John Prescott

Maybe there is hope for New Zealand’s favourite grandmother

I bet Maggie Barry, NZ’s favourite grandmother, has already read this article at the Telegraph.

You might not think it, but TV presenters have just the right qualities to be successful politicians.

I was reminded of my former career as a television reporter when I saw the sniping about David Cameron and Ed Miliband both promoting former breakfast TV journalists in their new cabinets, and whether they had sacrificed hardworking grit for glamour.

Cameron has promoted former GMTV host Esther McVey to become Iain Duncan Smith’s number two at the Department for Work and Pensions, while the ex-This Morning presenter Anna Soubry became the first ever female MP to work as a defence minister. Meanwhile, on the other side of the political divide, Ed Miliband propelled GMTV’s former political editor Gloria De Piero into the shadow cabinet as spokeswoman for women and equalities.

For many, the question was: what on earth were Messrs Cameron and Miliband thinking in propelling breakfast TV stars to the higher echelons of power? But, as a breed, these are people who are used to working long hours, can communicate to ordinary people and are hardened to personal abuse.

The view of humorist HL Mencken, that the relationship of journalist to politician is that of dog to lamppost, has long been taken as gospel. In fact, the relationship has always been much closer, with politicians and journalists swapping jobs since TV news was invented.   Read more »

How to buy an election with Taxpayer funds

Labour are desperate to win in Mt Albert and the TV One poll hs thrown them. They are now faced with an uphill battle to motivate the troops this week after a poll that suggested that they didn’t have to do any more to win. That leaves the prospect of a lower turnout than expected because some supporters may well not bother because they think that David Shearer will win hands down. If that coincides with appalling weather and Green voters switching back to Greens because they think Shearer is safe then it could be all on for the weekend.

Meanwhile Labour’s spending continues unabated. Not only have they promised over $3 billion of taxpayers money for a tunnel that they can’t afford nor deliver, they have also spent up large on the campaign directly.

I have taken the liberty of estimating conservatively how much has been spent by Labour of their own money but more importantly how much of taxpayers money they have spent to ensure victory in Mt Albert.

Item Cost Paid By
Collateral (7 items)  $21,000 Labour Party
Staff $35,000 Labour Party
MP travel  $50,000 Parliamentary Services
Staff  $10,000 Manukau City
Polling  $55,000  Labour Party
Focus Groups $20,000 Labour Party
Vehicle use  $6,000 EPMU
Offices  $5,000 Labour Party
Hoardings  $8,000  Labour Party
Total $210,000  

As you can see this is quite some amount and far in excess of the $50,000 allowed under the law. The interesting amounts are the costs paid for by the Manukau City Council (more on this later), EPMU and Parliamentary Services.

Labour has literally thrown their caucus at this campaign.  Even Russell Brown has inadvertantly shopped out of town Labour MP’s canvassing the electorate.

They knocked on doors too. The weekend before last, I came out my front door to find Labour MPs Grant Robertson and Maryan Street visiting every house in my street. That’s old-fashioned campaigning of the kind that is possible in an electorate race, where you actually stand a chance of making direct contact with a significant proportion of voters

It is very difficult to see quite what was so important for an MP from Wellington Central and a List MP from Nelson had yo do in Mt Albert that they also had time to go door knocking. 

Not only that we know for sure that Darren Hughes from Otaki, Trevor Mallard from Wainuiomata and Taupo, Annette King from Wellington, Parekura Horomia from Gisborneand other out of town Labour MP’s have traipsed the streets in support of David Shearer the candidate from Amman, Jordan.

Even most of the Young Labour tossers who were campaigning on Sunday outside the National Party function were from Wellington.

Labour quite simply is spending huge amounts to ensure they win. David Shearer had better come in more than 5000 in front of Melissa Lee or else it may well be seen as a moral loss let alone a financial loss. I wonder if they will fight as hard for Horomia’s seat when he chucks it in shortly.

The lying over Maori Council seats continues

Aortic Len, the Mayor of Manukau City is confused.

Here on Newstalk ZB, Len Brown says “his council has been able to give tangata whenua a voice through its ward structure. He says it is a critical element of governance, and why there are Maori seats in parliament.”

But Manukau City doesn’t have any Maori seats, never has, never will. It’s a plain old ward structure. The Pacific Islander and Maori councillors, namely Jami-Lee Ross, Alf Filipaina, Arthur Anae and Efu Koka all got successfully elected under their own steam, without race based representation.
In fact, tangata whenua consultation with Manukau City is done via exactly the same mechanism as that which the supercity is advocating – a Mana Whenua committee.
So what is Len talking about?
As I was driving to the gym I heard an ad for the Hikoi and the bro-speaking fool doing the voice over mentioned something about fighting to stop the loss of their democratic voice. The funny thing is that currently there is no democratic voice currently in any of the component cities of the proposed Super City.
Sooooooo….they are fighting against the loss of something they never had in the first place. Good oh! They’re smart those Maaaaarees.


Su'a William Sio caught lying

Labour’s breathtaking hypocrisy over Peseta Sam Lotu-I-iga is turning into an own goal of massive proportions.

In their coordinated attack via media differing news outlets and via public statements by sitting city councillors and MP’s there was this statement by Su’a William Sio.

Associate Pacific Island Spokesperson Su’a William Sio, who is a former Manukau City Councillor, said when he entered Parliament midway through 2008 he resigned from the council immediately because it was impossible to do justice to both jobs.

“I think the right thing for Peseta to do is to resign from one role and focus on doing one job properly, and that’s what the community deserves,”

So Su’a William Sio says he resigned immediately. He is a class A liar and a hypocrite.

Su’a William Sio was declared elected after Diane Yates resigned on 29 March 2008.

He finally resigned from his Manukau City Council position  on 8 May 2008. Immediately is the next day not a month and a week later.

Sio stayed on for the vote on the new deputy mayor because the left knew that the Mayor’s new lapdog wasn’t a huge favourite. The vote was a close 10-8. Had Sio not been there Gary Troup still would have been successful, however the close vote and the fact he resigned a week after the vote indicates that his prime motivation for staying on was to choose the next deputy mayor. His attendance at meetings in the time that he was double dipping was appaling. The vote for deputy mayor (pdf)

Sio’s combined salary for the time he was holding both roles was greater than Sam given that he was deputy mayor and earning $85,000 plus a backbencher’s salary.

Sio is a first class hypocrite and liar. Worse he is a first class liar and a hypocrite, lying to score cheap political points against a fine MP who puts his taudry behaviour to shame.

Bring on the SuperCity

Auckland is set for a supercity, or so says the NZ Herald according to its investigations this morning.

Bring it on, it’s high time we amalgamated the seven councils and one regional council into one voice for Auckland.

Even better – we would be getting an executive Mayor, one that would have ultimate authority to get things done.

Of interest to me was the likely lineup of Mayoral contenders.

Andrew Williams, the Cock from Campbell’s Bay was described as “odd and abusive” by the Herald. I’d go further and say is mental, a cock and a fool. Oh dear, how sad, too bad. That Goose is well and truly roasted.

Bob Harvey is an old Labour man, and I’m unsure whether to emphasise the old or the Labour party more. He’s probably due for retirement anyway.

Len Brown
of Manukau City is a great guy. He’s a hard worker, in touch with the community, and an all round nice guy. But if he had a massive heart attack only months into the role of Manukau City Mayor, he wouldn’t be a starter for the Auckland Regional Mayor. Len would only be one heartbeat away from a by-election, and Auckland deserves an executive Mayor who is stronger than that. Outside of Manukau, he wouldn’t be that well known either.

Mike Lee – competent and hardworking, but let’s face it – he was from the Alliance. Mike Lee in charge of a greater Auckland with executive power would be too much of a risk, and would be an RMA leftie lawyer’s wet dream.

So that leaves John Banks. Executive experience, strongly connected to the National Government, the most senior politician in Auckland, and having a fantastic second Mayoral term, John Banks would have to be in the drivers seat as the best choice for Auckland. He’s also the only centre-right politician in the line-up, so meets the ideological test as well.

Philip Field and Wife to be prosecuted by Manukau City Council

This is an update from this mornings post where I promised to give full details of Phillip and Maxine Fields legal problems with the Manukau City Council. The Herald have attempted to find more information as well.

I have sighted documents from several confidential sources about the case and the details are as follows;

Council Officers inspecting a property found significant and un-permitted alterations to a property owned by T P Field Developments Limited. T P Field Developments Limited, company number 1123123 was registered on 16 March 2001 and Companies Office records show Taito Philip Field and Maxine Gallagher-Field as the Directors with the shares held entirely by Taito Philip Field and having a registered office of 594 Massey Road, Mangere which is also the address listed for Taito Phillip Field and Maxine Gallagher-Field.

The Manukau City Council has had numerous occasions to deal with T P Field Developments Limited over un-permitted work. The work they investigated was un-permitted and given the extensive nature of the work and the previous history of  T P Field Developments Limited the council officers recommended to the Hearing Committee that the council prosecute, because the actions were deliberate and egregious flouting of permit regulations. The Committee endorsed the recommendations of the officers and the Manukau City has has now initiated proceeding against the Directors of T P Field Developments Limited, those being Taito Phillip Field and Maxine Gallagher Field.

The documents I have sighted are real and authenticated. The Manukau City is prosecuting the Directors of T P Field Development Limited. Those Directors are Taito Philip Field and Maxine Gallagher-Field.

El Jefe set for prosecution

No not for his corrupt dealings with immigrants but for illegal alterations to a house he used to own.

[quote]Manukau City Council officers have identified unauthorised alterations at one of several properties currently and previously owned by Field and his wife, Maxine. They recommended prosecution to council members in a confidential meeting last week, but the outcome of that meeting remains secret.[/quote]

Not for long, Whaleoil will winkle this one out.

Councillor with conflict passes $1.6 million contract

A Manukau City Councillors action have come to my attention for a having a conflict of interest when awarding a multi-million dollar contract.

The contract, worth $1.6 million, was awarded at the March meeting of the Manukau City Council Environmental Committee. Minutes of the meeting show that Sharon Stewart was present and voted for the contract "ENV-5497".

I have decided to release information that was obtained under the Official Information Act as part of our ongoing campaign against corruption within governments.

Sharon Stewart has voted to award a multi-million dollar contract, at a closed-door meeting, to a company that her own daughter works for. In the attached minutes of the meeting you note that Sharon Stewart was present throughout the duration of the meeting and no votes were recorded against any resolution, particularly in Item 20. Item 20 deals with a contract being awarded to GHD Ltd for a sum of $1,626,663 plus GST.

No problem so far except that GHD Ltd happens to be the employer of Rebecca Stewart, daughter of Sharon Stewart. To make matters worse, according to my research on Rebecca Stewart actually lives in the same house as Sharon Stewart, seriously exacerbating the situation.

[quote]Pakuranga Electoral Roll: Page 182

Line # 046 – Stewart, David John – 21 Treeway, Pakuranga

Line # 093 – Stewart, Rebecca – 21 Treeway, Pakuranga

Line # 102 – Stewart, Sharon Lee – 21 Treeway, Pakuranga[/quote]

This action severely undermines the public confidence in her as a city councillor and can only be described as an act of dishonesty and corruption.

I believe that the actions of Sharon Stewart are defined as an "indirect pecuniary interest" and are in breach of the Local Authorities (Members Interest) Act 1968. When convicted the penalty for breaching the Members Interest Act is being disqualified from holding office as a councillor.

The law states very clearly that councillors can't vote for contracts if they have a pecuniary interest in that contract. Because Sharon Stewart's daughter is an employee of the company and also lives with her, Sharon Stewart has undoubtedly committed an unlawful offence against the public.

Sharon Stewart has also violated the Manukau City Council code of conduct which requires councillors to withdraw from meetings where they have a conflict of interest. The Code of Conduct also states that:

[quote]The ability of elected members to make impartial, objective and transparent decisions is paramount to the community's confidence in the Council's ability to govern.[/quote]

Sharon Stewart's actions appear to be typical of Manukau City elected officials that have acted improperly for personal gain. I note that at present Mangere Councillor James Papali'i is being charged with fraud, and Botany Community Board Chairman Michael Williams is being prosecuted for breaches of the Building Act.

Sharon Stewart has added to an increasing list of Manukau City elected officials who have used their position to act inappropriately. I call on the Manukau City Council to urgently launch an inquiry into this decision, and for Sharon Stewart to resign her membership of all Council committees until an investigation is completed.

Further Sharon Stewart is a dead set hypocrite by looking at this past article . It seems she is willing to challenge others when they have a conflict of interest, but will vote on a $1.6m contract that she herself has a conflict of interest over. will be writing to the Council Chief Executive Leigh Auton about the conduct of Sharon Stewart, and her breach of the Local Authorities Members Interest Act and Council Code of Conduct.

Selective Democracy??

Earlier in the year we covered the Maori representation farce that the Manukau City Council was going through trying to establish special race based Maori seats.

They didn’t quite get there, but they decided instead to establish a Maori, for what, we’ve yet to find out. Not only was this committee fundamentally undemocratic in itself, but it only just scrapped through on the Mayor’s casting vote.

Democracy seems to have taken another fatal blow last night at the Manukau City Council when the Council decided to only allow those Maori who are on the Maori electoral roll to be appointed to the committee.

The reason for the exclusion? Apparently you can only be a real Maori if you choose to be on the Maori roll.

This effectively says to the 13,500 Maori decendents who choose to be on the general roll that they are not really Maori. They’ve probably made this choose because they recognise the discriminatory way in which race-based policies are used.

And guess how many votes it passed by?? Yep – just the casting vote. It seems democracy is very selective in Manukau City.

– Controversial issues are passed without majority approval.
– Policies are based on race, not need.
– And you are discriminated against because of the electoral roll you choose to be on.

Its about time Howick and Pakuranga broke away and joined Auckland City!

Hubbard full of it as usual

Despite promising that this year’s rates increase would be “substantially less” than last year’s 9.7 per cent overall increase, Hubbards’ faltering council has announced rates increases of at least 11 per cent this year and higher water bills.

The man is a bullshitter and a dipshit, and some of his councillors are dipshits who can’t even pass simple exams that even the dumbest councillor in Manukau City can pass.