Written By: - Date published: 1:10 pm, August 2nd, 2017 - 58 comments
Funding to Lifeline has been cut in favour of an organisation with a family link to Bill English. It may be completely innocent as all the interested parties claim. But it’s not a good look to be destroying Lifeline, an organisation doing world class work in an area of desperate need. You don’t easily replace that experience.
Written By: - Date published: 12:30 pm, March 2nd, 2015 - 53 comments
Whether it’s about election donations or portfolios, some people do seem to think MPs should always get the benefit of the doubt.
Written By: - Date published: 10:25 am, April 26th, 2014 - 32 comments
Judith Colllins & the PM are probably toasting Shane Jones (and Murray McCully) right now: the heat around the Oravida controversy has been pushed off the front pages. Information and marginalised news don’t easily disappear off the web – or Wikipedia. Collins quietly slipped out a press release on the delay of her decision on alcohol pricing – media shy suddenly?
Written By: - Date published: 8:20 am, April 16th, 2014 - 162 comments
TV One’s Seven Sharp has raised questions about whether there has been a conflict of interest for Peter Dunne. This is with respect to his son James Dunne’s legal representation of advocates for the recreational synthetic drug industry. What is the evidence for and against? [Update: Live chat with Peter Dunne, Stuff midday]
Written By: - Date published: 7:45 am, May 2nd, 2013 - 34 comments
To say Brian Gaynor is excited about the Mighty River sale is an understatement. Of his last five Herald columns, two have been about how great it will be, and two have been about how awful NZ Power is. His other media appearances have been in a similar vein: Mighty River = good, NZ Power = bad. It’s in his financial interests that investors aren’t scared off Mighty River.
Written By: - Date published: 6:48 am, May 1st, 2013 - 35 comments
A couple of people have questioned this series of posts outing the financial interests of supposedly ‘independent’ commentators who are coming out against the Green/Labour plan to lower power prices. ‘Everyone has links to everyone in New Zealand’. Maybe so, but not everyone is paid by the people whose interests they’re protecting while pretending to be independent in the msm.
Written By: - Date published: 11:03 am, April 30th, 2013 - 46 comments
Hot on the heels of electricity industry funded Lewis Evans publishing an op-ed about how terrible NZ Power is, another academic has popped up to claim the policy is the end of the world.
Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, April 30th, 2013 - 43 comments
Lewis Evans had an op-ed in the Dompost yesterday. It attacked NZ Power in confused terms. Evans claimed, for instance, that all the savings from lower costs would come from lower dividends to the Government, when a moment’s thought shows you that’s not true and will be even less true after the asset sales. The disclosure statement at the end of Evans’ op-ed doesn’t mention Contact and Meridian pay him.
Written By: - Date published: 11:52 am, March 20th, 2012 - 56 comments
Bye Dr Nick!
Written By: - Date published: 11:30 am, May 18th, 2011 - 7 comments
Hekia Parata is our Minister of Energy. She is also a shareholder in Contact Energy. Whether the shareholding is large or small, it’s a conflict of interest. Her decisions can affect the value of her shareholding. The slackness displayed by Key’s ministers towards these shareholding conflicts, starting with his own Tranzrail shares, is not good enough.
Written By: - Date published: 11:17 pm, November 28th, 2010 - 12 comments
Wong briefly came out of hiding to answer questions from Parliamentary Services on her abuse of flight perks. Back in hiding now. Key’s still telling her not to talk. But surely she can tell journos what she told the invesigators. Will the report on her corruption be the worst problem for the Nats this week? Or will corrupt David Carter overshadow it?
Written By: - Date published: 8:37 pm, October 24th, 2010 - 12 comments
Former ACT MP Deborah Coddington isn’t a journo anymore. Shot her reputation with the infamous ‘Asian Angst’ piece. Just does opinion pieces now. Strange, then, to see her by-line on 2 Herald articles attempting to vindicate disgraced conflict of interest judge Bill Wilson. Turns out her husband was Wilson’s lawyer.
Written By: - Date published: 9:53 am, August 28th, 2010 - 40 comments
1) Did the PM declare his conflict of interest when the alcohol reforms were debated at Cabinet?
2) Aren’t these exactly the reforms you would expect from a guy who owns a high end winery? No extra excise. No controls on advertising. Demonise the kids.
3) Has National or any of its MPs recieved donations from alcohol sellers? Like Tony Astle, for example?
Written By: - Date published: 1:08 pm, August 20th, 2010 - 11 comments
Registrar of Pecuniary Interests Margaret Bazley, the country’s busiest pensioner, has presented recommendations for improving the transparency of MPs’ financial interests. It seems like good stuff, but it ignores the elephant in the room – the ability of MPs to use trusts to hide their shareholdings, and their conflicts of interest, from the public.
Written By: - Date published: 1:02 pm, July 3rd, 2010 - 10 comments
Over at No Right Turn, I/S I filed an OIA request for specific information on the handling of Cabinet conflicts of interest. The request has been declined. In the following post (reprinted) I/S sets out the “Questions the government will not answer”.
Written By: - Date published: 12:00 am, June 17th, 2010 - 45 comments
The media has concluded that John Key’s trust isn’t blind. It owns an investment company that is in business with Wyatt Creech in dairying. Creech was getting briefings from National on its water policy long before it appointed him to conduct an ‘independent’ review of Ecan, which resulted in the abolition of the democratically-elected council to advance the interests of dairy.
Written By: - Date published: 8:49 am, June 4th, 2010 - 4 comments
John Key is responsible for enforcing the Cabinet Manual on members of his Cabinet, including himself. And that manual includes very specific provisions about pecuniary interests and conflicts. The idea that he is not responsible for this is as unbelievable as it is unacceptable.
Written By: - Date published: 8:43 am, June 2nd, 2010 - 42 comments
Feeling the heat in Highwater-gate, John Key resorted to a ridiculous ‘may or may not’ defence in the House under questioning from Pete Hodgson. No-one’s buying it. Colin Espiner writes “Everyone in the press gallery knows that Key has an interest in a vineyard… we all got very nice bottles of pinot noir from Central Otago last Christmas, with “JK” emblazoned on the label.”
Written By: - Date published: 1:45 pm, May 31st, 2010 - 39 comments
Colin Espiner sums up Highwater-gate very well: “Basically it comes down to this: [John Key] said he didn’t know he had shares in Highwater when he really did.” No-one’s alleging Key had conspiracy meetings in smokey rooms with alcohol magnates. That’s a ridiculous misdirection being run by Kevin Taylor. This is about the blind trust and how Key handled the conflicts of interest arising from his knowledge of his shareholdings.
Written By: - Date published: 2:37 pm, May 29th, 2010 - 75 comments
The only question that matters in Highwater-gate is this: “is John Key’s trust really blind”? The answer seems to be “no”. I’m sorry, but the lawyer’s letter that John Key released yesterday just raises more questions about his not so blind trust. We’re still waiting for an explanation of how the trust is blind given that everyone can see into it.
Written By: - Date published: 11:42 pm, May 27th, 2010 - 53 comments
John Key’s been lying long enough to know not to tell a porky that’s instantly falsifiable. So, I was gobsmacked to see him on TV1 saying he had never heard of Whitechapel, the company that owns his shares as a holding vehicle for his ‘blind’ trust, Aldgate. Because at that moment I was looking at the online records of him giving those shares to Whitechapel.
Written By: - Date published: 9:15 am, April 8th, 2010 - 6 comments
It’s the lies that get you. That’s what Agriculture Minister David Carter and John Key are learning as more details of Carter’s conflict of interest over the legislation that removed the Environment Canterbury councilare emerging. Carter and Key now have to explain why they have lied and misled, which will be tricky to explain if they continue to insist there’s no ministerial misbehaviour to cover up.
Written By: - Date published: 6:36 am, February 23rd, 2010 - 94 comments
The Government is driving ahead with its plans to open up our National Parks and other protected environments to mining. The Standard can now reveal that Murray McCully has shares in a company that stands to benefit directly from National’s mining policy.