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No accountability in National Government

Written By: - Date published: 7:28 am, October 16th, 2012 - 252 comments
Categories: accountability, Minister for Photo-ops, paula bennett - Tags:

I watched Paula Bennett and her MSD CEO make excuses and say sorry yesterday as they revealed that they had let the personal data of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders sit in the open at WINZ kiosks – and it’s all still open to anyone working at MSD. I didn’t hear either of them offer their resignations. What do they think we pay them for other than ensuring their department runs well and these things don’t happen?

It is typical of the neoliberal religion and this government in particular that the bucks go to the top but the buck doesn’t stop there.

But what do you expect? Paula Bennett set the standard for MSD’s handling of private data when it gave her the private data of two political opponents and she leaked it. The Prime Minister told his ministers and public service what his attitude was when he applauded Bennett.

The traditional sense that with power and reward comes responsibility has been thrown by the wayside. In the past, and in other countries, the CEO and Bennett would have tendered their resignations in an instant. Maybe they wouldn’t have been accepted but they would have at least acknowledged that the reason we pay them so much is to make sure things go well and if they don’t go well, then they are accountable and stand to lose their access to the gravy train.

Is it unreasonable to expect a minister and a CEO to be across everything? Only as unreasonable as it is to pay them ten times plus more than the average person’s income. They get their super-human pay because they are meant to be held to extraordinarily high levels of accountability and work like the devil to ensure that the appropriate systems are in place to ensure things don’t go wrong. Their job is to prevent failures from happening – it is a positive duty to stop failures, not a duty to not cause failures. When failures happen they are meant to go.

It seems under the absent leadership of John Key, however, that ministers and senior government ministers get paid to turn up and eat their lunch and anything that happens below them can’t possibly by their responsibility. It’s a disgrace.

252 comments on “No accountability in National Government ”

  1. This is what happens when you make cuts to the back office.  All of those pesky public servants whose jobs were not to be on the front line but sit in the back ground and to utterly irrelevant stuff such as make sure that MSD’s data was kept safe.

    And then they outsource the work with a competitive tender which overlooks fundamental safety provisions and the private sector provide exactly what is promised.

    The one silver lining is that Bennett’s data sharing project will be dead in the water.

    I wonder if she is now going to share Keith Ng’s personal information, just so there can be an informed debate … 

    • vto 1.1

      Pike River and the mining sector, mickeysavage – EXACTLY the same.

      Nobody accountable there either.

      And absolute proof that their religion has failed.

      With the consequence of 29 dead men on the West Coast.

      They are deadly fools.

      • aerobubble 1.1.1

        Its a culture in NZ. If you look after your mates disgraceful management then your own is over looked. Bleeding hell what is the leaky homes, housing market crisis, earthquake suburbs, CTV, lack of a CGT, Maui dolphins. But worse, broadband built by the chinese!! Trust Key, he’s the expert, China wouldn’t put in a backdoor. The joke is we do not riddicle our parliamentarians, and that’s because there is no upper chamber to check their avarice for greed and sloth in equal legislative measure

        • Draco T Bastard

          The joke is we do not riddicle our parliamentarians, and that’s because there is no upper chamber to check their avarice for greed and sloth in equal legislative measure

          An upper chamber won’t stop that – as the US, UK and other representative democracies with an upper chamber show. The only thing that can stop such corruption is open government with the people having the power of recall.

          • aerobubble

            Getting the corruption on the record helps when the shit hits the fan. An upper house with
            learned discourse on matters will inevitable come back to bite them if they are life peers.
            The problem with the last three decades is the media barons lock out of open civil discourse.

    • King Kong 1.2

      Total horse shit.

      If it was down to staff cuts then other government departments who had suffered similar cuts would be making the same fuck ups. They are not.

      This is a pure case of civil service incompetence.

      • Clashman 1.2.1

        “If it was down to staff cuts then other government departments who had suffered similar cuts would be making the same fuck ups. They are not.”

      • mickysavage 1.2.2

        Yep IRD and ACC have not made privacy stuff ups either.  Maybe on Planet Key …

        • Pascal's bookie

          Yep, and no problems in MFAT, GCSB, or Min Education either.

          the govt is running like well oiled machine.

      • Colonial Viper 1.2.3

        This is a pure case of civil service incompetence.

        KPMG, the firm contracted to design, implement and test the IT behind the kiosks, is part of the Civil Service?

        Since when?

        • insider

          According to garethhughes it was a project done internally by msd. Not sure where he got that info

        • Indigo Bob

          Where did you get this Colonial Viper? Are you just making it up as you go along? KPMG doesn’t design, implement and test IT infrastructure in NZ. I believe the kiosks were an MSD internal IT project. The design and security should always be an internal function. All of you who have been blabbing on about cheap contractors are just talking nonsense. Contractors are paid more than permanent IT staff. The kiosks weren’t done on the cheap, but they were done incompetently by MSDs people.

      • Dr Terry 1.2.4

        KK. If this can happen once, how do you in your omniscience know that it cannot happen somewhere again, due to large staff cuts?

        • King Kong

          Listen, in the economic conditions we have had in the last few years, large private sector firms have been swinging the axe harder than the public sector.How many stories have you heard of people marching in the front door of their system networks (wheedle excluded) or, for that matter, any other enormous cock up of this kind.

          This one is down to the culture of muppetry in the civil service, not manpower.

          • TightyRighty

            No, because that would imply a politicised and politically active public service not acting in accordance with the “no-suprises” policy demanded by the government of the day. Oh wait, another long term legacy of 9 years of a NZ labour government that sang from the Tony Blair / Gordon Brown UK-Liarbore hymnal.

          • McFlock

            Lol – okay, to demonstrate the superiority of the private sector over the public sector you insist excluding one of the two most recent and obvious case in NZ in the last few weeks. So I will raise you the other.
            Oh, it’s shit management, definitely. But it’s the result of top-down idiocy, not any public service malaise – it’s the result of hiring insufficient skilled staff who know what they’re doing and giving them realistic objectives and deadlines, and management having the interest and ability to supervise them. Exactly the same as Wheedle.

    • xtasy 1.3

      Bennett has a new “instrument” to silence critics within the benefit ranks:


      Look up the website and download the MS Word format “privacy consent form”, and you will see, what that means!

      At first glance you may see nothing much wrong with it, but look at it closely, fathom the true meaning of what it says, and hopefully realise what matters.

      This is what the Ministry of Social Development presents media and clients of WINZ going to the media with, to sign as “official” “privacy consent form”, and only then will they deal with anything raised about particular cases of wrong-doings and certain other issues.

      If you depend on WINZ or other MSD services, you will be confronted with biting the hand that “feeds” you. That form basically gives them free licence to make public ANY information about a client and her/his case, which they may DEEM RELEVANT to make WIDELY available, if challenged by a client about anything.

      There is also NO advice on the true fact, that any person can draw up and present their own, different, more specified and limiting “privacy consent”. But who as average WINZ client would know the law and her/his rights? Most do not, think that is the “official” form that needs to be signed, and will face being taken to the cleaners. The media are unlikely to pick up any client’s story, unless a client signs such a form, so they can ask MSD and WINZ questions. But the lazy media persons will also not bother drawing up something different.

      So Bennett learned out of the previous cases, where she leaked private information, hence this new form, in use since February 2011!

      • Red Rosa 1.3.1

        Bennett must have been studying East Germany’s Stasi. She is encouraging people to ‘dob in’ others, a tricky number even with the best of motives. But the Stasi made sure their informants were kept totally under wraps.

        She said, last week, that informants’ details would be ‘totally secure’ – a comment sure to come back to haunt her after this fiasco.

        Of course the Nats are unworried while it’s just the little people being screwed.

        The flap if someone, somehow, got hold of the list of National Party members, and matched it to the IRD database, so we could all see how much tax they’d paid…. OMG…there would be few latte’s spilled then…

      • weka 1.3.2

        Here’s the copy:

        Privacy Consent

        I authorise the Ministry of Social Development (and the responsible Minister) to publicly disclose information in response to any information I have given to the media, including any other information that is necessary to respond to questions arising from media coverage.

        Name: …………………………………………………………………..

        Phone contacts including mobile: ………………………………………………..

        Signature: ………………………………………………………

        N.B – Recognising that people may find it difficult to sign and return this form in a timely manner, we will accept the consent form without a signature if we are satisfied that it has been sent from the individual’s email address.

        Send to reporter or fax 04 918 0066 or email  HYPERLINK “mailto:[email protected][email protected]

      • weka 1.3.3

        Xtasy, at first glance that form looks evil. It’s also badly worded, some of its meaning is ambiguous so I’m not sure it is worth much. There is no way in hell that I would sign that. Had anyone sent it to the Privacy Commissioner’s office for an opinion?
        Can you please give some background/context? eg under what circumstances would a beneficiary be asked to sign it?

        • xtasy

          This was pointed out to me by a third person, who informed me about a “hard done by” WINZ client, who had approached a media outlet to talk about what happened. The journalist was very interested and wanted to get WINZ’s side also. So as they had no “privacy consent form” at their hands, they wrote to the office of MSD’s media staff, who emailed the “link” to the form on the website to them.

          Consequently the form was presented to the client to sign, so they could put questions to WINZ.

          I passed on advice to not sign it, and the person in question, to whom it was presented also had major objections.

          You see, what I mean, the problem is: This form is available on their main website (on the media pages), hence it will be viewed as “official”. As most journalists are also too lazy to do much detailed work and draft such forms up themselves (ok, some experienced ones may have their own, but not the newies and “conveniently minded”), they will tend to resort to just downloading this form.

          Any WINZ client seeing and reading it will of course wonder, what do I sign, and what does it mean for me? Those that will not understand it will be too afraid to sign, and those that understand it will also have major reservations.

          For MSD and WINZ that means: Goal achieved – NO complaints handled by the media, image protected, sensitive info covered, mistakes covered up. Nice, sweet, lets move on and deal to the next idiot!

          • Rogue Trooper

            Good Lord!

          • weka

            Still not quite getting it. Is it a form that the journo gets the bene to sign, so that the journo can access info from WINZ about the bene? That’s just fucking stupid. Good Lord is right. Why would anyone want to give the media access to their WINZ file? Why would anyone trust a journo with that kind of open access? Or trust WINZ to manage the process well. If the journo wants documents from WINZ about a client, the client can request those documents themselves and then decide what they hand over.

            • xtasy

              weka: Yes, I am sorry, you do not understand the usual process.

              Any person who takes a story to the media, will be confronted with the journalists wanting to also hear the other party’s version of events and “facts”. Hence in such a case, this would be WINZ or MSD.

              WINZ and MSD will usually simply make NO COMMENTS about anything affecting a client and her/his case, apart from what may already be known publicly beforehand. That is uncertain territory though.

              This is not so much about getting documents from WINZ for journalists, this is about WINZ staff talking to journalists, who may wish to ask questions to get a clearer picture of what is involved.

              So WINZ and MSD (like many other agencies, departments and so forth) that hold info on someone they deal with, that may also in some cases employ certain people, they will expect to be presented a consent form from the person, whom they are dealing with (via the media in this scenario). They want this to avoid being accused of PRIVACY breaches, which may happen if they say something the client has not yet disclosed, does not allow them to disclose, and which they are bound to keep private due to their legal obligations.

              That is what the “privacy consent form” is for – to allow them to TALK. But this form gives them free license to say anything they may consider “relevant”, as it is not at all specified. Maybe the media don’t give a damn about this form, but surely, any WINZ client should give a bloody damn.

              Yes, very few, if any, would sign such a form, which is exactly what WINZ and MSD would be happy with, as that will discourage the media even picking up a story about abuse, legal breaches, failures and so by WINZ.

              So when NO media reports about WINZ breaking rules, making stuff ups and so get published in consequence, then “image” and reputation of WINZ remains “unblemished”.

              WINZ do not want media reports about clients being treated wrongly or badly!

              I hope this clarifies it.

            • xtasy

              Proper “privacy consent forms” would be more specific, not give such general, wide-ranging freedom to for instance MSD or WINZ to simply communicate anything they may consider “relevant”. A good privacy consent forms” would specify exactly what in this case MSD/WINZ would be allowed to talk about, with whom in particular they would be authorised to share certain, specified information, which should be limited to one journalist, for particular purposes, for a certain time-frame or incident even, for example.

              It would also set a requirement for the journalist to present the info obtained to the person who gave the authority, to consult and clarify details, before it would be published. This is what “some” (responsible) journalists do, but sadly not many these days.

              This form is NOT doing that. It gives very, very wide ranging authority, only a fool would give away! That is what is disgusting about it. A lawyer shown this simply replied: “Shocking!”

              • weka

                Yes, these very open and generic forms are being used alot now in the health system. I don’t know about media issues, but I know they are being used by agencies as catchall consents to share information with other agencies. They also do not inform the client that the client can alter the form or write their own consent.
                With regards to the WINZ form, I guess my view is that in the first instance clients should hold onto whatever power they have. I know what you mean about carefully worded, specifically detailed forms, but as a beneficiary I have to say I’m struggling to think of a situation where I would trust a journalist even with such a carefully worded form.
                If journalists are now using the WINZ form as a reason to not investigate or follow up, I would suggest getting one of the Community Law Centres to write a statement about its inadequacies and make that available to the public. I’m still not convinced that the form has any legal value given how badly it is worded and am still interested to know if the Privacy Commissioner’s Office has been given a copy.
                The really big problem here IMO is the dearth of funding for Beneficiary Advocacy organisations. A stronger advocacy culture in NZ and WINZ wouldn’t be able to get away with this shit (or lots of the other shit they do).

  2. Hmmm …

    Talking about rights of privacy …

    The discoverer of the leak is Ira Bailey, one of the Urewera 17.  He had emailed MSD and asked if there was a system where the identifiers of system weaknesses could get paid.  Such a system exists overseas.  MSD declined.

    Keith Ng has posted that a reporter asked him if Ira was the source.  Obviously the leak came from within MSD.  And obviously they did not have his permission to do so.

    They do not understand the concept of privacy do they.


    • BM 2.1

      What was Ira Bailey, a full time systems administrator doing spending a couple of hours at a kiosk in a winz office.
      This incident is starting to stink rather badly.

      • mickysavage 2.1.1

        Keep raising those diversions BM.  Of course there is no need for us to even think about how the system could be so open or why Ira’s name was leaked …

        • BM

          I think there’s a high possibility that Ira Bailey was tipped off by someone within the MSD.
          Why would a full time systems administrator spend 2 hours at a winz kiosk and what was he doing with a USB stick.
          This is really suss.

          • mickysavage

            Hmmm way to miss the really big elephant in the room BM.

          • higherstandard

            It may be suss…. but really I don’t care, the governance at MSD is clearly fucking hopeless and has been for a very long time.

            Sackings should occur at the highest level and amongst there internal/external IT providers.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna

            BM are you wearing a blindfold?

            If Ira Bailey could walk in and do this, then anyone could. Including, for example, the jealous ex. Perhaps even the accused looking for a witness.

            Or a grasping chancer of a property developer looking for a leg-up with CERA.

            The mind boggles. The point is: that is what routine security measures (like not having your intranet connected to the Internet) are for. Basic, standard, simple, network administrator 101 stuff. That’s the minimum – it’s why (I hope) you have a virus checker and a firewall on your home computer. But what if you had secret documents that were massively important to your clients on your home computer? Would you be uploading them to a public file server?

            What would you say to a technician you employed who did exactly that?

          • tracey

            the privacy act creates a statutory obligation on msd. Its not optional. By not ensuring security of data it has breached the act. You will probably find the ceo is who you name in legal proceedings against msd. He is ultimately responsible for ensuring this statutory obligation is met. Under bennetts watch a law has again been broken.

          • Fortran


            A datastick can be used to put data “into” a system to infect a programme, or total system too.

            • McFlock

              what, now you’re suggesting he was attempting to put malware in the system but instead discovered an obvious breach?
              Here’s a thought, before you start alleging illegality, discount the possibility that he had some time to kill waiting for an appointment (as client or support person or business contractor) and decide to do some work and edit/use/email a document at the kiosk. Or that he wanted to save the html of some job ads. Or whatever the fuck he wanted to do that was perfectly legal.
              Fuck sake. 

      • Stephen Doyle 2.1.2

        Answered here;

        “Update: A journalist called up earlier knowing Ira’s name, and asked me to confirm him as my source. It was clear that somebody had given her the name, and the story was due to be published tomorrow. Sorry I wasn’t clear about this in the orignal.

        So. The guy who tipped me off is Ira Bailey. He was one of the Urewera 17. He currently works as a system administrator, has a young child, and is not interested in being the media limelight. That’s why he asked for anonymity.

        He did not have any special access to the system – he just had half an hour to kill at a WINZ office. He plugged in his USB drive and it didn’t appear, so he had a poke around the system to find it – and found the giant vulnerability instead.”


        How fucking stupid are you BM?

        • BM

          Bull shit, there’s more to this story.
          He didn’t just stumble across this vulnerability, it’s fairly obvious that he was told about it.
          What was he doing with a USB stick, did he purposely go there to steal data?

          • Pascal's bookie

            YEAH, WHO HAS A “USB”??

            He must be some sort of James Bond mutherfucker right there. Smoking gun I tell you.

            You’re an idiot BM. Stone cold.

            • BM

              It will be Interesting to see what comes out once the heat goes on Ira Bailey.

              • Lanthanide

                Not a whole lot, I’m picking.

                • BM

                  We’ll wait and see.

                  • Pascal's bookie

                    Yeah, maybe he’s got a “USB” and one of them “CELL” Phones. You know who operates in “Cells”? Terrists, like Al Qaeda and the IRA.

                    OMG “IRA” IR fucking A. Ira bailey. IRA. Fucking hell.!!

                    You’re onto something here mate, instead of just trotting out whaleoil posts in comments here, you should call a goddamn press conference and be exposing this shit. You has a duty son.

                  • Wow and I just thought this was a story about Ministerial incompetence and under resourcing of the public service …

                    Do you think that IRA may have been abducted by aliens and reprogrammed and sent here as a sleeper to undermine confidence in democratic institutions? 

          • Colonial Viper

            What was he doing with a USB stick, did he purposely go there to steal data?

            Ordinary users of those kiosks bring USB sticks with them all the time.

            In fact, the kiosks are designed for use with USB sticks so people can bring their CVs etc.

            • BM

              Exactly these Kiosks were installed to help poor beneficiaries who don’t have computers at home to do their cvs etc.
              So what was Mr full time systems administrator doing?

              • Colonial Viper

                You’re referring to the policy where anyone with a job is NOT allowed to use the kiosks? Where did you read that?

                You do know that employed people walk into and use MSD facilities as well, right?

              • felix

                OH MY GOD YOU’RE RIGHT!

                What the fuck is a PERSON doing in a winz office??!! Those places are for BENEFICIARIES, not for people.

                • McFlock

                  ew, anyone with a job would get the stench of failure on them if they went to a WINZ office. yuk. 

              • David H

                Mr Bullshit Machine they are there for (now this may be a difficult concept for you to get your head around) EVERYONE to use. They are there to HELP people. And the biggest question NOT answered is… What fucking idiot hooked them up to the corporate network?

          • Lanthanide

            You’re in some serious denial there, BM.

            This flaw is ridiculously trivial, his account of what he did jibes with exactly how anyone could find the flaw.

          • Kotahi Tāne Huna

            Um, I routinely carry at least one. And the one in the jeans pocket that just went through the wash that I discover later…

          • Kerry

            What was he doing with a USB stick? Are you serious? I personally have three on my key ring. Just because he has a full time job does not mean he doesn’t have a legitimate reason to be inside WINZ.

            Personally any time I see a terminal like this I’ll have a poke around to see where I can get to.

            • McFlock

              I ended up using my ereader instead of usb – kept losing the bloody things, which meant that I couldn’t put anything useful on them. An ereader still fits in the inside pocket, and is very difficult to lose (touch wood)

            • Shaz

              Exactly because if I’m committing my personal information to a public terminal be it WINZ office. library, internet cafe, hotel I’d like to know in broad terms what kind of risk I might be taking. If the system doesn”t do a complete refresh between users for example then it presents a risk and I wouldn’t commit any personal information or logins to it. This is the kind of area where the government could usefully take a lead with respect to standards…… Oh? ah hah!

      • just saying 2.1.3

        What was Ira Bailey, a full time systems administrator doing spending a couple of hours at a kiosk in a winz office.

        A big favour to the public. What was the grossly overpaid CEO responsible doing to earn his publicly-paid megabucks? And why was no action taken when Bailey informed WINZ of a security breach – the second time they were told as it happens? They obviously recorded his breach report as they were able to access his name.

        Do you ever wonder why you only ever hold the people at the bottom to account, and pick on “soft targets” while childishly cheer-leading abuse and negligence by those with actual power? Do you ever feel uncomfortable about this kind of weak sychophancy and abuser apologism?

      • toad 2.1.4

        Oh, FFS, BM. IT analysts such as Bailey work on projects. Some last a day, some a week, some a few months. It is entirely credible that Bailey would be at a WINZ office to see what work WINZ were advertising as coming up in his area of expertise.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna

          What does it matter what Bailey’s motives were? Let’s say he’s an evil criminal mastermind plotting to overthrow the government with help from agents of the Icelandic government. So he walks into a government building, and downloads everything he needs from a public server that he has a legal right to access.

          I note what he in fact did was attempt to alert the authorities – who had already been told about the problem and had done nothing about it – and then the media.

          MSD should only do business with nice people. Is that the new benchmark? It seems so, according to our RWNJ acquaintances.

          • weka

            I think the message is more that in regards to the MSD and other government departments, citizens should be compliant. After all, we are subjects of the government rather than the government being our servants.

            • Kotahi Tāne Huna

              “Compliant” – an important distinction; you are a better student of the Authoritarian mind than I – spot on Weka.

      • Murray Olsen 2.1.5

        Why don’t you ask him, Brainless Moron? Who the hell are supposed to use public kiosks if not the public? Even if he were tipped off by someone inside the MSD, why would that happen? The culture of the whole organisation must be pretty sick if people can’t get stuff remedied on the inside, but I can understand how this would happen with a Minister who has had the word privacy removed from her dictionary. A better question is how does someone whose only skill is to stare lovingly at dear leader get to be a Minister of the Crown? What does she know that makes her bullet proof?

    • weka 2.2

      ” Obviously the leak came from within MSD.  And obviously they did not have his permission to do so.
      They do not understand the concept of privacy do they.”
      Not sure they need his permission, he wasn’t a client. Most likely he was aware that his name would be released once the story was in the media. Still, it’s hard to see the releasing of his name as anything other than vindictive. Way to go MSD.

  3. Steve Wrathall 3

    One of the words in your title is redundant

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 3.1

      One of the things about your entire ideology is that’s it’s redundant.

      • Steve Wrathall 3.1.1

        No, seriously comrades, what did you expect? You’re surprised that a bloated govt department that is based on the notion that no-one is ever to blame for anything, ballses up this badly?

        When a private enterprise has an epic fail, it is instantly and massively punished. Think wheedle.co.nz. But when winz.GOVT.nz stuffs up, hands are wrung, bus tickets moistened, and wrists slapped. Save your crocodile tears. Ultimately you know that state bureaucracies don’t care.

        • Kotahi Tāne Huna

          False framing much? Your assumptions are showing.

        • Dv

          Think of SCF Steve!!!
          That was only a billion. from the txpayer!!

        • framu

          “based on the notion that no-one is ever to blame for anything”

          you have NFI how the public service works do you?

          the funniest thing is that what you are complaining about (public sector fu*k ups) is exactly what everyone else is complaining about – the only difference is that everyone with a brain is asking how those with positions of authority fu*ked up so badly – where you seem to want to pin this on every single public servant ever.

        • Draco T Bastard

          When a private enterprise has an epic fail, it is instantly and massively punished.

          Yep, that’s exactly what happened with SCF…

          Oh, wait…

          It’s the private firms that don’t care and the advocates for private firms are presently in government.

    • marsman 3.2

      You are right Steve, it should read ‘No Accountability National Government’.

  4. insider 4

    You have a rather rosy view of history if you think there would have been resignations in the past, particularly at the political level over operational issues. Did the environment minister or CEO resign over the botched mapua clean up? When did any defence official or minister resign over multiple procurement failures? Hip hop tours? Wananga funding? Nope

    • higherstandard 4.1

      I refer you to the only reasonable solution.

      Harawira’s arrest

    • Kotahi Tāne Huna 4.2

      Hip-hop tours. Like when Request Dance Crew won the 2010 International Las Vegas competition? A huge success story.

      Why would someone resign over a success story?

      I note that there is a long list of ministers that have been “stood down” or resigned in the past. I note Ralph Stewart’s resignation from ACC.

      In short, Insider, you are simultaneously dog-whistling and cherry picking. It’s ok as a circus routine, but not as an argument.

      • insider 4.2.1

        Not sure where there is a dogwhistle. James said in the past resignations would have happened, but things are different now. My point is they have rarely happened. nz has a long history of non accountablity. But Thanks for pointing out that recent occurrence that further disproves his rosy historic view.

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    Ng has done a good job as a blogger journalist but could have held the line for a while longer at least before confirming his source to discover what else might shake out.

    • weka 5.1

      Preemptive Exposure
      It appears that the MSD has already floated the blackmail idea (scare quotes around reward in a Herald article quoting Paula Bennett for example) – the next step was naming the “hacker” in question. It seems they’d leaked the name to at least one journalist.
      Keith Ng’s decision (with Ira Bailey) to disclose all the details preemptively seems like the right one to me. It assures that journalists writing about the story aren’t only presented with the details as the MSD wish to frame them. Ng and Bailey could have responded after his name was publicly disclosed but by then the MSD’s framing of the approach would have been presented unchallenged.


      Makes sense to me.

      • Kotahi Tāne Huna 5.1.1

        The headline on stuff, “Key critical of Winz security breach finder”, hardly sets Key in a good light 🙂

        • Colonial Viper

          MSD really increasing public confidence on how confidentially and appropriately they treat the information they store.

  6. Pascal's bookie 6

    Dylan Reeve has a good post on issues related to this discussion, here:


    • Tiger Mountain 6.1

      Well the protagonists made the call PB so who am I to argue. MSD’s likely spin could have been ugly and diverting; e.g.“Urewera 17 terror raid arrestee hacks govt data base and demands payout for silence”

      • Pascal's bookie 6.1.1

        Yep. the PM was talking about ‘fees’ and highlighting his suspicion about what that meant,

        DPF is ‘raising questions that need to be considered’,

        Whaleoil is going full metal jacket,

        and all the little puppy repeater blogs like Keeping Stock, (and BM in here), are running whale’s crap.

        It’s a strategy.

        • vto

          whaleoil? bleearch….

          I went there once and it stunk up the room with a smell like, well, whale oil …..

          • David H

            The thing is this hows the first day of parliament going to be today ?? A couple of urgent debates, and a lot of spin. And Shonky wriggles out of it all because of this fictional tape fiasco.

  7. vto 7

    Next time I fuck something up bigtime at work, or someone below me fucks something up bigtime (‘cept aint nobody below me.,?!) I just gonna say sorry and carry on. If da boss gets upset then da boss will simply be way out of line.

    I’m just glad we have these glorious politicians leading the way and showing us how to go about things – can’t recall. Dunno, can’t recall. Sorry I’m gutted. Don’t know. Not my job. Give us a break.

    • Jim Nald 7.1

      Welcome to Planet Key where aspirational means aspiring to recall, aspiring to say “I know”, aspiring to read reports, and aspiring to be accountable.

    • McFlock 7.2

      Actually, my boss is really good about fuckups. They happen. The sooner they’re reported, the sooner they’re fixed.
      But if I ignored the fuckup for over a year even if I’d been repeatedly told about it, or implemented a project with a multitude of fuckups, my blatant incompetence would be grounds for dismissal, fair enough.

  8. captain hook 8

    just say you are mortified and carry on.
    that should do it.

    • vto 8.1

      Ha, yep.

      But what is she mortified about? Didn’t she intentionally release a beneficiary’s details to the entire NZ public a couple years ago?


      • Draco T Bastard 8.1.1

        Didn’t say that you actually had to be mortified, just that you had to say that you were.

    • brybry 8.2

      Mortified. Etymology

      From Anglo-Norman mortifier, Middle French mortifier, from Late Latin mortificō (“cause death”), from Latin mors (“death”) + -ficō (“-fy”).

  9. gobsmacked 9

    As I mentioned yesterday in the other thread, Paula Bennett said …

    “It ain’t gonna happen twice”. Direct quote (Radio Live, yesterday), very clear, no ambiguity. That’s her promise to the public.

    Today the opposition must quote that back at her, get it in Hansard, and make damn sure she has no escape next time MSD cocks up.

  10. xtasy 10

    “I watched Paula Bennett and her MSD CEO make excuses and say sorry yesterday as they revealed that they had let the personal data of hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders sit in the open at WINZ kiosks – and it’s all still open to anyone working at MSD.”

    Dear James and others – this is NOT just a typical cop-out used by this government or those adhering to “neoliberal religion”, this is just more of the same conduct, that has taken hold in NZ over the last decades! Also the Labour led governments in the last decade behaved little differently, and honestly, to some degree they also adopted parts of “neoliberal” thinking, be this applied to economics, how to run state services or else. This is the trend worldwide, and it is a defacto “licensed” dictatorial approach to run the show.

    The public at large (also brainwashed into total ignorance by commercialised and semi commercialised media, divided by economic and social policies that force every one to fend for her-/himself and envy or despise others not doing the same) has been disowned, disempowered and manipulated to a degree, it has become a society of “me first”, “look after nr one”, “get what you can get”, look for advantages over others, shy away to risk your security and thus rather not take any action against the ruling establishment and systems.

    So we live in a de-facto “corporatised” society, where the individual does not even get listened to. You have to compete to get mainstream media attention, as on your own you are one of hundreds of emailers and story presenters. Even if evidence is there about something “newsworthy”, it gets thrown aside, as a “person” not belonging to any corporation, agency, company, enterprise, government department or lobby group is IGNORED.

    Hence we have today the scenario where the media “moves on”. The WINZ data hole at the “self help kiosk” was a story from “yesterday”, soon to be forgotten. It may be raised by some (for political gain only) in Parliament today, but nothing much will come of it, but the started “investigations” and a lid being put on all.

    It will also all just lead to more cover ups, more security, more secretive systems and services, so NOBODY will be able to see what goes on in government or elsewhere. You will have less chance to get anything by way of O.I.A. as you will not even know what they get up to in detail.

    And NZers are people that tend to “move on” and withdraw into the private, individual mental or physical refuge, seeking little “peace” and “indugence” that is still “affordable” or to be found otherwise. This assists the system, it keeps it alive and in power, and NOTHING substantial will change at all.

    You dream if you think a Labour led government will change this. Look at the ones on the front bench, the other, older ones clinging to their seats, look at what little serious opposition they offer in many areas. They may even have sympathy for Bennett, seeing themselves in a similar situation once minister.

    More is needed to change all this rot. A new movement and new party to the left is needed. Start from scratch. This CEO is even described by some in PSA and so as a “nice”, “genuine” chap, but he is also part of the system, knocking people off benefits, denying O.I.A. info about what goes on. It is all BS, but when does the NZ public ever get it? I fear NEVER!

    • CJA 10.1

      Bravo a very intelligent and well thought out comment.

      • aerobubble 10.1.1

        Ann Rand preached that those that win should be venerated.

        Democracy teaches different, that the powerful are fickle and need regular churn.

        The lack of an upper Chamber in NZ exponentially increase any rot from the lower
        chamber. NZ lower chamber is more like a Senate full of Senators screwing us
        over, geez how hard could it be to write good law when so many other nations
        have their law on line to review, copy and paste.

        • Draco T Bastard

          An upper chamber just gives us more of the rot.

          • vto

            What is needed is to pull the power that is steadily concentrating into government’s hands away and place it back into the hands of the people.

            Give them less to do, less decisions to make. Make them useless. Vote them out!

            • aerobubble

              Anything that makes it harder, and takes longer for the lower chamber to push legislation through, will give civil society more time, so even if a upper chamber were filled with rot it would be a good thing. Second, if its filled with rot making rotten speaches, who have to consider their life peerages, they might actually be very very careful. Our lower house can produce leaky homes and then turn around a decade and ignore the problem and still
              cit how deregulation is king.

              • Draco T Bastard

                ZOMG, having a corrupt legislature is good for democracy. Who would’ve thunk it!1!!!11


                • aerobubble

                  I find it better when the cockroaches are seen and you know the problem is there.
                  I would hope you’d understand men like Roger Douglas would never have
                  returned to the lower chamber had he had a upper chamber life peerage
                  where every stupid thing he ever said could return and used against him.
                  Having the discussion in the civic square means its lost to prosterity, how
                  are we supposed to move on when the same trite crap is rehashed as new,
                  an upper chamber would delay legislation, would filter it, and would put some
                  fear (in return for a peerage) into dumbnuts like Roger Douglas.
                  We don’t live in a clean universe, you have to hold your nose and stop
                  reaching for the bin, let the stench grow and overpower us all a lot
                  sooner would inevitably lead to a more progressed NZ. And therein is the
                  problem with NZ, the only reason we are less harmed by the global crap
                  is because we have such a insipid parliament who are too busy messing up
                  the clean up of the mess they made previously.
                  so no, you are wrong so say No to a upper chamber because you don’t like
                  the idea, I can come up with a better reason not to have one which keeps the
                  status quo going, the power in the hands of the property developer lobby.

    • Colonial Viper 10.2

      More is needed to change all this rot. A new movement and new party to the left is needed. Start from scratch.

      Hmmmmmm this is not likely to work, best to work with the pieces already on the board.

  11. Blue 11

    It gets worse. Buried at the very last line of the Stuff article is this:

    “The independent inquiry would also look at why the ministry didn’t pick up the problem when it was raised a year ago by beneficiary advocate Kay Brereton.”


    The whole article is Key trying to wriggle out of trouble by throwing shit at Ira Bailey, and now it turns out that they were informed by someone who is not a systems administrator or part of the Urewera 16 and who did not ask for money to point the breach out – a year ago.

    And they did nothing.

    • Pascal's bookie 11.1

      Pretty hard to see why the whole system shouldn’t be assumed to have been compromised.

      • brybry 11.1.1

        Yes, if the kiosk system has been this way for a day (let alone over a year), then it must be considered to have been compromised. With no way of tracking who might have looked at, downloaded or altered data then the whole lot needs to be considered as compromised and possibly even inaccurate. It needs to be thoroughly audited.

        Ng and Bailey should be applauded for bringing this to the attention of the Government in a way that forces them to act (since a quiet tip-off obviously does not work). Someone with less scruples could have (and possibly still may) use this information for nefarious reasons.

      • Colonial Viper 11.1.2

        Pretty hard to see why the whole system shouldn’t be assumed to have been compromised.

        In this article weka linked to, that’s exactly what they conclude


  12. tc 12

    this and future generations will have to be responsible for the shambles NACT leave behind when they eventually get turfed out of office, till then it’s neo-liberal smorgasbord of privacy breaches, sell offs, rights reduction, condition erosion etc etc

  13. weka 14

    ” Above all, though, the kiosks must never be re-attached to the global WINZ network.”
    Is that true? How would WINZ staff load/retrieve information on and off the kiosks?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      The kiosks could be maintained via a separate virtual network which didn’t talk to the global WINZ network.

      • brybry 14.1.1

        That’s right. Standard practice.

        Unless you’re trying to save a buck.

      • aerobubble 14.1.2

        Do you think someone has invent a doogle, that looks like a memory USB doogle but in fact is a wifi doogle, and you just plug it in, drag and drop the whole network over to it, and leave the office where you sit in a car outside receiving all the data. Once done it melts.

        • McFlock

          Or just unplug the kiosk and connect your handheld to the LAN socket in the wall (free advice to WINZ on something else to look out for). 

    • Lanthanide 14.2

      Just how ‘global’ is this network? Surely they mean nationwide… right?

      • Colonial Viper 14.2.1

        heh global in the sense of their entire “corporate” network. (yes it grates to call the network of a government department “corporate”)

  14. Bill 15

    Hmm. So Ira Bailey should simply have told the msd about the compromised security so that they could pretend everything was okay just like they had done a year previously when Kay Brereton told them they had serious security problems?

    And maybe Keith Ng should have followed in the footsteps of Paula Bennet and released all the personal data already, arguably, in the public domain to all and sundry? The minister, afterall, reckoned that any claiment having any info in the public domain made the release of any other info on them legitimate, no?

    Maybe not. But seriously, are there any existing mechanisms, couched within structures aimed to provide accountability, that could be utilised to bring about the resignation of the head of the msd and the minister? I’m guessing there aren’t any.

  15. Colonial Viper 16

    support Keith Ng’s excellent investigative journalism

    I’m guessing he might need it for the lawyers fees. That’s what you get for doing a good deed under this government.


  16. deco 17

    I worked at MSD for three years and it was the worst employment experience of my life. The Managers were the most incompetent I’ve ever come across. Mostly they had all been promoted because of longevity or being buddies with the right people. In some cases they had been promoted because they were horrible people and one section wanted to get rid of them onto someone else. (WINZ doesn’t want them let’s shift them to CYFS) What they were good at was sucking up and talking themselves up. Several of my colleagues and I used to snicker about one person who would use corporate jargon and swords that sounded good and were said with great confidence but would often be used inappropriately or made no sense. (I still wonder what she meant when she said that “We need to put a stench around this project” She meant is as a positive.
    Very hard to do a good job at MSD so it’s no wonder their IT security is lax. Probably, the staff working on this could not get a Manager to give them the right support and resources. THe project would have been rushed to meet some Corporate deadline. Probably the IT staff were out of their depth anyway.
    We also have to remember that Paula Bennett was censured by the Privacy Commissioner for disclosing client information and then made a statement that she “did not agree” with the Commissioner’s ruling. There are a lot of managerial staff at MSD in her mould; confident, heartless, who speak a good game with Corporate bullshit and who have enough skill to cover their backs.

  17. Dv 18

    What struck me in one of the media reports was the MSD couldn’t find the problem. BUT the didn’t call him back for more info they called him to say they wouldn’t pay.

    It was really good that IRA is a good guy and not a malevolent character.

    I am not sure why the PM chooses to denigrate the man. Ira and Keith have done the country a huge service.

    And I wonder what will happen next time some one discovers a flaw. Will they come forward?

    Any way fancy wanting some money, isn’t that what Warners got from the pM

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      Any way fancy wanting some money, isn’t that what Warners got from the pM

      In Nationals view the only people allowed to ask for and get money are themselves and their rich mates. Everyone else who asks for money is just being greedy.

  18. freedom 19

    Q: If, according to the PM, the MSD IT services are so ‘clunky’ what the hell did they spend all this money on?


    • Dv 19.1

      Freedom follow up
      Here are the figures from that table in millions of dollars.

      Computer hardware
      2011 2012 2013 2014
      9,000 9,000 9,000 9,000
      Computer software
      21,241 21,241 21,241 21,241

      Does any one else think it is strange they are the same over 4 years of projections?

      • xtasy 19.1.1

        Hardly anybody reads it, not even the damned media, that is the truth. It all goes under the radar in amongst the information tsunami, largely created to distract and confuse, than to be clear, transparent and to inform!

        • freedom

          i tell you xtasy, it is surreal. Take how many times on TV on Radio and in the Newspapers in the last 24 hours the PM stated how clunky the systems are and how many times has there been any mention of the known spending. What is it now eighty to zip ?

          How do MSM *cough* journalists *cough* sleep at night ?

          • Draco T Bastard

            How do MSM *cough* journalists *cough* sleep at night ?

            The advantage of being stupid and ignorant – no pesky questions keeping them awake.

            • Dv

              May be some should leak to the msm that the MSD are spending over $1billion in IT over the next 4 years.

  19. PJ 20

    But, Mr Key, surely trying to make a profit on something you have that someone else wants is exactly your idealogy? But, I guess that only applies to our assets, currency, education system, environment, etc etc etc

  20. http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/dotcom-dominate-parliament-media-while-other-issues-go-begging


    Is NZ Prime Minister John Key going to face ‘Contempt of the House’ proceedings for ‘misleading the House’ over his knowledge of the Kim Dotcom investigation by GCSB – for which he is the responsible Minister?

    If not – why not?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  21. Dv 22

    When will the MSD databases turn up on wikileaks?

    • brybry 22.1

      I don’t think Wikileaks would publish that information. Wikileaks has stated that an individuals right to privacy is extremely important.

      If there were some MSD/Govt emails, and memos….. then that might be a different story.

    • xtasy 22.2

      This is sadly where Keith Ng (the blogger who published this scandalous “gaping hole” in the WINZ computer systems) stuffed up. He was apparently bothered by his conscience and rushed to go to the Privacy Commissioner (who is also really “part of the system”, although allowed to step up and raise concern and some moderate criticism), informed MSD and informed other media of having done so.

      By doing this he has given away the “mana” he had found and obtained!

      Maybe he would have really created a scenario for real upheaval and a radical shake-up, leading to change, had he done a “WINZI-Leaks”!

      He could have published selected documents, where sensitive info like names, other delicate data, could have been “blacked out”, yet where the purpose and nature of the documents would have been clear and recogniseable. Had this been published “Wikileaks” style, on a website, this would have sent the whole government into a hurricane like spiral, throwing them out of office, and also led to MSD being forced to do a complete investigation, headed by outsiders, who would have NO interest in pleasing or bailing out the government or any official employed by MSD and the likes.

      But he did not do this, dear Keith, so he handed it all back and over to the ones that want to keep a lid on everything, wash it white again and to carry on as usual, only with minor tweaks to fix a few bits here and there.

      A LOST OPPORTUNITY this was!

      • Lanthanide 22.2.1

        He did the right thing.

        • brybry

          Perhaps he wasn’t overly enamored with the accommodation at the Ecuadorian Consulate.

        • xtasy

          He did the “right thing” to just create a little jolt to the system, which the system (called government and administrations in the form of MSD and WINZ) will easily “digest”, and which will serve the system, to strengthen itself, to be better prepared next time.

          It will change little in substance, lead to more verbal assurances, distraction, and behind the scenes the nasty new welfare and other policies will be implemented, with yet less transparency and accountability in future.

          Sorry, that is how I see the true situation.

          • Jackal

            I think Keith Ng and IRA did the right thing. There’s no point in stooping to the same low levels of blubber boy. You might cause the opposition more damage, but at the end of the day (isn’t that a great saying?) you’re acting without morals. A higher ethical standard is in my opinion the main difference between the left and right.

            Keith Ng did the correct thing by informing the people who are affected, the public, and the people who are meant to do something about it. The fact that there’s not likely to be any significant changes made to the system is irrelevant to the whistleblowers doing the right thing by the public and their own ethical standards. Whether it’s a “little jolt” is yet to be seen.

          • felix

            I kind of agree with xtasy.

            He’s damned (falsely) by the government as a hacker either way, so no advantage there.

            The private info has already been compromised for a year (!!) either way, so no advantage there either.

            Why not fuck them up a bit more?

            ps “WINZI-Leaks” – heh that’s awesome, hope it gets picked up. Have the media adopted a scandal-gate name yet?

  22. gobsmacked 23

    Accountability time …


    Shearer, Robertson, Norman, Turei, Peters … all the leaders asking questions. Let’s see how they do.

    • xtasy 23.1

      Not just questions are needed:

      They should all demand an instant stop to the new welfare reform bill presented to Parliament in late September (Social Security Benefit Category and Work Capacity Amendment Bill), and certainly also all the plans to create a new data system to store information on vulnerable children, at risk parents and the likes, have all thsi withdrawn (at least for time being), put back into the drawer, until a complete, comprehensive, in-depth, radical and relentless PUBLIC INVESTIGATION is conducted (headed by a senior, independent High Court judge and two lawyers, staffed with also IT experts) into ALL systems used within MSD – and ideally other government departments and agencies.

      A report should be demanded and presented to Parliament, the government and the public, upon which remedies must be worked out by a specially appointed, multi party body, to once and for all sort out and fix all these IT system deficiencies and flaws. There are wellbeing, security, privacy and possibly lives being put at risk if these problems do not get fixed.

      Only after then may they pull any new legislation out of the drawers.

      This is necessary, and Labour, Greens and NZ First, naturally Hone and Mana, should demand this today, as well as the heads to roll for the CEOs in charge of WINZ, of MSD and Paula Bennett herself, having been so strongly behind introducing these self service points in WINZ offices, to save staff and other costs!

      Nothing less should be demanded, or they would all be shallow, hollow mouthpieces of a useless opposition. That is what I expect.

      • Jim Nald 23.1.1

        “Nothing less should be demanded”

        Let’s guess ….. if all goes well, the expectation for Question Time is that it will open with a snorer from Shearer.

        There should be more hope with other questions that follow in putting the heat on this incompetent government.

        • gobsmacked

          From Toad’s link above, Dom-Post reports …

          “On Thursday, Bailey’s Linkdin profile had been checked out by an adviser in Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s office, Ng said.”

          (so Bennett has been investigating the source, before outing him, which she has denied doing)

          Supplementary, Mr Speaker … “Has the Minister or anyone in her office …?”

          She should be toast.

  23. AsleepWhileWalking 24

    Headline from Stuff http://www.stuff.co.nz/dominion-post/news/politics/7821396/Ministry-boss-It-may-be-our-fault

    May be. As in….it might not be our fault.

    Because on Planet Key this is a legit possiblity.

    • Lanthanide 24.1

      Reminds me of a joke from Bill Baily’s Qualmpeddler tour.

      He was talking about Chantelle Houghton, a vapid reality tv ‘celebrity’ in the UK who said:
      “Alex [Reid] was laughing at me earlier because I thought the sun and the moon was the same thing. Turns out they’re not!”

  24. Accountability has no home in the nact govt end of.
    Mallard just on tv3 saying they dont need a tape recording of the gcsb meeting,
    they only need sworn statements,parliament will be interesting.
    Key could be walking into a problem, first he appologises to parliament,
    then in question time sworn affidavids are produced to say he spoke about
    dotcom in the feb meeting.

    • gobsmacked 25.1

      It might be, though Politics 101 says you don’t tell your opponents about a “Gotcha” on national TV beforehand.

      • Lanthanide 25.1.1

        Unless they have word-for-word quotes of what Key said, it still doesn’t even matter.

        Key has already said he makes lots of off-the-cuff jokes about current affairs with people and obviously KDC was current affairs at the time.

        Doesn’t mean that the briefing they’d just given Key included KDC in any more stature than the small image of him Key admits to already.

        Where’s the sworn affidavits saying that that briefing had 3+ powerpoint slides on KDC and they had in-depth discussions about the situation? See, *that* would be incriminating. A joke in the cafeteria afterwards, not so much.

        • felix

          It’s about credibility, the believability of Key’s version(s) of events.

          You’re right, it doesn’t explicitly prove anything, but is it really believable that Key cracked jokes about Dotcom and no-one in the room said anything else about it?

          Remember, they all thought Key had just taken in a briefing including information on the GCSB’s involvement in the Kim Dotcom affair. They all likely assumed he had retained some of the information he had just received. Can you really imagine they all just sat there stony-faced and didn’t say a word? Didn’t say anything that would indicate, by context, that they were involved?

          It’s just not believable, and every bit of info makes it less so.

      • starlight 25.1.2

        I thought of that too,key will be wondering just what they have got,so that
        in itself will have key feeling insecure in his address to parliament.

    • AsleepWhileWalking 25.2

      SNAP! Oh, happy day!

      • gobsmacked 25.2.1

        A sworn affidavit needs a name. So if Labour are going to table one in Parliament, the source will have agreed to be identified. For maximum impact, it will need to be somebody other than Fran Mold’s partner, who wasn’t at the GCSB at the time.

        Given Mallard’s track record, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. If there’s going to be a big hit for the opposition, it’s more likely to be on Bennett today.

  25. HG 26

    “super-human pay”. What a crock. Get with the real world.

  26. captain hook 27

    has she resigned yet?

  27. Indigo Bob 28

    Hey standard peeps, my comment above is awaiting moderation since I’m a new commenter. Could you please fix this? Thank you.



    How was a presentation by a GCSB staff member, given to Prime Minister John Key on 29 February 2012, AS PART OF A BRIEFING ON THE BROADER CAPABILITIES OF THE BUREAU, which ‘contained a short reference to the Dotcom arrest a few weeks earlier, as an example of cooperation between the GCSB and the police’ – NOT A BRIEFING BY THE GCSB ON ITS ROLE IN THE KIM DOTCOM MATTER?



    “Prime Minister John Key says a review of the Government Communications Security Bureau’s files confirms he was not briefed about the Kim Dotcom case until 17 September.”

    Who carried out this ‘review’ of the GCSB’s files?

    Because, arguably both they and the Prime Minister LIED?

    If the purpose of the PM’s visit to the GCSB on 29 February 2012, was a ‘briefing on the broader capabilities of the bureau,’ and the Kim Dotcom raid which involved the GCSB was part of that briefing, then how, in all honesty and befitting the ‘highest ethical standards’ can it be said that the Prime Minister was not briefed about the Kim Dotcom case until 17 September 2012?


    Conduct of Ministers
    2.52A Minister of the Crown, while holding a ministerial warrant, acts in a number of different capacities:

    in a ministerial capacity, making decisions, and determining and promoting policy within particular portfolios;in a political capacity as a member of Parliament, representing a constituency or particular community of interest, in a personal capacity.

    2.53In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.



    “He says while neither he nor Mr Fletcher can recall the reference to Dotcom being made he accepts it might have happened.
    As a result he will correct an answer he gave Parliament on the matter last month when the House resumes sitting in two weeks.”

    If you’re the Prime Minister – and you allegedly LIE to the House over NOT being briefed about the Kim Dotcom case until 17 September 2012 – when you were briefed about the Kim Dotcom raid on 29 February 2012 – how is this NOT ‘Contempt of the House’?



    Deliberate misleading of the House

    It is a contempt deliberately to attempt to mislead the House or a committee, whether by way of a statement, in evidence or in a petition. [98] This example of contempt, while always potential, was given explicit recognition in 1963 when, following a political cause célèbre (the Profumo affair), the House of Commons resolved that a former member who had made a personal statement to the House which he subsequently acknowledged to be untrue had committed a contempt of the House. [99] It has been submitted that there is an established constitutional convention that Ministers should always tell the truth to Parliament as far as this is possible without harming national security. [100] Whether this type of contempt embodies a convention or not, regarding lying to the House as a serious transgression of parliamentary etiquette (quite apart from any moral considerations) has been said to be the only way for Parliament to keep a check on the executive. [101]

    The contempt can be committed by anyone taking part in parliamentary proceedings. It consists of the conveying of information to the House or a committee that is inaccurate in a material particular and which the person conveying the information knew at the time was inaccurate or at least ought to have known was inaccurate. [102]

    Members deliberately misleading the House

    Most commonly allegations that there has been an attempt deliberately to mislead the House involve statements made by members in the House – whether by way of personal explanation, in the course of debate or in replying to a question.

    There are three elements to be established when it is alleged that a member is in contempt by reason of a statement that the member has made: the statement must, in fact, have been misleading; it must be established that the member making the statement knew at the time the statement was made that it was incorrect; and, in making it, the member must have intended to mislead the House. The standard of proof demanded is the civil standard of proof on a balance of probabilities but, given the serious nature of the allegations, proof of a very high order. [103] Recklessness in the use of words in debate, though reprehensible in itself, falls short of the standard required to hold a member responsible for deliberately misleading the House. [104] The misleading of the House must not be concerned with a matter of such little or no consequence that is too trivial to warrant the House dealing with it. A misunderstanding of this nature should be cleared up on a point of order. [105]

    For a misleading of the House to be deliberate, there must be something in the nature of the incorrect statement that indicates an intention to mislead. Remarks made off the cuff in debate can rarely fall into this category, nor can matters about which the member can be aware only in an official capacity. But where the member can be assumed to have personal knowledge of the stated facts and made the statement in a situation of some formality (for example, by way of personal explanation), a presumption of an intention to mislead the House will more readily arise. [106]

    As well as a deliberate misleading of the House arising from a remark in the House, it is conceivable that members could mislead the House by their actions: for example, from a deliberate misuse of a voting proxy, by delivering to the Clerk a totally different document from that which the member obtained leave of the House to table, [107] or by misrepresenting their authority to act on behalf of an absent member. [108]



    We shall see…………………………….

    Remember John Key’s ‘TRANZRAIL eyes’ – when questioned about Tranzrail?

    Tranzrail http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VeJSFVWKnsE

    Remember John Key’s ‘TRANZRAIL eyes’ – when questioned about Lord Ashcroft’s visit?

    What about John Key’s ‘TRANZRAIL eyes’ when questioned about talking to GCSB staff in their cafeteria?


    Can NZ Prime Minister John Key be trusted?


    Not in my considered opinion as an ‘anti-corruption’ campaigner – who took a private prosecution against John Key over Tranzrail – after a formal written complain to the Police and SFO resulted in no action being taken.

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Lanthanide 29.1

      I’m curious, does anyone here actually read what Penny posts? I never do, just skip past it because it’s always the same sort of strident nonsense about corruption.

      • vto 29.1.1

        Quick glances and occasional reads but its never easy reading due to the way she lays it out.

        But as for nonsense about corruption – have to disagree. New Zealand is corrupt and the politicians lie. One quick example – the sacking of Ecan on the back of Creech’s report.

        Too many of us have blinkers on.

      • gobsmacked 29.1.2

        No, I don’t. It should be a link. Cut n’ paste just asks to be ignored.

      • Penny Bright 29.1.3

        Which FACTS do you particularly dislike ‘Lanthanide’?

        Kind regards,

        Penny Bright
        ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


      • McFlock 29.1.4

        Occasional flick through. 
        She could do with an editor, though. Her passion is good (if off the deep end sometimes), but she has the beliefs (common to some) that block caps add emphasis and will make us as passionate about the issue as  they are. Similarly she needs to use a sentence rather than a paragraph where necessary, and sometimes her comments skip a logical step as she thinks faster than she types (the same reason I do some writing tasks better when hungover – I am painfully aware of the need to make sure each sentence logically follows from the one before).
        I do get the impression sometimes that if her comments were handwritten, there’d be triple-underlines and 5 exclamation marks in each sentence.
        And yeah, cutting & pasting to all and sundry is just annoying. Link. 

      • Clashman 29.1.5

        I give them a quick glance also. They are usually along the same lines and often just too long.

      • Lanthanide 29.1.6

        Actually I should add, I’d probably pay more attention to Penny’s comments if she ever gave any indication of contributing to this site by discussing things here. Instead all we get from her is copypasta.

      • R 29.1.7

        I read Penny’s posts. Often she has some really good things to say. Far more informative and useful than the carping drivel churned out by certain people like PG’s younger, fouler-mouthed and more aggressive little online ‘brother’ a.k.a. ‘The Contrarian’.

    • xtasy 29.2

      Add a CONTEMPT FOR THE PEOPLE charge to that!

  29. AsleepWhileWalking 30

    The last one was tldr, but sometimes I do. I admire her passion.

    • Lanthanide 30.1

      Yes, I admire her passion too.

      But writing a whole lot of stuff that no-one reads doesn’t seem very constructive for anyone involved.

  30. calltoaccount 31

    Yesterday, Bennet was saying last year’s data breach was different to today’s. Now, apparently, they are one and the same! With the previous breach unaddressed.

    Looks like Bennet’s two chances are used up…

    On Monday, the Ministry of Social Development said an investigation by Dimension Data in April last year did not discover the weakness.

    Today, it says the company did identify flaws in the system and is not confident the right actions were taken after that report.

    Ms Bennett says it looks like the same weakness that’s been made public this week.

    “They had identified a flaw. I think its our responsibility now to find out if had been followed up appropriately.

    “You have to just say, by what we’re dealing with in the last few days, they haven’t been.”


  31. freedom 32

    T minus 35 minutes

    load Government safety protocols: check
    establish responsibility illusion: check
    reboot spin base nodes : check
    engage failed equpiment mode : check
    present the PM: ALERT: credibility error

    • McFlock 32.1

      Credibility override procedure: engaged
      smile: nominal
      wave: check
      blame accuser: check
      release details of accuser: check
      Concern generator: offline
      TOTAL NUMBER OF FUCKS: _null_pointer_exception_ 

  32. Jim Nald 33

    Bennett and MSD would do very well to follow John Key’s shining example and plead they have been resistant to reading the Dimension Data report, they can’t recall, they don’t know, they are not at fault because someone else should be blamed (including, oh, someone wanted a “reward” – “take from that what you want to”), or they are not accountable.

    Welcome to Planet Key’s new, higher standards.



    “The Ministry of Social Development revealed this morning that IT company Dimension Data had tested the self-serve kiosks in April last year and identified issues of concern.

    Ms Bennett confirmed the report identified the same problem which was revealed this week by blogger Keith Ng …

    “What we now need to work out is was [the report] acted on, how was it acted on and obviously it wasn’t well enough or we wouldn’t be in this situation today.”

  33. Parliament 16 October 2012

    Oral Questions 2.00 pm – 3.00 pm

    Questions to Ministers

    8. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his answer to my Question for Written Answer 3326 (2012)?

    Have just found the ‘devilish’ detail – what Winston Peter’s Question to the Prime Minister for Written Answer 3326 (2012) actually was………………..

    3326 (2012). Rt Hon Winston Peters to the Prime Minister (07 May 2012): Did he have any meetings, in his capacity as Prime Minister, with either Hon Maurice Williamson or Hon Simon Power during the period 7 April-23 July; if so, on what date or dates and what was the nature of the discussion or discussions?

    Rt Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: Yes. I met with Hon Maurice Williamson on 7 June 2011 to talk about statistics and progress with the census in lights of its postponement following the Christchurch earthquake. I met with Hon Simon Power on 13 June 2011. There is no record of what was discussed at that meeting and I have no recollection of the discussion. I also met with him, Hons English, Joyce and Ryall and the external appointees regarding the Better Public Services Advisory & Governance Group on 6 July 2011.


    errr….. where on earth is the transparency and accountability at the highest levels of public office – when there are no records kept of such Ministerial meetings?

    (Given that New Zealand is ‘perceived’ to be ‘the least corrupt country in the world’ and all? )

    Rather a sharp contrast with the violations and attacks on the privacy of individual citizens – don’t you think?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


  34. freedom 35

    in NZ courts if a person had not been found gulity of a crime then is not that information deemed inadmissable?

    so how can the Govt and the MSM continuously use Ira Bailey’s prior identity as part of the Urewera 17 for a top of the line dogwhistle without a word of criticism


    “Rt Hon John Key (Prime Minister) replied: Yes. I met with Hon Maurice Williamson on 7 June 2011 to talk about statistics and progress with the census in lights of its postponement following the Christchurch earthquake. I met with Hon Simon Power on 13 June 2011. There is no record of what was discussed at that meeting and I have no recollection of the discussion. ”

    How does this failure to ‘maintain full and accurate records’ of this above-mentioned meeting of Ministers, comply with the following statutory requirements of the NZ Public Records Act 2005, particularly s.3 (c) (i) and (ii)?



    3. Purposes of Act

    The purposes of this Act are—

    (a) to provide for the continuation of the repository of public archives called the National Archives with the name Archives New Zealand (Te Rua Mahara o te Kāwanatanga); and

    (b) to provide for the role of the Chief Archivist in developing and supporting government recordkeeping, including making independent determinations on the disposal of public records and certain local authority archives; and

    (c) to enable the Government to be held accountable by—

    (i) ensuring that full and accurate records of the affairs of central and local government are created and maintained; and

    (ii) providing for the preservation of, and public access to, records of long-term value; and

    (d) to enhance public confidence in the integrity of public records and local authority records; and

    (e) to provide an appropriate framework within which public offices and local authorities create and maintain public records and local authority records, as the case may be; and

    (f) through the systematic creation and preservation of public archives and local authority archives, to enhance the accessibility of records that are relevant to the historical and cultural heritage of New Zealand and to New Zealanders’ sense of their national identity; and

    (g) to encourage the spirit of partnership and goodwill envisaged by the Treaty of Waitangi (Te Tiriti o Waitangi), as provided for by section 7; and

    (h) to support the safekeeping of private records.


    How records are kept in Merrill Lynch and the New York Federal Reserve, may not have the same legislative requirements – but now NZ Prime Minister John Key is in PUBLIC office and the ‘rules’ are different?

    Perhaps NZ Prime Minister John Key is simply ‘not fit for duty’?

    Penny Bright
    ‘Anti-corruption campaigner’


    • Yeah, I don’t read these either.

    • seeker 36.2

      Well I do Contrarian (and Lanthanide) and I am grateful to Penny for the work she does. At least she tries to lay bare the injustice and deceit that carries on in so called ‘higher places’ rather than defending or ignoring it like so many others in NZ do.

      • TheContrarian 36.2.1

        Tr0lling The Standard and Kiwiblog with long copy paste screeds using capitals while refusing to engage with anyone (or at least very very rarely) isn’t ‘work’.

        • Rogue Trooper

          and what The Contrarian contributes is? or just humbug?

          • TheContrarian

            I would never refer to my contributions here as anything other than a contrarian point of view to many of the posters own POV’s.

            …McFlock will be along any second now to make some embittered old man rant

            • Galeandra

              contributions (sic)
              And the antidote to every ’embittered old man’ is, of course, a gormless pup.

            • Te Reo Putake

              Huh? Can you point to any contrarian statement you’ve made here, ever? Mostly, you just take a mildly conservative stance, which is sweetly reminiscent of my Granny’s occasional utterences on politics. But, nah, Robinsod you ain’t, TC.

              • “Can you point to any contrarian statement you’ve made here, ever?”

                Yeah, nearly all of them.

                EDIT: Oh yeah, I find conservatism rather distasteful and backward. I’m no conservative. Care to identify in what way I am conservative?

                • Te Reo Putake

                  So that’s a no, then? Not even one contrarian statement? I’d call you on your ‘not conservative’ comment, too, but we both know you’re kidding.

                  • “Not even one contrarian statement?”

                    So my posts are generally in agreement with the ethos of the standard are not contrary to the vast majority of posters. Had me fooled.

                    I’m not conservative in the slightest.

                    • McFlock

                      So you’d be on KB promoting communism then?

                    • Te Reo Putake

                      Well, those two statements clearly prove my point about your conservatism, given that this is a left wing site. Well done. Best you also look up the word contrarian and ponder how you can be genuinely contrarian when you post on multiple sites, the majority of which are in agreement with your politics.

                      Edit: McFlocks on to it.

                    • Really? I get in frequent arguments on Kiwiblog with the conservatives there.

                      Being contrarian doesn’t mean disagreeing with everyone, but it does imply one being contrary to the prevailing view which I undeniably do here.

                      That in no way makes me a conservative. Unless you want to indulge in a false dilemma?



      • R 36.2.2

        +1, well-said seeker.

  36. tracey 37

    someone needs to list the privacy breaches


    and move a no confidence vote. not a peep from the maori party…

    • Foreign Waka 37.1

      Why would you wait for a peep from the Maori Party? It should be clear by now that the Maori Party is not in Parliament for NZ or its citizen. The privacy breaches are happening because of incompetence and a lack of professionals that are capable to run the IT section. They either have left the country or are too expensive for the meager contract price offered.

  37. Dv 38

    Further on the link to Bennet office


    “This afternoon, the blogger noted to NBR that after Mr Bailey called the Ministry of Social Welfare a second time last week, his LinkedIn profile was checked out by Holly Ford – a member of Ms Bennett’s staff.”

    I am interested that it was after the second time he called the MSD
    Obviously MSD told Bennet’s office, and Holly Ford checked him out. They would have found he was a not an IT novice.

    My question is now WHY did the MSD not call him back/in to find out more about the problem?

    When was there an Oh Shit moment? (Or NOT)

    • Lanthanide 38.1

      “My question is now WHY did the MSD not call him back/in to find out more about the problem?”

      Because he was trying to tell them what the flaw was in exchange for money.

      Apparently this is common practice overseas. Maybe MSD figured he was just trying to scam them?

      • Dv 38.1.1

        BUT he rang back. And after the rang back a person from Bennets office accessed his linkin profile which describes him as a IT person.

        Surely some one then the MSD figured this might not be a scam and then …..

  38. gobsmacked 39

    The comments are now on a second page.

    The government is taking a battering on several different fronts. But the thread is dominated by ONE person doing a mass copy and paste. The discussion gets lost.

    What if we all did mass cut and paste?

    How would that work? It would kill the blog.

    I’ve just listened to Question Time but now have to wade through huge chunks on a slow loading page and frankly, I don’t have the time to waste.

    I’m guessing Penny doesn’t have a slow connection. But many of us do. Please consider others.

    Can we get back to discussing Bennett and her imminent resignation? Minus the document dump?

    • weka 39.1

      I’m on a slow connection too, but I doubt that plain text contributes much to the slowness. It’s all the ads and links to social media that seem to do that.
      Having said that, have any of Penny’s posts in this thread been on topic? Why is she posting here instead of Open Mike? Where is Lynn with his big stick when you need him?

      [lprent: Working too hard at paid work to do much moderation I’m afraid. Just doing batch sweeps for the worst of offenders.

      Doing the last code updates to correct a upgrade issue before locking off the code. There is one more release after this one later in the month. And then I’m going to idle for while. Idling includes moderation and code fixes… ]

    • Frida 39.2

      +1. Pretty tiresome, especially when it’s the same old stuff every day and isn’t even relevant to the post

      • Jim Nald 39.2.1

        Maybe there should be a webpage, here or elsewhere, devoted to all her posts for those of us who might like to read what she would like to publicise.

        I would be fine to visit such a webpage collection of her stuff from time to time.

  39. tracey 40

    Hear hear gobsmacked.

  40. karol 41

    Congats to Ardern for getting an urgent debate in the House on the MSD links today.  Her egs of the kinds of info that was publicly exposed is staggering.  And yes, the buck stops with Bennett, and the government’s cost- cutting.

    • xtasy 41.1

      So there was an urgent debate? I switched off when question 12 came up and was started.

      The ego trip warfare between the Speaker, Winston Peters, Mallard, even Parker, some of whom left the chamber, Peters certainly ordered to, was not constructive, when the sitting began.

      Key admitted more that he previously had “not remembered” – including the admission now, that during the GCSB briefing for him on 29 Feb. there WAS A MENTION of the Dotcom raid and GCSB’s involvement.

      Shearer asked some good question, so did a couple of others.

      Sadly soon after it was back to “routine”, and the tit for tat game, and little else came in the form of sufficiently smart, thought through questions. Metiria Turei is always high on ethics, integrity and emotions, but she tends to disappoint me. Ardern was ok, but it did only last a short few questions.

      Forget the rest, I must say.

      I was not surprised, and Bennett and Key will just shrug it all off, the journalists will not ask the tough questions, press releases follow, the print and broadcast media (interspersed with endless commercial advertisements) will publish the usual drivel, and all go to bed again, preparing for another day of slavery, brainwashing and struggling to make ends meet. Wonderful?!

      • karol 41.1.1

        Yes , there was a debate.  Well, the points of order rebellion before question time, will ensure it gets mentioned on TV.  And yes, Key admitted more than before – contradicting what he’s previously said. 

        The Prime Minister has this afternoon dropped a bombshell in Parliament over the briefing he had with his spies on February 29….
        Key told Parliament the talking point at the presentation included a short reference to the Dotcom arrest as an example of co-operation between the GCSB and the police.
        Key also said a still camera that was used to take photos during his visit probably did have the capacity to record video, but it wasn’t used for that.

        Shearer’s Qus and the As, transcribed here.
        Also interesting is the possible involvement of the SIS in the Dotcom case, IMO.

        • PlanetOrphan

          Shearer should have grabbed a copy of that vid/pics when he had a chance.
          Looks like he’s gonna have to wait till he’s in power too get to the bottom of it.

          Of course any good spy would have a copy ……
          (Especially if they are defending themselves against crooked Leadership)

          It needs to be released …… “The Standard” wouldn’t mind I’m sure M8! 🙂

        • Anne

          I noted TV1 did their usual biased reporting on today’s Question Time. As Karol has noted, Shearer acquitted himself well – every bit as well as Key. Yet what do we see on TV1? Key’s performance over whether there was or wasn’t a tape ha, ha, ha…, but Shearer’s excellent reposte? Nothing, zilch – just a rerun of half an old soundbite.

          My god they’re the pits.

          • xtasy

            Are TV3 and Garner any better? Did you not see how Shearer was also confronted by that other persistent journalist, Pat Gower, who got Shearer as far as getting utterly frustrated and even angry, all filmed in detail?

            Shearer did OK in question time, but when confronted by journalists, while unprepared, he is hopeless. And there was not much “support” from his colleagues! Shearer is GONE!

            That will sadly help Key survive all this.

            • Anne

              TWO colleagues were approached – carefully selected by TV3 reporter. One was the former challenger for the leadership (gave a non-controversial answer) and the other (quite rightly) quipped he’d had a gutsful of videos. I’m sure he has.

              Can’t read anything into either response.

              • Anne

                ooops, I may have seen it on TV1 but whatever… it’s no indication there is any significant lack of support for Shearer. I was a Cunliffe supporter, but give Shearer a break folks. He’s not even been in the job for a year. Helen had several apprenticeship years before she became prime ministerial material.

                • Colonial Viper

                  He’s not even been in the job for a year. Helen had several apprenticeship years before she became prime ministerial material.

                  Uh, Helen Clark, a very experienced MP at the time, lost the first election she contested as Labour Leader in 1996.

                  How many apprenticeship years do you think Shearer will require.

                  • Anne

                    Helen had been an MP since 1981 and was a minister in the second term of the 4th Labour government. Could be described as apprenticeship years. By the time 1996 arrived she was more than ready for the top job but a certain person chose to go with the other lot.

                    Times are different now. I think Shearer has one chance and one chance only. I think we owe it to him to be patient for a little longer yet.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Times are different now. I think Shearer has one chance and one chance only. I think we owe it to him to be patient for a little longer yet.

                      It’s also worth bearing in mind that 2014 is not Shearer’s one chance. It’s all of ours.

                    • Jim Nald

                      It should also be borne in mind that Shearer has been in the House now for only 3.5 years (assumed office in June 2009). This makes him very much like a first-term member.

                      People may invoke the example of the current dolt in the PM’s seat.

                      But even John Tui had a tad bit more years behind him (6.5 years from entering the House in Jul 2002 and assuming office as PM in Nov 2008 ….. and see what a disaster it is) and it must be observed and remembered that Shearer is not as good a photo model, joker or liar as him to get away with tricks, trip-ups or cock-ups.

                      And pleading repeated bouts of varieties of Johnesia will not cut it any more.

                    • McFlock

                      All Key has shown is that 6.5years in the House can’t make a disinterested shallow egotist into a man of integrity.
                      Shearer might not have the right style to be an outstanding leader, but I think he’s good enough to win the next election. Especially if he learns. And if he gets replaced then the tories will be encouraging a split between the next leader and whomever looks vaguely competent, just as they are now. 
                      At the first stumble they’ll be pitting Cunliffe with Robertson, vice versa or other players. Hoots will be back here saying “I hope Y stays as labour leader”, just as he’s been saying now, and other labour members will be using it as evidence that their MP should be the leader, not Y.

                    • Jim Nald

                      Glad to hear Labour is so tactical in having a candidate learn on the job to be leader. I guess this is why I might be, deep down, better aligned with the tories who get the man, muppet or twat in to get the job done. Whatever might be said about Michelle Boag (and I will have to go offline to provide a candid, uncensored version), you have to give credit where it is due and she delivered the one who delivers.

                      Labour can surely do better. Labour says the people deserve better than this current lot in government; well, the Labour Party deserves better than the current candidate as leader. Is Shearer the best that Labour has got, or even good enough? Really??

                      p.s. I am not receiving a commission from Signor Hooton. So far.

                    • McFlock

                      Didn’t say you were in the pay of hoots. Just that this crap is playing into his framing.
                      Show me a leader who didn’t learn on the job. Key is still a shit leader, Clark lost an election after being an MP through Lab4. My personal opinion is that ditching Shearer, even assuming the replacement is better and a faster learner, will be more than balanced by the stability issues unless it is a spectacularly gracious transfer (and how often do those happen in politics).
                      Labour is progressing well. Sure, it could do better, but it is still a bird in the hand. I doubt that national will go below 40% at this stage, but that would be enough to govern without Winston if he stays at 6%. But Labour needs to be a steady hand to whittle away national support – a leadership change might spike them up, but it could equally put them back down to 28%. Do you really want them to be in a position to work that back a year out from the election?
                      I definitely think Shearer and his team should do some hard swot, acquire some cynicism and get him into a firm “debating” mode rather than his accustomed “negotiate and find a mutual outcome” mode. As well as maybe sitting down and watching all of the “Yes [Prime]Minister” series. But they’re getting there, in an environment dominated by political apathy and shallow media coverage.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      $220,000 pa to learn on the job and to do some “swot”. Please can I haz some training and homework too?

                    • McFlock

                      Yeah, sure. Put your name forward at the next candidate selection meeting. A track record of public service, humanitarian work or education might help, but for the tories you just need to be rich.
                      Or have you already put your name forward and been found wanting? 

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Sweet tips dude. Thanks for your ideas. Can you also arrange the powerbrokers in caucus to shimmy me into a nice safe seat somewhere? So I don’t have to seriously campaign or any boring shit like that? A smooth ride to the top as a chosen one is what I would like to experience. None of this “paying your dues” or “fighting in the trenches” crap.

                      And do I need to have been a signed up member of the party first, or can I just sign up just before I get the shoulder tap? Cheers in advance bro.

                      Also please write me up a backstory as a hero, or someone important. Maybe like an actor or banker. Its good for the PR.

                  • Jim Nald

                    By 1996, Helen had been in the House for 15 years.

                    If Shearer rises as strongly as Helen and by the same count, he should be ready by 2024.

                    • Jim Nald

                      “undefined” @ 11:51pm was me.
                      something weird happened.
                      i had subsequently added a couple more lines as well but, oh well, doesn’t matter that those did not make it through.

                      [lprent: odd. Haven’t heard that one before. ]

          • karol

            Credit where it’s due – I think it was xtasy that commended Shearer’s questions.
            For TV One & TV3 News it tends to be all about the game, and how it’s played.  Issues and content are of secondary importance.  TV3 also declared Key the winner today, although they gave a few points to Shearer. Ultimately it seems to have come down to the fact that Shearer fluffed some of his lines and seemed hesitant in his press conference today.  In contrast Key was commended for being all (arrogant and slippery) confidence.

            • Red Rosa

              Key trashed Shearer on the ‘non-existent tape’. The crucial point this afternoon, after days of leadup.

              Maybe a points win to Shearer for the rest of the fight, but that was the knockout.

              • Chris

                key needs to think back and remember his non existent proof of Standard and Poor’s saying that they would downgrade NZ if Labour got in.(This was an absolute LIE announced with great fanfare in the House). I think his PROOF in the end was a piece of paper waved around that no one was allowed to see because he was “protecting his source”Even better was his stuttering and stumbling mumbled responses to the tame media when S&P categorically denied that they had ever said that.He was standing by the statement of his source as he had “never been let down yadayadayada” Still online if you want a good laugh.Lots of teeth sucking and rubbing of nose, clear indicators of a liar! Shearer might at times have trouble with in your face interviews but he is not a liar, he is a man of integrity who frightens key,because key does not understand honesty and integrity.
                SO, he LIED in Parliament, was never held to account and refused to apologise for the blatant lie.He is a hypocrite demanding an apology from Shearer!

      • One Tāne Huna 41.1.2

        Apparently the kerfuffle was due to the fact that Slippery presented his admission of failure as a point of order rather than a Ministerial Statement.

  41. tracey 42

    and with kpmg and deloittes on the gravy train how much precious money gets diverted from useful programmes to their pockets cos of incompetence…

    and why no questions on sacking ceo for breaking the law… privacy act. also if ms bennett knew there was a problem monts ago she needs to show evidence of chasing up this thing or she was knowingly allowing an ongoing breach of te act.

    • Jim Nald 42.1

      How much is the CEO’s salary and total sum of other benefits he gets?

      • Jackal 42.1.1

        That seems to be hard information to find.

        The previous MSD CEO, Peter Hughes, had a pay package between $530,000 and $539,000 in 2008. He had a rise of between $30,000 and $50,000 in 2007.

        If the same wage increase was to occur, Brendan Boyle would be getting paid between $680,000 and $789,000 in 2012. Clearly he’s grossly overpaid even at the 2008 rate.

  42. xtasy 43

    So while we get all this attention on the failings by MSD and WINZ in privacy again, same as it was with ACC and the “leaks” there, what is happening and being discussed and reported about the new welfare bill before parliament?

    I hear, read and see again: NADA! NOTHING! NIX! RIEN!

    Just great. Much fuss, upheaval (justified it may be), but NO focus on SUBSTANCE, yet again, I am afraid.

    NZ mainstream media – biggest crap in the western media world.

    • captain hook 43.1

      nz msm is tired, flabby and frightened.
      they know that if they step out of line their careers would be over notwithstanding the fact that most of them are little right wing grubs to start off with.
      and they think they are hot shit because they get the occasional free ride in the air force jet and free accomodation at some hotel somewhere.
      real high class stuff.

      • PlanetOrphan 43.1.1

        Tapped on the shoulder at Uni and they sold their souls.

        The fear they exhibit when confronted with their “sponsors” is so palpable it comes through a TV screen..

  43. Rogue Trooper 44

    Cunliffe is cunning

    MSM-brain mush

  44. xtasy 45

    I was going to reply to a post here, but I lost it. I followed this and other threads, but honestly I have NO hope anymore to change anything in this country. To me as a migrant it is a totally hopeless, uninspiring, evil country, which looks nice on the surface, has beautiful scenery, but it is a HUGE LIE to most. It is a LIE to migrants, to MAORI, who were cheated off their lands and rights, it is a total LIE when it comes to justice, welfare and worker’s rights.

    I know of so many migrants from various European countries that came here with hope, best of intentions and great skills and so on. Most left again, they eventually hated NZ, because of what goes on here.

    It is such a bullshit country this is, largely because of the system in place, lack of understanding of most people and more. I worked my arse off when I could work here, I presented for sick, poor and others to help them when not coping, all I got was being shat on by government departments and even some employers. I had enough of this country, in all honesty, I have started to HATE NZ, and my plan is to get out of this place for good, I had enough, of all the injustices, the lies, manipulations and worse that go on here. I totally understand that hundreds of thousands of Kiwis left this place – for good, and most will NEVER come back to this dump!

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