Rick Barker

Dodgy Socialist Council Gives Staffer $84,500 Pay Rise

Regular readers will know we think the Hawkes Bay Regional Council is exceptionally dodgy.

They are the regulator and promoter of the dodgy socialist dam in Central Hawkes Bay, and have bullied opponents to the dam in a totally shameless way that will become a media story.

They are also the ratbags that allowed the CHB District Council to pour brown “treated” sewage into the Waipawa River.

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Effluent pouring into the Waipawa river

Now they have paid their CE who has left to push the dodgy socialist dam through the dodgy consents process another $84,500. The non socialist members of the council have said this is a disgrace.   Read more »

Dodgy socialist council has two sensible members

Looks like two councillors have told their ratbag chairman to go jump over his insistence to wear ties at the Hawkes Bay Regional Council.

Two Hawke’s Bay regional councillors have defied their chairman’s request to wear ties to meetings, turning up in open-necked shirts despite a request they dress up to deal with the “formal process” of council business.

Last month, council chairman Fenton Wilson made a “request, not a demand” of the seven male councillors that they all wear ties to meetings after three turned up without them.

One of the three men who was called out last month, Rick Barker, said at the time he was happy to comply with the request and arrived for yesterday’s meeting wearing a tie.  Read more »

Dodgy Socialist Ratbag wants Politicians to Look Dodgy

Dodgy socialist ratbag Fenton Wilson, chair of the dodgy Hawkes Bay Regional Council, reckons that he wants other councillors to look as dodgy as he does.

He is telling them all to wear ties, even though everyone knows that ties are a badge of dodginess. The only people who wear ties these days are real estate salesmen, lawyers and politicians, the whole lot of the dodgy.

Hawke’s Bay regional councillors have been given a dressing down … about how they’re dressing down.

At the first ordinary meeting of the newly-elected council, held in Napier yesterday, three of seven male councillors arrived wearing jackets and open-neck shirts.   Read more »

The Three Amigos

While the Auditor-General continues to look into the Bill Liu affair and the involvement of Shane Jones it might be useful Shane’s Facebook photos to see the light of day.

Given he’s under investigation for his connection with Bill Liu, it’s quite fascinating that 3 of the folk in this cosy Facebook picture are all involved in the same citizenship for cash scandal.

Rick Barker
Dover Samuels
Shane Jones

I’ve taken the liberty of adding some speech bubbles:

Random Impertinent Questions

With the Prime Minister now talking openly about stripping Yong Ming Yan/Bill Liu/Yang Liu of his citizenship:

The Prime Minister says New Zealand citizenship could be stripped from a mysterious Chinese millionaire who obtained a New Zealand passport despite multiple identities.

But it would require the use of special discretionary powers.

Everyone knows that “Yong Ming Yan” or “Bill Liu” isn’t who he says he is.

It’s now an open secret he uses a variety of different names, identities and aliases, including to obtain a New Zealand passport, and he was helped by his friends in the Labour Party.

Despite this, he still remains a New Zealand citizen. So the question is: does this damage the integrity of the Kiwi passport?

“That’s probably the reason why this matter is now before the Auditor General and clearly Shane Jones has got some big questions to answer,” says Prime Minister John Key.

It isn’t just Shane Jones that needs to answer some questions as well. But before he answers those questions he needs to sit down Shane Jones and get to Dover Samuels and Rick Barker and ask them the following questions…and not just take their fob off answers…he needs to really dig down intot he questions in case they come back to bite him on the arse.

So what are those questions he needs to ask?

  • Did Dover Samuels, Rick Barker and Shane Jones ever receive any donation to or for their campaign/election accounts? If so were they declared?
  • Have they received any payments either directly or indirectly via close relatives into an account controlled by themselves or controlled by a close relative?
  • If such payments were received were they declared to IRD, the Electoral Commission and/or other statutory authorities?
If I were David Shearer I would be wanting proper answers to those questions.

Auditor General to investigate Jones

ᔄ NZ Herald

The Auditor General has announced that she will investogate Shane jones over the Bill Liu cash for citizenship scandal:

The Office of the Auditor General has announced it will conduct an inquiry into Labour MP Shane Jones’ decision to grant citizenship to Yong Ming Yan in 2008.

A statement from the Office of the Auditor General said Francis Cooke QC would lead the inquiry into Mr Jones decision to grant citizenship against the advice of Department of Internal Affairs officials who had said he did not meet good character requirements, had multiple identities and was under investigation by Immigration at the time.

The terms of reference include the policies and practices of the Department of Internal Affairs in advising Mr Jones, how and why Mr Jones decided to grant citizenship and any other matters the Auditor General considered desirable.

The OAG noted that the inquiry was being done with the agreement of Mr Jones, who has not commented on the decision. The decision on Yan was delegated to Mr Jones by then Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker who passed it on due to a potential conflict of interest because he knew Yan.

Contrary to David Shearer’s request to just look at the decision process the Auditor General will also look at teh decision and will presumably investigate Jones’ claims of torture, death and organ harvesting for Bill Liu should he be sent back to China.

This of course is where Jones is in terrible trouble because as a Permanent Resident there was no possibility of Bill Liu being sent to China just because he didn’t get citizenship.

Some good questions

ᔄ Kiwiblog

David Farrar raises some very good questions for Shane Jones to answer…if he can:

  1. Who was this official who told him this? It wasn’t by some chance Daniel Phillips was it, the brother of Shane Te Pou – the Labour fundraiser who got paid $5,000 to help get Liu citizenship
  2. Does having citizenship in any way impact whether or not one can be extradited to China over the fraud charges laid against him?
  3. If one truly believes you face execution and persecution in your home country, don’t you apply for asylum not citizenship?
  4. But if one applied for asylum, wouldn’t that actually require some substantiation of the claims that he was Falun Gong and fearing for his life, with adjudication by an independent tribunal, rather than Ministerial discretion as with citizenship?
  5. Has Jones or Liu or anyone at all ever produced a shred of evidence that he actually faced anything in China except a fraud trial?
  6. Does anyone seriously think Liu would have been granted citizenship if he had not donated to various Labour MPs, who advocated so strongly on his behalf?
  7. Is anyone else curious about why Liu paid Labour Party fundraiser Shane Te Pou $5,000 to fill in a citizenship form for him? That’s a lot of money for filling in a form.
  8. Is the more likely explanation that he paid Te Pou the $5,000, so Te Pou could use his political influence to get him citizenship.
  9. Is it a coincidence that Te Pou immediately introduced him to then Internal Affairs Minister Rick Barker
  10. Is it also a coincidence that a donation to Dover Samuels election campaign was made from an unknown Chinese entity using the address of Daniel Philips, who is Shane Te Pou’s brother and worked for Shane Jones

I agree with David, and since Shane Jones also welcomes and inquiry, let’s be having one then.

A Crisis of Leadership

It is hugely ironic that Labour is making leadership an issue in the lead up to the budget on Thursday.

I say ironic because Labour appears bereft of leadership.

With the Bill Liu/Shane Jones cash for citizenship affair making its way through court and the political beltway it can;t have been a surprise to labour that this was going to cause problems.

Phil Goff certainly has known about it for all the time he was a minister, and leader of the opposition. He would have been hoping and praying it didn;t come to court while he was leader.

Shane Jones has certainly known about it, he was even called to give evidence on Monday. So it is somewhat bemusing to watch Labour, Shearer and Jones claim that they know nothing except what Shane Jones has told us and he has told us he can’t remember much as it was 4 years ago.

Let’s hope he was more forthcoming with evidence in the court room than he has been so far with the general public.

Given that this case can have been no surprise to labour, after all it involves Shane Jones and David Cunliffe but also other Labour names including their fundraisers, you have to wonder why David Shearer has been caught flat-footed and stumble mouthed over the whole issue.

It just shows how politically out of touch Labour’s leadership has been for some time.

Bryce Edwards though sums up Shearer’s dilemma he created for himself:

Quickly accumulating unwanted baggage is a reality for most travellers. On his journey towards the Beehive’s 9th floor David Shearer, the “non-politician” elected with no political baggage, is quickly getting weighed down.

Shearer’s office, along with Government politicians, are no doubt poring over the Labour Leader’s previous statements about political corruption in light of the daily revelations about Shane Jones’ involvement with William Yan (aka Bill Liu), currently on trial in Auckland. Revelations in court yesterday show the link goes further than just Jones, as Shane Phillips (also known as Shane Te Pou), a professional Labour Party fundraiser, had close links with Mr Yan, taking Yan on a trip to Hawke’s Bay which included a visit with then Labour Internal Affairs minister Rick Barker. His brother also worked in Shane Jones’ office.

David Shearer unwisely tied his leadership to a now meaningless statement about avoiding “gotcha” politics. No sooner had he uttered those fateful words, he was jumping in boots and all playing “gotcha” politics like a pro. That lack of political nous and leadership displayed right there will see David Shearer forever marginlised and mumble-mouthed when it comes to ethics. But if you are going to call others to account then you must also hold your own to account.

David Shearer has painted himself into a corner and bizarrely he chose the paint and the brush. He must live with that and start to show some of the reputed leadership skills he was supposed to bring to the job.

If he fails in this most basic of tasks, then he is dog tucker and labour crisi of leadership will continue.

Guest Post – David Garrett

Another Guest Post from David Garrett:

Correlation causation and  crime – the effect of active policing and sentence enhancement

When I was in parliament I sometimes  had  coffee with Rick Barker, a fellow member of the Law and Order Select Committee and a damn good bloke. Rick told a  great story illustrating how correlation and causation can be confused – even by those who should know better.

During WW II, no bananas were imported into Britain, they presumably being deemed not to be an essential food, or just not readily available. After the war, banana imports resumed – and it was noted that within nine months or a year,  the birth rate had sharply increased. For a time, banana sales went through the roof, as its “aphrodisiac” qualities became widely known. It was apparently some years – and after a couple of studies found no basis for bananas enhancing fertility – before it was realized that banana imports and rising birth rates were just a coincidence. The birth rate had risen  not because of bananas, but because at the same time  more and more young men were “de-mobbed” and came home to their wives and girlfriends.

When crime plummeted in New York State following the introduction of “broken windows” policing, those on right said smugly that the reduction in crime followed logically from more intensive policing. Those on the left said falling crime rates were just like those banana imports – changes in policing policy had nothing to do with it.

While  it  is now pretty much over in the US, for ten or fifteen years the debate raged, with lefties “feverishly searching for the ‘real’ reason crime rates plummeted”, to quote the late Dennis Dutton. Any  reason would do -  because surely it couldn’t be simple old style policing. Could it?

All sorts of “reasons” were suggested to explain away the precipitate drop in crime, from “demographic bubbles” passing through the population, to the crack epidemic which had been plaguing New York and other states waning . And of course  the now famous “more readily available abortions” theory suggested by economist Steven Levitt. This theory of cause and effect is in Levitt’s ‘Freakonomics’ and  his paper “Understanding why crime fell in the 1990’s: four factors that explain the decline and six that do not.”  in ‘Journal of Economic Perspectives’ Vo. 18, 1: pp. 163-190

Leftist commentators always focus on the “more readily available abortions”  factor Levitt identifies without ever mentioning two things: that the abortion  ‘factor’  is number four on his list of four; and the two factors  to  which Levitt  ascribes most of the reduction are more police per capita, and much greater use of punitive sentencing policies.  While almost every one knows New York is the home of “zero tolerance policing” a.k.a. “broken windows”, it is less well known that New York state also  has “sentence enhancement” laws, of which three strikes is one variant.

While lefties often derisively refer to the US experience, I suggest we can learn a lot from that country – both what works and what doesn’t.  Those who have traveled widely in the US quickly realize that to a considerable extent it is a land of fifty different  nations. The Boston Brahmins have about as much in common with the good old boys of Louisiana and Tennessee as New Zealand’s effete artistic elite have with banana growers in Far North Queensland.

So what does the US experience tell us about how best to reduce crime?  The most obvious lesson is that a combination  of more police on the streets and  sentence enhancement of one sort or another makes the biggest impact.  This is the major lesson from the New York experience;  it is that state which has seen -by a considerable margin –  the greatest reduction in crime of all types since the 1990’s.

Secondly,  sentence enhancement works. Levitt himself, the darling of the left – at least on this  issue –  says so himself. Twenty six states have introduced  “three strikes” laws which vary widely in their ambit and effect. Some states  – such as California – use their  laws far more than others do. With a couple of exceptions, there appears to be a close correlation between the usage of three strikes laws and the level of crime reduction: those states that apply their laws more have seen much greater reductions in crime of all types than those states which do not.

For the left, this is of course an “inconvenient truth” to borrow from Al Gore, but it is a truth nevertheless. It has often been said – including  by commenters here on Whaleoil – that the drop in crime across the US, and in other countries in the western world is “unexplained”.  What they really mean is if you discount the obvious, then no-one can agree on any other explanation.

Those with both common sense and a degree or two find the lessons from the US clear: put more police on the streets and lock serious felons up for longer, and crime will drop. In the last two years we  have introduced a three strikes law, and put more police on the streets of South Auckland which has the highest levels of crime in the country. And as a result,  those crime rates are falling, along with prisoner numbers. God help us if the socialists get their hands on the levers of power in 2014.

Hacks Hired to Help

Labour is looking to the past in their review for the future:

The Labour Party has called on several friendly external advisers to help with a major review of its organisation, including US-based academic Rob Salmond and technology businessman Selwyn Pellett.

Labour leader David Shearer and President Moira Coatsworth set out the scope of a review of the party organisation and its processes yesterday – including its membership structure, list ranking process and party involvement in policy formulation.

Mr Salmond and Mr Pellett are both on an advisory group, called “critical friends,” which Ms Coatsworth said would provide critical advice and input to the review.

Mr Pellett, chief executive of Imarda and co-founder of Endace, has spoken at Labour conferences about economic reform and supported the party. However, he was critical of Labour before the 2008 election, saying then leader Phil Goff should step down.

Other “critical friends” included current MP Parekura Horomia, former MPs Margaret Wilson and Tim Barnett and former British Labour MP Bryan Gould.

Ahhh a corporate beneficiary, failed MPs, two academics, a pie eater….the prospects of any dynamic suggestions seems dim.

Ms Coatsworth said Labour’s membership was currently in the mid 50,000s but much of that was made up of affiliated union membership.

The review will be led by another team, who will consult and meet with members. That group includes current MP Nanaia Mahuta, former MP Rick Barker, Ruth Chapman and Mark Hutchinson.

Mr Horomia and Ms Mahuta are the only current caucus members with formal roles in the review.

Labour has nowhere near 50,000 members. I’d like to see the membership forms from them. This is nothing less than a fraud by counting affiliate memberships. Labour should move to get rid of affiliates, if they don;t then the government should as part of the electoral law review that always follows elections look at restricting donations and membership of politicals parties to natural persons only.

I just hope that Labour has put aside plenty of funds to fund Parekura Horomia and Nanaia Mahuta’s penchant for pies.