Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: Moving targets

196 Responses

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  • Islander, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    Soooo?
    And ANZERS should pay for this 'misperception'?
    NFW-

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

  • chris,

    Yang is a con-artist, the Wongs might not have known what they were walking into on those trips to China

    I don't know, One would hope The Minister of Ethnic Affairs may have been astute enough to not make deals and not allow her husband to make deals with a guy who claims his christian names to be the same as the street his business is located on.

    NAME : Guang Ming Yang
    ALIAS : Terry
    LAST KNOWN BUSINESS ADDRESS :
    8 Guangming Road, Lianyungang, China

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    You shouldn't lose your superannuation for anything other than defrauding the superannuation system.

    Sweet, so I'm still entitled to retire at 60, then. After all, I've been paying taxes since it was 60, so it should be impossible to ever make any negative changes!

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to st ephen,

    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

    I do wonder at parallels with cultural aspects of the Field case, but it’s taking a backseat to my interest in the current attempts to dress this up as some sort of innocent mistake within our local (European-derived) paradigm.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • rodgerd,

    Yeah, I’ve been pushing the Institutional Racism

    Pushing the idea that people of Chinese descent are incapable of doing their jobs without resorting to corrupt practise is, indeed, a pretty racist notion.

    To further address the whole "MPs must be treated like employees", well, if only.

    I'm employed by a financial institution. The rules around perks, travel, etc include:

    * Any work with remuneration outside my job must be declared and permission recieved before it's undertaken.
    * It can never conflict with my main duties.
    * All gifts of value over a trivial amount ($100) must be declared on the corporate gifts register and reported to my manager. I may or may not be allowed to keep them.
    * Travel requires a business case, approved by appropriate managers.
    * All expenses must be properly reciepted and enumerated, or I have to pay them back.

    Note there's complete transparency betweent he people paying me. Where can I, as a taxpayer, find a register of all gifts and donations each MP recieves? Who signs off on whether MPs can recieve gifts and donations? Where's the register of expenses? Where are the business cases, if you like, for travel registered, along with the costs realised? Are the claims ever subsequently justified?

    Because, you know, if MPs want to be treated like employees, I'm all for it; bring it on.

    (My constraints are incredibly loose compared with the average non-MP civil servant; at this year's linuxconf a government employee won the draw for a laptop and couldn't accept it. No ifs, no buts, no maybes.)

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 512 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Sounds like a classic case of “I would like now to have the additional protections afforded to an employee, therefore I shall claim to have been one”. Perhaps the Legislature could address this issue in a way similar to the recent amendment of the Employment Relations Act? I suggest under urgency

    “For the avoidance of doubt, any current or former MP shall be deemed to be an independent contractor”

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1022 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    compared with the average non-MP civil servant

    Yes, the contrast of unapologetic troughing with the austerity they prescribe for others is dramatic. And should be of concern to every good MP in the interests of rescuing their mana.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

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

    I’d keep using “appears”, Russell. National’s certainly has a few egg facials courtesy of taking “disgruntled business contacts” at face value. I'd note Hodgson has (very wisely) been much more temperate outside the House (and the protection of Parliamentary privilege) than inside. Which, as you say, is also pretty standard opposition operating procedures.

    Mallard’s question was very well crafted and Key’s reply very very poor.

    Indeed. I’d have said, “I most certainly do stand behind my press secretary calling Mr. Hodgson a fuckwit, i’d like to take the opportunity to remind the House of a string of allegations Mr. Hodgson made against me without any basis in fact."

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

  • Raymond A Francis,

    Passed Mr Hodgson as we walked downtown in Dunedin this morning
    Looked pretty perky

    45' South • Since Nov 2006 • 577 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to Ross Mason,

    If you pay people in high places peanuts, you invite influence.

    There is already influence. It's called "election contributions".

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2932 posts Report Reply

  • chris,

    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.

    Strangest thing about that Dirty debtors page you linked to Neil, is that for a con-artist he's remarkably easy to get hold of, as is his company. His number is 0086 13811801147, as listed on the website

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • chris, in reply to chris,

    While aware of what’s occurred in New Zealand in the last week, neither Mr Yang nor his assistant were open to discussing the level of involvement either Sammy or Pansy Wong have had in the company’s recent dealings.

    Mawkland • Since Jan 2010 • 1302 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    One would hope The Minister of Ethnic Affairs may have been astute enough...

    one would, but she does appear to have not been. It's poor judgement but not quite what Labour are suggesting.

    Hodgson needs to come up with something more than a half-translated piece from a local chinese govt wedsite written by some one we don't know with an agenda we don't know based on information we don't know from someone we don't know with an agenda we don't know and all based on leads given to Hodgson by people we don't know but whose agenda when can guess.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Hilary Stace,

    Talk among those who know these things is that there are also some goings on to be investigated in 'Ethnic Affairs', where she was apparently a very hands on minister.

    Wgtn • Since Jun 2008 • 3214 posts Report Reply

  • Islander,

    O dear o dear o deary me-
    make that, dreary me - and why am I not surprised?
    And, why on on earth do people who make things sweet for themselves not realise
    it sours all things for all generations after?

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

  • Sacha, in reply to Neil Morrison,

    Neil, I don’t see how you’re in a position to say so confidently that this situation is not what has been suggested. Natural justice is admirable and all but politicians deserve a high level of scrutiny, even if it’s delayed or resisted.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19705 posts Report Reply

  • Ian MacKay,

    Karma. I remember the endless onslaught visited on Winston Peters and on Phillip Field and others and in each case it was before any case was proven. Natural justice? Innocent till proven guilty? But now Mr Key is asking for Natural justice and lets wait till proof is forthcoming. Huh!

    Bleheim • Since Nov 2006 • 498 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Sacha,

    Neil, I don’t see how you’re in a position to say so confidently that this situation is not what has been suggested

    I've got to ask why you're so confident that it is?

    Karma. I remember the endless onslaught visited on Winston Peters and on Phillip Field and others and in each case it was before any case was proven.

    Ah, you mean the Philip Field who is currently in prison after an exhaustive (and exhausting) investigation of the allegations against him, and a fair trial which resulted in Field's conviction?

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah, you mean the Philip Field who is currently in prison after an exhaustive (and exhausting) investigation of the allegations against him, and a fair trial which resulted in Field’s conviction?

    Well, quite.

    A better option might be David Parker, whose Wishart-fuelled "scandal" saw him step down from his post but turned out to be sweet FA.

    I confidently predict that Wong will eventually be seen to fall between Parker and Field with respect to conduct.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Neil, I don’t see how you’re in a position to say so confidently that this situation is not what has been suggested

    I’ve got to ask why you’re so confident that it is?

    Given the simply dreadful judgement she's shown thus far, it would seem unwise to predict there are no further embarrassments lurking.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Fair enough – but given Hodgson’s previous form, it would be equally unwise to assume we’re not being served up a load of half-baked over-egged pudding. YMMV, but if it was up to me having your husband’s company registered at the same address as your electorate office is bad enough when it comes to a sackable #judgementfail.

    A better option might be David Parker, whose Wishart-fuelled “scandal” saw him step down from his post but turned out to be sweet FA.

    And while, with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight, Parker might have wished he'd done business with a better class of people, the evidence of criminality was conspicuous by its absence. Also, if Wishart was any kind of serious journalist he'd have been a lot more upfront about the far from disinterested agenda of his sole source.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    YMMV, but if it was up to me having your husband’s company registered at the same address as your electorate office is bad enough when it comes to a sackable #judgementfail.

    Yes -- the other misdemeanours require some interpretation, to be sure. But the address thing was just a crazy thing to do.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22817 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    Perhaps a new post (for the un-en-lightened)
    should be created: Minister of Ethic Affairs
    ...to keep them on the straightened arrow!

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7939 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    I think Pansy Wong and her husband got involvde with some one thye shouldn't have. I'm not sure that she intended to leverage her ministerial position. Unlike Worth who very clearly did.

    But she showed enough poor judgement to be out of cabinet.

    This just a part of Labour's stratgey at the moment, Hodgson is now muttering darkly about ministerial housing again. It is an opposition strategy to throw mud and see if any sticks but if it means MPs travelling less and ministers continually having to justify their accomodation I don't think it's a great outcome.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Fook mee, fook yu – was the Herald trying to hit ever Yellow Peril squinty-buckee-toothy-chinky #racefail cartooning trope or was that just a happy accident?

    (h/t @vaughndavis via Twitter)

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

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