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Some confirmation about Collins and Slater

Written By: - Date published: 12:27 pm, August 16th, 2014 - 31 comments
Categories: Judith Collins - Tags: , ,

Over at The Ruminator there is a post by Lord Sutch that cuts a big hole in the denials by Judith Collins and Cameron Slater denials about their mutual back-scratching in private vendettas.

It came up in comments here and apparently over at Hard News (I couldn’t find it in the welter of comments).

The story rings true, and rather confirms some of the allegations about Cameron Slater and OIA (Official Information Act) requests in Nicky Hager’s book “Dirty Politics”

So as I stated on Twitter I was asked to respond to an official information act request from Cam in 30 minutes please.This was when I worked at the Department of Corrections. The request for the speedy turn-around came from the Minister’s office. Which at the time was Minister Collins. It did not come from the Minister herself. But from someone in her office.

I was working as a Ministerial Advisor at the time.

The request concerned a TV3 journalist, Alison Horwood, going into prison and talking to Clayton Weatherston. The journalist had been able to get into the prison by saying she was a (family) friend of Clayton’s. Had she been upfront and said she was a reporter, she would not have been allowed in.

Ms Horwood did a story on Weatherston’s parents airing on 60 Minutes on July 24. In it she spoke of having gone to visit Clayton.  On July 30 WhaleOil had the following story up on his site:

TV3 Repeater lies – Whale Oil Beef Hooked _ Whaleoil Media

Now you’ll note that Cam received the application form. That was what the OIA request was for. Because in the application form it set out that the reporter had declared herself as a family friend, and not as a reporter which media are supposed to do. This way, Corrections was absolved of blame for letting the reporter in. Because they’d been duped!

Very wisely Lord Sutch has taken a copy of the web page. Cameron Slater in his usually cowardly fashion regularly removes embarrassing webpages. The original is here

Obviously this TV3 reporter appears to have caused some embarrassment to the Minister of Corrections Judith Collins. And as we know from Nicky Hagers book she is a rather vindictive small minded creep of a person. Read the book when you can get a copy and you will see what I mean. She comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant individual.

OIA requests are meant to take no more than 20 working days. They frequently take far more and there are many complaints to the Ombudsman about the careful lack of diligence that accompanies the processing of many OIAs.

There is nothing to prevent them from being done in a shorter time. It is just exceptional – very very exceptional. Except of course if you are Cam Slater greasing up Judith Collins office apparently.

On the afternoon that the request came in (the normal way), I also received a phone call from the Minister’s office asking that this be done as “quickly as possible”. When I asked how quickly that would be, it was suggested that a timeframe of 30 minutes to an hour would be acceptable. This is not the normal process, so I asked my manager what to do. He said to do as I was asked but make a file note. Whether that filenote still exists or not, I do not know.

In fact I don’t actually have any evidence of this. I spoke to the person who made the 30 minute request and they said that they “didn’t recall” asking for it. They also said that what went on in Collins’ office was no different to what went on in Labour’s offices. It’s just Labour used unions rather than bloggers.

There were rumours floating around that someone in Collins’ office was a part-owner in Gotcha Publishing which was run by Cam Slater (Keith Ng did a story here but couldn’t find more detail). I don’t know if that was true or not but it was suggested as one of the links between the National Party and Cam Slater.

Anyway, that’s my story. It’s interesting to note that the actual Ministerial response which sets out Alison Horwood’s duplicitous request form is no longer on Cam’s site. Probably coincidence though. When I interviewed Minister Collins, I raised this very story. She said that she couldn’t possibly know what her staff were doing at all times so she wouldn’t have had anything to do with this request. Plausible deniability right there.

Indeed.

Based on the material in the book, I suspect that we may be getting a number of these types of stories wending their way into public over the next few days.

I have to say that it appears to me that there has been rather a lot of fiddling of the OIAs in recent years. In particular I’m thinking about the OIA requests on Liu that appeared to have some curious timings.

Perhaps a complaint should be made to the Ombudsman about the perversion of OIA process by senior ministers?

31 comments on “Some confirmation about Collins and Slater ”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    Makes me wonder if there should be a minimum time requirement on OIA requests, like say 3-5 business days, with anything faster requiring sign-off by the deputy PM or PM.

  2. Pete 2

    I read that yesterday and made an OIA request for the file note. I also made a request to the NZSIS for their file notes and any other documentation they made around OIA requests made in July-August 2011. I’ll let you know how that goes. There should be a response by 15 September.

  3. disturbed 3

    Labour please announce you will get a ICAC corruption agency as Australia

    Australian corruption watchdog has ICAC.

    “Obviously this TV3 reporter, (my insert Ms Horwood) appears to have caused some embarrassment to the Minister of Corrections Judith Collins. And as we know from Nicky Hagers book she is a rather vindictive small minded creep of a person.
    Read the book when you can get a copy and you will see what I mean. She comes across as a thoroughly unpleasant individual.”

    This sort of individual is a choice pick for the Nat’s have you noticed?

    We need to get Labour to announce an investigation into all this underworld of criminal intent here.

    Has anyone been aware Australia has right now begun an investigation into Political corruption and actually has several M.P.’s under direct investigation now with one already fired from his post.

    Australian corruption watchdog.
    ICAC ( Independent Commission Against Corruption.

    It is taking place under the ICAC we don’t have a corruption watchdog as they do so Labour pledge to begin a ICAC in this country before we are toast please.

    • Draco T Bastard 3.1

      We definitely need stronger laws and regulations against corruption and legal authorities capable of enforcing those regulations.

    • Luxated 3.2

      As a matter of interest it is worth noting that Australia (as a whole ) doesn’t have an anti-corruption body, ICAC and it’s ilk are all state based. Where this gets interesting (in a New Zealand context) is that Queensland’s CMC (Crime and Misconduct Commission) is currently making a stellar case for why strong protections against political interference in the governance of these type of bodies is critical.

  4. seeker 4

    “There were rumours floating around that someone in Collins’ office was a part-owner in Gotcha Publishing which was run by Cam Slater (Keith Ng did a story here but couldn’t find more detail). I don’t know if that was true or not but it was suggested as one of the links between the National Party and Cam Slater.”

    and this from link above to Keith Ng (Public Address):

    “It’s registered to one Cameron Slater, of GOTCHA Publishing Limited, which is based in 35 New Road, um… Belize City, Belize.

    35 New Road, Belize City, Belize, is the office of Orion Corporate & Trust Services. They help people set up Belize International Business Companies (IBC).

    Why would one choose a Belize IBC? Aside from not having to pay any taxes in Belize, they also guarantee the confidentiality of directors and shareholders in that company.”.

    Lord Michael Ashcroft and Belize go together like ‘bread and butter’……..

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/nov/01/lord-ashcroft-belize-scrutiny

    As soon as I hear the name Belize I think of the sad prisons there as shown in a documentary I watched and………Michael Ashcroft – another rather unpleasant fellow by many accounts.

  5. disturbed 5

    Yep,

    Labour it’s time for a ICAC type crime commission here to as the crime has reached our shores after reading about Slater/Ashcroft and Belize..

    “It’s registered to one Cameron Slater, of GOTCHA Publishing Limited, which is based in 35 New Road, um… Belize City, Belize.
    35 New Road, Belize City, Belize, is the office of Orion Corporate & Trust Services. They help people set up Belize International Business Companies (IBC).”

    Some very shadowy companies indeed operating here.

    http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2009/nov/01/lord-ashcroft-belize-scrutiny

  6. Stuart Mathieson 6

    Good to see Pasiphae exposed in all her psychopathic glory.

  7. disturbed 7

    Forgot to attach the ICAC site where come Monday 18th the case goes before the commission.
    Wished we had this form of an anti corruption watchdog.
    http://icac.nsw.gov.au/investigations/current-investigations

  8. Pascals bookie 8

    ‘Crusher’ no more. She’s ‘Tipline’

    • ianmac 9.1

      I think that it was good that Greg Hamilton did the right thing in informing the Labour Party that their computer system had been breached.
      But also means that Mr Key will have to correct his mis-statement -at least!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 9.1.1

        Labour are playing well. Just providing another piece of evidence, keeping their options open. The Herald knows how to play the long game too: the rats always leave first.

  9. Tracey 10

    Just finished the book.

    let us not forget farrar in this. hang your head in shame sir. and going on tv ti lie about the book only compounds it

    • Ron 10.1

      It worries me that National Radio are going to use Farrar as one of their commentators on Election night. In view of the latest information courtesy of Nicky Hager I would have thought Farrar was the last person that should be used on public radio.
      Should we start a campaign to get RNZ to change their mind?

      • Tracey 10.1.1

        no one should use him. his number one client and most of his work is polling for the nats and their wing man the tax payers union.

  10. Once Was Tim 11

    +1.
    It’s a bit like the crime stats. (Crime is down supposedly – which of course it isn’t).
    In the absence of an ICAC – we supposedly have one of the least corrupt countries in the world.

    Corruption in NZ is under the radar. At least in India, and a few other places – one KNOWS there is corruption – it’s blatant and up front. Here, it comes with hypocrisy and a born-to-rule corrupt class pretending. They’re so fucking arrogant usually (like masters of the Universe), they think they’ll never get caught, they rely on short termism, kicking cans, et al.
    Funny thing is, when they ARE eventually sprung, they usually squeal like stuffed pigs. Some even begin squealing before the inevitable.

    Egos and arrogance eh? The fuel that drives the Natzi engine! Problem for the Natzis though is the underpaid mechanics keeping the plastic wheels spinning are beginning to get a little pissed off

    This was ‘sposed to be A DracoT +1. Technology eh? who’d have it! (as in a 3.1.1

    • Murray Olsen 11.1

      +1
      Kiwi corruption is only open to the rich. The starting price would be in tens of thousands, if not more. It also won’t always be paid in cash, although there will be enrichment.

      Quite frankly, I prefer corruption that starts at $5, so that everyone can take advantage of it.

  11. Tracey 12

    Slater has openly mocked journalists on his blog but this gets wider circulation. we know they turn when its self interest.

    given so much of what slater does is not covered by usual journo and media rules… what happens if he wins his argument he is a journo?

  12. Rodel 13

    Can someone please advise. Does Slater have convictions? i.e is he a convicted crim?

  13. Lucy Telfar Barnard 14

    On the OIA thing – wouldn’t the solution to the problem be that OIAs not be released to individuals, but to everyone? When an OIA comes in, the question is put up on an OIA website, so that everyone can see what’s being asked. Anyone who wants to can request a notification when the response is posted. Then a minimum of 5 working days until it’s answered. Then the documents are scanned and uploaded to the OIA website which would be searchable and browseable. That way everyone would have access to the OIAs at the same time.

    I know this would be annoying for journalists who want scoops, but I’m more interested in open democracy than in journalist brag rights.

    Any problems with this idea?

    • miravox 14.1

      That sounds far too rational to me Lucy.

      So I’m sure heaps of people will see flaws in your proposal. sigh

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