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Dear Leader caught telling porkies (again)?! (part rua)

22 February 2013 10 comments

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key's credibility takes a hit

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Continued from: Dear Leader caught telling porkies (again)?!

From comments he made in Parliament, two day ago (20 February 2013),

20 February

John Key said:

It is pretty straightforward. Skycity, after it decided it would be prepared to enter an expression of interest process to have a larger convention centre, went off to its architects. Its architects designed such a thing, realised they needed more land, worked out who owned the land, and approached Television New Zealand…

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I cannot speak for the Television New Zealand board, but I am finding it reasonably hard to believe that Television New Zealand entered a commercial agreement with Skycity to sell land that it owned, and it did so without its board knowing. If that happened, then maybe its board process needs to be improved, and maybe the mixed-ownership model would work for it…

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Caught out fabricating facts over the Skycity and TVNZ non-land-deal, Dear Leader Key is backing away faster than an Aston Marton at top speed. The NZ Herald reports,

A spokesman for Mr Key said: The Prime Minister is happy to accept the assurances from TVNZ this morning that no approach has been made”.

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A “spokesman”?

Key tells a fib in the House.

Then get a Party functionary to front when he is caught out?

Not a good look for Mr Key.

At least now the media – both msm and bloggers – will be  scrutinising Key’s comments, even closer than before,  for the slightest hint of distortion or outright lie.

Such as Key claiming that he had been “vindicated” by the Auditor-General’s report. That was a distortion of  the Auditor-General’s findings.

As Toby Manhire, writing for ‘the Listener‘ said, the Auditor-General’s report on  Key’s Skycity dealings was anything but a ‘vindication’,

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1. “We found a range of deficiencies in the advice provided and steps taken leading up to [the] decision.”

2. “Although decisions were made on the merits of the different proposals, we do not consider that the evaluation process was transparent or even handed.”

3. “By the time it was expected that SkyCity would put a firm proposal to the Government for support, officials should have been working to understand and advise on the procedural obligations and principles that would need to govern the next steps. We found no evidence that officials were doing so at this stage.”

4. “The meetings and discussion between the Government representatives and SkyCity were materially different in quantity and kind from those between the Government and the other parties that responded.”

5. “SkyCity was treated very differently from the other parties that responded and the evaluation process effectively moved into a different phase with one party. In our view, the steps that were taken were not consistent with good practice principles of transparency and fairness.”

6. “Overall, we regard the EOI [expressions of interest] process in stage two as having been poorly planned and executed. Insufficient attention was given to planning and management of the process as a whole, so that risks were not adequately addressed and managed.”

7. “We did not see any evidence of formal discussions or decisions on the evaluation process and criteria, or mapping out of the basic options for what might happen next, or advice to Ministers on how the process would be managed and their involvement in it. We do not regard this as adequate for a project of this potential scale, complexity, and risk.”

8. “We have concluded that the preparation for the EOI process and the EOI document, fell short of good practice in a number of respects.”

9. “In our view, the result was that one potential submitter had a clearer understanding of the actual position on a critical issue – that the Government did not want to fund any capital costs – than any other potential submitters … We accept that it is unlikely that this flaw made a material difference to the outcome. However, we have spent some time discussing it because we regard it as symptomatic of the lack of attention to procedural risks, and therefore to the fairness and credibility of the process.”

10. “We are unable to comment on the value of any contribution the Government might make as part of any eventual agreement with SkyCity, because negotiations have not yet been concluded.”

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Source

Sprung, again.

He is on notice; keep telling porkies and he’ll be sprung each time. A few more incidents like this, and the wide-spread public perception of Dear Leader will be one of someone not to be trusted.

This is something the public already suspected in November 2011, just prior to the election,

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John Key - Safe hands, forked tongue

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* Note

Hansards can be “corrected” by MPs and Ministers. The comments quoted above were taken from Hansards at 5.20pm on 21 February, prior to any “amendments” being made. (see previous blogpost:  Dear Leader caught telling porkies (again)?!)

Previous related blogposts

Dear Leader caught telling porkies (again)?!

National under attack – defaults to Deflection #2

Sources

Fairfax media: John Key: Safe hands, forked tongue? (10 Nov 2011)

NZ Listener: The SkyCity convention centre deal: 10 quotes from the Auditor-General report (19 Feb 2013)

NZ Herald: Sky City report ‘deeply disturbing’ (20 Feb 2013)

NZ Herald: SkyCity: Key retreats from TVNZ land deal statements (21 Feb 2013)

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Nothing quite sez Rich Man’s Conference than this event

22 February 2013 5 comments

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rich men_taxes_one percent_1%

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As reported on Radio NZ’s ‘Morning Report‘ this morning (22 February), ACT’s 2013 Annual Conference kicks off today.

Part of the Conference will be held on Alan Gibb’s farm-estate at Kaukapakapa, about 50kms north of Auckland,

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ACT Annual Conference 2013

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ACT Annual Conference 2013

IBID

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An Annual Conference on an isolated,  private property, belong to one of New Zealand’s richest men; Alan Gibbs.

Gibbs – worth an estimated $420 million according to a NBR report –  spends most of his time in London. This doesn’t seem to stop him from influencing politics in this country.

Holding a conference on Gibbs’ private property, away from any urban centre does hold several benefits.

Firstly, attendees can marvel and appreciate Gibbs’ very private art collection,

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gibbs' private art collection

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And secondly, there’s a low-to-zero risk of pesky demonstrators turning up, protesting at the neo-liberal policies that have been in effect for 30 years.

After all, having a bunch of poor folk turning up to a predominantly Rich White Men’s (there appear to be no women or Maori speakers at the Conference) political party, to protest policies which have increased poverty and widened the income/wealth gap, is probably not a good look.

The question I always ask myself, though is, are they locking us out? Or are we locking them in?

Meanwhile, the sell-off of the people’s assets to wealthy men like Alan Gibbs, and others like him (aka, the One Percenters), continues,

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Key defends $100m asset selldown cost

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References

Radio NZ audio report: ACT meets at weekend for annual conference

ACT 2013 Annual Conference

NBR: Alan Gibbs

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