NRT: Foss lied to Parliament

Written By: - Date published: 7:58 am, March 1st, 2012 - 48 comments
Categories: Parliament - Tags: , ,

Two weeks ago, Labour’s Clare Curran asked Broadcasting Minister Craig Foss whether he had received any advice or reports about Stephen McElrea’s potential conflict of interest between his role as John Key’s electorate chair and his role as a board member of New Zealand on Air. Foss replied with a single word: “None”. Today, we find out that that was incorrect, when Tony Ryall was forced to admit on Foss’s behalf that he had received an email on 18 January from the chair of the New Zealand On Air board, Neil Walter,

which devote[d] several paragraphs to addressing conflict of interest matters of “one particular member of the board”

Foss’s original denial was in answer to a primary question, on notice. That is “a situation of some formality”. Lying in response is misleading the House, a serious Contempt. The question now is whether he will be dragged before the Privileges Committee, or whether the Speaker will allow Ministers to lie with impunity to primary questions in Question Time.

48 comments on “NRT: Foss lied to Parliament”

  1. Morrissey 1

    It’s now that we can look forward to the Leader of the Opposition to step up and lead a concerted attack on the Honorable Foss and thus create a significant problem for this government.

    Oh, sorry, I forgot…

  2. CnrJoe 2

    ….oh please please,….. winston, somebody…..

    …….this ….is what….i….

    …..but…..no…….yes…..

    (with thanks to whoar)
     

  3. Jackal 3

    As usual Lockwood Smith will not be placing the matter before the Privileges Committee because it is A OK for National MP’s to mislead the House of Representatives. Lie your little heads off you Tory scum!

    • Morrissey 3.1

      That’s why the Opposition needs a strong and resolute leader to force the Speaker to do the right thing.

      It’s not going to happen, unfortunately.

      • Jackal 3.1.1

        There is no basis in reality for your comment Morrissey. Any MP can make the Speaker of the House aware that the House of Representatives has been misled. It is up to Lockwood Smith, who would have to be as thick as two short planks if he was not already aware of Craig Foss’ lies.

        If Lockwood was impartial as he is meant to be, the opposition wouldn’t have to do anything.

        You are wanting David Shearer to raise the matter with Lockwood Smith? What exactly do you think that will achieve? It will just give Lockjaw another excuse to be arrogant and belittle Labour to protect his mates in the National party of disinformation. The best thing Shearer can do is pick his battles.

      • ghostwhowalksnz 3.1.2

        Force the Speaker ?

        Hahhaha.

        The only person who can do anything is the Prime Minister. He can sack the Minister concerned.

        Its a pointless exercise to go after the Speaker for political pointscoring.
        Its Key who should be dragged through the mud over this

      • Or, the Opposition working together, in a common Front. It’s not impossible – the leaders of the opposition Parties just need to work out their priorities.

        • BLiP 3.1.4.1

          Haven’t you been sent to your room for a week? Off you go. The grown ups are talking.

  4. Morrissey 4

    Shearer is not the man you look to in a confrontation. Which makes you wonder how he’s going to achieve anything this year or next. So far he has failed to even register an opinion about the intimidatory behaviour of the Ports of Auckland management, the AFFCO management or the government’s intimidation of NZ on Air.

    If Shearer did his job and forced Lockwood Smith to do his, then Smith would not be in a position to belittle anyone; he’d be scrambling to justify his own inaction.

    But Shearer is silent, as he has been all year.

  5. H.Crown 5

    The best thing Shearer can do is pick his battles.

    And when do you think Shearer will pick his battle. He has had plenty of opportunities lately but the silence from that department has been deafening.

    • Jackal 5.1

      I almost forgot, this post isn’t about Craig Foss lying, it’s about the right’s new mantra to try to discredit the Labour leader. Yawn!

      • Morrissey 5.1.1

        And Parliament will not be preoccupied by Craig Foss’s lying, because the Leader of the Opposition is not up the job of holding him and his colleagues to account.

        Can you not see that?

        • Brokenback 5.1.1.1

          “And Parliament will not be preoccupied by Craig Foss’s lying, because the Leader of the Opposition is not up the job of holding him and his colleagues to account.

          Can you not see that? ”

          Yes it is glaringly obvious , as it was before he was installed as titular head.

          As posted previously , RIP NZLP , you had one chance at re-establishing electoral relevance by shifting Left to sit above your foundations and Cunliffe is the leader required to do so.

          I hope the drys rot in hell , tormented by having to listen to Peter Dunne reminisce.

      • muzza 5.1.2

        No it’s not Jackal, Labour in particular need to get their act together, this much is obvious! Any and every opportunity of this level of seriousness, needs to be seized upon! If only to continue the charade for the sheep and believers that parliament is in fact, not just a nonsene, where the country is being taken for a ride!

    • bbfloyd 5.2

      it never ceases to amuse me that tory pipsqueeks continue to criticise labours leadership for not being like nationals pack of lying, corrupt snake oil salesmen…..

      if they were, then the cries of shock and disgust would be deafening…….. is this just tories a; exposing themselves as the utter machiavellian, game players they are?… or are we to assume that politics is nothing more than a competition to see how much bullshit can be foisted on our heads while they get on with the asset stripping uninterrupted by pesky issues such as “duty of care”?

      b; or is this just frustration over shearers succeeding in not allowing the tories propaganda unit (tvnz) to lampoon everything he says….? i suspect it’s a bit of a, and a bit of b…..

      such it up little boys and girls….. the days of the hollow men are running out…. time to scrap for positions on the deck as the ship goes down……

  6. H.Crown 6

    “The best thing Shearer can do is pick his battles.”

    And when do you think Shearer will pick his battle. He has had plenty of opportunities lately but the silence from that department has been deafening.

  7. Anne 7

    I am betwixt Morrissey and Jackal. On the one hand the Labour leader does need to pick his battles and there are signs (eg. yesterday at QT) he is starting to, but on the other hand Labour is still not hitting the NAct govt. where it hurts – between the eye-balls. Why? They have been given so many opportunities these past few weeks. This ‘possum in the headlights’ stance is really starting to rile me.

    Get off your backsides Labour and oppose… oppose… oppose. That is the job of the Opposition!

    • Anne 7.1

      PS. To be fair, one or two Labour MPs are trying hard. Darien Fenton is doing a good job with her Labour portfolio. Where is Cunliffe these days? Has he been muzzled?

      • ghostwhowalksnz 7.1.1

        Its only February Anne ! Thats all we need is a lot of background noise ?

      • bbfloyd 7.1.2

        to be fair, why would they need to get strident now? there is more than enough groundswell opinion, and dissent flying around the airwaves, and in factories/shop floors already…..

        shearer has time on his side, and a party to get sorted out… if we want a real government to replace, and deal with the awful mess this one will leave behind, then labour has a lot of work to do….. grandstanding on touchstone issues at this stage would amount to window dressing, and leave shearer open to negative reaction from tory shills in the media(most political journalists)…

        if, as it seems likely, the government loses it’s majority during the term of this parlaiment, then i would want the alternative government to be one which has been doing the hard yards of policy formulation based on realities rather than just relying on a series of slogans to grab power for it’s own sake…

        give me considered, responsible leadership over meaningless, and misleading rhetoric anytime….

        • Morrissey 7.1.2.1

          give me considered, responsible leadership over meaningless, and misleading rhetoric anytime….

          Are you seriously suggesting that Shearer’s silence is “considered, responsible leadership”? He has ceded spokesmanship on all issues to Winston Peters and Hone Harawira.

          Shearer’s speeches are bland and anodyne, and he shows no sign of improving.

        • Anne 7.1.2.2

          give me considered, responsible leadership over meaningless, and misleading rhetoric anytime….

          Who, in their right mind, is going to quarrel with that. Of course Labour needs to do the hard yards and rebuild from top to bottom. They have already started, and there are many hopeful signs it’s going to be done properly. Congrats to Moira Coatsworth and the team.

          But that does not preclude the parliamentary team from doing their front-line task of opposing the Nats whenever it is appropriate, and holding them to public account. It does not have to include misleading and/or strident rhetoric. At the moment Labour seems to have abrogated some of that responsibility and left it to the Greens and NZ First. Not good enough.

          Edit: yes, as Morrissey says… and Mana (Hone) too.

      • stever 7.1.3

        Really?

        http://blog.labour.org.nz/2012/03/01/assets-and-elbows/

        And others too from the same source.

        • Anne 7.1.3.1

          Thanks stever.
          Just posted by David Cunliffe.
          What the doctor ordered. But punchy stuff like that needs to go beyond Red Alert.

      • tc 7.1.4

        If I was DC I’d be wondering if my talents are appreciated, he did everything asked of him in the campaign and stepped up to be leader and look what happened.

        Parker’s been invisible in the finance portfolio along with ‘mr guns on the inside’ and Robertson does a listener piece with gluon about being possible the next gay PM, wow punchy stuff.

        I wouldn’t blame him if he rethought life as a labour MP for more time with his young kids as they only grow up once, politics comes around again.

  8. insider 8

    If NRT is going to get all hysterical (again) about such things and accuse people of lying, he at needs to make sure the facts match his accusation.

    Simple question: Who was this board member they were talking about regarding conflicts of interest? There are six of them; which one was it? Show us the document or the witness statements that name that person.

    And before you get into it, yes we all probably think we know who it is, but for accusations to stand they actually need proof.

  9. CnrJoe 9

    Far as I know Anne Tolley

    http://gordoncampbell.scoop.co.nz/2011/12/21/gordon-campbell-on-taking-the-fall-for-anne-tolley/

    is yet to be held to account for her maligning of Radio National journalism and the subsequent deception ( or at least lack of correction ) in the house.
    That set the bar didn’t it?

  10. shorts 10

    its the oppositions parties role to keep the govt honest – not simply oppose for thats a tactic that doesn’t work in the public arena and only serve further some of the truly nasty commentators ‘nasty party’ meme

    and still we wait for Mr Shearer – happy to wait if the wait is worth it… and herein lies Labours real problem…. is the party capable of being anything but itself – ie ineffective in opposition

    I await more playing of the man not the ball with the corresponding lack of interest in these games by a large majority of potential voters

    if as it seems Foss lied hold him accountable in a politically constructive way

  11. Peter 11

    Foss is the same guy who has allowed oil exploration permits throughout Hawke’s Bay, announced to the public under the cover of the RWC. Obviously a Yes Man!

    • insider 11.1

      Err no that would have been Hekia Parata (if indeed the incident ever happened at all). Easy mistake to make. They could be twins.

    • Jackal 11.2

      Actually Peter, most of the permits National has been dishing out like lollies are none notified consents, which means the public is not informed at all.

    • tc 11.3

      Have a look at the MED site, NZ’s been carved up by the nat’s and shared out the sheeple just don’t know that yet.

      • Macro 11.3.1

        We do know about them here in the Coromandel.
        There have already been protests – but you wouldn’t know that if you listened to the national media.

  12. Simon Poole 12

    I’ve already emailed I/S, but Foss answered the question on 15 Feb. Ryall mentions an email received on the 18th. Unless he can see through time, Foss wasn’t lying.

    • Te Reo Putake 12.1

      You need to read the links, Simon. The email on the 18th confirms that the question of a potential conflict of interest was raised earlier, hence the need for Ryall to cover for Foss.

    • McFlock 12.2

      And just to make the correction crystal clear:

      “Foss answered the question on 15 Feb. Ryall mentions an email received on the 18th of January. Unless he can see backwards through time, Foss wasn’t lying. But he can – it’s called a memory – so he was.

  13. tc 13

    lockwood’s going to earn his dosh this term keeping the wrecking crew away from the naughty step but then that’s why he hasn’t retired yet as they need him to assist with the plundering of NZ.

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