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Nat’s oppose transparency (again)

Written By: - Date published: 7:50 am, September 20th, 2012 - 29 comments
Categories: accountability, democracy under attack - Tags:

Well it’s official. The government has no interest in allowing you to know how your money is being spent.

That’s been made clear in their opposition to Darien Fenton’s port transparency bill – a bill designed simply to make publicly owned ports subject to the Official Information Act.

You’d think that the New Zealand public should have the right to know what’s going on with the governance of billions of dollars worth of their assets right? It’s just common sense (and I’ll be interested to see where Peter Dunne stands on it).

Sadly the nats have decided you’ve no right to know how your money is being spent. Which is weird when you think about it. I mean, they’ve been very very keen for you to know how your money is being spent on social welfare, right down to breaching the privacy of beneficiaries to provide you with this vital information. And yet they’ve actively blocked you from knowing how your rates are being spent at the ports you own.

This response is coming hot on the heels of the board and management of Ports of Auckland refusing to tell how much money (probably tens of millions of dollars) they’ve lost in their unaccountable war on their workers. The fact that a few ideologues running a publicly owned port can piss away public wealth without being held to account for it is disgraceful.

When this government talks about “accountability” and “responsibility” and “the social contract” remember they’re talking about it for you. Not for them or their powerful mates.

29 comments on “Nat’s oppose transparency (again)”

  1. captain hook 1

    its time for len brown to fire the management of POAL.
    they have decided (POAL Mngmnt) that they have a right to appropriate the goods and services that belong to the community and they must be stopped.
    pay them out and get some people who know what public service is and how to serve the community instead of greedy fuckers whose sole pursuit is plunder of the public assets.

    • Carol 1.1

      ch, as I understand it, the mayor does not have the power to fre the POAL management – thanks to Rodney:


      But the mayor, several councillors and the council’s legal team said the council could not intervene. The port is run by a limited company, Auckland Council Investments, at arm’s length from the politicians.

      Council lawyers made it clear the council could not intervene and thus was unable to support the resolutions. The port company was legally able to operate with independence.

      • OneTrack 1.1.1

        I am sure Len will give you all the POAL information you request. No need for OIA at all.

      • Ed 1.1.2

        Can the Council, or the Mayor, change Directors? Or is that only possible at the end of the term of appointment of each Director? Or perhaps Directors are appointed by the Minister of …??

  2. KJT 2

    Around 34 million.

  3. marsman 3

    The Nats, i.e. the Business Round Table, want the our ports to be in private hands, simple.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1


      That is always the case and it doesn’t matter which part of the commons it is. By allowing private ownership of them it allows a few to live high on the backs of everyone else. Parasitical enrichment of the few is all that this government understands.


    If New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ (according to the 2011 Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’ http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/) – then shouldn’t we be the MOST ‘transparent’?


    1. Get our anti-corruption domestic legislative framework in place so NZ can ratify the UN Convention Against Corruption.

    2. Set up an NZ independent anti-corruption body tasked with educating the public and PREVENTING corruption.

    3. Change NZ laws to ensure genuine transparency in the funding of candidates for elected public office and political parties at central and local government level.

    4. Legislate for an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for NZ Members of Parliament (who make the rules for everyone else).

    5. Make it an offence under the Local Government Act 2002 for NZ Local Government elected representatives to breach their ‘Code of Conduct’.

    6. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government elected representatives.

    7. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Central Government staff responsible for property and procurement, (including the Ministry of Health), in order to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    8. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available ‘Register of Interests’ for NZ Local Government staff, and Directors and staff employed by ‘Council-Controlled Organisations (CCOs) responsible for property and procurement.

    9. Make it a lawful requirement for details of ‘contracts issued’ – including the name of the contractor; scope, term and value of the contract to be published in NZ Central Government Public Sector, and Local Government (Council), and ‘Council-Controlled Organisation (CCO) Annual Reports so that they are available for public scrutiny.

    10. Make it a lawful requirement that a ‘cost-benefit analysis’ of NZ Central Government, and Local Government public finances be undertaken to prove that private procurement of public services previously provided ‘in-house’ is cost-effective for the public majority. If not – then return public service provision to staff directly employed ‘in-house’ and cut out these private contractors who are effectively dependent on ‘corporate welfare’.

    11. Legislate for a legally-enforcable ‘Code of Conduct’ for members of the NZ Judiciary, to ensure they are not ‘above the law’.

    12. Ensure that ALL NZ Court proceedings are recorded, and audio records made available to parties who request them.

    13. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ Judicial ‘Register of Interests’, to help prevent ‘conflicts of interest’.

    14. Make it a lawful requirement for a publicly-available NZ ‘Register of Lobbyists’ and ‘Code of Conduct for Lobbyists’ at Central Government Ministerial level.

    15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).

    16. Make it a lawful requirement that it is only a binding vote of the public majority that can determine whether public assets held at NZ Central or Local Government level are sold; or long-term leased via Public-Private –Partnerships (PPPs).

    17. Make it unlawful for politicians to knowingly misrepresent their policies prior to election at central or local government level.

    18. Make laws to protect individuals, NGOs and community-based organisations who are ‘whistleblowing’ against ‘conflicts of interest’ and corrupt practices at central and local government level and within the judiciary.

    19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’

    Attendee: Australian Public Sector Anti-Corruption Conference 2009 Brisbane
    Attendee: Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference 2010 Bangkok


    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I’m actually starting to think that NZ may actually be one of the more corrupt simply because the corruption is not held to account in any meaningful way.

      • Penny Bright 4.1.1


        You may be interested to know that there is effectively NO ‘transparency’ regarding the Transparency International ‘Corruption Perception Index’ – which is based upon the subjective opinions of anonymous business people?

        “19. Legislate to help stop ‘State Capture’, a form of ‘grand corruption’ arguably endemic in NZ – where vested interests get their way at the ‘policy level’ before legislation is passed which serves their interests.”

        ‘State capture’ is a form of GRAND corruption – which, in my considered opinion, IS ENDEMIC in NZ.

        That’s how the NZ Business Roundtable did it!

        By focusing on POLICY (from which both the Ombudsman and Auditor-General are prohibited by statute from being involved).

        Check out the Regulatory Impact Reports / Impact Statements (on ANY issue) and see with whom the policy analysts are consulting BEFORE the legislation is passed……

        Who is checking for ‘conflicts of interest’ at this level?

        Last time I asked – neither the SFO or Ministry of Justice had even HEARD of ‘state capture’!

        (I hadn’t either – until I attended the 2010 Transparency International Conference).

        “”15. Make it a lawful requirement at NZ Central and Local Government level for a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period from the time officials leave the public service to take up a similar role in the private sector. (Help stop the ‘revolving door’).””

        This ‘revolving door’ is another form of corrupt practice which also seems to be endemic at local and central government level – in NZ it happens ALL the time.

        How many NZers have even HEARD of a ‘post-separation employment quarantine’ period?

        Wake up folks!

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


        • blue leopard

          “New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world”

          ~ This could indicate how bad it is in other places

          ~”Perceived” is the operative word ; being perceived to be and being the least corrupt are two different things.

  5. muzza 5

    So corruption is now blatantly ok with NZ governments, not only that but they will actively seek to hide it, that is the message coming from the actions!

    Imagine what sort of “pressure” is exerted on the government, in order that bills such as this are voted down!

  6. Maui 6

    That’s because “transparency international” is about as credible as someone trying to set up a colour revolution in Kiev these days .. a bunch of anglophiles sitting in an East Finchley pub in Thatcher’s old electorate in London.

  7. captain hook 7

    It is time the law was changed back again so that greedy thieves can be evicted and cease their peculations and pelf of the public purse.
    This stuff is getting creepier and creepier.
    any law that is made can be unmade and the crowd running POAL need to be removesd asap.

  8. captain hook 8

    and time for the Akl supercity to get some new lawyers!

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    Does anyone want to slam me again for advocating direct democracy?

    How do critics of direct democracy propose to get any government (now or in the future) to give up its dictatorial control over our lives (and assets) if not by the public having the absolute right to petition for a binding referendum to veto any law just passed by parliament?

    • BernyD 9.1

      Re inventing the wheel?

    • lprent 9.2

      Generally you can expect some people on any online forum to disagree to anything anyone says. The maths says that it has to be the case.

      This site in a small way replicates most of the discursive forums on the net. There are usually at a few thousand people reading this site each day and about 35,000 unique people per month, a fair number of those read comments, and a smaller number of those write comments. But it is a self-selective process. Most of the people who write comments are the ones with stronger and more outspoken opinions and the people who are more inclined to be better critics.

      Consequently you can expect any idea raised in these types of forums to be inspected by several people who will write comments and who have been winnowed from the most fervent critics and skeptics in their catchment area. We can expect scathing replies and even sometimes some support, but it is always more interesting to have some robust debate to appear than it is for a comment to fall into silence (and some do).

      All the moderators do is to keep a lid on the pot as the fat is stripped from ideas and the bone exposed. It is pretty useful. It is the process that the net has been winnowing ideas from and before the first requests for comments (RFC’s) were being circulated in 1969 for its own development. The same style is applied to most of the other topics dragged into the pit for debate.

      Don’t take it personally. You’ll find that it is pointless. Learn that an agreement to disagree is usually all that you can expect, and to look at the points raised and figure out how to nobble them next time…

    • OneTrack 9.3

      I think the answer is that “critics of direct democracy” are probably happy with the representational system of democracy that we have at present. A system which is shared by most other countries in the free world ie tried and tested.

      If you like what a party does, vote for them. If you don’t then vote against them. Third option, join or start a party and campaign yourself, just like they have to.

      Easy really.

      nb Which law would you like to veto, anti-smacking? What was it – 87% against? Maybe Helen shouldn’t have ignored the will of the people – she might still be in power. See, the system works.

      • Draco T Bastard 9.3.1

        I think the answer is that “critics of direct democracy” are probably happy with the representational system of democracy that we have at present.

        No, they aren’t and it was that upset that caused the sacking of ECan.

        A system which is shared by most other countries in the free world ie tried and tested.

        A system that is showing, quite clearly, that it only ever moves to help the few and not the many.

        If you like what a party does, vote for them. If you don’t then vote against them. Third option, join or start a party and campaign yourself, just like they have to.

        Easy really.

        If it was that easy we’d have 20+ parties in parliament.

        Which law would you like to veto, anti-smacking? What was it – 87% against?

        Nope, as the question didn’t relate to the law and was a leading question no one knows.

        Maybe Helen shouldn’t have ignored the will of the people – she might still be in power.

        Or perhaps the people should have been better informed – unfortunately, a lot of people bought the lies that NACT propagated.

        • AmaKiwi

          One Track asked, “Which law would you like to veto, anti-smacking?”

          Answer: Democracy is NOT about individual issues, it is about WHO makes the decisions.

          An example: Some years ago the good citizens of Zurich voted (in a referendum) to turn a small park into a non-enforcement zone for hard drugs. It soon became “needle park.” It was a disaster. Very quickly the good citizens of Zurich saw their mistake and reversed their decision.

          When did you ever see a politician freely admit he/she had made a major mistake?

          P.S. The last war the Swiss fought was against Napoleon two centuries ago. (He invaded.)

          “Why, of course, the people don’t want war. Why would some poor slob on a farm want to risk his life in a war when the best that he can get out of it is to come back to his farm in one piece. Naturally, the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia nor in England nor in America, nor for that matter in Germany. That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy or a fascist dictatorship or a Parliament or a Communist dictatorship.” (Herman Goering, 18 April 1946)

          Correction Herr Goering. In a direct democracy it is NOT a simple matter to drag the people into a war.

  10. Chris 10

    What a large digit key has.

  11. XTASY 11

    Watching Parliament TV last night was the greatest revelation I ever had: We are ruled by a business and sell-out NAZI kind of government, for sure.

    Numerous points of order to present revealing documents and information were simply denied by National MPs. Whether it came from the Greens or NZ First, all was denied to be publicised as “presented” documents.

    So that is supposed to be a “democratic” country and system we live under?

    Hah, no, democracy is a farce, transparency is a farce, accountability is a farce, as it is NOT wanted. The Ombudsmen amendment legislation got a similar treatment by the government.

    By the way I made one complaint to the Office of Ombudsmen about a DHB in February, refusing to make O.I.A. and Privacy Act requested info available about a patient under mental health care being left in the “care” of an abuser. It was never addressed, left lying on a desk for 6 months, and only a few weeks ago they considered it worth pursuing and investigating, after I made numerous enquiries, complaints and so forth.

    The truth is NOT wanted, and this government does all to COVER up illegal activities by government officals!

    NZ is a CORRUPT country, and the figures they (the government) present to international bodies re “transparency” are false, shoddy and misleading.

  12. captain hook 12

    He doesn’t seem to be reticent about exposing the movements of the SAS and shooting his mouth off.
    I think he thinks he is a “real” prime minister when in reality he is just a jumped up jackanapes manque who grows new feet likea lizard grows new tails.

  13. XTASY 13

    “Hah, I am JK, man, I have the right, I have the power, I do not give a damned shit about all this! I WANT what I want and will get it, like I always have. Suck s*** and go down, you lefties, you are “losers”, I am a winner and gambling entrepreneur. I will always win in the end. Those NZers talking about one and all, get a life, you have none. WE want a divided country, shut you crap out, shut the lazy Maoris out, get more underpaid migrants here, to keep our farmers, restaurant operators, fast food chains and all other ‘valued” business people happy. Nothing else matters. I believe in the Mainland Chinese system. Human rights mean, having a “job” is all that counts, never mind the pay for it. Be damned grateful to have a bloody “job”, for whatevers sake. Hah, we also have sports gladiators to keep the dumb happy and excited. Gold medals here and there. That keeps the tab on things, rightly. Faithful to the cause I am, for me and likeminded – all the time, that is “social” too.”

  14. XTASY 14

    Yeah, F you JOhn Key and “mierda” in good Spanish to your lot and luck:

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