Questions mount on PEDA

Written By: - Date published: 12:10 am, June 16th, 2010 - 45 comments
Categories: accountability, budget 2010, parliamentary spending, pasifika - Tags: , , ,

Labour is on the edge of cracking the mystery surrounding the Pacific Economic Development Agency wide open, if it can ask the right questions. No-one has ever heard of PEDA before yet somehow it managed to get $4.8 million from Pacific Island Affairs Ministry in the Budget without a competitive tender. Prospective National candidates Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala are implicated as is MP Peseta Sam Lotu-Iiga.

Pacific Island Affairs Minister Georgina Te Heuheu is acting extremely suspiciously, refusing to answer the most basic questions:

Details on PEDA are still very thin but it is increasingly looking like public money has been hijacked to help the political prospects of National’s Pacific Islanders. The service delivery aspect of the Pacific Island Affairs Ministry seems set to be turned over to this private organisation, allowing Lotu-Iiga, Jones, and Tuigamala to take the credit.

The lack of honest answers only deepens the suspicion that something very dodgy is afoot.

45 comments on “Questions mount on PEDA”

  1. really 1

    How much $ has PEDA received?

  2. really 2

    How much actually paid to them YTD?

    Unusual.

    May have merit (if they can get some results in that part of the country) and it’s not completely political in intent or execution.

    • Marty G 2.1

      “How much actually paid to them YTD?”

      The Budget is for the 2010/11 fiscal year. It starts on July 1. Today is June 16. Therefore, it is impossible for any money to have been paid as yet.

      And I see what you’re suggesting, that PEDA won’t get the money… well, that would be illegal. The Government is not allowed to seek Parliament’s approval to spend money on a specific purpose (that’s what the Budget’s Votes are) and then spend it on something else.

      “and it’s not completely political in intent or execution.”

      anything to back that up with?

      • really 2.1.1

        it was a postulation: if the spending is not used with a political spin and it benefits the community in that part of the country (I assume Sth Auckland predominately) then it may be a good thing.

        • felix 2.1.1.2

          So you’re fine with the minister refusing to say who she’s giving the money to because it might be someone who’ll do something good with it?

          Not good enough, really.

          • ghostwhowalksnz 2.1.1.2.1

            Remember too they are based above an old shop in Onehunga. I imagine that will be changing very quick to a more expensive premises

            • pollywog 2.1.1.2.1.1

              Remember too they are based above an old shop in Onehunga. I imagine that will be changing very quick to a more expensive premises

              Well that’s still better than a couple of months ago when they were based in the home of the single shareholder/owner of the company.

              Much respect to Su’a William Sio, but its not a good look when he can’t frame the right questions to get the neccessary answers or when his senior colleagues have to bail him out with points of order and exhausting supplementary questions in playing semantic games with the speaker.

              Its still a better look than Georgina Te Heu Heu though. Time to put that ol’ mare out to pasture me thinks and elevate Peseta Sam ‘loves to linger’ Lotu -Iiga into the PI affairs hotseat so Carmel Sepuloni can tear him a new one. Is it me or does ‘loves to linger’ come across as nothing more than a head nodding sycophant ?

              Whatever… it seems like there was some serious brown nosing and now embarassing butt covering antics at play here.

              • Truth

                Well that’s still better than a couple of months ago when they were based in the home of the single shareholder/owner of the company

                They were never based in the home of a single shareholder. They’ve always had an office. The first one was in West Auckland.

    • May have merit (if they can get some results in that part of the country) and it’s not completely political in intent or execution.

      So partially political is ok? If only $2.4m is spent on the election chances of Jones and Tuigamala that is acceptable?

  3. All the new funding to Pacific Island Affairs is going to PEDA, the ministry itself is getting a cut.

    PEDA’s money accounts for about 15% of Pacific Island Affairs’ budget

  4. really 4

    Is there a systemic problem with PIA?

  5. really 5

    Surely it’s not an overtly ‘political’ decision as that would be too dumb (ha ha). I favour at this stage to believe that PIA has some issues about delivering services in an accountable fashion. However we shall see what falls out of the woodwork eh.

  6. tc 6

    Anything involving the snaky double dipping Lotu-Iiga (MP and akl city councillor salaries up till not so long ago) should be studied very carefully…..the hand of McCully also raises the eyebrow again.

    Just how these well off ex-AB’s can connect with the pacific people for the nats should be intruiging.

  7. Ron 7

    Interestingly I think that carrying the National flag will trump All-Black reputation. The PI voters of Auckland aren’t idiots.

    • f_t 7.1

      I hope so. It’s unsportsmanlike to use PI All Blacks to persuade poor Polynesian people to support a party that will invest less in them.

  8. this was always destined to blow-up and spray crap everywhere.

  9. felix 9

    As I remarked yesterday, the question was a follow-up to one in the last sitting of parliament. She knew it was coming.

    This means she’s had nearly two weeks to get her story straight and take advice, and the best she could come up with was “DON’T ANSWER’.

    She waxes desperate with imagination.

    Let’s follow. ‘Tis not fit thus to obey her.

    Have after. To what issue will this come?

    Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

    The 4th estate will direct it.

    Nay, let’s follow her.

  10. coolas 10

    Can’t wait to hear more from Georgina. Her language is comic genius.

    “our main brief is to be a conduit between private identities and Government and to leverage outcomes for Pacifica communities they (PEDA) were they ones who’ve been engaging with various ones of us since the job summit last year and because we discerned that in terms of that market place, the Pacific private sector, that this group appeared to be the ones most geared to help us deliver on certain economic objectives’

  11. really 11

    I see in todays papers that PEDA has been paid exactly ZERO so far.

    [lprent: I think that was pointed out to you in a reply earlier. You really should read the comment stream again.

    The budget change doesn’t apply until July 1st. The question is who exactly is it going to be dished out to, and what are they intending to do with it. The lack of information to date makes it look quite dodgy bearing in mind that it has been taken from existing programs and is going where ? ]

    • DeeDub 11.1

      Uh huh… and how much was ALLOCATED in the 2010/11 Budget?

      • really 11.1.1

        Obviously a vast conspiracy to try some different approaches to PI economic development in Sth Auckland.

        As a diversionary tactic I must mark this a D with possibility of gaining extra credit if any smoking guns are found however as NO MONEY has been spent that seems unlikely.

        • felix 11.1.1.1

          really,

          Georgina has been meeting with people from PEDA to discuss PI economic development in Sth Auckland.

          She announced in a press release that she had secured 4.8 million dollars for them.

          She has been asked to tell us who she met with at PEDA and for some reason has repeatedly refused to answer.

          I’d like to know who she’s been meeting with and I’d like to know the reason she wants to keep their identity secret.

          • pollywog 11.1.1.1.1

            so would most of the Pasifiakan community felix.

            However, they havent signed off on the contract because the Gov’t doesn’t know what they’re buying, how its going to be delivered and what benefit it will be to the commuity at large.

            The gov’t are essentially putting their trust/faith into 3 people, the PEDA directors, to deliver on programmes and intiatives they have no track record of delivering, that isn’t already being serviced by other groups in the community and which the community itself has no trust/faith in to deliver on.

            The thing is, if shes meeting PEDA representatives why not name the 2 directors, Ulufala Aiavao, the policy and programmes director, and the CEO single shareholder/owner of the Pacific Economic Development Agency Ltd Anthony Pereira who likes to be called JR (as in Ewing, from the ol’ Dallas TV series) ? They seem to be the only ones who can rep for the company and to whom Georgina or whoever can deal with any authority.

            I would imagine Te Heu Heu would still need somebody to facilitate the dialogue and hey, doesn’t Sam ‘loves to linger’ have an office just down the way, or theres also ‘smile and waves’ flankers on his Pasifikan public walkabouts, Michael Jones and Inga Tuigamala, i’m sure they’d be more than ready, willing and able to help her out too ?

            • felix 11.1.1.1.1.1

              It would be very worrying if a sitting govt MP was representing a private organisation in budget allocation negotiations with the Minister. Very worrying indeed.

              Question 9 today could be worth a look.

        • Bright Red 11.1.1.2

          this must be the dumbest line of argument ever.

          Of course no money has actually been spent yet when the Budget year has even begun.

          That in no way gets around the issue – public money being budgeted to an unknown, politically-connected organisation without due process, and a minsiter who won’t answer basic questions.

          • felix 11.1.1.2.1

            It’s also the exact line of dumb argument employed by Georgina in the house. Funny that.

    • Bright Red 11.2

      Really. Marty has already explained that to the thickos:

      “The Budget is for the 2010/11 fiscal year. It starts on July 1. Today is June 16. Therefore, it is impossible for any money to have been paid as yet.

      And I see what you’re suggesting, that PEDA won’t get the money well, that would be illegal. The Government is not allowed to seek Parliament’s approval to spend money on a specific purpose (that’s what the Budget’s Votes are) and then spend it on something else.”

      Goddam you’re dumb.

      captcha: confusions

      • really 11.2.1

        I was discussing this with Matry last last butthought it worth pointing out this morning that NO MONEY had been spent. Get it now?

        • felix 11.2.1.1

          Seeing as you’re just going to keep repeating that, despite being shown many times that it’s not relevant, I may as well just copy my reply from above.

          really,

          Georgina has been meeting with people from PEDA to discuss PI economic development in Sth Auckland.

          She announced in a press release that she had secured 4.8 million dollars for them.

          She has been asked to tell us who she met with at PEDA and for some reason has repeatedly refused to answer.

          I’d like to know who she’s been meeting with and I’d like to know the reason she wants to keep their identity secret.

        • Bright Red 11.2.1.2

          No, I don’t get your point.

          Are you saying that no money will ever be spent on PEDA?

          Or are you saying that because a bad thing is in the future it’s not worth worrying about (‘hey, slam on the brakes or you’ll hit that wall!’ ‘What are you on about? I haven’t hit it yet’)

        • JB 11.2.1.3

          The budget included tax cuts, however NO TAX CUTS have yet applied to my pay packet – ergo the government lied.

  12. Bunji 12

    Pacific Eye-Witness have been covering this well from the start, seeing what Sam Long-to-linger, PEDA Pereira and Te Heu Heu say on Samoan Radio.

    Even Jane Clifton thinks it’s dodgy.

    • insider 12.1

      Georgina was a hoot this morning. I wonder if she has something in for Bill English as she put him directly in the frame.

  13. …if i was Georgie I’d prolly be pulling a sickie today

  14. prism 14

    Gosh it is hard to follow the 11.1 thread of comment. It would help if commenters put ref that they are replying to as the numbers on their own aren’t enough to make it clear.

  15. Akldnut 15

    Just a quick note Marty G – I spoke to Inga last week and asked if he was going to be running for Nat and he absolutely dispelled it, said he had too much on his plate as it is.

  16. It seems, if the former Director and ‘brains’ behind PEDA LTD, Mose Saitala is to be believed, then Georgina Te heu Heu had little to do with the initial meetings and it was the big kahuna himself, Bill English negotiating and advising on PEDA’s proposal.

    Saitala says, in a live radio interview on Radio 531pi last month on Friday 28th May, …

    he spoke openly about the company’s meetings with Finance Minister Bill English. Saitala says he did not meet the Pacific Affairs Minister as part of these meetings. He says Pacific EDA gave their proposal directly to Finance Minister who viewed it and offered advice on it.

    http://pacificeyewitness.com/2010/06/17/former-director-says-finance-minister-bill-english-met-with-pacificeda-peda-ltd/

    and as for the, short on specifics …

    six-page proposal by the agency to the Minister of Finance, which contains only a few paragraphs about each of five projects and no detailed budget.

    which Radio NZ now has a copy of…

    http://pacificeyewitness.com/2010/06/17/radio-new-zealand-obtains-six-page-peda-proposal-securing-4-8-million/

    hmmm…perhaps Bill could advise me on how to secure taxpayer funds for my ‘Pasifikan’ company ? I’m not a greedy man so i’d probably settle for maybe just a couple of mil 🙂 I mean, since the gov’t is in the business of disregarding Ministry of Pacific Island Affairs advise in…

    awarding the contract to the Pacific Economic Development Agency as a significant risk because it has an unproven record.

    …then any business track record i might have is irrelevant also ?

    I guess the focus now should be whether Su’a William Sio switches to asking Bill English a few choice questions ?

    I do hope someone is using the official information act to good use on this issue.

  17. Truth 17

    six-page proposal by the agency to the Minister of Finance, which contains only a few paragraphs about each of five projects and no detailed budget

    The proposal is actually 43 pages long.

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