Pressured plonkers pull the plug on PEDA pingers

Written By: - Date published: 9:40 am, August 21st, 2010 - 9 comments
Categories: accountability, pasifika - Tags:

Quite suddenly, the government has pulled the plug on the controversial $4.8 million in uncontested funding it awarded to the previously unknown Pacific Economic Development Agency in this year’s Budget.

It all stinks to high heaven.

Just a few weeks back, Georgina te Heu Heu and Bill English were steadfastly defending the funding and denying that there was anything outside the norm about gifting $4.8 million to an unproven organisation rather than using a contested process.

The Government is trying to say that the decision to make the funding contestable was made by the CEO of Pacific Island Affairs. Bollocks. The ministers had made it very clear in public that they supported PEDA and claimed it would deliver something never quite explained of great value for the Pacific community. To think a CEO would just ignore the policy direction of his minister and the Minister of Finance (not to mention the wording of the Budget) like that is laughable.

Something was clearly about to go very wrong to have prompted this sudden turnaround by the government. Perhaps we were finally going to get to the bottom of exactly who is behind PEDA, their links (if any) to the Englishes and how the Minister of Finance ended up directing money from Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs budget be put aside for it.

As it stands we have an interesting legal situation. The government has purported to change how this $4.8 million will be spent. Yet Parliament has only just passed the Budget giving the government permission to use this money to fund PEDA. The government does not have the legal authority to do anything different with it.

Of course, the Government will just have Parliament pass retrospective legislation validating this expenditure outside mandate. Governments pass legislation like that every year because, inevitably, in the course of a year things change and governments decide the money is needed elsewhere.

But when you’ve got a government ignoring the budget legislation the Parliament has only just passed ,well, what’s the point? Why don’t we just let governments spend the money however they like and retrospectively validate it all at the end of the year? What is the point of the concept that Parliament is sovereign and the Crown must seek its approval to raise revenue and spend it if the Government is just going to ignore that Budget before the ink is even dry?

From the start this has been an example of awful governance with the stench of corruption behind it all. Don’t think it’s over – the truth will out eventually.

As a side note, self-congratulatory round of applause for The Standard’s authors for being the only major blog to resist the too obvious and poor taste pun – ‘The PEDA files’

9 comments on “Pressured plonkers pull the plug on PEDA pingers”

  1. Bet those good ol’ dodgy PEDA LTD boys thought they were gonna be well flush with cash and provide a cushy PR platform to ease Tuigamala and Jones onto the NAT party list gravy train….uhh think again

    So anyone reckon English will learn he can’t leave his shit in a Pasifikan house for others to clean up just by waving a few dollars around the place ?…doubt it

    Good on Su’a Sio for rubbing his nose in it.

    Lucky for the dipton dipshit i’m not his master or i’d a turfed him outta the house with a swift boot up the arse for his troubles, as i do with any of my pets when they soil inside, and i’d seriously consider retiring the old war horse Te Heu Heu out to pasture as well.

    This debacle really does show how inept English is, in that he has no plan or vision for addressing the needs and concerns of Pasifikan communities and the issues facing our youth regarding education and unemployment if his best shot was to palm it off with a multi million dollar gift to a shonky private company with no track record.

    And then to not even front up when he’s forced to do a major U turn and policy backdown truly expresses his weak personal character and significant ministerial failings.

    Shame shame shame…

  2. felix 2

    Did someone say retrospective?

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Most likely the money will still go to them, but out of sight. Whos going to check the myriad of contracts let for these sort of issues. This was the equivalent of a US style ‘earmark’, money expressly going to a group at the direction of one or two politicians. But its clear that the pollies want them funded so they will go through the channels used by Donna Awatere when she used Bill English as the conduit for back room deals with state funding

    • pollywog 3.1

      Whos going to check the myriad of contracts let for these sort of issues ? seem to have taken it on as a personal crusade and i can’t see them or their supporters taking the foot of the gas in keeping the bastards honest around this particular issue 🙂

  4. Tigger 4

    Tukuitonga swallowed this rat dutifully…

  5. tc 5

    First it’s Whanau Ora then PEDA wonder what’s next in their ‘money for votes’ folder…determining /influencing some decisions involving farms perhaps or maybe just a good old fashioned legslilative hack at democracy ECAN styled….can’t wait.

  6. So i wonder if that funding is contestible on a nationwide basis or whether it’s strictly earmarked for Auckland, cos i got some ideas worth piloting that if successful could lead, not only to jobs, but more importantly, to raising self esteem, confidence and therefore opportunitites for Pasifikan youth to engage in further education leading to jobs.

    The way i see it is, this is new money well suited to trying something different and if the usual suspects are gonna line up for a handout to do the usual schemes then don’t expect anything unusual to happen…like a drop in jobless youth stats.

    Rather, expect a bunfight of duplicated, culturally appropriate services from disparate Pasifika organisations applying and possibly undercutting each other in a lolly scramble for funding, forcing them to over sell and, when not fully resourced, under deliver, as i have seen happen in Auckland before. And let’s not forget ther Westsiiiide, Central and Sth Aux rivalry which may have contributed to the ill will towards the PEDA boys.

    I reckon a successful model for addressing the issues surrounding Pasifikan youth education and unemployment need not come from Auckland, for Auckland, but could be trialled in a smaller setting and if successful franchised to Auckland. In much the same way as i imagine PEDA LTD would have looked at the flow out effect from their ‘successful’ Auckland based schemes being used as models for Pasifika organisations in other parts of the country.

    Hmmm…might get in touch with Tukuitonga, now that all bets are off and the gov’t has to retro-legislate to change the budget announcement and open up a contestible process, though i fear its too late and the usual suspects have already been in his, and Te Heu Heu’s ear, for their slice of the pie.

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