Two minutes on Google could have saved Andrea Vance’s reputation

hager and vance

Canon Media Award-winning ‘journalist’, Andrea Vance, continued her Panama Papers hit job attacked a New Zealand lawyer in her stories, attacking them for working with an allegedly “corrupt” Kazakh politician.

In Panama, they have realised that Kazhegeldin is a “politically exposed person.” Their research revealed his role in a corruption scandal in the central Asia country. After three years as Prime Minister, Kazhegeldin had resigned in 1997 and fled his home country. He was then accused of tax evasion and using stolen funds to buy property in Belgium.

Four years later, in his absence, he was convicted of abuse of office by a Kazakh court – including charges that he took bribes from a mining company and received a Mercedes and Toyota car.

However if she had bothered to spend just two minutes on Google she would have found out that she is in fact attacking the good guy from Kazakhstan, and far from hiding his house he in fact lives there and is on the electoral roll at that address.

Even Red Radio has provided some balance to the original story, by looking into the role of the current President and dictator of Kazakhstan in smearing anyone who opposed the President. Allegations that Andrea Vance used to try and smear New Zealand and Kiwi based lawyers acting legally.

A quick check of Wikipedia might also have alerted Andrea Vance to her wrong-headed hit job.

Akezhan Kazhegeldin (Kazakh: Әкежан Мағжанұлы Қажыгелдин, Qazaq: Äkejan Mağjanulı Qajıgeldïn; born on 27 March 1952) served as the Prime Minister of Kazakhstan until he resigned in October 1997, ostensibly for health reasons, though many saw it as an act protesting authoritarianism in Kazakhstan. He now heads the Republican People’s Party of Kazakhstan, but lives in the West in exile. Adam Albion of Radio Free Europecharacterized Kazhegeldin’s efforts at democratizing Kazakhstan as “defiant, confrontational, and openly scornful of the idea” that Nursultan Nazarbaev, the President of Kazakhstan, “will ever share power willingly.”

Digital Freedom Networkcredits Kazhegeldin’s Prime Ministership with establishing a “stable currency, bank system, and privatization programs that led to growth. He worked at attracting foreign investment, and helped to lay groundwork for a stock market.”

He is included by Fair Trials organisation as an example of persecution of political refugees along with Benazir Bhutto of Pakistan:

Screen Shot 2016-05-31 at 9.28.13 AM

In 2003 Senator John McCain wrote a letter in support of Kazhegeldin to Secretary of State Colin Powell regarding human rights abuses in Kazakhstan. The letter highlights specific concerns in the areas of free speech, free political expression, and harassment of independent media.

In June 2002 Akezhan Kazhegeldin, the leader of the Kazakh Republican People’s Party and former prime minister from 1994 to 1997, received a Passport of Freedom from the European Parliament.

By issuing this honorary document to a “prominent opposition figure,” the European Union says it intends to show its support for the democratic opposition in Kazakhstan, as well as anyone who is being persecuted for their political views in the country.

Kazhegeldin, who is currently living in self-imposed exile in Europe, expressed his satisfaction to RFE/RL. “This document was given to me, but I think, and it has already been said by several members of the [European] Parliament, that, although I have received this passport, it has not been only given to me but also to all the democrats in Kazakhstan, to all our comrades and colleagues there in Kazakhstan. I think this is a clear answer to their questions: What is going to happen with us? What will be achieved? Does anyone cares about us?” Kazhegeldin said.

Kazhegeldin was sentenced in absentia to 10 years’ hard labor in September on charges of abuse of office, tax evasion, taking bribes, and illegal possession of weapons. The opposition has called the trial a farce, while the office of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe in Kazakhstan has expressed doubt that the sentence conforms to international standards of justice.

Sharip Omarov, chairman of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense, and Security of the lower chamber of Kazakhstan’s parliament (Mazhilis), declined to comment on the event. Omarov said it is too early to speak about democratic institutions in his country. “We are not members of the European Parliament. We don’t have direct relations with the European Parliament. We are not part of Europe. We can’t be part of Europe because they would not accept us. We are part of Eurasia, closer to Asia,” Omarov said.

Ari Vatanen, a Finnish member of the European Parliament, is at the origin of the European Parliament’s decision. He told RFE/RL that Kazhegeldin is the 27th person to receive a Passport of Freedom, adding that such a document has to be signed by 15 members of the parliament belonging to different political affiliations.

Kazhegeldin’s Passport of Freedom has notably been signed by former president of the European Parliament, Spain’s Jose Maria Gil-Delgado; by French writer and member of the Convention for the Future of Europe, Olivier Duhamel; and by German president of the Commission on Foreign Affairs at the parliament, Elmar Brok.

Vatanen said this “strong move” is a clear message to “ordinary citizens” and the leadership in Central Asia that the EU is committed to “basic values” of humanity, democracy, and human rights. “At the parliament, we don’t take a stand who should be the leader of a country. We just support those profound values and Kazhegeldin is in Kazakhstan the figure who meets our criteria. And we believe that it will encourage Kazhegeldin in his work to promote these basic values. And also it gives the hope not just to him and people around him but people in Kazakhstan and people in Central Asia,” Vatanen said.

Just a couple of minutes on Google could have saved Andrea Vance some considerable embarrassment. She is supposedly a Canon Media Award-winning investigative journalist, but it seems since working with Nicky Hager, that she has put all that aside and instead prefers working on shabbily researched political hit jobs, in this instance on behalf of a dictator who likes to frame his political opponents.

The Radio NZ piece launched in conjunction with TVNZ makes spurious allegations about Kazhegeldin, by using emotive terms such as “politically exposed”. Of course he is politically exposed, he is the victim of a framing by a dictator who seeks to silence and erase his political opponents and uses false accusations and corrupt legal processes to do that. This is why you utilise trust mechanisms, to protect yourself. Just like Nicky Hager uses trusts to stop people suing him for defamation.

It is sad that two media organisations have fallen under the spell of Nicky Hager and his seven intellectual dwarves and attacked the good guy in all of this.

No wonder people are so distrustful of journalists when this is what the “best” offer up for investigative journalism.


– RadioNZ



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  • Oh Please

    As far as Vance is concerned, investigation means listening to Hagar and reading her own tweets.

  • Wheninrome

    Has Hagar got something Dunne didn’t have for her to become so enthralled?

    • venator

      yep. a face that looks like a worn out canvas sand-shoe.

    • Papillon

      A trust fund.

  • R&BAvenger

    This article is a nuclear strike enabled burn on Vance and Hagar. Great stuff again, exposing the msm in nZ as amateur lightweights.

  • john Doe

    I am starting to really fume that this continuing hit job on the government and New Zealand is actually being funded by me, joe Blow the tax payer. this needs to stop as it is politically fueled, out of control and eventually it will cast aspersions on our reputation as a free trading independent nation. international consortium of investigative journalists they are not. Meally mouth amateurs they are.

  • HunuaRanger

    Andrea Vance has a reputation that can be saved?

    • Keeping Stock

      My thoughts exactly. Given some of her past efforts, Ms Vance’s reputation in hardly stellar to begin with. But that’s hardly News (of the World)…

      • HunuaRanger

        I guess you can take the girl out of the gutter press but you can’t take the gutter press out of the girl.

    • Miss Phit

      She has all the credibility she garnered from her work at “News of the World” to protect and save…

  • Caprice

    My God. Not only did they naw the bone, bury it, and dig it up for another chew, but they got it completely wrong.
    I sleep easy in my bed at night, only due to the fact that Whale Oil saves me from swallowing the crap these ‘journalists’ serve up.

  • niggly

    Good work! When I heard that it was Kazakhstan, I knew very little about that country (although I believe it played a staging role for the West in the “War on Terror”) but that it was a dictatorship which has a history of trying to destroy its more moderate opponents (and thus should the West really be seen working with the Govt of the day etc).

    So when the “news” (cough, cough) broke yesterday that the latest “revelation” involved a former PM and corruption I immediately thought what the MSM were trying to force down our throats probably wasn’t accurate. And sure enough ….

    • Isherman

      It’s funny how she hasn’t dug into the family members and associates of the President for Life, Nursultan Nazarbaev who is the real criminal of that country. Google that fine upstanding dictator of the communist party and his family members and associates who appear in the panama papers….silence. Mind you, maybey Vance hasn’t got the stones of someone like Irina Petrushova, editor of the oppositionist newspaper Respublika who was highly critical of him and sought to expose his corruption and skulduggery…she had severed dogs heads with warning notes posted outside her place and the newspapers offices firebombed.

      • niggly

        So all these MSM numpties and Hager have done then is remind the Kazakhstan Govt (and its President for Life) is that one of their “enemies” is still at large and has been in the media again, which will then draw attention back to the Kazakhstan Govt?

        If so, I hope these numpties and the ICIJ don’t literally have more blood on their hands if its former PM they named is assassinated!

    • Davo42

      You know way more about Kazakhstan than me – all I know is that Borat came from there.

  • johnnyB

    It’s all getting very desparate for them as this grand reveal is starting to make Dot Com look good. I guess the executives at TVNZ are asking Vance to produce the results of all the time and expense they have gone to with having Hagar on their payroll so she has to essentially create a scandel. All we seem to so far is is a lawyer whose biggest crime appears to be featuring in a home and garden mag and a couple of trust funds for political refugees.

  • Michelle

    would she even feel embarrassed or does she live in her own bubble where the most important person is Andrea Vance and we should all take what she says as gospel?

    TVNZ need to be hauled over the coals for wasting tax payer money for these hit jobs that could end up with them being sued
    Mind you if someone did threaten to sue that might make them wake up that NZ is over there nasty smear jobs

  • Davo42

    This for me is the final nail in the TVNZ channel 1 “news” coffin – they have blown their credibility and can no longer be considered a serious unbiased news provider. I will not be watching anymore.

    • WeaselKiss

      You may have seen last week, at 11 minutes into an hour long (cough) newscast (cough), the news was of a toddler who found two kittens in a cardboard box in a park! !

    • Yeahright

      I agree, I use to tell my wife to switch from 3 to 1 as I didnt trust TV3, now I watch Sponge Bob with the kids, Sponge Bob has more morals! (and I would say Patrick may be more intelligent)

      • contractor

        That is why for real news and insight / Incite WO is my daily!

      • Davo42

        Exact same story in my house – except the kids shows are a bit younger, they still make more sense though.

  • zotaccore

    Is Vance a NZ citizen by birth or is she just another left wing loopy socialist import because she wasn’t successful elsewhere. What’s the fact sheet on this Andrea Vance that would lead me to believe she contributes in a positive way to NZ?

    • sheppy

      A quick google suggests born in Northern Ireland. She learnt her trade on the ex UK newspaper “News of the World,” a rag known for its sensationalism and illegal phone hacking.

    • Northern Ireland I believe

      • PsychoKea

        Return to sender

        • Dave

          Please not, I suggest she needs to pop over to Kazakhstan and apologize in person, and I suggest, she take her mate Hagar with her, preferably both on a one way ticket, she might even find work over there.

  • Whitey

    Perhaps Mr Kazhegeldin’s achievements during his time in office have got Vance confused. She may have seen his record of promoting foreign investment, economic growth, and privatization, and decided he must be an evil neoliberal.

  • JEL51

    Good Heavens, does Andrea even know where Kazakhstan is? If she and her ilk (still) consider every other country is run along the same safe, honest, open lines as we have been had the privilege to be raised in, (as it seems), then none of them should be in the job they are.

  • shykiwibloke

    Have any of these jumped up journos stopped to think through the implications? What if someone gets murdered here simply because they had legitimate reason to hide from some very nasty people. Imagine the outcry if it was one of their own that got outed and slaughtered. I really really hope they all learn the lesson that is coming their way without anyone being hurt.

  • Dog Breath

    This is what happens when you think that everyone who is rich or holding a top office or government position must be evil or corrupt. They must think that wealth or importance can only be gained by these qualities. With these thoughts you frame stuff to suit this narrative and we see classic examples of this from Hagar and Vance.

  • contractor

    Vance clearly needs to get a decent qualification in journalism (I hope that the problem isn’t that she has already).

  • Jon Low

    Have a band-aid for the bullet wound in your foot, Andrea.