Doug Graham retains his knighthood

The Prime Minister has announced that Sir Douglas Graham can retain his knighthood.

Good….he got his award for the considerable amount of time and effort he put into sorting out Treat Settlements and getting the process underway that is now almost complete.

The NZ Herald reports:

In deciding that Graham should retain his knighthood, Mr Key said he was persuaded by three key factors.

“First, Sir Douglas received his knighthood for his leadership role in treaty settlements.

“Second, Sir Douglas was convicted of a strict liability offence, where dishonest or criminal intent is not required for conviction.”

Mr Key noted the High Court found that Sir Douglas and the other defendants acted honestly at all times, genuinely believed the statements in the amended prospectus were true, and that careful attention had been given to the contents of the amended prospectus, including taking legal advice. 

“Third, in both New Zealand, and in the United Kingdom, it has been very rare for honours to be cancelled. In those cases where it has occurred, it has often been because the actions that led to the cancellation were in the same area as that for which the original honour was awarded. This is not the case with Sir Douglas.”

Mr Key praised Graham’s “significant political legacy in the area of treaty settlements that subsequent Labour and National-led governments have worked to build on”.

“New Zealand is a better country today because of the work Sir Douglas did as Treaty Negotiations Minister, and my judgment is that he deserves to retain his knighthood.”



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  • dilligaf2013

    Seems fair

  • Patrick

    Wait for it……wait for it, is that Cunliffe & Norman I hear whining about National protecting their “rich prick mates?” Won’t be long before the lefties start playing their violins.

  • Quinton Hogg

    I have no problem with the decision.
    I suspect there will be collection of assorted moaners and groaners with woe is me stories who will be dragged in front of the cameras to object.
    Even that redoubtable liberal Sir Edmund Thomas QC thinks the conviction of Sir Douglas and his fellow directors is unsafe for reasons he sets out in a paper today.

  • Dick Brown

    Fair enough.

  • boristhefrog


  • fastcompany

    Whaleoil, does this not seem to be a double standard re len browns excessive, albeit probably deserved, treatment on your site?
    This essentially goes to character, if he was not all he could be with his affairs at a second tier lending company, then how could this be treated separately from his good work at the treaty settlements office.
    Is it a hard line all the time or just for those that are deemed (by someone) to deserve it?

    • Cowgirl

      I don’t think it’s the same as the work Sir Douglas did he did while part of the government – whereas this latest stuff is at another job altogether.
      Len Brown was the Mayor all through his shadiness and continues to be the Mayor (and a shady one at that) still.

    • Dick Brown

      Chalk and cheese.

      Sir Dougy baby was a negotiations colossus; foreshadowing the Maori renaissance and actively engaged all sides in a miraculous tenure as Treaty Minister.

      An honourable man.

      He also didn’t stuff up on public company time.

      • Cowgirl

        Plus the judge found that he had acted honestly as well – that can’t be a bad thing as regards his character.

      • And he never went near the Ngati Whatua room !!!

    • BJ

      He is not being charged with deceit – and if Sir Douglas can face a penalty for incompetency, the least lying Len can do is humbly withdraw for blatant dishonesty

    • Not at all. Doug is a friend, a long term mate and he actually did nothing criminally wrong. His knighthood was for services in his role as minister and his legacy of Treaty settlements…it is a good decision by John Key.

      • fastcompany

        i keep forgetting that this is a blog

  • cows4me

    “getting the process underway that is now almost complete”, just like the Transmission Gully highway is almost complete.

  • LionKing

    Good call by John Key. That article by Ted Thomas in the NBR is explosive.

    • Quinton Hogg

      The article is interesting.
      Ted gives Robert Dobson a bit of a serve.

  • Justsayn

    Len needed a nighthood – that might have prevented Bevan getting the chap… service to the community? (was going to suggest services to women but that might be unduly limiting)

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    I understand Matt McCarten will be challenging this decision in a court funded by Dotcon…..

  • Whanga_Cynic

    And yet there are hundreds of Kiwis out there who have lost their life savings because of ratbags like Doug Graham and Jock Hobbs. But, they “did good” previously, so that’s OK? Bullshit.

    • Sponge

      Frankly if anyone is stupid enough to invest their money because an All Black is on an ad then they deserve whatever they get. A fool and their money etc..

      That view may be a bit brutal (my in laws got burned by a finance company so I do understand the stress that is caused) but honestly, if you think that being a great flanker makes you a financial advisor worth listening to – well you should go and ask Gareth Morgan for advice on… well everything as that is what he is an expert on.

      • Sponge

        Sorry – I should have added that I feel he should have relinquished the knighthood to preserve his honour and to try and atone for what happened. But that does not change my main point that if you invest because of an something unrelated to what you are investing (like being a knight or All Black) in you are a fool.

      • Whanga_Cynic

        Fair enough but he wasn’t the advisor, he was the MD.

        • Sponge

          Sorry – I was too general. Anyone that invests based on the recommendation of someone other than an a professional investment advisor (and even sometimes then) is unwise.

  • Mad Dog

    Excellent news….one more nail in the coffin of that imperialist bullshit.

    Anything which devalues all that SIR crap has got to be a good thing.

    Mind you, there have been so any crooks who have won the right to put that SIR in front of their name over the years, that knighthoods were already devalued. Douglas Graham is simply yet another crook with SIR in front of his name, so it is SNAFU.

    • GazzW

      Totally agree. It’s about time that SIR Michael Cullen rescinded his knighthood for his ‘services’ to the country.

      • Mad Dog

        Hear! Hear! Knighthoods are an imperial wankfest!!

  • Mr_Blobby

    Sorry but he should have lost it.

    We should also put a stop to the practice of selling Honors.

    • Sponge

      Do you have any evidence of this corruption?

      • justin

        THe conviction.

  • Toryboy

    Yes it seems fair; just because you don’t like someone doesn’t mean you should automatically change the rules to penalise them.
    With Hunua and Whangarei candidate selections in the pipeline, Graham is a classic example of the need to be somewhat more ‘selective’ when choosing a candidate in a safe seat.
    Perhaps it should have more to do with what sort of a person they are rather than who hosts the best cocktail parties.

    Just a thought.

  • Campbell Live will have an interview with Rufus Paynter on it tonight – for sure!

  • James Growley

    Another well reasoned and sensible decision by the PM

    • Guest

      Another well reasoned and sensible pragmatic decision by the PM

  • Bad__Cat

    I have mixed feelings about this.

  • Rod

    I would be more sympathetic to Graham if he had relinquished the knighthood before the government had to make a decision. The argument that it was awarded for something totally unrelated to his fall from grace doesn’t wash. What say one day a knight committed murder. Still totally unrelated to what they were knighted for, so they should keep it?

    • justin

      Smacks of cronyism too me. Sir is a title reserved for the impeccable. Doug Graham was a pollie and post being on the tax payers tit he used his title to further his financial gains.

  • Stuart

    I am no Leftist, but I am disgusted by the PM’s decision. A knighthood for giving away taxpayer millions to these swine? Graham is a criminal by any decent standard. This PM in-your-face decision will cost National dearly.