Dana Levy

The Shield of Sanctimony: Buying a Referendum


The Green party is trying to buy a referendum. Stuff reports, a couple of days after Keeping Stock broke the story that they are as sanctimonious as ever in justifying spending taxpayers money on buying a referendum:

The Green Party is spending $50,000 paying people to collect signatures for a citizens-initiated referendum on asset sales.

The equivalent of 10 fulltime staff have been hired for the next six to eight weeks in Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.

The Greens also have a volunteer army of about 2000 Auckland-based “issues assistants” helping with the campaign and have budgeted a further $28,000 for related sundries.

The bid for a citizens-initiated referendum was launched last month and is sponsored by a coalition of Grey Power, the Council of Trade Unions, Greenpeace, the Union of Student Associations, Labour and the Greens.

Dana Levy left out three words…”of taxpayers money”. But Russel Norman confirms the pick pocketing:

Greens co-leader Russel Norman said the funding was coming out of the party’s $1.3million annual leader’s fund.

`It’s very important to us to stop the asset sales and it’s very important to us that New Zealanders are given a voice because they currently don’t have one,” he said.

Yet another reason Parliamentary Services spending should be opened up tot he Official InformationAct

Liu-Jones Saga Summaries

The media is now belatedly starting to realise that Bill Liu is seriously dodgy, that his stories don’t stack up and neither do the excuses of Shane Jones.

Although most media continue to repeat the mistakes of the officials, in underestimating the size of the alleged fraud in China…

The extensive documents at Investigate show that the amounts concerned were far from a few million dollars:

“Yan was charged for accounting frauds and fund embezzlement of public company, the amount was said to be RMB 720 million or 1.08 billion (between NZ$167 million and NZ$257 million).”

Here are today’s stories:

Jared Savage seems to be getting a handle on the stench of this case:

The public servant who handled the citizenship application of a millionaire Chinese businessman with multiple identities was told by his boss to “stop asking questions”, a transcript of court evidence shows.

What sort of pressure was applied to make senior government officials issue orders to stop questioning…that is corruption.

Mr Gambo wanted to make further inquiries with immigration authorities in Australia.

“I had a phone call that I was told not to ask any more questions because there was a lot of political pressure to send the file to Wellington.

“I was told to just process the file, send it to Wellington, don’t worry about asking any more questions.

“I have been working there for seven years and that was the first time I have had my boss phone me about an application.”

Asked who called him, Mr Gambo named the general manager of citizenship, Geoff May.

I’m not sure we even have a statutory body that is able to look into the breadth and depth of these sorts of allegation of corrupt behaviour. Each department has limited purview…the SFO looks at fraud only, the Auditor-General has no oversight of criminal activity, the Police have no oversight of political activity…it really is becoming a bugger’s muddle.

Jared Savage also provides a useful catalogue of the actions, activities and personnel involved in this murky affair.

Andrea Vance and Dana Levy carry claims of signs of torture on Bill Liu…which ironically was contained in a letter to Shane Jones from John Billington, who is also the lawyer for Dover Samuels.

It is really starting to stretch the realms of belief that there was no connection between Shane Jones, Bill Liu, Dover Samuels, and Shane Te Pou and his brother who worked in Shane jones office. The conflicts of interest are glaring and obvious even if Shane Jones cannot see them.

What is it with rich foreigners trying to buy influence?

There is an interesting contrast developing between the cases of Kim Dotcom and Bill Liu.

They are both similar in many ways. Foreigners with money, obtained according to media reports through illegal and/or immoral methods…both seeking a home in New Zealand and both bestowing patronage upon politicians in order to gain favours and sway.

At that point the comparison needs to shift from the monied foreign influencers attempting to buy influence in order to pervert laws, regulations and politicians onto the politicians that were supplied with the cash to smooth that perversion.

It seems that John Banks said no…when the requests became too much. Labour on the other hand seems to have supplied many politicians who not only were bought off but actually delivered the goods that the donor was wanting.

Labour has made much of calling John Banks corrupt, when the real descriptor should possibly be inept. But so far they haven’t squawked at their more apparent corruption and involvement with the Bill Liu case.

Kim Dotcom got nothing other than a private citizen asking a minister to consider the case of his immigration favourably. That minister said no.

Bill Liu though had many politicians lobbying, and several ministers acting with alacrity and against official advice.

David Shearer has been quick to call for people to stand aside and resignations for John Banks, but not so quick in holding his own to account. Perhaps he is worried because it appears on the evidence thus far that only David Cunliffe acted properly when faced with a conflict of interest.

David Fisher too has none nothing about the Bill Liu case but enthusiastically reports the price of fruit baskets. So far the credits in the media go to the Dompost journalists, including Dana Levy who are actually reporting the news.

Both Kim Dotcom and Bill Liu thought that donations and influence worked the same way as where they are from. John Banks told Kim Dotcom that wasn’t the case and as a result he has been smeared three ways from Sunday in the media. Labour played ball with Bill Liu and so they must now suffer the consequences politically of enabling a corrupt Asian businessman to gain entry and citizenship in a manner that does not look good for them or the country that had prided itself on being the least corrupt int he world.

Yes it is a cultural issue

Some academic says that we are all wrong in thinking that child abuse is a cultural issue:

More and more New Zealanders believe child abuse is a cultural issue despite statistics showing that abuse does not discriminate between cultures, a social work lecturer says.

Raema Merchant, a social work lecturer at the Eastern Institute of Technology, said it was unclear how the public had developed a perception that it was a Maori issue.

Her masters thesis at Massey University found about half of the children killed in New Zealand died at the hands of a Pakeha abuser.

Almost 9000 children were victims of physical abuse between 2000 and 2008, yet only 21 became “household names” in the media, she said.

Just one-third of child deaths were reported in the press, and they were predominantly Maori cases.

“Where are they getting it from? Child abuse is not a cultural issue.”

Raema Merchant though doesn’t tell us the full picture…she only tells us the statistics that suit her twist to the tale of New Zealand’s appalling child abuse statistics.

If she was right that it isn’t cultural then we should see figures that roughly equal the population mix. We are not…however she only told us the European statistics and so about the only thing we can work out from the statistics is that Eurpeans are far less likely than others to abuse their children.

Interestingly this article is almost a word for word re-hash of an article by Kate Chapman and Dana Levy nearly a year ago. And that article tells a disctinctly different picture where it shows that:

New research by Eastern Institute of Technology social work lecturer Raema Merchant found Pakeha kill as many of their children as Maori, although Maori were the “face of abuse” in the media.

Maori make up 14.6% of the population but kill and abuse their kids at the same rates and everyone else. The split is about 50/50. Her research clearly shows that child abuse most certainly is a cultural issue with Maori hugely more likely than everyone else to kill or abuse their children.

Today’s article is sloppy repeating.