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Transparency International Flags Warning Over NZ’s #DirtyPolitics Debacle, Corruption Taints NZ Reputation

August 28, 2014 Leave a comment

Transparency report highlights our dirty politics

A new report by Transparency International has called for “serious and urgent action” to protect government integrity and highlights the dirty politics played by National, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“This latest report highlighted concerns about appointments to boards and high level public sector positions, a decline in the quality of public service advice, transparency around lobbying of MPs and Ministers and government independence from business interests.

“One example was the Prime Minister’s involvement in direct negotiation with SkyCity over the convention centre in exchange for changes to gambling rules. The Office of the Auditor-General found a lack of due process led to a perception of favouritism. Transparency International also said National’s decision-making process failed to meet ‘established principles of fiscal transparency’.

The report also stressed the need for the Government to reassure the public it is using its powers in the public interest, especially with respect to appointments. New Zealanders deserve better than John Key phoning his old school friend when the Government Communications and Security Bureau was looking for a new boss.

“Unfortunately, the report’s first two recommendations rely on the Justice Ministry to lead a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy and develop an ambitious Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership.

“It would be perverse for that to be overseen by Judith Collins, whose integrity is under question after becoming repeatedly embroiled in scandals involving favourable treatment of her friends and family.

“The Justice Minister’s use of her Ministerial position to advantage her husband’s company Oravida stands as an example of everything we need to guard against. Her release of the private details of a public servant to a destructive blogger make her unfit to oversee a plan for open government. She clearly misunderstands the term. New Zealand would be a laughing stock if she was in charge.

“There is much work to be done to clean up our systems and maintain our reputation internationally. However, John Key and Judith Collins are not the people to do that,” Maryan Street says.”

Press release from the NZ Labour Party.

More From #Dirtypolitics and Politics Talk on Twitter

August 27, 2014 Leave a comment

More of the best tweets relating Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics and party politics in New Zealand. Four weeks to go until the election.

Migrant Tales – The Nurse’s Story

August 26, 2014 Leave a comment

Continuing in our series of Migrant Tales – first hand accounts of the migrant experience of New Zealand.

Today’s tale was sent to us by a registered nurse who came over from Australia. The author tells of registration stuff-ups, the job being over-sold, under-staffing putting professional reputations at serious risk and how New Zealand is expensive but pretty.

I’m a registered nurse and I came to NZ a year ago from OZ, relocated because got married after a couple of years of long term relationship.

My frustrations:
Took 6-7 months to have my NZ registration + annual practicing certificated processed. I was told that there was an earthquake in Wellington (Location of nursing council) and that’s why it delayed the whole process.

When I’ve finally received my registration – incorrect spelling (name) on the registration certificate. I e-mail + called the council so many times: zero replies. Ended up sending an angry e-mail …got a reply immediately after.

Had to send that registration certificate back to the council in order to get a newly updated, correct spelling certificate. Took…them 2.5 weeks to do it.

Yes I know things are done real slow here, but isn’t this a bit too slow?

Jobs:
So everything said during interview turned out to be…different, completely different. There isn’t a lot of support and it’s so understaffed here that I find I’m placing my career in danger with these unsafe practices. During work orientation, everything looks good in words – verbal and in written, but in reality it doesn’t seems to be as good as gold?

Question: Is there a huge difference between the public sector and the private?

I’m sorry to say this but I honestly do misses working in Australia, at least the nurses are being looked after. Used to think how much problems there is in OZ but now I feel NZ is seriously washing my profession down the drain…

Apart from the “go back to your own country” sort of comments, any other suggestions? I like NZ, the pay is less but the views and scenery — Priceless. Yes it is expensive here compared to OZ (I’m serious), but the food qualities are actually very good and worth it’s price — we deserve a treat every now and then.

People here are nice too but I’ve had a few issues… well lots of issues with the South African Caucasians. Maybe it’s just personality clashes but seems like only them I have issues with?

Wished I had look at this thread earlier on, or even a year ago…

Thanks for all the comments peeps!

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Violent New Zealand. Police Officer Shot in Hamilton Supermarket Carpark

August 25, 2014 Leave a comment
Zeb McCallion. Police officer shot in Hamilton, NZ

Zeb McCallion. Police officer shot in Hamilton, NZ

Hamilton has long had a reputation as a boring town with a gang problem. But, today’s shooting of a police officer in a supermarket car park of all places, will shock many people inured to violence in New Zealand.

The NZ Herald has posted a picture of what looked like a sawn-off shotgun laying on the tarmac of the Mill Street PakN’Save.

The Herald stated that the shooting occurred after police followed a stolen vehicle into the parking area. That was linked to a police search for armed man Zeb McCallion.

About 30 police officers are at the scene, some of them armed at the entrances to the car park, and large areas of the car park are cordoned off.

Witnesses were being interviewed by police.

Shoppers with trolleys were being escorted out of the supermarket by police…

Attempted car hijacking, woman grabbed

A member of the public got caught up in the drama when the shooter tried to snatch her vehicle. She was the latest in a string of carjack victims in the small island nation.

The man tried to force a woman out of her car at the petrol bowser, but was unsuccessful.

“He had a woman by the scruff of her neck and he tried to haul her out. She had the good sense to hang onto the wheel, and not let go.”

By this time police had reached the man and Mr Strongman heard a gunshot.

The man was quickly apprehended by at least four police officers, he said.” more here

McCallion, bombs and home invasions

McCallion had previously threatened a Waikato family, stole their car and was carrying an explosive device at the time he’d invaded their home

Rangiriri man Zeb Lee Sonny McCallion, 35, is wanted by police following two incidents in the small town of Kihikihi on Sunday morning.

Police found an improvised explosive device (ed. NZ speak for home made bomb) stuffed into the pocket of his jacket, which was left on the front lawn after he broke into a house armed with a gun.

Acting Detective Inspector Mark Greene said the Defence Force’s explosive ordnance disposal team checked the device and “confirmed it was a live device with the potential to cause serious injury”… source 3News

 

 

 

Expatexposed Site Suspended. RIP?

August 25, 2014 4 comments

 

Despite assurances from the site’s owner that it would be kept as a repository of information about migrants in NZ, Expatexposed.com appears to have been offline for some time.

People wishing to retrieve information from Expatexposed.com are advised to use Google cache copies of pages before they are removed too.

For example. EXPLORE: What biases do you see in NZ media? maybe a good one to grab given the revelations made in Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics

 

Young Nats Buying and Burning “Dirty Politics” Book ? “Gypsies and Faggots” Looks Like the Rise of Fascism in NZ.

August 21, 2014 4 comments
NZ's Right wing students burn first and ask questions later.

NZ’s Right wing students burn first and ask questions later.

The Waikato Times today published a story saying the head of the Waikato Student’s union and a former member of the Young Nats is alleged to have bought 202 copies of Hager’s book “Dirty Politics” to burn. The youth wing of the National Party has previously been in the spotlight for anti-Semitism at its annual ball.

Here’s the Waikato Times story

 

Aaron Letcher has denied the claims, but the leader of NZ First Youth and a Waikato University source, who asked not to be named, said he did.

Letcher said the claims were false.

“There is nothing to it. I saw the allegations on Facebook by a NZ First person”

The Facebook page Letcher was referring to belongs to NZ First Youth leader Curwen Rolinson, who posted: “So apparently, the CNI Young Nats (and, assumedly, the NZ Young Nats) are buying up copies of Nicky Hager’s #DirtyPolitics . . . and burning them.”

Rolinson said he stood by his post.

His claims have been backed by a Waikato University student who saw the books in Letcher’s possession.

The source understood that Letcher had been given money from someone within the National Party to buy the books.

Letcher said: “I have one copy of the book and I haven’t finished it yet. I’m not involved in this.”

National Party MP for Hamilton West Tim Macindoe was surprised to learn of the allegations…

According to the university source, seven out of the 10 members of the Waikato University Student board are affiliated to the Young Nats group.

Central North Island Young Nats policy chairperson and campaign manager Jason Howarth backed Letcher, saying the claims were false.

Asked if he was 100 per cent sure Letcher did not have anything to do with the books, Howarth stated: “CNI Young Nats have not authorised or paid for any of Nicky Hager’s books.”

Asked what would be the consequence if a member of the Young Nats had been involved, Howarth said: “We would consider their involvement in the party.”

more here

Well, they would say that wouldn’t they. Meanwhile, the book continues to be printed and is also available in public libraries. It may also be purchased from online bookstores including Amazon.com.

Comment from Twitter

“The Big List of John Key’s Lies”

August 21, 2014 Leave a comment

John Key is a stranger

British PM David Cameron and “unknown guest”

HT to the reader who sent us the link to this thread on r/NewZealand. Mr Key has a reputation for amnesia when asked hard questions.

His failure to remember his position on the apartheid sanction-busting Springbok tour of New Zealand in 1981 caused him to be ‘forgotten’ by the world’s media during the Nelson Mandela remembrance service (World’s Press Blasé About John Key: David Cameron’s “Unidentified Guest”).

The Huffington Post praised British PM Cameron for distancing himself from anti-apartheid policies and published an article headed New Zealand’s Leader Questioned Over Apartheid Amnesia. For background read Quotes of the Day – Unequal New Zealand and its Prime Minister’s “amnesic position” on Apartheid.

Back to the reddit thread then. You can read it here , it was compiled a couple of days ago by a character called GrammernOtgood, a redditor for 10 months.

The big list of John Key’s lies

1 John Key claimed that he didn’t know about the Exclusive Brethren tactics. False[5] .

2 John Key claimed that he didn’t have Tranz Rail Shares. False.

3 John Key claimed that he didn’t own a vineyard. False

4 John Key claimed that he voted to keep the drinking age at 20. False[10] .

5 John Key claimed that he didn’t know about the renewal of the BMW contract in 2011. False[12] .

6 John Key claimed the wage gap between New Zealand and Australia had closed under the National government. False[13] .

7 John Key claimed that his office had no involvement with the SkyCity deal. False[14] .

8 John Key claimed that the Sky City deal will provide 1000 construction jobs and 800 casino jobs. False[15] .

9 John Key claimed that all five bidders for the convention centre were treated equally. False[16] .

10 John Key claimed that Solid Energy asked the government for a $1 billion capital investment. False[17] .

11 John Key claimed that the 2011 Budget would create in the order of 170,000 jobs. False[18] .

12 John Key claimed that NZ SAS soldiers were not involved in the Kabul Hotel gunfight. False[19] .

13 John Key claimed that Iain Rennie recommended Ian Fletcher for the GCSB job. False[20] .

14 John Key claimed that he hadn’t seen Ian Fletcher in a long time. False[21] .

15 John Key claimed that it was always the intent of the GCSB Act to be able to spy on New Zealanders. False. – Not sure what this one means.

16 John Key claimed that the illegal spying on Kim Dotcom was an isolated incident. False[22] .

17 John Key claimed that the bulk of New Zealanders earn between $45,000 and $75,000 a year. False[23] .

  • According to Statistics New Zealand’s New Zealand Income Survey results for the June 2010 the median income (the amount which half the people in the country earn below) was $529 per week, which equates to $27508 per year.

18 John Key claimed that he is honest and upfront. False – see above.

19 Video of John Key on the campaign trail in 2008 ruling out a rise in GST if he won the election. False[24]

20 On privatising assets, “I don’t believe that’s gonna turn the New Zealand economy around. False[25] /u/John_Banks [26]

21 update 10/07/2014, “National promised in its 2011 election manifesto all state houses which could be practically insulated would be.” False[27]

‘In answer to written questions this week, Housing Minister Nick Smith said of the 30 percent of the 68,000 houses under Housing New Zealand’s management had not been insulated.”

22 More GCSB – at least Key’s pal is in charge now…

“The spymaster who initially cleared the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) of illegally snooping on Kim Dotcom was also directly involved in seeking the suppression order signed by Bill English as Acting Prime Minister.”

The Herald has learned former chief legal adviser Hugh Wolfensohn was involved in arranging the once-in-a-decade certificate which sought to bury the scandal.

The Prime Minister confirmed yesterday for the first time it was Mr Wolfensohn’s advice that quelled GCSB and police fears they had illegally spied on Mr Dotcom and his co-accused Bram van der Kolk.

He told Parliament: “The best of the legal advice presented by Hugh Wolfensohn was that it was legal. As we now know, GCSB and Mr Wolfensohn were wrong.*

Mr Wolfensohn no longer works at the bureau after being placed on “gardening leave”. A spokesman for the GCSB said of Mr Wolfensohn’s advice: “With hindsight, we know it wasn’t right.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10872586[28]

23 John Key: ‘I’ve never lied about Kim Dotcom’, 21/11/2012[29] False – from 5 Oct 2012[30] and One video exposes Key, GCSB’s & Banks’ Dotcom lies[31]

24 “Gerry Brownlee breaches airport security rules”. Every other National MP that has broken much less serious rules (and got caught) has been removed from their position. Hypocrisy[32]

  • Using the exit door jokes, optional.

25 Genesis energy asset sales will be predominantly ‘mum and dad’ buyers. False[33] .

“A controversial American couple are the biggest investors in recently floated Genesis Energy – sparking angry claims the Government has been caught out “screwing the scrum” against mum and dad Kiwi buyers.”

26 “The good news was I was having dinner with Ngāti Porou, as opposed to their neighbouring Iwi ,which was Tuhoi, in which case I would have been dinner” (audio[34] )

27 “Prime Minister is claiming repeatedly that Nicky Hagar has “made stuff up”. False[35] & False[36]


Another 143 here[37] (ed. links to a post on thestandard.org.nz – An honest man?)

Honourable mentions

  1. John Key being a dick about GCSB (to tax payers and) Russel Norman in question time [40] .
  2. Eight NZ politicians who were forced to resign[41]
  3. Key rejects criticism over Mubarak comments[42] – Supporting a tyrant and a dictator with no representation for the Egyptian people was fine because Mubarak supported Israel
  4. Open letter to Eugene Bingham or would you have voted for John Key if you had known[43] i. The true relationship John Key had with Andrew Krieger and the attack on the NZ dollar in late 1987.ii. The role John Key had in the Asian Crisis, the Russian collapse and the collapse of the LTCM hedgefund.

    iii. The role John Key had in the Subprime trade and the real timeline of the Subprime crisis and the subsequent collapse of the global economy.

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