Pansy Wong

Silly mistake by Key

John Key is supposed to be a smart man, but he often makes silly mistakes.

The latest mistake he has made was probably at the behest of Steven Joyce and Bill English and is an act of petulance that will hurt him.

The caucus is already smarting about the promotion of 3 dead heads who have few friends in caucus ahead of other more capable ministerial prospects. With his nasty and un-necessary slight against Judith Collins he has just solidified that grumpiness.

Ex-Justice Minister Judith Collins is seething after she was delivered a humiliating snub by Prime Minister John Key, who has declined to recommend her for an official title.

Outgoing ministers are usually granted the right to use the honorific “The Honorable” for life, after a recommendation from the prime minister to the governor-general.

Last Wednesday, demoted courts minister Chester Borrows and retiring Maori Affairs minister Pita Sharples were added to the ‘‘Roll of the Honourables.’’  But Collins – who resigned in August over the Dirty Politics furore – is missing from the list.

Collins was upset and angry to be given the news by Fairfax Media. ‘‘No-one has given me the decency to tell me that…I’m actually hurt and shocked.

‘‘Frankly, that you are the first person to tell me, I have to say, you could knock me down with a feather…It’s appalling.’’

Her fury was directed at Key: ‘‘If you are the person that is charged with telling me this then that says an awful lot about the person that should be doing it, and I am utterly disgusted.’’

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

In the opinion of a psychologist?

The Labour candidate in Pakuranga has decided to weigh into the Williamson affair.

Pakuranga residents expect and deserve more from their elected Member of Parliament, Labour’s candidate for Pakuranga Barry Kirker says.

“National MP Maurice Williamson has failed the people of Pakuranga.

“Taking care of their friends has become standard practise for ministers in the National-led Government. Maurice Williamson’s lack of judgement follows falls from grace from his colleagues including Pansy Wong, Richard Worth, Judith Collins, John Banks and Nick Smith.

“Those who donate to the National Party appear to get special treatment from Government ministers. This is not a trend I want to see occurring in New Zealand.

“Sadly many local people I have spoken to are not surprised by Maurice Williamson’s actions. He has a reputation for questionable judgment and character.

“Locals are also concerned Maurice Williamson has been taking the electorate for granted and pursing his own personal interests.

“In my experience as a psychologist, people who have serious lapses of judgement such as this, have often engaged in similar questionable behaviour before they were caught out.

“I am running a campaign based on the need for new face in Pakuranga, integrity of character, putting people before profits, equal treatment for everyone in the electorate and transparency in Government.

“A Labour government will represent all of society, not just the wealthy,” Barry Kirker says. 

Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Lonely Lenny as mates abandon him

Len Brown is literally a man alone.

Even The Gurnard took time out from writing puff pieces about the Fat German to knock up a few words to that effect.

You know things are serious though when the Herald abandons you, and left wing commentators are kicking you in the cods. Selwyn Manning, Simon Wilson and Chris Trotter both say that Len Brown is a corpse. Now Tim Watkin weighs in.

It’s all just rather pathetic really, isn’t it? Yes, I’m talking about Len Brown. From the affair itself to the Auckland mayor’s response and on to the council’s limited options for censure, pathetic seems to me the best word to sum up the whole shooting match.

Today the council officially and unanimously “censured” Brown, according to Stuff, for “his behaviour during a two year affair with Bevan Chuang”. The Herald adds, thankfully, that it was “for failing to declare free hotel rooms and upgrades and the fallout over his two year affair with Bevan Chuang”.

He will have to pay some money back and contribute to the EY report costs. A committee will decide how much and – unacceptably – that will be confidential. That’s one part of the story that should still have legs; of course Aucklanders deserve to know how much they’re paying and how much is the mayor’s share.

As Mike Lee said today such a censure is unprecedented and the strongest condemnation the council can make of the mayor. It is also, as Cameron Brewer said, “a wet bus ticket”. Such is the sorry state of affairs we’re left in. One job should now be on the agenda is to explore other ways that holders of this office can be held to account for misbehaviour, mis-spending and ultimately misleading the public.

The censure comes after the Herald also took unprecedented action, calling for an Auckland mayor to resign. Yet Brown has ridden that out and now has the Christmas break for the immediate pressure to ease. This is as bad as it gets.    Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

How much is in the account?

The rumour mill has been abuzz with how much David Shearer has squirrelled away hidden from the public since his “I forgot” secret US bank account has come to light.  Of particular interest has been the suggestions coming from the left that Helen Clark was involved in Shearer’s sudden memory recovery.

A more relevant question though is just how much is in the account?

A reader who is used to giving advice to people of high net worth emailed me:

Cameron,

How come the media are letting Shearer off scot-free on this secret US bank account?  It seems to me beyond belief.  If this was someone in National or ACT the media would be hounding until every last transaction was disclosed (remember Pansy Wong’s husband?).

Worse, while we know that Shearer forgot at least $50,000, we do not yet know how big the amount was.  If it was only fifty thousand, then for someone like Shearer (who would have earned around ¼ of million for a decade while working for the UN) forgetting an offshore asset of less than $100 thousand could be understandable.  But, what we don’t know is whether it is even more than that.  If he was earning a quarter million for a decade, it is quite imaginable that he has accumulated well-over a million.  If so, not declaring the bank account because he forgot just doesn’t stack up.  It points to incompetence – or worse.  Read more »

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

“I believe there is no conflict” – Nelson Mayor

A Nelson reader wants some Whale sunlight on their Troughing Mayor:

Chinese e-commerce opportunities that Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio has been touting as being great for Nelson businesses also look set to make money for the mayor himself.

This year ratepayers paid more than $10,000 to send Mr Miccio on trips to China in March and September to help develop connections for Nelson businesses.

Sounds interesting so far. What has he done wrong?

Mr Miccio says there is no conflict of interest between his mayoral work in developing Nelson-Chinese business and his chairmanship in a new venture, NZ Inc Shop.

It intends to sell New Zealand products through Tmall.com, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

[The trip] included a delegation of local [Nelson] businessmen and saw Mr Miccio and Mr Findlater visiting e-commerce capital Hangzhou, where they met Alibaba’s president.

Companies Office records show 15 per cent of NZ Inc Shop is held by Mr Miccio, his parents Cristina and Raffaele Miccio, and his wife, Kimberley, through Nelson-based company Bissi Ltd, of which Mr Miccio is sole director.

Mr Miccio said there had been no council crossover and he had never spent any council time on NZ Inc Shop. Instead, it was his past personal business experience in China that had led to his involvement. He said nothing he had done on the council trips “added value” to his role in NZ Inc Shop now.

Readers will remember that alleged private business conducted on the same trip as tax payer funded travel claimed the scalp of National MP Pansy Wong.

Miccio is a blatant trougher of the highest order. His arguments hold no water. Either his trip had nothing to do with his private business, or the trip is for benefit of the Nelson ratepayers. He can’t have it both ways.

Please notice the weasel words: “spent no council time on NZ Inc shop”. Left unsaid is that he did spend ratepayers money.

Word on the street is that Miccio is a one term mayor, so he seems to be making hay while the sun shines. The Whale will keep shining light on this trougher as he squeals his innocence.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Wheedle using Labour Party coders?

News is breaking out that the unfortunate and hapless first start at Wheedle.co.nz has been followed up on day two with some major security breaches, including

– the ability for bidders to change a sellers reserve (maybe it’s a feature?)
– unencrypted passwords being emailed to users who wish to reset their password

This is a commercial version of the Whaleoil scoop from last year, when I discovered the Labour Party had unencrypted access to their database through a website of theirs. Not only that, credit card information was put at risk, as was their entire email database. They blamed me for hacking, when in fact there was no hacking involved – just utterly inept website coding and a utterly contemptuous approach to security and protecting the information of others. They were more interested in attacking Pansy Wong than doing things properly. (The website with the open front door was an attack website about Pansy and her husband, which is how I found the breach in the first place).

It is alleged that Wheedle’s website is insecure because they paid peanuts for Indian coders who were sloppy.

It is far more likely that Wheedle have been using Labour Party coders.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

A simple morality tale

Gordon Campbell asks a very interesting question about Trevor Mallard:

As a simple morality tale this one was hard to beat. Here was a veteran MP earning about $170,000 a year (plus perks) selling tickets at above cost price to a group of teenage students who dearly wanted to hear their favourite bands. Leave aside that this same MP had spearheaded the legislation that criminalised ticket scalping at other events. Leave aside that Mallard reportedly used his parliamentary email and electorate office to conduct this transaction for his personal profit, thus making the taxpayer – who helps to fund these facilities – something of an accomplice in this shabby little scam. Wasn’t Pansy Wong’s parliamentary career brought to an end amid a swirl of allegations that she’d mixed up her parliamentary and personal business? What’s the difference in this case, exactly?

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

National’s new MPs

National have a fresh crop of new MPs coming into parliament. The media have largely ignored them so here is some background from my perspective.

Mike Sabin: Northland

Mike won Northland bloody well, increasing John Carter’s majority by over a thousand votes. He was the only new candidate to increase his majority. An ex cop he has built a reputation fighting against P, a fight that needs to be had and few are willing to engage in. Regarded as being a solid rather than outstanding performer the election result means Mike deserves a closer look from the political pundits.

Mark Mitchell: Rodney

A real star on the international stage, Mark built a business in the Middle East that meant he was involved in major disaster recovery efforts around the globe, hostage negotiation and was decorated for bravery. Before that Mark was a police dog handler and has restricted use of his right arm after being attacked by a samurai sword. The only member of the new intake who has had media companies wanting to buy his life story. Won a bruising selection process, and soundly beat the Conservative leader Colin Craig in Rodney. Mark is a warm friendly guy who has the reputation for listening first, not talking non stop.

Maggie Barry: North Shore

Already a Whaleoil favourite for speaking her mind on Andrew Williams and telling Len that his railway won’t go ahead, Maggie comes to parliament with a positive reputation in the minds of the New Zealand public. Hopefully her career will be more successful than fellow media personality Pam Corkery, but this will depend on Maggie understanding the importance of listening before speaking, and that politics is a brutal game. If she doesn’t learn to listen with luck she will continue sledging Andrew Williams and stop the inner city loop.

Scott Simpson: Coromandel

Long time Whaleoil friend and National Party stalwart Scott has plenty of history in the party, though not all that history is necessarily working in his favour. Regarded as a little indiscrete, as a result there is a significant minority of caucus that simply doesn’t trust him, unfortunately for Scott that minority is called The Cabinet. Scott will need to do the hard yards on the backbenches to earn back the trust of caucus and cabinet.

Ian McKelvie: Rangitikei

Another Whaleoil favourite, Ian replaced Simon Power, so deserves thanks from all Whaleoil readers. He also has trenchant views on global warming and the ETS, views that may not be entirely consistent with political reality, even if they are entirely consistent with actual reality. Unfortunately for Ian he has probably left his run a bit late in life and faces the challenge that all Mayors face, going from being the boss to being a back bencher.

Paul Goldsmith: List

Bought into parliament on the list to save ACT. A former Auckland City Councilor who failed to beat Cathy Casey to get onto the supercity. Not regarded as having much talent as a vote winner, but a man with a formidable intellect who has made very good money as a contract historian writing biographies. Will be interesting to see if his time as a councilor has taught him that compromise is crucial in politics, as he was known to drive his peers to distraction with his adherence to politically pure views.

Alfred Ngaro: List

A good speaker, as is probably expected of a former pastor. Part of National’s ethnic outreach program, but with a track record in the pasifika community, and involvement in social services that mean he is not just a token. Will have three years to prove he deserves his list position, but expected to deliver as he has a history of achievement.

Jian Yang: List

Not particularly well known in National circles but has already been responsible for ensuring that donations start flowing after the gap left by Pansy Wong and her trust fund. Speaks better English than Pansy too. Jian Yang is part of National’s Asian outreach programme.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Where National’s new cabinet will be criticised

This is how National’s opponents will attack John Key’s new cabinet.

I believe people should be selected on merit, so John Key should chose his cabinet entirely based on merit, putting the best people in caucus into ministries. Unfortunately politics isn’t just about merit, it is about political reality, and National are going to be criticised for having an old, white, male cabinet that does not reflect New Zealand, notwithstanding the promotion of Hekia Parata and Paul Bennett tot eh front bench.

With Georgina Te Heu Heu and Pansy Wong leaving it means that only Hekia Parata is obviously not pakeha. Lack of long term planning means a second asian of merit is not ready to make it into cabinet, and National actually lost two Maori MPs through giving them poor list positions.

Not encouraging old white guys to retire to free up space for the next generation meant that there was little space to make cabinet more representative. A strange move from a Prime Minister who has made the National caucus a lot more diverse.

I’m not saying that the cabinet mix is a bad one, I’m just saying how Labour will attack it. They will ignore Paula Bennett for being a maori and lump her in the women’s grouping and although national has 3 women on the front bench it is still a top heavy old white male cabinet.

The left wing will also attack Judith Collins as Ethnic Affairs minister but they would be very unwise to do so, not just because she doesn’t brook any nonsense but because she is perhaps better qualified in the area than appearances would suggest.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

Pansy Wong cleared

Labour has made much of the supposed lack of diversity in National’s list and candidates but they are directly responsible for hounding a woman and an Asian MP from the parliament in a nasty little campaign that had not a single shred of evidence. Just smears, lies and innuendo.

The Auditor-General has just cleared Pansy Wong.

However, Provost said her investigations found there was ”no pattern of wrong doing” by the couple “or of extensive business activity linked with overseas travel”.

Wong said she welcomed the report because it found they had not “intentionally abused the system”.

She denied her husband meant to mislead the first inquiry.

In a statement she said: “At the November 2010 inquiry, Sammy Wong contacted the company in Lianyungang, China, to ascertain the dates that he visited there. He received a list detailing trips he had made and the June 2008 trip was not on it.  None of the trips listed involved any parliamentary travel rebates. He accepted the external confirmation in good faith and had no intention to mislead any inquiry.”

Wong added: “I hope the findings of the Office of the Auditor General and my actions taken demonstrate that accountability was accepted and any mistake made was unintentional.”

The report makes a stark contrast to all the posts at Red Alert by chief muck-raker Trevor Mallard.

Having Pansy Wong hanging around is great. The drip feed that Lockwood Smith used will happen again. Once or twice a week July or September depending on whether they go pre RWC.

No unwinnable by-election in January or February.

Numerous Asian money trails leading to a certain post office box.

The gift that will keep on giving. And the best thing is that the area that hasn’t even started being reviewed is all John Key’s responsibility – Ministerial Services.

and

Pete Hodgson is asking another question today. Sort of like water torture for Key and Pansy.

Pressure is mounting for an Auditor-General’s investigation into taxpayer-funded travel by Pansy and Sammy Wong after fresh information emerged yesterday that appears to contradict what Mr Wong told a recent inquiry.

and

John Key refuses to refer the matter to the AG, saying it’s not his job. But somebody’s sticky fingers appear to be at work. Documentation on various websites has either come down or has been made more difficult to find. We are waiting for John Key to explain the 9th floors role in this.

Will Trevor Mallard and Pete Hodgson now resign for their muck-raking. Yet another H-Fee balls-up on their part that claimed the scalp of a Minister who not appears to been maligned incorrectly. I doubt they will, their whole being is to fling muck and not be held accountable for it.

Labour’s attacks once again have failed. Will they apologise for it? Not likely. No wonder they are hovering in the mid 20s in the opinion polls.

As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.