Sean Plunket

Helicopter Hater Update: Vern’s Vendetta

Readers will know all about arts luvvie and Labour Party activist Vern Walsh.  He is to troughing what Jesse Owens is to athletics, Mohammed Ali is to boxing, Sir Don Bradman is to cricket, and Babe Ruth is to baseball.  A man with his snout so deeply in the trough, he’s made it all the way to Spain.

Vern is the chairman of the Auckland Council’s dodgy funding board that has cut funding to the Auckland rescue helicopter service by over $1,000,000 or 70% to give to Dame Rosanne Meo’s philharmonia.

He’s the guy who admitted to Sean Plunket that the board doesn’t have any criteria about what to fund and not.  They just make it up as they go along.  And they are careful not to have any register of what free arts tickets they get or their other troughing.

But Vern’s not content with just cutting the helicopter funding he controls.  Now he’s trying to stop anyone else from funding the rescue helicopter either.

My deep-cover spies in the Mayor’s Office report that Vern has been making a nuisance of himself, hanging around the Ngati Whatua Room, ever since his councillors made him realise Aucklanders wouldn’t stand for their rescue helicopter being cut to fund more $85,000 arts junkets.

When the mayor managed to fit him in on Wednesday, Vern tried to tell him it would be illegal for the council to fund the rescue helicopter service.  Not even Brown fell for that.

So it looks like Vern skulked off for a leak to the Horrid.   Read more »

Hooton and Trotter discuss Labour’s poll results with Plunket

Chris Trotter and Matthew Hooton interviewed by Sean Plunket on RadioLive about Labour’s crisis.

Trotter says Labour will lose even more votes.  He is scathing of David Cunliffe’s Leadership.

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Meet Helicopter Haters #3 & #4 : Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva

  This is NOT Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, but it is a good example of the Business Class travel Auckland ratepayers have paid for them


This is NOT Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, but it is a good example of the Business Class travel Auckland ratepayers have paid for them

And now for the third instalment of Whaleoil’s exclusive “meet the helicopter haters” series: our old friends Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, who got into trouble as Auckland Councillors in 2006 spending $85,000 on a month-long, council-paid, business-class extravaganza visiting – you guessed it – art galleries, museums and sports facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Paris, Bilbao, Barcelona, Prague and Berlin. These guys are world-class troughers.

Their extravagance was so over the top that it even drew criticism from then mayor, the hapless Dick Hubbard.

But, as usual, an update of yesterday’s developments:

  • Vern Walsh, the chairman of the helicopter-hating Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, gets David Benson-Poped by Sean Plunket on Radiolive, admitting his board uses no criteria for allocating funds and no register of what freebies they receive and from who
  • Rescue helicopter boss and all-round good bloke Murray Bolton responds in the morning by asking the Auditor-General to investigate Vern’s comments and then in the afternoon sues him.
  • While Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye has publicly backed the rescue helicopter, there’s still silence from Len Brown and the Labour Party.
  • The Herald carries the story for a second day in a row

There are six more members of the dodgy funding board to be featured but, for today, read this and weep:    Read more »

Perhaps the best talkback call of the year

This has to be the best talkback call of the year.

The funny thing is it was a member of the Whale army who confessed to me a couple of days laters it was him. I told Sean Plunket over a beer, which was a silly thing to do since he sprayed it out his nose.

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Rodney Hide on Colin Craig and his loopy supporters

I’ve been saying for ages that most of the people who support Colin Craig re single issue nutters who see his new party as the latest vehicle to push their particular barrow….calling them band wagons is far too generous.

They are the sort of people who declare that they are sick of National so they re off to Colin Craig without actually analysing politically nd economical wwhat the fool stands for. The answer is not much actually…he stands for letting other people have a say. We know this because he is equivocal on bat shit crazy conspiracy theories…he should dismiss them out of hand…but he hasn’t.

Rodney Hide describes precisely what I am talking about in his HoS column.

We had 49 members. I was anxious to make 50. My phone rang and, joy of joys, she was keen to join. Her only concern was battery hen farming. She would sign up but we had to commit to freeing the chickens.

I explained that Act’s commitment was to less tax, more personal responsibility, and that battery hens hadn’t come up. I suggested that perhaps Act, sadly, wasn’t for her. I lost my potential 50th member.   Read more »

Plunket talks about ratbag pirates

Sean Plunket discusses the 30 alleged Greenpeace pirates currently held in Russia.

I’ve never been held in a jail cell but it is, I imagine, not a very pleasant experience. I also imagine Russia would be one of the worst places to find yourself incarcerated, along with North Korea, Myanmar, El Salvador and China.

Certainly the 30 Greenpeace activists from 18 different nations currently held at the pleasure of Vladimir Putin’s government are finding the going pretty rugged.

Among their various complaints is the fact that it is cold, there are some nasty people in jail with them and the guards do not speak English. Well what did they expect – Sky and a sauna?

One cannot imagine that the crew of the Arctic Sunrise headed to the Arctic circle to illegally board an oil drilling rig with the expectation that a country with a long history of state repression and brutality was going to welcome them with open arms, put up its hands and cease drilling for black gold because a bunch of well-intentioned foreigners are worried about global warming, polar bears and whales.  Read more »

PPTA see kids as political footballs, advocating educational apartheid

Angela-Roberts

October 1 – 3 sees the PPTA hold their annual conference.

In their paper dedicated to Charter Schools – among pages of diatribe and nonsense – starting by called the new schools a “stalking horse” – the PPTA politburo are advocating the passing of a remit stating:

“That this conference instructs PPTA members to refrain from all professional, sporting and cultural contact with charter schools including their sponsors, managers, and employees.”

Brilliant – stop kids playing sport and participating in cultural exchanges with other kids…all because their parents made a choice. What will they do next? Ask Charter School students to wear gold stars on their uniforms so everyone can know who they are to extend the ostracism?  Read more »

The Collective?

Cunliffe-of-borg

David Cunliffe referred  to Labour as ‘The Collective’ on Radio Live today with Sean Plunket.  Read more »

Plunket on Key vs Campbell

Sean Plunket tried to get fellow Mediaworks employee onto his radio show last week to explain his tumble from grace, but to no avail.

Instead Plunket has written an opinion piece for the Dompost about the interview.

I wasn’t even a working journalist when Sir Robert Muldoon uttered the famous line, “I love you, Mr Lange“.

It was July 1984 and Ian Johnstone was moderating the final televised leaders’ debate of the snap election between just two party leaders, incumbent prime minister Sir Robert and ebullient Labour leader David Lange.

Thanks to the wonders of the internet 30 years on I could watch the whole thing again this week. Not so I could get all dewy eyed about my lost youth but rather because this week I saw for the first time in three decades a television encounter which matched that debate in terms of utter dominance for one participant and defeat for another.

I’m talking, of course, about the mighty John-off on TV3 last Wednesday night, Campbell v Key on the GCSB.  Read more »

Hunter becomes Hunted, Plunket challenges Campbell

John Campbell is usually all over twitter spouting forth with his pearls of wisdom…today it is total silence.

Sean Plunket tried this morning to get his comments on Radio Live…I blogged about that earlier.

Then he called him…   Read more »