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Sheepgate inquiry

Written By: - Date published: 2:34 pm, August 18th, 2015 - 23 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, accountability, farming - Tags: ,

In breaking news:

Inquiry to be held into Saudi sheep deal

The controversial deal that saw $11.5 million of taxpayer money on a Saudi farm is to be examined by the Auditor-General.

Lyn Provost has announced she will carry out an inquiry into the expenditure of public money on the Saudi Arabia Food Security Partnership.

Mrs Provost received several requests, including from members of Parliament, the New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union, and in a petition from over 10,000 New Zealanders, to inquire into aspects of the deal.

Good. Of course, no matter what the outcome Key will keep telling us that everything is Labour’s fault.

Update:  Terms of reference are:

  • the amount of public money budgeted and spent on the Saudi Sheep Partnership, how it has been used, and the outcomes achieved with it;
  • whether the expenditure on services was within the appropriations of Vote Foreign Affairs and Trade, as authorised by Parliament;
  • the procurement and contract management practices used by the Ministry and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise to purchase services relating to the Partnership;
  • whether the services received were in keeping with the business case and contract specifications; and
  • any other related matter that the AG considers it desirable to inquire into and report on.

23 comments on “Sheepgate inquiry ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    Of course, no matter what the outcome Key will keep telling us that everything is Labour’s fault.

    Of course he will but hopefully some National MPs go to jail for corruption anyway.

    • Skinny 1.1

      The photo of Murray in the NZH was that of a political dead man walking. No doubt the Cab Club cheque book will come out and off he shuffles like the rest who blotted their copy book.

  2. Morrissey 2

    Grant Gillon asked a question in parliament a decade or so ago about National Party members and sheep. I presume McCully was one of the National Party members he was referring to.

    • Anne 3.1

      Nice one Anno1701. You read my mind.

      I can’t conceive of this government allowing an inquiry into their corrupt practices without putting in place a machine (in advance) that will produce a white-wash or cover-up. What we will see is some minor criticisms suitably framed to allow Key and McCully to claim they were found innocent of all charges…

      I would so dearly love to be proven wrong but will not hold my breath. You only have to look at the subterfuge surrounding a certain former Nat. MP by the ‘senior powers involved’ to know they will toe the party line and perhaps even perjure themselves if necessary.

      • dukeofurl 3.1.1

        You have the right idea Anne. The AG in her wisdom will subcontract most of the enquiry out to one of the local accounting heavies who have made a lifetime practice of covering up smellie odours

        You see she uses private contractors often in her reports. Maybe Hosking & Pratt will havethe lowest tender on this one ?

        As we can see in Ms Provosts letter:

        “But other questions remain; some of which I may be able to answer; some I cannot.”

        With these things its clever to know where to place the goalposts as in her further comments:

        “There have been significant developments in the execution of that business case since 2013, and the inquiry will focus mainly on that period. (since 2013)!

        Tally Ho, in the best traditions of Yes Minister, not all questions will be answered and we can only look at the time period which suits our purposes.

        • Anne

          There have been significant developments in the execution of that business case since 2013, and the inquiry will focus mainly on that period. (since 2013)!

          And it would leave open John Key to claim… the reason why we had to do these things was because Labour left such a mess we were in danger of losing the trade deal with Saudi Arabia and that would have hurt everyone including the poorest. How hypocritical is that? Labour claims to be the champion of the poor yet they tried to destroy an important trade deal that would have helped them.

          And the human sheep will believe it.

      • Tracey 3.1.2

        and mccully welcomes it so…

        • Anne

          Well, somebody must have said it on his behalf cos he happens to be out of the country – again. All these overseas trips (paid for by the tax-payer) are mounting up fast.

          • Tracey

            I suspect he is going to be one of the folks who resigns (with effect at the next election), nothing to do with sheepgate of course….

  3. ianmac 4

    If the Auditor General decides there has been some sort of bad stuff, what happens then? Does her decision have a legal outcome?

    • tc 4.1

      Yes minister 101:
      Only hold an inquiry if you know what the outcome will be.

      It’ll be a whitewash or some scapegoating to minimise the blowback on Key and Muzza who have implied immunity.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        The AG needs to get into the legal advice to measure McCully’s claims and I am not sure that this will occur.

    • dukeofurl 4.2

      Those documents have already met their maker !

      Did the Security Inspector general find any malfeasance in Keys office ? His people lawyered up and said they didnt work for GCSB so what they did was none of her business.
      ” I did find that NZSIS information was disclosed by a member of the staff of the
      PMO to Cameron Slater for political purposes, but that disclosure did not breach any
      obligations of confidentiality owed to the NZSIS on the part of that PMO staff member.”

      Eade had scarpered by then of course so was untouchable


      As for GCSB, it was a sorry mess but they cant be blamed for not having a clue how to do their jobs. The end result was that Key was a shocker as Minister for GCSB, lazy, incompetent and passed his duties to scoundrels in his office.

  4. Penny Bright 5

    Given that the Auditor-General Lyn Provost declined my request for her to investigate a matter related to Sky City when she was a shareholder in Sky City – I wouldn’t hold my breath …..

    Penny Bright

    • dukeofurl 5.1

      Penny … it takes my breath away that you could be inferring AG Provost is crooked !

  5. Clemgeopin 6

    [1] When will the result of the inquiry be announced?
    [2] Shouldn’t McCully be stood down from the Cabinet during the course of this very serious investigation?

  6. Gabby 7

    Ponyboy has complete confidence in McMutton. He might even let him come home now nobody’s going to ask him pesky questions.

  7. Brendan 8

    Can we also get an investigation into the brutal human rights record of the potential sheep farm’s host nation?

  8. Penny Bright 9

    When is Prime Minister John Key going to stand down the, in my opinion, Minister for Bribery. Murray McCully?

    Remember this precedent?

    Cabinet Minister Phil Heatley quits
    Last updated 15:42 25/02/2010

    Prime Minister John Key is not ruling out Phil Heatley returning to Cabinet, but is waiting to see if a high level investigation clears him.

    An emotional Mr Heatley this morning resigned his housing and fisheries portfolios over misspending the taxpayers’ money and making a wrongful declaration.

    Mr Heatley’s accounts have gone to Auditor-General Lyn Provost for analysis and she has also been tasked with working with Ministerial Services to improve the systems and processes around ministerial expenses.

    The resignation was over Mr Heatley signing an expense claim for a dinner when in fact the $70 charge was for bottles of wine at a National Party function. It followed other revelations of misspending this week.

    Mr Key said that after discussing the issue with Mr Heatley yesterday he recommended Mr Heatley stand down. But Mr Heatley insisted on resigning.

    “When the Auditor-General’s report comes back at that point, I will reflect on it but I am not closing the door to him going back. That’s possible,” Mr Key told reporters this afternoon. …..”

    Penny Bright

  9. Stuart Munro 10

    It won’t be a whitewash – it’ll be a sheep dip. And given the party involved, probably a triple dip.

    McCully is old and has no voter appeal – Key’ll be glad to see the back of him. He figures he needs young blood like Hosking or Ritchie McCaw or the tobacco boys.

    Even now some execrable young Gnat oik – probably with a ponytail – is preparing to become the next antipodean spiceboy.

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