So, Bill English gets a government subsidy to rent his own fucking house, and we slap a coat of paint on that law to make it go away and now he's Prime Minister without anyone even getting to vote on it.
If I recall correctly, English had been claiming the subsidy for years, but only had to pay back the amount he'd claimed during the previous 2 or 3 years. So a nett gain of tens of thousands of dollars for Mr. double Dipton.
Metiria has resigned for not telling WINZ the full story when she was in her early 20s. Meanwhile a prominent National MP has been accused of telling much bigger lies to WINZ, including not declaring she was living with a partner for years while claiming a benefit. It's a pity that scores of legal letters seem to have silenced the media in that case.
The hypocrisy is palpable.
They were only right if they knew then what we might learn tomorrow about why exactly she resigned.
I don't think anything else will come out. Someone had contacted John Campbell today to say that Metiria's child's grandparents had provided support. She confirmed on Checkpoint that there was no direct financial support... just things like babysitting or looking after the child when Meti had exams. Just the typical things most grandparents do, in other words.
I hope she stays in parliament
Too late. Metiria has just told John Campbell that she's taking her name off the list and resigning from Parliament.
A very good person gone. For all the wrong reasons. Bugger!
Espiner once again won't let people finish a sentence - in his myopic quest for one word answers - or just the answer he wants., irrespective.
He is getting past his use-by-date.
Fast becoming a Hosking-light.
Espiner demanding a simplistic yes/no answer from Shaw while continually talking over him was just plain rude. Now RNZ is running "Shaw refuses to give answer on benefit fraud" as their top news headline this morning.
RNZ can and should be better than this.
I suspect the PCA supported the police decision on the basis that there was no available evidence to charge the MP with committing the crime. That's only credible if they both decided his confession could not be used in court as evidence. If their legal advisors gave them this opinion, fair enough eh?
Which sort of ignores the sworn statement provided by the Prime Minister, doesn't it. I would have thought that might carry just a little more weight with the investigation team.
Winnie is questioning the independence of the Independent Police Conduct Authority following their decision not to pursue a complaint about the Todd Barclay investigation.
"There's not one law for the National Party and one for everyone else."
"Don't forget the principal word in their name is independent," he said
Who was the investigating officer? And what connections (if any) does he/she have with the National Party? Two months out from an election, I'm surprised that Labour hasn't taken more advantage of this National Party own goal.
Amazingly, the Independent Police Conduct Authority has decided not to pursue a complaint into the Barclay affair "after being satisfied there was no misconduct or neglect by police."
That means we'll never find out whether there was any political interference involved in the Police's apparent inability to locate Barclay for 18 months. Silly them. Did they not think about looking inside the Pig & Whistle?
Meanwhile Fairfax have put up a little counter which chronicles Todd Barclay's cost to taxpayers since he gave up any pretence of being a working MP. The total is just over thirteen grand to date.
While (one of) National's former tobacco lobbyists maintains he's working hard for his electorate, a Stuff investigation tells a completely different story.
Our reporters on the ground have documented Barclay's electorate work since June 21. He has not returned to Parliament, he did not turn up to the National Party conference, he has not turned up to any of his scheduled public events in Southland, he has not been sighted at any of his three offices in the large electorate, he has cancelled his local newspaper columns, and he has spoken publicly only three times – each time through a spokeswoman or by text message.
Towards the end of the story under a subheading "Where's Toddy?", the Stuff team provide a day by day account of Barclay's known movements, and details the numerous scheduled meetings Barclay has missed. Nice work if you can get it.
In fact the only verified sighting of Barclay has him at the Pig & Whistle one lunchtime. While that suggests that there may be some substance to the electorate office's claims of sex and parties, I guess we can all breath easier knowing that at least Barclay doesn't need to drink & drive.
Because the taxpayer is still covering the costs of his taxi rides back and forth between Queenstown and Arrowtown, plus the full costs of any flights and accomodation he runs up between now and the election.
The National Party should be ashamed. They have a lazy and errant MP who appears to have broken the law, but instead of sending him on his way they've turned him into some sort of super-beneficiary. Paula Benefit must be proud of young Todd.
The Nat's dirty tricks team has swung in behind Barclay, with both the PM's office and and Parliamentary Services accusing Fairfax reporters of "intimidating and threatening behaviour" at the Gore electorate office.
...it was alleged Kelly and her cameraman "barged" into Barclay's office and harassed and intimidated staff - even pursuing them to the back of the office, leaving the staff feeling threatened and under siege.
Heavy handed journalism? Nah. Just a straight up lie from the National Party. And Fairfax have the whole thing on video to prove it.