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Mayday Mayday, Worth’s bought it and I’m losing altitude – Groser out

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, April 1st, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: corruption, economy, International, john key, national/act government, same old national - Tags: , , , , ,

Sqn Ldr Worth's spiffing Blenheim is about to go MIA

Sqn Ldr Dick 'Limpy' Worth: his jolly spiffing Blenheim is about to go MIA

Richard Worth, OBE, is now in very serious trouble having been snared in what looks like untruths about using his Ministerial portfolio to further the interests of a company he had a private commercial interest in. It’s pretty blatant and really Key won’t be able to get away with keeping him on for much longer.

The death knell was when a very nervous Minister made a Freudian slip in the House saying that he “had no erection” while trying to stammer the lame excuse that he “had no recollection”. With that one slip you could almost see the falling guillotine reflected in Key’s eyes as he smiled at Worth’s anguish. I felt sorry for Worth, watching the man implode as he realized the enormity of his slight but catastrophic slip. He did well to hold back the tears, so apparent was it that at that very moment a quite long and harmless, if not very illustrious, career had just ended. And still the troubles for Worth seem far from over as Eddie suggests.

Yes you should look worried mate

Yes you should look worried mate

Now Tim Groser, National’s Minister of Trade, has taken a serious hit. Groser was also a director of the Aviation training company that Worth’s involved with, but Groser at least resigned in January. Why he took so long to realize he was ethically bound to resign when elected in November is a bit of a mystery but fair enough, we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt on that one.

What’s now been revealed is that Groser “just remembered” last night he still has 2000 shares in Indian Overseas Group Ltd, a lobby group for Indo-New Zealand trade. I wish I had enough money where I could forget about 2000 shares of anything, but more importantly I wonder what other pesky details concerning obeying basic rules have he and his fellow ministers “forgetten”?

This kind of rubbish amateurism has the potential to tarnish New Zealand’s well deserved and invaluable  international reputation as a corruption free, largely ethical and responsible trading partner. A Minister that’s so lax with his personal finances that he can’t remember a few thousand shares here or there is simply not good enough. Particularly when he’s legally obliged to make sure he doesn’t have conflicts of interest like this.

Perhaps we need an audit of all ministers to make sure nobody else has “forgotten” anything? Surely our gallant, albeit tired, PM is all for Government transparency and accountability of the highest standards?

So far Key has done nothing but issue a reprimand as limp as Worth’s attempted defence. If he’s to avoid being labeled a two-faced hypocrite Key has to hold his ministers to the same standards he expected of Labour while it was in Government. The records are littered with Key calling for Labour ministers to be fired for far lesser offences. Reprimands in private are not enough to cleanse this, it’ll keep festering and eroding National’s already wobbly reputation on basic competence and trustworthiness.

Yet another ineffectual limp backwards for National.

35 comments on “Mayday Mayday, Worth’s bought it and I’m losing altitude – Groser out”

  1. monkey boy 1

    Ha Ha! But seriously, guys you have to tone it down. It’s getting harder and harder to gauge which day is April 1st.

  2. gingercrush 2

    Your post shows a clear misunderstanding of parliament and politics in general. Phil Goff was pathetic in the house yesterday and John Key got the better of him. Labour has not been able to make this a big issue. They’re clearly are still not up to being a opposition party.

    This kind of rubbish amateurism has the potential to tarnish New Zealand’s well deserved and invaluable international reputation as a corruption free, largely ethical and responsible trading partner.

    This cracked me up. Anyone remember Winston?

    Unless Goff is able to do something today which I find doubtful. This issue will be forgotten by Friday.

    • r0b 2.1

      My goodness – is this the same gingercrush who once so boldly wrote “when the National party does something wrong I’ll call them out”!

      You’re not “calling them out” gc, you’re frantically covering for them…

      • gingercrush 2.1.1

        I said yesterday Labour had the potential to do something with this. But their performance in the House yesterday clearly showed they weren’t up to the task. They could have made National look very bad. The fact is Worth fucked up. Groser someone who you would think would be smarter than this also fucked up. No one is denying that. The problem is Labour hasn’t been convincing in this at all. Goff carried a holier-than-thou attitude yesterday and it didn’t work. Indeed he felt weak in Question Time yesterday and he should have been more aggressive.

        If you look at this carefully and try and be non-partisan about it. 1. It isn’t a sackable offense. 2. Labour was horrible at covering this yesterday. 3. Despite Worth having the weakest defense over this Labour still could not make much out of it.Such tasks would have been much better handled by Trevor Mallard but they decided for Goff and then Hodgson to tackle this. And It failed miserably.

          • gingercrush 2.1.1.1.1

            Um what is that meant to prove? You could take so many issues brought up in parliament most of which doesn’t have much relevance to anything and provide five links to such information. I never said it wasn’t serious. I said in my mind Labour wasn’t able to make much out of it. Hodgson did okay I don’t doubt that. Worth looked like an idiot. I don’t deny it. My point is Labour could have made this very serious and they were not able to do that.

            Labour’s job as opposition is to hold the government to account. But more importantly, have the ability to make the government look bad; identify issues in policies that are problematic and highlight issues where Ministers have acted incorrectly. This Worth affair could have become a big thing that not only gives Labour confidence again but highlights the government in a negative way . But instead of using it to their advantage. It only made them look soft. Typically Labour has Phil Goff ask two questions from the 12 allowed on issues to the Prime Minister. Yesterday he asked just one. The fact is Labour has done poorly on this issue when they could have made it a very serious issue.

            Labour has been far better with Nick Smith and they have been able to make him accountable.

          • r0b 2.1.1.1.2

            Um what is that meant to prove?

            That there has been a lot of attention paid by the media to this issue. That Worth is now a laughing stock. That your assessment of how effective Labour has been is somewhat “subjective”.

            You could take so many issues brought up in parliament most of which doesn’t have much relevance to anything and provide five links to such information

            No you couldn’t, don’t be silly. Four of those five links were to pieces published today, there has been far more over the week.

            Bye for now…

          • mickysavage 2.1.1.1.3

            Come on Ginger.

            Worth has been caught in the worst possible position. Key’s attempt to be Labour lite yet also claim that they would do things differently to show that National has changed for the better is wearing thin. It seems that the old born to rule mindset is as strong as ever.

            There is also this strong suspicion that one or more Ministers may have been profiting from their role as a Minister and this is just not on.

            You can dress it up as much as you want. Calling it a non sackable offence concedes that it is a scandal.

            And the only judge that matters is public opinion.

            If it had not ended already this is the start of the end of the honeymoon. All those bright eyed new National voters will now be becoming cynical about what they had been sucked into voting for.

    • Blah blah blah Winston Winston Winston. You guys do realise you only get to play that card once right? Are you sure you want to use it up now?

  3. both completely hopeless defences of the actual issue gc.
    you’re not ‘managing’ their PR are you?
    like National, must… try… harder.

  4. gingercrush 4

    You’re not managing the left’s PR either. Phil Goff and Labour looked like a party of idiots. They did. They can’t ask questions without looking like idiots. This thing is getting little coverage. I’m listening to National Radio and there hasn’t even been a mention about it. Meaning its Labour that has lost this PR war. Goff got no coverage from TV One only Hodgson did. You’re losing the PR war its certainly not National.

  5. andy 5

    Dr Worth said in Parliament: “I am simply unaware of the truth of that statement. I do not believe it to be correct.”

    [snip]

    Mr Gupta and Mr Dhillon are also the remaining directors and shareholders of NZ Aviation, and are also fellow directors and shareholders of the Indian Overseas Group Ltd – the company with a similar name to the not-for-profit Indian Trade Group.

    Dr Worth had two fellow MPs on the delegation, Mr Bakshi and Invercargill MP Eric Roy.

    This is very messy!

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10564548

  6. Hilary 6

    Sorry thread highjack here but I am angry that National is apparently backtracking on its pre-election pledge to include Playcentre in the 20 hours free child care. Playcentre campaigned for National on this and congratulated them on their election win.
    But after all its only little kids, and so not newsworthy.

  7. gingercrush 7

    mickeysavage – Your post has merits and in isolation sounds great. But the problem is that when the government stuffs up as clearly happened here the opposition needs to do something about it. Goff failed completely. Hodgson wasn’t much better he was only helped that Worth is such a useless shit, him just speaking makes him look useless. The problem is how much longer will the media go over this issue. National Radio has dropped it. That isn’t a good sign. The newspapers will quickly get on with something else same goes for the tv media. Potentially Labour can still do something today. But it is going to be way better than their performance yesterday.

    • Tigger 7.1

      Enough digging around Worth’s role as ‘consultant’ to Simpson Grierson will give Labour some fresh dirt I’m sure.

  8. For a “law ‘n order” party, national seems to have a lot of trouble following the rules….or even knowing what they are.

    Maybe it is just incompetence, though Gerry Brownlee’s proven contempt for the rules as they might apply to National suggests it’s more along the lines of ignore than ignorant.

    This pack of bozos looks like imploding as times get tougher. Makes one wonder if Key is control, or driving from the rear, trying to keep the others in sight.

    Key’s “no secret agendas” line has already been blown sky high by the crony capitalists around him rushing to help their mates loot the state even as they borrow – on the taxpayer – to fund all the future profits of their buddies and (mainly foreign, it seems) corporate patrons. There aren’t many (if any) local NZ-based insurance companies going to benefit from National’s policies.

  9. jcuknz 9

    I think you folk are clutching at straws, very weak and flimsy straws at that, over this business.

    • big norm 9.1

      I’d very much like to know how much these shares that are apparently going to ruin tim groser are worth – “I wish I had enough money where I could forget about 2000 shares of anything” – if they turn out to be worth 20 cents each then the author of this article is going to look pretty dumb with this ‘rich prick’ style comment. Maybe the ‘investigative team’ at the standard could go look up the price of these shares?

      Then again if this investigation turns up as much information as mike williams’ trip to australia on his quest to destroy john keys image, well, it’s probably easier to write partisan hack nonsense like this article and not even bother with trying to get to the bottom of it.

      • Matthew Pilott 9.1.1

        Yes, big norm, the main thing with Conflict Of Interest is how much money you stand to make from it. It is nothing to do with the principle at all.

        As I understand if you make under $500 then you get a quick handshake from the PM, whereby the PM’s pinkie will stroke your palm in the Masonic fashion with no fewer than two (2) strokes.

        $501 to $1,250 will earn you a slight frown, and the right to maintain a ruffled brow for a period not exceeding one (1) day.

        $1,251 to $10,000 gets you a “reprimand”, the details of which shall be private and the consequences of which must pass a legal test for being “transitory and trifling”, subject to citizen referenda.

        $10,001 plus will generally include at least two (2) of the following acts: a “bollocking”, a “bullocking” (like the first, but involves bovine livestock), a “real bloody earful” or a “right royal dressing down” (strictly not in the presence of royalty).

        I hope this answers your idiotic question.

  10. DavidW 10

    Tigger
    So you mean that no MP of the governing party has a right to have any investments or connections be a patron or supporter of anything once they get elected? Bollocks

    Start if you will with Helen Clark and the ownership of multiple rental houses and then having input into legislation covering LAQC tax issues.

    Go on with Philip Field employing immigrant labour while Associate Minister of Immigration

    Continue with Jeanette Fitsimmons having investments in a turbine company and having input into wind farm technology and campaigning against Project Aqua

    Shane Jones double dipping, I’d be surprised if Pete Hodgson has absolutely no remaining interest in his old vet practice (I don’t know but can’t be assed digging to be honest as it is such a non-issue)

  11. DavidW 11

    Oh and BTW Tigger. If you are looking for a “dirt digger” which seems to be an art refined by the left, I can put you in touch with Mike Williams. I’m sure he has a bit of time on his hands at the moment

  12. Observer 12

    correct

    The Winston cloud was raining on their potential parade

    -_-

    .

  13. gobsmacked 13

    Quick recap:

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

    Below, a photograph of a press conference, given by Richard Worth during his visit to India. The banner says “Minister”.

    http://www.richardworth.co.nz/uploads/Minister2.JPG

  14. the sprout 14

    there must be some kind of “translation problem” with the Indian photograph 😉

  15. Tigger 15

    Wow, you right guys are really nervous about this Worth thing. What is there to find here?

    I think this thread has thrown some sensible light on the worth (no pun intended) of conflicts of interest in a financial sense. If there is larger financial gain then it will result in harsher penalities.

    No good quoting the past to me – I’ve never weighed in supporting Labour on this issue. I believe in a tough line on conflicts of interest – substitute Worth for Field and I’d be saying the same things. I do have an issue with MPs of any party getting salary from elsewhere, however. Not investment income – but salary (contractor or otherwise). You can argue that point with me but it’s just something I think isn’t a good look for them.

    Bottom line, it’s all about perception. Worth looks shonky and, erection quip as evidence, like a doofus. Key keeping him around looks like a silly management move.

  16. gingercrush 16

    I see neither Phil Goff or Pete Hodgson asked questions in regard to this matter in the house today. Though Goff just spoke about it in the General Debate. Goff should have asked questions and its disturbing that he didn’t. A speech during General Debate simply doesn’t cut it and one can only conclude, that he didn’t have the confidence to ask questions about it.

    While Eddie seemed to think Labour had more on this subject in regards to Richard Worth. Why then did they not use the opportunity during question time to do it. It’s Question Time that tends to get media attention not what occurs during the General Debate.

    • the sprout 16.1

      don’t be disappointed gc, too much other news today – it’ll keep.

      and Worth is already a dead man walking.

      • mickysavage 16.1.1

        These things tend to snowball.

        Just wait for a few more days to pass and more information will start to pop up. If Worth was stupid enough to put a commercial plug into a ministerial speech then he may have done it more than once. The Simpson Grierson stuff may also start to develop.

        The member for Epsom may not experience another election (spelt with an “r”?)

        • gingercrush 16.1.1.1

          I fully expect him to be gone as a Minister when the cabinet experiences some type of shake up just before the election. And I think him, David Carter, Maurice Williamson and a few others in National will be expected to either resign by the end of this term or will be pushed promptly to backbencher status. And David Bennett can kiss goodbye to whatever chances he had in cabinet with that awful display today.

  17. gingercrush 17

    I disagree. Labour needs to keep the momentum. Yes they wanted to talk about tax Since in the bigger picture that is of far more importance. That is fair enough. But if that want this to keep going they need to ask questions about it. If not Phil Goff (who of course was asking questions about tax cuts) then Phil Hodgson at least should have asked some questions. See Labour always asks questions of Nick Smith, they have been able to keep that momentum up. Thus every question time, there are always questions targeting Nick Smith and it works. That is why Labour should have had questions on this issue today.

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