February 2011

Muckraking in Rodney

Not content with having his mates jack up the regional delegates in his favor, Scott Simpson and his pals are now really stooping low by touting that one of the candidates has a dodgy background that should be looked into. They say this as though the pre-selection committee hasn’t already done so. Worse one of those on the pre-selection committee is now one of the muck-rakers spreading the malicious rumours.

That same muck-raker who sat on the pre-selection committee that approved all the candidates is also a board member and is assiduously trying to have that candidate chucked out by the board. This same board member is now actively going around delegates suggesting this information should discount the candidate, even though he didn’t do this at pre-selection.

Not only that they have tried to shop to me the alleged dodgy information about the candidates background hoping I’ll do a hatchet job.

In the interests of front footing the allegations that have been leveled and presenting the information to all concerned I have decided to publish the links to the alleged dodgy past that Mark Mitchell has.

LINK: http://www.informationdissemination.net/2010/12/private-army-prepares-for-war-in.html

On the surface this appears pretty awful, but a more thorough check of Google reveals the truth of the matter.

LINK: http://wardheernews.com/Press_Releases/Puntland/Dec_10_TMG_Signs_agreement_with_Puntland.html

As everyone can now see there is nothing dodgy in this blokes past. He is actually trying to help the governments of Puntland in Somalia and Kuwait deliver a solution to the problems of piracy that is currently engaging a substantial amount of the worlds armed forces in combatting. Puntland encompasses the important Horn of Africa and so is in the front-lines of the battle against piracy.

Interestingly our own government is thinking seriously of sending a frigate up there to help in them battle with the pirates.

It would seem to me to be sensible that if we are considering sending troops and ships to Somalia to combat pirates then having someone in the caucus who knows the area might be a good idea.

As I have said this story has been passed to me so that I could run a hit on Mark Mitchell. As you can all see now there is nothing dodgy about this story, but the instigators of the smear campaign don’t want everyone to know the truth, just that there is something “on the internet”. It seems silly when a quick Google of Mark Mitchell’s name pops up the links for everyone to see. It isn’t like he is hiding it at all, unlike the surreptitious way this little episode has been spread around.

Frankly these tactics smack of desperation and shows clearly that Scott Simpson thinks that Mark Mitchell is a serious threat to him, so serious that he has tried to arrange a set up of top-up delegates and also someone to try and spike the candidate at board level. The most scurrilous part of all this muck-raking is that Mark Mitchell can’t respond to any of it because to do so would breach the rules surrounding selection. That is such a dirty low-blow, and they know it.

If you want to chuck muck then be very sure you get your facts straight otherwise it may just blow up in your face I should know about that, having been caught out before). Mis-representing the truth can often lead to legal action and I doubt that the board member concerned has my robust attitude towards legal action.

I haven’t named the board member, he knows who he is. So too do the delegates that he has seen in the past couple of days running this rumour.

If the behavior continues, though, then I will name the board member. While I am at it, I await with interest the new delegates list. I hope that Alan Towers has thought long and hard about his selections. I would have thought “communities of interest” would have been his catch cry. Alfriston is a long, long way from Rodney to highlight but one of his strange selections.

Auckland politics is dirty, but it needn’t be that way. I think the only sensible solution now for Rodney would be to have ex-presidents Kirk, Slater and Boag sit on a committee and decide the top-up delegates. If those three can agree on a delegate then you can be sure that the interests of the party and not a single individual will be met.


Not Mates – #Jetstar #eqnz

via the tipline

Hi Cam

Neighbours here in Ngaio here had promo airfares that they purchased from Jetstar at $8 per person to take the whole family down to ChCh to the Antarctic Centre for the day and then back to Welly.  A couple of hundy and the whole family would have an amazing day.  The tickets were to be used this Friday but then the earthquake hit.  They thought they should offer these tickets to ChCh people stuck in Welly wanting to get home cheaply and to ChCh people wanting to get out to Welly for a break.  So they call Jetstar.

A call centre in (Waggawagga?) Australia informs them that this is impossible as the tickets are non-transferrable.

Qantas/Jetstar – not mates!

Qantas/Jetstar continue to show us they are NOT MATES.

More Mates #eqnz

Lion Foundation are Mates. The Lion Foundation has confirmed $5 million of additional support for the people of Christchurch.

The Lion Foundation Chairman, Mike Smith said: “The Lion Foundation will work with the Government and the Christchurch City Council to ensure the most appropriate distribution of the funds. Our intention is for the majority of the funds to be provided to individuals, families and members of the community who remain in need. Our aim is to make a difference,”

“Along with all New Zealanders, we would also like to pay tribute to all the people within the emergency services, armed services, and volunteers who are working so very hard to save lives and improve the situation,” Mr Smith said.

It would be good if DB aligned charities would pony up a similar amount.

While we are at asking for cash, BAT and Phillip Morris could chuck some in too. Matching the Lion Foundation would be a good start.

Taking Two for the Team

Well now, seems that another of the tight six has, or is currently taking one for the team. Greg Hutt has lost his bid for continued name suppression. NBR and Jock Anderson has the story behind the paywall.

Name suppression has been lifted on businessman Greg Alexander Hutt, a second accused in a Serious Fraud Office probe into Accident Compensation Corporation property corruption.

Mr Hutt, owner of Wellington-based Hi-Tech Commercial Interiors, which did fitouts for ACC offices, lost a Wellington High Court appeal for continued suppression of his name.

Earlier this month ACC national property manager Malcolm David Mason (50), who worked for ACC for 32 years, admitted two Crimes Act and one Secret Commissions Act charges, relating to an ACC office building in Nelson.

Mr Hutt faces three charges alleging corrupt secret commissions arising from a payment allegedly made by him to co-defendant Mason – an allegation of corruption of a public official.

The allegations relating to Mr Hutt arise from property rentals by ACC.

Rejecting Mr Hutt’s contention that publication of his name would have serious effects on Hi-Tech’s business, Justice Ron Young said whenever a businessman was charged with some form of dishonesty, publication of his name was likely to affect their business.

“There is no principle that exempts those alleged to have committed white collar crime from the established approach to suppression of name accepting that each case must be assessed on its own facts,” Justice Young said.

In a judgment released to National Business Review today, Justice Young said: “There is nothing about Mr Hutt’s circumstances that, in my view, can be assessed as exceptional given the context of the crime he faces.”

The judge sums up nicely at the end:

After developing the companies over 20 years, Mr Hutt recently resigned as manager and director of Hi-Tech Commercial Interiors Wellington and Hi-Tech Commercial Interiors Auckland.

Justice Young said the public and especially government departments and other commercial enterprises Mr Hutt dealt with were entitled to know about the charges he faced.

Commenters on the NBR site made the follwoing comments:

Awesome result. Those who can do. Those who cannot cheat.
PT | Monday, February 28, 2011 – 4:30pm

Harpooned by a Whale.
Kaikoura Kid | Monday, February 28, 2011 – 4:47pm

Very apt comments those.




More Mates #eqnz

My mate is the CEO of ADRA NZ and he has provided me a list of companies that have provided  supplies to ADRA for their relief work in Christchurch. Noe of the supplies have been charged for, it is all donated.

Sanitarium – Sanitarium has provided logistics, transport, food, office space and fresh water from their bore in Christchurch to support ADRA’s relief work in Christchurch.

Cadbury – donated food and supplies

Colgate – general supplies, cleansing products

Greggs – Food supplies

Dole – Food supplies

Harraways – Food supplies

Abes Bagels – Food supplies

The Shelter Station – tents and shelters

Raepak – 10,000 10 litre collapsible water bladders

These companies are all our Mates. Please support these companies so they can continue to support Christchurch.

ADRA NZ also has an appeal fund set up. Any surplus from providing immediate aid will be donated to the Government fund.


Not quite Len

Len Brown appears to have got off scot-free from his nice little rort of the Counties Manukau Pacific Trust billboard. I say appears because if you read the Herald article they say he is in the clear.

The Audit Office has found it was not inappropriate for a charitable trust to allow Auckland Mayor Len Brown free use of its billboard to promote his mayoral campaign.

Except of course that isn’t what the Office of the Auditor-General said at all. They said:

You also told us that there was some debate about the request at the meeting. The trustees resolved to make the billboard available without charge to any mayoral candidate that made an approach for such use. This was subject to the billboard’s availability, and the Trust incurring no cost.

We asked the Trust whether it made this opportunity known to other candidates or their campaign teams as well as Mr Brown’s team. Mr Jeffery told us that the Trust did not formally do so.

Mr Brown was the only candidate to use the billboard, and did so when the billboard was available – which was for about five weeks of the campaign period.

So the Trust has a meeting, decided to allow the use of the billboard to all comers and then didn’t tell anyone about that decision, except for Len Brown who had at least two key members of his campaign team on the board. One of those campaign members and Trust member, Richard Jeffrey, is the same Richard Jeffrey who then went on to get a CCo board placement foisted on the council in secret by Len brown. He is also the same Richard Jeffrey who was in attendance at the now infamous Volare dinner, a dinner that Len Brown tried to keep secret until I went to the Ombudsman to force him to tell us the truth.

All the OAG has found is that the Trust followed a process and that they managed conflict of interest issues. The simple plain fact is that the Trust made a decision and then neglected (on purpose) to make the offer of billboard space to all-comers. That to my mind is still corruption, small scale but corruption nonetheless. The Trust favoured Len Brown’s campaign above all others. The OAG evidence is clear for all those who read it not just the bit about the perceived conflict of interest.


Palmerston North selection update

The selection for the new National party candidate for Palmerston North was held today.

Unlike all the dodgy shenanigans by locals and regional power brokers in Rodney the selection was a fairly straight forward affair.

Ultimately being local counted and Leonie Hapeta narrowly edged out Karen Rolleston for the nomination. Leonie will make a great candiate and short of breaking her ankle like she did in the local body elections will be out door knocing and securing the last provincial seat that Labour currently holds for National.

Leonie is a battler and can beat Iain Lees-Galloway.

Karen Rolleston is a very capable candidate too, and had she not been bullied out of Rodney by Brent Robinson and Cehill Pienaar may well have had a good crack at that seat. With some good sound advice and some fine tuning by a competent strategist she could well make a good showing soon in a selection closer to her home base of the North Shore. Karen can contect me for some suggestions.

All the best to Leonie Hapeta though, take the fight to Labour and tip out their lack-lustre candidate in November.

More Mates

Owen Glenn is a mate:

Kiwi entrepreneur and philanthropist Owen Glenn has donated $1 million to the Christchurch quake recovery fund.

Mr Glenn said today he was motivated to give because he was a New Zealander and he wanted to help in some small way.

“I grew up in New Zealand, it holds a special place in my heart and to see such devastation, such hurt and such loss makes you want to help,” he said from London.

“This donation is something I can do and I strongly urge other expatriate business people to do the same. We all need to pull together and while we are a small country, it is a country made up of people with huge hearts. That’s what gets you through in times like this.”

Israel are Mates:

Israel to send New Zealand emergency equipment, temporary shelters
Prime Minister Netanyahu responds to Wellington’s request for aid to cope with the devastation in Christchurch wrought by Tuesday’s earthquake.

New Zealand’s government requested aid from Israel in the form of sanitation, water purification equipment and temporary shelters, Prime Minister Netanyahu’s office said on Saturday night, after a massive earthquake struck the city of Christchurch on Tuesday.

Netanyahu gave instructions to immediately answer the call for help.

We know who our mates are and we know who aren’t our mates. I will keep listing who they are.



John Key has announced a government fund to assist those affected in the Christchurch easrthquake.

Prime Minister John Key today launched the Christchurch Earthquake Appeal, a global fundraiser for the recovery effort in the city and the Canterbury region.

“It’s vital we reach as many people throughout the world as possible who want to help. This isn’t just New Zealand’s tragedy – the February 22 earthquake affected countless people internationally.

“Like all Cantabrians and fellow New Zealanders, I have been humbled by the offers of help and assistance pouring in from individuals, organisations and governments around the world. This new Appeal gives people another means of donating to the people of Christchurch and the recovery effort.

Mr Key said the Appeal was designed to complement those already established, such as the funds organised by the Red Cross and the Salvation Army.

“It’s my intention that the Government will work alongside these organisations to make sure the funds are used in the best possible way.

The links and numbers are:

Donations can be made at www.christchurchearthquakeappeal.govt.nz

Telecom, Vodafone and 2 Degrees mobile customers can text chch to 933 to make an automatic $3 donation.

Donations can also be made via internet banking, or at any branch of New Zealand’s retail banks, by depositing into account number 03-0251-0039807-00.

Go to www.facebook.com/ChristchurchEarthquakeAppeal to find out more.


More Mates #eqnz

This morning I blogged on Mates and Not Mates.

I have just received some more information from a tipline source in Sydney about more Aussie mates.

I can report that Dick Smith stores are Mates. They have signs up in their stores asking for donations all over Sydney.

Coffee Club are mates. A a store in Sydney yesterday the owner was all dressed in Red and Black and had signs up asking for donations.

When people realise that my source is from New Zealand they are deluged with offers of support and condolences by even more of our mates from across the Tasman. Plenty of people know what it means to be mates.

Qantas and their subsidiary are still Not Mates.

Yesterday there was this news about Jetstar where they tried to stiff a nurse who helped out in a mid-air emergency. Jetstar are Not Mates and this just confirms it.

So far our Mates are:

Air New Zealand, Coffee Club, Dick Smith, Fonterra, Kiwishops

UPDATE: The two “Kiwi shops” in Perth have set up donation boxes to collect from local ex-pats.

Not our Mates are:

Qantas, Jetstar