Maurice Williamson

Herald busted manufacturing immigration story

This morning the NZ Herald ran a story by Jared Savage.

Investigations by WOBH can reveal that the Herald has sat on this story since October 2013.

A wealthy Auckland businessman was given New Zealand citizenship against official advice after a Government minister lobbied the colleague who made the decision.

Maurice Williamson, the Minister of Building and Construction, and Prime Minister John Key then opened the first stage of a $70 million construction project launched by the Chinese-born developer after he became a citizen.

The following year, one of his companies made a $22,000 donation to the National Party.

The Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) recommended that the citizenship application of Donghua Liu be declined on the grounds that he did not spend enough time in New Zealand or meet English language criteria.

At first blush this looks bad, but is it?

Well not really. Some pertinent facts have been left out from the story.

For a start there is nothing wrong with the Minister of Immigration or Internal Affairs exercising discretion – it is their right to do so is and it is written into the legislation.¬†Members of Parliament advocate for that discretion to be used constantly, and in some famous cases like Taito Phillip Field used as a matter of course by Labour’s immigration ministers.

But in order to obtain citizenship you must first have permanent residency, which is a much harder barrier to overcome. Read more »

3-D Printers finally crack the age old Alchemy problem

Alchemist

Alex Fansome‘s journalistic career hasn’t had one of its prouder moments.

For centuries alchemists have been looking for ways to turn substances into gold.  And according to Alex, 3-D printers are the way to do it.

This is an actual quote of the article: ¬† Read more »

When given the choice of telling the truth or telling a lie why does Winston Peters always choose to lie?

Winston Peters is now heaping more lies upon lies.

Yesterday he claimed Huka Lodge had been sold when the owner, A Dutchman, said it wasn’t for sale and the the Overseas Investment Office said it hasn’t been sold as it needs their approval and no approval has be sought.

Today he changes the lie and still insists it is for sale, again the the owner has said this is untrue.

Winston Peters is standing by his claim that one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist lodges is being sold, despite both the owner and the Government saying it is not.

During his state of the nation speech in Takapuna yesterday, Mr Peters claimed Huka Lodge, near Taupo, was being sold to Chinese interests, to gasps from some of the hundreds of North Shore Grey Power members listening.

Afterwards he cited real estate sources for his comments. “My informant says John Key has said to these people: ‚ÄėDon’t worry about it, we’ll smooth it through the Overseas Investment Office’.”

Later, Peters modified his claim to say the lodge was for sale.

But sale talk was quickly rejected by both the Beehive and lodge management.¬† Read more »

‚ÄúThere are many things I can accept about Winston Peters, but the one thing I cannot accept is he tells fucking lies.‚ÄĚ

Cameron wrote this last year, and it has stuck in my mind as one of the best pieces of writing I’ve seen him produce. ¬†Due to his unique place in political history, we are afforded a glimpse inside a meeting that became a pivotal point in New Zealand’s political history.

A meeting, the results of which continue to reverberate through the political landscape like thousands of aftershocks.

Had those present known what would happen to New Zealand Politics because of this, would they have made the same decision?

by Cameron Slater

…it was a dark and stormy night… really it was, as best I can remember. It was in Wellington in 1992.

I was in Murray McCully‚Äôs office, observing (I guess you could call it that) a most memorable event. It was the night that key members of the National party caucus met in McCully‚Äôs office to draft the expulsion motion to throw Winston Peters from their caucus and to set in motion his eventual resignation from the party and the forming of NZ First. ¬† Read more »

‘Big Gay Rainbow’ quote of the year

Maurice Williamson’s speech supporting the Marriage Equality Act and his comment about the ‘big gay rainbow’ haas won Stuff’s quote of the year.

A comment about an “enormous big gay rainbow” that was seen on the day Parliament voted on the marriage equality bill has been voted the quote of the year.

National MP Maurice Williamson‚Äôs speech in support of gay marriage has won the Massey University Quote of the Year competition with an impressive 38 per cent of the vote – the second year in a row the competition has been won by a Member of Parliament. ¬† Read more »

Selwyn Manning on Brown, time to go pal

Selwyn Manning is a left winger I respect. I have a lot of time for Selwyn and we have both had many good chats about politics.

How he managed to work with Martyn Bradbury I have no idea.

Nonetheless he has written an open letter to Len Brown at TDB.

LEN, THERE’S A RUMOUR BOUNDING about Auckland’s civic circles that the National-led Government is moving to remove you from office, to replace you as Mayor with a commissioner. Some even suggest a word has been re-whispered into Maurice Williamson’s ear.

Such rumours abound when a political jurisdiction is void of leadership. And remember Len, New Zealand needs Auckland more than it needs any of us.

Perhaps the rumour is a strong possibility. A sizable proportion of councillors are ready to express no confidence in you, in your leadership, in your rehabilitation.

Len, as such, the situation is untenable. It is time to go.¬† Read more »

Paddling Pool Police coming to a suburb near you

Sometimes you have to wonder about politicians allowing their officials to bring about stupid insane rules that are simply meddling in the peaceful enjoyment of ones own property. The Herald reports:

Parents with inflatable paddling pools could face $500 fines if they ignore council orders to fence them off or empty them after use under proposed rules to be unveiled today.

Building and Construction Minister Maurice Williamson will announce changes to the 1987 Fencing of Swimming Pools Act which, if passed next year, will introduce a new enforcement regime, including $500 fines for those who don’t fence off their pools properly.

The new law will mean any pool where the water is more than 30cm deep – even portable and inflatable – will need to be fenced off if they are left up permanently.

Under current laws, pools deeper than 40cm have to be fenced, but officials say the requirements have not been clear and are not happening in many cases.

The current laws are stupid and this is just allowing the creation of the Paddling Pool Police, jobsworths with clipboards. Instead of extending current laws we should be looking at abolishing them.¬† Read more »

Curran now wants auction stopped, demanding competition

Labour seems to be advocating competition here – but are they really?

What’s the alternative to an auction?

Government allocations?

Labour will write to the Commerce Commission to ask that it prioritises a competitive mobile market, which has been put at risk by Amy Adams’ decision to sell down the 4G spectrum, says Labour’s associate Communication and IT spokesperson Clare Curran.

‚ÄúAmy Adams‚Äô decision to auction the remaining 4G spectrum will cause long term harm to New Zealand‚Äôs mobile market, enshrining the dominance of one player and taking the country back to the bad old days of the 1990s. She is repeating the mistakes made by her predecessor Maurice Williamson when the then National Government favoured Telecom.¬† Read more »

Face of the Day

fotd

Is this the next Mayor of Auckland?

Brown is history.  Palino has been smeared by the media.  The field is wide open for a new mayor to stand.

Phil Goff has been indicated as wanting the job.

Rail Loop business case really wonky now after census

Len-FacePalm

The census figures are showing that Len Brown’s council plans for grandiose development, the unitary plan and the city rail loop are based on fantasy rather than reality.

Statistics Minister Maurice Williamson says new Census data which show that New Zealand population growth has halved since the last Census could prompt revision of Auckland’s infrastructure plans such as an increase in high-rise apartments and the construction of a city rail loop.

But Auckland Council is standing by its plans for growth, saying that Auckland is expected to grow faster than the rest of the country.

The council’s planning for the next 30 years is based on the prediction that the number of residents will grow by 1 million.

Mr Williamson said the first Census data in seven years indicated that this projection was far too high.¬† Read more »