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Worse than I imagined

Written By: - Date published: 8:31 pm, November 15th, 2010 - 97 comments
Categories: corruption, john key, national - Tags: , , ,

So now we learn from rort-buster Pete Hodgson that Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office. This is worse than anything I thought would be turned up by Lockwood Smith’s investigation. I don’t see how she can possibly remain in Parliament now.

Of course, it’s just the latest in a list of rorts, rip-offs, and abuses of power by National MPs this term that beggars belief. Here’s a by no means complete list:

  • housing rorts,
  • rorts of the new housing allowance system that was implemented to replace the system that was being rorted,
  • flying round in helicopters for kicks on the taxpayer dime,
  • abuses of the travel ministerial travel allowance,
  • fake blind trusts,
  • fake primary residences,
  • releasing the private details of beneficiaries to bully them,
  • failing to apologise as promised when found to have breached their privacy,
  • abuse of the MP travel allowance,
  • whatever the hell Richard Worth was up to,
  • charging private expenses to the public purse,
  • threatening submitters to select committees,
  • and now a private business operating on taxpayer funded premises.

What next? A meth lab in the National Party staff room?

This goes beyond a few bad eggs or innocent mistakes. This is a culture of National MPs abusing their power and pocketing our money.

With such widespread rorting the blame must go to the top. It is Key’s job to control this bunch of muggers and thieves. He should be firing the corrupt. Instead, he’s setting a terrible example and lowering standards. He has been caught out lying and abusing his privileges as an MP over the Tranzrail shares. He has been caught out lying about his blind trust and the interests including a winery he owns through it.

Key should be setting an example. Well, he is – a bad one. When he’s not running around trying to get in the background of photos of Obama he’s up to his ears in his own rorts.

It’s all very well for Key to belatedly follow every other political leader in calling for the MP travel allowances to be reined in but when you ask who gave his ministers permission to behave like this there’s only one person to point the finger at.

97 comments on “Worse than I imagined”

  1. Ian 1

    I reckon all the Nact MP’s are laughing at Key behind his back knowing that losing their jobs by being sacked is next to impossible.

  2. Joachim's 2

    Key is about to be stir fried, Wong is merely providing the sauce. And Hodgson is the chef. Bon apetite NAT lovers, Labour is going to make a meal out of 2011.

  3. I wonder if this means that Melissa Lee will survive? She is the only one left that the Nats can use to fill in the female asian token position of the caucus.

    BTW this is really bad and so stupid.

    Key has to demand Wong’s immediate resignation from Parliament.

    Looks like we have another by election coming up.

    Labour’s candidate for Botany is Koro Taua. He is a good guy and deserves support.

    • Eddie 3.1

      Melissa Lee… jeez the talent coming through the Nats’ ranks is really inspiring eh?

      Bakshi, Gilmore, Calder, Lotu-Iiga, King, Lee, Adams, Hayes, Bennett 2, Goudie, Dean, Hutchison, Macindoe, Peachy, Auchinvole, Shanks, McClay, Upston, Quinn, Young, etc.

      they’re going to have serious problems in coming terms as their number of MPs falls, competent seniors retire, and that lot take up space preventing better people coming through.

    • Ari 3.2

      I’m torn between hoping he does demand her resignation, (or simply fire her) for the sake of our democracy, and hoping he doesn’t so that he’s less likely to be re-elected as PM.

  4. burt 4

    This is going to get interesting.

  5. Irascible 5

    Pansy should be gone by tomorrow lunchtime if Key had any gumption as a credible leader of a Political Party. If the NACT screams for Field & Carter are an indication of what they expect a leader to do then Key MUST be seen to be living up to his crosby-textor reputation as the velvet hand in the iron glove.
    A very early general election in the offing??? In the meantime support for Koro would be welcomed.

    • burt 5.1

      You mention Taito Field. Is that because we haven’t had an inquiry with very narrow terms taking 9 months which exonerated Pansy… This National govt have certainly lifted the bar back off the ground where Labour left it. It sounds like she should be charged but precedent tells me that it won’t be in the public interest unless she threatens to stand as an independent.

      We wait, it should be interesting.

      • The Voice of Reason 5.1.1

        The language Key is using suggests you are right, Burt. He’s sticking to the line that it his her husband who has broken the rules. He’s repeated that over and over again in the last couple of days, while saying Wong is right to keep schtumm. I presume that he has Sammy Wong’s agreement to do that, in an effort to keep Pansy Wong in parliament and out of jail.

        Just a guess, but the legal situation may be that Sammy can claim that he genuinely thought he had the right to book flights through his wife’s office and avoid a conviction, while his ‘confession’ lets Pansy of the hook as well, as she will say she was unaware that Sammy was breaching the rules. Key is hoping that time, silence and her husband’s loyalty will avoid a messy end to Wong’s career.

        • pollywog 5.1.1.1

          yeah, and i bet Bronagh has no idea what’s in the ‘blind trust’ either or that if shes a trustee, doesn’t get reports to leave lying round the house for John to read before he realises what they are…

          …pull the other one, Key needs to show Wong the highway and kick her ass to the kerb but not before she’s paid back every cent of her husbands ‘misunderstanding’

        • Armchair Critic 5.1.1.2

          …as she will say she was unaware that Sammy was breaching the rules…
          That won’t work. She signed a document as a witness, so she can’t claim she was unaware that business was being conducted. Nor can she claim that she was not aware of the rules around the entitlement. Mr Hodgson has asked Mr Key questions about the matters of business being conducted and about awareness of the rules in the Cabinet Manual and the answers, as I recall, haven’t left much wiggle room.
          Mr Hodgson appears to have stitched up Mr Key and Mrs Wong very effectively. Hence the diversions about stopping the perk, and the unwillingness to talk much.

  6. Bazar 6

    “This goes beyond a few bad eggs or innocent mistakes. This is a culture of National MPs abusing their power and pocketing our money.”

    In the recent history, even the full history of NZ parliament, no labour or green MP has EVER abused their perks for personal gains or profit….

    Oh.. wait.

    Well obviously national and Act MPs are morally inferior because of the reduced transparcy they have campained and implemented since coming to power…
    Oh wait…

    Well i’m sure the opposition could do it better, we could even have Winston manage the perks, since his background is spotless when it comes to finances.

    • Lanthanide 6.1

      “Well obviously national and Act MPs are morally inferior because of the reduced transparcy they have campained and implemented since coming to power”

      So, how about Richard Worth eh? What was he fired for, again?

    • Draco T Bastard 6.2

      Actually, if you’d been keeping up with NRT’s OIA research, you’d realise that NACT have reduced transparency – quite a bit in fact.

      • Bazar 6.2.1

        Well i just took a look through that NRT search’s first 2 pages.

        Nothing about national REDUCING transparency.
        Only about stats about OIA requests, and the law commission looking at proposing changes.

        How you can say that nact have reduced based on that is silly. The law commission isn’t nact, and unless nact implement what they propose, it has nothing to do with them.

        As for the spreadsheet showing low performance rates, two things.
        First its been taken in a very quesitonable way, with very questionable results.

        “This is the crudest of performance data. It does not look at the quality of responses, or take any account of the size or complexity of requests. It looks only at timeliness.”

        So that isn’t about transparancy, its about responsiveness.
        And even if it *was* about transparacy, to say its gotten worse under national, you’d need to perform the same test under labour’s rule.

        How those OIA requests were filed is unknown. But it doesn’t look methodical.

        Ultimatly the only thing i’m going to say is that its of no surprise to see that the goverment isn’t perfect with OIA. But then i said goverment, not national. I suspect it was as bad or worse under labour.

    • One does not have to delve very deeply to find these greedy Tories have only one interest,their idol Mammon . Well maybe two squeezing the workers .
      So when one has a good look at the Wong scandal what do we find but “cut the benefits ” Shipley and her shadowy husband Burton. As well know Independent (UK) journalist Jasmim Brown has said ”What a greedy lot”.

  7. tc 7

    Bazar’s right “Well i’m sure the opposition could do it better…” as Clark proved she had the measure of her ministers and stood down and/or disciplined those who crossed the line whereas with sideshow john it’s ‘aw shucks new zild’s lucky to have such hardworking MP’s like mine.’

    Trouble is shonkey they ain’t working for us but themselves and their backers…..but at least they’re consistent so there’s a positive for ya johnny boy.

    BTW when’s that outstanding and hardworking Bennett due back to abuse due process just like always.

    • Jilly Bee 7.1

      National Party signs have sprung up all over Henderson with the ‘Proud to be a Westie’ [finger down throat time] line and picture of herself advertising a constituents’ clinic on Friday 26th November. Yawn! But maybe their polling is telling them something!

  8. here’s a surprise, Tracy Watkins running Key’s line:

    “it took only the downfall of a good MP and otherwise good woman, Pansy Wong.” to get the need of the travl perk.

    yeah, poor innocent pansy wong couldn’t understand the difference between holidaying and business. It’s all the perk’s fault.

    don’t worry Tracy, there’ll be another press job in Key’s office up for grabs some time.

    • Tigger 9.1

      Ha ha, ‘otherwise good woman’ as in – ‘he stole money from pensioners but otherwise he was a good man’ or ‘he beats his wife but otherwise he’s a good man’. Honestly, Watkins, this is pathetic. We know Pansy Wong isn’t Hitler FFS. And how will Watkins cope once Wong has to resign from Parliament? ‘Oh she was a good woman despite defrauding the taxpayer for years’.

    • Jim Nald 9.2

      Watkins writes – good MP and otherwise good woman, Pansy
      Amstrong reports John Key had a good APEC
      Blind trusts are good at keeping things unseen
      Warner Bros had a good deal
      Bill English is good at making claims
      Gerry is good at managing Chch earthquake clean-up
      McCully is good at putting together RWC 2011
      Tolly is good at stirring schools and parents
      Bennett is good at coming down on beneficiaries
      Colllins is good at talking tough
      Lockwood is good at rolling back travel perks

      Care to add to the good list?

  9. vto 11

    It is because many National Party politicians chase business deals at the same time as being in Parliament. It is ingrained. They do business as much as politics. Think Creech and Key and their dairy interests. Think Jenny Shipley and all her business dealings etc.

    It feels like it is all about to spill open. Creech and Carter making decisions about agriculture when they have vested interests, for example. Not good.

    Put it all out in the open for the public to see how intertwined National is with business.

    It is wrong and smelly. And about to soak them in their own stench I hope.

    • Lanthanide 11.1

      Unfortunately there is a sector of the NZ public that likes National *because* of those business dealings. You know, all that crap about “running businesses well, so they must be able to run the country too”.

      • Lazy Susan 11.1.1

        Yeah, running businesses well such as Shipley’s premium recruitment business Momentum.

        • Joe Bloggs 11.1.1.1

          I would hardly call Momentum Shipley’s premium recruitment business.

          1. the company is not a high end executive search consultant – it’s mainstream

          2. Shipley owns less than half of one percent of the business.

          I also see in Pete Hodgson’s press release that he admits he doesn’t know Whether the companies hold a separate lease or share any services, or indeed are trading

          … which is a million miles from Eddie’s tasteless insinuations about meth labs

          • Colonial Viper 11.1.1.1.1

            the company is not a high end executive search consultant – it’s mainstream

            You mean like hiring virtually all execs for the new Auckland MegaCity CCO’s? Momentum may have hired their PA’s as well but that hardly makes them ‘mainstream’, does it?

            • Joe Bloggs 11.1.1.1.1.1

              crap – they’re the largest recruiter in NZ in terms of job placements – that alone makes them mainstream. You don’t get that way by limiting yourself to a minor tributary of the top 2% of job placements.

              As for the 20,000 shares Shipley owns – that won’t go far in a shareholders meeting when there are nearly 5million shares around the table.

          • Richard 11.1.1.1.2

            I also see in Pete Hodgson’s press release that he admits he doesn’t know “Whether the companies hold a separate lease or share any services, or indeed are trading”

            Wake up mate.

            That’s a press release.

            A press release is no evidence of what Hodgson does or does not know. If Hodgson is asking a question in a press release, he either already knows the answer, and / or he knows that the process of others trying to find an answer is going to be problematic for National.

            • Zorr 11.1.1.1.2.1

              Whereas when Jonkey makes a press release it is treated as gospel truth…

              Double standard much

              capcha: lies

              • Richard

                I certainly don’t treat anything in a press release by John Key as being gospel truth.

                Do you?

              • felix

                Zorr, I think that’s a misreading of Richard’s comment. It’s a reply to Joe Bloggs who seems to think that Hodgson’s release is an admission of a lack of info.

      • vto 11.1.2

        Yes, well they generally do run businesses well (?) and it does give them an understanding of the business environment which is often lacking in other parties.

        But it is the mixing of the politics and business which is no good. There must be a clear break between the two and it must be public viewing.

        So simple to do. So hard to give up.

        • Richard 11.1.2.1

          Yes, well they generally do run businesses well (?) and it does give them an understanding of the business environment which is often lacking in other parties.

          That’s arguable, but as far as goes it certainly seems plausible that “successful” business people would have something to offer the country when it comes to those parts of government that are like “business”.

          Although, I’m not exactly overwhelmed by National’s ability to negotiate with corporates, make wise investment decisions, maximise government income, and show executive leadership…

  10. ghostwhowalksnz 12

    Wong will resign in the usual way- to maximise her pay and announce it before Xmas but put the final day as just before Parliament sits next year. That way shes can stop turning up to the office for 2 months. The party will announce a new candidate who will conveniently have a ‘job’ as electorate agent and be the front person in the electorate

  11. MikeG 13

    It’s interesting that Key is trying to downplay the address as being a mailing address. Companies Office records show otherwise – it is also the address for the share register. That implies that the address is being used to at minimum administer the company from.

  12. Chris 14

    “Ministers Call for Perk Reform”….how about… “Ministers defend Integrity – No personal business on public business!”

  13. Sanctuary 15

    Anyone who heard Key being interviewed by Geoff Robinson (who interviews more like an astonished vicar than a angry rottweiler) would now understand why Key is so carefully handled by his minders. Key was, in a word, lame. He had no answers and his government was exposed as lackadasical, chaotic and disorganised at it’s highest level.

    Oh and Pansy Wong sharing a mail address with Jenny Shipley? It just gives us the smallest glimpse of the crony capitalism that seems to be the primary motivational engine of this government.

    • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 15.1

      Sharing a mail address is crony capitalism? Really? Are you completely sure?

    • ianmac 15.2

      Agreed Sanctuary. They complain that Phil is not succinct enough but John’s performance was as you say lame. He is hopeless when being interviewed which as we suspected, explains his refusal to front up for interviews. During the next election will he be able to not only smile and wave, but also duck and hide? I thought that Geoff was surprisingly persistent but perhaps his effort will give John another reason to dodge interviews.

      • Which once again (as commented before on the Standard) makes me wonder if Key has a drink problem. Often when watching him being interviewed on TV. he seems to be slightly tipsy . The vague look ,gigling and forgetfullness ,all the classic behavour of too much alcohol in the system.

  14. OleOlebiscuitBarrell 16

    Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office.

    I am not defending her against the main charge against her, but it is not necessarily true to say that she is “running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office”. A company’s registered office is not always where the business is run from. The registered office is where notices to the company must be served and certain information must be kept there. Commerce need not be conducted from the registered office. For instance, many companies use their accountant’s office for this.

    • Pascal's bookie 16.1

      True enough. But you pay an accountant for the service. What reason is there for using the ( I assume) tax payer subsidised electoral office for private business matters?

      • OleOlebiscuitBarrell 16.1.1

        I doubt accountants charge for this service. They regard it as part of the relationship. That said, they wouldn’t do it for you if they didn’t do your accounts.

        • felix 16.1.1.1

          “I doubt accountants charge for this service. They regard it as part of the relationship.”

          Just in case you’ve never hired an accountant, they do charge for “the relationship” 😉

    • freedom 16.2

      Do you really see nothing wrong in a private company being registered out of a Ministerial Office ???

      It is a fundamental problem in this current commercial climate that people paid a lot of money to do a difficult job, can manage to run multiple private interests when they are meant to be sooooo busy

  15. freedom 17

    the Shipley connection is the interesting bit, especially when you recall Dame Shipley’s guided tours of South Island farmland earlier this year with Chinese investors,
    -the article seems to be untraceable in multiple attempted searches, if anyone has it i would like it.

    The Shipley connection gets more obvious, and more telling when, apart from the links to numerous parties in the current “buy the NZ dairy industry’ jumble, we recall she is on the board of a Chinese Bank
    “A division of the China Construction Bank – China’s third largest bank, which includes Jenny Shipley on its board ..”

    • marsman 17.1

      Would like to see an account of Shipley’s travel expenses which were paid for by the taxpayer,and reasons for travel. ( i.e. does she charge up private business travel? She of the ‘personal responsibility’ catch-cry.)

  16. ak 18

    You’re right Eddie, it’s by no means a complete list; but come on, fair’s fair. The media has enough to do what with lost cats and orgasm research and everything – and it’s not as if they’ve done anything really corrupt like trying to close the gaps for Maori, stop bashing kiddies, sign paintings for charity or sit in the back of speeding cars for goodness sake….

  17. Our rag, the Southland Times, published this postage-stamp sized ‘article’:

    “Links between former prime minister Dame Jenny Shipley and businessman Sammy Wong are under scrutiny as his wife, former ethnic affairs minister Patsy Wong, remains under a cloud. Labour yesterday questioned why a company in which Mr Wong and Dame Jenny are shareholders was registered at the same address as Mrs Wong’s publically funded electorate office in Auckland. Dame Jenny’s husband, Burton, was a director of the firm, Shipley and Wong, labour strategist Pete Hodgson said. Speaker Lockwood Smith refused to comment. Prime Minister John Key also refused to comment and said he would advise Mrs Wong not to answer questions.” Fairfax

    http://robertguyton.blogspot.com/2010/11/dodgy-dealings-with-dame.html

  18. randal 21

    I guess this is what Marx called an oriental despotism where those in power just do what they like.
    when they get caught out they hide behind cultural differences wchich are just those things which make it possible for them to break the law in the first place.

  19. vto 22

    Why doesn’t somebody outline all the links that National MPs have with dairying. Key. Creech. Shipley. Carter. Smith. the list goes on.

    Put it all out there for the public to easily see. In a simple format.

    Then ask how on earth these conflicted politicians can make impartial decisions on this industry when their business investments depend on their political decisions…

    It’s a no-brainer ya?

  20. Graeme 23

    any body been to this office or google mapped it?

  21. Daveski 24

    Hodgson was exceptionally careful not to fall into the basic mistake Eddie has made.

    “So now we learn from rort-buster Pete Hodgson that Pansy Wong and her husband have been running private companies out of her taxpayer-funded electorate office.”

    Hodgson did not claim that at all. He merely pointed out that this was used as an address (possibly an address for service). It is still not acceptable but neither is Eddie’s assertion which is completely wrong.

    This is not a defence of Wong – she should have lost her ministerial portfolio and did. However, there is no reason for Eddie to get his/her facts wrong when Hodgson was very careful not to do so.

  22. grumpy 25

    One should never underestimate to natural inclination of politicians to instinctively do what is morally wrong.

    • Draco T Bastard 25.1

      That’s only the natural inclination of the psychopathic ones and they’re not all psychopathic, mostly just the ones on the political right.

  23. freedom 26

    am i nuts or are some people saying they have no problem with a parliamentary office being used for private/personal commercial business.

    I for one was unaware that Politicians could openly use the offices of Parliament to receive correspondence relating to their private/personal commercial business, let alone register the location of a business for whatever purpose as being an office in the jurisdiction of Parliament.

    The conflict and innappropriateness was so glaringly obvious that i had assumed it was not done.

    Boy! Egg on my face!
    Obviously i was aware that Politicians throughout this country’s history have used insider knowledge to better their opportunities in business, including have discrete and not so discrete meetings in their offices. That is an entirely different beastie than actually registering offices of Parliament as being related to the operation of a private business. There are also numerous costs the business avoids, one shining example is if any correspondence is received at Parliament, we the taxpayer are covering the business costs of a Postal Box for the MP’s private commercial interests. The telephone and internet costs are also obvious savings for a private business.

    If the decision to register and operate from Parliament is warranted by the complexities in the day to day operation of the business, ie; requires such close regular contact with a MP that their time in Wellington would be detrimental to the business, then either the person should not be a MP or a privately staffed office elsewhere in Wellington would be the obvious decision. Though with modern technology why an office in their own Electorate could not used is beyond me. Is it a question of not wanting to employ a mangager to oversee the day to day administration whilst the MP serves. This only raises more questions as to the nature of the business.

    • felix 26.1

      The office is in her electorate – it’s her electorate office.

      But yep, I don’t know how anyone could think for a moment that this could ever be ok. Even the possibility of the appearance of corruption should keep this from ever happening.

      • freedom 26.1.1

        ‘it’s her electorate office”
        unless i am mistaken, this is still under the jurisdiction of Parliament as are all properties and services pertaining to the administration of our Government

        • lprent 26.1.1.1

          Yeah they are run and funded by parliamentary services. They barely tolerate any party activity which is why LEC’s are usually quite separate. I hate to think what they will think of running a business out of their premises.

        • felix 26.1.1.2

          Of course; I was responding to your last paragraph.

          I think you’re absolutely spot on in your analysis btw.

          • freedom 26.1.1.2.1

            true, the ‘from Parliament’ was clumsy, it is not clear i was leaning to the broader holistic Parliament entity rather than the building,

            damn it! my error rate is up this month, no doubt about it

  24. Olwyn 27

    I am uneasy about saying this because it makes me look like a conspiracy theorist, but here goes: I hope we on the left have not been thrown a piece of bait in the form of Pansy and swallowed it whole, so that we have tacitly accepted an excuse for an early election well before it is announced. Firstly, while we plebs are able to know parliament’s rules, we are less able to know how rigorously they are generally applied, and Pansy’s sins, on the face of things, do not seem significantly greater than the various other things listed, some of which seem much worse, that have been passed over with a shrug. Paula Bennett’s release of benefit details, for example. Bill English’s uncertainty as to where he lived and who he rented his Wellington home from, the National party links with dairying in Canterbury, and so on. And I also recall the disproportionate levels of excitement over carelessness when it was deemed time to kneecap Winston Peters. This involved a level of fantasy worthy of the Sopranos, with the Monaco billionaire, the pretty girls and the billionaire’s little crucifix gracing the media for days. If I am right in my suspicions then Pansy’s situation will probably involve a few House of Flying Daggers-type scenes, just prior to an election being announced.

    • Zorr 27.1

      Olwyn, this issue has already been addressed many times over in previous threads. Yes, it is a concern. But as long as Labour play their hand right they can be the ones deciding the early election because it requires a 75% vote in Parliament.

      hmmm… unless of course Brownlee can change that using CERRA – “An unstable government is bad for a Cantabrian recovery. I hereby dictate that we have an election now!”

      • Lanthanide 27.1.1

        I know you’re probably just joking, but CERRA excluded the electoral act.

        • Armchair Critic 27.1.1.1

          You know I’m probably joking, but a possible remedy would be to modify the Crimes Act to make it a crime to vote for anyone apart from National. A sentence of no less than three years imprisonment would top it all off.
          Scarily, some of the commenters here will read this and agree it is a good idea.

      • Olwyn 27.1.2

        Thanks for that Zorr – I have clearly not been keeping up with this discussion, and didn’t know that a 75% vote was needed.

  25. Carol 28

    And there’s more….
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/61881/labour-again-calls-on-wong-to-resign

    Labour says a Chinese local government website shows Pansy Wong, identified as a minister, promoting her husband’s hovercraft company.

    http://dirtydebtors.co.nz/photos/9000206/db_1685596136DDphoto4.jpg

    • freedom 28.1

      a link with context of the photo would be more useful.
      That link is merely a person in a photo, it can be used for anything and nothing

      • Carol 28.1.1

        That pic is just from the debtors website and is an image that google throws up:
        http://dirtydebtors.co.nz/description.php?descriptionID=9000206

        ODT provides some context for the image found by the Labour Party:

        http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/136541/labour-digs-more-info-wong

        Translated, the website lists Mrs Wong’s ministerial portfolios and talks about her meeting Chinese officials in the city of Lianyungang.
        It said Lianyungang occupied a “unique strategic position and has a tempting future, the hovercraft business invested in by her husband Sammy Wong and Terry Yang…has been developing fast”.
        The article went on to say the reputation of the city would be further promoted through the company’s product sales and the introduction of supporting facilities. The hovercraft deal has since gone sour.

        • freedom 28.1.1.1

          “Mr Key said he didn’t know any detail about the Botany office issue, but said there could well be legitimate reasons, including that it could simply be a mailing address for the businesses. ”
          quote from Carol’s link above. Thankyou Carol. Pity Hodgson didnt include the actual link.

          when i look at my reasoning earlier, I have a big question for our PM

          ‘Are you seriously saying it is ok to run a private business from a Government Office?’

          I know a lot of people who will be happy to hear that. Parliament has a lot of smart people working there, now that they are free to operate their businesses from Government premises there is going to be an explosion of productivity and income generation (joking)

          Well done Mr Key your ignoranceof democracy and bias to private enteprise have once again combined to illuminate us with your true motivations. (not joking)

  26. tc 29

    Another month another clear example of a NACT minister using their public position for personal gain…..it’s so predictable it’s become boring as it’s not really news anymore.

    The MSM in other countries would be jealous of all the juicy material being produced by these KEYstone cops excuses for ministers that would allow them to question and nag away at a gov’t that’s making no attempt to hide the fact they’re in it for themselves and their backers.

    To quote a senior journo in oz…” what the F passes for journalism over there ” to which my reply is ‘anything between the front and back pages apparently’ to which he replies ‘obviously not a great career in NZ then’……oh duh !.

  27. grumpy 30

    This looks like serious shit. Anything involving Shipley is sure to be dodgy. Key should just sack her from the party as Labour did with Carter and let the police decide whether to charge her without the sort of political interference Labour used to do.

    Looks like she might make Field look like a choirboy.

  28. ianmac 31

    News at 4:0 National Radio. Key says that he can’t do anything about the new reports about the Hovercraft promotions in her name and title, because Mrs Wong is no longer a Minister so she is not anything to do with him. (paraphrased I hope.) WOT! A great Leader soon dodges any responsibility for his troops. WOW!

  29. freedom 32

    well the Brent Edwards comments on Nat Radio’s 5pm news was obviously recorded before 3pm as he never mentioned National blocking an independant investigation into MP’s expenses, if not then the question is why this was not covered ?

  30. gobsmacked 33

    This has really stuffed up Key’s plans for next year.

    He doesn’t want a by-election. National would hold the seat, but it’s Mana in reverse: ACT would play the McCarten role, and National would have everything to lose. A low turnout and reduced majority would look bad in the lead-up to the general election.

    But he also doesn’t want to stave off a by-election by committing himself to a general election, except on his own terms. Like all Prime Ministers, he knows there’s a real advantage for the incumbent in naming the date, just a month or so beforehand.

    So there’s Option 3: keep Pansy Wong in Parliament. Keep the story alive.

    I bet the opposition would be quite happy with that.

    • Tiger Mountain 33.1

      It will be interesting to see how many more of JFK’s (John fucking Key’s) motley crew are bought to public attention. John Carters anointed successor in Northland certainly warrants a look.

  31. Hilary 34

    I have heard that Pansy was using the Office of Ethnic Affairs as her personal fiefdom which was very handy for favoured businesses. Unlikely that the media will investigate though.

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    4 days ago
  • Week That Was: Supporting our schools
    We're setting our young people up for success, investing in education around the country.  ...
    4 days ago
  • Kiwis to have their say on End of Life Choice
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First backs the public to decide on the End of Life Choice Bill via a referendum at the 2020 General Election. The Bill, with New Zealand First’s referendum provision incorporated, passed its final reading in Parliament this evening. New Zealand First Spokesperson for ...
    1 week ago
  • Addressing miscarriages of justice
    Darroch Ball, Spokesperson for Justice New Zealand First is proud that a key Coalition Agreement commitment which will provide for a more transparent and effective criminal justice system has been realised. Legislation to establish the Criminal Cases Review Commission, an independent body focused on identifying and responding to possible miscarriages of ...
    1 week ago
  • Week That Was: Historic action on climate change
    "Today we have made a choice that will leave a legacy... I hope that means that future generations will see that we, in New Zealand, were on the right side of history." - Jacinda Ardern, Third Reading of the Zero Carbon Bill ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Tax-free deployments for Kiwi troops
    Darroch Ball, New Zealand First List MP A Member’s bill has been proposed that would provide income tax exemptions for all New Zealand Defence Force (NZDF) personnel while on operational deployment overseas. The Income Tax (Exemption for Salary or Wages of NZDF Members on Active Deployment) Amendment Bill proposed by New Zealand First ...
    2 weeks ago
  • A balanced Zero Carbon Bill passed
    Rt Hon Winston Peters, New Zealand First Leader New Zealand First is proud to have brought common sense to the Climate Change Response (Zero Carbon) Amendment Bill, which passed its final reading in Parliament today. Party Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters says months of hard work went into negotiating a balanced ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Paramedics’ status to be recognised
    Jenny Marcroft MP, Spokesperson for Health New Zealand First has listened to calls to recognise paramedics as registered health professionals under the Health Practitioners’ Competence Assurance Act (the Act). Today, the Coalition Government announced plans for paramedics to be registered as health practitioners under the Act, and the establishment of a ...
    2 weeks ago

  • NZ economy in good shape amid global headwinds
    A major new report on the global economy shows New Zealand is in good shape amid increased global headwinds. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has just released its latest Economic Outlook. It shows the OECD group of economies is forecast to grow between 1.6% and 1.7% across ...
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    4 hours ago
  • Milestone of 1800 new Police officers
    The Coalition commitment to add 1800 new Police officers to frontline policing has been achieved with the graduation of 59 constables from the Royal New Zealand Police College today. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters say today’s graduation means 1825 new Police have been deployed all ...
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    17 hours ago
  • PM appoints business leaders to APEC Business Advisory Council
    Ensuring APEC work gets input from diverse New Zealand business and trade interests is behind three new appointments to the APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC), Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Rachel Taulelei, Malcolm Johns and Toni Moyes have been appointed to represent New Zealand on the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) ...
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    19 hours ago
  • PM speech notes for Trans-Tasman Business Circle
    Nau mai, haere mai. Tēnā koutou, tēnā koutou, tēnā tatou katoa. Thank you for having me to speak today. To start, I’d like to acknowledge Sharron Lloyd, the General Manager of the Trans–Tasman Business Circle, the partners for this event Westpac’s  David McLean, and Derek McCormack from  AUT, and, of course ...
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    19 hours ago
  • Otago Regional Council given deadline for freshwater management plan
    A four-month investigation by former Environment Court judge Professor Peter Skelton found that Otago’s freshwater planning system is not fit for purpose to manage the region’s rivers, lakes and aquifers and that the Council has inadequate rules for the taking of water and the discharge of nutrients.   “Existing planning provisions ...
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    22 hours ago
  • LGNZ Rural and Provincial Sector Speech
      Introduction Thank you for the invitation to speak to you today. This is the first opportunity I’ve had to speak to an LGNZ meeting since the local elections, and I’m delighted to see the fresh faces of newly elected mayors. To returning mayors here today, as well as chief ...
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    22 hours ago
  • New Zealand to attend G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Japan
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters departs New Zealand today to attend the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in Nagoya at the invitation of this year’s G20 President, Japan. “This is the first time New Zealand will attend a G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting and we are deeply honoured that it is at ...
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    23 hours ago
  • Ambassador to the European Union announced
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced the appointment of diplomat Carl Reaich as New Zealand’s next Ambassador to the European Union. “The Ambassador to the EU is one of the most important and senior roles in New Zealand’s foreign service, advocating for New Zealand’s interests with the EU institutions,” Mr ...
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    24 hours ago
  • New inventions boost Predator Free 2050 effort
        Innovation and technology are behind five new tools to give nature a helping hand by helping eliminate predators, funded through the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF), Minister for Conservation Eugenie Sage and Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. “The new tools will be trialled in ...
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    1 day ago
  • APEC 2021 Bill passes first reading
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has welcomed the first reading of the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation 2021 (APEC 2021) Bill in Parliament today. The temporary bill supports New Zealand’s security preparations for hosting the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Forum in 2021. “APEC is the leading economic and trade forum ...
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    2 days ago
  • Making progress for our kids
    The Government is making progress on improving the wellbeing of the one million New Zealanders under the age of 18,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on World Children’s Day. The Government has today recommitted to the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history – the United Nation’s Convention on ...
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    2 days ago
  • Māori women in business contribute to our economy, whānau and communities
    Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter has released a new report celebrating the contribution of Māori women in business across Aotearoa New Zealand. “Māori women are leaders in our communities, they employ many people and support our economy and our communities,” Julie Anne Genter said. The report, Ngā wāhine kaipakihi: ...
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    2 days ago
  • Two schools on the way for Omokoroa
    Four parcels of land have been bought in Omokoroa, in the Western Bay of Plenty District, for an education facility that will accommodate both a primary and secondary school on a campus-like facility, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. Two parcels were acquired from private land owners and two were ...
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    2 days ago
  • Families Package helps over 1 million New Zealanders in first year
    1 million New Zealanders warmed by the Winter Energy Payment 36,000 families bank the Best Start Payment in first year 6,000 more families received the Family Tax Credit, 220,600 in total   They receive an increase too – from an average of $117 to $157 a week for Inland Revenue clients, ...
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    2 days ago
  • Clamp down on wheel clamping passes third reading
    New rules to clamp down on overzealous wheel clamping and extortionate fees charged in order to release a vehicle have passed their final stage in Parliament today. The Land Transport (Wheel Clamping) Amendment Bill has now passed its third reading. “These changes mean $100 will be the maximum wheel clamping ...
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    3 days ago
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill passes first hurdle
    An independent Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission is a step closer after it unanimously passed its first vote in Parliament today.  The Mental Health and Wellbeing Commission Bill lays the groundwork for establishing the Commission as a fully independent crown entity – delivering on a key recommendation of He Ara ...
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    3 days ago
  • Boosting border security with electronic travel authority – now over 500,000 issued
    We’ve improved border security with the NZeTA, New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority, which helps us to screen travellers for border and immigration risks off-shore before they travel to New Zealand. It was launched in August and became mandatory on 1 October 2019. More than 500,000 NZeTAs have been issued since ...
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    3 days ago
  • Plan of action to protect seabirds
    A proposed national plan of action to reduce the number of seabirds caught in fisheries is being circulated for public feedback. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage say New Zealand is a global centre of seabird diversity with about 145 species in our waters. It has more ...
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    3 days ago
  • National interest test added to overseas investment rules
    The Government is delivering on its promise to protect New Zealanders’ interests by applying a new national interest test to the sales of our most sensitive and high risk assets to overseas buyers. Associate Finance Minister David Parker said under current Overseas Investment Act rules, assets such as ports and ...
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    3 days ago
  • New housing part of support for Kaumātua
    The Government is building special housing to accommodate one of Aotearoa’s greatest taonga- our kaumātua, says the Minister for Māori Development, Hon Nanaia Mahuta.  Speaking at a National Kaumātua Service Providers Conference in Rotorua today, the Minister reinforced the importance kaumātua play in maintaining and passing on mātauranga Māori, knowledge, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Forestry helps prisoners into jobs
    Eleven men from a pilot forestry training programme for prisoners in Northland now have full time jobs or job offers upon release, Corrections Minister Kelvin Davis and Forestry Minister Shane Jones announced today. The ‘release to work’ programme was a collaboration between Te Uru Rākau and the Department of Corrections, ...
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    3 days ago
  • Reform of public service a step closer
    Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins today introduced into Parliament a Bill that will make it easier for the public service to tackle the biggest challenges facing Governments. The Bill represents the most significant change in the public service in 30 years. The State Sector Act 1988 will be repealed ...
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    4 days ago
  • Donations scheme to relieve pressure on families
    The families of more than 416,000 students will be better off next year as their schools have signed up to the Government’s donations scheme, Education Minister Chris Hipkins said today. The scheme will see almost $62.5 million in additional Government funding go to schools nationwide next year. “I’m really pleased ...
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    4 days ago
  • Further support for Samoan measles outbreak
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters has announced further support as the Government of Samoa responds to a serious measles outbreak. “New Zealand will deploy a further 18 vaccination nurses, bringing the total to 30 working in Samoa over the next four weeks,” Mr Peters said. “A New Zealand Medical Assistance ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the Child Poverty Action Group 2019 Summit
      Fa’atalofa atu, malo e lelei, Kia ora koutou katoa Thank you to the Child Poverty Action Group for asking me to be here today to provide an update on some of the things that have been happening across my the social development portfolio.  Can I firstly acknowledge the vast ...
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    4 days ago
  • Speech to the New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Annual Conference
    ***Please check against delivery*** Good morning everyone. It is a pleasure to be with you this morning to open this year’s New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing Conference and AGM. Firstly, thank you Dr Alan Jackson, NZTR Chair for your introduction. And let us acknowledge also: The NZTR Board; Dean McKenzie, Chair ...
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    4 days ago
  • Fairer rules for tenants and landlords
    The Government has delivered on its promise to the over one million New Zealanders who now rent to make it fairer and more secure, Associate Minister of Housing (Public Housing) Kris Faafoi has announced today. Both renters and landlords will benefit from the suite of practical changes to the Residential ...
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    5 days ago
  • Two decades of marine protection celebrated at Te Tapuwae o Rongokako in Tairawhiti
    A marine conservation milestone - the 20th anniversary of the establishment of Te Tapuwae o Rongokako Marine Reserve - is being celebrated today at a community event in Tairāwhiti/East Coast attended by the Minister of Conservation, Eugenie Sage. “The creation of this marine reserve in November 1999 was a game ...
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    6 days ago
  • Food industry asked to step up fight against obesity
         The Government is asking the food industry to step up work to tackle obesity including reducing sugar, fat and salt in their products, better information for consumers, and tighter restrictions on advertising to children. Health Minister David Clark and Food Safety Minister Damien O’Connor have responded to a ...
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    6 days ago
  • Modern emergency care for Queenstown area
    ew, modern emergency department and outpatient facilities at Queenstown’s Lakes District Hospital mean better emergency care for the growing tourist mecca’s visitors and locals, says Health Minister David Clark. Today Dr Clark officially opened the hospital’s redeveloped Emergency Department and Outpatient facilities. The new facilities include: •    An extended Emergency Department ...
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    7 days ago
  • Contraception important for New Zealanders
    Associate Health Minister Julie Anne Genter says today’s release of sexual and reproductive health data reinforces the significance of the Government’s commitment to providing free or very low-cost contraception. The Ministry of Health today published statistics from the Ministry of Health’s 2014/15 Health Survey. “It is important people can make ...
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    7 days ago
  • NZ medical staff and measles vaccines going to Samoa
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has announced that at the request of the Samoan Government, New Zealand will be providing further support to Samoa as it faces a worsening measles outbreak. “In response to a request from the people of Samoa, New Zealand is providing 3000 measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) ...
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    1 week ago
  • Disability Action Plan 2019 – 2023
    “The new Disability Action Plan 2019–2023 moves us towards the inclusive and accessible New Zealand that this government has committed to,” Minister for Disability Issues Carmel Sepuloni announced today.  “The Action Plan was designed by disabled people, their family and supporters, the disability sector and government agencies. It will ensure ...
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    1 week ago
  • Joint Statement – Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting
    Third Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting 14 November 2019 Joint Statement 1. Defence Ministers Ron Mark and Dr Ng Eng Hen today conducted their third annual Singapore-New Zealand Defence Ministers’ Meeting in Singapore. 2. Building on the Enhanced Partnership signed between both countries in May this year, this annual meeting ...
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    1 week ago
  • Sexual Violence Legislation Bill has its first reading
    A Bill to improve the court system’s response to sexual violence has passed its first reading in Parliament today. Justice Minister Andrew Little says the Sexual Violence Legislation Bill will reduce the trauma sexual violence complainants experience in court, while maintaining defendants’ fundamental rights and making sure the trial process ...
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    1 week ago
  • Streamlined business invoicing a step closer
    Streamlined payment practices are a step closer for Kiwi businesses with the formal launch of New Zealand’s e-Invoicing framework. Small Business Minister Stuart Nash says the government has now established the structure to enable automated and direct data exchange between the accounting systems of buyers and sellers. “The move to ...
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    1 week ago
  • More frontline biosecurity officers protecting NZ
    Another 51 quarantine officers and four new biosecurity detector dog teams will help protect New Zealand from invasive pests and diseases this summer, says Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “The Government is delivering on its commitment to strengthen New Zealand’s biosecurity system and support our valuable primary sector “New Zealand’s flora, fauna ...
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    1 week ago
  • NZ space economy worth $1.69 billion
    A new report has found New Zealand’s space sector contributed $1.69 billion to the economy in the last financial year and employs 12,000 people, Minister for Economic Development Phil Twyford announced today. The report by Deloitte was commissioned by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment and shows New Zealand ...
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    1 week ago
  • New Chair for Royal Commission into Abuse
    Judge Coral Shaw has been appointed as the new Chair of the Royal Commission into Historical Abuse in State Care and in the Care of Faith-based Institutions, Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin announced today. "Judge Shaw, who is currently one of the inquiry commissioners, is extremely well qualified for the ...
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    1 week ago
  • Better mental health facilities for Palmerston North
    The Government has confirmed its third major mental health facility upgrade since the Budget, this time at Palmerston North Hospital. The Prime Minister and Health Minister today visited MidCentral DHB to announce that $30 million has been allocated to upgrade its acute mental health facility. It follows earlier announcements in ...
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    1 week ago