Judith Collins

Josh Forman and his attempt to leak information from his government job

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Josh Forman

Josh Forman thought yesterday that he would try and nail the PM by releasing an email between me and him.

Little did he know that I had smelled a rat some days ago and set him up.

However over the course of the past month he has been sending me information that he came by in his role working in the state sector, specifically information designed to undermine CERA and the EQC, but especially Gerry Brownlee.

He states in his email suggesting a blog post and potential set of OIA questions the following from a temporary email account.

The Comedian <[email protected]>
To: camslater

Mon, Nov 10, 2014 at 7:20 PM

RE: OIA suggestion + Article suggestion

OIA suggestion + Article suggestion

When it comes to corruption, New Zealand does pretty damn well.

Where there are large amounts of taxpayers money available in a bureaucratic environment there is bound to be the occasional hiccup, but you would expect that processes would be in place to detect and deal with such instances.

This is a fair and reasonable expectation when you are dealing with a large, long established organisation such as ACC or Work and Income – while they have had their issues with largesse in the past, there has not been, to date at least the wholesale embezzlement of state funds.

What then are the safeguards that are in place when a small crown entity is forced to rapidly and massively up scale its operations, make up policy on the fly, deal with a complex disaster situation, while juggling the responsibility of dealing with billions of dollars in levy payers funds?

I’m talking about the Earthquake Commission and its primary recovery agent. Fletcher EQR.

What assurance does the public have that the organisation formerly employing 20 staff, which now has in excess of 1000 employees which has paid out almost $8 billion dollars in either cash settlements or repair works for earthquake damage in Canterbury alone, has put in place the safeguards necessary to ensure that the money is spent appropriately?

In short, there are no guarantees when it comes to EQC and EQR.

Today we submitted an OIA Request to EQC requesting specific information on it’s operations and seeking answers to the questions outlined above.

[REDACTED: 14 potential OIA requests, some defamatory in nature]

If intending to publish this I would appreciate if you could refer to me as your source close to the rebuild based in Canterbury and leave it at that. this disclosure and OIA suggestion puts me at significant personal risk.Do not identify me.

The Comedian

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Labour’s own Dirty Politics scam busted, Josh Forman and Annette King need to explain [UPDATED]

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Josh Forman

A while ago I was contacted by Josh Forman, who works for a state sector organisation closely linked to CERA and the EQC, for coaching as a blogger.

He wanted to set up a reasoned voice on the left, I thought this sounded like a good idea at the time.

I did however have some suspicions about his integrity and certainly his previous brushes with the law made me wary.

From the start he seemed in a hurry to get somewhere and was always looking for dirt on National MPs in order to make a name for himself.

He certainly wanted to attack John Key.

In his correspondence with me, he certainly outlined who inside Labour he was working with and he claimed a strong working relationship with Annette King. If you check their Twitter conversations they are certainly very friendly.

On Monday night there was a lot of chatter about the leak of the IGIS report into the SIS and the Prime Ministers Office.

He was emailing me asking questions about it. ¬† Read more »

Chisholm Report: The Lies And Smears of Fran O’Sullivan Part I

The Chisholm Report is very ugly for Fran O’Sullivan.

Lets take some of the allegations she has chucked around, often in a defamatory fashion in the past months:

First she said “Key Must Widen Probe

Was there a conspiracy to defeat the course of justice after the collapse of the Hanover Group of companies?

That’s the question the Government must address after the disquieting claims in relation to the attempts by the trio allegedly working for Hanover Finance to discredit the SFO and FMA and prime potential witnesses in any resulting court cases.

Ergh no…the Chisholm Report completely exonerated both Mark Hotchin and Judith Collins from discrediting anyone. ¬†Mr Hotchin in particular was found not to have funded or had anything to do with any of the above.

A cache of emails appears to reveal that three people – Carrick Graham, who was former Hanover Finance director Mark Hotchin’s PR man, tax lawyer and blogger Cathy Odgers (aka Cactus Kate) and blogger Cameron (Whale Oil) Slater – were running campaigns apparently on behalf of Hotchin to try to discredit the SFO and the Financial Markets Authority as they investigated the failed finance company.

No. ¬†Justice Chisholm found that no one was running campaigns “apparently on behalf of Hotchin to try to discredit” anyone.

Screen Shot 2014-11-26 at 12.02.03 am Read more »

Chisholm Inquiry – Four Answered Questions For Matt Nippert

Matt Nippert is keen to keep flogging the dead horse that is the Chisholm Inquiry. ¬†He asks four questions that he thinks are unanswered. No one outside the small selection on the Beltway could possibly care about this heading into the second 24 hours but…

Here at Whaleoil we are particularly keen to help the infirm, bewildered and lazy so will answer them for Matty.

1. Who didn’t the Inquiry hear from?

Hong Kong-based blogger Cathy Odgers, ruled by Chisholm to have been part of a campaign to undermine Adam Feeley, was allowed to provide a “very detailed” written declaration in lieu of interview.

And former Hanover boss Mark Hotchin, despite his offer to talk from overseas via video link, was also not interviewed. At the time of the email the SFO was investigating Hanover, and the investigation was eventually dropped with no charges laid.

Cactus¬†provided a voluntary highly detailed 7,500 word statement to the Inquiry. ¬†She never at law even had to do that because she was never forced to appear at the Inquiry. ¬†Justice Chisholm accepted all of her¬†statement as evidence. ¬†The fact that Fran O’Sullivan called Justice Chisholm in her slag column¬†a “respected” High Court Judge should mean that his accepting of Cactus’ evidence should be the end of it. ¬†Cactus wasn’t called to the Inquiry formally for an interview most likely because O’Sullivan had already tainted the Inquiry with her vile attacks on three witnesses to it¬†as soon as she could reach a keyboard. ¬†Mark Hotchin wasn’t called to the Inquiry because Justice Chisholm already had all the information he needed to draw a conclusion. ¬†Along with Judith Collins he was completely exonerated in the Inquiry.

2. What information wasn’t considered?

“The absence of telephone records for Mr Slater’s calls is surprising given that both Ms Collins and Mr Slater confirmed that they phoned each other often,” Justice Chisholm said.

So here we have a journalist questioning a “respected” High Court Judge after the Judge has gone to the effort of conducting a very extensive Inquiry, breached ¬†privacy to gain evidence and Nippert¬†thinks that this isn’t good enough after 99 pages? ¬†If Justice Chisholm was unhappy with the evidence he obtained then he damn well would have asked for more. He wasn’t the sort of man who would have held back and the painful length of his interviews proved that. ¬†The¬†Inquiry was already intrusive enough anyone staying awake long enough to read the report should see that. ¬†¬† Read more »

Yes you were, and I’m sorry

I have privately apologised to Judith Collins some time ago.

But Judith Collins has come out today to say she was let down.

She was, by me…and as she knows I am sorry about all that transpired.

But I now say publicly what I have said to her privately.

National MP Judith Collins says she is “very pleased” by what she described as a thorough inquiry, after a report into Dirty Politics allegations found no evidence the former justice minister acted inappropriately.

But says she’s been “let down”.

Ms Collins resigned her ministerial portfolios in the lead-up to this year’s election after an email emerged that appeared to link her to a blog campaign to undermine former Serious Fraud Office boss Adam Feeley.

Prime Minister John Key initiated a government inquiry into the matter, headed by High Court judge Justice Lester Chisholm.

The inquiry found that while Ms Collins had provided information about Mr Feeley to WhaleOil blogger Cameron Slater, “there was nothing improper about the provision of this information”.

Ms Collins said it was up to the Prime Minister whether she was ever reinstated as a Minister. ¬† Read more »

Not guilty, and indeed still Honourable (and some impertinent questions)

Here’s the report, for those of you who would like to have a read.

ng

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Chisholm Inquiry: NZ Herald undermined Adam Feeley

Yes here is a headline you won’t read in the NZ Herald.

I will let the report speak for itself.

IMG_5385 Read more »

Collins exonerated, title restored, now put her back in cabinet

As expected Judith Collins has been exonerated by the Chisholm inquiry. The fit up job on her has failed.

Former minister Judith Collins has been cleared of allegations she was involved in a smear campaign against former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) chief executive Adam Feeley.

In a report released today, Justice Lester Chisholm found there were “efforts” to undermine Feeley by two separate groups, but there was no evidence to suggest Collins was part of that.

The first group was made up of some current and some former staff of the Serious Fraud Office. A second group comprised right-wing bloggers Cameron Slater, Cathy Odgers and lobbyist Carrick Graham, with Slater taking the leading role in that group.

“Except for her association with Mr Slater, Ms Collins was not involved in the activities of these groups,” Chisholm’s report finds.

An email dated in 2011 from Slater, obtained and released by Prime Minister John Key, implicated Collins in the smear against her own official, saying she had been “gunning” for Feeley.

Collins resigned a few weeks before the election, insisting she would clear her name, and Key called an inquiry.

Slater countered by lodging a privacy complaint against the prime minister for disclosing a personal email. Key has since apologised to Slater for releasing the email, but said he stood by his actions.

The email indicated Feeley may have been the target of a campaign to undermine him involving two bloggers, Cathy Odgers and Slater, and seemingly endorsed by Collins. At the time, Collins was overseeing the SFO, and the State Services Commission was investigating Feeley’s actions. ¬† Read more »

Compare and contrast

via RNZ

via RNZ

Guilty of breaking the law, but even then he’s just kidding around.

Mr Brownlee has been stung $2000 for breaking security rules at Christchurch airport while trying to make a flight in July.

He says he accepts the findings and has learned his lesson. Read more »

Does John Drinnan actually read what he writes?

John Drinnan is a fool.

His latest column mentions the decision b the Press Council to open up membership finally to online media.

This is interesting because in current proceedings before the Human Rights Review Tribunal I have¬†told I can’t be a journalist because i’m not a member of a voluntary regime like the Press Council, but the lawyer ignored the problem that until last week I couldn’t possibly join because their constitution wouldn’t allow it.

I also had to battle that premise int eh High Court, but fortunately Justice Asher saw through that attempt, not so you would know it from the perspective of the Human Rights Commission.

The idea of expanding the Press Council’s reach has been around for years and was given a boost after the Law Commission suggested digital media should join a combined media standards organisation, in return for receiving legal protections available to journalists. Then Justice Minister Judith Collins – a close friend of Slater – quashed that plan.

However the Press Council has since gone ahead with a scheme to represent digital media and blogs under its own steam, and that was unveiled this week.

But the ethics of bloggers and the media in general have come under deep scrutiny since Dirty Politics was published. Neville said it was clear in Press Council rules that publishers could not be paid for editorial.

“There is a grey area now with so-called native advertising, which is meant to be quality journalism which stacks up on its journalistic merits, even though it is sympathetic to one party.”

There were questions about whether the Press Council should have jurisdiction over native content, or if that should be covered by the Advertising Standards Authority.

Dirty Politics author Nicky Hager said the Press Council was getting into complex waters judging digital media on the basis of individuals rather than articles, and deciding whether they were journalism or not.

“My fear would be what could happen is that unscrupulous blogs could be given credibility but not end up with any accountability.

“Sometimes people are publishing public relations, and sometimes journalism,” he said.

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