Jonathan Coleman

Herald and tainted Journo continue to run lines for Kim Dotcom

The Herald and David “tainted” Fisher continue to shill lines on behalf of Kim Dotcom.

They have run a story today about some supposed new “evidence”.

Government minister Jonathan Coleman knew the FBI was interested in Kim Dotcom before his officials granted the tycoon residency – a revelation which has led to accusations he misled the public.

The accusation comes after Immigration NZ released a statement making it clear they told Dr Coleman about the FBI the day before the criticial residency decision was made.

Dr Coleman – now Defence Minister – is now facing calls to come clean on exactly what he was told the day before Dotcom was granted residency by Immigration NZ officials.

It emerged last week Dotcom was given residency in 2010 despite the SIS urging Immigration NZ to tell their minister the FBI was carrying out a criminal investigation into him and wanted the help of NZ Police.

Dr Coleman was briefed by Immigration NZ chief executive Nigel Bickle on October 28, the day before Dotcom was granted residency.

Dr Coleman distanced himself from the decision, saying it was made by officials. He said: “Ministers had absolutely no knowledge of any pending FBI-NZ Police investigation.”   Read more »

Roughan on Dotcom’s conspiracy theory

John Roughan damns David “tainted” Fisher with faint praise, this morning, for his big reveal that wasn’t.

Conspiracy theories may be mad but they are fun. When my colleague David Fisher unearthed documents this week showing how the Security Intelligence Service had cleared Kim Dotcom’s application for residency in New Zealand, only Dotcom could imagine that it did him much good.

The SIS had described him as a “bad but wealthy man” who was under investigation by the FBI, but let the application go through after a call from the head of Immigration New Zealand asking why they had it on hold. “Apparently there is some political pressure to process this case,” one SIS officer told another.

The director of the SIS was briefed at that point and it was decided Dotcom could not be blocked on security grounds. But they advised Immigration to talk to the police about the FBI investigation. The agency repeated that advice a few days later and went so far as to have one of its staff brief Immigration’s intelligence man before a meeting with his minister at the time, Jonathan Coleman. After that meeting, the immigration official could only remind his SIS contact that the residence category for “high rollers” was a Government priority.

So it would seem fairly clear how Dotcom got in. Immigration admits it did not talk to the police. Coleman is a nice man, a doctor, who would give anyone the benefit of a doubt. Dotcom’s wealth explains the “political pressure”.

If this week’s disclosure reflected badly on Dotcom, his own take on the events was even worse. His theory is that the SIS dropped its opposition to his entry at the request of the FBI who believed that once he was in New Zealand he would be within their clutches.   Read more »

Oh look, there was no “political pressure” now, Herald over eggs story

It looks like the NZ Herald and David Fisher have over egged their story about Kim Dotcom, with immigration officials denying any political involvement.

That isn’t stopping Grant Robertson making hay while his leader is hiding from press in Queenstown.

NewstalkZB reports:

The government’s denying it put “political pressure” on Immigration officials to grant Kim Dotcom’s residency.

It follows the release of SIS emails, showing agents wanted to hold off on the residency application because Dotcom faced investigation by the FBI.

But they quickly gave it the green light, after being told Immigration New Zealand faced “political pressure” to get it approved.

A senior Immigration official said the then-minister, Jonathan Coleman, was an “interested party” in the application, because the government wanted more “high rollers”, like the internet mogul, gaining residency

Dr Coleman’s not commenting on the revelations, except to say the decision to grant residency was made by the department, and not by him.

Immigration New Zealand now says there was “unequivocally” no political pressure on the case.

John Key’s repeatedly denied knowing anything about Dotcom until just before his arrest in 2012.

Read more »

Dodgy Indian businessman uses Bollywood star to rip off countrymen and Fairfax blames John Key & Judith Collins

Michael Field has an appalling hit job published by Fairfax.

I’m surprised the editors let it through.

Bollywood legend Shahrukh Khan had Prime Minister John Key to dinner and a clutch of National Party MPs got free tickets to his Auckland show last year, but now some of the city’s Indian businesses are demanding to know where the money has gone.

Khan, who is personally worth US$600 million ($705 million) and co-owns the Kolkata Knight Riders IPL cricket team, gave a lavish show at Auckland’s Vector on October 4, called Temptation Reloaded, with ticket prices ranging from $199 to $650.

Around 7500 people attended.

He was paid before he performed, but New Zealand Indians who put up money have been left out of pocket and gone to the High Court to wind up the company behind it all, Areddy Private Ltd.

So why is it relevant that John Key attended a dinner and some MPs got free tickets? Are they promoting the show? Are they responsible? Not at all, and yet they are all in the article…and there is more. Read more »

Here’s a contest David Cunliffe can enter…

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has launched ‘What did you do in the war, Grandy?’ a competition for New Zealand school students sponsored by the New Zealand Society of Genealogists.

“This competition represents a great opportunity for families to continue the momentum generated by Anzac Day,” says Dr Coleman.

“With so many younger people taking part in Anzac Day services and learning about those who served their country, parents and grandparents can help teach their children about their own ancestors and encourage them to submit their stories.”

Students can submit either a poster or a written piece outlining their ancestor’s contribution at home or overseas, in any branch of the forces, in any country.

I helped David get started with some of his family’s proud war history, so he should now have a good foundation to continue from.

 

Government boost Defence budget

The government has boosted the defence budget, not enough in my opinion but a boost nonetheless.

The NZ Herald reports:

The government plans to invest more than $500 million in the Defence Force over the next four years, Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

The investment followed several years of budget cuts which were outlined in a Defence white paper in 2010.

In the Budget next month, government would commit to $100.9m in operation funding for 2014/15 and a total of $535.5m over the next four years.

Dr Coleman said: “It is vital that the NZDF can continue to meet the Government’s requirements, whether it is carrying out humanitarian assistance and disaster relief work at home or in the Pacific, or contributing to wider global security efforts.”

He said the National-led Government had inherited a long-term funding gap from the previous government.

Asked whether government was now re-investing money to cover large Defence Force cuts since 2010, Dr Coleman said: “No, absolutely not.

“There’s been a savings programme as well that’s saved $204 million. Over time it will save up to $350 million.

Read more »

Rodney Hide on a dodgy union rorts and National’s lack of courage in taking on the unions

Rodney Hide discusses the dodgy union rort going on in the PSA:

For years government departments have been running a scam for the unions. The amounts involved total in the millions. The scam diverts your tax dollars away from their proper purpose to the union movement. The scam thereby indirectly assists Labour. It’s shonky.

The latest Government outfit engaging in the scam is Parliamentary Service. This is surprising. Parliamentary Service employs MPs’ staff and the many legions of people who make Parliament work. That includes MPs’ electorate agents, their office staff, the librarians, the cleaners and the messengers. To ensure a sound democracy and proper government the Parliamentary Service must be scrupulously fair and even-handed.

And here’s where it has fallen down. Badly.

The service has just settled a new Employment Agreement for all MPs’ support staff. The deal involves a kick-back for joining a union. There’s no other word for it. Staff who are members of the union receive a one-off payment of $1000. Non-union members receive a one-off payment of $500. The result is a $500 bonus for joining the union.

The two unions involved are the Public Service Association (PSA) and the Service and Food Workers Union (SFWU). The $500 bonus more than pays the annual membership fee.

Parliamentary Service dresses up the union bonus as reflecting “the significant input of union members to the process of developing and agreeing the terms and the agreement itself”. But that’s phooey. The payment’s purpose is to pump union membership and fatten union bank accounts.

These unions are highly politicised and the Service and Food Workers Union directly affiliates to the Labour Party and pays levies for the privilege. The union even had a vote in choosing David Cunliffe as the new Labour leader.

The union’s webpage runs the banner, “Let’s Change the Government!”  Read more »

Time to swing the axe, hard

Wellington sucks, in more ways than one, but it certainly sucks your tax dollars with a burgeoning and expanding public service.

I think it is time National revisits their targets as it is obvious that the state sector bosses think they can continue their empire building.

The Romans used decimation, reducing the ranks by 10% but I think it =needs to be harsher than that.

Wellington is home to more public servants than at any time since at least 2000 – and the capital has the greatest share of the bureaucracy since National took office in 2008.

Although National pledged and then made efforts to reduce “core” public servants in favour of “frontline” workers, the number of fulltime public servants based in Wellington rose by more than 900 in the year to June 30, 2013, to 18,493.

It is the largest number since at least 2000, and probably since major state service reforms of the 1980s.

Figures from the State Services Commission show that the number of public servants grew by 1155 to 44,500 in the year to June 30, with the vast majority of new positions in Wellington.

The rise means the capital holds 41.6 per cent of the public sector, the highest rate since John Key became prime minister.

Break out the axes and the scythes and start swinging.  Read more »

RNZAF purchasing new training aircraft

Beechcraft T6C Military trainer

Beechcraft T6C Military trainer

Unfortunately not the re-establishment of the fighter wing, but some new trainers.

Apparently a contract has been signed for the purchase of 6 new Beechcraft T6C to supplement the existing Beech King Air aircraft.

The US embassy posted this photo but it was removed shortly after.

Photo: US Embassy New Zealand

Photo: US Embassy New Zealand

Read more »

Is Phil Goff trustworthy?

Based on the evidence to date he is not.

I busted him lying about a briefing from the SIS, then I busted him again for breaching coroner’s suppression orders this year. On top of that it was Phil Goff who leaked the MFaT “gone by lunchtime” quote falsely.

So based on all of that it would appear that Phil Goff is actually un-trustworthy.

He confirmed it again today by misleading media and the public with selective leaks of confidential briefing papers. Once is a mistake, twice is deliberate, more than three tomes is a habit for untrustworthiness.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman has accused Labour’s defence spokesperson Phil Goff of misleading the public over defence spending cuts.  Read more »