Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving targets

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  • 3410,

    If $450k is the price to allow (any) MP to trip the world fantastic after their “service to their country” one might then argue it is a small price to pay for this standing in the World.

    Why? Everyone else is expected to remain uncorrupt for free.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    I feel kind of squicky defending Pete Hodgson’s honour (mostly because I don’t think he’s got any)

    Well, that shows how little you know about him. Given that's he been Dunedin North MP since 1990 and has always enjoyed one of the biggest majorities in Parliament, his constituents clearly do regard him as having plenty of honour.

    He is a very, very well-respected and effective MP for Dunedin North. He has done a lot of very honourable work for the electorate, as it happens.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Grant McDougall,

    Regarding the actual issue at hand...there should simply be a limited pool of dosh made available each year, divided up according to the % of MPs each party has and they have to budget accordingly. When their amount of dosh runs out, too bad, they gotta carry on for the rest of the year paying out of their own pockets.

    Dunedin • Since Dec 2006 • 760 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    He is a very, very well-respected and effective MP for Dunedin North. He has done a lot of very honourable work for the electorate, as it happens.

    He was also Helen Clark's attack dog for several years, which might be Craig's reason for not being quite so much in favour.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    Correct-a-mundo! Call me old-fashioned, but if I had any solid evidence the Opposition Leader made not one, but two, false statutory declarations I’d have handed it on to the relevant authorities PDQ. Wonder why Pete never quite got around to it…

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Kyle Matthews,

    attack dog

    With a performance like this one in Question Time today, I doubt the government are quaking in their boots.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    Mallard might have been more successful - or not.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Why do I flash on this every time I see Pete Hodgson:

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Mallard's question was very well crafted and Key's reply very very poor. It'll only be in the Chamber that Key diverts any responsibility by discounting Mallard's right to question. I don't expect editorials to be favourable to the PM.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Paul Williams,

    There’s a nice diversion in Key’s soundbites onto “holidays” from the business travel that seems the issue in Wong's case. I wish I shared your confidence about media resistance to being spun, but these days they seem to lap it up and ask for seconds.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    I find it quite heartwarming to see a current Labour MP tidily executing a classic Opposition set piece.

    Hodgson led with the (relatively) innocuous one -- the witness signatures in China -- to get Key to dismiss the accusations, then dropped the travel stuff.

    Now it appears she's been spruiking -- as a minister -- for her husband's hovercraft company on a Chinese local government website.

    Key has, naturally, pretty much thrown her under the bus.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    But it's someone else's bus, eh

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I think the wider issue at play is the justified perception of socialism for the rich & capitalism for the poor. As Bernard Hickey mentioned in his recent Media7 interview about 'losing his religion', people are asking why the financial elite should lecture them on tightening their belts when the same elite don't practice what they preach.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5429 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Although Wong's travel shenanigans were revealed by the media, not by Hodgson. If he had know about that I doubt he would have passed up the opportunity to ask some sticky questions in the house. He got a bit lucky.

    Labour Party MP Pete Hodgson says a Chinese local government website shows Mrs Wong, identified as a minister, promoting her husband's investment in a hovercraft company.

    I'd like to see what exactly was on the site and just who thought Wong was promoting. Labour's interpretation might be right but it might also be wrong.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams, in reply to Russell Brown,

    And in doing so, they've exposed the relative inexperience of Key (and indulged him in his tendancy to make rash judgments)

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Williams,

    Sacha, I think they're wise to Key's SOP and will pin him for his lack of judgment - his spokesman's colourful phrasing is starting to look very silly.

    Sydney • Since Nov 2006 • 2273 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    Neil, I imagine Hodgson and colleagues (being political animals) may have had something to do with supplying leads and material to the media. And consensus amongst political commentators/bloggers seems that he knew exactly what it was leading towards.

    Just being careful he’s not the one saying some of what must be said by someone. Keeps the pressure on Key, who is unsurprisingly looking to offload it.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Islander, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    (edited - because Sacha got in before me)

    -but as a once-working journalist, I know you rely on tip-offs, from local body & national politicians for really meaty stuff.

    Big O, Mahitahi, Te Wahi … • Since Feb 2007 • 5643 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I think Hodgson has been fed business info from some disgruntled people and got lucky with the travel and my guess is that the Wongs got taken for a ride.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    The story began with Parliamentary questions from Hodgson. He'll doubtless have been delighted to provide copies of documents to journalists.

    And yes, it was probably a tip from disgruntled business contacts. That's usually the case in these situations.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    keeping partners gruntled is important

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Phil Lyth,

    disgruntled

    Exactly

    Wellington • Since Apr 2009 • 458 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    Mr Yang is supposedly the current president of the NZCBA – New Zealand China Business Association (in spite of the out of date website listing) – and you would naturally expect the man in this position to be the very epitome of business ethics and honesty.

    ...naturally…

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • st ephen, in reply to Steve Barnes,

    I can’t help feeling the ingrained racism of NZ in this

    Yeah, I’ve been pushing the Institutional Racism angle all along. Work-Life Balance is such a pakeha concept – “business is business and holidays are holidays and never the twain etc”. I’ll bet the Wongs have never taken a holiday in their lives. The idea that a New Zealand-Chinese businessman would take a holiday in China without doing a bit of wheeling and dealing on the side is ridiculous – that’s a key driver for our immigration policy isn’t it? We want New Zealanders to be going back and forth to China setting up business deals – surely that’s better use of taxpayer funds than flying Sir John Key to one of his offshore holiday homes for the rest of his life?
    But no, I couldn’t find any takers for the argument out in the real world, either.

    dunedin • Since Jul 2008 • 254 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    Yang is a con-artist, the Wongs might not have known what they were walking into on those trips to China and the local govt media spin might have been more to do with Yang than reality.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

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