Power Corruption and Lies

Written By: - Date published: 1:04 pm, November 13th, 2015 - 78 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, class war, corruption, Dirty Politics, Ethics, same old national - Tags: , ,

A National MP has been caught bludging off the taxpayer to further her political career. This time it’s list non-entity Parmjeet Parmar, who has been sprung trying to get Housing NZ to boost her profile in the Mt Roskill electorate. Weirdly, Parmar thinks that she has a chance if a by-election is called when Phil Goff departs to become Auckland mayor. As if!

Labour MP Kris Faafoi asked for correspondence in the matter to be released and it was, but heavily redacted. Unfortunately for Parmar, one of the redacted emails was also attached in its original form. It shows that Building and Housing Minister Nick Smith’s office tried to get Parmar appointed host of a housing roadshow. The email is stunningly blatant as to the reason for the request:

“Parmjeet Parmar has also expressed a strong interest in hosting a roadshow as she is keen to raise local profile in Mt Roskill in case of a by-election.”

Get that? Nick Smith’s office tried to hijack a taxpayer funded event to promote the political interests of an MP. And Housing NZ tried to cover up the corruption by redacting the relevant information. Brighter future, anyone?

It may not just be Parmjeet Parmar who has rorted the system. Kris Faafoi points out that other MP’s have been spotted campaigning in the same way:

“A number of National MPs have held similar roadshows around the country. Now we have black and white proof that National is using Ministry and departmental funds for political purposes. Put simply National has been caught out trying to hide a dodgy bit of campaigning.”

Faafoi also makes an interesting observation about the Tories attitude to OIA requests:

“It raises concerns about what else National tried to keep under wraps in these documents and whether this sort of thing is the general attitude National takes to all OIA requests. The facts are clear. National has been caught red-handed hiding the truth, and it has been spending taxpayers’ money to campaign.”

Remember this?

“I expect high standards from my Ministers … if they don’t meet the standards I set then obviously I will take action if necessary”.  John Key, November 2008

Smith and Parmar should both go. There should be a clear separation between politicking and governance and it’s clear the line has been crossed in this case.  Political corruption has no place in a civilised society. It should certainly have no home in the Housing Ministry.






78 comments on “Power Corruption and Lies ”

  1. Sabine 1

    some bludgers are more deserving then others, and others never stop bludging.

    Go National!

  2. tc 2

    Nice work from Kris, maintain the pressure as smith is foolhardy as has already been shown and parmars ego is a large target.

  3. RedLogix 3

    Awww … you guys are just being mean to poor hard working List MP’s. Here they find a creative and positive way to break out of their non-entity status and you bullies go bash them for it.

    I’m with my Prime Minister – the nasty left keeps making victims of us.

    /vile dripping sarc off

  4. Amy 4

    Excellent expose, thank you. Hope this is followed up and used effectively. Particularly about why original was redacted. Corruption I think.

    But please, stop the childish ‘Tories’ nonsense. This has no relevance to NZ and just undermines a excellent piece with dinosaur nonsense. This is NZ, not England.

    • Cheers, Amy. I’m not sure if there are formal ways to bring Smith and Parmar to account, but I’m sure Kris Faafoi will be sussing out the options.

      re: Tory. While it is most often used in the UK, it’s still part of the political parlance here in NZ and also in Australia and Canada. On both sides of the Tasman it’s used as a sneering pejorative and that’s the way I like to use it, too.

      • Srylands 4.1.1

        ” On both sides of the Tasman it’s used as a sneering pejorative and that’s the way I like to use it, too.”
        Really? I have never heard anyone real actually say that word in either country. The frequent use of it on this site is a cross between humorous and absurd.

        • McFlock

          the last protest I was at had several hundred people chanting “what’s the story, filthy tory? Out! Out! Out!”.

        • tracey

          BUt then it is rare for you to be listening and not talking srylands….

        • Alethios

          Was collecting signatures for a climate change petition last week, and had several people describe themselves as ‘tories’, before going to say they were still happy to sign. I’m not sure it’s all that uncommon.

        • peterlepaysan

          You obviously have never lived in NZ.

      • amy 4.1.2

        Ok but was only small point anyway!

        Most important is as I said, extremely great article as i loathe corruption and this is, I think, difficult not to interpret otherwise. Great work!

  5. McFlock 5

    @ amy

    The thing I like about the word is that it reflects the fact that our homegrown right-wing fucks are seeking to (and succeeding at) create an entrenched class system here in NZ, with large numbers of generationally poor people and a few inherited, entitled oiks who demand obsequiousness and ignore laws big and small.

    That’s why they use public services for personal and political gain.
    That’s why they back rapists and put forward idiots and babies as candidates in rural electorates.
    That’s why they re-introduced titled honours.
    That’s why they pervert the Official Information Act.
    That’s why they hate democracy.

    NZ is becoming England.

    “Tory” is as “tory” does.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1


    • Srylands 5.2

      That is why you are deluded.

      • McFlock 5.2.1

        Nope, that’s why I’m angry.

        Thay’re not doing any of that shit out of duty to the nation, but they are doing each and every type of corrupt and deceitful practice that I listed. The only common thread between them is entrenching a class system and their conceited sense of arrogant entitlement.

    • Grindlebottom 5.3

      My grandfather and father and others of an anti-National viewpoint often referred to National as Tories. Its been in common use for decades in New Zealand. I think it came from the association of early National governments with policies that were considered similar to those of the British Conservative Party – ie preferential to wealthy businessmen, politicians, farmers, landowners etc, rather than workers.

      • Murray Simmonds 5.3.1

        Yes Grindlebottom, thats exactly right. I had an uncle who was an ambulance driver at the Battle of Monte Casino – he became interested in politics in his later years and frequently used the term “Tory” in the manner you describe.

    • tracey 5.4

      Perhaps Slylands just prefers right wing nut job as a label for his political preferences?

    • weka 5.5

      Good explanation McFlock. I haven’t liked the term ‘tory’ either as it strikes me as being about the English, but what you say makes perfect sense.

  6. Draco T Bastard 6

    Remember this?

    “I expect high standards from my Ministers … if they don’t meet the standards I set then obviously I will take action if necessary”. John Key, November 2008

    Well, yeah, but you’ve got to admit that he’s set some pretty low standards:

    Tranzrail shares

    What I want to know is why we can’t seem to jail these fuckers when such blatant corruption shows itself?

    • tracey 6.1

      Like most of what comes out of Key’s mouth, subsequent statements may bear no resemblance to former ones…

      By “high standards” he means low and by standards he means “whatever we can get away with?”

    • George Hendry 6.2

      Well, he wasn’t necessarily lying there…

      # might he have meant ‘standards that stink’?

      # given the standards he has set are mainly about increasing corruption, aren’t his ministers generally measuring up quite well?

      # and didn’t he take the necessary action, but dismissing (paying off) 16 MPs thought to be below the new required standard of corruption we have seen since the election ?

      As for jailing them, several of us will need to be jailed first to show them where and how.

  7. tracey 7

    Someone will be along shortly to explain why this is different to the PLedge Card or why it is ok because of the Pledge Card

  8. tracey 8

    “But in three other versions of the email contained in the released information the reasons for Parmar’s interest in being at the KiwiSaver Homestart roadshow have been blacked out. Officials said the reasons for the redaction was because it was “out of scope” of Faafoi’s request, They also cited the Official Information Act provision that allows information to be withheld to protect “the free and frank expression of opinions by or between or to Ministers of the Crown or members of an organisation or officers and employees of any department or organisation in the course of their duty”.

    Wow, just wow. That’s a convoluted way to say “shit, we’ve been caught out, better cover this up somehow.”:

  9. savenz 9

    What a trougher!

    Seriously as well as being highly unethical, surely this is not legal? An incumbent government can use tax payers money to raise the profile of it’s MP’s for electioneering purposes.

    Even worst the blatant lack of transparency when the officials hide it, by redacting the evidence on behalf of the government. I’m certainly not buying their feeble explanation.

    • savenz 9.1

      This is hot on the heels of Melissa Lee – to emulate in corporate welfare…

      On 13 May 2009 Lee told a candidates’ meeting that the SH20 Waterview Connection could divert criminals from South Auckland away from the electorate. Lee apologised the next day, saying “if South Auckland people (find) my comments offensive, I apologise. It wasn’t about them. It was about criminals.” Prime Minister John Key later said the remark was a “stupid statement to make”.[9] Later that day she apologised again saying, “I apologise unreservedly for the comments I made regarding South Auckland… I sincerely regret my remarks.”[10] In the by-election, Lee attracted only 3,542 votes, coming a distant second to Labour’s David Shearer’s 13,260 votes.

      During the By election, allegations were made in May 2009 that Lee’s production company Asia Vision had spent New Zealand on Air money making a promotional video for the National Party ahead of the 2008 election. Lee called the allegations “ridiculous”, saying that all work on the video was done by volunteers. The Green Party referred the video to the Electoral Commission, saying that it should have been declared as an election expense. [11] [12] An investigation conducted by New Zealand on Air later cleared Lee of the charge of misuse of funding.[13]

      Later in 2009 Lee used NZ$100,000 of contingency funding to increase the markup for Asia Downunder in violation of her contract with New Zealand on Air, which she described as “an innocent error”.[14]

      In April 2011 Lee courted controversy when, after she had made a speech supporting the controversially rushed-through copyright law 92A,[15] it emerged that hours earlier she had tweeted “Ok. Shower… Reading … And then bed! listening to a compilation a friend did for me of K Pop. Fab. Thanks Jay.”[16] which appeared to contradict her stance on law 92A.[17]

  10. dave 10

    i remember that women last election during the debate with phil goff what a stupid arrogant woman she couldn’t even answer the simplest of questions she complained that all the labour party activists were laughing at her and we were shes a joke and it impossible to keep a straight face around the town clown tory

  11. Rudi can't Fail 11

    I hope you hold Phil Goof to the same standard when he is running for mayor (I think not)

    • If you have any evidence of any MP from any party corruptly using their power for personal gain, let me know. I’m happy to out anyone weakening our democracy. The difficulty you face is that after 7 years in power, this Government is so used to behaving badly, they can’t even be arsed covering their tracks properly. Hence the post.

      Say what you want about Goff, but the fact is he’s straight, hard working and popular. The right have no answer to him, any more than they had an answer to Len Brown. The mayoral election, and the Roskill by-election, are done deals. Get used to it.

      • Reddelusion 11.1.1

        Or he is just a trougher and is unemployable outside the public purse, and possibly no right wing candidate up to it needs or wants the job. Its the pinnacle for a left winger as they can’t do bugger all else for such a salary, albeit salary pitiful for the BS of the role, for one having to put up with penny bright prattling day after day

        • sabine

          When this current government is replaced (and yes, it will be replaced eventually unless you are really advocating a dictatorship under John Key and his minions), is it ok to constantly point out that National did it too, and thus absolve any other government from any corruption, double dipping, hair pulling harrasment of young waitresses, using of housing nz funds to foster a ‘career’ in politics, accusing the National Party in opposition to supporting of rapists, murderers, and child molesterers, etc etc etc in order to deflect from the short comings of the party running the country.

          Really, this I would like to know.
          Will the Labour did it too mantra be allowed to be transformed into the National did it too? Or does that only apply to Labour?

          Cause in this case it is a National Party Member / List MP that has been doing it, and you seem ok with fraud and corruption when it is done by National.

        • DoublePlusGood

          Seem a bit antsy there that Phil Goff, despite being “unemployable outside the public purse” is still considered sufficiently capable by enough people that he will likely waltz home in the Auckland mayoralty race.

        • tracey

          Sounds like you are dissing Bill Enlish’s entire career

        • Visubversa

          Phil Goff had a job “outside the public purse” before he went into Parliament in 1981, and he had another one for the 3 years he was out of Parliament. He will have another one when he leaves Parliament – hopefully as Mayor of Auckland.

    • tracey 11.2

      Oh Look “Labour does it too” …. you guys are getting tired…


    • dave 11.3

      oh no we will be helping phil and fine mayor he will make [deleted -TRP] hasnt hope in hell

    • alwyn 11.4

      When is Phil going to officially announce that he is standing for mayor?
      I presume he will couple it with an announcement of his resignation from Parliament?
      After all such an “he’s straight, hard working and popular” character wouldn’t continue to take a salary for being an MP when he is spending his time running for Mayor would he?
      At least he won’t be able to be as greedy as Jim Anderton was going to be if he had managed to win the mayoralty in Christchurch.
      At one point he said he wasn’t going to stand down from Parliament and was going to take a Parliamentary salary, as a Party Leader at that, along with the Mayor’s salary AND New Zealand superannuation. Now that was really planning to raid the tax-payer’s purse wasn’t it?
      Luckily the public of Christchurch had had a gutsful of the old fraud.

      • te reo putake 11.4.1

        Actually, there’s nothing wrong with Goff being an MP while he campaigns, but I have no doubt he’ll resign promptly when he wins. Unlike the two recent Nat MP’s who continued to take their local govt salaries well into their parliamentary terms.

        • alwyn

          I am cynical enough to think that, although he might stand down next election Goff won’t quit before then. He will do it by saying something like “I am willing to sacrifice my time with my family in order to save the taxpayer the cost of a by-election.” Like every veteran politician he is a hypocrite.

          I am old enough to remember a Labour party politician who had about six offices at one time.
          He was a Wellington City Councillor from 1950 to 1956
          He was Wellington Mayor from 1956 to 1974
          He was on the Wellington Hospital Board from 1950 to 1956
          He was on the Wellington Harbour Board from 1950 to 1979
          He was MP for Wellington Central from 1954 to 1960.
          He was also on the Wellington Fire Board for a period.
          Now in those days Local Body Politicians didn’t make a career of it, unlike the jerks today, and the jobs didn’t pay very well. However it is quite a total isn’t it?
          He was a bloody good mayor though. He attended everything that was going on and was a brilliant speaker on the short speeches he had to make. He said once that he made over 2000/year.
          He was Sir Frank Kitts. He is mostly forgotten today and our rotten Council want to rename the very popular park that was named in his honour!

      • Rob 11.4.2

        Just like that English Tory example Boris has done!

  12. Murray Simmonds 12

    Not tired, Tracey. They are just about as devoid of imagination and creativity as their master – you know, the one who ENDLESSLY resorts to the cliche that “Its all Labour’s fault . . . . they did it first . . . . they started it . . . . ” etc, etc. etc.

  13. RedBaronCV 13

    I can’t relocate the source but I read an article the other day on Nacts asking people what they want in rural seats. (decent broadband big trucks off the road, better buyback for solar- maybe they should just vote Green ) but if anyone can find it – who is running this roadshow- party or govt.

  14. Reddelusion 14

    How about PHIL the tiler the part time labour minister under auntie Helen , how about Labour Party using tv ones resources to facilitate party meetings and administration before last election, how about.,……… List to long to go on

    • Alethios 14.1

      Phillip Field was (rightly) put behind bars after being formally expelled from the Labour Party. Are you suggesting the same should happen to Smith and Parmar?

      Mr Taurima resigned/was sacked over the misuse of TVNZ funds, and had to pay them back. Are you suggesting the same should happen to Smith and Parmar?

      One would hope there would come a time when we could put aside partisan politics for a time to take a stand against corruption. This “Labour did it too” attitude leads us nowhere.

      • sabine 14.1.1

        nah, thats the party of labour did it too that National does not like.

        but I second your sentiment. Is the National Party and its members and enablers so corrupt that really labour did it too is being trotted out every single time they are caught with their fingers in the money jar?

        cause that Lady was just caught stealing, and it appears that she received help from Nick Smith, National Party, Member of Parliament.

        • alwyn

          Your imagination is running away with you Sabine.
          By the way, has your memory returned about people on the left of politics describing Ko Rutene as a “War Hero”?
          This was where you claimed it never happened, even though you had done it yourself only about 4 hours earlier.
          As I pointed out in
          your statements can’t really be relied on can they?

          • sabine

            Mate, you are talking about Mrs. Fox from the Maori Party, who supports the government.

            as per the Herald

            ‘Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox told media yesterday she was contacted by Mr Rutene’s family who told her he had served for New Zealand Defence Force in Afghanistan.

            “He committed no crime in Australia, he committed no crime in New Zealand,” she said.

            “He is barely a member of the Rebels motorcycle gang, he is a decorated serviceman and he is being held in a detention centre.

            “The Prime Minister has got it wrong and needs to do more.””



            as for teh “war hero” description of the Lance Corporal, this came from here

            from stuff http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/73901020/kiwi-war-hero-detained-by-australian-government-after-visa-revoked A New Zealand war hero is being kept in a high-security prison by Australian authorities despite having committed no crime. Decorated …

            again, nothing i did come up with, sorry can’t take the roses for that one, they must go to the writer at stuff. Also if you click the link you will get to watch teh interview with “Marama Davis” not me. Sorry mate. 🙂

            I am not anyone to say anything about guilt or not guilt, i just post links and give my personal opinion. So really, your complaint needs to go to the National Party – maybe they listen to you and get it right either which way, or to the Maori Party, so they can get it right either way, or Stuff.co.nz if they can be bothered with you.
            and now as always, I am bored. Better trolls are needed.

            • alwyn

              I suggest that in the future you should, if you are really only quoting someone, put the statement in quotation marks.
              Otherwise people might think that you actually mean what you say and that you actually have some views of your own.
              Apparently you don’t actually have personal opinions that you are willing to take responsibility for. If something you say is wrong it is always someone else’s fault.

            • Tautuhi

              Obviously the Australian Government have some grounds to hold him, they obviously regard him as a security risk. Not a good idea to get tied up with gangs in Australia or NZ if you are ex military.

              I wish NZ Police would take a bit more interest in gang activities here in NZ as they are basically domestic terrorists and cause misery in society.

  15. Mrs Brillo 15

    It would indeed be a worrying matter if the person doing the blacking out was a Housing NZ employee and a public servant. Was this actually the case?

    Because in my [somewhat limited] experience with replying to OIAs, the government department may well supply all that is requested, and do it in a swift and timely manner, withholding nothing, but the documents have to be issued via the Minister’s office, and that is where the tampering, redacting and delays begin.

    I personally have seen an OIA request being fulfillled in one day, only for it to be hung onto by the Minister for longest legal time because releasing it earlier would embarrass him.

  16. Rich Prick 16

    Anyone remember the Pledge Card? Some short memories in here.

    • Bingo! We have our winner in the great Be the First to Mention the Pledge Card competition. Did you not read the comments, Prick?


      • tracey 16.1.1

        These guys don’t read… it’s why only a couple made it to the deconstruction of the Gaviernment’s “Plays” thread, and those that did, just posted a meme rather than address the actual post.

    • lprent 16.2

      RP: You appear to show all of the signs of early onset senility.

      A great ability to myth-remember things deep in the past.

      Can’t remember what happened last week or even last year.

      But managing to avoid looking at what this pack of lying arseholes in government have been doing, well I guess that becoming focused on the decades before is a safe thing for you. After all it was lazy grasping dickheads like you who voted the scum into power.

  17. Hami Shearlie 17

    Not surprised Housing NZ is involved in this dodgy affair – they’ve just appointed Tau Henare to their Board of Directors – We all know that Tau is several million light years away from being an Einstein yet there he will be, on that Board, overseeing all they do from now on! Another National Party job for the boys has just been found!!

  18. pipalbany 18

    Because Cough *Phil Geoff* no one from the left would ever ever ever do anything improper now or in the immediate future to improve their position, standing, or prospects in any upcoming election contest. Right?

  19. gsays 19

    cheers trp,
    i kind of had an internal sigh reading this.
    i dont expect anyone to be held to account.
    not with ‘journalists’ from stevey3 joyces former company on the case.

    i am optimistic come election time this regime will be suffering from the death of a thousand cuts. (there has to be a funding pun in there)

    btw one of my favourite records.

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