web analytics

#Sheepgate – The Compensation payment for the claim that did not exist

Written By: - Date published: 10:22 am, July 4th, 2016 - 27 comments
Categories: john key, national, same old national, trade - Tags: , , ,

McCully sheep in wolfs clothing

The Nation has been doing some digging into #Sheepgate and last weekend broadcast the results.  There were some findings that if confirmed should result in McCully’s cabinet career being ended. Not to mention a potential Privileges Hearing to decide if he has misled Parliament.

Here at the Standard the issue has received a lot of attention.  Just search sheepgate to see how the controversy has developed.

To recount a rich Saudi businessman became upset when New Zealand stopped live sheep exports following a particularly disastrous ship trip during which four thousand sheep died.  National made noises as if the ban would be reversed but then resiled from this.  To assuage the rich Saudi businessman’s feelings a total of $11.5 million of taxpayer’s money has been or is being paid.  The sums include a “compensation but not a compensation” payment which was designed to keep the lawyers away from it and which incorporated a payment to the Saudi businessman for intellectual property for hosting New Zealand sheep on a New Zealand designed farm.  The rest included the construction of a model farm in the middle of the Saudi desert and plane tickets for 900 sheep, most of which died after landing.

It seems clear the payment was essentially a facilitation payment to get the Saudi’s to sign a free trade agreement.  Not only is this on the face of it corrupt, but it has so far failed so it is also clear evidence of incompetence.

The revelations on the Nation are astounding.

The showcase agrihub in the middle of a Saudi desert is that accessible that a cameraman sent there by TV3 was trespassed from the site and then received a visit by local police who confiscated his camera cards.  Showcases are normally not so secretive.

The Auditor General is involved and has been researching the matter since August last year.  Apparently the investigation is ongoing and a conclusion is not due soon.  It is hard to understand why it should take so long.

Tim Watkin at Pundit has summarised the disclosures made on the Nation:

  • Sheikh Hamood’s business partner George Assaf says, contrary to McCully’s claims and his cabinet paper in 2013, that they never had the ambition or appetite to sue the New Zealand government.

  • Despite confirmation from John Key even [this weekend] that his government has never considered resuming live sheep exports, MFAT documents show McCully was asking officials about how and when live sheep exports could be restarted. Specifically, he was investigating the possibility of a shipment in late 2015 of 45,000 sheep to Saudi Arabia.

  •  Assaf says the planeload of 900 sheep sent to Saudi in 2014 was “a trial shipment before one day they decide to take a bigger shipment by sea”.

  • McCully, Hamood and Assaf discussed the possibility of creating a satellite farm in Ethiopia, using official development assistance funds.

  • And an MFAT document includes an action point: to develop a “scientific trial” that would involve a shipment of sheep, based on a suggestion by Hamood.

If it has been determined that there was no actual credible legal threat, and this appears to be more and more likely, then McCully must go.  If he was aiming to resume live sheep exports and did not inform the Prime Minister or Cabinet then he should go.  If he was going to use development assistance funds to try and stitch up a private deal with a Saudi businessman to facilitate a free trade agreement with Saudi Arabia then he should go.

The Auditor General must proceed with haste with the completion of the report into this matter.  As Matthew Hooton has said there are worrying issues about whether this is evidence of incompetence or corruption.  Or both.

27 comments on “#Sheepgate – The Compensation payment for the claim that did not exist ”

  1. Sabine 1

    corruption.

    i think we should be now be past the ‘incompetence’ meme, they are not incompetent, they are corrupt to the core.

    • Pasupial 1.1

      I would rather go for the last option; that National are both corrupt and incompetent. The interesting thing is that their lies are starting to be investigated by post-Campbell TV3. Maybe Weldon leaving has something to do with that?

    • Henry Filth 1.2

      But, while incompetent, they are stutteringly bad at corruption.

      Which is a good thing, when you think about it.

  2. Greg 2

    They backed a business man with dubious claims to royal connections, or backed the wrong prince to succeed
    http://www.washingtoninstitute.org/policy-analysis/view/who-will-be-the-next-king-of-saudi-arabia

    http://www.newshub.co.nz/nznews/saudi-payment-illegal-in-other-countries-2015062419#axzz4DO6ugv9u

    this begs another case to be investigated:

    Its incredulous that IRD needed a extra 205 million dollars to make Keys pet project of zero rated tax company structures somehow compliant with EU laws.

    All for a business profiting a few lawyers and accountants to 23 million dollars.

    The Government could also bring forward a second tranche of anti-money laundering measures. Mr Key said while it was possible there were rogue trust companies, they had to meet laws, include money laundering laws, and Inland Revenue was recently given $205 million for compliance.’
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11636261

    In America would this be a legal case for racketeering, to convict corrupt politicians?

  3. Wyndham 3

    Key is still maintaining with vehemence , that Phil Goff is to blame !

    • Greg 3.1

      Gambling for a FTA is what its all about, and they continue to bet on a failed prospect.

      What is Gambling?

      Gambling consists of making a bet on the outcome of some event. Bets may be placed on horse races, sports contests, or games of chance such as dice, cards, bingo, lottery, slot machines, or roulette. Bets usually consist of money or other assets which are won or lost depending on whether a correct or an incorrect prediction is made. The prospect of winning a large jackpot sometimes motivates people to take unusual financial risks and may lead to gambling addiction

      http://www.scientificpsychic.com/workbook/gambling.html

  4. Mrs Brillo 4

    And wasn’t that “satellite farm” in a third country just a paperwork facilitator enabling New Zealand to export live sheep under one guise, as breeding ewes, knowing fully well that the third country would immediately onsell them as an (illegal here) live sheep export for slaughter?

    Looks like it’s not only money we’re laundering, it’s quadrupeds.

    National’s New Zealand, the dirty washing machine of the South Pacific.

  5. adam 5

    Does Murray know something we don’t know? Like the rich Saudi is really the go to guy for ISIS, and Murray is doing his bit to protect NZ? Or like it really is like James Bond film and no one is sure who the bad guys are (though it probably is spectre) ? Murray knows that to keep everyone safe he must hand over the sheep, and the money? Murray knows, oh Murray knows.

    Poor attempts at satire aside, If Murray knows or does not know why he has handed over cash and sheep I think Murray is done. How many times can a Minister make mistakes in this government? It must be a new record for incompetence! And for a minister to publicly shows his stupidity – new record as well?!?!

    Personally, I hope the nats keep him, he goes a long way to show just how bloody awful they are, how stupid they are, and how shocking inept at the business of government this fifth nation government has truly become.

  6. slumbergod 6

    But of course the govt will cover it up like they always do because they are all as corrupt as each other. If they want to be buddy-buddies with evil arab regimes they should sell up and go live with them. Start by sending McCully over on a sheep transport the same as the sheep he sent.

  7. Smilin 7

    The whole thing a costly exercise in graft and sucking up to the Saudis to which we should not have had a bar of .
    The cost of this ill thought folly is absolutely treasonous to this nation and to anybody who can add 2+2 must feel absolutely had at this whole concept of farming
    You want sheep you arabs buy our meat or AI progeny straws and cut the crap
    This piece of political stupidity is beyond excuse or rectification and all the idiots who bought into this should be taken to account but as usual Key will gloss it up with another billion dollar false smile of borrowing and government responsibility will be waived with the intelligence of one – a sheep vote

  8. Onesie 8

    I wonder how much B____ made facilitating the deal…

  9. AmaKiwi 9

    For reasons of commercial sensitivity and National’s security there will be no further information released about this matter.

  10. wyndham 10

    Key will never dare to sack McCully, the master of dark forces in the National Party. He knows far too much. Not known as Machiavellian for nothing. Besides, he’s a great pal of the odious Boag.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    As Matthew Hooton has said there are worrying issues about whether this is evidence of incompetence or corruption.

    It appears to be incompetent corruption and as such McCully needs to go to jail for it and the receivers of it made persona non grata in NZ. Make it so that they can’t do business ever again in NZ.

    • Greg 11.1

      good luck with that,

      The principle of collective responsibility underpins the system of Cabinet government. It reflects democratic principle: the House expresses its confidence in the collective whole of government, rather than in individual Ministers. Similarly, the Governor-General, in acting on ministerial advice, needs to be confident that individual Ministers represent official government policy. In all areas of their work, therefore, Ministers represent and implement government policy.

      http://www.cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/5.11#5.22

      so not individually legally responsible,
      but they sure accept royal titles quickly enough when the retire!

      • Draco T Bastard 11.1.1

        It reflects democratic principle: the House expresses its confidence in the collective whole of government, rather than in individual Ministers.

        True but if a single member has acted inappropriately they can be removed – see privileges committee actions. If a single member has committed a crime (unfortunately corruption doesn’t appear to be a crime in NZ) then that single MP can go to jail and, of course, be removed from parliament.

        People who are not of ‘good character’ can be prevented from owning business and land in NZ under present law.

  12. Neil 12

    Move along nothing to see here, Mc Cully has done no wrong & will keep his job.

    • Onesie 12.1

      “McCully, Hamood and Assaf discussed the possibility of creating a satellite farm in Ethiopia, using official development assistance funds.” Stealing in any other language except NZ.

      • Greg 12.1.1

        Well the Saudi one was a epic fail, 2/3s of the lambs died in a dust storm,
        in the rest didnt get used for breeding stock just ended up on the dinner plate.
        Great way to treat a expensive delivery of mutton…

    • Draco T Bastard 12.2

      What McCully did in most countries of the world is called a bribe and results in prison time.

  13. P.H .Tredo 13

    yet mor lies from the key govenment , How much more dose the rest of NZ need to be shown before action is taken to stop the rot

  14. Gabby 14

    Who’s Munter McMutton’s sheepfarmer friend/creditor/potential banker?

  15. Stuart Munro 15

    For 11 million they could’ve refitted a ship so that transported animals were not distressed. I could’ve been a cabinet minister, but I wasn’t stupid enough.

  16. North 16

    Mmmmm…….that McCully’s a piece of dodgy shit ain’t he ?

  17. Samwise 17

    National is in it’s Third term defense-mode. They’ll never sack McCully, even if he was filmed shagging one of those sheep before sending it off to Saudi Arabia to die a pitiful death in a godforsaken desert.

    Phil Heatley was sacked for what, a couple of $79 bottles of wine put on his ministerial credit card?

    McCully wastes $11.5 million of our money and keeps his job.

    The difference is that Heatley had the misfortune to screw up in the wrong term.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago