Vern Walsh

Helicopter Hater Update: Vern’s Vendetta

Readers will know all about arts luvvie and Labour Party activist Vern Walsh.  He is to troughing what Jesse Owens is to athletics, Mohammed Ali is to boxing, Sir Don Bradman is to cricket, and Babe Ruth is to baseball.  A man with his snout so deeply in the trough, he’s made it all the way to Spain.

Vern is the chairman of the Auckland Council’s dodgy funding board that has cut funding to the Auckland rescue helicopter service by over $1,000,000 or 70% to give to Dame Rosanne Meo’s philharmonia.

He’s the guy who admitted to Sean Plunket that the board doesn’t have any criteria about what to fund and not.  They just make it up as they go along.  And they are careful not to have any register of what free arts tickets they get or their other troughing.

But Vern’s not content with just cutting the helicopter funding he controls.  Now he’s trying to stop anyone else from funding the rescue helicopter either.

My deep-cover spies in the Mayor’s Office report that Vern has been making a nuisance of himself, hanging around the Ngati Whatua Room, ever since his councillors made him realise Aucklanders wouldn’t stand for their rescue helicopter being cut to fund more $85,000 arts junkets.

When the mayor managed to fit him in on Wednesday, Vern tried to tell him it would be illegal for the council to fund the rescue helicopter service.  Not even Brown fell for that.

So it looks like Vern skulked off for a leak to the Horrid.   Read more »

Meet Helicopter Haters #3 & #4 : Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva

  This is NOT Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, but it is a good example of the Business Class travel Auckland ratepayers have paid for them


This is NOT Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, but it is a good example of the Business Class travel Auckland ratepayers have paid for them

And now for the third instalment of Whaleoil’s exclusive “meet the helicopter haters” series: our old friends Vern Walsh and Penny Sefuiva, who got into trouble as Auckland Councillors in 2006 spending $85,000 on a month-long, council-paid, business-class extravaganza visiting – you guessed it – art galleries, museums and sports facilities in San Francisco, Vancouver, London, Paris, Bilbao, Barcelona, Prague and Berlin. These guys are world-class troughers.

Their extravagance was so over the top that it even drew criticism from then mayor, the hapless Dick Hubbard.

But, as usual, an update of yesterday’s developments:

  • Vern Walsh, the chairman of the helicopter-hating Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, gets David Benson-Poped by Sean Plunket on Radiolive, admitting his board uses no criteria for allocating funds and no register of what freebies they receive and from who
  • Rescue helicopter boss and all-round good bloke Murray Bolton responds in the morning by asking the Auditor-General to investigate Vern’s comments and then in the afternoon sues him.
  • While Civil Defence Minister Nikki Kaye has publicly backed the rescue helicopter, there’s still silence from Len Brown and the Labour Party.
  • The Herald carries the story for a second day in a row

There are six more members of the dodgy funding board to be featured but, for today, read this and weep:    Read more »

Helicopter Haters to get sued by Helicopter Trust

Well, that escalated quickly.  Patrice Dougan writes

Members of a board which yesterday agreed to halve funding to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust could find themselves in court after the trust said it may target individuals in a legal bid to overturn the decision.

Financial backing for the rescue helicopter is set to be slashed by $450,000 after the Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board voted to implement the cut for the next financial year.

It follows a cut last year in which the rescue helicopter trust’s grant dropped from $1.2 million to $900,000.

Yesterday’s further reduction would mean the trust would receive $450,000 for the 2014/15 year.

Seriously, we are all complaining about ridiculous rates rises, but I would have thought the Arts to be non-essential spending, whereas getting people to hospital isn’t a nice-to-have.

The Herald has a useful list of “essential spending” that the board overseas   Read more »

Meet Helicopter Hater #2 – Anita Killeen

killeen

Helicopter hater Anita Killeen (with husband Simon Vannini), leaving Auckland District Court in December 2012 after pleading guilty to forgery but being discharged without conviction on grounds of temporary insanity.

You couldn’t make this up!

The second instalment of Whaleoil’s exclusive “meet the helicopter haters” features, introducing the members of Judith Tizard’s Auckland Regional Amenities Funding Board, was charged in November 2011 with forgery, damaging a computer system and two counts of using a forged document … and was only discharged without conviction in December 2012 after pleading guilty on grounds of temporary insanity!

She’s Anita Killeen.

That’s right.  One of board members who decide whether the Auckland Philharmonia needs money for a new Double Bass or the Auckland Rescue Helicopter needs it for spare parts only escaped up to 10 years in jail because she told the court she was irrational, forgetful and obsessive!  Read more »

Money for everything except saving people’s lives?

You slip and fall during a day walk.  Your leg is broken, and it is a good hour walk back to the car.  As a rate payer, would prefer that Len Brown paid for

a)  Someone to sing for you or put on a play

b) Someone to come pick you up in a helicopter

A drop in funding of nearly $500,000 to the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Trust is set to go ahead, a grant allocation board says.

Vern Walsh, chairman of the Auckland Regional Amenities Board, confirmed this afternoon the proposal to cut the trust’s grant from $900,000 to $450,00 over the next financial year had been approved by the board.

The trust’s grant had already been reduced from $1.2 million to $900,000 last year – and it was staunchly opposing further reductions.  Read more »

HTFU Broad

Raids ‘hurt’ is regretted: Broad – 30 Mar 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Police Commissioner Howard Broad has acknowledged and expressed regret over the hurt caused to Maori by last year’s anti-terror raids.

The frank admission was made during a speech at a Wainuiomata Marae hui in which Broad also spoke of differing opinions with his advisers over the raids. He did not rule out a future apology to Maori.

Harden the fuck up Broad. The police action is currently under review and you have just undermined that review with a mewling, pathetic display of your wetness.

Investigate digs deeper in latest issue

Investigate magazine has released yet another expose into Police corruption.

Ian Wishart has again exposed the systemic corruption that clearly still exists in the NZ Police, particularly in Dunedin. He also exposes the butt covering and lying that is going on from the Minister to the Commissioner and right on down the chain.

I agree with Ian, it is time for a Royal Commission and it is time for a Labour minister to resign.

[quote]“POLICE MINISTER’S SOURCE HAS MAJOR QUESTIONS TO ANSWER”

Investigate magazine has dramatically upped the ante in its battle to get a Royal Commission of Inquiry into the Police, with revelations that the former policeman who sprang to Howard Broad’s defence last month is himself a corrupt officer.

The magazine has published damning revelations in its latest issue, out today, that disclose private investigator Peter Gibbons has been using his police officer son-in-law to execute search warrants in favour of Gibbons’ lucrative private investigation business.

The magazine has also documented a major credibility blow for Gibbons that is also threatening the career of Police Minister Annette King – court transcripts obtained by Investigate suggest Gibbons has lied on oath to a judge – one of the most serious offences that a police officer can commit, punishable by up to 14 years’ jail if proven.

Investigate is also releasing portions of a tape recording of Peter Gibbons talking to an undercover police officer and justifying a decision by other police officers to lie to an official inquiry in order to protect their own interests.

The magazine reveals that Gibbons’ business earned $172,000 in fees from the ACC last year doing investigations, and that Gibbons used a family connection inside the Dunedin Police to obtain and execute search warrants for his own financial benefit.

Investigate also has a sworn affidavit from a witness who alleges Gibbons tipped off other members of his family whilst he was a police officer, in advance of a drug squad raid on that family member’s house.

The accusations of alleged misconduct involving Gibbons, which span nearly three decades, cover incidents as recently as just a few months ago.

Investigate editor Ian Wishart is calling on Police Minister Annette King to resign:

“Annette King is the Minister who relied on the word of a liar without bothering to check his background out. On the basis of his whispering in the Minister’s ear, she embarked on a massive PR campaign to vilify and defame both Wayne Idour and Investigate magazine.

“Ironically, it appears it was Howard Broad or Police National Headquarters who put Peter Gibbons’ name forward to the media and the Minister, so if the Minister wants someone to blame for the acute embarrassment she’s now feeling she need look no further than her police top brass.

“Annette King must resign. In one massive backfiring PR stunt, the Minister has single-handedly delivered explosive new evidence of police corruption in Dunedin and has managed to drag the government-run ACC corporation into it as well.

“This must rank as one of the most astounding own-goal’s the Helen Clark administration has ever scored against itself, an absolute public relations disaster. But even worse, the Minister recklessly defamed people as a result, exposing taxpayers to the risk of litigation.”[/quote]