web analytics

Saudi sheepgate coverup continues

Written By: - Date published: 9:08 am, August 12th, 2016 - 41 comments
Categories: accountability, International, john key - Tags: , , ,

Last month an opinion piece in the NBR (paywalled) summed up the “sheepgate” scandal – Govt sheepgate story a shameful coverup.

A minister who tells the prime minister and the cabinet they face a $30 million legal risk when they do not, to secure $11.5 million for an out-of-court settlement that is not needed and in any case has never been recorded in writing, should obviously be sacked.

For Mr Key to allow Mr McCully to continue as foreign minister, just because he fears the consequences of sacking him, brings disgrace on the government and New Zealand and suggests Mr Key is now impotent as prime minister over even the worst behaviour by his senior ministers.

The big question here is what was the $11.5 million payment for? There never was a Saudi threat of legal action, see – Treasury officials contradict Key’s claims

But because both Key and McCully justified the payment to Al Khalaf on the basis of avoiding a legal settlement, the Treasury denial coming on top of Mr Assaf’s statements raise more questions about just what the money paid to Mr Al Khalaf was actually for.

The Nats don’t want the truth to come out. Yesterday – Government withholds letter from Saudi sheikh

The Government is refusing to make public a letter to Prime Minister John Key from the Saudi sheikh at the centre of a controversial farm deal.

The Government has been under pressure for months to explain why it spent more than $11 million setting up a farm in the Saudi Arabian desert in a deal with Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf.

Al Khalaf was irritated by a 2007 ban on the export of live animals for slaughter. National blames Labour and says it struck the deal – which included a $4m payment to Al Khalaf – to prevent legal action from him.

However, National reconfirmed the ban in 2010 – and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefing note appears to suggest this was why Saudi investors were furious.

The documents also reveal the Office of the Auditor General questioned the legality of the farm proposal, and Treasury officials repeatedly voiced opposition.

What was the payment for, why did the Nats go ahead with it against all advice, and why won’t they release the letter?

41 comments on “Saudi sheepgate coverup continues ”

  1. Richardrawshark 1

    make an embezzlement accusation to the police then they will have to act on it.

    Got all the signs of theft.

  2. Righty right 2

    Everyone knows these kind payment have to be made the world is corrupt and we need to play the game

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      No, we don’t have to make them and if they’re demanded then we simply stop dealing with that country.

      • mosa 2.1.1

        Draco that requires a backbone that this government simply does not have.
        Anyway Key always has a smirk on his face because he knows he is untouchable and the fact thay this Saudi Sheep deception has gone on so long without a resignation and the media arent interested they will just ride it out.

        • Draco T Bastard 2.1.1.1

          I don’t think any of our governments have had a backbone since the 4th Labour government told the US to effoff and even that was only on a limited basis. Our recent governments have all been terrified about what the US/UK/Europe and China might do to us if we upset them.

          They have to learn that we’re not here to please other nations but to do what’s morally right for our nation and, after that, other nations.

    • shorts 2.2

      only an idiot makes a payment for nothing… and only an idiot pays someone who can’t or won’t help them i.e. what has our bribe achieved?

      Only an idiot thinks this entire affair is the price of doing business or in your case play some game

    • D'Esterre 2.3

      Righty right: “Everyone knows these kind payment have to be made the world is corrupt and we need to play the game”

      Look, I understand that you might be a supporter of the current government, but really? Is the price of your support the condoning of corruption? Surely not.

      This may be a small polity, unduly exposed to the potential perfidy of those much larger, but it by no means follows that we should connive at that kind of behaviour. We cannot win that sort of pissing contest. We need to stay away from it.

    • Stuart Munro 2.4

      if you’re going to bribe someone in Saudi, here’s a tip – you don’t choose a self-selected bribe recipient. You must choose someone with the authority to do what you need. The Saudi state is not as keen on bribery as you might suppose either, they know it costs them credibility.

  3. Adrian 3

    How about it was a refund of a bit of election funding to a particular party?

  4. Michelle 4

    We have a bunch of bloody crooks running our country

    • mosa 4.1

      Well DUH !!
      And after the next general election the same idiots we pass by as we are walking and driving and we work with and the owners of the business we spend our money with will vote for it all over again.

  5. TC 5

    Shows Key as the salesman he is. Not in control and almost certainly not making the decisions on who does what.

    Mccully, collins, english and others with major breaches of ethics and rules showing the farce that is ‘higher standards’.

    • Bearded Git 5.1

      …add ethics-lacking Amy Adams and her “pragmatic” Bain solution.

      Hooton* was right about this; the legal system is not about pragmatic solutions where the government hasn’t got the cahones to make a decision, it is about justice.

      *when he takes off his ridiculously biased Labour/Green-bashing hat Hooton can be right. He has also criticised the government royally on the Saudi sheep deal fiasco.

  6. AmaKiwi 6

    To all opposition MPs:

    Follow “Psych nurse’s” advise:

    “Key always dominates Question time with his arrogance, glibness and confabulation. He makes the headlines with his performance, no one questions his truthfulness. . . . . Direct questions to those less able to deflect them.” (See Left Side Story, 2.0)

    Opposition MPs: Direct Sheepgate questions to McCully. Frame them so he is the only person who can answer them.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      …and stop wasting our time asking loaded questions.

    • Cinny 6.2

      Awesome advice from ‘Psych Nurse” however, there will be no questions for McCully next week, he is going overseas for a little business trip, once again very timely travel.

  7. Corokia 7

    Why can’t/won’t Key sack McCully?
    How is McCully getting away with this?

    • D'Esterre 7.1

      Corolla: “How is McCully getting away with this?”

      He’s a longtime Nat apparatchik: he knows where the bodies are buried. Clearly the PM thinks the risks to the party and government of making him walk the plank are many times greater than keeping him on.

    • TC 7.2

      watch the hollowmen. Muz is a major player so he enjoys the priviledges that go with it…..immunity.

    • Stuart Munro 7.3

      Because Key is even dirtier than McCully – any censure will be for public consumption only.

  8. nom 8

    Wasn’t there talk that Key and Carter had privately promised that the incoming National government would resume live stock exports?

    • nom 8.1

      Sheepgate

      Looks like it was a claim made by Hooton in the NBR,

    • Wyndham 8.2

      That’s exactly right nom and the real reason for anger from Mr. Khalif when the Nats back tracked. Key keeps blaming Labour ( specifically Phil Goff ) but it was National that rattled the cage. Key is a master of obfuscation and deceit. He and McCully deserve each other.

      • Leftie 8.2.1

        +1 Nom and Wyndham. And they might deserve each other, but NZ doesn’t, let’s sack these corrupt dirty crooks next year.

  9. The reinstatement of Collins already suggested Key was impotent as a Prime Minister, we don’t need keeping McCully to conclude that.

    The whole thing stinks of the government engaging in corruption, and the whole lot ought to go.

  10. Cinny 10

    McCully would rather do another runner than answer anymore awkward questions.
    Easier to skip off on a little overseas junket before retiring from Parliament, wonder how many more trips away he will have?

    “Foreign Minister Murray McCully will travel to Europe next week to visit the United Kingdom, Slovakia, France, Hungary, and Russia. ”

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1608/S00231/minister-mccully-to-visit-europe.htm

  11. weston 11

    Im just bloody pleased that live shipments of nzs sheep HAVE been stopped its pretty damn hard to respect this particular bunch of mutton eaters both in the way they kill their animals and their citizens .weve all seen the clips of their so called men of god beheading woman its disgusting fuck them let them buy their sheep from the americans who are right up their arse anyway .

    • Cinny 11.1

      Well said Weston, def agree. Isn’t bizzare how we trade with countries whose ways of life would be social immoral and often illegal here. I don’t get that… was so proud of us for boycotting countries in the past due to their questionable activities. Sadly greed seems to drive our current government and the old boys club lap up the slightest ego trip, evolution is far from their grasp.

    • Leftie 11.2

      For me that’s one of the best comments on this thread. Couldn’t agree with you more Weston!!

    • mosa 11.3

      Weston i am glad you raised the animal and human welfare issues in all of this.
      Saudi Arabia is allowed too get away with this barbaric approach to life they have no respect for it and that should automatically bar them from trading with any nation including ours !!!
      Live sheep export seems a contradiction in terms considering the death toll inflicted on these poor creatures.

  12. save nz 12

    Shocking – the Natz are corrupt crooks. And why do the media do not hold them to account? Too many parties in the corrupt trough.

    • AmaKiwi 12.1

      save nz

      “Why do the media do not hold the Natz to account?”

      Because the business of selling advertisements requires you have access to the king and his court. Is the correct name for this a “cluster f#ck”?

    • mosa 12.2

      Save they do not hold them too account because
      1 The media is owned and controlled by corporate interests and only demand answers from left wing parties that you would think the way they are treated THEY were in government.
      2 Key has a enemies list he bragged about some years back and on that occasion i do believe he was telling the truth and that list will have journalists and their indiscretions on it amongst others that out of fear they will tow the line.
      Big Business wields a huge amount of power and fear and influence in NZ and they have a personal relationship with the National party and members of the government.
      To remove this administration it will take a massive effort and by exceptional people who are smart and well funded.
      The next election may be already won by this government.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    22 hours ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Better care for babies with tongue-tie
    Babies born with tongue-tie will be assessed and treated consistently under new guidelines released by the Ministry of Health, Associate Minister of Health Dr Ayesha Verrall announced today. Around 5% to 10% of babies are born with a tongue-tie, or ankyloglossia, in New Zealand each year. At least half can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison over
    The prisoner disorder event at Waikeria Prison is over, with all remaining prisoners now safely and securely detained, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis says. The majority of those involved in the event are members of the Mongols and Comancheros. Five of the men are deportees from Australia, with three subject to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Pre-departure COVID-19 test for travellers from the UK and the US from 15 January
    Travellers from the United Kingdom or the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to get a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing, and work is underway to extend the requirement to other long haul flights to New Zealand, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed today. “The new PCR test requirement, foreshadowed last ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago