Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The sphere of influence

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  • nzlemming, in reply to bob daktari,

    We need to fund parties from the state or this sort of bought influence will only get worse

    They'll still do it. They'll just hide it better.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Euan Mason,

    " two of her most loyal media pups, Cameron Slater and..."

    You have to wonder about her choice of acolyte. If she really has a high regard for Slater then this says some rather disturbing things about her judgement.

    Canterbury • Since Jul 2008 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    Not only does that reveal the initial offence, but then her lying to parliament and, given John Key would have been privy to all that documentation, his complicity in the poor excuse for a cover-up. (I assume Keys excuse will be that he took her word for it and didn't seek to look any further).

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Gary Young, in reply to bob daktari,

    What National MPs seem to miss is govt isn't a business

    Unfortunately the top floor of the Beehive is currently occupied by a money manager on temporary leave from Wall St.

    It shouldn't be at all surprising that he and his Cabinet will wish to govern in accordance with established corporate boardroom practice.

    Glenfield • Since Jun 2013 • 39 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Sacha,

    According to that MFAT briefing above, he’s *half* the board. I’d heard a third

    Companies Office says a third. I'd heard he was the sole director, so there's clearly a lot of murk. The Companies Office is, however, the final word in terms of legal standing.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to bob daktari,

    While they all do it... National seem to be the most blatant in regard to "buying favours" but also, I feel, the most understandable in their response to donors - its business, pure and simple, the dollar rules and you are accountable to those whom pay the bills

    It's a big status game. Remember that many of Collins' most ardent admirers are Young Nats. They want to be in the sphere and to be charmed by the minister. The same issue of Metro contains Tim Lambourne's account of his night at the Young Nats' ball, where northern regional leader Sean Topham brought the house down by declaring of Collins that "I love that woman more than sharks love blood."

    The weird part is the crossover with Auckland celebrity culture. Slater and his wife's war on Glucina was really weird (which isn't to say Glucina didn't deserve scorn). But again, it's all tied into status. Status was what Stone Shi was after when he paid to play golf and be photographed with John Key. So no, I don't think it's a straightforward policies-for-cash deal, it's a network of influence drowned in the gravy of entitlement.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to nzlemming,

    They'll still do it. They'll just hide it better.

    Well that's the easy part to deal with , you make every dollar accountable - no more secret trusts - if you support a party and give it $1 you should do it in public with the whole world watching - it;s not hard to type someone's name into a spreadsheet when they give you a cheque, and if they contribute on-line it happens for free.

    While you're there make the penalties for breaking the rules and engaging in this sort of corruption high enough that people actually think twice .... excuse me Mr B you appear to have laundered your funds from a foreign mogul, the top 10 members on your list will be turfed from parliament, I see 6 of them have electorate seats, there will be by-elections - that not only keeps the people in power on their toes, but gives the younger MPs an incentive to reveal the truth and stab them in the back

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    I see no reason why any New Zealand political party should get any money from any business. Let’s ban all money from them

    What about the self-employed? What about partners in a non-limited partnership?

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    Companies Office says a third. I’d heard he was the sole director, so there’s clearly a lot of murk. The Companies Office is, however, the final word in terms of legal standing.

    The third director, Julia Xu, has been described as a co-founder of Oravida, and has spoken to media on the company’s behalf, so she seems to be more than just the obligatory lawyer on the board. She’s attached to Wilson McKay, where she specialises in “asset protection planning and taxation trusts and wills”.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell,

    The companies office shows that 100% of Oravida is owned by Kauri NZ investments which has one director Stone Shi. 98% of Kauri is owned by Kauri NZ Trustee Ltd which has one director Devi Shi. 100% of Kauri NZ Trustee Ltd is owned by Gilligan Shepard Nominees Ltd which has 3 directors Richard Ashby/Greg Rathbun/Bruce Sheppard. 100% of Gilligan Shepard Nominees Ltd is jointly owned by Greg Rathbun/Bruce Sheppard

    While her husband is a director of Oravida he isn't in any of the above lists

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Paul Campbell, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    What about the self-employed? What about partners in a non-limited partnership?

    The self employed and partners in partnerships would be limited to giving any amount they like up to 1% of the minimum wage just like everyone else

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 2622 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to Paul Campbell,

    Bruce Sheppard

    Who up until recently was on the board of the Financial Markets Authority, and holds a strongly anti-PC worldview to boot. In fairness, he’s held a lot of sub-par company directors to account.

    Frank Macskasy has more on Oravida’s mastery of disguise.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown, in reply to Rob Stowell,

    The OIA dump Friday is still smoking. The MFAT briefing request prior to the ‘private dinner’ (and the debate about whether the ambassador should attend) was bad. Rob Salmond at polity pin-points the bad smell coming from this MFAT briefing on the ‘drop-in cuppa’.

    She's misled Parliament. There's no way around it. Ministers who do that are customarily sacked.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming,

    The most disturbing thing (aside from naming Bradford in a lie) that I took from the 3News Collins clip is the not-even-veiled threat to the Press Gallery, which I took as "If I go down, I'm taking you all with me".

    The origin of the term "loose cannon" comes from sailing days when cannon were secured in place with heavy rope to absorb the recoil when fired. If the rope broke, recoil would send the cannon flying to the rear where it would take out crew, cannon and even put a hole in the side of the ship. I think Collins' rope has well and truly broken. It must be sending real fear though the Key cabinet.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Miche Campbell, in reply to merc,

    "No laws broken" is the _bare minimum_ standard of conduct we should be expecting from our Cabinet.

    Dunedin • Since Feb 2011 • 79 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There’s no way around it.

    Gone before the 6pm news, I'd expect.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19740 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston,

    So what will it take for it to be seen Collins crossed the same line Williamson just crossed?

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

  • Rob Stowell, in reply to Russell Brown,

    She’s misled Parliament. There’s no way around it. Ministers who do that are customarily sacked.

    Don't care was made to care.

    Whakaraupo • Since Nov 2006 • 2110 posts Report Reply

  • Trevor Nicholls,

    Gone by teatime?

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 325 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    She’s misled Parliament. There’s no way around it. Ministers who do that are customarily sacked.

    I'm guessing the line is 'The Cabinet Office has already looked into that allegation and completely cleared the Minister of any wrongdoing.'

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Garner:

    The truth is, her story about what she was doing in China with Oravida has completely collapsed. She has lost all credibility. What started as a pop-in cup of milk and a private dinner turns out to be a turbo-blasted official dinner involving both Governments, their officials, a senior Minister (Collins) and a National party donor (Oravida).

    Collins presented it totally differently and she’s been found out, case closed. She didn’t tell the truth to the PM – she misled him, she misled Parliament and she misled you, the voter.

    There’s also a bunch of of somewhat dispiriting but probably accurate stuff about how gallery journalists will now compete to “nail” Collins.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • william blake,

    I suppose Key has to weigh up the damage Collins can do to National from her current position within the party, which seems to be ramping up alarmingly, against the loss of two ministers within a fortnight, which makes the National look like a badly holed boat. Almost feel sorry for the bugger.

    Since Mar 2010 • 380 posts Report Reply

  • nzlemming, in reply to william blake,

    Almost feel sorry for the bugger.

    That way, the Dark Side lies.

    Waikanae • Since Nov 2006 • 2935 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic, in reply to nzlemming,

    I think Collins’ rope has well and truly broken. It must be sending real fear though the Key cabinet.

    I'd say it's because Collins is too big to fail for them. If she sinks to Watergate-level depths, the others will quite possibly be dragged down with her.

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5441 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Russell Brown,

    There’s also a bunch of of somewhat dispiriting but probably accurate stuff about how gallery journalists will now compete to “nail” Collins.

    Oh dear a feeding frenzy , that could get ugly

    Northland • Since Nov 2006 • 510 posts Report Reply

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