Chicane

Andrew Little the cartoon

I do enjoy a good political cartoon and our resident cartoonist SonovaMin? is fantastic. Usually his cartoons provide us with a refreshingly alternative view of the Political world to that portrayed by other cartoonists out there but recently I have noticed a common theme.

On one topic they all seem to agree…

Chicane - Southland Times 19 November 2014

Chicane – Southland Times 19 November 2014

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Emmerson – NZ Herald 19 November 2014

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Herald Editorial: Everyone wins from sale of state houses

Editorial: Everyone wins from sale of state housesTenants of state houses will shortly be given an opportunity to buy them. Housing Minister Phil Heatley has announced that houses will be offered to tenants at market valuations from September and Housing New Zealand will use the… [NZ Herald Politics]

Of course it is a win/win scenario, except for the plonkers in Labour and the Greens.

This news has been greeted with predictable disapproval from Labour, the Green Party and various advocacy groups who claim to be concerned for people in urgent need of a state house. Their preferred solution seems to be to spend whatever it takes to house everyone who cannot afford to buy a home.

On Friday I posted the video of Phil Heatley ripping Goff a new one over his hypocrisy on state houses. DPF has finally caught up on that.

The policy looks to be good for the tenants, good for their neighbourhood, good for those waiting for a state house, good for the taxpayer, the building industry and the economy. Good for everyone, in fact, except those who live on constituencies of state dependence.

Ouch, that i a stab at the socialists, the last sentence. New Zealand surely needs to wake up to exact problem that for more than 50 years successive governments have bred and indeed encouraged state dependence at the expense of individual self reliance.

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Question 6 yesterday

I watched Question Time yesterday and Question 6 was a pearler. The hits just kept on coming and even Moana Mackey joined in with some supplementaries to help Phil Heatley slap Phil Goff all about. Thanks to Bryan Spondre at interest.co.nz for the video.

 

More on Scampi 2

More backgrounder so you can understand the Scampi Scandal and why the secret tape was suppressed.

This is the valedictory speech of Ian Ewen-Street.

Richard, in case you hadn’t noticed, Sue is young, beautiful and highly intelligent, whereas I’m…. well, I’m not. Even my kindest friends would describe me as middle-aged, overweight and bald. Richard, that’s not a scandal, it’s a bloody miracle!

But I knew I’d chosen the right woman a few days later when we were walking through the Bowen House tunnel and came across Richard Prebble, so I stopped to introduce them. It’s not often you see him stumped for words, but he uttered not a syllable when Sue greeted him with the words “Hello Richard, thank you for making me famous!” and he was still recovering and backing off towards the travellator when Sue called out – “but watch out for my father, he still wants to kill you!” That’s my girl!!

Yes, the scampi scandal! I can joke about it now, but it was undoubtedly a difficult time for me. But a great lesson in life’s rich tapestry. A great experience in finding out who one’s friends are – or even more pertinently, who one’s friends aren’t!

My sincere thanks to all the members of the Primary Production Committee – especially David Carter, Doug Woolerton, Clayton Cosgrove, Gerry Eckhoff, Dover Samuels, Phil Heatley, Janet Mackey and Harry Duynhoven – I know I became the subject of some wonderful jokes for you, but I am also aware that your friendship and support kept me sane through that time. Thank you!

Working in the PPSC was a real highlight for me. I enjoyed the work, I enjoyed your company – including the support staff of Bob Bunch, Mary Hay and Steven Mitchell – and I shall miss you all.

But I also have to say that I am convinced that you got parts of the scampi inquiry badly wrong. I believe you shot the messenger and allowed the real culprits to get away with perpetrating one of the biggest frauds and one of the gravest injustices in NZ history.

I struggle with the suggestion from some people that there was no evidence of any wrong-doing. There was. Affidavits are sworn evidence. They have convicted murderers in the past. I agree that someone may argue that it may not be possible to string together a long sequence of events and say that they prove a certain outcome, but if you treat each piece of evidence as a piece of a jigsaw puzzle, there are more than enough pieces to see the overall picture of premeditated offending. And please don’t forget the evidence of the people who made submissions to the PPSC, but had their evidence returned because they alleged criminal behaviour and that was outside the terms of reference for the inquiry. How can you weigh up evidence if you send it back to the submitter, especially if you then claim there is no evidence?

If the next government wants to follow up on the scampi issue and restore my faith in the political system, I suggest that a good place to start their enquiries would be Helen Cull QC, the lawyer who convened the State Services Commission inquiry which ran in parallel with the PPSC inquiry. She got it right. She knows pretty much what happened, but her final report does not reflect this because her terms of reference were limited to investigating the role of the Ministry of Fisheries. I believe she should be asked to publish her real findings and the people guilty of raping and pillaging the scampi fishery brought to account.

I think the incoming government should also heed the words of former Prime Minister Sir Geoffrey Palmer when he described the criticism of the Ministry of Fisheries by both the PPSC and the State Services Commission as the most scathing criticism of a government department in NZ history. But what has happened as a consequence? Did anyone get sacked? Pensioned off? Slapped on the wrist with a wet bus ticket? No, nothing. The then CEO of the Ministry put out a press release saying that the Ministry had been vindicated. They had not. He should have been falling on his sword, but instead he continued the fantasy within the Ministry that somehow they are beyond the law, that they can ignore the rulings of the High Court and the Court of Appeal with impunity. And that they can ignore Parliament.

I believe the Ministry should also be made aware of their responsibilities under the Fisheries Act (and international treaties) to address the social and economic well-being of coastal communities. It is simply unacceptable that small fishers in such fisheries as cockles, whelks, geoducs, paddle-crabs, pilchards and others can be put out of business and their lives destroyed by the whim of ministry officials. The RMA is a tool in the toolbox of the management of fisheries, it is not an end in itself. And it most certainly should not be there for the purpose of hugely enriching a small number of fishers at the expense of others and the ecological sustainability of the fishery.

It is my opinion that this is a Ministry which needs a thorough shake-up in the upper echelons of the bureaucracy and imbued with the realization that they are public servants. They are paid to serve the public interest and they are there to manage the ecological sustainability of the fisheries of this country.

 

Editorial: Real issues sidestepped yet again

Editorial: Real issues sidestepped yet againA line of thought that is familiar and disturbing runs through the State Services Commission report on the Environment Ministry's employment of Labour Party activist Clare Curran. Once again, seriously deficient "processes" have been… [NZ Politics]

Labour will be rueing the day they ever annoyed the NZ Herald.

Their editorial today is scathing of their politicization of the Public Service.

[quote]A line of thought that is familiar and disturbing runs through the State Services Commission report on the Environment Ministry's employment of Labour Party activist Clare Curran. Once again, seriously deficient "processes" have been found and, once again, no one has been identified as a culprit. Yet again, a State Services Commission inquiry has indulged in nifty footwork, this time to explain away what, at face value, appears to be substantial evidence of interference in the public service by a Cabinet minister's office.[/quote]?

This government has now used enough whitewash that a large Mediterranean village could have been repainted twice over.

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Rorting the Housing Corp

National MP Phil Heatley nailed Housing Minister Chris Carter yesterday (appalling image, I know) with some serious questions about Housing NZ practices. Listening live, Chris Carter was seriously caught on the back foot and was back peddling as fast as he could.

[quote]8. PHIL HEATLEY (National?Whangarei) to the Minister of Housing: Does he have confidence in Housing New Zealand Corporation; if so, why?

Hon CHRIS CARTER (Minister of Housing): Yes; but there is always room for improvement.

Phil Heatley: How is it that a person can be allocated a State house in M?ngere, and, at the same time, own a holiday home in Russell?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: I would welcome further information about that case.

Phil Heatley: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. I ask you to judge whether that is a fair answer, given that the Minister gave me that information yesterday with a cover letter.

Madam SPEAKER: As the member knows, that is not a point of order.

Phil Heatley: How is it that a person not only can get away with owning a holiday home in Russell while having a State house but also can get away with not living in the State house, instead renting it out for a tidy profit to an unwitting family?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: I am astonished to learn that that member claims he received a letter from me about this subject yesterday. I would like to sit down with him after question time, be shown this letter, and find out a bit more information about this case. It is really astonishing.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table the letter

Leave granted.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table the Official Information Act request explaining these details.

Leave granted.

Phil Heatley: What action has the Minister taken to investigate Housing New Zealand Corporation over this scam, given that one of the neighbours has formally testified to the corporation that the tenant ?gloated he knew someone in Housing; that is how he got the place.??

Hon CHRIS CARTER: Such alleged behaviour by a tenant would be totally inappropriate. I will be investigating it very carefully after question time.

Phil Heatley: Was the State house tenant ever prosecuted, and was an official investigation ever made into allegations that to pull off this scam the tenant had insider help from a Housing New Zealand Corporation mate?

Hon CHRIS CARTER: All sorts of allegations can be made by all sorts of people. I can assure this House that I will be looking into this case very carefully, very quickly.[/quote]

As you can see Carter knew absolutely nothing about this, so we are now being asked to beilieve his spin that something was being done all along….I think not Minister.

The couple living in the house, who paid the man $210 a week in rent, only found out they were tied up in the rort when they applied for a state house – to be told they were already living in one.

The man, who also owned a holiday home in the Bay of Islands, was paying $133 a week for the state house – and pocketing the $70 difference.

Not only that the documents show that the man tried to sell the house at one stage despite, not even owning it.

This is clearly another case of a Minister not knowing what is going on in his own portfolio.

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