Wayne Mapp

Now there is a good idea for patrolling the EEZ

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I remonstrated with Wayne Mapp at the time of the 2010 Defence White Paper release. In fact I called him an outdated silly old fool, which he didn’t like.

But basically the white paper advocated the continued use and reliance on hordes of people and equipment that required people to perform routine tasks. Mapp thought he knew best and tried to tell me that a P3 Orion with upgrades and some fancy new patrol aircraft would solve our problems in the EEZ.

I told him that drones and UAVs were the way of the future. Turns out I was right and Mapp has gone.

The Ministry of Defence is considering using huge drones to patrol Britain’s coastline to help replace the axed Nimrod surveillance aircraft.

A military team will travel to America this summer to train for two months on the US navy’s Triton reconnaissance drone which has the wingspan of a small airliner and can fly at a height of 10 miles for more than 24 hours.  Read more »

Judith Tizard set up dodgy funding board with secret Gifts and Inducements Register

All these years after being beaten by Nikki Kaye, Judith Tizard continues to be the gift that keeps on giving.  In more ways than one.

It turns out it was Tizard that set up the dodgy “Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board” that has been cutting and holding back funding from essential rescue services like Surf Lifesaving, the Coastguard and the Westpac Rescue Helicopter to funnel into the opera, the theatre and the orchestra.

What happened was this: Helen Clark wanted a way of funnelling money to the arts without politicians getting a say so got Judith to set up the board.  But National’s Wayne Mapp said National would only support the legislation – the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Act 2008 – if essential rescue services were also included.

The board members are mostly all Labour Party thespian luvvies and we’ll have more to say about them soon enough.

They have never wanted surf lifesavers, coastguard volunteers or rescue helicopter pilots and medics to get funding they think should go to flautists, sopranos and people who play pretend on the stage for a living.

Parliament initially said what each of the services should get – it was $1,500,000 each for the biggies, the orchestra and the rescue helicopter.

Since then, the board has cut money from the helicopter trust for its essential rescue service to give to the orchestra for new harps and pianos.

Here’s the funding graphs:

funding Read more »

What a stupid statement

Jonathan Coleman has said that any drone technology used or developed for the NZ Defence forces won’t be used to kill people.

Defence Minister Jonathan Coleman is downplaying suggestions the military could use so-called “drone” technology to attack and kill opponents in any future conflict.

The Defence Force has earmarked $600 million over the next 20 years to fund a “network-enabled army” that would include unmanned aircraft, robots and sensors to enable troop movements and health to be monitored.

Coleman said no papers had gone to Cabinet yet, but there was money in the long-term capital plan and initial advice was expected this year.

“Rather than have people with paper maps you’ve got to bring them into the digital age otherwise our troops will be disadvantaged in the field.” He said it was not about using drones as the United States had in Iraq and Afghanistan to attack specific targets.

What a stupid statement…the Defence Forces are there to kill enemies…what this fool has just done is tell our enemies that we won’t use any means at our disposal to kill them or their equipment. Before any of you pantywaists start asking who our enemies are…I class anyone who wants to rape and pillage our Exclusive Economic Zone as an enemy…sink a few fishing boats with a missile or two and they will stop trying to over fish.  Read more »

O’Sullivan on Pullar Scandal

ᔥ NZ Herald

Fran O’Sullivan discusses the stand-over tactics of Bronwyn Pullar and Michelle Boag.

Many New Zealanders will be disgusted at the clear suggestion Pullar was able to point to a well-connected bunch of National Party insiders, including Key himself, to try to screw a $14 million settlement from Sovereign Insurance for the damage she suffered in a cycle accident a decade ago.

Most people would not be able to tally up 28 well-connected names to champion their cause, let alone such influential people as Key, former National Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley, Sir Selwyn Cushing – a former National Party fundraiser – and former minister Wayne Mapp.

They were among those Pullar yesterday tried to explain were simply “a list of known people who were aware of my dispute with the insurer, and who the insurer may encounter in the course of their business”.

Anyone in the commercial world would regard the provision of such a list as an undue attempt to exert influence. It carries with it an implicit message of “don’t mess with me because I have friends in high places”.

Yet Pullar maintains the list was provided simply “in the context of us entering into negotiations to reach a confidential settlement. Provision of this list was necessary in case the insurer subsequently faced questions from these parties who had knowledge of the dispute”.

Frankly this is the deluded spin of a person whose own credibility has been shot to hell by Key’s denial that he was ever part of her web of influence.

Fran then shows up the ineptitude of Michelle Boag when it comes to trying stand-over tactics on ‘Crusher’ Collins:

Collins clearly pricked a nerve when she included the former National Party president among those who could have leaked the email.

The minister was simply pointing out those who had the email; herself, two ACC players and Boag.

But Boag did not engage her brain before telling the Herald her email was sent to Collins in the expectation it would not be sent to anyone else.

“I sent it to the minister only … and I asked whether it was a secure email address before I sent it,” the Herald reported, going on to quote Boag as saying, “When you can’t send a communication to a Government minister without fearing that the privacy of that communication is going to be breached, that’s very, very dangerous”.

In fact, Boag had earlier phoned Collins to say she had some information on the privacy leaks. Collins told her any communication would have to be forwarded to ACC.

Yet Boag went on to email Collins at her parliamentary address. The email was copied to one of the ACC Minister’s senior staffers.

It’s hardly surprising Collins – via her staffer – made sure ACC chief executive Ralph Stewart and ACC chairman John Judge were sent copies of the email, given Boag’s insistence the privacy breach should be investigated for the “sake of your ministry, your board and your CEO”.

To her credit, Collins did not let herself get drawn into the behind-scenes influence game.

Who is Boag’s “Faction”?

Despite leading National to its biggest ever failure, Michelle Boag still tries to put across that she is very well connected and well liked within National.

Her connections with the brat pack have waned, and after bringing down Nick Smith are non existent. She is still close to former MPs like Wayne Mapp, but has very few friends left in caucus. Murray McCully is big Boag supporter, and a man reputed to admire her total shamelessness.

Most of the last three intakes have seen through Boag, although she is known to have been close to Paula Bennett and shaken down donors for Nikki Kaye. Unfortunately for Nikki much of Boag’s stomp on everyone to get to the top has rubbed off on her, which is why Nikki is not liked or respected by her peers. Campaigning to get Wira Gardiner to be president built some links with Hekia Parata, but these links apparently soured when Boag was outed as a liar and Wira lost.

Boag’s major influence in the last few years has been over the board. Though she lost the fight to install Wira Gardiner she has propped up the failing regime of Peter Goodfellow. When Peter was going to be voted off the board by the members who regarded him as being next to useless, lazy and not a patch on the loved previous President Judy Kirk, Boag got hold of the PMO and told them as the PM had installed Goodfellow it would be a big defeat for him if Peter was kicked off the board.

Word was then put around MPs that Peter was to be saved and they were to tell their delegations they should vote for him. Boag is known to continue to trade off this relationship.

Boag has positioned an ally to take over from Goodfellow.  Alastair Bell is one of the leaders of the Buggers Muddle. Alastair is an amiable but useless twit of a man who served in the Prime Ministers Office in the 1990’s and was regarded by his peers of having a particularly good day if he managed to complete the Dominion Post crossword by 2pm. Given the rest of the staff managed to finish the crossword within 10 minutes Alastair was not a highly esteemed member of the team. It is reported that David Farrar could finish the crossword inside 5 minutes and complete a new Powerpoint presentation before Alistair had even found “two down”.

More to come tomorrow.

The Hypocrisy of Labour, Ctd

Labour and other assorted lefties are having a swipe at Judith Collins for appointing Wayne Mapp to the Law Commission. They suggest that she has done this for a mate. They clearly have no idea about who Judith Collins considers to be a mate, but Wayne Mapp wouldn’t even remotely qualify. This is simply a case of taking one for the team and having to put up the name because others have said you have to. She will be very annoyed that she now has to grimace and take it even harder.

However the rank hypocrisy of Labour is unsurprising in an attempt to try and get a hit on Judith Collins:

Labour leader David Shearer said the appointment needed scrutiny.

“The perception is that there have been a number of appointments made that have been close to National.

“These types of appointments might just fuel that perception – that National is looking after their own.”

Remember Mike Williams $240,000 worth of board positions anyone? Or indeed any number of patsy appointment of unqualified but loyal Labour supporters to positions.

Wayne Mapp at least is qualified for this position.

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Skyhawks sold

National has done what Labour failed to do despite three separate announcements over two election cycles, they have sold the Skyhawks:

Defence Minister Wayne Mapp has announced that a United States company, JDI Holdings, is going to buy the eight remaining Royal New Zealand Air Force (RNZAF) retired Skyhawk fighters.

“I am also announcing today that Aermacchis and Strikemasters no longer needed by the RNZAF will go to aviation museums around New Zealand,” said Dr Mapp.

“The Skyhawks, Aermacchis and Strikemasters are an important part of New Zealand’s aviation history and they will make fine exhibits in our aviation museums.”

Dr Mapp said agreement has been reached on a $7.9 million purchase price for the eight Skyhawks including engines and spare parts. The deal depends on approval from the US State Department.

“This is the resolution of what has been a long process,” said Dr Mapp. It is expected that JDI Holdings – which intends to fly the Skyhawks – will take delivery of the planes within six months.

Presumably this would be one of the assets that Labour wouldn’t sell under their new policy.

Where John Key is Vulnerable

John Key doesn’t like being put under pressure. He comes across as whiny when asked repeated questions about inconsistencies in his story.

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On Friday he was interviewed about the difference in his story on the SAS in Afganistan and Wayne Mapp’s story.

For a man who has handled just about everything this year very well he doesn’t do a great job here.

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Images of Conference – Yesterdays Men?

Simon Power, Gerry Brownlee, Wayne Mapp at National Party conference

North Shore Selection

This blog has a strict policy of not endorsing candidates, though it did endorse the “Anyone but Brent” candidates in Rodney.

The selection contest for the last safe National seat in the Auckland area is shaping up to be a race between broadcaster Maggie Barry and a former Auckland City Councillor.

Ms Barry is highly fancied for North Shore where Defence Minister Wayne Mapp is retiring at the November election.

Paul Goldsmith, a former press secretary to three Cabinet ministers, is her closest probable rival, but businessman Michael Single is said to be in with a chance thanks to his local credentials.

So for all five candidates in North Shore tonight good luck and you can rely on the National members to select the best person for the electorate.