Loans/Donations for Honours crisis deepens

Honour not for loans, says Clark – 20 Feb 2008 – NZ Herald: New Zealand National news

Helen Clark says the honnour wasn’t for loans, well then, it must have been for donations. Clark is getting pulled deeper into the quagmire as her normally astute political nose is failing her.

The loans/donations scandal is set to get worse for Labour as a quick check of the key honours shows that Owen Glenn was not the only Labour donor to receive honours.

Ken Stevens got a DCNZM this year, after having been made Export Champion of the Year by Trevor Mallard – an honorary title that gets him on the radio talking about the benefits of export mentors. Through Glidepath, he’s also Labour’s second biggest donor in 2005, after Owen Glenn.

Clearly the price for his gong, at $20,000, was substantially less than Owen Glenn’s baubles but perhaps he is a harder bargainer. Labour needs to come clean as this crisis deepens, appearances become perception and perception becomes reality. Right now the perception is that the government confers honours on its donors, the questions are mounting;

How much is the price for a gong?
Did Owen Glenn pay too much?
How deeply involved is Helen Clark in administering the Cash for Honours Scheme?

Now, back to Owen Glenn now, I saw this gem in Carroll du Chateu’s piece in the Herald last week:

“On June 11 he has arranged to receive his New Zealand Order of Merit from the Queen at Buckingham Palace, rather than from Anand Satanyand in Wellington.”

It would be fascinating to see which Ministerial office lobbied for this.