Conor Roberts

Inside the Town Hall Bunker – The spin doctors fight

All is not well in the Mayor’s office.

As I’ve highlighted for months there has been a division within Len Brown’s office – between his closest political staffers.

For some time it had been Phil Wilson and Glyn Jones vs James Bews-Hair & Conor Roberts. Roberts had had enough so went off to Telecom via Todd property.

Throughout that time David Lewis was contracted to Len for various spin duties (while having limited other clients). Lewis chose to mostly keep out of the inner office workings mostly because he didn’t exactly get excited about the somewhat ‘provincial’ and ‘amateurish’ way Wilson ran the office and any conflict within it.

Then along came the sex scandal that engulfed the office and Lewis, being a fixer and spin doctor of phenomenal pedigree, was thrust into the workings of Len’s office.

It really is no surprise that a man who believes a spin doctor is never the story, always the client, would now be using a puff piece on himself to create some distance from Len.

Word has it that Lewis and Bews-Hair agreed with one appropriate way to manage the Len ‘situation’ while Wilson and Jones had another.  Read more »

Inside the Bunker – Phil Wilson

As you can imagine the tipline has been very busy over the last few days.  Most information has been related to Len himself but after breaking the news of James Bews-Hair’s sacking yesterday I got a piece of information that I thought seriously about whether it is ok to publish.

I’ve decided the public need to understand the type of people that Len Brown surrounds himself with.

We already know that Phil Wilson, Len’s Chief of Staff, has used Bews-Hair as a scapegoat for Phil’s own incompetence and poor judgment.  It is pretty low to use another human being in such a way to mask their own stupid decision (more on that in the next few days).   Read more »

Left’s Great White hope off to Telecom

Oh dear Conor Roberts has seriously upset the apple cart. Seems he is already dumping Todd to go to Telecom.

It seems that Conor told Evan Davies, head of Todd property, on Friday that he was leaving for greener pastures. In reality Roberts head was gone before that.

Earlier in the week Conor was busy having a big argument defending the Night-Mayor with Councillor Cameron Brewer on Facebook … all in work time.

Not a hanging offence… I am sure many of my loyal readers partake.  Read more »

Roberts leaves Len’s office

The big news circulating Wellington and now Auckland is that Len Brown’s Chief Political Advisor and campaign supremo Conor Roberts has accepted a job as Corporate Affairs Manager for Todd Property Group.

This seems like a curious move however it seems to meet someone’s objectives on many levels:

First, the obvious line that Farrar has picked up on that Conor Roberts wants a political career.  He’s smart enough, or has a smart enough advisor, to realise that he needs some real world experience to balance his political experience. The Labour party is bereft of people who have connections with the business sector so it makes sense for Conor to go to a corporate, one that is headed by a right-winger like Evan Davies.  Conor is also ably assisted by James Bews-Hair who now seems to like Roberts so he will no doubt assist him in making the right sort of career moves, and hopefully get rid of some of Conor’s lofty, lefty belief system.

Second, this clears most of the left wing influence out of Len’s office.  Bews-Hair knows that moving Roberts into the Todd Property role also removes an impediment to good ol right wing sensibilities and influence.  While Farrar likes to think that Roberts is a right winger having been in Len’s office through the Maritime Union disputes the truth is Roberts has been wracked with guilt over what he did to his Labour comrades.

Third, Bews-Hair doesn’t have that many friends left in Labour so it will be very useful for him to have a rising star under his wing who is heavily indebted to him

Fourth, Evan Davies (head of Todd Property and former head of Sky City) is a good mate (and former boss) of Bews-Hair.  In Roberts, Davies gets a good political operator (albeit a bit of a wet one) and later a tame rising star.  That makes Davies indebted to Bews-Hair as well.  To be fair, Bews-Hair had to find a replacement for Sifa Taumoepeau who he took off Davies to install back into Sky City.

Fifth, Bews-Hair gets to enjoy the fun of having turned Auckland-based Corporate and Government Relations into his own personal chessboard.  There’s a fair few people who are now indebted to Bews-Hair for manouvreing them into useful positions.

The trade unions that Bews-Hair hates will be so confused by this move but there are plenty of others who will work it out.

Perhaps Hooton and i-Predict should run the long term odds on CR.  Pinko backs him to be the next Steven Joyce!  On the Left Conor Roberts is likely to be a future political power broker.  He is pretty useful in his own right and has the added bonus of his mate, James Bews-Hair, lurking in the shadows.

 

 

The V8 Super Cars, ATEED and a potential Conflict, Ctd

Earlier I blogged about Jennah Wootten, ATEED, sponsorshiop conflicts…but it appears I overlooked one major thing.

Len Brown’s appointee to ATEED is Richard Jeffrey.

Richard Jeffrey is a Brown patsy. He was the one behind the shonky donation by the TelstraClear Pacific Events Centre to the Brown campaign for advertising, he was also an attendee at the infamous Volare dinner that Len Brown tried to hide until I went to the Ombudsman. Jeffrey ran the coverup on the donation. So he is a donor, indirectly, aids in cover ups and now is on the board of the organisation, appointed by Len Brown, hiding details from councillors.

Richard Jeffrey is also the one who kept a seat warm for Conor Roberts allowing him to campaign on the payroll, eventually to slide into a noce ratepayer funded job as Len Brown’s political advisor.

Wherever Richard Jeffrey is involved, secrecy, murk and coverup seem to follow.

Emails via the tipline also contend that Jennah Wootten is friendly to motorsport, of that there is no doubt, nor any secret…but the tipsters also state that she is as straight as a die. Perhaps she is a little embarrassed at running sposnosrship for ATEED and also sponsorship for a racing team…while not a hanging offence it isn’t tidy.

However tipsters from within motorsport are saying that the driver behind the V8 Supercars most definitely is Len Brown. One tipster says:

The V8s are run by an exceptionally smooth talking Aussie whose wife wears great big rings made of shiny stuff. You can bet they are real, and have been paid for by many municipalities over the years.

I am a motorsport person as well, and have put my hand out to the council on behalf of motorsport bodies many times. Never got as much as Cochrane got for the Aussie V8s. Nothing like it.

The biased question I ask myself is why do we want to spend our money supporting an Australian series which sucks up good NZ sponsorship dollars and distributes them around Australia and Mrs Cochrane’s ring finger?

So we really come down to the involvement of Len Brown, and his right hand man, funder and donor Richard Jeffrey.

Cunning At Bargain Bin Prices

Since I shone some serious sunlight on the political enigma that is James Bews-Hair, I have had many calls from people with chequebooks who want to find out a bit more about him so that they can take advantage of his cunning. My advice now is to get on the phone and talk to him.  From what I hear he’ll probably take your call and you’ll get him angry and dirt cheap.

The reason? Simple.  It has now become very clear just how much they hate him in the town hall.

Let me explain. A couple of weeks ago I outed the Night Mayor’s press secretary (Glyn Jones) for acts of political treachery against Bews-Hair. Glyn is not very smart.  Like many, he should take note of my rules of politics.  If you get caught out playing silly games (regardless of how much your intended target deserves it) then you deserve me highlighting your stupidity.

So despite being outed for attempting to use a right-wing blogger to fight a battle in a Left-wing political office, Jones is still in place doing a comedic impersonation of a media manager.  I understand Jones even got rewarded with a week long, ratepayer funded holiday to Australia.

So why is Jones being rewarded for being a dumb cock, and Bews-Hair being hung out to dry. Again, with decent sources it all becomes very obvious. Let me explain:

  1. We already know that Len’s Chief of Staff, Phil Wilson, doesn’t like or trust Bews-Hair and certainly feels threatened by Bews-Hair.  Given the right opportunity Wilson would gladly send Bews-Hair on his way.
  2. It was Bews-Hair that turned Len (albeit briefly) into a seemingly sensible, union crusher in the Ports dispute.  Problem is Bews-Hair’s so-called mate Conor Roberts (and others on the Left) hates Bews-Hair for taking Len down that sensible path.
  3. I understand that Jones has become the Mayor’s (and indeed the deputy Mayor, Phil Wilson and a host of councillors) newest gay accessory.  He’s actually been quite clever and getting in the ear of all and sundry and using the ‘Chris Carter’ line of “I am being picked on because I am gay.”

From what I hear Bews-Hair is more than a little bit of a homophobe (which is slightly ironic but that is another story).  From the tipline I have been advised that Bews-Hair finds the fag hag behaviour around Glyn Jones disgusting all round.

So it seems that like most of those endangered blokey right wingers in the Labour party Bews-Hair is also being strung up by the much talked about ‘gaggle of gays’ and self-interested unionists.  Typical really. Jones gets caught out playing nasty games (and I continue to get stories via the tipline smearing Bews-Hair) and the target of all this gets punished for being vaguely competent.

If I have learned anything about Bews-Hair, he will be patiently plotting his revenge. But much more importantly, if you want Bews-Hair’s cunning at your disposal, make him an offer. My guess is you will get him dirt cheap.

Mallard’s Complaint and Len’s office

The Herald ran today an article about Mallard lodging a complaint with the Auckland Electoral Officer about the $15,000 donation by Sky City to John Banks’ mayoral campaign. I have been mulling it over and something just doesn’t seem right here.

You see, in my investigations into James Bews-Hair and Conor Roberts I’ve found some interesting dots that need to be joined.

There are some interesting Labour Party dynamics at play. It is clearer by the day that the Auckland wing of the Party are done with all the beltway politics that is being played by Shearer and his team (of almost resigned staffers).

We all know that in Auckland there is one person who knows more about the Auckland Mayoral campaign than anyone.

We also know that there’s another person rather close to the current Mayor who wrote Sky City’s donation policy (refer to previous post about chequebook lobbying)

It does raise questions why the two gentlemen above would feed the information about the dual Sky City donations (ie: one to Brown, one to Banks) to the serially disloyal Mallard and not to their own man Shearer (has everyone forgotten that Roberts ran Shearer’s campaign for the by-election while Bews-Hair worked with and was Shearer’s boss in Goff’s ministerial office).

Clearly from Auckland they can sense the tide going out on Shearer’s leadership. They’ve given up on their own man, their own mate, the guy they helped install.

The real question is why are they feeding Mallard? Roberts is determined to complete the hatchet job he’s done on Banks’ political career. Bews-Hair is always a more difficult one to work out. May be he has got bored or may be he is backing the other team and wants his old mate (and former employee) Goldsmith to be MP of
Epsom?

As for the complaint. It will come down to what Sky City says they told Banks (about the donation).

Hmmm… and will Banks vote against the Sky City pokies/centre deal? Bloody unlikely.

Shining Light into Dark Corners, Ctd

Case study four in our series on James Bews-Hair, current Principal Policy Advisor to Mayor Len Brown and ‘mate’ to Conor Roberts.  Still nothing from Conor…

During his time apologising for ruining families at Sky City, Bews-Hair also became a very accomplished practitioner in the, only ever very dodgy ,realm of chequebook lobbying. I am told that he came up with, and got board agreement to, a donations policy for Sky City that made the related transactions seem open and transparent, but at the same time created the framework where he could skulk around dingy political corridors in both New Zealand and Australia with a cash-flow supercharged chequebook tucked away in his crumpled cheap suits.

The thinking was that if you made all donations above the disclosure threshold, and made sure they were fully disclosed, you could never be accused of buying anything you shouldn’t. To compliment this, Bews-Hair and others within Sky City went out of their way to tell people how there was actually nothing to buy when it came to donations.

Then he set about buying things (covered by the policy that he made sure everyone knew about) through small multiple untraceable donations. Reports are murky but apparently Peter Dunne, and whatever he called the party he was pretending to lead at the time, benefited greatly for all its help. Curiously, Anderton’s make believe party also benefited healthily. As did a number of bits and pieces MPs, all at a cost and all in total contradiction of the policy he pretended to be so proud of developing.

As a result of the cash flowing into Labour’s bank account, Mike Williams was apparently summoned to talk to managing director Evan Davies and Bews-Hair on almost a weekly basis during Labour’s (largely failed) attempt to review gambling. No wonder Sky City was granted an eye-stingingly profitable monopoly through Labour’s ban on new casinos. True to form, Sky City was outraged about this ‘gift’.

In South Australia, the rattle of coins into the trays of political parties was just as effective. Insulating the family wrecking machine from savage attacks was only part of it.  In Australia they have real unions with real balls, who know how to set a strategy and stick to it.

Presumably, Bews-Hair tried to find someone as dumb as Darien Fenton in Adelaide (a futile search).  Instead, Bews-Hair worked out that the biggest political beneficiary of any political success for Labor in the State wasn’t actually his good mate Mike Rann but the head of the Liquor Hospitality and Miscellaneous union – Mark Butler (now a federal Cabinet Minister). Having become very (very ) good friends with the Labor state secretary (Tim Hunter), Bews-Hair ensured that Butler was involved in every discussion about potential donations. Surprise, surprise all the predicted Union trouble Sky City would face taking over the Adelaide casino magically disappeared. All open, all above board, all disclosed.

You have to wonder what else this sneaky, attention hating  Bews-Hair is prepared to pay for.

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Shining Light in Dark Corners, Ctd

Case study three in our series on James Bews-Hair, current Principal Policy Advisor to Mayor Len Brown and ‘mate’ to Conor Roberts.  Still nothing from Conor…

During Bews-Hair’s time developing the Far North as the new destination for the mining industry, Bews-Hair also seemed determined to make the place one big GE-laboratory.

His initial problem was the Far North was a founding member and driving force behind a whacky scheme to use Councils RMA responsibilities to impose much tighter controls on Genetic Engineering trials than the national framework provided for.

The Far North had not only come up with the kooky plan and formed a regional group with like minded hippies from other Councils, but they went further and signed a memorandum of understanding with GE Free Northland.  The MOU basically said the Council had to find a way to ban all GE experimentation. The agreement was packaged up as a compromise to get the District’s problematic District Plan operable.

True to form Bews-Hair started a plan that was designed to simultaneously dismantle and construct.

Through Bews-Hair’s Economic Development Strategy, he set up a unique regional relationship with the Crown Research Institutes (who were involved in GE research).  The relationship was so unique that the Association of Crown Research Institutes (ACRI) had its first ever meeting outside of Wellington in little old KeriKeri.

All good for the Far North, but the workings of a true “Waitakere Man”.  Unlikely.  We certainly need more of his ilk on the Right.

Shining Light into Dark Corners, Ctd

Case study two in our series on James Bews-Hair, current Principal Policy Advisor to Mayor Len Brown and ‘mate’ to Conor Roberts.  Still nothing from Conor…

Under the obsessive, pathological leadership of Ralph Gerdelan, coupled with a heavily anti-casino Labour/Alliance government, the Problem Gambling Foundation (PGF) was causing Sky City all sorts trouble and damage.

Bews-Hair, as Sky City’s Government Relations manager, had his work cut out for him.

He set about cultivating moderate members of the PGF.  He followed this action by setting up an apparently do-gooder Asian Advisory Group to build strong loyalties within PGF and the wider problem gambling community.  Bews-Hair then used a series of problem gambling research contracts to further extend his reach into the problem gambling community – a strategy that he had also put in place in South Australia.  He appeared as a “good guy” interested in the issue of problem gambling but was really manipulating people and resources to assist Sky City.

Now here’s the bit I’m told that very few people know.  Gerdelan, as head of PGF, was still causing Sky City a bit of grief.   Bews-Hair responded by using his wonderful network that he’d cultivated to gather all the dirt he could, including Gerdelan’s alleged penchant for using problem gambling funds to feed his horse racing habit.

To ensure that maximum damage was done to Gerdelan and the Problem Gambling Foundation, Bews-Hair quietly and facelessly made sure that the information was spread everywhere it needed to be.  The outcome being that Gerdelan was destroyed [resignation letter here], Sky City’s problem was solved and all Bews-Hair’s new do-gooder friends none the wiser and still believing that Bews-Hair was one of the “good guys”, in case he needed their help again one day.

You’ve got to admire his abilities, as I said, with this investigation I am starting to really like this guy.