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Osborne dodging questions over review

Written By: - Date published: 3:28 pm, March 24th, 2015 - 51 comments
Categories: accountability, by-election, journalism, national - Tags: , , ,

Interesting piece in the NBR today (paywalled):

Osborne silent over Te Ahu centre review

National’s Mark Osborne is refusing to comment on his role as general manager of the controversial $15 million Te Ahu centre, which is now the subject of a governance and funding review by the Far North District Council.

NBR ONLINE has been attempting to contact Mr Osborne since March 10 to discuss the centre but he has not replied to phone messages. Mr Osborne has passed on all enquiries to National’s spin doctor Clark Hennessy, who won’t allow the National candidate be interviewed before the by-election.

According to the article the center had $14.8 million of funding from ratepayers, made an $185,168 loss in 2013 (financial year) and a $522,681 loss in 2014. No wonder there are questions. Aren’t the voters of Northland entitled to some answers before they vote?

https://twitter.com/hcirePT/status/580158511725703168

51 comments on “Osborne dodging questions over review”

  1. mickysavage 1

    National arn’t very good at their due diligence are they …

    • rawshark-yeshe 1.1

      maybe he is simply the least crooked one available ??? 😀

      • Draco T Bastard 1.1.1

        As far as I can make out, National chooses the most crooked for their leaders/mps.

        • Ffloyd 1.1.1.1

          Deb. Absolutely agree. key picks people with *history* who will swear allegiance to him. For that, they will be a prominent person with no prominence. at all. These people are hunted out. I feel very sorry for Mr Osbourne’s wife and family for what they are about to, endure.

    • mary_a 1.2

      @ mickysavage (1) – Natsy just simply isn’t very good, full stop!

      This one is hardly surprising though is it, given the fact dishonesty, corruption, grubby deals etc seems to run through Key and his dodgy mob of miscreants at a great rate of knots!

      Osborne obviously is no better. Following the leader!

      At this rate, Winston should be able to walk in. Go Winston and give Key & Co a seismic jolt they are very unlikely to forget 🙂

    • Murray Rawshark 1.3

      Osborne is just par for the course. NAct value tribal loyalty and will accept that in the absence of all other qualities. The people around FJK are like the coterie of sycophants around Stalin.

  2. Clemgeopin 2

    National seems to be infected with either dishonest, corrupt or incompetent, people.

    Osborne did not even want to front up face to face with Winston on TV1 interview!

    He MOST certainly needs to respond to this serious allegation/mismanagement. How can anyone in Northland give him a free vote if he is not responding or coming completely clean? Time for him to clarify this scandal.

  3. Penny Bright 3

    ‘Nothing to hide – nothing to fear’?

    Oh dear – the train wreck National Northland buy-election campaign becomes more disastrous by the day.

    bugger …..

    NOT!

    In my view – EVERY strategic vote will count.

    Come on Northland!

    Help Winston Peters take Northland off National – and watch ‘Brand Key’ go down the gurgler!

    Show the world that the ‘left’ can do strategic voting under MMP, without ‘doing deals’ between the Party Leaders.

    Show the world that ‘doing a Northland’ is NOT the same as ‘doing an Epsom’!

    WOOHOO!

    GO Winston Peters!

    Penny Bright

  4. Paul Campbell 4

    Surely atr this point “Better than Sabin” is a plus?

    • tc 4.1

      my such high standards you have and a reflection of a successful outcome in terms of expectations under Team Shonkey…standards so high a toddler could crawl over them.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      There’s no indication that he’s better than Sabin.

      • Vagabundo 4.2.1

        As far as we can tell, at least he hasn’t, well you know…

        I don’t know how to complete that sentence without getting myself and possibly others into trouble.

  5. Melanie Scott 5

    Interesting revelation. However, worryingly, the GNats are pulling out all the stops to get their people voting early, presumably before any more unfortunate developments. And according to the media, early voting is up by about 100% in northland.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1

      At the general election, early voting results which were posted just after 8pm, were almost exactly the same as the results at the end of the night.

      In Northland , which is very rural mostly, a lot of people only go into town centres once week, or they have other plans on Saturday. Thus they vote early, as it makes sense.

      The results last time showed it was a just a very large sample of all the voters and thus reflected the final result

      • Pasupial 5.1.1

        gwwnz

        I recall the early vote result being quite different to the final result (particularly the result after specials). For one thing; Harawira would have retained Te Tai Tokerau if the final result had been; “exactly the same as”, the early voting.

        But the point is that; the early voting numbers in this byelection are twice what they were in the 2014 general election. Which itself had much higher rates of advance voting than previous elections. This is not just business as usual.

        • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.1

          The was only a very small lead for Hone very early on, when all the small far north booths came in.

          TTT is not the same as North Electorate which followed results of early voting party votes in getting national ahead

          • ghostwhowalksnz 5.1.1.1.1

            This was earliest one I could find

            Hamish Rutherford@oneforthedrKelvin Davis with slight lead over Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau with 12.5 per cent of votes counted.

            This was around 7:30

  6. ghostwhowalksnz 6

    Looking at the figures for the Trust, its not really a cash flow problem.

    Depreciation is their biggest expense. In 2013 they got a $300,000 council payment which they dont get this year. Not sure why.

    Plus the Board of Trustees looks like a good mix of local worthies so I cant see anything wrong there.

    Osbourne isnt included , his job seemed to be only oversight of the building stage for the council ( his employer).

    Theres is not really a problem in the running of the centre, which Osbourne isnt connected to anyway.

    The building phase maybe the place to look for Osbournes role and effects of his oversight

  7. Skinny 7

    After this latest fail if the buffon Osborne makes it into parliament he will be ostracised for causing National a real headache during the by election. This guy is going nowhere in politics and will join their Whangarei MP Shane Reti seated in the naughty boys chairs in the corner of the back bench. Oh great just what Northland needs.

    • tc 7.1

      Going nowhere in NACT land means an MP’s salary, all the perks and given he’s in northland all he has to do is keep the skeletons to himself and a few terms later he’s set for life.

      FFS look at ayatolley, Hekia and hologram boy……the bars not very high is it

  8. vto 8

    What?

    A candidate wont do an interview?

    That is the most preposterous thing I have ever heard.

    I think you’re making it up …

  9. greywarshark 9

    No wonder the far north never gets anything. With such a large Maori population they still can’t get off their chuffs and get behind better Maori local body representation with Maori wards. People who want to live in a backwater soon get covered with weed. It’s an example of a moribund backward looking population prejudiced against any enlightened change. And other local bodies have been the same. It’s not suprising that they are long-term voters for National, it’s their specialty to resist wider democracy as it probably means Maori will limit stuff they like to do especially where property is concerned.

    The council resolved last year to poll electors on whether dedicated seats for Maori should be provided at the council table. Voting documents were sent to 38,946 electors on the General and Maori Parliamentary electoral rolls in February, just over 35 per cent of them being returned. A strong majority, 68 per cent (9315 votes) were opposed, with 31.5 per cent (4309) in favour.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503402&objectid=11422095

    And about Te Ahu. It’s a splendid imposing entry point for Kaitaia and they have put a lot of thought into it. Making it pay might be hard but it’s not a limited purpose structure like the Forsyth Barr lossmaking stadium in Dunedin. It is their Information Centre, they have some beautifully carved pou in the large lobby big enough for powhiri and special meeting and greeting. A good little museum is there with temperature controlled storage. A cinema also. There comes a time in the growth of a place that they have to spend some money to advance themselves and create a platform for business ventures. But it requires an active, keen, innovative person to run it and create usage and get rents etc. Kaitaia needs to get more business, more tourists with money that stays in the area, and provides jobs – they are go-ahead people there. Unfortunately there are two big boxes due to start up just out of town, hardware and The Warehouse I think. That will take money out of the district, and perhaps out of the country.

    Another point comes to me. This is the time to press National to legalise marijuana for general use, with supply controlled and quality tested to limit its TLC or whatever the acronym for potency is. It’s something that is dear to Maori hearts in the north and perhaps they could swing a firm promise for legislation that will break the chains that marijuana hating governments have bound around us, so that no fruitful discussion can be had about it. Seize the day! It would be worth a promise to vote for the Nats to get that past, and they couldn’t reneg on that or there would be hell to pay.

    The Kaitaia Northland Age Editor passes judgment on the buy-election and regards it dimly. He doesn’t have much hope for anything and plenty of criticism. Some people up there in the North seem to have given up hope.
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/northland-age/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503402&objectid=11422125

    • veutoviper 9.1

      Thanks for that detailed comment, greywarshark.

      Re the Northland Age, the editorial today which I read seemed to indicate that whoever wrote it was probably a white (male?) National supporter. who is somewhat disillusioned with National’s record in Northland but could not bring him/herself to say so directly.

    • Murray Rawshark 9.2

      Weird that you’d swap a smoke for the RMA and the TPPA. We know we get those if Osborne gets in.

      • greywarshark 9.2.1

        @ murray
        I know it’s weird. It just reflects the way I see politics often going. David Lange doing sterling work on world nuclear issues and getting the country’s profile up internationally and the citizens keenly behind him. While in the background the Subversives were undermining the country in the same way we have always been told that the Communists would do and which would ruin the country and our way of life. It was weird to see happening, especially when it was the Rightists that actually achieved that.

        It’s just thinking you can’t have everything. I think controlled marijuana use and growing legislation would have far more good outcomes than bad. Perhaps if Labour talked about bringing marijuana use legislation in when they got in, after wide consultation of course, to ensure that the best policies were developed, perhaps that would be a good political move that would bring out voters who now think ‘what difference does our voting make’.

        If Labour promised to change the RMA to something better than before, ie less doctrinaire but still protective of things of importance that would definitely ncrease their standing. There have been legitimate gripes with the RMA which should be aired, examined and lead to alteration. And it would be good in future to have an annual report on gripes so that we can examine their validity, as it is an important block to bad and destructive development and we need to ensure that gripes don’t get inflated to the extent they blacken the whole policy. We might even bring zoning in so that people could have some certainty of what they could do where.

    • Sanctuary 9.3

      That editorial reeks of bitterness and of passive-aggressive defeatism from a small minded, small town, small ‘r’ reactionary with no imagination. As such, it is probably an accurate summation of the state of mind of NZ’s provincial Boers (or bores, like that editor) outside the main centres.

      • greywarshark 9.3.1

        @ Sanctuary
        To a great extent you would be true, but often I think it will be accumulated cynicism about broken promises and failed enterprises, and not enough support for the smaller regions struggling to manage and invest in new initiatives of any kind.

        And of course there are a considerable number of the totally bigoted whose basic thinking is built on denying respect for many people who would actually be the yeast bringing about change. They need though, to be given the opportunity to think of and discuss projects and the go-ahead for feasible ones, plus small grants, advice and support. But the negative vinegar blanket drops on any positives that arise and so it goes on.

    • Molly 9.4

      I submitted a comment on that article that doesn’t seem to have been picked up. 😀

      Essentially, I said that council passed the buck by doing “public consultation” on that issue. Most councils will know that those who respond to that kind of one question consultation will go with their first impulse, and also that a majority of them will come from one demographic – a demographic unlikely to support Māori representation.

  10. Rossy 10

    Interesting…Clark Hennessy has only been out of Victoria Uni for a couple of years…seems to be way too inexperienced to be handling this.
    His old mans dairy in Opotiki has been a huge beneficiary of the towns unemployed.
    Proceeds used to educate the son at Sacred Heart and convert him into a right wing twit. Now he’s working for Paula Bennett.

    The irony.

    • Paul 10.1

      Handling this.
      What?

      • Rossy 10.1.1

        True…Ill restate then.

        The reason Clark Hennessy is handling this so badly is because he is only 2 years out of Victoria University.

        http://www.usnzcouncil.org/intern-bios-2/

        • Atiawa 10.1.1.1

          A junior staffer, no less. Highly thought of by the trickle down practitioners..

          • Maui 10.1.1.1.1

            Ah so the real story is that Osborne is still being held hostage in Mangawhai by someone half his age, not Joyce. Forced to read from an autocue from someone just out of school. He’s on his leash with his bowl of water nearby, forceably trying to get the uncontrollable yaps trained out of him. This is awesome!

            • greywarshark 10.1.1.1.1.1

              @ Maui
              Osborne yapped well this morning. Said all the right things so well that it seems there must be an autocue, or concentrated programming beforehand. He would be okay as a sports manager and media spokesperson.

              Of course politics requires deeper cogitation and understanding than sport, but the UNACTs might like to operate the way that many computer networks are now doing, with a major processor with big capacity and large numbers of simple work stations with limited capacity feeding off it.

  11. Michael 11

    It’s up to the good people of Northland whether they want Osborne to represent them in Parliament. I think most of them probably do: after all, they re-elected Sabin when it seemed to be common knowledge up there what he’d (allegedly) been up to. I’m sure those good people will get the representative they deserve this Saturday and can reflect on their choice while waiting for the Nats to deliver on all those promises.

  12. dave 12

    they got Graham caples best dff the prominent new Zealander and they pick another crook well he will be right at home in the national party

  13. tc 13

    On cue up pops grannys Trevitt with a ‘nothing to see here ‘ piece quoting that bastion of honesty Joyce. I see heather gets the junkets now that Trevitt used to go on.

  14. saveNZ 14

    With that poor record, he’ll be taking over from Bill English!

  15. SMILIN 15

    Who would vote for more stagnation of the north
    Vote Winston for a fighting chance of bringing the trough hoggers to account
    The corporates have one model for rural economies and thats all we get no promotion of what is specific to the particular traits of our areas without running smack bang into central govt corporate sponsored policy nothing to do with democracy or accountability to the voters just
    Key THE DIGITAL PM and his money machine
    Press a button in the US govt and watch him go to work

  16. Molly 16

    I have an interest in sustainable shared community facilities and had a quick look at the Te Ahu centre’s website.

    Contrast the $14 million dollar build up there, the lack of transparency in room rates and the completely user unfriendly (and fairly empty) events schedule, with –

    Moutere Hills community centre in Nelson, initially a $2.5 million build, profitable enough after the first 2 years to fund a full-time centre manager, and was rebuilt by community after an electrical fire. As for their schedule – pretty full on and diverse and easy to find and understand room rates and facilities list.

    The difference in approach is business oriented to community designed. The cost is higher, the long-term sustainability is harder to achieve.

    Wouldn’t it have been better to provide four smaller community centres to different areas – save $4 million for other initiatives and watch the development of those communities provide local solutions?

    And it doesn’t take long to spot what is different in the photo galleries from Moutere Hills and the photo gallery on the Te Ahu website:
    He tangata, he tangata, he tangata….

    • Tracey 16.1

      And if the trust is doing well and serving its community, why wouldn’t Osborne want to trumpet that?

      If elected, will he refuse to answer questions and defer always to Key and Joyce to speak on his behalf?

      • greywarshark 16.1.1

        @Tracey
        If elected, will he refuse to answer questions and defer always to Key and Joyce to speak on his behalf?
        Yes!

        • Tracey 16.1.1.1

          That is probably the first criteria on the National selection candidate process?

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