web analytics

McCully and the Auditor General’s report on #sheepgate

Written By: - Date published: 9:00 am, August 27th, 2016 - 17 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags: , ,

Like him or loathe him Matthew Hooton sticks to his guns when his principles are offended. And he has clearly been deeply offended at Murray McCully’s antics around sheepgate.

Hooton was the person who famously said about McCully that he would find a corrupt way to run a sausage sizzle for the local hospice.

McCully’s ingenious method of dealing with a supposed threatened law suit by building a sheep farm in the middle of a desert, flying a number of sheep there and then watching as most of them died attracted the attention of the Auditor General.  An inquiry was announced over a year ago.

As time passes by and the Auditor General’s report about Sheepgate gets closer to being released Hooton is not letting go of the issue. This recent tweet caught me by surprise.

https://twitter.com/MatthewHootonNZ/status/768719034271473664

If the tweet is correct then you have to wonder what is happening and how McCully can refuse to meet with the Auditor General and answer questions. The Auditor General has very wide powers including the ability to require statements on oath.

From the empowering legislation:

26 Power to examine on oath
(1) The Auditor-General may, in the course of the exercise or performance of the Auditor-General’s functions, duties, or powers, require a person to give evidence.
(2) The Auditor-General may require the evidence to be given either orally or in writing.
(3) For the purpose of examining a person, the Auditor-General may administer an oath.
(4) Section 108 of the Crimes Act 1961 (which relates to perjury) applies to an examination under this section.

There is an exception for cases involving possible self incrimination. But if a Minister was to say that they do not want to answer questions because it may implicate them in possible criminal offending  you would think that their Ministerial warrant would be removed forthwith.

It appears that McCully is fighting the content of the AG’s report. From Dimpost:

Rumour has it the delay releasing the report has been caused by McCully and MFAT lawyering up and litigating the entire report, line-by-line. On a recent RNZ politics segment Matthew Hooton suggested that this process will involve a negotiation with the Auditor General’s office to include an exculpating sentence in the executive summary that National can seize on as evidence that McCully has been ‘completely cleared’, regardless of the findings of the report, which seems to be how these things are done nowadays.

It has now been a year since the AG started the investigation.  The release must be very close.  Will a Ministerial scalp be the result?

17 comments on “McCully and the Auditor General’s report on #sheepgate ”

  1. dukeofurl 1

    “The Auditor General has very wide powers including the ability to require statements on oath.”

    Which wont ever be happening under this AG. The OAG used to be have sharp teeth and bite when necessary but its become a toothless watchdog, which barely wakens from its slumber.

    • Muttonbird 1.1

      Deliberately so under this government. That’s why we’ll see a slide down the transparency rankings in the years to come.

      National government proponents don’t mind this as long as it keeps Labour on the sidelines. To this end, they’d rather compare us to Somalia than our previous selves when it comes to corruption measures and other indicators of social wellbeing.

  2. Observer Tokoroa 2

    .
    .
    .It must be difficult for our AuditorGeneral to get information from McCully or Key.
    Else, why has her report taken so long?

    . John Key is absolutely a total believer in lying. He has probably trained the weak kneed McCully along the same lines.

    .Is amazing how internally slavish the current government is.! They never ever challenge the sick PM. Scared, I guess.

    The Sheepgate – is presented to us by the Maori Party; by the Act Party; by the United Future Party. The little National Party is admitting that it knows nothing!
    .

    • Wensleydale 2.1

      McCully might come across as a bumbling dolt, but he’s possessed of a weasel-like cunning and a talent for self-preservation. If he was a complete knob-end, he’d not have lasted half as long as he has, particularly within the poisonous quagmire of the National Party. If he goes under, I suspect he’ll drag a few of his fellow travelers with him.

  3. Sirenia 3

    I don’t think McCully is doing any good for Helen Clark’s campaign . He seems to be universally disliked.

    • Keith 3.1

      I recall this corruption was derided by foreign diplomats who wondered how his behaviour had allowed him keep his job. Clearly they hadn’t met our PM!

      I agree though, this sleezy government who amongst other things goes against positive global policies like climate change initiatives and who sets up money laundering tax havens and is utterly indifferent to child poverty must be doing Clark no end of harm.

      NZ is no longer a shining light.

  4. gsays 4

    “Rumour has it the delay releasing the report has been caused by McCully and MFAT lawyering up and litigating the entire report, line-by-line.”

    I am curious about who approves the litigous approach.
    Also if there is a budget constraint or consideration in these matters.

  5. Anne 5

    Well, the inference implied is: the AG has produced a damming report. Damming enough to force Minister McCully to resign. So, he’s fighting tooth and nail, and Key is supporting him because he knows the long term prognosis for the survival of his prime ministerial status is also at risk. Together they will be pulling every dirty trick in the book including barely disguised bully-boy tactics against the AG. If she is strong enough she will resist them, but they will make sure her standing in the community is somehow compromised and she will know it.

    This is the way those neo-libs operate and that level of power.

  6. mary_a 6

    Am I just a cynical old bird, or is anyone else expecting a whitewash to be the result of the AG’s findings here?

    • Leftie 6.1

      Agreed, I think we are all expecting a whitewash of some sort. And nope, you are not a cynical old bird, you’re a realist, it’s the pattern we have all seen time and again under the John key regime.

  7. mosa 7

    My how things have changed in Aotearoa.
    Its only taken eight years too become the status of a banana republic.
    Nixon once said after the Watergate scandal “its not illegal when the President does it” i think John Key firmly believes that otherwise McCully would have been gone a year ago but as usual there is more going on here than the public is aware of and the AG will be under huge pressure to find no wrongdoing in this whole disgusting mess and the PM knows he can get away with anything.
    John Key promised high standards for his ministers if elected in 2008 but he has never enforced these standards because he never had them in the first place.
    My prediction is McCully will be censured but not forced to resign as he is one of those in the inner circle and has a lot of influence in the government and of course the AG will suggest there are lessons too be learnt and process that was not followed, you can almost write the script for these investigations because it always ends the same way under this government.
    The problem with these things is perception and even though this story does not have the shock value of the All Blacks being spied on (heaven forbid) in the news media its just another example of the rotten smell of corruption and dodgy deals that have become the norm in this country by those who dont want their positions threatened and slowly people are waking up too this.
    Accountability and the truth have long scince disappeared from the landscape and its now sadly become normal practice.

  8. whateva next? 8

    As you say,
    “Nixon once said after the Watergate scandal “its not illegal when the President does it”
    But Nixon underestimated the fourth estate.. The Washington Post.
    How would that happen now that the fourth estate is bought?

    • NZJester 8.1

      That is what the right learned from the Watergate scandal, not that they should not do it, but that they should make sure the media will never report it, or at least not without their spin.
      Here in New Zealand, John Keys number 1 fan boy who claims not to be a journalist, currently holds a number of jobs that should be filled by a journalist on prime time TV spots and on radio.

    • mosa 8.2

      Nixon also put his trust in amateurs which meant he got in his famous statement” a third rate burglary” when the plumbers got caught in the Democratic offices.
      But yes without Woods and Bernstein and the infamous deep throat the illegal activity would never have been exposed.
      Key and his government have silenced just about everyone in this country except people with the guts too speak out like Nicky Hagar who faced enormous consequences publishing his book on the dirty politics scandal with Key and his office being involved and implicating Collins and Slater and what does that say about all those National MPs that sit there and dont challenge any of this !
      Hagar of course had too rely on someone on the inside to release the information.
      This has of course prompted the government too come after anyone considering releasing damning information about what the government is involved in and its tactics and cover ups with the threat of a 5 year prison term for any “whisteblower” and thats bad news for any democracy like ours( and i use the term democracy loosely)
      that relys on patriots like Hagar to inform us of the truth.
      The way this country is heading is truthfully is bloody terrifying and the loosers in all of this are the good New Zealand people who deserve a hell of a lot better and i am sure did not vote for this version of John Keys ” brighter future.”

      • Gangnam Style 8.2.1

        “what does that say about all those National MPs that sit there and dont challenge any of this” – Indeed!

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Environment Court Judge appointed
    Prudence Steven QC, barrister of Christchurch has been appointed as an Environment Judge and District Court Judge to serve in Christchurch, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Steven has been a barrister sole since 2008, practising in resource management and local government / public law.    She was appointed a Queen’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 hours ago
  • Government moves on climate promises
    The Government is delivering on its first tranche of election promises to take action on climate change with a raft of measures that will help meet New Zealand’s 2050 carbon neutral target, create new jobs and boost innovation. “This will be an ongoing area of action but we are moving ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Jump starting research careers
    The Government is investing up to $10 million to support 30 of the country’s top early-career researchers to develop their research skills. “The pandemic has had widespread impacts across the science system, including the research workforce. After completing their PhD, researchers often travel overseas to gain experience but in the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    11 hours ago
  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister Shaw speaks with U.S. Presidential Envoy John Kerry
    Minister for Climate Change, James Shaw spoke yesterday with President Biden’s Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry. “I was delighted to have the opportunity to speak with Mr. Kerry this morning about the urgency with which our governments must confront the climate emergency. I am grateful to him and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago