The Ohariu and Epsom rorts are paying off nicely

Tova O’Brien has the dirty details

The ACT Party’s David Seymour can look forward to a string of Parliamentary perks and funding worth more than $500,000.

That’s because Prime Minister John Key has signed deals with ACT and United Future, giving them plum jobs which come with plum benefits.

Mr Seymour’s been given the role of undersecretary for education. It means he gets a bit more say in two portfolios, and a lot more cash.

More importantly, he also gets no say in parliament, can’t be questions on any portfolios, and isn’t subject to Official Information Act requests. ? Talk about being put into the parliamentary creche…

Because ACT failed to get its actual leader Jamie Whyte into Parliament, Mr Seymour gets Parliament’s perks ? including $100,000 plus party, member and other funding.

Add that to Mr Seymour’s allowance just for being an MP, and his undersecretary salary – which is nearly $30,000 more than your average back bencher – and he’s pulling $585,028 a year plus extra staff.

It’s all thanks to Mr Key doing a deal and gifting Mr Seymour Epsom ? and the MP admits he couldn’t have won the seat without the Prime Minister’s support.

Nope. ?It’s a rort. ?Strategic voting under MMP is one thing, but this is quite the welcome package for the 31 year old newbie.? Read more »

A few thoughts on the new Alliance

With the left wing shamelessly selling out to Kim Dotcom in the creation of the new Alliance I thought I’d share some thoughts.

One thing we do know is that left wingers are prepared to sell their souls if the ends justifies the means.

Read what Martyn Bradbury has to say:

I just don?t believe we have the luxury of telling the 285 000 kids in poverty that we preferred principled opposition than pragmatic co-operation.?

There you have it…money trumps principles…the very thing that Martyn Bradbury and his little band of socialist dreamers rail against the right for allegedly doing we see them jumping in boots and all. For just a few shiny shekels the hard left of NZ politics has dropped their trousers.

For all of the accusation they have leveled and continue to level against John banks they are doubly worse. When John Banks received a donation it was in his mind “NO strings attached”. Kim Dotcom thought he was buying favours but John Banks could not be bought and so we arrived at the point where we are today with John Banks stitched up on trial by the manipulations and mistruths by Kim Dotcom and his band of enablers and at the same time the left-wing selling their principles for a bit of german loot.

One thing we will be hearing no more from the left-wing though is the description of the coat tail provisions of MMP as a dirty little rort like in Epsom. In fact I await the lengthy posts, articles and television utterances of Patrick Gower about the dirty deals being done on the left. He will no doubt put as much effort and vigour into his reporting of that like he has done with his kickings over Epsom and Ohariu. Or will he? I suspect not.

Dodgy deals and rorts seem to be only done by the right, and not the left. It is a dodgy deal in Epsom but pragmatic use of the MMP system in Te Tai Tokerau. It is dodgy for the right to receive donations from wealthy people but not dodgy for a foreigner interloper on criminal charges to?buy two whole political parties. ? ? Read more »

Corrupt to the top, and still denying it

? Sydney Morning Herald

The Health Services Union scandal keeps on delivering in Australia.?This Aussie union has rorted and ripped off its members, they are corrupt to the top, and still denying it.

I shudder to think what sort of malfeasance is going on in New Zealand with our lax supervision of union monies:

SUSPICIOUS procurement practices, nepotism and cronyism resulted in the union boss Michael Williamson, his family and friends reaping millions of dollars from the troubled Health Services Union during his 15-year reign.

The final report by Ian Temby, QC, and the accountant Dennis Robertson, which has been obtained by the?Herald, paints a disturbing picture of the HSUeast branch. More than $20 million in questionable payments was paid to suppliers to the union without any form of tendering or contract.

More than $5 million went directly to companies operated by Mr Williamson and his wife, Julieanne, while $1.5 million of union funds was spent buying and renovating a warehouse, which was then used by his son Christopher, also an employee of the union.

The report found the union’s funds had been spent building a rehearsal studio for Chris Williamson’s commercial use. “This was stark favouritism,” it said.

United Edge, a company of which Michael Williamson was a third owner, received $4.7 million in the four years to September 2011. United Edge, which provided IT services without having to tender, operated rent free from the HSUeast headquarters.

Then there was the $384,625 Julieanne Williamson received for allegedly doing the union’s archiving from 2005 to 2009.

Mr Temby is particularly critical of this transaction. “Assuming that the work was actually done, and done by Mrs Williamson alone, and she worked a 37.5-hour week through out the 50-month period ? collecting folders, dismantling and collating them for scanning, week after tedious week for 52 weeks of the year ? then she was being paid at a rate close to $34 per hour plus GST . . . a high hourly rate for what appears to be basic clerical work.” Mr and Mrs Williamson declined to be interviewed by Mr Temby, but she wrote to Mr Temby saying: “I felt I should have been charging $200ph, as the work was downright disgustingly filthy”.

PSA Holiday Homes

Earlier today I blogged about the PSA holiday homes. It got me thinking.

Now, maths is not my strong suit, but…

55,000 members with access to 7 holiday homes 365 days a year.

That’s a maximum 2,555 nights available per annum (365×7)

55,000 members competing for 2,555 nights per year ?(55,000/2555)

Works out to an average of?1 night, per union member – every 21 years.

21 years of PSA subs at $385 p/a = $8,085.

At $8,000 a night – they must be pretty amazing holiday homes.

But of course, members might always choose to take their holidays in groups together…

Who decides who gets to stay in the holiday homes?

I’ll bet a dollar to a knob of goat-poo that ordinary members can never get a booking with the union bosses taking priority over those holiday homes.

Only coz he got caught

The boss of Te Puni Kokiri is refund his missus airfares…only coz he got caught:

In a statement released this afternoon, TPK said Comer would be repaying the money charged for his wife to travel.

“Mr Comer is very mindful that any expenses he incurs are subject to public scrutiny. He is constantly applying a critical eye to expenditure that is incurred for all ministry business, especially his own,” the statement said.

“While he believes there was justification for the travel to be paid for TPK at the time, he now accepts the perception it was not good use of tax-payer funding and rather than go through a protracted debate on the matter, he will reimburse the amount involved.”

Only now? Up until he got busted rorting the taxpayer at the TPK trough he thought it was perfectly fine to charge up airfares and?accommodation?for the missus.

At least he wasn’t having a tweet war at midnight from the toilets of the same awards like Labour’s brilliant campaign strategist was.

More shabby back room deals

Only a week or so ago Phil Goff and Andrew Little were going nuts about MMP ‘stitch ups’ but now stand accused of a ‘stitch up’ on leaders debates

The public will once again be denied the opportunity to see John Key and Phil Goff debate all the minor party leaders during the election campaign.

Key and Goff have teamed up to turn down TV3’s approach and desire for a 90 minute prime time television debate featuring all the party leaders.

Key says the election is about “who is Prime Minister”, not about who can work together.

And because Key won’t do it, Goff has fallen in behind saying he will debate Key anywhere Key wants to front. That means Goff won’t do it either.

This is the same cosy backroom deal Helen Clark and John Key did in 2008 – ignore the minor party leaders on the big stage – and debate amongst themselves.

It seems Labour does do backroom deals after all, especially when it suits them the most.

Garner reckons Goff could have forced Key’s hand, I doubt that. Though Key would have been better to agree to it and had Phil Goff look like a complete numpty on camera looking irrelevant in a sea of?mediocrity.


Dear Lockwood

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith
Speaker of the House of Representatives

By blog and email

Re: Parliamentary Services Funded Travel being used for Party Business

Dear Dr Smith,

Could you please clarify the rules around the use of Parliamentary Services funded travel where MPs are predominantly travelling to campaign.

The example I have in mind is MPs travelling to swing seats during the next four months to campaign on behalf of their party?s candidate.

In the event that MPs are breaking the rules around the use of parliamentary services funding to campaign could you please inform me what steps you will be taking to recover the costs from those who have breached the rules?

Should you choose not to recover these costs could you please inform me what steps I can personally take to recover these funds on behalf of the New Zealand tax payer.

Further would you be able to inform me of whether I should refer these breaches to the Electoral Commission if this spending is not included in Party?s electoral returns.

Yours faithfully


Cameron Slater

Dear Lockwood

Hon Dr Lockwood Smith
Speaker of the House of Representatives

By blog and email

Re: Parliamentary Services Funded Offices being used for Party Business

Dear Dr Smith,

As you may be aware a number of MPs have been using their parliamentary services offices for Party business.

Could you please inform me if this is legal, and in the event it is not legal could you please inform me of how I formally complain about this abuse of Parliamentary Services funding.

If I can prove Party?s have been using Parliamentary Services funded offices for party business could you please outline the action you will take against offenders. In the event you choose not to take action could you please give me details of how I take action to prevent this rort from continuing.

Yours faithfully


Cameron Slater


Dear Electoral Commission

Mr Robert Peden
Chief Electoral Officer

By blog and email: [email protected]

Re: Labour?s Election Advertising

Dear Mr Peden,

I am writing to lay an offiical complaint about the brochure the Labour Party has recently sent to electors in West Auckland. I have attached a scan overleaf.

(Image 1, Image 2)

It was distributed on 20 July 2011 in and around the Henderson, Auckland area.

It does not have an authorisation statement, which I believe is a legal requirement for any election advertising.

The Labour party also undertook to discontinue to send out these types of brochures in a press release of 9 July shortly after the?Electoral?Commission referred another brochure to the Police for prosecution. Their spokesman, Grant Robertson said:

?Labour has advised the commission that it will abide by the commission’s interpretation of the legislation. It has withdrawn the pamphlet from circulation, along with another similar publication. Between now and the election, it will apply a wide interpretation of the phrase ‘election advertisement’, and include formal promoter statements in the terms recommended by the commission on all such material.?

As you can see from the attachments, the Labour party has neither withdrawn the pamphlet nor complied with the law regarding promotor statements.

Could you please inform me whether this advertisement is legal, and if not what the steps are to ensure Labour are prosecuted for breaching the law.

In the event that Labour are not prosecuted through official channels could you please inform me of my rights to take a private prosecution against Labour for breaching the law.

Yours faithfully


Cam Slater

Dear Lockwood

Hon Dr Lock?wood Smith
Speaker of the House of Representatives

By blog and?email

Re: Breach of Par?lia?men?tary Ser?vices Spend?ing?Rules

Dear Dr?Smith,

Please find over?leaf??a?scanned copy of a brochure sent to the general electorate by Labour over the weekend of 16-17 July 2011.

This “postcard” is authorised by Rick Barker and carries the parliamentary crest suggesting that Parliamentary Services paid for the brochure.

The brochure does not carry the?recommended?wording as stipulated by the Electoral Commission in their advice to parties earlier this year (attached).

In addition the brochure carries a website for voters to gather additional information. This website is not funded by Parliamentary Services, it clearly is a site that asks for donations, votes and membership in clear breach of Parliamentary Services and Electoral Commission?guidelines. By funding the brochure which then directs voters to Labour’s own site, authorised by Chris Flatt, not Rick Barker, they have deliberately obscured the purpose of the brochure to Parliamentary Services when seeking funding.

Could you please clar?ify whether it is legal for the Labour Party to use Par?lia?men?tary Ser?vices?fund?ing for the ben?e?fit of a polit?i?cal party and in?par?tic?u?lar?the ben?e?fit of the Labour party in order to solicit votes, membership or money? If it is not could you please tell me what steps you?intend tak?ing against Labour, and what steps I per?son?ally can take to stop?any party abus?ing?Par?lia?men?tary Ser?vices funding.

In the inter?ests of pro?vid?ing?transparency?and infor?ma?tion for the pub?lic of New Zealand I would like to pub?lish all?the rules and?guide?lines?that polit?i?cal par?ties rely upon for deci?sions around use of Par?lia?men?tary Ser?vices fund?ing on this blog. Could you please pro?vide?this information?

Yours faith?fully

Cameron Slater