investigating them.

It came just a day after the OIO gave its handling of the 2014 decision the all-clear. It had reviewed that decision after discovering Ceol and Muir Inc was registered to the Mossack Fonseca offices.

Yesterday it released a statement said it was confident due process was followed and emphasised the foreign buyers had to “be and remain of good character” for OIO approval.

Grant Robertson followed up the initial OIO disclosure with a call for a full inquiry into circumstances behind the Government’s decision not to review the Foreign Trusts regime.  And he is right on the money.

At this stage it looks like a casual discussion between John Key and his personal lawyer and a referral to Todd McClay led to McClay changing the course of IRD action and eventually the ruling out of changes to the Foreign Tax regime being made.  It was only the disclosure of the Panama papers that has led to the Government grudgingly taking action.  This needs to be investigated.

Phil Twyford managed to land another blow in his housing portfolio with similar allegations of cronyism, a public entity not doing its job properly and overseas interests purchasing New Zealand land.

He had complained to the Auditor General about Housing New Zealand paying investment banker Andrew Body $1.6 million for advice on selling state houses.  In particular he was concerned that Mr Body may have been advising a potential purchaser at the same time.  Matt Nippert reported the issue in this way:

The Labour Party’s Phil Twyford is calling for an investigation into the Government’s handling of Housing New Zealand consultants, claiming “clear conflicts of interest” where they simultaneously formulated the policy to sell state houses, as well as advising potential buyers.

According to documents released under the Official Information Act, investment banker Andrew Body had declared in June 2011 when appointed to a ministerial advisory panel that his company Andrew Body Ltd was an adviser to the United Kingdom-based investment fund John Laing that “may seek to become involved in the provision of social housing”.

John Laing is also part of the SecureFuture consortium that built and operate the new privately-run prison at Wiri.

This declaration was not made to Housing New Zealand, even though at the same time ABL was earning more than $1 million under a contract to scope state house sales.

A spokesperson for HNZ said Body and ABL were not required to disclose the interest.

The office of the Auditor General has upheld the complaint.  The report is astounding and is littered with references to paperwork not being available.  You get a strong sense that the arrangements for ensuring value for money was really loose.

On the conflict of interest allegation the report says this:

There were some significant weaknesses in Housing New Zealand’s records of its management of the two potential conflicts of interest that you raised. Only one of the two was recorded in the contract documentation, and Housing New Zealand could not supply us with copies of advice that it had sought about it or mitigation strategies (if any).

The OAG thought that the John Laing link may have been to a different entity to that which expressed a recent interest.  But clearly more investigation needs to be done in the area.

Phil Twyford has responded:

It’s a disgrace that at a time when people are living in camp grounds and garages this Government is ignoring obvious conflicts of interest as they flog off billions of dollars’ worth of publically-owned land and housing to merchant bankers, foreign companies and overseas PPP investors.

“Andrew Body was paid $2.3m to help develop the sell-off policy, then to advise on the sell-off itself. Meanwhile one of his clients – UK-based PPP investor John Laing – was an interested party and is now a shortlisted bidder for the first tranche of houses to be sold.

“Housing NZ has been ticked off for failing to tender six major contracts in breach of the agency’s own procurement rules.

“This dodgy process makes it all the more alarming the National Government has changed the law to give ministers extraordinary unfettered powers to negotiate the sale of state houses on any terms they want.

“Housing NZ provided incorrect responses under the OIA and tried to cover up the conflicts of interest and their failure to tender these major contracts under government procurement rules.

“New Zealanders hate the idea that millions of dollars of state houses are being sold off by and to merchant bankers and overseas companies. It’s even more galling when this increasingly arrogant Government can’t even follow basic rules in the sell off”.

The two incidents have very concerning similarities.  Substandard management by the Government agencies involved.  Selling off our land in pursuit of foreign cash.  Cash is king.  Kiwi families are collateral damage because they cannot afford to buy or pay rent and the social housing is disappearing.

And the Mossack Fonseca issue is dominating the media for the third day in a row.  Matt Nippert has analysed the figures and suggests that the Foreign Trust industry is only paying a third of the tax that it should be paying.  That underlying sense of greed is impossible to dispel.

National is strangely silent.  No doubt the pollster is hard at work trying to sort out what acceptable line there is for the Government to take.

63 comments on “Labour’s strong week – National and land sales to foreigners ”

  1. Tautoko Mangō Mata 1

    Good work, Labour.

  2. Just Me 2

    I question the calibre of persons within the OIO.Their lackadaisical approach to thoroughly investigating the Argentinian owners back in 2014 is puzzling.For the OIO to merely Google a potential land buyer from overseas(in this instance from Argentina)shows considerable laziness on their part.
    Either they were ‘advised’ to let the investment go through by someone within the Key government or they are cavalier with their responsibilities to NZers.Especially considering the fact OUR taxes pay THEIR wages.
    Which now takes me onto the matter of the word and application of the word Cavalier in regards to this government. To date John Key has had a cavalier attitude and response to such matters as the housing crisis especially in Auckland.Recently(only last year in fact)when he was asked about the housing crisis in Auckland his childish response was ‘What housing crisis? I don’t see a housing crisis….” And when there are OIA requests made to the PMs office it appears there is a cavalier response by HIS staff to these OIA requests.In fact one suspects such requests go into the ‘too hard’ basket until someone has bothered to look at them.
    During Question Time in parliament when asked by the Opposition some really important questions it looks like the Ministers being questioned jump up with a flourish and simply(childishly in my opinion)reply with a “yes” or a “no”. They then promptly sit down and grin like cheshire cats who have pleased their Drearest Leader.
    It does appear this government are paying people who are obviously in THEIR pocket enormous salaries plus bonuses for being in charge of one Committee or another. Again it’s a cavalier attitude of this government to use OUR money to pay these lapdogs.It’s not costing the various ministers any of their OWN personal money and as per usual the NZ taxpayers are treated as the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff.The attitude by Key & Co is OUR money is ‘easy come/easy go’. A considerable sum of OUR money is being spent on vanity projects of one sort or another.
    In regards to the proposed land tax. If or when this tax comes into existence will there be a loophole so that existing overseas land owners are excluded? Will there be the likelihood that this government will say to a prospective overseas(meaning all through here from say China, South America or elsewhere other than NZ)that they must donate a sizeable amount of money to the National Party and in return the government will turn a blind eye to their ‘investment’?
    Will Key finally get the various multi-corporates who over many years have paid little of no tax here in NZ to start paying back-taxes etc?Or will he simply turn a blind eye because those multi-corporates have been donating to the National Party?
    Key is so happy to let the whole world know he regularly pees in the shower. But when matters more serious come along he either blames a previous government from almost a decade ago.To me the blaming the previous Clark government has gone way past its Used By date about 6 years ago.Palms the matter off to one of his underling ministers because he doesn’t have the attention span to think of serious matters or buggers off overseas especially to the US.
    And in regards to him and his company of hanger-on-ers e.g ministers; blaming the previous Clark government it’s time he realised that fawning over the very woman whose government he has disparaged and blamed at every opportunity is childish. Just because she is aiming for the top job in the UN and Key running to her like a dog in heat shows he is only doing this for himself and his OWN ego.
    His style of government has been with us for almost 8 years. Alot of bad things have happened during that time e.g Pike River, the Canterbury quakes especially of 2011, the housing crisis and even increased homelessness, the Rena incident, Ponytail-gate, etc,etc,etc. Most of the time of these events Key has reacted like a poor leader does i.e consigns the job onto someone else.After the Pike River disaster Key promised to pay the families of the Pike River 29 $3million in compensation. That promise was broken once the votes were counted after election 2011.
    John Key is in love with the title of being called Prime Minister. His attention span for the more serious matters that go with the job is that of a flea.He wants to come across as the most popular lovable larrikan but in reality he is poor PM material. He makes promises he has no intention on keeping once votes have been counted. For example no increase in GST.It does appear Key doesn’t mind multi-corporates paying little or no tax but he happily rushes through legislation to increase GST from 12.5% to 15%.The promise to ‘bring out our boys(from Pike River)’ was for voting purposes only. The broken promise to the Weekes couple was probably made in one of John Key’s hasty moments to appear a compassionate person(something that we all know John Key is not).
    I am sure I have left out many other items that shows this government is the worse government in NZ history. Yes I have forgotten about Massey’s cossacks and the Muldoon years. But here in the 21st century we have a government that has lost touch with the people in its pursuit of ALL things monetary for themselves i.e the politicians involved.
    Lets not forget the double dipping MP for Dipton, etc,etc,etc.

    • Anne 2.1

      Thanks Just Me. Not a lot to quarrel about in what you say.

      In other words a ‘cavalier’ Prime Minister and govt. with ‘cavalier’ attitudes… a ‘cavalier’ approach to honesty, fairness and trustworthiness and a ‘cavalier’ sense of entitlement for themselves and their mates. Sums it all up.

      • leftie 2.1.1

        I second that Anne. Great post Just me.

        • Brendon Harre -Left wing Liberal

          Our PM is very cavalier with his promises…… words are easy, it is the follow through that is hard…..

          http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/christchurch-earthquake/4694016/John-Keys-full-speech Feb 23 2011.

          This devastating event marks the beginning of a long journey for your city.

          It will be a journey that leads us from ruins and despair to hope and new opportunities. From great hardship will come great strength.

          It will be a difficult journey, but progress is certain, things will get better, Christchurch will rise again.

          On behalf of the Government, let me be clear that no one will be left to walk this journey alone.

          New Zealand will walk this journey with you. We will be there every step of the way.

          Christchurch; this is not your test, this is New Zealand’s test.

          I promise we will meet this test.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.2

      I question the calibre of persons within the OIO.Their lackadaisical approach to thoroughly investigating the Argentinian owners back in 2014 is puzzling.For the OIO to merely Google a potential land buyer from overseas(in this instance from Argentina)shows considerable laziness on their part.

      To work in the OIO would, IMO, require an ideological preference for selling to offshore owners. The mindset would be that the sale must go ahead no matter what.

  3. weka 3

    John Key’s legacy, corruption of the Public Service and State Sector.

    Seriously, in previous governments even where a government might be doing things that the left or progressives considers against the interests of the country, government departments themselves were still reasonably trustworthy. Now I’m not sure if any of them can be trusted per se, because National have been creating a culture that is the antithesis of public service. How are we to know now which public servants and departments are doing dodgy shit and which aren’t?

  4. Bearded Git 4

    I think Labour should release a policy now, as a back up to this strong week, promising legislation if elected requiring FULL disclosure for all NZ based trusts including all of the 12,000, possibly 20,000, referenced in the Mossack Fonseca issue.

    All assets, financial details, beneficiaries, trustees and their addresses overseas or in NZ should be required to be declared, plus beneficiaries should be required to obtain a NZ tax number just in case any of the Trust income is deemed taxable in this country.

    The list of trusts and all details should be made freely available online.

    Let Key steal this policy if he likes-but he won’t.

    • simonm 4.1

      Spot on BG. And while we’re at it, I don’t see why these foreign trusts shouldn’t have to pay tax on their offshore earnings if they’re domiciled in New Zealand. This would bring the obligations of foreign trust-holders into line with New Zealand citizens and permanent residents who must pay tax on their worldwide income.

      After all, if they’re really here to take advantage of New Zealand’s stable political and business environment and (admittedly flagging) corruption-free reputation, they should be happy to pay taxes that contribute to its upkeep.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1


        If you use the services then you need to pay for them. They’re not free like the RWNJs seem to think that they are.

  5. Skinny 5

    Just so tragic Labour dropped to 26℅ in the latest Roy Morgan poll. I have run into a couple of older gents lately that still harbour a grudge against Labour from the Rodger Douglas days. They both make a valid point of MP’s that just don’t inspire them enough to return to the fold. So I asked what will? New blood that workers can relate to.

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      Gnats gone if they get 45%….and they got 42.5% in that poll.

      • leftie 5.1.1

        In reality, Nats support could possibly be even lower Bearded Git. The pollsters are struggling like National is.

      • Chuck 5.1.2

        I must of missed something Bearded Git?? did Winston announce he will support a Labour / Greens government come 2017??

        Of course Winston’s pound of flesh will be the PM role 🙂

        In other words, don’t rely on Winston to be your knight in shining armor. Instead Labour must aim to once again be a party that can aim for 35% + in an election.

        • leftie

          Chuck, Winston certainly hasn’t announced he would support a National coalition government. In fact, Winston hasn’t supported a National government in almost 20 years, and the last time he did, he apologized for it in 1998. However, he did support a Labour government though.

    • leftie 5.2

      Those old gents are entitled to their opinions Skinny, but IMO the content of Mickysavage’s post is so much more important than an opinion poll conducted by dubious and outdated polling methods.

    • I hope you reminded the older gents that the only way we can guarantee new blood is for them to give two ticks to Labour, Skinny 😉

      For example, If Labour had got just a few thousand more party votes and won a couple more electorate seats last election, we would already have had 3-4 new MP’s.

      And, clearly, this itiration of the NZLP is well to the left of the party of the 80’s, which was hijacked by the dry right, so I hope you reminded them of that fact too.

      As it is, the writing is on the wall for some of the long servers anyway. I don’t expect Goff and Cosgrove to be the only ones leaving prior to the next election, which hopefully will encourage voters like your mates to look at Labour again.

      • Skinny 5.3.1

        Not sure the 2 ticks strategy is wise in some circumstances like one of the old boys votes in Northland, so at best 1 party vote should be the plan for him.

        Of course we put it out there to the likes of these old elephants that the clean out is coming, which is 6 years overdue I might add, but when one of them read the list of who should go I had to agree with his entire list (choose not to name them).

        The problem then becomes who comes through on the new list? Do we have workers amongst them, people that inspire other workers to vote Labour instead of straying to the other 2 options available.

        Another thing that we a curious about is will Labour not stand candidates in seats that other opposition party’s have the most realistic change of a win, and will the Greens continue to do the Auckland Central thing of vote splitting. And will the Greens have a crack at wining an electorate seat and be assisted by Labour by not fielding a candidate and going for the party vote only?

        The strategy under MMP has seen all sorts of selfish behaviour which has been both flawed and costly from the opposition bloc.

        • weka

          The strategy under MMP has seen all sorts of selfish behaviour which has been both flawed and costly from the opposition bloc.


          My impression of the GP is that in the long years of lack of a cooperative model they eventually got to the point of having to play the game as an isolated party like everyone else despite their kaupapa being one of working together and bridge building. They appear to make smart but very quiet moves like not standing anyone in Te Tai Tokerau. But they’re not going to give up the advantage of standing someone in a place like Waitakere until there is genuine co-operation and relationship with Labour. That doesn’t necessarily have to be outright, public concessions, but it does have to be something. That old school, we’re the big boys your should know your place, slap slap stuff has to stop (looking back at your Helen Clark). Fortunately Little seems to be more progressive and I’ve got some hope that something will happen before the next election.

          (I thought the Greens were wrong about Waitakere when it was a choice between Sepuloni and Bennett, but I also understand that that victory would have been largely symbolic for Labour and probably not worth the lost party votes).

        • te reo putake

          I don’t see Labour standing aside in any seat. The most there may be is the sort of nod and wink arrangement that we had in Northland and in Coromandel when Jeanette Fitzsimons won there.

          The simple fact is that the Greens aren’t within cooee of winning an electorate seat, and, Northland aside, neither are NZ First. So the best bet for all three parties is to encourage their supporters to back the Labour candidate if they have a reasonable chance of winning. In safe Tory seats, it really doesn’t matter.

          Sadly, National won some close urban electorate seats in the last election because many Green voters didn’t vote tactically. If Labour win more electorates, then the list placings the successful MP doesn’t need theoretically goes to someone further up the list, depending on the overall party vote. So for rejuvenation purposes alone, it’s vital for Labour to win more electorates. But I appreciate that might be a hard sell for some Green voters.

          It’s also vital for the people in the electorates to have an MP who cares. Do you reckon Paula Bennett is going to give a flying one about a solo mum in trouble? Same for Nikki Kaye, same for all of them, really.

          • Skinny

            “Sadly, National won some close urban electorate seats in the last election because many Green voters didn’t vote tactically.” No the Greens ran candidates where they shouldn’t have like Auckland Central. If I am a voter who doesn’t take much interest in politics and knows someone like you who tells me 2 ticks Greens in AC than I may take your advice. Therefore better you don’t give the option ‘party vote only and no Green candidate on the ballot paper. BTW Adern lost by 900 votes and Roche (Greens) got 3000 candidate votes, see what I am saying.

            Too be fair to the Greens they have not fielded candidates in close N/L seats only a Labour could win.

            I would say Whangarei is a seat NZF could win if both Labour and Greens don’t field electorate candidates and go list, party vote only, making it a 2 horse race between the incumbent Nat MP Shane Reti, who has become unpopular even amongst his own voters and a solid NZF candidate backed up by Peters campaigning and his ability to turn around the odds like he did in Northland. The wink wink nudge nudge strategy most likely won’t cut it in a close fight. And as stated you can lead a horse to water….

            How does Labour say on that??

            • Ad

              The Greens are a list-only party and are destined to stay that way.
              It’s the vibe.

              Labour already has far better candidates in Whangarei than NZFirst.
              You can look back in the results and figure out their respective backgrounds.

              No winking, no nudging, just best candidate wins. Democracy.

              • Shona

                Rubbish! you don’t understand the Whangarei electorate. They do not vote Labour. Full stop. It’s a red neck province. NZ First on the other hand ( more left than Labour with sound environment policies) is seen as a safe protest vote representing a nostalgic view of a NZ society long gone.no one up here reads policy. They’re either unable to ( illiterate) or too lazy. Reti is a creepy ignorant turd and deserves the boot because he is lazy.

      • weka 5.3.2

        As it is, the writing is on the wall for some of the long servers anyway. I don’t expect Goff and Cosgrove to be the only ones leaving prior to the next election, which hopefully will encourage voters like your mates to look at Labour again.

        That’s good news trp. Wishing Labour some good luck in bringing on new people (and like Skinny is saying, I hope they choose well).

    • weka 5.4

      I have run into a couple of older gents lately that still harbour a grudge against Labour from the Rodger Douglas days. They both make a valid point of MP’s that just don’t inspire them enough to return to the fold. So I asked what will? New blood that workers can relate to.

      Did you ask them who they vote for instead?

      • Skinny 5.4.1

        Northland guy party vote NZF and candidate vote Peters, Whangarei guy party vote Green, candidate vote Parone (NZF) after the Green candidate asked people not to vote for him, the old boy simply refused to vote for “the bloke in a dress” which was Ellis for Labour, I tried trimming him up on this but he told me to get bloody real lol.

    • Arthur 5.5

      I suppose I am one of the old codgers. Was always a member of the Labour Party until Douglas and his cronies persuaded me to relinquish my membership. Since then I have joined no party have shared my vote with Labour and the Greens and am still not convinced that Labour shares my view of what a Labour Party should stand for. Simply scoring points over National takes us nowhere.

  6. Grey Area 6

    Exactly Weka. The older I get the more cynical I become. And the main reason is the climate created by our current appalling “government”.

    Now when I hear some political, departmental or institutional figure make some statement as if it is fact, my reaction now is to ask: “But how do we know that is the truth?” Even if it is a source that once upon a time wouldn’t have been questioned.

    You have always had to be discerning especially when it comes to politicians or bureaucrats but It is now much harder to find the truth, amongst so much diverting, obfuscation, distortions, deliberate omissions, corruption and lying.

    Someone once said the golden age was never actually golden (or words to that effect) but I get very sad and angry when I see how low this country that I was once proud of has been dragged and at how many New Zealanders seem okay with it.

    • leftie 6.1

      +100 Grey Area. Once upon a time Kiwis wouldn’t have been ok with it. This country has lost its values, and it didn’t take long for a currency trader to corrupt it from the top down.

    • Reddelusion 6.2

      There is way more information around now than the past , you are looking back through rose tinted glasses, Fpr the bulk of 20th century all media was state controlled, all seemed well as you never heard anything barring one news, radio nz and your local paper , What you are struggling with is actually information overload and the huge number of mediums that news is now acquired 24 7 . People now just go searching for what they want to hear ( think Paul a regular contributor here and serial link merchant ) if you want to feel better go off the grid for a while and the world won’t seem so bad, nor is it in reality, reading the standard day in day out does not help either., simply like minded people winding each other up day in day out, very little positivity

      • Shona 6.2.1

        Drivel RD! We were exceptionally well informed in this country during the 1960’s and thru to the 80’s. We had the highest literacy rates in the western world the best free education and a caring and creative society.We had next to no censorship and moral issues were openly and widely debated. When James K Baxter died the whole country mourned. As an example of what type of people we once were. Everything was written about there was no shortage of information or discussion at every level of society. No the precious petit bourgeois did not like it but those shitheads had to wait their turn. Yes there was an underbelly of bigotry and crypto fascism.This was prevalent amongst the sporting and rural communities but there was a huge crossover between classes and social groups because of the free tertiary education. Bloody oath it was a golden age and the architects of neoliberalism have been hell bent on destroying it at any cost. Anyone who believes otherwise is an uninformed fool.

        • Stuart Munro

          Well said!

        • Reddelusion

          Shona You must have a very strong pair of rose tinted glasses, or possibly you are still living in that period metaphorically speaking The world moves on, unfortunately we stop been britians farm some time in the early 70s if you did not notice

          • Halfcrown

            “unfortunately we stop been britians farm some time in the early 70s if you did not notice”

            What the fuck has frozen lamb carcasses and a butter mountain got to do with how informed and well read we were in the 60/70’s Once again you are talking one heap of fucking crap pal.

    • Halfcrown 6.3

      Grey Area @ 6 said

      “Exactly Weka. The older I get the more cynical I become. And the main reason is the climate created by our current appalling “government”

      Shit I thought it was me, nice to know I am not alone.

  7. Keith 7

    What we need right now from Labour is a realistic simple bullet point statement about what they stand for and what they won’t. At the moment no one is really sure. It has to be framed in such a way that National cant bastardise it and steal policy and the corporate media can cope with.

    The Greens are about responsible environmental management to say the least, NZ First are for the elderly and left of National and Labour are, well, a hybrid of Roger Douglas, Michael Savage and some bits in between. Some clarity is badly needed!

    • dave 7.1

      while we wait for fuken perfection Romes burning Andrew little is fine by me i just want get on with restoring social justice and reform clock is ticking on climate change the debt bomb, technological unemployment ,poverty ,housing ,there is so much to be done and this is turning into a lost decade and a lost generation and that is not good enough i understand we ve been screwed over by neoliberalsim and its time to put it right.

      • Colonial Viper 7.1.1

        supporting another neoliberal party is not going to fix anything.

        • McFlock

          Well, in lieu of anything being available that will change anything fundamentally, supporting something is better than just being anti everything.

  8. Ad 8

    +100 Mickey
    A very good week.
    Great for conference.

  9. save NZ 9

    +100 – great to see the opposition are actually going to a lot of effort to highlight all these unbelievable breaches of trust and dishonourable actions by the government.

    Unbelievable. I had no idea about Housing New Zealand paying investment banker Andrew Body $1.6 million for advice on selling state houses.

    Selling State houses in the first place was horrific, but it just keeps getting worse.

    What about Key’s ‘ we don’t want to be tenants in our own country’ – seems like he’s the first one in to sell us off!

    Going 100% cheap to cronies, free offshore trust with every purchase by the PM’s own personal lawyer (who’s no longer a practising lawyer)!

    • Bearded Git 9.1

      Yeah save NZ-I hadn’t heard either about this latest $1.6m Gnat Party corruption scandal. The media burying it as usual-Key’s latest hidden Body.

  10. slumbergod 10

    A third of the tax they are supposed to be paying? Not really because what they should be paying is a lot more than what the law says. To roll back the neoliberal agenda tax rates in the top tier need to be a lot more than the watered down rubbish they are now.

  11. International Rescue 11

    So let’s get this right. An OIA decision, a call for an enquiry, and a complaint to the auditor general is a ‘good week’ for Labour? Gee I’d hate to see a bad week!

    Meanwhile, this is what NZ’ers really see of chicken little…http://www.nzherald.co.nz/claire-trevett/news/article.cfm?a_id=74&objectid=11631040.

    • joe90 11.1

      Meanwhile, this is what NZ’ers the world really see of chicken little,…..


    • UncookedSelachimorpha 11.2

      Sorry for being dense, but I couldn’t really see the relevance of the linked article to your comment..?

      • International Rescue 11.2.1

        Just that if even if Labour were having a better week than normal, Little will stuff it up for them. There’s more to come.

        [Another completely substance less comment. Lift your game or your commenting ability will be removed – MS]

    • Muttonbird 11.3

      Are you International Rescue as in the photographer’s agent here in NZ?

      The reason I ask is if you are not them I’m not sure how happy they would be with you using their name in spreading your own personal political opinion.

      If you are them, fine.

      Let me know.

      • Stuart Munro 11.3.1

        No – he’s international rescue because he’s basically a wooden-headed puppet.

  12. Chooky 12

    ‘Australia rejects large land sale to China’


    • Graeme 12.1

      There will be some tough decisions for nations in our region in the near future, do we run with the hares (emerging economies) or the hounds (traditional trading / defence partners)

      Front and centre in the Kidman decision, and really wasn’t going to be any other way.

      Other angle, where was the money coming from?

  13. Neil 13

    How ironic would it be if it was David Cunliffe that threw the knock out punch that took Key & the national party down, given Key’s extreme hatred of David Cunliffe.

    • Hami Shearlie 13.1

      That would be the thickest icing on the cake!!! David Cunliffe is not only hated but greatly FEARED amongst Key and all the Natz – I watch Steven Joyce’s body language in Parliament when David Cunliffe gets up to ask him a question – his whole demeanour changes, the smirk disappears without trace and he actually looks fearful and seems to have great trepidation about what is being asked, and where it all will lead!

      • Chooky 13.1.1

        +100 Hami Shearlie…bring back David Cunliffe …the Labour Party rank and file choice

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