troughers

Len Brown backs his Auckland ‘embassy’ staffer

Len Brown is a fool, firstly he comes up with a lamer excuse than John Key and Jami-lee Ross and pretends he didn’t know about his own council spending hundreds of thousands of dollars for a staff member in London.

Now just 12 hours later he is telling an incredulous Bernard Orsman that he is fine with it all.

Auckland’s Mayor, Len Brown, today came out in support of the city council having its very own man in London, at a cost to ratepayers of more than $230,000.

Auckland Council’s economic development arm has created a special contract in London for one of its senior executives, Grant Jenkins, who has moved his family to England.

His English-born wife, Kate, was homesick and had been longing to return home for several years, according to a former council staffer.

The Jenkins have set up home with their two children outside London in the village of Bourne End in Buckinghamshire.

As well as paying about $196,000 for a 12-month contract, ratepayers are picking up Mr Jenkins’ work expenses and office costs at New Zealand Tourism’s headquarters in New Zealand House near Trafalgar Square.

Ratepayers have paid an administration fee of about $15,000 for his contract and contributed $19,841 to the family’s relocation costs.

Last night, a spokeswoman for the mayor said Mr Brown had been unaware of Mr Jenkins’ job in London.

However, Mr Brown came out in support of the contract after being briefed today by officials at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (Ateed).   Read more »

Steve Joyce is on a tax payer money giveaway rampage

Far from being a careful steward with our money, Joyce is being exposed as a bit of a spendthrift

Taxpayers will pay $1.9 million to bankroll the next two New Zealand Open golf tournaments despite the predicted economic return falling well short of the requirement for such a large investment of public money.

The Major Events Development Fund investment requires a return of $4.50 for each dollar handed out. The 2012 and 2013 golf tournaments, which received taxpayer contributions totalling $1.15 million, returned $2.55 for each dollar received, documents obtained by the Herald under the Official Information Act show.

The projected returns for the 2015 and 2016 events are in a briefing for Minister of Economic Development Steven Joyce.

But the figures have been blacked out in the version given to the Herald. The report does state that the expected returns “are lower than those that would be expected at the requested level of investment”.

Mr Joyce said the projected return was “just one of the things that is taken into consideration”.

Tax payers shouldn’t be propping up rich people.   What is it with the Government and sports like the America’s Cup and the NZ Golf Open?  Both of these attract extremely wealthy players, syndicates, companies and individuals, yet they think nothing of coming to the tax payer money trough and helping themselves. Read more »

Doug Sellman teams up with discredited troughers

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

Professor J. Douglas Sellman

While on the topic of prohibitionist and supermarket hater Doug Sellman, his organisation Alcohol Action NZ is gearing up for a big fight with the Government over the report of the Ministerial Forum on Alcohol Advertising and Sponsorship.

Travel and lifestyle blogger and pinko David Farrar commented on all the bans the forum recommended the other day, saying it was all a bit depressing, and that it will eventually end up with plain packaging for drinks and food.

Farrar’s post would have incensed Doug Sellman, who is now saying that Alcohol Action NZ is ‘sponsoring an independent expert committee on alcohol advertising and sponsorship (IECAAS), which is monitoring the work of the Ministerial Forum’. From this an ‘independent report’ will be produced. It’s worth a look to see who is on this so called ‘expert committee” that will produce an ‘independent report’.

Oh dear look who we have here. Read more »

Trougher of the Year Tries to Protect Patch

2013 TROUGHER OF THE YEAR Boyd Swinburn aka Boyd Swingeburn has emerged from the trough and is now complaining to all and sundry that scientists (i.e. him) are under attack.

He’s saying that ‘scientists that represent the voice of the public in policy making are being shouted down by large commercial interests and their views suppressed by attack campaigns”.

Nice to see that Boyd Swingeburn thinks he’s the “voice of the public”.

Maybe it’s the rarified air he’s sucked into his lungs at Lake Como, Italy that instilled in him the view that he’s the voice of the people.

He then bangs on about “a blanket of suppression is insidiously descending on the voices for public health”.

Maybe those voices are actually calling for accountability of the millions and millions of taxpayer dollars being hoovered up sending Boyd Swingeburn and his troughing mates on flash overseas holidays junkets conferences.

Now as the “voice of the people” Boyd Swingeburn is attacking the Government, saying Tony Ryall dismissed a letter from so-called public health experts upset that there’s an industry representative – former MP and head of the Food & Grocery Council Katherine Rich, on the Health Promotion Agency (HPA).    Read more »

Cry me a River

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While most people were out enjoying the sun, there’s a few troughers all upset over a new board game.

And guess where these troughers are from
 oh that’s right, the bastion of trougherland Otago University’s Wellington health promotion and policy research unit.

Moira Smith, who is very interested in research in the area of policy development, popped up on WOBH’s Trougher Radar in 2013 when she, alongside ex Ministry of Health trougher Louise Signal wanted to ban McDonald’s vouchers for kids and give them a stick of celery instead as a prize for player of the day.

Moira Smith is also very keen on advertising and marketing restrictions and for zoning by-laws around schools for products she doesn’t like.

unnamed-1 Read more »

Doug Sellman still whinging

Doug Sellman just doesn’t get it.

He has had a good long whinge in the Sunday Star-Times today.

He seems to think that freedom of speech only applies to him and that he should be free from criticism.share

He also gives Rod Oram a good old reach around, echoing Oram’s claims that I am somehow responsible for suppression freedom of expression when it is him who is seeking to have me, and Carrick Graham and now Katherine Rich silenced.

The fools should really look in the mirror.

But since he keeps on claiming that I am trying to suppress his idea we really should look at those ideas that he is pushing. Then you can see why it is that I push back against idiots like Doug Sellman and the stupid taxpayer funded ideas that they peddle.

And continue to run them we will, especially when idiots like Doug Sellman run off at the mouth claiming:

Watch out for the white van in #DirtyPolitics

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One thing Dirty Politics has done is feed the troughers with deep fears of a corporate conspiracy.

They don’t like it when people challenge them or run one up their expensive junkets to flash overseas destinations.

Troughers like 2013 Trougher of the Year Boyd Swinburn particularly doesn’t like people knowing where his latest overseas conference is located. He thinks it’s all right to take millions from the public purse and we should all be grateful.

No wonder the PM’s chief scientist is looking at code of conduct for scientists.

But just like in the movies, big corporations are now the enemy. And this suits the framing of the public health debate just fine.

In New Zealand a lot of this framing of the public health debate is out of well-known trougher hang-out the University of Otago in Wellington.    Read more »

Waaaah, waaah, waaaaah

imageStreamOver the weekend another union had a crack at WOBH.

This time it was the union uniting doctors and dentists in New Zealand (the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists), over posts exposing troughers like Otago University’s “F**k the Police” academic Lisa Te Morenga.

Lisa Te Morenga is well known to WOBH readers as the troughing academic who thinks Twitter is a platform to really let herself go and express herself.

Fair enough, and fair enough that Otago University allows its academics to mouth off and abuse people on twitter. Otago University is well known for protecting its troughing academics and allowing them to have ‘free-speech’.

But woe-be-tide anyone dare challenge them.  If you do, you get called a ‘hate merchant’.

Well, here at WOBH we’re prepared to take a bit of flack – valid or otherwise.

Yesterday Ian Powell, Executive Director of the Association of Salaried Medical Specialists (ASMS) issued a media release. He seems to have taken great offence with the word ‘trougher’.  Read more »

It’s not just our politicians on the bludge

Politicians the world over just cannot help themselves helping themselves to our taxpayer cash, especially when it benefits them directly.

We have seen Paul Foster-Bell, Claudette Hauiti and now David Cunliffe trough it up on travel.

We see the two main parties working out better ways to avail themselves for more entitlements.

Politicians, wherever they are from, become afflicted with entitleitis…they even use the same justifications.

The ”age of entitlement” is over, according to Treasurer Joe Hockey, but politicians continue to spend tens of thousands of taxpayer dollars on flights to sporting events, study tours, recipe collections and children’s books – such as Aliens in Underpants Save the World.

Department of Finance records show rising Liberal Party MP Jamie Briggs claimed almost $11,000 in entitlements over two years for travel to and from sporting events. For most of this period, November 2011 to November 2013, Mr Briggs was chairman of the Coalition’s government waste committee, established to highlight the mismanagement of taxpayer money.

His entitlement claims included:

■ $2800 last November for him and a family member to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where they attended Derby Day in the Emirates marquee.

■ $1600 last June to travel between Adelaide and Melbourne, where he attended an AFL game as a guest of BHP.

■ $2300 in December 2012 to travel between Adelaide and Sydney, where he attended the Australian Open as a guest of Golf Australia.

Mr Briggs said: ”Each trip was undertaken within the entitlement rules and publicly declared as required. They included meetings with a range of people related to my work as a federal member of Parliament.”

Read more »

David Cunliffe and his travel troughing

David-Cunliffe-piggy

Yesterday Andrea Vance rightfully gave Paul Foster-Bell a swift kick in the goolies for his troughing.

There was another MP though that significantly increased his travel expenses during a selection battle…David Cunliffe.

The Cunliffe had a large spike in his air travel expenses during the Labour’s got talent contest and shortly after then his air travel spending appears to have returned to normal.

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2013 – $7,208

April 1 – June 30 2013 – $8,538

July 1 – 30 Sept 2013 – $14,071

Oct 1 to Dec 31 2013 – $20,909

Jan 1 – Mar 31 2014 – $8,493

All this makes Grant Robertson’s attack on National yesterday somewhat an own goal.   Read more »