While Key’s away the hotel play

It’s probably no coincidence that as soon as John Key heads away on an overseas trip Labour have an alleged  scandal to promote – regarding something that happened on 2014.

Andrew Little is promoting another ‘perception’ problem, which may mean that like last week with his Bahamas attack on John Shewan he doesn’t have any evidence that anything was actually improper.

NZ Herald: Labour questions $101,000 National donation and Niue resort management contract links

The Labour Party has called for an Auditor-General probe into whether a donation to the National Party had anything to do with a decision to grant the Scenic Hotel Group a contract to manage the Matavai Resort on Niue.

Earl Hagaman, the founder of Scenic Hotel Group, gave $101,000 to the National Party in September 2014. In October, Scenic Hotel Group announced it had the contract for the Matavai Resort on Niue – a contract awarded by a trust which was appointed by Foreign Minister Murray McCully to oversee the resort.

Mr McCully told RNZ National that there was no link between the donation and the contract and he had not been involved in awarding the contract. That was decided by the Niue Tourism Property Trust after running an international and competitive process. Mr McCully appoints the trustees for that but said he was not involved in the decision. “I can tell you that I had no involvement in the appointment process, conducted purely by the trustees and commercial management they appointed.

These are reputable professional people who conducted a full international process.”

Labour leader Andrew Little said the close timing of the donation to the awarding of the contract “stinks to high heaven” and he had asked the Auditor-General to investigate whether it was above board.

“New Zealand money, which was earmarked as aid for the island nation, has instead been given to upgrade a resort run by a National party donor.”

He said it was Mr McCully’s personal appointees on the trust which awarded the contract. “We must have questions answered on how the tender process worked, who knew about links between donations and the tenderer and whether Niuean people will ultimately benefit from the resort’s funding. The perception of propriety is key.”

Why is this an issue now?

Are perceptions of propriety and issue here for McCully and the Government?

Is it also fair to consider perceptions of propriety regarding Labour and Little dredging this up now when they haven’t (yet at least) produced any actual evidence of impropriety.

This is not just an attack on McCully and the Government. It is also an attack on a company.

NZ Herald: Hotel defends ‘squeaky clean’ process

The managing director of Scenic Hotel Group says he doubted the company’s founder knew the company was negotiating a management contract in Niue, which it won, at the time he made a $101,000 donation to the National Party.

Scenic Hotel Group managing director Brendan Taylor said Mr Hagaman knew the company was looking into Niue but that had been a six-year process and Mr Hagaman had not even known where Niue was. Any mention the company was tendering for it would have been “a cursory conversation”.

Since 2011, the Government has put $18 million into the Matavai resort as part of its efforts to boost tourism to Niue. That included $7.5 million to build a conference centre soon after Scenic Hotels took over.

The Matavai is owned by the Niue Tourism Property Trust on behalf of the Government of Niue. That arrangement was put in place in 2011 to ensure oversight of NZ aid.

It could also be seen as an attack on tourism in Niue. Has the investment in a resort there benefited Niue?

Or does that not matter when Labour puts a priority on dredged up ‘perceptions’ of scandals?

This may be designed to deter companies from making donations to National – but it will hardly help Labour’s desperately needed fund raising.

Perceptions of dirty politics may contribute to a reality of decline, in Labour fortunes both political and funding.

 

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102 Comments

  1. Pickled Possum

     /  19th April 2016

    “Mr Hagaman had not even known where Niue was”

    Earl Hagaman, the founder of Scenic Hotel Group, gave $101,000 to the National Party in September 2014.

    In October, Scenic Hotel Group announced it had the contract for the Matavai Resort on Niue – a contract awarded by a trust which was appointed by Foreign Minister Murray McCully to oversee the resort.

    Mr McCully told RNZ National that there was no link between the donation and the contract and he had not been involved in awarding the contract.

    That was decided by the Niue Tourism Property Trust after running an international and competitive process. Mr McCully appoints the trustees for that but said he was not involved in the decision.

    Good on you Andrew Little ask the hard questions for us even if I never vote for you maybe I will now? John key in Nz or out of it who cares we still have to have the hard questions asked otherwise there is room for Corruption.
    Accountability and transprency are not just words to be spoken they are action words dontcha think?

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  19th April 2016

      PP: “Good on you Andrew Little ask the hard questions for us”

      No – just a very dirty smear which is easily dismissed by even a quick look at the facts. If this is the type of ‘hard questions’ you think should be asked then you and Andrew Little are made for each other.

      Reply
    • Iceberg

       /  19th April 2016

      “even if I never vote for you maybe I will now”

      Not sure I’ve ever seen such a pathetic, disingenuous reason to change a vote.

      Reply
      • Pickled Possum

         /  19th April 2016

        @ Iceberg

        ” Not sure I’ve ever seen such a pathetic, disingenuous reason to change a vote ”

        # pathetic meaning miserably inadequate
        # disingenuous meaning not candid or sincere, typically by pretending that one knows less about something than one really does.

        Just for you … E kai nga tutae me e mate!

        Reply
        • Corky

           /  19th April 2016

          Excellent use of your 1/64th Maori blood, Pickled Possum. However, I think your time would be better spent passing the hat around for Andies” Lets Think Straight” course.

          Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th April 2016

          Ataata. Ka pai, wahine kaha! XD

          Reply
        • Iceberg

           /  19th April 2016

          Google translate says “shit, that’s an astute comment mate”

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th April 2016

            It seems ruder than that to me-I won’t repeat what I think it’s trying to say. My Maori is limited, but I can work that out.

            Reply
  2. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  19th April 2016

    I wonder why Andrew Little and his advisors are attacking the Niue Tourism Property Trust.
    They must know Ross Ardern (Jacinda’s father) is one of the trustees.

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  19th April 2016

      Yes, a bit of an own goal there – I’m not sure Jacinda is going ‘all in’ to agree with her party that her father is a vote for hire…….

      Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  19th April 2016

      I look forward to the MSM asking Little if he is suggesting Jacinda’s father is a corrupt National party appointed stooge………

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  19th April 2016

        Oral Question Time in Parliament should be funny. I wonder if he knew this. I’m guessing not.

        Reply
      • That’ll never happen PDB! You’d be implying that Dirty Politics exists within nasty Labour and that’d never do. That’s not Nicky and McCarten’s line at all.

        Historians will describe this period in Labour’s history as their fiddled while Rome burnt period. Apart from the loss of Clark, the criminal neglect of realistic succession planning, the new leadership vote electoral rules have combined to render the leadership process facile and the elected leader impotent and one unacceptable to caucus. Not working also was the appointment of McCarten as Chief of Staff and the energy-wasting strategy of chasing of the alleged one million non voters. Assumed to be leftist and disenfranchised, they were neither.

        In all this disarray the only constant is a Labour who fail to see that their ‘rabid dog attacks car’ scenario hasn’t worked, isn’t working and rather than garner them traction, loses them Mana. Every week their tut-tut variation on Ponytail, Panana Papers (nothing to see here), JK’s solicitor’s trust account (similarly) all have the Rage Against A Vast Tory Conspiracy about them. They never stop. It’s tiring, exceedingly boring and depressingly negative. Their bleating, infighting and negativity does not represent the other 78% of Kiwis getting on with positive lives, working and playing hard while looking to the future, the naming of the All Blacks squad and a trip to Fiji when they’ve saved for it.

        Labour simply have neither the insight, intelligence, ideological or policy cohesion to look like an effective opposition – much less a potential stable government. PDB – if you’re expecting the MSM to question an Ardern connection to Niue; to remind them of Silent “T” ‘s suspicious trust, the undeclared donors – to add some balance, you’ll be waiting forever. The MSM are both under educated, under resourced and terribly lazy. They’re are clannish and self-brand obsessed. Can you imagine they’d presssure Labour over their methodology? Similarly would they join the Cunliffe dots – especially as one of their own was said to be intimately involved? Can you imagine they might proffer this connected dots scenario on Labour’s last heir apparent bar one as part of a wider look at hypocrisy and corruption? Questioning Labour’s hypocrisy; an MP’s personal life – in that it relate to suitability, (especially if it implies Press bias) would be a step too far. Rather, let’s damage the children of the PM. Let’s harangue DJ and young businessman Max and artist Stephie. Those horrid young Tories are fair game, while Cunners, Tarnbabe, lawyers of national significance, anonymous donors to Labour and Press reporters are sacrosanct.

        Back to prophesising about the future of Labour. Conspicuously bereft of talent, intellect and direction the rabid dogs will keep chasing cars, frothing all the while until the electorate put them down again by the electorate in 2017. They can dream in fifty shades of Corbyn until they’re red in the face, but the electorate still wants a hard working, hand-pressing likeable and reliable PM. That person is not Mr Little.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  19th April 2016

          Well said (but note my MSM comment was firmly ‘tongue-in-cheek’ as it will never happen with their particular slants).

          Reply
        • Dougal

           /  19th April 2016

          I couldn’t have put it better myself. Labour, will or course, take no notice.

          Reply
          • …and for that Dougal, National and it’s allies are thankful. Heaven help us if Labour and the media got overtly positive. Imagine if they started embracing all that’s good about NZ; started being constructive, taking a leaf out of sunny JK’s book. Let them whinge, let them bleakly moan, let them wail and let them gnash teeth over beltway issues nobody gives a fig for – long may the centre rule.

            Reply
        • Gezza

           /  19th April 2016

          Can’t argue with any of that. Clark was the only bloke they had tough enough to nominate a successor & force acceptance, but she was too busy hanging on to all the power until the end, did no succession planning & jumped the waka immediately for something better. Labour’s had no direction, and no one match either her or Cullen, ever since.

          Reply
    • spanish_tudor

       /  19th April 2016

      Maybe Little is having a sly dig at Jacinda via her father? After all, her preferred PM rating is not that far off his….

      Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  19th April 2016

      Maggy-I don’t believe it ! 😀 😀 😀 Are you serious ??? That would be the own goal of the year-the decade ! 😀 How funny !

      Someone needs to tell AL that when he sets goals for the party, ‘own goals’ are not what is meant. One should have one’s own goals, one shouldn’t score them.

      The hotel would have to make a lot more than $101,000 in profit to make it worthwhile donating that amount. The National Party would have to be incredibly stupid. The…oh, it just didn’t happen this way.

      Reply
      • It happens that way in the Labour viper pit. They salivate, cogitate and disseminate garbage of such magnitide you’d be excused for believing they’re quite onboard with “that Moon Landing was filmed in a studio” . Just look at that unfluttering flag!!!!

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  19th April 2016

          I could believe that some parts of the landing were recreated.

          It’s odd that we are all expected to believe the Moon Landing….when only the astronauts were there and we have only their word for it. It would be a belly-laugh for the doubters if it was exposed as a hoax 😀 I keep an open mind about it, as I am unlikely ever to know either way. It seems a pity to me that the mystery of the moon is now spoiled in a way.

          If Oliver was still among us, he’d claim to have been one of the astronauts…

          Reply
  3. Lizzy M

     /  19th April 2016

    When a company is prepared to defend its position by hanging out the owner as uninformed and geographically illiterate then something is up.

    Reply
  4. Klik Bate

     /  19th April 2016

    And the Left-wing blogs never miss an opportunity to put the boot into McCully, calling this ‘yet another corruption scandal’………just look at this crap

    http://norightturn.blogspot.co.nz/2016/04/mccully-doesnt-change-his-spots.html

    Reply
    • A prime example of a left wing blogger who’d rather devote his canine energy to chasing cars. What happened to compelling forward-thinking thought and discussion – btw, “progressive” is a word they stole, use inappropriately and doesn’t suit them or their agenda one bit? Who and what are their alternatives to the effective, popular government of JK? None of them get it at all. There’s not a one of these whiners I can think of who I’d invite to my BBQ.

      They’re nothing but warm beer, burnt sausage and telling you to turn the music down!

      Reply
  5. Pantsdownbrown

     /  19th April 2016

    What a very nasty smear by Little – can he slink any lower?

    A look at this smear, from stuff.co.nz: “During the 2014 election, Scenic Hotel Group founder Earl Hagaman donated $101,000 to the National Party. A month later, the company won a contract to manage the Niuean Matavai Resort, heavily funded by the New Zealand government”

    Well that sounds ‘dodgy’ – Hagaman donates money to National & then a month later win a contract.

    Stuff: “Taylor said he led work on the Niue contract over six years, and Hagaman had very little to do with it”.

    So the Niue deal was six years in the making – it wasn’t just ‘suddenly’ awarded one month after Hagaman made his donation & the govt didn’t ‘just’ decide to invest in the resort.

    Stuff: “There’s no huge financial gains for Scenic with the management contract whatsoever,” Taylor said. “We get paid a small fee for running the resort, and the money that’s being put into the expansion of the hotel – we don’t even handle the money or necessarily have anything to do with it” “Scenic Hotel Group had no ownership in the resort”

    So nothing to be gained by making his donation, Hagaman’s company doesn’t have any ownership of the resort and only manage it for a fee with nothing to do with the govts investment in it.

    Stuff: “Taylor said Hagaman knew “very little” about the tender process, as there was no financial investment from Scenic in the management contract”.

    Indeed.

    “The Matavai is owned by the Niue Tourism Property Trust on behalf of the Government of Niue. That arrangement was put in place in 2011 to ensure oversight of NZ aid”.

    This is a good thing for our govt to be involved in in terms of supporting Niue.

    Reply
    • jamie

       /  19th April 2016

      If you believe they spent 6 years putting together a deal for no real financial gail then I have a resort in Niue to sell you.

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  19th April 2016

        You’re blinded by anti-National blinkering Jamie (as usual), they obviously make good money from the management of the resort, but have no financial interest in the resort.

        No story here, just an easily proven smear against National, Scenic Hotel group and the Niue/New Zealand govt initiative to boost the Niue economy.

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  19th April 2016

          So “make good money” means “no financial gain” now?

          I think I may have a few other items for sale.

          Reply
          • Pantsdownbrown

             /  19th April 2016

            “There’s no huge financial gains for Scenic”

            Try reading again – this time with both eyes open…….

            Reply
            • jamie

               /  19th April 2016

              So they worked for six years on a deal that gets them “a small fee”.

              Seems legit.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              Huge company – a ‘small fee’ to them could be a big payday to us.

              The funny thing here is that you are so desperate for a ‘smoking gun’ you’d believe even the worst smear – how’s the Panama papers/Key link going? Strange how that has died like Andrew Little’s approval ratings…….

            • jamie

               /  19th April 2016

              I’m not desperate for anything.

              I just like seeing who leaps to the defense of the dodgy and to what lengths the will go.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              Considering how you are obviously jumping to Little’s defense here I can see your point….

            • jamie

               /  19th April 2016

              Not sure what Little has to do with it.

              Looks like McCully business as usual to me.

        • duperez

           /  19th April 2016

          I like the “you’re blinkered by” comment. The blind challenging the blind? The metaphorical sword fight, you know, with white sticks?

          That said, when someone blind says, “Nothing to see here” and another blind person says, “Let’s check, just in case” I know who I support.

          Reply
          • Goldie

             /  19th April 2016

            duperez and Jamie could be paedophiles.
            There is no evidence, but let’s check just in case.

            Making allegations of corruption or criminal behaviour, when the person making the allegations knows that there is absolutely no evidence, is just a smear and a particularly dirty political tactic.

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              In Duperez’s world we must officially investigate EVERYTHING the govt does regardless if there is evidence or not of wrong-doing – in fact the amount of investigations required would send the country bankrupt in approx 12.4 days.

            • duperez

               /  19th April 2016

              The allegations made on this page by Andrew Little are about the awarding of a contract stinking to high heaven, New Zealand money, earmarked as aid being given to upgrade a resort and that Mr McCully’s personal appointees on the trust awarded the contract.

              Goldie, are you saying there is absolutely no evidence of those things, they are just a smear and/or saying them is a particularly dirty political tactic?

              And if the responsible Minister had been a Labour Party one in the same circumstances would you expect National MPs to say anything rather than be accused of smearing and using dirty tactics?

  6. Lizzy M

     /  19th April 2016

    It may also be worth mentioning that Hagaman is a fat, aged, Texan who wears a stetson whilst driving a large 60’s US convertable. You know, the kinda guy that looks like he [deleted – an unacceptable insinuation. The personal attack isn’t appropriate either. PG]

    Reply
    • Pantsdownbrown

       /  19th April 2016

      The kind of guy who wouldn’t give a s**t where Niue was.

      Reply
      • jamie

         /  19th April 2016

        The kind of guy who wouldn’t give a shit about NZ politics.

        Reply
        • Pantsdownbrown

           /  19th April 2016

          The kind of guy where $101,000 is a very small donation on his part made from the change he has sitting around underneath the sofa….

          Reply
          • jamie

             /  19th April 2016

            I really must link you to my Trademe profile. I have a number of items you will be very keen on.

            Reply
            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              Unfortunately I don’t have a need for any of the lemons you suck on daily……..you must have quite a supply though?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th April 2016

              I thought that things like Magic Mushrooms couldn’t be sold on Trade Me-my mistake. Jamie’s selling his surplus stock.

            • What have you for sale Jamie?

              Das Kapital, numerous titles by Pilger.

              No thanks.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th April 2016

              Chairman Mao’s little red book. How I wish that I still had mine.

              Andrew Little could well be discouraging anyone who’s thinking of donating to Labour.I never would, but it I was thinking of it, I’d probably be deciding against it in case he made a hoohah about me as well.

            • Gezza

               /  19th April 2016

              You can have mine. I haven’t been able to figure out what any of the little pictures is actually saying. 😳

            • jamie

               /  19th April 2016

              Some of you have very odd ideas about my political leanings. I don’t think I’ve ever said anything even vaguely supportive of communism.

              Funny how people paint you in their imaginations when you don’t blindly follow their favourite sports team without question.

    • Nelly Smickers

       /  19th April 2016

      And Wayne reckons he’s got one of the worst wigs he’s ever seen XD

      Reply
    • Missy

       /  20th April 2016

      “It may also be worth mentioning that Hagaman is a fat, aged, Texan who wears a stetson whilst driving a large 60’s US convertable. You know, the kinda guy that looks like he does kickbacks.”

      It might be worth mentioning that this is an incredibly moronic comment that is full of nothing but lies, innuendo, and stereotyping.

      First, he isn’t a Texan – get your facts right, he is from California (neither is he fat), Second your stereotyping is disgraceful, judging a person based on where they are from or what they look like is something that we get told is uncalled for. You are either a jealous, small minded, judgemental lefty – or an idiot.

      Reply
      • Nelly Smickers

         /  20th April 2016

        Whilst Lizzie M’s comments may well be a little ‘off-beam’, you would surely have to agree with Wayne’s assessment of the wig, wouldn’t you Missy? XD

        Reply
        • Missy

           /  20th April 2016

          Wig? Are you sure Nelly, I just thought he should be looking for a new barber 😉

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  20th April 2016

            Could be a bit of a Trump thing, with an overdose of Just for Men (Dark, Brown to Black). But I really don’t like to comment further as the thought that if doing so means I to might be “a jealous, small minded, judgemental lefty – or an idiot” – has put me off a bit.

            Reply
  7. Pantsdownbrown

     /  19th April 2016

    Only Labour would attempt to smear what is in fact a very good thing New Zealand is doing with Niue in an effort to boost their economy.

    https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/partnership/?p=7909

    “Niue is self-governing in free association with New Zealand. Since 2009, New Zealand and Niue have been working in partnership to promote tourism development as a key economic initiative for Niue”.

    “Since 2009, New Zealand investments have focused on key tourism infrastructure, notably the Matavai Resort (the main hotel on Niue) and visitor facilities including the airport, the Tourism office, and development of a cultural heritage centre, as well as tourism marketing and private sector support”.

    Reply
    • duperez

       /  19th April 2016

      Was their any corruption involved? How do you know? Is it a smear or justified concern? Do you want questions to be asked of what happens around Government spending or not?

      Are you the ultimate “I trust them – I will ask no questions” person? Or are you the ultimate “I will trust the Governments of some political parties but not others and I will ask questions depending on that” person?

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  19th April 2016

        Hard to join the dots when there are no dots……..

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  19th April 2016

          What do you mean, there are no dots ? It seems to me that there is a lot of dottiness here in the Labour camp.

          Come on, Andrew, you can do better than this. You’re not an idiot, you’re an intelligent man. Stop acting like one and start acting like the other.

          Reply
      • Dougal

         /  19th April 2016

        The left have very selective and short memories. Any corruption here?

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10807435

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  19th April 2016

          corruption is corruption….Lab or Nat..McgillyCully looks like like a duck ,walks like a duck ,but apparantly is squeaky clean.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  19th April 2016

            Corruption is surely intended to benefit both sides, which this hasn’t-also, it’s not open, which this is. QED.

            Reply
            • @ Miss Kitty – It’s clearly benefitted the National Party by $101,000. It hasn’t benefitted Scenic Hotels because they tell us so and we automatically believe them, like we do the National government.

              I’m getting a grip on the rules of this game …

              We don’t know to what extent it’s benefitted Niue, since we don’t know who the other tenderers were and what they were offering. There may have been a Niue based company or consortium which would see 100% Niuean inputs and returns?

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th April 2016

              Yes, but in the scheme of things, that’s not a massive amount and it was given quite openly as a donation. Everything here has been open. It’s a non-starter by Andrew Little-again. I would think that if anyone wanted to tempt a political party, they’d need to offer a lot more than that !

            • “Never mind the quality, feel the width” is it Miss Kitty? Doesn’t matter about the principle, only the amount? I think there may be limits on individual donations too?

              As long as a link cannot be established it will only be a suspicion based on the timing of the donation in relation to the tender awarding, which seems rather close to me.

              Perhaps also the question: What the f*%k does this guy Hagaman – who apparently doesn’t even know where Niue is – want to make a donation to the NZ National Party for? I wonder if he knows where New Zealand is?

              Wouldn’t mind betting its a case of “who you know” not “what”? Some sort of ‘Hawaii connection’ or something? This is commonly called ‘cronyism’ isn’t it?

          • “The road of graft leads to the palace of neoliberalism”

            – after William Blake

            Reply
            • Do please explain why neoliberalism is a bad word, what it means to you and the alternative ?

            • Gezza

               /  19th April 2016

              It’s quite a hard word to pronounce after you’ve had a few whiskies.

            • Kitty Catkin

               /  19th April 2016

              Like saying The Leith Police dismisseth us.

            • @ traveller – It fits quite nicely into a paraphrased William Blake epithet, don’t you think? “Why is it a bad word?” you ask and what’s the alternative? Good questions both. These are the key questions addressed by Jane Kelsey in ‘The Fire Economy’, New Zealand’s Reckoning. I almost entirely agree with her conclusions. Neither she nor I are saying it is “all bad”, only that it has distinct shortcomings – especially social ones – has run its course and needs to evolve into whatever eventually becomes post-neoliberalism.

              Wiki identifies numerous “neoliberal” definitions, eg, “”the general idea that society works best when the people and the institutions within it work or are shaped to work according to market principles.” – Lester Spence. There’s a nice one in there too about market failure leading to “crony capitalism”, also the subject of this topic IMHO.

              I also quite like Noam Chomsky’s, “it is not new and it is not liberal”. He equates it with propaganda masking “old-fashioned” class war and imperialism … https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neoliberalism#Noam_Chomsky_.28April_2014.29

              “Finance has replaced industry as the driver of wealth creation in affluent countries – a transformation known as financialisation. Neoliberal ideology, rules and institutions acted first as midwife and then as guardian of this new economic order”*. “Market society”, where everything becomes a commodity, has replaced market economy. People are “units of production and consumption” – Dennis Potter.

              Neoliberalism and financialisation have not served most NZers well, other than in a “hedonistic” sense. “Structural poverty and deep inequalities of wealth and income have transformed the social landscape.”*

              Kelsey outlines (at least) 6 prerequisites for the paradigm change needed to progress to post-neoliberalism. In brief –
              1) A new international economic model that gives primacy to the social role of economies and exchanges
              2) A corresponding intellectual platform of meta-values, ethics and practices that inform new economic and social theories to infuse every aspect of life especially business and government
              3) Critical reflection on the role and form of the state in the 21st century … appropriate to Aotearoa-New Zealand
              4) A strategy to reclaim the public domain from private influence … and restore genuine democratic accountability (the ultimate subject of this topic?)
              5) Committed political leadership
              6) Urgency in people’s demands for change *
              * Kelsey quotes

              That’s all for now. I may not have addressed the “what it means to me” part of your question? Can do sometime. Here’s a taster, also from Kelsey, paraphrasing former PM David Lange, ” … the Labour government and its advisers could never have achieved such swingeing changes if they had not seized the moment after the snap election 1984 to respond to a liquidity crisis that Douglas had defined and, Lange suggests, partly initiated.” NZ’s version of “shock doctrine”?

              I note with alacrity people never questioned Douglas’s word on this and still don’t, while anything uttered by Andrew Little is the subject of auto-derision … and Andrew Little certainly isn’t the “committed political leadership” Kelsey speaks of. He ain’t gonna push the evolution of neoliberalism. He’s gonna preserve it with miniscule adjustments.

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              PZ: “Neoliberalism and financialisation have not served most NZers well, other than in a “hedonistic” sense. “Structural poverty and deep inequalities of wealth and income have transformed the social landscape.”*

              That is a nonsense statement by Kelsey – her proof?

            • Pantsdown – Chapter 4 ‘The Social Realities of FIRE’ pgs 86 onwards, e.g, Fig 4.1 Inequality in NZ & the OECD trend: The Gini coefficient
              Fig 4.2 [Total income] Share of top 1% in selected years. Fig 4.3 Household saving and change in net wealth (% of household disposable income, 3 year moving average), Fig 4.4 Household debt and interest servicing costs … et al. The book is well referenced and fully indexed. It’s not nonsense at all.

              Perhaps your comment is an example of TINA? (There is no alternative)

            • It might work better the other way around?

              “The road of neoliberal excess leads to the palace of graft”

            • Pantsdownbrown

               /  19th April 2016

              What a load of twaddle – more like KPC (Kelsey promotes communism).

            • @ Pantsdown – You’re very welcome to put up a counter-argument complete with references and links. “Twaddle” doesn’t quite wash I’m afraid, nor does the silver bullet word “communism”. There’s many nations left in the world where the word “capitalism” – with the gloves off – has similar connotations you know, if you are looking for vampires.

              Columbia is being sued for $16.5 billion by Tobie Mining and Energy, who’s executives claim that Colombia created a National Park in the Amazon rainforest where the mining giant had a concession to mine for gold. Under the U.S.-Colombia Free Trade Agreement, Tobie claims Colombia is liable for the company’s lost investment.

              Tobie’s lawsuit demands that Colombia reverse its decision and allow the company to mine for gold in the national park, or fork over $16.5 billion – more than 22 percent of Colombia’s national budget.

              https://actions.sumofus.org/a/keep-this-u-s-mining-company-out-of-colombia-s-amazon/?akid=18566.11152175.4vJrSu&rd=1&source=fwd&t=2

  8. Kitty Catkin

     /  19th April 2016

    I remember when Labour was trying to dig up dirt on John Key before an election…I still have the cartoon of Helen Clark and the party president whose name I have forgotten digging away…she asks if he’s found anything and he replies that he’s only found a boomerang and a two-edged sword so far.

    Reply
    • Dougal

       /  19th April 2016

      Mike Williams and Helen Clark donkey deep in it..

      http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/696924/Labour-tries-to-dodge-bomb-fallout

      Reply
      • Kitty Catkin

         /  19th April 2016

        Mike Williams ! That’s who it is.

        I have never used that expression since I found out what it really meant. 😦

        Reply
        • jamie

           /  19th April 2016

          Yes and it’s particularly stomach-turning to hear it bandied around the Parliament, both John Key and Andrew Little being repeat offenders.

          Reply
    • Blazer

       /  19th April 2016

      the smiling assassin moniker and the attack on the NZ dollar as a forex gambler is damning but the general public do not understand .

      Reply
      • Pantsdownbrown

         /  19th April 2016

        Sounds like the sour grapes and ‘head in the sand’ mentality of the Labour party – we are right and the majority of voters are idiots for not agreeing with us.

        Reply
      • Dougal

         /  20th April 2016

        Yes, the rest of us are stupid except for you right?

        Reply
      • Gezza

         /  20th April 2016

        I’ve never really quite understood why John Key’s active assistance to Andy Krieger when Krieger made a damaging raid on the NZ currency, and netted Key a fortune, was not a bad thing.

        “John Key wants to be running New Zealand by the end of the year because, like all other politicians, “I believe the future of our country can be really great.”

        But 20 years ago, he worked closely with a famed currency trader who mounted a brutal speculative attack on the Kiwi dollar. The attack, which has entered forex (foreign exchange) trading legend for its scale, audacity and profitability, prompted Reserve Bank alarm that the currency would collapse.”
        http://www.stuff.co.nz/sunday-star-times/features/249633/Who-is-John-Key

        Reply
        • @ Gezza – If the qualifications to be leader have become inverted, what does this tell you about the values of the people he ‘leads’ and the society we have collectively created?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  20th April 2016

            Hi PZ. That’s a good question PZ. I notice none of our righties have explained how Key’s actively assisting Krieger to pillage our dollar & making something of a fortune in the process is a commendable thing for kiwis to be proud of. I don’t think it’s all that widely known.

            Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th April 2016

          I don’t think you read your linked article, then Gezza. First, the Krieger speculation from the US happened before Key worked for Bankers Trust in NZ so he was not involved.

          Second, currency trading and speculation on free markets is good, not bad. You can only buy if you pay more than anyone else is prepared to pay and sell when you are prepared to sell for less than anyone else will sell for. How does that do anything but good for others?

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  20th April 2016

            I don’t think you read your linked article, then Gezza. First, the Krieger speculation from the US happened before Key worked for Bankers Trust in NZ so he was not involved.

            You’re right. I missed that. I stand corrected. I think I read something else questioning this timeline before I posted that. Will see if I can find it.

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th April 2016

            ‘While Key can’t remember whether he actually executed some of the sells for Krieger’s 1987 speculative play ‘…..stock standard Key,can’t remember,do not recall,brain fade,etc,etc.

            Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th April 2016

            funny guy…recent history shows it was/is a rigged game,ramping,fixing,collusion,…try LIBOR for a start,these banking parasites are supparating sores on the face of humanity,produce absolutely nothing!

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th April 2016

              Abuse is no answer. LIBOR is completely different since that was an artificial benchmark some banks used to set their interest rate charges. The currency markets work as I described. Challenge that if you can.

          • Gezza

             /  20th April 2016

            Second, currency trading and speculation on free markets is good, not bad. You can only buy if you pay more than anyone else is prepared to pay and sell when you are prepared to sell for less than anyone else will sell for. How does that do anything but good for others?

            PS: Why did it cause so much consternation at the RB, as reported in the article?

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th April 2016

              Because the RB was inexperienced at managing a floating currency and got spooked. Also you have to remember the Black Monday share market global collapse had just happened and no-one knew where it was going.

  9. Blazer

     /  20th April 2016

    the currency markets are influenced/manipulated by huge volume short selling usually a la Soros and co,…..it is a casino that has exploded with derivitive machinations,and is not based on logical analysis,if it were the Kiwi would not be one of the top dozen currencies ‘traded’.

    Reply
    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  20th April 2016

      The currency markets are influenced by millions of things. The Kiwi is highly traded because it is a proxy for commodity prices because of our primary exports. These trades give it plenty of liquidity for our exporters and importers. That is a good thing, not a bad thing.

      Reply
      • Blazer

         /  20th April 2016

        the Kiwi is highly trade because it is volatile not because of the reasons you state.Check out the ‘Iimpossible trilemma ‘and you will appreciate a fixed rate peg is more suitable for a small nation like NZ.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  20th April 2016

          The more it is traded the less volatile it is. The fixed rate peg is the perfect way to have NZ taxpayers fund foreign speculators.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Impossible_trinity shows the opposite of your claim. The EU has demonstrated the dismal failure of option a. Option c is impossible for a democracy and is generally a sign of economic collapse. That leaves the flexible exchange rate as the only sane option.

          Reply
          • Blazer

             /  20th April 2016

            You obviously do not understand the trinity u can only have 2 of the 3 disciplines.

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  20th April 2016

              You obviously don’t understand English and can’t read Wikipedia.

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