Michelle Boag

It really is time for an Independent Commission Against Corruption

Screenshot -One News Michelle Boag

Screenshot -One News   Michelle Boag

The Saudi sheep saga just gets smellier and smellier. Now it smells of rancid mutton.

It is high time we had a proper Independent Commission Against Corruption to sort out bad smelling stuff like this.

Labour is accusing the Government of making a $4 million “facilitation payment” to secure a free trade agreement – a practice it says is illegal in other countries.

The $4 million was paid to Saudi businessman Hmood Al Ali Al Khalaf as part of an $11.5M investment in his farm in Saudi Arabia.

Mr Khalaf lost millions when the export of live sheep for slaughter was banned in 2007 and the Government has confirmed diplomatic relations with Saudi Arabia were “poisoned” as a result.

Saudi Arabia put a free trade agreement on hold and it still hasn’t been signed.

The $11.5M investment was to build an agriculture hub on Mr Khalaf’s property to showcase New Zealand equipment.

Official papers describe the $4M as a “facilitation payment” and Opposition parties have zeroed in on that.

Foreign Minister Murray McCully authorised the payment, and in Parliament yesterday Prime Minister John Key was asked whether he still had confidence in Mr McCully.

“Absolutely,” he replied.

Read more »

Dirty deeds done with sheep: Bribery, Lying and Michelle Boag

The Dirty Deeds done with sheep saga (I refuse to call it Sheepgate) is getting smellier and smellier.

NewstalkZB carries the headline “McCully accused of lying, bribery

I wonder what Red Radio will say if NewstalkZB is carrying such a headline?

Foreign Minister Murray McCully is being accused of lying and bribery after admitting a threat of legal action by a Saudi businessman was withdrawn a year before he was delivered a multi-million dollar payout.

Hmood Al Khalaf, a prominent Saudi Arabian businessman, received $11.5m in taxpayer dollars for his demonstration farm in the Saudi desert. The opposition claim he got the cash in compensation for New Zealand banning live sheep exports in 2003 and not dropping the ban when National returned to power.

It’s also alleged that Al Khalaf ensured a free trade deal between the two countries failed.

A legal threat was made by the businessman, with the help of lawyer Mai Chen, rumoured to be worth $30m. Yesterday, McCully admitted that the threat had been dropped by the time the payment was made.

McCully had previously used the potential legal threat to justify the payout.

Labour Party trade spokesperson David Parker claims the Foreign Minister has mishandled the whole incident.

“He’s misleading, he’s misleading his cabinet, he’s wasted millions of dollars of government money and he has paid a facilitation payment in order to advance the Saudi free trade agreement which in other countries is called a bribe,” he said.

Parker believes the government being sued was never a real possibility, as it was outside the time limits on when legal action could be taken.

“This deal was done in 2013 therefore any course of action had to arise from 2007 and later. I’ve gone back to 2005, these excuses from mister McCully are utterly baseless.”

Read more »

Dirty Deeds Done with Sheep: Random Impertinent Questions

1. What is the NZ Middle East Business Council?

2. When was it set up and why?

3. What is the role of Michelle Boag in the MEBC?

4. What is Michelle Boag’s expertise in international trade?

5. What is Michelle Boag’s expertise in the Middle East and had she ever been there before taking up her role at the MEBC?    Read more »

Fat Tony on Northland

Mike Williams aka Fat Tony has a column in the Hawkes Bay Today about Steve Joyce’s Northland debacle.

MAKE no mistake, the outcome of the Northland byelection last Saturday is a political boilover of seismic proportions.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters won one of the National Party’s safest seats with an election night majority of more than 4000 votes, erasing a National Party majority of over 9000 votes in the general election just a few months before. Winston Peters’ final majority is likely to increase when the nearly 1000 newly-enrolled special votes get included in the total.

This 13,000 vote turnaround is unprecedented in our political history, but it is the internal dynamics of Peters’ triumph that should give Prime Minister John Key and National Party campaign manager Stephen Joyce pause for very serious reflection.

Apart from a governing party losing a safe seat, two statistics set this contest apart from any previous byelection. About half of the voters chose to cast their ballot before election day and the level of participation was huge.

The early voting phenomenon is unprecedented, and it exceeds a trend in recent polls.

The turnout level is a genuine abnormality. It has been a rule of thumb for years that byelection turnout levels are half of the previous general poll. The Christchurch East byelection saw 13,000 electors vote compared with the 28,000 who had voted in the previous general election.

This is the established pattern.

Northland broke that mould. With 28,000 voting in the byelection, this wasn’t much short of the 34,000 that voted in the general election five months before.

Read more »

Boag snatch to fund Sky City blowout?

boag-grinch

There’s a new candidate for who is paying Michelle “The BoaganBoag and her offsider Cedric “Senile” Allan for their campaign to snatch $2.1 billion in Vector shares from the people of Auckland and South Auckland to give to Lyin’ Len Brown’s council.

Whaleoil still doesn’t quite believe it but its overloading the tipline so here goes: The theory is it’s SkyCity casino. Here’s why it could be true.

Since Friday SkyCity has been saying it needs another $130 million from the government to build its new National Convention Centre. Or else it’ll pull out of the deal. The government has to make the SkyCity deal work because all the rest of its convention centre plan is falling apart.

Steven Joyce seems to be saying he’ll open up some of his trough but not for the full $130 million and wants Auckland ratepayers to front up with the rest.  

In a world first, everyone from Lyin’ Len to Dick Quax have lined up and told Joyce to shove it. (The one exception is Cameron “Mr Fiscal Responsibility” Brewer who sounds like he’s had too many nights in the SkyCity corporate box.) Read more »

Who is paying for the Boagan’s $2.1 BILLION snatch?

business woman with lots of money

Everyone smart is running a mile from Michelle “The BoaganBoag’s plan to snatch $2.1 billion in Vector shares from Aucklanders and South Aucklanders to give to Lyin’ Len Brown for him to build his trainset.

But one question is still be to explored. Who is paying The Boagan, 60? And who is paying her offsider Cedric “Senile” Allan, 102?

These people don’t do anything for free. The Boagan even got Doug Myers to pay her when she was running for National Party President.

The tipline is running hot with theories. Read more »

Stuart Nash on the Boagan’s plans to nick the AECT trust

Stuart Nash has written a piece on Michelle Boag’s plans to nick the AECT funds to gift to Len Brown for his train set.

It is on a little read hate speech blog run by Wrongly Wrongson, the blogger formerly known as Martyn Martin Bradbury, and so deserves wider attention.

Move forward to 2014, and John Collinge is at it once again.  Collinge, backed by another former National party president Michelle Boag, and helped by Auckland EMA CEO Kim Campbell, is trying to gather support for a scheme that would steal the shares off the people of Auckland for good.

Their miserable plan, as I have been led to believe, involves pressuring the National government to introduce legislation that would allow the shares, worth around $2.1b, to be nationalised, and then gifted back to the Auckland City Council for them to sell – to the people of Auckland and overseas buyers.

Let’s put this into perspective.  This year the AECT returned a $335 dividend to all shareholders (75.1% of whom are the people of Auckland). This is a most welcome bonus to many who are currently struggling with the extremely high costs of living in Auckland.

Vector is an incredibly progressive and innovative company and so this dividend is only going to grow.  Why sell it?  This is about ideology – and a massive disconnect by some wealthy individuals who simply have absolutely no idea at all how important $335 is to a huge number of Auckland families.  Read more »

A Chamber board member writes about AECT

boag-grinch

There is much scrambling occurring behind the scenes after Michelle Boag’s little plan to raid the AECT consolidated fund and hand the cash to Len Brown was rumbled.

A humber of people named are now backing away from the plan, and some feel they have been mis-represented by their attendance at Kim ‘The Clown’ Campbell’s little meeting the other day.

Clearly people are frustrated at the Boagan’s old school whispering campaign and it looks and sounds like the Chamber is running a million miles away from her nationalisation/theft scheme.

One Chamber of Commerce board member writes:

Dear Cameron,

I have long been a reader of your blog, and appreciate that you have a desire to put the truth out in front of your readers.

I also understand that you suspect the motives of some people, and use your blog to raise these issues into the sunlight.

I know that you accept that you don’t always get it right, and have, in the past, been happy to acknowledge this, and apologise accordingly.

Your recent attack on Michael Barnett and the Chamber of Commerce is one of those errors.

I am not a neutral bystander in this, and write as someone who chose to be a Director of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce. This choice was made through years of watching the way the Chamber, and Michael work.

The Chamber is the rational voice of business within Auckland. An organisation which works to make sure that the physical and political landscape is shaped to serve the interests of Auckland, by ensuring that the business environment is the best it can be.

This is not an easy task, and for many years the Chamber has worked away to ensure that business has a rational and respected voice.

Michael has been a voice promoting initially the need for significant transport projects in Auckland, and then promoting the debate on where the funding will come from. Auckland faces a dramatic shortfall in funding for transport projects whether or not the Central Rail Link is built.

Government has accepted the Central Rail Link case, and has said that it will provide funding when certain conditions are met, and after a certain date if they are not.

The debate that needs to happen is for Auckland City to determine where it will source its funding, and how it will achieve that.

The only way for this to happen fairly is to bring all of the options on to the table, and work out which ones are available for use. Read more »

Christmas Countdown: Boagan Dwarf Three – Michael “Dopey” Barnett

barnett-elf copy

Michael “Dopey” Barnett

There’s still six days until Christmas but the early presents for Whaleoil readers keep on coming.  Today’s gift is a cracker –  the story of Boagan dwarf number three, Michael ‘Mayoral-Wannabe’ Barnett.

Auckland readers will of course know Mr Barnett as the face of the Auckland Chamber of Commerce.  If you don’t really understand what the organisation does, fear not you’re not alone. I can happily confirm their key role is to organise business lunches and breakfasts.   Kim The Clown Campbell is a regular attendant.  The Mayoral Wannabe actually celebrates his 25th anniversary at the Chamber this year.  What better way to party than to steal a cool $2.1 billion off the people of Auckland.     Read more »

Christmas Countdown: Boagan Dwarf Two – Kim “The Campbell Clown” Campbell

Kim_Campbell

 

There’s a bit of a change of plan.  Kim “The Campbell Clown” Campbell made such a goose of himself on Larry Williams last night we’re looking at him today rather than Michael Barnett.  But don’t worry, we will deal with all The Boagan’s friends soon enough.

For those just catching up, the story goes like this.  It looks like Michelle “The Boagan” Boag is working for someone like Hawkins to try to get Lyin’ Len’s trainset underway sooner rather than later.

The Boagan and John “The Dining Table” Collinge, now 104, have a decades-old feud with Warren Kyd and other members of the Auckland Energy Consumer Trust (AECT) – the outfit that owns $2.1 billion in Vector shares in trust for the people of Auckland and South Auckland, and which pays them a Christmas dividend of $335 a house each September. Read more »