web analytics

The beam in the eye

Written By: - Date published: 5:31 pm, June 10th, 2010 - 17 comments
Categories: uncategorized - Tags:

For me the main scandal about taxpayer funding this week is the fact that we have all contributed $209,000 towards  helping Nick Smith  get  out of a $15 million lawsuit. For saying something for which he has given an apology in court and paid up more than that out of his own pocket.

None of us said – “Say what you like, Nick, we”ll stump up for the costs”. I’d like Nick to pay the money back, to the taxpayer as well as the people defamed. Otherwise it could happen again  – here’s what the Nelson Mail had to say in its editorial today:

Perhaps the most telling lesson to come from the saga will be whether it puts paid to his habit of speaking first and facing the consequences later.

It has to be said that on all the evidence to date, that seems highly unlikely.

There is all sorts of “heads must roll” talk about Ministers’  credit cards, starting with Phil Heatley. It seems that inappropriate use is being acknowledged, repented for, and where necessary paid back. Nothing like $209,000 involved anywhere.

I don’t hear any kind of apology to the taxpayer from Nick Smith. Only that he is “delighted” to have got off lightly. So he would be, with all of us taxpayers footing that much of his legal bill.

17 comments on “The beam in the eye ”

  1. tc 1

    Well someone has to pay for his incompetance…..not being a legal eagle how would it have played out if Smithy had of stayed in opposition? Or been out of politics after 08 ?

    Still another bullet dodged from tricky nicky…..what odds on more soon directed at this incredibly inept and integrity challenged minister.

  2. To be fair if an MP was sued because they were part of a Government and the action in essence was against the Government I believe the Crown should foot the bill. But if this is the case the Crown should be a party. As a taxpayer I would expect the Crown to also control the proceedings and to decide if a settlement was appropriate or not.

    It is not clear to me why funding was stopped. Hopefully we can find out although Parliamentary Services no doubt paid and are not subject to the OIA.

    If it was my employee I would also take steps to have the employment contract terminated for the stupidity of the employee in opening up the business to a claim.

    Capcha unwanted!

  3. ghostwhowalksnz 3

    Hes been caught out telling lies about a public company. Before that he was hauled before two High Court judges for trying to influence the complainant during a court case, and then previously an employment hearing the judge found his evidence ‘unbelievable’. He cant speak two words without 75% untruths

    Hes not fit for public life! But in Keys governmeent anything goes.

  4. Salsy 4

    Shane Jones: Is this the end of his political career?
    After watching him tonight on Close Up – Its just the beginning Utterly fantastic, totally endearing and as we all know, NZ loves a politician who is not afraid to say sorry when he makes mishtakes..

    • Hey Salsy

      We are trying to debate something serious here, like what happened to $200k of our money spent helping a MP who quite possibly defamed a company.

      We could debate another MP who might have spent $20 watching a porno movie but he did pay the money back. What is more important for the country? Please comment.

      • Salsy 4.1.1

        Sorry wrong thread… But Of course its far worse to use public money in to defend the indefensible. Nick Smith getting sued again. The man is not value for money and in my opinion a great liability – would any serious company keep such an employee? What the public really need to see is a diagram of left and right inapproriate spending.. I think the big blue block will tower over the little red block- then lets see whos left explaining..

        • mickysavage 4.1.1.1

          Agreed.

          Now if we could only persuade the MSM to do their job …

          • spot 4.1.1.1.1

            “Now if we could only persuade the MSM to do their job ”

            Which is to build brand, audience, sell copy, flog spots and make money for them that owns them…

            Oh, THAT other job….

            Yep, waiting, bated breath and all that…..

            • mickysavage 4.1.1.1.1.1

              You are right. We should stop buying papers and rely on the blogsites. They do a far better job …

              Capcha collapse

              • Sam

                That double-edged sword is a bitch.

                We need those useless papers to hire the journos who go and get news published that the blogs make commentary on. By not buying papers we are potentially undermining the ability for the raw product that the blog takes in, thus possibly shooting ourselves in the foot.

                That all said, I’d love to see nothing more on this earth than to see the Granny go under.

  5. really 5

    Interesting interpretation Salsy. I would consider that Jones is fighting for his political career by doing what he does best which is bullshit, bluster and bully.

  6. Bunji 6

    Yes I do worry that people will use this to tar all politicians with the same brush. Most polticians (even some of the right wing ones!) are there because they believe they can make the country a better place (some of them are misguided…).

    The few who use it to feather their own nests (Double Dipton) give them all a bad name; if Nick Smith has done wrong (and he has: speaking first, thinking later) it shouldn’t be up to us to foot the bill.

    But the media will be far too focused on the credit cards, they’re desperate for a UK-style expenses scandal. But our system doesn’t have the expenses and rorts available to the UK parliament, and it already had more transparency. And we don’t have Lords who need moats cleaning.

    $231 of wrong expenses over 5.5 years? Give Carter a break! But Duncan Garner no doubt can’t wait to get those civil union videos out again…

  7. Name 7

    Members of Parliament have the protection of Parliamentary Privilege to make any kind of allegation in the House without fear of the libel laws. They have that extremely valuable privilege precisely because outside the precincts of the House they are required to watch and be sure of what they say just like the rest of us. Only it seems they aren’t just like the rest of us, ‘cos the rest of us have to pay for them shooting off their mouths before they engage their brain.

    • Makes you wonder what Smith was thinking when he made the statement outside of Parliament, and why we should pay for that brain freeze …

  8. gingercrush 8

    Then campaign for the law to be changed. It changed when Labour was in government and its been that way since 2001 and Smith rightly sought approval from the speaker (Margaret Wilson) and she approved it.

    Why Smith should apologise to the taxpayer is beyond me. Sure you can disagree with the rule but then you should campaign for that rule to be closed. Not start a post and criticise Smith under the guise of a scandal that isn’t there. Because he was fully entitled to use taxpayer money to defend himself in court.

    • Marty G 8.1

      you could make exactly the same argument about the credit card receipts that ministerial services permitted, ginge.

      It’s about personal responsibility. Jones, Carter, Groser, McCully, and Smith can’t hide behind formalities.

  9. ghostwhowalksnz 9

    Perhaps I caught the wrong clip, but I have heard audio of Smith, after admitting in court he was wrong, but still in public saying ‘hes was standing up for what was right’

    I suppose hes a Minister NOW , so costs and damages can be fully charged to the taxpayer

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Project protects jobs and nature
    A Waitomo-based Jobs for Nature project will keep up to ten people employed in the village as the tourism sector recovers post Covid-19 Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says. “This $500,000 project will save ten local jobs by deploying workers from Discover Waitomo into nature-based jobs. They will be undertaking local ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 hours ago
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs makes three diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Hon Nanaia Mahuta today announced three diplomatic appointments: Alana Hudson as Ambassador to Poland John Riley as Consul-General to Hong Kong Stephen Wong as Consul-General to Shanghai   Poland “New Zealand’s relationship with Poland is built on enduring personal, economic and historical connections. Poland is also an important ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 hours ago
  • Major redevelopment of Wainuiomata High School underway
    Work begins today at Wainuiomata High School to ensure buildings and teaching spaces are fit for purpose, Education Minister Chris Hipkins says. The Minister joined principal Janette Melrose and board chair Lynda Koia to kick off demolition for the project, which is worth close to $40 million, as the site ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    8 hours ago
  • New expert group appointed to advise Government on Oranga Tamariki
    A skilled and experienced group of people have been named as the newly established Oranga Tamariki Ministerial Advisory Board by Children’s Minister Kelvin Davis today. The Board will provide independent advice and assurance to the Minister for Children across three key areas of Oranga Tamariki: relationships with families, whānau, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • COVID-19 vaccine slated for possible approval next week
    The green light for New Zealand’s first COVID-19 vaccine could be granted in just over a week, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. “We’re making swift progress towards vaccinating New Zealanders against the virus, but we’re also absolutely committed to ensuring the vaccines are safe and effective,” Jacinda Ardern said. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New ACC Board members announced.
    The Minister for ACC is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to join the Board of ACC on 1 February 2021. “All three bring diverse skills and experience to provide strong governance oversight to lead the direction of ACC” said Hon Carmel Sepuloni. Bella Takiari-Brame from Hamilton ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Economic boost for Southland marae
    The Government is investing $9 million to upgrade a significant community facility in Invercargill, creating economic stimulus and jobs, Infrastructure Minister Grant Robertson and Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene have announced.  The grant for Waihōpai Rūnaka Inc to make improvements to Murihiku Marae comes from the $3 billion set ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Celebrating the Entry Into Force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons
    [Opening comments, welcome and thank you to Auckland University etc] It is a great pleasure to be here this afternoon to celebrate such an historic occasion - the entry into force of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This is a moment many feared would never come, but ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Supporting disabled people to stay connected
    The Government is providing $3 million in one-off seed funding to help disabled people around New Zealand stay connected and access support in their communities, Minister for Disability Issues, Carmel Sepuloni announced today. The funding will allow disability service providers to develop digital and community-based solutions over the next two ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Voluntary saliva testing offered to quarantine workers from Monday
    Border workers in quarantine facilities will be offered voluntary daily COVID-19 saliva tests in addition to their regular weekly testing, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. This additional option will be rolled out at the Jet Park Quarantine facility in Auckland starting on Monday 25 January, and then to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Next steps in firearms buy-back
    The next steps in the Government’s ambitious firearms reform programme to include a three-month buy-back have been announced by Police Minister Poto Williams today.  “The last buy-back and amnesty was unprecedented for New Zealand and was successful in collecting 60,297 firearms, modifying a further 5,630 firearms, and collecting 299,837 prohibited ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature projects target iconic ecosystems
    Upscaling work already underway to restore two iconic ecosystems will deliver jobs and a lasting legacy, Conservation Minister Kiri Allan says.  “The Jobs for Nature programme provides $1.25 billion over four years to offer employment opportunities for people whose livelihoods have been impacted by the COVID-19 recession. “Two new projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • New Public Housing Plan announced
    The Government has released its Public Housing Plan 2021-2024 which outlines the intention of where 8,000 additional public and transitional housing places announced in Budget 2020, will go. “The Government is committed to continuing its public house build programme at pace and scale. The extra 8,000 homes – 6000 public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Prime Minister congratulates President Joe Biden on his inauguration
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has congratulated President Joe Biden on his inauguration as the 46th President of the United States of America. “I look forward to building a close relationship with President Biden and working with him on issues that matter to both our countries,” Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Jobs for Nature funding will create training and employment opportunities
    A major investment to tackle wilding pines in Mt Richmond will create jobs and help protect the area’s unique ecosystems, Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor says. The Mt Richmond Forest Park has unique ecosystems developed on mineral-rich geology, including taonga plant species found nowhere else in the country. “These special plant ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Pre-departure testing extended to all passengers to New Zealand
    To further protect New Zealand from COVID-19, the Government is extending pre-departure testing to all passengers to New Zealand except from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific Islands, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “The change will come into force for all flights arriving in New Zealand after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Bay Cadets learn skills to protect environment
    Bay Conservation Cadets launched with first intake Supported with $3.5 million grant Part of $1.245b Jobs for Nature programme to accelerate recover from Covid Cadets will learn skills to protect and enhance environment Environment Minister David Parker today welcomed the first intake of cadets at the launch of the Bay ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Cook Islanders to resume travel to New Zealand
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Mark Brown have announced passengers from the Cook Islands can resume quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from 21 January, enabling access to essential services such as health. “Following confirmation of the Cook Islands’ COVID ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Supporting communities and landowners to grow employment opportunities
    Jobs for Nature funding is being made available to conservation groups and landowners to employ staff and contractors in a move aimed at boosting local biodiversity-focused projects, Conservation Minister Kiritapu Allan has announced. It is estimated some 400-plus jobs will be created with employment opportunities in ecology, restoration, trapping, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Border exception for some returning international tertiary students
    The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began. The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021. “Our top priority continues ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Tiwai deal gives time for managed transition
    Today’s deal between Meridian and Rio Tinto for the Tiwai smelter to remain open another four years provides time for a managed transition for Southland. “The deal provides welcome certainty to the Southland community by protecting jobs and incomes as the region plans for the future. The Government is committed ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New member for APEC Business Advisory Council
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has appointed Anna Curzon to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC). The leader of each APEC economy appoints three private sector representatives to ABAC. ABAC provides advice to leaders annually on business priorities. “ABAC helps ensure that APEC’s work programme is informed by business community perspectives ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt’s careful economic management recognised
    The Government’s prudent fiscal management and strong policy programme in the face of the COVID-19 global pandemic have been acknowledged by the credit rating agency Fitch. Fitch has today affirmed New Zealand’s local currency rating at AA+ with a stable outlook and foreign currency rating at AA with a positive ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Additional actions to keep COVID-19 out of NZ
    The Government is putting in place a suite of additional actions to protect New Zealand from COVID-19, including new emerging variants, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 19 projects will clean up and protect waterways
    $36 million of Government funding alongside councils and others for 19 projects Investment will clean up and protect waterways and create local jobs Boots on the ground expected in Q2 of 2021 Funding part of the Jobs for Nature policy package A package of 19 projects will help clean up ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand Government acknowledges 175th anniversary of Battle of Ruapekapeka
    The commemoration of the 175th anniversary of the Battle of Ruapekapeka represents an opportunity for all New Zealanders to reflect on the role these conflicts have had in creating our modern nation, says Associate Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Kiri Allan. “The Battle at Te Ruapekapeka Pā, which took ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago