Shane Jones ‘genuinely forgot’, Sage ‘memory let her down’

Earlier this week Minister of Regional Handouts Shane Jones said he never received advice that a waste-to-energy scheme he granted funds to was badly flawed, but after evidence was released that showed he had been fully briefed he now says he forgot about it.

RNZ: Jones says he forgot about officals’ warnings project was a lemon

Mr Jones granted $350,000 for a feasibility study for a West Coast waste-to-energy scheme – despite experts rubbishing it.

He then had to put it on ice after RNZ told him the main man behind the scheme had been referred to the Serious Fraud Office.

When asked earlier this week why he had backed the scheme given Environment Ministry experts were saying the project was a total lemon – Mr Jones responded that he’d never received the advice and even if he had it would have made no difference.

“If [the Ministry for the Environment] believe that they are an authoritative source for all that kind of information, then the fact that they had one email that I have never seen, knew nothing about, suggests to me that it’s just part of the Darwinistic bureaucratic debate.”

A few hours after that story aired some public servants got in touch with RNZ and provided an email trail showing their minister was fully briefed by his official John Doorbar and he knew full-well experts considered it a lemon.

Mr Jones said he genuinely just forgot all about it.

“Obviously so busy and so many things floating around in the square head that I overlooked that one.”

Jones is at risk of appearing like a loose cannon with what he says, and a law unto himself and with the billion dollars a year he has to hand out to projects in the regions.

Another minister who has had trouble remembering who she has had meetings with is Eugenie Sage – Green Party MP changes tune on EPA meeting

Eugenie Sage now says she didn’t meet with the EPA’s chief executive Allan Freeth when she previously said she did, and doesn’t think she discussed the EPA’s controversial chief scientist with him like she said she had.

The scientist Jacqueline Rowarth resigned this year after Ms Sage, the associate Environment Minister, and others raised concerns about her conduct with Dr Freeth.

As well as forwarding a highly critical article about Dr Rowarth to the EPA, Ms Sage told Parliament 10 days ago she met with Dr Freeth and discussed her.

“I advised the EPA chief executive that my office had received correspondence expressing some concerns about media comments by the chief scientist – I was told the matter was in hand, there was no substantive discussion,” Ms Sage told the House.

Those comments led to accusations from National that Ms Sage had inappropriately interferred in staff matters at the EPA.

They have led to Dr Freeth returning to Parliament today, to explain why he told MPs he’d had “absolutely no discussions” with Ms Sage on the matter.

Now Ms Sage says she was wrong all along – and that her memory let her down.

“I was relying on my memory, and when we checked it was actually a meeting with the Ministry for the Environment – not with the EPA, so when I raised that (Dr Rowarth’s behaviour) it was with the chief executive of the MfE.”

30 Comments

  1. artcroft

     /  April 6, 2018

    Jacinda will be furious over this. Expect Shane’s head to end up on a spike as Jacinda is strong, take no bullshit kind of leader.

    • chrism56

       /  April 6, 2018

      Shouldn’t you have put a (sarc) tag at the end of your post, artcroft, otherwise people might think you are serious.

      • artcroft

         /  April 6, 2018

        No no, Jacinda is totally going to give it to Shane. Both barrels at short range. He’s a gonna. Now Cindy just has to figure out where to dispose of the body. From now on its a tight ship we’ll see. No one gonna try to run the old “I just forgot” line past her again.

        • artcroft

           /  April 6, 2018

          Sorry found an email from reality which I had clean forgotten about.

          Shane is going to give it to those bureaucrats who dobbed him in. Both barrels at short range, bodies dumped at sea. Cindy will offer “thoughts and prayers”.

  2. Gezza

     /  April 6, 2018

    I apologise in advance for this language but …

    Christ almighty ! Our government is full of fucken clowns !

    • NOEL

       /  April 6, 2018

      Don’t worry Geeza maternity leave soon. The Winston takes ……..hmmmmmm…….control??

    • PartisanZ

       /  April 6, 2018

      Uh uh … One or two clowns do not a circus make …

      Unfortunately Jonesy, a lowly introductory ‘warm-up’ clown, is playing a farcical version of the Female Trapeze Artist … actual Star of the Big Top …

      The PGF seems to have really gone to his head? (He shouldn’t complain about Meth users!)

      His boss, the Old Ringmaster, must rope him in, along with the High Wire Lady.

      NZFirst’s Travelling Roadshow is in danger of actually dying because of Jonesy IMHO …

      • Gezza

         /  April 6, 2018

        Do you ever watch Question Time, Parti?

        There are more than two bloody clowns in this circus. I’ll list them later.

  3. Ray

     /  April 6, 2018

    To the best of my “recollection ” , “my memory let me down”, and “I just forgot ”
    And these are the clowns who tell us marijuana has no effect on the brain or short term memory!

    • Blazer

       /  April 6, 2018

      don’t forget …’I can’t recall….and I had brain fade’…the perfect Key quintet,now being adopted by politicians of every …bent.

      • High Flying Duck

         /  April 6, 2018

        Yep – all started by John Key. Honesty was the standard for all politicians, and then John Key came into power and changed everything.
        We are now over 1 year AJ (After John)…perhaps you could move on and look at the current Government without the nostalgia.

        • Blazer

           /  April 6, 2018

          I have moved on.Some who have double standards need reminding of the low bar set by the prior… administration.Your role as chief apologist for 9 years of misfeasance is …safe.

          • High Flying Duck

             /  April 6, 2018

            Well it would get messy if we all started comparing the Nats and Jacinda’s Labour to the perfidies of the Clark Government.
            Better to stay on track. Just let me know when this new lot do something that isn’t newsworthy for its incompetence or its corruption.

    • Kevin

       /  April 7, 2018

      It’s NZF who are against cannabis law reform. Maybe they’re scared everyone will lose their memories like them.

  4. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  April 6, 2018

    Eugenie Sage shouldn’t have been part of the hit-job on Dr Rowarth at all.

    That Sage would place any credence in the writings of the NZ Herald hack – Rachel Stewart – speaks volumes about how out of her depth she is in her job as a Minister.
    Sage is no longer a F&B activist; it’s not her job to try and oust leading Public Servants.

    I think every Environmental scientist needs to be very afraid of this Government.
    Express a contrary opinion to the Greens and they will eviscerate you.

  5. Shane is a buffoon and Sage is only doing what her masters tell her to do.
    I expect Monty Python scripts any day now

  6. artcroft

     /  April 6, 2018

    The really sad part is that Shane (I genuinely forgot) Jones has been one of the Govt’s strongest performers.

    • Gezza

       /  April 6, 2018

      He’s a pompous wanker though. Intellectually lazy as well imo. The guy actually gets up at Question Time and says “I, the Provincial Champion…”.

      • Gezza

         /  April 6, 2018

        🤔 “Provincial Chumpion” I could maybe accept. 😕

  7. phantom snowflake

     /  April 6, 2018

    Shane Jones may turn out to be the biggest threat this government will face. A narcissist who has gone rogue. Reminds me of…

    • PDB

       /  April 6, 2018

      Shane Jones perfectly represents the deal Labour made to gain power in all its sold out glory. Winston must’ve thought all his Christmases had come at once when Labour signed off on their governance agreement with NZL First.

      But to be honest Labour’s own MPs are also busy shooting their own feet off at the moment so Jones has hardly gone ‘rogue’ – more like keeping to the standard being set by the govt he belongs to.

      • phantom snowflake

         /  April 6, 2018

        I take it that from your implied opposition to coalition governments that you would favour a return to “First Past The Post”?? Or perhaps it’s a case of; “It’s okay when The Right do it”?

        • PDB

           /  April 6, 2018

          So because I point out this govt is a dogs breakfast I must be opposed to coalition govts and also pro ‘First past the post’? Sort of ignores the fact we have just come off 9 years of very stable coalition govt voted in under MMP don’t you think?

          The big difference of course is that Labour as the major party in this current arrangement is in a pretty weak position relative to National in their govt, lack talent within their own party, and also have to deal with the Greens & NZL First who are hardly reliable/trusting partners.

          You seem to be becoming even more paranoid Snowflake and considering you regularly quote Martyn Bradbury it looks like in your case there is no easy cure.

          • phantom snowflake

             /  April 6, 2018

            I was entitled to ask the questions I did; thanks for (kind of) answering them.I think the lack of talent you refer to afflicts all parties in our parliament and it’s probably due to the drift to the centre that has occurred in all our major parties in recent years. In a “beige” environment those who tend to flourish are the bland “career politician” type rather than those with passion and principle. Oh and thanks for your concerns about my mental health; I’m sure an increase in medication will take care of things.

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