Michelle Boag

Why is David Cunliffe So Useless, Ctd

Cunliffe - Sh_t

Two weekend polls showed what every astute observer of New Zealand politics knew.

David Cunliffe has had not cut through, and has not improved Labour’s share of the vote.

Whatever excuses are made up the polls tell the truth, and even if Labour run a competent campaign compared to 2011 it looks increasingly difficult for them to form a government post election. ¬† Read more »

Palino for Mayor? Yeah… naaaaah

The Herald on Sunday are trying to revive the political corpse that’s John Palino

Last year’s defeated Auckland mayoral candidate is not ruling out another tilt at the mayoral chains.

“I’m keeping that open,” the restaurateur told the¬†Herald on Sunday¬†yesterday. “I get people often, pretty much every day, saying: ‘I hope you run again’.”

Palino, speaking at length for the first time since the election, said the decision would be made in about 18 months. “Depending on where I’m at, what I’m doing with my partner, my family and ‚ÄĒ hopefully ‚ÄĒ having children.”

In comments likely to frustrate his critics, Palino reiterated he’d had no advance or detailed knowledge of mayor Len Brown’s affair with Bevan Chuang, a liaison that sparked the country’s biggest sex scandal in years.

Auckland wants to get rid of Len Brown so badly, it will accept anything that comes along that doesn’t look like it is going to work them over.

Palino isn’t such a man. ¬†He’s severely tainted and doesn’t deserve to have a second go, no matter how early his image revitalisation run is started with the help of a paper that is looking to work its way into the next mayor’s office. ¬† Read more »

Brian Edwards on Shane Taurima, Linda Clark and Conflicts of Interest

My good friend Brian Edwards has this to say about Shane Taurima and his actual conflict of interest:

There was nothing terribly complex about Shane Taurima’s situation with regard to his job as Head of TVNZ’s  Maori and Pacifica Department once he had, albeit unsuccessfully,  sought the Labour Party nomination for the Rawhiti Ikaroa seat following the death of Parekura Horomia. Taurima had very publicly nailed his political colours to the mast. In doing so he had effectively disbarred himself from any further involvement in News or Current Affairs broadcasting with the state broadcaster. The potential conflict of interest could not have been more clear.

Television New Zealand apparently did not see it that way. Perhaps they thought that Taurima’s failure to actually win the nomination made all the difference. He had been a would-be Labour candidate, not an actual Labour candidate.  (And, as it turned out, would be again.) That rationalisation is so facile as to be laughable. Taurima was politically tainted. He should not have been re-employed in his previous role. But he was.

When he took things even further and  turned his TVNZ office into a Maori/Pacifica Labour Party branch, Taurima did his employer a favour.  Without actually hanging portraits of Savage, Fraser and Kirk on the walls, the conflict of interest in which he and others in his department now found themselves could not have been more patent. To his credit, Taurima had the grace and good sense to resign.

He resigned because the case was so clear cut there was no other option. Unfortunately for Shane Taurima he thought Labour would stand by their electorate chair, instead they have given him the cold-face and turned their back.

There is actually nothing new about all of this. The list of television and radio  broadcasters working in news and current affairs who are or have been simultaneously engaged in activities which conflict with their obligation to be and be seen to be utterly impartial in all matters relating to their jobs, is extremely long. They may well be in the majority. Conflicts of interest among such practitioners abound.

Read more »

Vernon Small on Labour’s “issues”

Yesterday Vernon Small wrote about the biggest issue facing Labour ahead of this year’s election.

Well the biggest problem after the issue with their tits leader….rejuvenation…or rather the lack of it.

¬†In politics rejuvenation rates alongside succession planning. Both are easy catchcries and generally seen as “a good thing”.

In reality they are a type of parliamentary Nimby-ism – nice to have if it is someone else who is vacating a seat, and fine as long as you are not the leader whose replacement is being groomed.

On the National side of the aisle rejuvenation is in full swing. At last count 14 MPs have either gone or are going out of a caucus of 59. It is generally accepted as a worthwhile and necessary refreshment of the party. Certainly it is being handled well and without any overt bloodletting. No dummies have been spat in the remaking of the National caucus.

Of course if the polls were different it would be a different story. Shave a theoretical five points off the Government and give it to the Opposition and the narrative might be akin to the “rats leaving a sinking ship” theme that Labour leader David Cunliffe has tried to get up.

But that just looks lame when the last three polls had National harvesting enough support to govern alone.¬† Read more »

Dodgy CV Cheat run out of town

Good news, isn’t it? ¬†Sadly, it’s not David Cunliffe, but CV embellisher extraordinaire¬†Michael Vukcevic.

It seems that the difference to keeping your job and losing it comes down to the quality of spin doctor you employ. ¬†Brown and Cunliffe got their money’s worth, whereas Vukcevic got Vukd.

The Deputy Chairman of the NZ Middle East Business Council, Mr Stewart Germann, announced today that the Council had accepted the resignation of Michael Vukcevic from its Executive Committee effective immediately.

Mr Germann said he would take over as Chairman until the next AGM.¬†‚ÄúMr Vukcevic has been an energetic and committed participant of the Council during¬†his more than six years of involvement, and was in fact a founding member of the¬†organisation,‚ÄĚ he said. ¬† Read more »

Why does a dodgy CV in the private sector get you sacked but not as an MP?

Yesterday the news was all about the ‘sacking’ of Michael Vukcevic from Baldwins law firm over a dodgy CV.

My sources tell me that a private investigator was used and the partners fully briefed on the revelation of that PI. As a result Mr Vukcevic left for ‘personal reasons’.

My sources also tell me that it took less than half a day for all records of Mr Vukcevic’s employment at Baldwins to be expunged from their website in what looks like a cleansing operation.

So, that raises interesting questions, like what else was in the PI report.

But is also raises questions generally about the use of dodgy CVs by high profile people. ¬† Read more »

Dodgy CV leads to shameless spin which leads to more questions

Yesterday both major news outlets ran stories of a dodgy CV used by the former CEO of Baldwins, Michael Vukcevic. It is hugely ironic too that Michael Vukcevic was previously head of anti-corruption group Transparency International.

Phil Kitchin at the Dompost wrote:

The chairman of an influential business council with close links to the Government’s bid for a Middle East free trade agreement is a CV fraudster.

Fairfax NZ can reveal that Michael Vukcevic – head of the Auckland-based Middle East Business Council – falsely claimed to have a law degree from Victoria University.

Mr Vukcevic was also a director of anti-corruption agency Transparency International when he lied in his successful bid for the top New Zealand job at multinational law and patent firm, Baldwins.

The fraud will embarrass the firm, which was last year a finalist in the New Zealand Law Awards for a second year in a row.

It will also embarrass the Government because of the ties between the council and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and NZ Trade and Enterprise.

As chair of the Middle East council, Mr Vukcevic rubs shoulders with powerful figures from MFAT – including Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

The council’s current executive includes former Young Nats president Daniel Fielding, and the vice-chairman is Auckland lawyer Stewart Germann. Former National Party president Michelle Boag advises the executive.¬† Read more »

The kiss of death

Last night on the Paul Henry Show Len Brown received the kiss of death.

The Kiss of Death for Len Brown

The Kiss of Death for Len Brown

Michelle Boag was sitting there explain why her good pal Len Brown, I say good friend because she was calling him Len the whole way through, will remain in his job despite public opprobrium at his mere attendance at events.¬† Read more »

I figured out why the Sochi Winter Olympics are such an omnishables

Mikaela Boag

Mikaela Boag

They’ve got Boag consulting for them.

Wallace Chapman confirms he was asked but declined Dotcom party

Wallace Chapman has confirmed to Rachel Glucina at the NZ Herald that he was asked to stand for the new Dotcom Party revealed today to be called The Internet Party.

He declined to stand for them, which is wise considering who it appears is now behind the organisation of the party.

Wallace Chapman has turned down an offer to stand for Kim Dotcom’s new political party.

The broadcaster was approached by a party insider – who he won’t name – but declined the offer because he’s not interested in entering the political fray.

“I was asked to put my hand up for the Kim Dotcom party, and I was hugely humbled to have been asked, but I said no. I’m fascinated with politics, but I’m not interested in standing as leader or as a candidate for a political party. I’ve never joined a political party and I’m quite proud of that,” he told The Diary.

Chapman, a radio and television broadcaster, fronts Back Benches, a political interview show on Prime. He is leaving RadioLive to take up the reins of Radio New Zealand’s¬†Sunday Morning¬†show, which he says is yet to have a start date.¬† Read more »