Someone has been trying to shut down investigations into the PEDA slush fund. Red Alert reports that PI radio presenter Efeso Collins “has been taken off the Saturday morning breakfast show for asking too many questions about the Pacific Economic Development Agency”, with further details of “what has been unfolding with regards to the silencing of our Pacific media” here. We have seen this sort of attack before, National has a long history of heavy handed tactics to stifle dissent.
But this attempt at damage control is too late. Enough sunlight has already been shone on PEDA to cause the smarter Nats to abandon the sinking ship. Bill English is first overboard, leaving Georgina te Heuheu stranded. The Herald reports:
Pacific funding sets ministries at odds
Two Government ministers were last night at loggerheads over of the allocation of $4.8 million funding for Pacific Island development.
Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina te Heuheu announced at the last Budget that the sum had been allocated in full to a little-known company, the Pacific Island Development Agency (Peda).
But a spokesman for Finance Minister Bill English told the Herald last night that Mrs te Heuheu “went too far” and the money referred to was a general allocation for Pacific development.
Mrs te Heuheu yesterday said she stood by the original announcement, and that the money had been signed off by Mr English’s office. … He said “not one dollar” would be given to Peda until clear accountability and project outcomes were established.
Ministers and ministries at war is incompetence on a grand scale. Likely someone will step in quickly to put Gerogina in her place (as has, of course, happened before). Will she put up with it this time? Could be that the PEDA story, despite attempts to shut it down, still has a ways to run.