web analytics

Sharples a scapegoat for Nats’ bumbling schemers

Written By: - Date published: 2:19 pm, October 17th, 2009 - 10 comments
Categories: john key, maori party, Media, national/act government - Tags: ,

sharples and keyIf we’re to believe National’s version of events, Pita Sharples kept secret from his colleagues that he was going to take $3 million from a contestable Te Puni Kokiri (TPK) fund meant for job initiatives and give it to Maori TV (MTS) to subsidise their World Cup bid. When it became a big story Sharples apologised to John Key for not telling him about it earlier, saying it was a mistake from a junior minister, and Key said he would be ‘comfortable’ with MTS getting the rights.

Then, Jonathan Coleman, also without higher approval, decided to back a counter-bid by TVNZ and TV3. Just when it was getting farcical, in rode John Key on a white steed and cut the Gordian Knot into which his ministers had tangled themselves by having a taxpayer subsidise all the channels in a joint bid, leading Young to gush “John Key has just shown why he is Prime Minister.”

Nice story. But it’s a load of crap as revealed by a timeline of events leaked (presumably by Sharples or te Heuheu or Comar) to Tracey Watkins and reproduced in today’s Dom (not online, apparently stuff is still living in 1998), Audrey Young’s timeline, along with other public information:

  • May 19: First meeting with TPK and MTS on World Cup bid using TPK money
  • June 15: Sharples and Maori Affairs Associate Minister Georgina te Heuheu (who has responsibility for MTS) briefed by MTS on proposed bid backed with TPK cash.
  • June 17: Sharples and te Heuheu meet with TPK head Leith Comar and discuss the proposed bid.
  • June 23: Sharples discusses propoasl with Bill English
  • Late August: TPK briefs Rugby World Cup Minister Murray McCully on coming bid.
  • September 2: te Heuheu writes to English and Key informing them of the bid. Key read the letter but doesn’t recall exactly when. So, by the start of September all the major players know about the MTS bid.
  • September 23: English, te Heuheu, Coleman, and Gerry Brownlee (McCully’s associate) meet to discuss the bid. Key is off being the jester on an adulterer’s variety show at the time. The ministers are unwilling to kill the bid without Key’s say so because of the risk of damaging the relationship with the Maori Party but are unhappy of the misuse of TPK funds (something ministers would later purport to be OK about).
  • September 28: Meeting of English and McCully with TPK officials at English’s office. According to Derek Fox, English just sat there and McCully ranted and raved at Comar.
  • October 2: MTS bid and TPK backing become public. National ministers decide to support a joint TVNZ-TV3 bid to beat MTS bid
  • October 5: Key backs MTS bid as long as its coverage must reach all New Zealanders
  • October 8: Sharples apologises to Key for not properly consulting with him and his ministerial colleagues before backing MTS bid
  • October 9: Sharples provides commericially sensitive breifing paper on the MTS bid to Key. English leaves phone message advising Sharples informing him of government-backed the TVNZ-TV3 bid
  • October 13: Following Cabinet on the 12th, when all these issues were certainly discussed (and Sharples wasn’t present), Coleman announces the government will be backing TVNZ-TV3 bid the against government-backed MTS bid.
  • October 14: All bids withdrawn. Joint MTS-TVNZ-TV3 bid being worked on.

What’s now clear is that senior ministers knew about this whole issue for a long time and the only surprise for them was when MTS’s bid became public on the 2nd. Their response was to blame everything on brownie. National’s ministers pretended they knew nothing. They got Sharples to apologise for not informing them even though he had and didn’t tell him for a week that they were going to launch a counter-bid. They even got him to hand over the information on the MTS bid they needed to beat it (talk about mana-enhancing, they’ll be calling him Pita Pononga soon).

Meanwhile, Key spent a week pretending he was OK with an MTS bid, repeatedly stating on TV and in other media that as long as there was coverage it was OK and also making statements that humiliated Sharples. All the time, Key knew he was going to kill the MTS bid with the counter-bid.

Then when he did launch the counter-bid, MTS and Sharples didn’t back down as National had expected. The thing was develpoing into such a mess that Key had a panic response of getting all the channels together in a single bid and promising them taxpayer money (presumably supplied by those pixies at the bottom of the garden).

Watkins says that Labour has been soft in calling this a shambles. She’s right. This is a shabby, dishonest affair and this government must now be considered the least incompetent and the most internally fractured since the dying days of the previous National government. The upshot is there remains no channel with the free-to-air rights, but whoever does get it, you and I will be subsidising them.

10 comments on “Sharples a scapegoat for Nats’ bumbling schemers ”

  1. Ianmac 1

    Are not Ministers guilty of Misleading the House by their denials of knowledge? In a Court isn’t that called perjury?

    • starboard 1.1

      ..does that include Labour Ministers?

      • Armchair Critic 1.1.1

        Ahh, the “Labour did it too” argument. Let’s not even go there. In case you haven’t noticed it is 2009 and the ministers of the crown are from the National, ACT, Maori and Peter Dunne party. There are no Labour ministers, so the answer to your question would be “no”.

  2. Quoth the Raven 2

    I would consider this government quite incompetent rather than the “least incompetent” 🙂

  3. Ron 3

    Sharples may be the scapegoat but he’s standing there sucking it up like a prat. He just looks weak in this whole thing..
    If he had any guts he’d have released all this info as soon as Coleman announced the TV3TVNZ bid and made the Nats squirm.
    I my opinion he’ missed a chance to get the upper hand with NACT..

    • Ianmac 3.1

      As opposed to the Act play over the need to privatise ACC. They will support the ACC Bill as long as……. And Nat will grudgingly agree to what they planned to do re privatisation anyway……
      You see Pete. That’s called brinkmanship!

    • Jim McDonald 3.2

      Sharples’ taxpayer-sponsored hui with Mongrel Mob & Black Power gangs seems to put him on shaky grounds (3:32pm NewstalkZB/TVOne: http://tvnz.co.nz/politics-news/sharples-defends-gang-leaders-hui-3081118).

      And looks like co-leader Turia came to Sharples’ rescue by trying to bump it off with her 2-week premature pre-Cabinet discussion about the Foreshore & Seabed legislation (6:04pm NZPA: http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/2976210/Decision-on-foreshore-law-soon).

      Let’s see how the media cover the news tomorrow. Wonder what JK is thinking about all these. Wottachoice! Nats can take a break for a couple of days while these two issues fill up the airwaves and newspapers. ….. More time to work on The Plan for Recovery (if these shenanigans go long enough, there’ll be time to keep The Plan for another recession!).

  4. Ron 4

    If we just get the lies exposed we can break this Govt over the ACC lies. We just have to get the news media to report it……….hmmmm…..fat chance.

    • Herodotus 4.1

      As mentioned many times before Govts lose elections Opposition don’t win. 12 months is not long enough for current voters to forget what was delivered previously. If Labour 08 was tired what has happen to Labour 09 brand?
      The honeymoon may be closer to at the end of its time, BUT it is still in the honeymoon period, that GUSH feeling is still there, and John Key brand has not been tarnished. The King is still the King, there may be a few more jesters at the court.

      • Galeandra 4.1.1

        Rubbish. Metaphors as analogies illustrate your views but don’t prove anything.
        Outside of the paid opinionating hacks, there is no honeymoon.
        Incompetence is incompetence. Praising Key for sorting YET ANOTHER. stuff up to add to ..ETS/ACC/education cuts/rising joblessness/housing rorts/mining in conservation land???? It’s an avalanche.

        A lot of us are starting to recognize the Textor inspired b.s. that we sucked up with our weetbix and to more than wonder. People I work with are angry more than cynical and very worried. There are real storms out there, and we have a ship being manned by a bunch of uncoordinated opinionated fatheads.
        At a time like this it could be argued we actually need cross party cooperation and consensus. Some hope.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealand boosts support to Fiji for COVID-19 impact
    Aotearoa New Zealand is providing additional support to Fiji to mitigate the effects of the current COVID-19 outbreak on vulnerable households, Foreign Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta announced today. “Recognising the increasingly challenging situation in Fiji, Aotearoa will provide an additional package of assistance to support the Government of Fiji and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 hour ago
  • Round 2 of successful energy education fund now open
    $1.65 million available in Support for Energy Education in Communities funding round two Insights from SEEC to inform future energy hardship programmes Community organisations that can deliver energy education to households in need are being invited to apply for the second funding round of the Support for Energy Education in ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • New Ngarimu scholarships to target vocational training
    Associate Education Minister Kelvin Davis today announced three new scholarships for students in vocational education and training (VET) are to be added to the suite of prestigious Ngarimu scholarships. “VET learners have less access to study support than university students and this is a way to tautoko their learning dreams ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Recognising the volunteers who support our health system
    Nominations have opened today for the 2021 Minister of Health Volunteer Awards, as part of National Volunteer Week. “We know that New Zealanders donate at least 159 million hours of volunteer labour every year,” Minister of Health Andrew Little said in launching this year’s awards in Wellington. “These people play ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Drug Free Sport supported to deal with new doping challenges
    Drug Free Sport New Zealand will receive a funding boost to respond to some of the emerging doping challenges across international sport. The additional $4.3 million over three years comes from the Sport Recovery Fund announced last year. It will help DFSNZ improve athletes’ understanding of the risks of doping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Government support for South Auckland community hit by tornado
    The Government is contributing $100,000 to a Mayoral Relief Fund to support Auckland communities impacted by the Papatoetoe tornado, Acting Minister for Emergency Management Kris Faafoi says. “My heart goes out to the family and friends who have lost a loved one, and to those who have been injured. I ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Celebrating World Refugee Day
    World Refugee Day today is an opportunity to celebrate the proud record New Zealanders have supporting and protecting refugees and acknowledge the contribution these new New Zealanders make to our country, the Minister of Immigration Kris Faafoi said. “World Refugee Day is also a chance to think about the journey ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Face to face meeting delivers significant progress on NZ-UK FTA
    New Zealand and the UK have committed to accelerating their free trade agreement negotiations with the aim of reaching an agreement in principle this August, Trade Minister Damien O’Connor announced. “We’ve held constructive and productive discussions towards the conclusion of a high-quality and comprehensive FTA that will support sustainable and inclusive trade, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government taking action to protect albatross
    New population figures for the critically endangered Antipodean albatross showing a 5 percent decline per year highlights the importance of reducing all threats to these very special birds, Acting Minister of Conservation Dr Ayesha Verrall says. The latest population modelling, carried out by Dragonfly Data Science, shows the Antipodean albatross ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Adoption laws under review
    New Zealand’s 66-year-old adoption laws are being reviewed, with public engagement beginning today.  Justice Minister Kris Faafoi said the Government is seeking views on options for change to our adoption laws and system. “The Adoption Act has remained largely the same since 1955. We need our adoption laws to reflect ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Wider roll-out of cameras on boats to support sustainability and protect marine life
    Up to 300 inshore commercial fishing vessels will be fitted with on-board cameras by 2024 as part of the Government’s commitment to protect the natural marine environment for future generations.  Minister for Oceans and Fisheries David Parker today announced the funding is now in place for the wider roll out ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Plan for vaccine rollout for general population announced
    New Zealanders over 60 will be offered a vaccination from July 28 and those over 55 from August 11, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today. The rollout of the vaccine to the general population will be done in age groups as is the approach commonly used overseas, with those over ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New Zealand introduces Belarus travel bans
    New Zealand has imposed travel bans on selected individuals associated with the Lukashenko regime, following ongoing concerns about election fraud and human rights abuses after the 2020 Belarus elections, Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta has announced. The ban covers more than fifty individuals, including the President and key members of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • NZ economy grows driven by households, construction and business investment
    The Government’s efforts to secure the recovery have been reflected in the robust rebound of GDP figures released today which show the economy remains resilient despite the ongoing impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Grant Robertson said. GDP increased 1.6 percent in the first three months of 2021. The Treasury had ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Milestone 250th tower continues to improve rural connectivity
    The Government has welcomed the completion of the 250th 4G mobile tower, as part of its push for better rural connectivity. Waikato’s Wiltsdown, which is roughly 80 kilometres south of Hamilton, is home to the new tower, deployed by the Rural Connectivity Group to enable improved service to 70 homes ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria to lift on Tuesday
    Following a further public health assessment of the COVID-19 outbreak in greater Melbourne, New Zealand’s Quarantine Free Travel pause with Victoria has been extended to 11.59pm on Tuesday 22 June, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says. It has been determined that the risk to public health in New Zealand continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Prime Minister mourns passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is mourning the passing of Dr Sir Ian Hassall, New Zealand’s first Children’s Commissioner and lifelong champion for children and children’s health. As a paediatrician Sir Ian contributed to a major world-first cot death study that has been directly credited with reducing cot deaths in New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • APEC structural reform meeting a success
    APEC ministers have agreed working together will be crucial to ensure economies recover from the impact of COVID-19. Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs David Clark, chaired the virtual APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting today which revolved around the overarching theme of promoting balanced, inclusive, sustainable, innovative and secure growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Digital hub to boost investment in forestry
    A new website has been launched at Fieldays to support the forestry sector find the information it needs to plant, grow and manage trees, and to encourage investment across the wider industry. Forestry Minister Stuart Nash says the new Canopy website is tailored for farmers, iwi and other forestry interests, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government continues support for rangatahi to get into employment, education and training
    Over 230 rangatahi are set to benefit from further funding through four new He Poutama Rangatahi programmes, Minister for Social Development and Employment Carmel Sepuloni announced today. “We’re continuing to secure our economic recovery from COVID by investing in opportunities for rangatahi to get into meaningful employment, education or training ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • NCEA subjects up for consultation
    The education sector, students, their parents, whānau and communities are invited to share their thoughts on a list of proposed NCEA subjects released today, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. This is a significant part of the Government’s NCEA Change Programme that commenced in 2020 and will be largely implemented by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Major investment in plantain forage programme aims to improve freshwater quality
    The Government is backing a major programme investigating plantain’s potential to help farmers protect waterways and improve freshwater quality, Acting Agriculture Minister Meka Whaitiri announced at Fieldays today. The Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures (SFFF) fund is contributing $8.98 million to the $22.23 million seven-year programme, which aims to deliver ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • America’s Cup decision
    The Minister responsible for the America’s Cup has confirmed the joint Crown-Auckland Council offer to host the next regatta has been declined by the Board of Team New Zealand. “The exclusive period of negotiation between the Crown, Auckland Council, and Team New Zealand ends tomorrow, 17 June,” said Stuart Nash. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Food and fibres sector making significant strides towards New Zealand’s economic recovery
    The Government is backing the food and fibres sector to lead New Zealand's economic recovery from COVID-19 with targeted investments as part of its Fit for a Better World roadmap, Forestry Minister Stuart Nash said. “To drive New Zealand’s recovery, we launched the Fit for a Better World – Accelerating ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Speech to He Whenua Taurikura – New Zealand’s annual hui on countering terrorism and violent...
    Check against delivery Can I begin by acknowledging the 51 shuhada, their families and the Muslim community. It is because of the atrocious violent act that was done to them which has led ultimately to this, the start of a dialogue and a conversation about how we as a nation ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Cost of Government Southern Response proactive package released
    The Government has announced the proactive package for some Southern Response policyholders could cost $313 million if all those eligible apply. In December, the Minister Responsible for the Earthquake Commission, David Clark announced a proactive package for SRES claimants who settled their claims before October 2014. It trailed the judgment ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • First period products delivered to schools
    The first period products funded as part of the Government’s nationwide rollout are being delivered to schools and kura this week, as part of wider efforts to combat child poverty, help increase school attendance, and make a positive impact on children’s wellbeing. “We know that nearly 95,000 9-to-18 year olds ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New support to reduce emissions from public building and construction projects
    Government agencies are getting new support to reduce carbon emissions generated by construction of new buildings, with the release of practical guidance to shape decisions on public projects. The Ministers for Building and Construction and for Economic Development say a new Procurement Guide will help government agencies, private sector suppliers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • He Whenua Taurikura: New Zealand’s first Hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism
    The Prime Minister has opened New Zealand’s first hui on Countering Terrorism and Violent Extremism, which is being held in Christchurch over the next two days. The hui delivers on one of the recommendations from the report of the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the terrorist attack on Christchurch masjidain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Speech to inaugural Countering Terrorism Hui
    E aku nui, e aku rahi, Te whaka-kanohi mai o rātou mā, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau whakapono, Ru-ruku-tia i runga i te ngākau aroha, Waitaha, Ngāti Mamoe, Ngai Tahu, nāu rā te reo pohiri. Tena tātou katoa. Ki te kotahi te kakaho ka whati, ki te kapuia, e ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Campaign shines a light on elder abuse
    A new campaign is shining a spotlight on elder abuse, and urging people to protect older New Zealanders. Launched on World Elder Abuse Awareness Day, the Office for Seniors’ campaign encourages friends, whānau and neighbours to look for the signs of abuse, which is often hidden in plain sight. “Research suggests ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Farewelling sports administrator and philanthropist Sir Eion Edgar
    Sport and Recreation Minister Grant Robertson today expressed his sorrow at the passing of Sir Eion Edgar – a leading sports administrator and celebrated philanthropist who has made a significant impact both within and beyond the sport sector. “Sir Eion’s energy, drive and generosity has been truly immense. He leaves ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Government to apologise for Dawn Raids
    The Government will make a formal apology for the wrongs committed during the Dawn Raids of the 1970’s. Between 1974 and 1976, a series of rigorous immigration enforcement policies were carried out that resulted in targeted raids on the homes of Pacific families. The raids to find, convict and deport overstayers ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Humanitarian support for Bangladesh and Myanmar
    Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta today announced that New Zealand is providing NZ $8.25 million in humanitarian assistance to support refugees and their host populations in Bangladesh and to support humanitarian need of internally displaced and conflict affected people in Myanmar.  “Nearly four years after 900,000 Rohingya crossed the border ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Poroporoaki: Dame Georgina Kamiria Kirby
    E Te Kōkō Tangiwai, Te Tuhi Mareikura, Te Kākākura Pokai kua riro i a matou. He toka tū moana ākinga ā tai, ākinga ā hau, ākinga ā ngaru tūātea.  Haere atu rā ki te mūrau a te tini, ki te wenerau a te mano.  E tae koe ki ngā rire ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Feedback sought on future of housing and urban development
    New Zealanders are encouraged to have their say on a long-term vision for housing and urban development to guide future work, the Housing Minister Megan Woods has announced. Consultation starts today on a Government Policy Statement on Housing and Urban Development (GPS-HUD), which will support the long-term direction of Aotearoa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Clean car package to drive down emissions
    New rebates for electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles start July 1 with up to $8,625 for new vehicles and $3,450 for used. Electric vehicle chargers now available every 75km along most state highways to give Kiwis confidence. Low Emission Transport Fund will have nearly four times the funding by 2023 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Progress towards simpler process for changing sex on birth certificates
    The Government is taking the next step to support transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, by progressing the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, Minister of Internal Affairs, Jan Tinetti announced today. “This Government understands that self-identification is a significant issue for transgender, non-binary and intersex New Zealanders, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Crown speeds up engagement with takutai moana applicants
    The Crown is taking a new approach to takutai moana applications to give all applicants an opportunity to engage with the Crown and better support the Māori-Crown relationship, Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Minister Andrew Little says. Following discussions with applicant groups, the Crown has reviewed the existing takutai moana application ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court opens
    The Minister of Justice, Kris Faafoi, and the Minister for Courts, Aupito William Sio, have welcomed the opening of a new Alcohol and Other Drug Treatment (AODT) Court in Hamilton. The AODT Court (Te Whare Whakapiki Wairua) addresses situations where substance abuse and offending are intertwined. “New Zealanders have told ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago