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Williamson now. How corrupt is the National cabinet?

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 1st, 2014 - 199 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, john key, Judith Collins, national, Politics, same old national - Tags: , ,

It never seems to end does it?

The Jared Savage at the NZ Herald is reporting:-

A National Party Minister contacted a top ranking police officer after a wealthy businessman with close ties to him was arrested on domestic violence charges.

The Prime Minister’s office is understood to be considering Maurice Williamson’s future as a Minister, following Herald inquiries into the phone call that he made.

His office is understood to have also questioned Mr Williamson over his involvement with Donghua Liu’s criminal case.

Prime Minister John Key will make a statement later this morning.

I remember this guy was a contributor to National after he gained citizenship.  That in itself isn’t much, but really is a hell of a bad look when it was done against official advice, and when the note from/to/for the minister was very crony like.

However, one of Mr Liu’s business partners approached Mr Williamson and John Banks — the Mayor of Auckland at the time — and they wrote to the Minister of Internal Affairs, Nathan Guy, asking him to grant citizenship against the official advice.

Down in Newmarket there is a site that this guy was lobbying the National party to get the immigration rules changed before he would continue to build his hotel in Newmarket.

Weekend Herald investigation has discovered the $70 million project at the former Carlton Bowling Club site stalled after Liu unsuccessfully lobbied the Government to relax business immigration rules for wealthy foreigners.

Liu – who was granted New Zealand citizenship against official advice after support from Williamson – hired professional consultants to lobby the Government to lower the $10 million threshold that non-English speaking migrants need to invest to qualify as business migrants.

The information is contained in a glossy brochure handed to guests at the Boulevard opening, which included 2011 Epsom electorate candidates John Banks, Paul Goldsmith and David Parker.

The document said the second and third stages of the development would go ahead following “improvements to New Zealand’s business migrant rules”.

“The Alpers Ave Redevelopment Group and its industry partners are working with the Government on finding a solution that will promote New Zealand’s development and align its policies with countries like Australia, Canada and the United States.”

Liu also told Chinese media at the ribbon-cutting ceremony that his plans for the $70 million redevelopment of the former Carlton Bowling Club site was unlikely to go beyond the design stage unless the Government cut the $10 million threshold.

Yeah right. Just about everything about this guy screams that ministers (and David Parker) should stay well well away from him.

 

The derelict site of National’s hotel dreams.

But after all there appears to be some kind of a culture of aristocratic entitlement in National’s cabinet. Like corrupt warlords with their boot firmly on the necks of us peasants, they appear to consider themselves to be our masters and to be able to do whatever they want. Consider the history of the last 5 years of the National cabinet as the The Irascible Curmudgeon has done here

The disaster ridden government of John, PinoKeyo, Key is reeling as another Cabinet Minister is enveloped in scandal. 

Ever since Key became PM his cabinet has been known for scandal and questionable behaviour. From Key’s dealings with Sky-City and Warner Bros to Richard Worth’s forced resignation and Pansy Wong’s disappearance from Botany to Phillip Heatley’s credit card slips  and John Banks’ donation slip ups through to Judith Collins and her Oravida connections with the associated large donations to the Key led National Party the Key administration has always looked to be one that was prone to act without due regard for the requirements of the Cabinet Manual and what the behaviour expected by the voting public.

And

The scandal and fall out from Maurice Williamson‘s  involvement with Chinese businessman and National Party donor, Donghua Liu is yet another example of Key’s bad judgement and ability to manage his party let alone the country.

The scrutiny that should follow from this major scandal should provide the voting public with even more evidence that the present government must fold its tent and depart in the ignominy it deserves.

But hey, John Key leads by example. He appears to routinely lie – read BLip’s “An Honest Man” from last year – still one of our most read posts.

199 comments on “Williamson now. How corrupt is the National cabinet? ”

  1. Tracey 1

    can you transfer the comments from the other thread on this?

  2. Sanctuary 2

    Our media/political system is wholly unprepared for the impact of China – an authoritarian police state where the rule of law applies only to those without influence – on our democratic political and media opinion makers. Fran O’Sullivan, Jenny Shipley, Judith Collins the list of (usually authoritarian and right wing) establishment figures who seem to be owned by Beijing is growing.

    Instead of harassing the likes of Nicky Hager, our spies need to be watching this and we desperately need Labour to announce an anti-corruption commission with wide powers to monitor ALL our elites. After all, Quislings come in many flavours.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      we desperately need Labour to announce an anti-corruption commission with wide powers to monitor ALL our elites. After all, Quislings come in many flavours.

      QFT

      Need laws and monitoring to ensure that MPs aren’t working for other countries.

      • Jim Nald 2.1.1

        Yup. This is the tip of the Natz iceberg of cronysm and corruption?

  3. Paul Campbell 3

    “The Prime Minister’s office is understood to be considering Maurice Williamson’s future as a Minister, following Herald inquiries into the phone call that he made …”

    This line is the telling part, the core of the National cabinet’s corruptness …. in essence the Prime Minister’s office is saying that it’s only bad if you get caught, otherwise they don’t care.

    • GMM 3.1

      Not necesarily – there’s no suggestion of an attempted coverup (yet). The PM was informed by Police that Williamson had made the phone call – not by The Herald. I suspect Key and Wayne Eagleson currently have Maurice on the rack and are getting every bit of info out of him they can before they fling him under the bus.
      Also, to be fair to National (which I know is a key concern on this site!) Labour have some form in the ministerial scandal area as well… Taito Phillip Field and David Benson-Pope spring to mind and if I remember rightly Helen fought tooth and nail to keep both of them off the hook.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1

        and if I remember rightly Helen fought tooth and nail to keep both of them off the hook.

        Then you remember wrong. She fought for due process. big, big difference.

        • GMM 3.1.1.1

          Sure, but that’s a little subjective – you could argue Key has done the same thing re: Orivida

          • Draco T Bastard 3.1.1.1.1

            Nope, the Orivida Issue is another kettle of fish. The whole thing stinks but we’re not even getting an investigation.

            • GMM 3.1.1.1.1.1

              None-the-less, strategically I think it’s become a dead end for Labour. If they were going to get Collins scalp they would have got it by now.

              • lprent

                For us at this site, I’d personally prefer that she continues to hang around. It provides a nice dirty cloth to clean the window into cabinet. There is another 5 months to keep wiping it.

                Who cares what Labour does… I want to make the whole of the cabinet system a lot cleaner.

              • wyndham

                Collins is not on her own in being involved with the Oravida scandal.
                Key himself is also complicit. Playing golf with a director for large donations to the National Party . (Described by Key as ‘a charity’ !)
                Allowing photos. of himself to be used in advertising scampi. (Only discovered by accident by Patrick Gower.)

                What else don’t we know about Key and Oravida? Collins knows!

            • Peter 3.1.1.1.1.2

              Orivida? To what extent does Chinese money directly and indirectly finance the National Party? Current and ex-Nats seem to have a lot of Chinese interests!

              • Tracey

                it doesnt seem to have decreased since pansy left.

              • Murray Olsen

                To what extent are they swapping American patronage for Chinese? I don’t think many in National have ever had a clear view of which nation the name refers to. It must cause them a few sleepless nights reconciling their love of American foreign policy and military adventures with their new found passion for the renminbi.

          • Tracey 3.1.1.1.2

            can you outline the due process key has said he needs to follow regarding collins including links to his statements.

      • Paul Campbell 3.1.2

        But we’ve also told that the police had previously informed the PM’s office under the “no surprises” dictum that Williamson had made this call – why wait until the Herald calls up before acting? Simple answer is that when the police called it was business as usual, not an issue. But when the reporter called the problem was that word of the corruption had gotten out and now they had to act.

        Doing nothing in face of corruption is just as bad as actively covering it up.

        • GMM 3.1.2.1

          Fair point – I was assuming the PM was only just informed so you might be right.

  4. Ad 4

    Could the last member to leave of the National Caucus please turn the lights out.

  5. Ron 5

    What I would like to know is did the police office contacted by Williamson inform his manager? If not why not?

  6. fender 6

    RNZ just reported Key has accepted Williamson’s resignation.

  7. risildowgtn 7

    Williamson has resigned.

    Key to give statement very soon..

    from Stuff

    • ianmac 7.1

      Resigned as Minister or as MP?

      • ianmac 7.1.1

        Aha. Resigned as Minister only. Wonder if he will now retire in September?

        • GMM 7.1.1.1

          I suspect he’ll be told whether he is to “retire” in a week or so depending on how badly this blows up.

          • Draco T Bastard 7.1.1.1.1

            He won’t be as if he retired as an MP National’s majority disappears and we have a collapse of government as there’s no way that they could pass the budget due in a couple of weeks. Of course, things could still go further south for National forcing a retirement that they don’t want.

            • GMM 7.1.1.1.1.1

              Yeah no way he’ll go before the election (unless he decides to go feral which is unlikely).

        • Mary 7.1.1.2

          Hope Williamson breaks a few things on the way out.

  8. Rotten to the core. It must be a pre requisite to become a minister.
    I’m waiting to see what simon Bridges gets done for. Bet it’s over a quarter ounce of dolly mixture, 6 gob stoppers and a sherbert dib dab.

    • “..Bet it’s over a quarter ounce of dolly mixture, 6 gob stoppers and a sherbert dib dab…”

      heh..!

    • the level/degree of corruption can perhaps be measured by the fact that maurice williamson thought he could do this..

      ..and expect to get away with it all..?

      ..and how many other times has this happened..?

      ..and by which other cabinet ministers..?

      ..and i guess the only thing to be said in williamsons’ favour..

      ..is that he is the only tory who argued against joining those war-criminals blair/bush jnr in their invasion of iraq..

      ..every other tory..key/english included..were jonesing to ‘go to war’..

      ..armchair warriors..all of them..

      ..with simon power uttering his career-defining (retro-themed) phrase:..

      ..his urging that we go ‘all the way with president bush..!’..

  9. fisiani 9

    Great leadership by John Key. Decisive and strong. What a contrast to the the dithering of Helen Clark.

    [lprent: This one has been boiling around for the last few years. Go and look at the timelines. It is hardly “decisive” and terminated with a resignation rather than a sacking. A sacking requires the process of natural justice to be followed – which is why Collins is still there and not “strongly” sacked. My guess is that she refuses to go.

    But hey, we know brown nosing and repeating slogans are your strong suits. Intelligence certainly isn’t. ]

    • Tracey 9.1

      i would agree if

      a. he had sacked collins; and
      b. he had sacked worth
      c. he had sacked wong
      d. he had sacked williamson;
      e. if he resigned taking full responsibility for the appalling behaviour of ministers under his watch

    • blue leopard 9.2

      @ fisiani,

      Decisive and strong? Key’s neoliberal-finance industry ‘hands off’ approach toward leading his caucus along with the cavalier attitude he has toward accuracy, accountability, and democratic principles is rubbing off on all who follow him.

      He is not only letting this country down by leading in this manner, he is letting his MPs down too.

      Will he take responsibility for the state of corruption of his MPs?

      Not on your Nelly; so we can add disloyalty and lack of integrity to Mr Key’s list of sorry traits.

      Look at the finance industry – they are in disarray from this arrantly ignorant approach toward leading that simply creates a culture of dishonesty, lack of accountability, corruption and chaos – we have a PM from that industry and …. hey presto; our government becomes a corrupt shambles too.

    • toad 9.3

      NZ Herald’s Jared Savage’s OIA email to the Police over Williamson’s involvement is dated 4 April.

      Assistant Commissioner Craig Tweedie’s reply to Savage’s OIA request is dated 24 April.

      I would have thought that under the “no surprises” protocol Key’s office would have been informed by the Police before the Tweedie’s reply was sent.

      That means Key would have known about it for at least a week before doing anything about it, which does raise the suspicion that he only acted when it became apparent the issue was going to become public – hardly the “strong and decisive leadership” you speak of fisiani.

      • GMM 9.3.1

        Maybe he waited until today to take oxygen away from Labours monetary policy launch? If you have to take your medicine you might as well try and disguise the taste as much as you can.

        • lprent 9.3.1.1

          It is actually a bit late. If you wanted to do that then the day to do it would have been Monday or Tuesday.

          I think that they did try to do that. But it was the passing out from the National party spinners to Cameron Slater of the Cunliffe war medals thing after TV3 turned it down as a non-story.

    • freedom 9.4

      fisiani, if it is discovered that Key knew well before today, what will your comment then be?

  10. ianmac 10

    Not sure if this is useful context but Oravida is associated with the Kauri operation in the north where-by the trunks are recovered from wetlands sometimes damaging the wetlands. Oravida are stockpiling huge logs ready to capture the hugely rising market in China. Judith’s husband is the man.
    Should the Government be allowing kauri to be exported?
    Do the Oravida get a blind eye?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Should the Government be allowing kauri to be exported?

      No.

      Do the Oravida get a blind eye?

      History would indicate that that is a possibility.

      • Skinny 10.1.1

        I recently heard swamp Kauri exporting is happening in the North. Apparently the rules are being flaunted by making basic thick tables which gets export approval as furniture. Once the timber gets to it’s destination in China it’s disassembled and milled.

        • Tracey 10.1.1.1

          you heard from someone selling them for that purpose?

          • Skinny 10.1.1.1.1

            My Grandfather owned a saw mill up here, you here things of interest to you, others it’s just noise.

    • freedom 10.2

      A topic that deserves a lot more attention ianmac.

      There are many carpenters, cabinet makers and misc craftsman around the country, who are screaming out for access to NZ native timber, especially Kauri. The amount of recycled timber available is quickly diminishing as the housing stocks built with these materials, are largely disposed of in the most wasteful manner possible. This is often done by developers with no awareness of the importance of the resource or if they are aware, they balance up the work required to extract the timber against the quick-and-nasty do-it-cheap and junk-the-lot type of demolition that was seen throughout CHCH for example.

      I only have anecdotal commentary to refer to, but the networks of recycled wood dealerships around the country talk pretty freely when they are unhappy. According to those who know this business, the small % of timber that was was recovered from CHCH and on-sold onto the recycled market, was lower quality than much of what was going into landfill, was sold at extortionate rates and was often not even the wood that was advertised.

    • Dan 10.3

      I saw that last night and was disgusted by how paltry the fine was, $25,000 to a company that is making millions off the back of destroying our endangered wetlands. They should have been done for $200,000 minimum (and I’d do them for a lot more), and had their equipment confiscated. Then maybe some of these other cowboys would think a lot more carefully about their actions.

      I work in heritage and see things like this all the time. Major developers and big industry have no incentive to obey the law. Something in the way of your multi-million project? Don’t want to bother with the time and cost of due process? Don’t worry, just go ahead and break the law and laugh your way out of court when you’ve paid your $10-20,000 fine (because its cheaper than paying your team of QCs to take you through the Environment Court process)

      • Draco T Bastard 10.3.1

        Businesses should be closed down and all their assets given over to the government when they break the law. Oh, and the business owners get to keep the loans that the business took out.

        Yeah, I’m a little pissed off with the pathetic fines that businesses get as well.

        • Tracey 10.3.1.1

          oh no, what we have to do is pay taxpayer money to these companies to stop them behaving badly.

      • Murray Olsen 10.3.2

        I don’t think they’ll stop flouting the law before a few of them end up in prison. They can’t be allowed to just factor in fines as a cost of doing business. This should apply to developers as well as the swamp kauri cowboys. It’s a shame that politicians from both the major parties don’t get excited about the proceeds of crime when the crime is raping our heritage, selling our kauri, destroying our kiwi habitat, and clearing mangroves so they can park their gin palaces. Let a young guy sell a few tinnies though, and they’ll take everything he’s got, with basically no standard of proof. Thanks heaps, Phil Goff.

  11. Enough is Enough 11

    Another nail in this rotting corpse of a government and the once proud National Party.

    They will not recover from this.

  12. MaxFletcher 12

    And another one…

  13. It’s worth pointing out that Maurice Williamson was not actually in cabinet.

    • lprent 13.1

      That is technically correct. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maurice_Williamson

      He has held a number of ministerial posts, including Minister of Communications, Minister of Broadcasting, Minister of Transport, and Minister Research, Science and Technology, and associate Minister of Health (1990-6).

      In June 2009, Richard Worth left Parliament after Prime Minister John Key losing confidence in him as a Minister over sexual allegations[6][7] Williamson was made the acting Minister of Worth’s portfolios of Internal Affairs, National Library and Archives New Zealand which were subsequently passed on to Nathan Guy.

      After the election of the 50th Parliament of New Zealand Williamson was returned to his seat and re-appointed as a minister in the second term of the National-led government. Williamson retained his 2008 portfolios of Customs, Land Information and Building and Construction but lost the role of Small Business Minister to John Banks as part of the new National-ACT Confidence and Supply deal. Williamson remains a Minister outside of Cabinet…

      That is what happens when you get in the dogbox too often and are no longer considered top shelf material (although I think he is still about number 8 in the caucus). You get more of the smaller but vital portfolios and fill in for people who drop the ball.

    • Tracey 13.2

      then he must have resigned as a mp then, correct?

      • Liam Hehir 13.2.1

        I’m not sure I take your meaning.

        • Tracey 13.2.1.1

          if he wasnt technically a minister he cant have technically resigned as one. therefore he must have resigned as an mp.

          • Populuxe1 13.2.1.1.1

            He is (or rather was) still a minister. Being out of cabinet doesn’t change that – cf Winston.

            • Tracey 13.2.1.1.1.1

              am app

              lying the logic alluded to by liam above.

              • He was a minister of the Crown. However, he wasn’t a cabinet minister. Cabinet is a body of the highest ranking ministers but doesn’t necessarily include all of them (even if it does include most of them). All members of the cabinet are ministers, but not all ministers are in cabinet.

                Lprent seems to suggest that when it comes down to it it’s a distinction without a difference. That’s debateable – but in any event the imprecision doesn’t derogate from the larger argument about ‘the government’ that seems to be being made.

                I was just pointing out that when an article is headlined about the ‘corruption’ of the National cabinet, it’s worth pointing out that the person complained of is not actually a member of that body.

                • Tracey

                  thanks liam. theres an editor job going at politicheck. you could be just the chap.

                  • Very kind of you but I’m in the media in a very small time way. I’m also quite conservative so I don’t think you’d recommend me were you fully informed!

                    • Tracey

                      conservative people are capable of unbiased fact checking. anyway take a peek. i think you may be way better than the outgoing editor.

                    • Ron

                      It’s never too late to become a social liberal!

                      I’m also quite conservative

                    • Is he leaving? To be honest, I’m actually quite sceptical of the whole “fact checking” enterprise.

                      The idea that any person can hold themselves out to be a kind of Pope of current affairs is doomed from the start. It’s just too dependent on personnel and resourcing to determine what the “fact” of the matter is and what should be selected for checking. Too much temptation to characterise legitimate policy differences as questions of fact.

                      IMO, the better way to go is to have diverse voices in the media watching and guarding each other with blogs (including this one) being an important part of that. The authors of this site, for example, don’t tend to hold themselves out as independent arbiters – but that doesn’t reduce the validity of what they’ve written provided it’s well-argued. People just have a better idea about what value judgments might be informing that person’s view.

                    • Tracey

                      i sense either he is not long for the job or the site will fade away.

                      facts are more objective than you maybe give them credit for but statistics are used so torturously by most politicians they are harder to put a line in their statements of true or false.

                      i think more media is maybe as problematic as one outlet. everyone just tries to outrate each other with their brand od reader manipulation.

                      everything does not have to be an opinion. i wonder if their is a corrolation between media becoming multi billion dollar businesses and the increase in opinion pieves.

                    • Well I would agree that you’re choosing between a number of imperfect scenarios. Human nature being what it is, that will ever be the case.

                      Your point about statistics is a good one – it also applies to how statistics are gathered and measured. It’s a bit like the old Stalin line – what matters isn’t what’s being counted as much as who’s doing the counting.

                      That’s not to say that all statistics are worthless, but that it’s a rare day that a given statistic can be played like a trump card to end any political debate.

                      In terms of media bias, I agree that it exists. But remember that for years before people on the left were complaining about the “corporate media”, those of us on the other side have been complaining about the “liberal media.” The latter is something I think exists – but we can’t both be right. To an extent then I think the Hostile Media Phenomenon has some validity and I think that does cloud the issue.

                    • lprent []

                      But remember that for years before people on the left were complaining about the “corporate media”, those of us on the other side have been complaining about the “liberal media.”

                      You have the typical short-term memory problems of the right. In NZ you’ll find that particular issue goes back long before even the Labour party was formed. It was the reason for the formation of the original “The Standard” and a number of other small left/unionist papers back to the 1880s.

                      Try reading some history. In this case I’d suggest the papers-past site at the National Library.

                    • I’ve read plenty of history – but not everything of course. The point is well taken. However, it’s really tangential to what I meant anyway, which is that anybody who is reasonably well informed on a subject they care about will spot and rue any missing context which might help persuade other readers to their point of view.

                • lprent

                  Lprent seems to suggest that when it comes down to it it’s a distinction without a difference. That’s debateable…

                  Only by a political idiot.

                  The only real significance comes with the correspondence of the “cabinet” with the “executive council” who advise the “crown” (look it up). There may be a pay scale difference, but I suspect that was unlikely.

                  Being in or out of cabinet has no other particular significance and is essentially meaningless in political terms.

                  Members of the executive council, including ministers outside of cabinet are part of the regulatory process.

                  I suspect that the main difference in NZ after the MMP changes and the coalitions that brought is that nice circular cabinet table has limited seats. By the time that Act, United Future, and the Maori party have got their meaningless seat at the cabinet table that a few more knowledgeable and experienced politicians like Maurice got the opportunity to avoid the round table talkfest meetings. Customs is a revenue job FFS.

                  The most extreme example of the political insignificance of cabinet was Winston Peters who was Foreign Minister between 2005 and 2008 and not in cabinet. Instead of the rather boring round table discussions, he discussed political matters directly with Helen.

                  Politics is mostly about access and control. It usually isn’t about what boring meetings you get to attend.

                  • I don’t agree. I’m not sure if that makes me an idiot.

                    Ministers outside of cabinet are only bound by collective responsibility to the extent that it touches on their portfolio. They can also be appointed to select committees – unlike their cabinet colleagues.

                    As you’ve noted, they cannot attend cabinet meetings except at the invitation of the Prime Minister. You can add to that cabinet committees – where quite a bit of grunt work is supposed to be done – something that was key to Roger Douglas’s influence in the Fourth Labour government, I believe.

                    Your view is that it’s a much devalued privilege and I’m sure there’s a lot of truth to that. However, I suspect that this would vary according to the identity and style of the Prime Minister. Certainly a conventional distinction exists.

                    Anyway, I didn’t mean to disrail the discussion. The only point I was making was that Maurice Williamson isn’t a member of “the National cabinet.”

                    • lprent

                      You can add to that cabinet committees – where quite a bit of grunt work is supposed to be done – something that was key to Roger Douglas’s influence in the Fourth Labour government, I believe.

                      Yes and why the cabinet committees were devalued by all parties afterwards. In fact I can’t recall even hearing the phrase for decades. They were largely a convenience rather than a formal structure anyway.

                    • For what it’s worth as a final coda, I don’t believe that UF or MP actually have a seat around the cabinet table (meaningless or otherwise) and are all outside of cabinet. I don’t think John Banks was in cabinet when he was a minister, either.

                • Murray Olsen

                  Never mind, Liam, give it a couple more weeks and a few more goings on within Cabinet will come to light. It’s only a matter of timing.

  14. Tracey 14

    perhaps the justice minister just threw williamson under her bus. she might have known about the phone call with her legal and police connections

    • ghostwhowalksnz 14.1

      No not her. Williamson is one of her acolytes ( and enemy of Bill English)

      Notice how English suddenly this year wanted to go on list ( after living in Wellington since 1998 !!)

      He gets his gumboot selected as the next MP, that makes an extra vote in caucus that is in his pocket. The young guy has had 4 jobs in 2 1/2 years since leaving university. Its got intern written all over it.

      • toad 14.1.1

        He gets his gumboot selected as the next MP…

        You mean he gets his cigarette butt selected as the next MP…

      • Tracey 14.1.2

        usually someone who has had four jobs in such a short time is regarded by employers as unreliable and a risky option.

  15. freedom 15

    Considering how quickly John Key, The Minister of Higher Standards has acted since the story was broken . . .

    When exactly did the Police notify the PM?

    ” Liu was arrested in December following a domestic violence incident with his partner and her mother at the Boulevard Hotel.

    On April 1 he pleaded guilty to the two charges and was released on bail. ”

    “The New Zealand Herald is reporting the Prime Minister was told by police, under the “no surprises” policy, that Maurice Williamson contacted them about the arrest of Donghua Liu. ”

    Reading that, two immediate and critical questions leap into mind.
    When exactly did the Police notify the PM?
    Why did the PM then fail to act ?

    These are basic questions the media have chosen not to ask, or have chosen not to report on.

    • Bearded Git 15.1

      Yep freedom-there is a 4 and a half month gap here. Did Key know about this earlier but only sack Williamson when it came out is the issue the MSM should be following up.

    • veutoviper 15.2

      Freedom, the outing of this situation appears to have come from the Herald who were earlier listing this as an “Exclusive” as they had OIA’d the Police re Williamson’s approach to them.

      See my post at 21 below with a link to the Herald’s latest – the emails between Williamson and the Police starting back in January.

      As you say, when did Key know?

      • freedom 15.2.1

        I am aware it was a NZH exclusive veutoviper. I didn’t see much point in mentioning the source as their name is in the quote I used.

        What NZH do expose though, is that as they broke the story, as they had the most time to consider the angles they would take, why did the NZH completely fail to ask the most basic questions this issue presents.

        When exactly did the Police notify the PM?
        Why did the PM then fail to act ?

        • lprent 15.2.1.1

          …why did the NZH completely fail to ask the most basic questions this issue presents.

          It is the process known as “milking” the story. Now they get to use up more column inches another day repeating their previous story, with a different spin.

          • freedom 15.2.1.1.1

            Yup, but

            Surely the released emails could have been held back for the milk run?

            What I find a tad confusing is that ‘When did the PM know?’ is a really big question and now the NZH have given every other news source in the country the opportunity to gazump them by getting the answer out first. Maybe the NZH just don’t want to be seen asking that particular question?

            Or have editorial standards fallen to a point where they actually believe we are all so dumbed down that the question would not occur to anyone?

            • Tracey 15.2.1.1.1.1

              key will say the issue is now over. nothing to see here. move on.

        • Tracey 15.2.1.2

          or they are waiting for key to make his line in the sand and then release more timeline info.

          key cant hide behind privacy and refuse to say when he was told, given hisno surprises policy?

          if people never read the whole of BLiPs post they need onky read number one on the list to know all they need to know.

  16. Tiger Mountain 16

    No rainbows gay or otherwise today for the dirty filthy tories. Their ranks are populated by nasties and liars which the media (sections of bloggers notwithstanding) still refuses to consistently nail.

    One recalls RNZ’s Kim Hill doing the decent (and no doubt wearying) thing day after day, slicing and dicing the “tight five” and generally dissecting the National led government during the Shipley era. This is now largely left to the Standard and Daily blogs with honourable support from at least a score of others.

    Bye Maurice, don’t just go, piss off. And may a few more of you be outed before September.

    • Bearded Git 16.1

      Yes TM wasn’t it Williamson that nastily held up Helen Clark’s then awful approval ratings in parliament-can someone help here?

    • GMM 16.2

      I’m reasonably new to this site – and if I’m honest I lean in the opposite direction to most people here (not to say I’m a fanboi…. I just know what I like without being married to a brand if that makes sense) but here’s an observation I’d make:

      I’ve noticed, compared to right blogs I also visit and comment on, that you guys HATE (and I mean F**KING HATE WITH THE HEAT OF 1000 SUNS) the Nats… whereas commentors on the other side tend to treat the left with more of a bemused ambivalence (Except for WOBH cos… ya know). Like a elder sibling treating their annoying sister with disdain – as opposed to you guys who seem, frankly, bitter. I wonder whether it’s just by nature of being in opposition that the frustration shows through a bit more. Or maybe cos I’m more of a righty I just notice it more.

      Just a comment, no doubt there are a million exceptions to my observation, but it’s still my overriding experience.

      I’m sure you might argue it’s because the National Government is the most evil thing since cancer was invented but I think the feeling on the other side is just as mutual – they just verbalise it differently.

      • framu 16.2.1

        “Or maybe cos I’m more of a righty I just notice it more.”

        ever heard of confirmation bias?

        • GMM 16.2.1.1

          Yep, and I do take this into account – still seems this way to me though.

          • framu 16.2.1.1.1

            well kudos for making a thoughtfull comment – but this meme of “the left are soooo angry and the right are above all that” is as insulting as it is incorrect – it will get many into exactly the mode of response you complaining about – which kind of means youve created your own self fulfilling prophecy

            ever read a kiwiblog comments section? – its full of juvenille insults and negative, poorly thought out arguments

            also i would add theres a difference between arguing strenuously against something you feel is really dangerous or corrupt and just being a negative, hatefull commentor

            so – not trying to be an arse – just pointing out the view from the other side of the fence if you will

            • GMM 16.2.1.1.1.1

              “ever read a kiwiblog comments section? – its full of juvenille insults and negative, poorly thought out arguments”

              ever read a comments section? – its full of juvenille insults and negative, poorly thought out arguments

              There. I fixed it.

              • framu

                i like the tone of your comments and youve got some good jokes as well – but please dont deliberately ignore the point in order to make a cheep laugh. All youve done is ignore the point i was making and taken a single sentence out of context

                you can find juvenille comments anywhere – neither left nor right hold a monopoly on that

                but juvenille comments and well formualted and sometimes passionate arguments arent the same thing – i think you know this

                others have weighed in on this topic in more detail – so i wont rehash things – but keep commenting. As others have said – you appear genuine so thats good enough for me

                i would note that everyone is being pretty welcoming, and wanting to debate politely with you on this thread. Maybe lefties arent so hatefull as you first thought?

                • Tracey

                  this juror is out on that framu

                • greywarbler

                  So we hate Nats GMM. Is there a book of etiquette about the proper strength of political feeling as pronounced by NZ guru on the subject ….. Fill in your own preference there?

                  We are seriously worried about where the country and the conditions for ordinary people are going. This isn’t some tennis match to fill in an idle hour or two. So get with the speed or stroll along behind. Don’t stand at the side of the track and push a stick between the spokes as the bikies burn past that’s all.

                  • GMM

                    Sorry if it seemed like I was poking someone with a stick – it certainly wasn’t the intention. More that I was spending time talking with a group of people I haven’t previously soent a lot of time with (i.e. the commenters at The Standard) and I made a small observation.
                    Yes I’ve spent plenty of time reading (and making) comments on Kiwiblog, and WOBH as well. I agree that there is an equal measure of disparaging remarks made about the left there. My observation, and it was not meant to suggest any kind of judgement, was that the tone of the comments felt different on the left to the right, and I wondered whether it was related to being in opposition vs government.
                    A few people have pointed out to me that Kiwiblog had a similar feel around the 2005-2008 era which probably confirms my thinking.
                    Anyway, it was nice to spend the day chatting with a bunch of people I don’t usually chat to. Thanks for letting me join the conversation even though I’m a filthy, baby eating, poor people hating, minority supressing tory!
                    I’ll pop in from time to time and say hello.

                    • framu

                      “I wondered whether it was related to being in opposition vs government.”

                      probably has a lot to do with it across the board

          • Tracey 16.2.1.1.2

            you will find many here are more than disdainful of anything suggesting corruption, abuse of power and dishonesty and manipulation of the electorate, whichever party does it.

            the right seem more accepting of all those things, especially when their team is doing it.

            can you point to the hatred in this thread, I am a littled bemused.

            do you read kiwiblog or whaleoil?

            • freedom 16.2.1.1.2.1

              GMM does point out WOBH is, shall we say, outside the terms of reference for his statement 🙂
              (just the “most read blog in NZ” so is somehow not relevant to the discussion)

              • Tracey

                leaving out that particular rw blog is amusing. however many of kiwiblogs commenters ooze vitriol.

                • GMM

                  Yeah no doubt… I’m not saying the left are the only one’s who can foam at the mouth.

                  • Tracey

                    you kind of suggested it though, in a very broad generalisation about people from the left posting here. read BLiPs post linked at the end of this thread story. it may give you an insight into the anger here, rather than hatred.

            • GMM 16.2.1.1.2.2

              I suppose the comment I was responding to was this: “No rainbows gay or otherwise today for the dirty filthy tories. Their ranks are populated by nasties and liars which the media (sections of bloggers notwithstanding) still refuses to consistently nail”

              I read both, I also read Dim Post, Keeping Stock and The Standard. I wasn’t so much sugesting the hatred was spilling over in this thread… like I said it was a general observation – and not meant to imply that there isn’t plenty of vomit spewed out from right wing commenters as well.

              • GMM

                Oh.. and Chris Trotters thing Bowalley Road

                • Tracey

                  thanks. did you read BLiPz thread?

                  • GMM

                    Not yet – I will though. Right now I’m too busy clearing my inbox from all the emails I’m getting from this thread. I have now learned an important lesson – don’t subscribe to comments on a hot thread.

                    • Tracey

                      dont subscribe to any. thats my motto. read blips thread. your comments will be welcomed.

      • blue leopard 16.2.2

        @ GMM,

        That is a really interesting and thoughtful comment and I appreciate that you come out and say what political persuasion you have.

        It may well be to do with ‘being in opposition’ although for me passion has gotten particularly strong due to the nature of this particular government. It is so clearly duplicitous and it is frustrating noting polls indicating there remain many who intend to vote National despite all that has occurred under their watch. It appears National supporters are enamoured more by personality than addressing what is actually going on.

        If I was right wing I would be severely frustrated at the dodgy way this government are choosing to address a huge amount of issues. I guess there are plenty of right-wingers who are reacting in this way (watch Winston’s vote in the next election), however this disappointment in the rightwing is not very apparent and this makes me wonder where the heck peoples’ heads when they are so persuaded by the superficiality of personality and blatant lies of this government.

      • freedom 16.2.3

        “they just verbalise it differently.”

        yeah, they obediently use the day’s slogans, ignore reality, herald hypocrisy as a virtue and generally just lie through their teeth until boredom or anger force the dialogue to erode into dust. We tend to present facts and examples and look at history and offer ideas and respect that without differences the world becomes a boring cesspit of authoritarian monotony.

        and of course confirmation bias is a two way street , but in NZ I prefer to drive on the left

      • lprent 16.2.4

        …whereas commentors on the other side tend to treat the left with more of a bemused ambivalence…

        I’d suggest that you go back and look at comments in Kiwiblog at this time in 2008. In fact any time from 2005 onwards. You will find exact reverse. What you are describing is the difference between supporting the current government, and operating in the freedom of opposition.

        When you are supporting then you tend to constrain your own behaviour so as not to make “your” government look bad and you don’t denigrate the opposition too much because that gives them too much credibility.

        When “your” side is in opposition, then supporting your own “side” is a lot less important because the government has so much positional “power”. They control the levers of the government’s finances and policy making. What they are doing with that will usually be destroying policies that you think are critical for the long term success of the country. Both of these cause activists to get heartily pissed with the government and concentrate on pointing it out.

        When you are looking at situational changes in behaviour. It is always worth keeping in mind whenever you are judging anything.

        • GMM 16.2.4.1

          @lprent Yeah I actually thought it might be something to do with that. I’m a little newer to politics than probably many people here (in my 30’s but have only been politically engaged for the last 5 years or so) so I haven’t much experience with being stuck in opposition. I imagine complaining about a popular government when your own team is in opposition feels a lot like shouting at the wind.
          I don’t subscribe to the “the left are soooo angry and the right are above all that” @framu… although I agree it’s a pretty useful stick to poke people with if you want to annoy them. However when someone talks to me the way @freedom does it sounds a lot like I’m being told that my (conditional) support for the current government can only be because I’m either on board with the conspiracy or too stupid to notice. I’m neither on board with any consipracies or stupid – so maybe, just maybe, confirmation bias IS a two way street!

          • Tracey 16.2.4.1.1

            did you read blips thread referred to at the end of lprents opening story?

          • blue leopard 16.2.4.1.2

            Yes, GMM, I agree with that – confirmation bias is a two-way street which is why genuine debate is so helpful – lets both sides see the views/logic of the other side. 🙂

            • GMM 16.2.4.1.2.1

              That’s why I’m here. If I relied on right leaning partisan blogs exclusively I’d struggle to form a decent opinion of my own.
              I spend a fair amount of time reading them though, and there is plenty of genuine informed debate going on across the board (along with plenty of garbage).

              • blue leopard

                You seem genuine, I hope you are, some of the rightwing people commenting on this site have got very boring to read because they only speak in slogans.

                I look forward to reading any debates you get into!

              • Huginn

                GMM
                Indeed.
                Speaking for myself, some of the most interesting conversations on this site come about when the Hon. Wayne Mapp chips in.

          • lprent 16.2.4.1.3

            If you have a look at the about, you’ll find that this site isn’t designed to provide a sounding board for testing messages for a particular political party the way that often seems to happen at kiwiblog. It was designed to provide a meeting and arguing place for people on the left in the labour movement – which these days is a very broad church most of it outside Labour and Green or any leftish party members and supporters.

            But there are some quite diverse views. At any point in time you’ll find damn near as many people on the left arguing against each other as are arguing against the right leaning who stray in here as well. You’ll also find almost as many politicians, aspirants and staffers in the political parties of the left dislike the site as those on the right. We do a pretty good job of pissing long-time professional political people off because it is pretty hard to control messages when people can discuss them intelligently in real time.

            When I’m moderating I have some pretty defined standards of behaviour that won’t be tolerated (see policy) that are designed to prevent the precious authors happy, and the raucous and robust debate from descending into nah-nah schoolyard behaviours. What I don’t constrain (apart from the legal constraints) is the intelligent debate or how people choose to express it. So it isn’t polite, but is usually very pointed and often designed to rark recipients up.

            And if you want to see nasty then wait until you see me severely [lprent: moderating someone ]. I try to be as nasty as possible to encourage people not to waste my precious time. I’ve also had more than 3 decades on net to perfect my techniques, so it is usually pretty effective at the task.

          • freedom 16.2.4.1.4

            “However when someone talks to me the way @freedom does ”

            Please read my comment again GMM,
            I was clearly talking to the ‘they’ that you focused on in your comment,

            If I make a personal statement directed at ‘you’,
            that will also be perfectly clear

      • Tracey 16.2.5

        thats cos the left is in opposition. look at archives from 2000 to o 2011.

        i do think your glasses are slightly tinted. the vitriol in commenters at kiwiblog and by slater and his fans is pretty nasty.

        • Tracey 16.2.5.1

          to 2008.

          you started off reading like a concern troll to me but thought my hatred and bitterness was tainting my views

          • GMM 16.2.5.1.1

            “concern troll”… that’s new to me! Is that like a polite troll?

            [lprent: You’ll find the some overused words like “troll” are automatically caught for a moderator.
            Google is your friend – concern troll. Bloody irritating buggers. I tend to have a short temper when I read them because they aren’t arguing their opinion, they’re playing net games. ]

  17. Wyndham, George 17

    Cunliffe should postpone announcing his re-shuffle until after this story has run its course.

    • GMM 17.1

      Yep. Smart move is to let the story do the work without going on the attack. You don’t need to, it’ll get all the attention it needs and it’s unlikely Labour will cause much additional damage without in turn looking opportunistic. Stay focussed on your monetary policy launch. It’s the first thing that’s gone right for Labour in a long time and you want to keep focus on that.

  18. Jenny 18

    Like falling Autumn leaves, and just as predictable. Another corrupt National MP quits in disgrace.

    Will it affect the election outcome?

    Unlikely, until The opposition starts firing on all cylinders an show itself as a clear alternative nothing will change

    • blue leopard 18.1

      +1 Jenny

      ….although I would have preferred that you had left out the element of defeatism of the last sentence ( because I strongly hold that people become more motivated by hope rather than fear) your comment and suggestion to the opposition is a good one.

  19. captain hook 19

    The national party has always been arrogant and possessed of a self belief that defies rationality but now they are exposed for all the world to see. They are just another gang of jobsworths doing favours for their mates and acting as if the law does not apply to them. Well suck it up. You all about to get your pink slips soon. YOU”RE Fired!

  20. Pete 20

    Interesting that there was a big spike on iPredict at 10.30 last night. Somebody knew this was coming and somebody wanted to profit from it.

    Edit: although it was just a volume of 1, so I guess not particularly nefarious, but an insider nonetheless.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 20.1

      The Herald would have known by then. Someone in their Press gallery office making money on the side ?

  21. veutoviper 21

    The Herald has now released more information obtained under their OIA request – email exchanges between Williamson and the Police which appear to have taken place back in late Jan (4 months ago).

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11247570

    Although Williamson appears to have tried to be ‘careful’ in his wording to the Police, this detail is damming and there is no way Key could have tried to bluff his way on this one.

    IMO the big question is how long has Key known – and kept quiet.

    PS – not trying to deflect from this situation, but there also appears to be more than meets the eye on the sudden ‘move’ of the Te Papa CEO to the Ministry of Culture … Will post on Open Mike.

    • freedom 21.1

      When the Police got the initial enquiry from Williamson, were not the Police obligated to inform the Office of the PM of the communication?

      Of course all that means is someone in the PM’s office will be let go for not informing the PM.

      barring new info, (or a redaction free email or two) it looks like the PM has the option to play this one as if he only was told today.

      • toad 21.1.1

        Of course all that means is someone in the PM’s office will be let go for not informing the PM.

        Hopefully when they go they will take with them the evidence proving when the PM was actually informed.

      • veutoviper 21.1.2

        According to Stuff, Key is now saying that he knew on Tuesday and met Williamson yesterday. So why did the ‘resignation’ not happen then? Hoping that it would not come out into the public?

        Key accepted Williamson’s resignation this morning after he was made aware of the issue on Tuesday. “As a result of the phone call, police reviewed the case.”

        He said he contacted Williamson on Wednesday to get his version of events. “Irrelevant of the purpose of the phone call it’s a very long establishment that MPs don’t interfere with police. There’s no grey in this, in the end there’s a line. The moment he made the phone call he crossed the line.”

        Key said Williamson’s motives would need to be clarified by Williamson but he had paid a very heavy price. “I’m sure he had honest motivations for making the phone call.”

        “Police should not be undertaking a review because a minister has made a phone call.”

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9996560/Minister-Maurice-Williamson-resigns-amid-claim

        • Tracey 21.1.2.1

          funny thaf it wasnt important enough to contact w on tuesday.

          key wont mind releasing proof of

          a. when he was told
          b. when his office was told

          will he?

          • veutoviper 21.1.2.1.1

            LOL – I will be very surprised if he does. Got the same feeling as to when he claimed that he only knew about KDC the day before the raid.

        • Skinny 21.1.2.2

          I saw his live feed at lunch time, he appeared rather nervious and unsteady of his words. None of the media hacks got straight on to him about when the plod made their first contact to his office, once Key felt the lay of the land he was back to his slippery self. Always the opportunist Key try’s to me, myself, and I the situation with his high standards snake oil.

          I noticed Joyce was not standing close by, which is not the norm when it involves damage control.

  22. joe90 22

    Is blubber boy threatening someone.. . (google cache)

    back when there was speculation over who would be Speaker, Key gave undertakings to Williamson and reneged on them, Williamson holds no loyalty for John Key. Now after the ultimatum, that is even less so.

    I don’t believe Williamson should have resigned. If it was me I would have stared Key down and pointed out that he has a budget to pass and that he has one vote. I would also have pointed out to Key that come November it will be Act or an independent running in Pakuranga and no National candidate.

    But that is just me and the way I play things.

    In any case Maurice Williamson is gone as a minister for simply doing what every MP int eh country has probably done hundreds of times, and John Key has caused a problem for himself. It shouldn’t come as any surprise to Key what this will entail since Williamson stood up to Boag and English in 2002.

    Interesting times ahead.

    • toad 22.1

      Williamson did have a lot to do with the slow demise of Bill English as National Party leader, so it wouldn’t surprise me if Slater’s threats are far from idle.

      Let the war begin.

    • Tracey 22.2

      can you imagine if slater was writing that and clark was pm and oconnor had made the call.

  23. ianmac 23

    Jones resigns from Parliament.
    Williamson resigns from Cabinet.
    Will there be as fierce debate for Williamson as for Jones?
    Doubt it and will it in due course make it 16 abandoning National?

    • Tracey 23.1

      and he wasnt technically a minister apparently…

    • GMM 23.2

      IMHO Jones leaving Labour is a much bigger deal than Williamson resigning as Minister.

      • thatguynz 23.2.1

        Bigger deal for who? I don’t see Jones leaving Labour being a big issue for the Labour Party. Is it a big issue for National?

        • GMM 23.2.1.1

          I think he leaves a bigger gap around the Labour caucus table than the gap created by Williamson no longer being a minister.
          If you look at both situations and assess what threats and opportunities are created by each, there is more that comes out with Jones leaving.
          Kelvin Davis coming into play earlier genuinely increases the chances of Harawira missing out on his seat – and Mana (and dotcom party) getting gazzumped. Jones dissapearing also removes a very noticeable person from Labours lineup – for good or for bad.
          Williamson no longer being a minister means…… well not that much once the story dies down.

          • Bearded Git 23.2.1.1.1

            Sorry GMM but I just can’t see Hone losing.

          • Tracey 23.2.1.1.2

            he leaves a gap for all those who think labour needs to be national. he will be much happier flitting around the pacific on behalf of sealord, oil and gas and national. hed been working for them in all but salary for a long time.

            how are you going with blips thread?odd for a conscientious newbie to not read the whole post he/she has spent the day commenting.

            • GMM 23.2.1.1.2.1

              @tracey Yeah I had a look at it last night.

              I feel like I’m bringing a knife to a gunfight to a certain extent in that I just don’t have the background knowledge to be able to weigh each point appropriately.
              I see some of them as legit untruths, some as pretty subjective whether you’d see them as untruthful or not and some as non-issues.

              I think we place our politicians in impossible positions where we demand them to take eternally unchanging positions on issues in a complex and ever changing world – and then scream “liar” and “u-turn” when they move in a different direction. Sometimes the right decision turns into the wrong one.

              I imagine that sometime around 2006, 2007 there would have been a similar list on some right wing blog somewhere, and that a similar list will be prepared during the term of the next Labour govt (I think head office wants me to call it a Labour/Green govt – I’ll have to check the memo). I do not believe there is a corrupt intent at the heart of this goverment to mislead and manipulate. I don’t think David Cunliffe is corrupt and decietful either but he’s been caught in a few truthiness tangles himself. Give him time and he’ll get a list as long as Key’s. So would I. So would you.

              I think sometimes politicians – John Key included – lie. I think sometimes it’s because we force them to and sometimes because they want to hold power and manage a situation and fall prey to human nature. It’s not right and it’s not good enough and we must hold them to a higher standard but equally if we decided every politician who lied should quit or was unfit to be PM then there would be no-one left to govern.

              There’s a reason I’m visiting this site following Labours monetary policy release this week. I don’t love it but at least it’s credible and for the first time in a long time I genuinely asked myself what I thought about a Labour proposal instead of thinking “that’s f**king stupid” (see roading policy for example). I’m a pretty good example of an everyman. Informed but not up to my eyeballs in politics. The whole John Key and National are evil thing only works with people who are never going to vote for National anyway. You’ve made me think during this thread and Labour made me think by coming up with a policy that didn’t look like it was made up that morning.

              • freedom

                GMM,

                I do not believe there is a corrupt intent at the heart of this gover[n]ment to mislead and manipulate.

                really?
                In your heart of hearts you think the current Government is forthright and honest?

                p.s. not hounding you, but just in case you missed it yesterday

                Williamson now. How corrupt is the National cabinet?

                • GMM

                  Generally speaking? yes.

                  Do they have a perfect record? No.

                  Do I think they’re as forthright and honest as most of the govts we’ve had over the last few cycles? Yes

                  Is it annoying to speak in rhetorical questions? Absolutely.

          • Tracey 23.2.1.1.3

            and bugger all to the little national donkeys believing everything theyre feed as they strive for the elusive carrot. whats another lie and deception as long as you can still see thecarrot.

      • lprent 23.2.2

        Jones leaving Labour is a much bigger deal than Williamson resigning as Minister.

        Huh? No.

        He had a history of screwing up badly. I’ve been calling for him to be dumped out of Labour for years because he is either politically incompetent, incredibly unlucky, or deliberately screwing up Labour’s forward momentum.

        In fact when I posted that I was going to be party voting Green this election and said this, bloody Shane Jones was one of the three people in caucus I was thinking about…

        So I’ve spent a solid worthwhile 30 years of voting Labour through good and bad and about twenty years of helping organise for them donating my time, skills and money. Given the alternatives at the time they were clearly the most competent political caucus overall. It was worth putting up with the clogged party processes left over after the 80′s that barely allow a party members to do more than act as a cheering crowd to the triumphant winners of the party caucus. After all we have to have some suckers willing to the damn job. Giving a few cheers periodically was fine if they’d stayed focused on the job at hand.

        However at present they are not. This weeks stupidity is just the latest example of this in a continuing set of actions that remind me of the worst of the Alliance breakup. I really don’t have the patience or the time any longer to either wait or gently encourage the conservatives in the Labour caucus and their minions to catch up with the rest of society. That is going to have to be a job for the younger members of the NZLP.

        So in 2014 my party vote will go to the Greens because their caucus deserves the support in the way that the Labour party caucus currently does not.

        Incidentally, I’ve very much of right winger on many areas inside Labour. Always has been. Probably always will be. But of course right-leaning doesn’t mean conservative. For instance, I value competence and Shane Jones wasn’t.

        • GMM 23.2.2.1

          Of course I’m commenting from the point of view of someone who’s never going to vote for Labour anyway so again my view has a solid blue tint. I guess both Jones and Williamson are both probably people our parties may be pleased to see that back of.

  24. hoom 24

    Far beyond any reasonable time overdue.
    Williamson should have been gone since the great Open Skies deal failure in the early ’90s.

    1 good speech on gay marriage does not make up for all the incompetent blundering.

  25. Richard Christie 25

    I notice in the released emails that the police refer to the accused as the ‘offender”, three months before the accused pleaded guilty.

    Further evidence of the non-existence of the principle of presumption of innocence and lack of impartial investigation by the NZ police.

  26. finbar 26

    If Williamson had any honour he would hand in his notice as a M.P.

    Question.How long has the P.M.been sitting on this information.

    • GMM 26.1

      I dunno, If Dyson and Dalziel (and Smith and Heatley) can all bounce back I don’t know why this will be any different.

  27. Weepu's beard 27

    [quote]Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said Maurice Williamson’s resignation highlighted the “bigger issue” over potential ministerial impropriety on behalf of National Party donors.

    “Once again we see a National Party minister intervening in relation to someone who has given the National Party money,” he said.

    “There appears to be a thin line between money and political influence in the National Party.

    “It is very important the public knows the nature of Maurice Williamson’s contact with the police.

    “Was he seeking to get a National Party donor off a domestic violence charge? Are there other legal issues that sort of intervention triggers?

    “We also need to know when the prime minister was first made aware of Williamson’s actions.

    “Was he simply hoping that information wouldn’t come out and has he been involved in covering it up?.

    “In New Zealand it’s not OK for people to make big donations to political parties and then receive political influence as a result of that.”[/quote]

    Excellent questions from Dr. Norman. The cosying up by senior ministers to National party donors is ugly. NZ’s title as least corrupt country is surely on the line.

    Apologies if already posted.

    • Draco T Bastard 27.1

      Serious questions remain over money and influence in National

      “Every time the Green Party has proposed better rules around lobbying and access the National Party has rejected it. It is easy to see why they don’t want additional scrutiny,” said Dr Norman.

      HTML for formatting dude, not BBCode.

    • weka 27.2

      What is with the donations thing? Leaving aside today’s issue, the fact that National are taking donations from someone who they asked to be given residency against official advice… surely they don’t need the money that badly? Looks like arrogance, they think they can do what they like and they’re so far up themselves that they’ve lost sight of a sense of propriety. That’s the ACT influence IMO.

      • Draco T Bastard 27.2.1

        Got nothing to do with Act. It’s simply that National are corrupt.

        • weka 27.2.1.1

          I meant the assimilation of ACToids into National in the last decade or two.

  28. Marius 28

    interesting that Maurice Williamson seems to place a higher value on a 70 million dollar building development than on justice for a woman beaten up by his cobber. I hope this brings Louise Nicholas screaming out of the police lecture rooms. Goodbye Maurice and may I say good riddance. See you in a year or so when you slime your way back into the middle row benches.

  29. McGrath 29

    Very stupid action by Williamson. I don’t believe he’s corrupt, just dumb. Time will tell if I’m correct or not however.

    Either way, Key will be very pissed with Williamson’s sheer idiocy

    • lprent 29.1

      He does have the foot in the mouth incompetence gene I’d agree.

      The corrupt bit was about the sheer number of National Ministers who have resigned for unspecified reasons after something they were doing on the side blew up on them.

  30. Jilly Bee 30

    I have been looking to post a ‘reply’ comment about Maurice Williamson’s comment on Campbell Live about helping out his neighbour [Liu] in Pauanui, which seems to have floated by and the shitstorm which erupted when David Cunliffe was outed over looking at a property for his mate in Omaha, but couldn’t find a suitable place, in between cooking dinner and darting back to look at what has been happening today. WTF.

  31. gnomic 32

    As far as I can recall Mozza has turned all portfolios he has touched to brown stuff which is smelly. This is surely the man who allowed Telecom to run riot while a near monopoly? Wasn’t he minister of structures when the leaky buildings became predominant? Not totally up with his broadcasting record but no doubt bad. Maybe he was a good minister of stats, but it seems unlikely given the track record. And also somewhat of a typical arrogant National semi-rich prick? And this will be the member for Pakuranga still? Maybe he needs to cater to special interests so as to stay at the trough. But then it’s written all over his party. Multi-national capitalism rules, mkay?

  32. newsense 33

    National is in dissarray! Ryall leaving! Williamson fired! Wayne Mapp wheeled out to comment on blogs!

    No, seriously now folks….

    anyone of the cynical enough frame of mind that the Williamson thing was a Nats tactical own goal in order to take the political lime light away from Labour’s big release? They probably wanted him gone anyway. This gets Parker and Labour off the airwaves in the ‘big’ policy release week.

    • miravox 33.1

      How desperate if you’re right – creating a scandal in your own party to take the headlines away from Labour? That’s crazy talk!

      Key could have tripped over and broken his arm to get the headlines – and would have got the sympathy vote to boot. The cynical scenario you describe is like changing their strategist, from McCully to Slater, or something 😉

  33. Tanz 34

    What a shame. What comes around goes around. Guess the rainbow over his electorate was not a good omen, after all.

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