No Minister

Posts Tagged ‘Nanaia Mahuta

When in Rome

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“In Roman times, when a when a fellow was convicted of trying to bribe a public official, they would cut off his nose, and sew him in a bag with a wild animal, and throw that bag in the river.” – Eliot Ness, The Untouchables

I’ve been prepping a post for some time now on the corruption of Washington D.C. and in doing so have often thought of that David Mamet-crafted line from that famous movie about corruption and organised crime in Chicago during Prohibition.

But it turns out that it may be increasingly applicable to little old New Zealand – supposedly one of the least corrupted nations on Earth – based what is being uncovered about the government’s Three Waters plan, over at The Platform. That article itself is largely based on investigate work done by one “Thomas Cranmer”, on his account @kehetauhauaga since May 2.

The Mahuta clan stuff I partly covered in the post, The Rule of Law and Other Fairy Stories, based on material from news sites like The Daily Examiner and The Platform as well as the private investigations of “Cranmer” and Social Media sites like Karl du Fresne.

But I figured that with the usual MSM treatment it would soon fall away as a story unless new information came to light. Courtesy of the above “Cranmer” (complete with screen shots of official documents) it has:

According to Cranmer’s analysis, a direct and unbreakable chain of command flows from the Māori Advisory Group via Taumata Arowai to control the four new Water Services Entities (WSEs).

The WSEs control the day-to-day management of the operations of Three Waters. We have been repeatedly told they will be completely independent, working at arm’s length from the higher echelons of the complicated water bureaucracy.

However, it is made clear in legislation that the water regulator Taumata Arowai has to jump when the Māori Advisory Group says jump. When it — and Tipa as chairperson — speaks, Taumata Arowai has a statutory obligation to listen and act on that advice.

And the clincher is that Taumata Arowai directly regulates the Water Services Entities. In short, if Tipa Mahuta chooses, she can — as chair of the Māori Advisory Group — call the shots throughout each level of water management.

In short this is about something far more corrupting than money; it’s about power.

Then I read this over at the Bassett, Brash & Hide blog site, courtesy of one David Round, a recently retired University of Canterbury law lecturer and a passionate conservationist. He writes of some disturbing news out of his beloved Westland:

The stewardship area on the plateau does, however, adjoin a small block of land owned by Arahura Holding Ltd. ~ which is, of course, 100% owned by Ngati Waewae. As the Department has long known, Arahura Holding has publicly expressed its desire to allow Bathurst Resources Ltd to mine that block for coal, and thereby obtain access to the adjoining public conservation estate. (Bathurst attempted to purchase this private block some years ago, but was blocked by the Overseas Investment Act. Arahura Holding purchased it instead, and has been working with Bathurst in attempting to allow mining ever since.) And so the mana whenua panel recommended that this area also remain as stewardship land. The national panel, obviously influenced by that recommendation, disagreed only slightly, recommending conservation park status ~ which would still allow mining.

And then we discover that Mr Tumahai, chair of the mana whenua panel and of Arahura Holding, has been appointed a director of Bathurst Resources Ltd, on a salary of $90,000 a year.

This is corruption. There is no other word for it. It may all be quite legal, but then corruption often is.

Yes it is, and you don’t have to be a law lecturer to know that, but it helps give weight to the assessment.

I doubt this can be stopped before the 2023 election, and once it’s all set in place I doubt it can be removed, even assuming there will be the will to do so in a new National/ACT government:

Key and English both understood which parts of the Clark government intiatives were cemented in, and which weren’t. And by reassuring the public on the things the had become part of the fabric, were able to win three elections, and be the largest party on the fourth.

My prediction, there will be a substantial empowering of iwi in education, heath, housing supply and social policy in the next few years. National will go along with most of this once they are back in government, just as they have done so since 1990.

In that sense Don Brash was a bit of an aberration, one that National is not keen on repeating.

Attitudes like the following won’t help:

While he says there’s room for robust debate about the co-governance model between the Crown and iwi and hapū, Finlayson’s advice for dealing with the “sour right” behind the racist, resentful rhetoric: “We’ve just got to leave those losers behind and move on. They don’t like tangata whenua. They dream of a world that never was and never could be,” he says.

What should also be counted here in the weight of David Round’s assessment is that this is not just normal corruption; we’ve had that in New Zealand despite our good reputation, but it was sporadic, individual and not wide-spread, hence our reputation.

But this? This shows every evidence of being systemic and given that all corruption, whether over money, sex, power and politics, ultimately begins with the corruption of the soul that approves, it will lead to the sort of problems that has brought other nations to their knees.

Written by Tom Hunter

July 5, 2022 at 5:51 pm

The rule of law – and other fairy stories

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Two stories on this, one from New Zealand and one from the USA, but both related in ways aside from laughing at the law, let alone justice.

First up is the news that our Foreign Minister, Nanaia Mahuta, has been indulging in some good old feather-bedding of relatives that any old-time American city politician would recognise and approve of:

Frankly for me this is a bit of “meh”, and not just because I’m so used to seeing it in American politics. The fact is that Maori and Pasifika whanau have a different attitude towards this sort of thing. If you achieve wealth and power your relatives damned well expect you to take them along for the ride. To do otherwise would be selfish of you. In fact I’d bet that Nanaia was pressured on these matters by her “rellies”.

I did appreciate these comments from Karl du Fresne, where I first read of this a few days ago

Revelations about government jobs and contracts awarded to Mahuta’s family connections first emerged on The Daily Examiner website on May 22, illustrating the point that it’s often online platforms, rather than ethically compromised mainstream media, that break important stories – especially those that show the government in a poor light.

That has increasingly been the case, which is a welcome addition to the likes of blogs merely taking down a reporter and their story for shallow, braindead hopelessness and/or outrageous ideological and partisan bias.

The Platform has since picked up the story and so has Kate MacNamara, a New Zealand Herald reporter who displays a gutsy independent streak that’s all too rare in political journalism – all of which raises questions about how much longer the rest of the MSM can go on pretending there’s nothing to see here.

Yay. However I doubt it will change any fundamental attitudes in the MSM – or in the Labour Government – which will move past this, with the assistance of that MSM. National can scream long and loud about this but they’ll run out of “new” news sooner or later and in any case will be intimidated into silence by a word that still holds magical powers over them, especially when uttered by Maori – “RACIST”.

The second piece of news on this front is that, as I and many other observers suspected would happen, the Clinton and Democrat National Committee lawyer, Michael Sussman, was found not guilty of lying to the FBI by a jury of his peers – which means a jury selected from a Washington D.C. population that voted 92.5% for Biden:

Turley is a long-time Democrat supporter and long-time Liberal law professor and even he can smell the stench, although it’s also a simple matter of attitudes towards such things.

“I don’t think it should have been prosecuted,” the jury forewomen said, according to an account in The Washington Times. “There are bigger things that affect the nation than a possible lie to the FBI”

Bigger than a lie, plus other lies, that launched a $40 million dollar investigation that handicapped a Presidential Administration for two years?

Well of course! The D.C. crowd, undoubtedly including that woman, hated Trump and wanted him and his policies stopped by any means necessary. They’re all of a piece, which is why former federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy argues that Durham’s mistake was to assume that the FBI were the dupes, when the evidence of three prosecutions has by now demonstrated that at least the upper levels of the FBI knew very well who Sussman was connected with:

… he’d represented the DNC when its servers were hacked, and blocked the FBI from conducting its own forensic investigation. When Sussmann purveyed supposed evidence of a Trump-Russia communications back channel, the bureau knew full well that it was getting political information from a partisan source. The evidence at trial showed that FBI headquarters concealed Sussmann’s identity from the bureau’s own investigating agents.

Funnily enough Sussman’s own defence team made the same argument in claiming that he didn’t lie, and I think that actually has merit.

The connection between the Mahuta and Sussman-Clinton-FBI stories is that both of them demonstrate how our Western democracies are increasingly coming to seem more like feudal systems. If you know the right people, move in the right Establishment circles, and have the opinions of the Gentry Class – then you can make a lot of money and get away with almost anything.

But all this is also enabled by a public, by voters, that increasingly could not care less about such things, even as those things steadily screw them into the ground. I’ll bet that the number of people paying attention to the Heard-Depp defamation trial outnumbered the Sussman observers by millions to one.

The next Durham trials will be covered even less than this one, and slowly it will all just fade away.


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With the news that Beijing is intensifying its crackdown on basic human rights and freedoms in Hongkong with the arrest of four trustees of the now defunct 612 Humanitarian Relief Fund for ‘collusion with foreign forces’. Included in the four are Margaret Ng, an internationally respected barrister and 90 year old Cardinal Cardinal Joseph Zen.

Commenting on the arrest of Cardinal Zen in particular, the last Governor of Hong Kong, Lord Patten of Barnes, said “The arrest of Cardinal Zen, one of the most important figures in the Catholic Church in Asia and in the Catholic Church’s advocacy for human rights in China and elsewhere, is yet another outrageous example of how the Chinese Communist Party is hellbent on turning Hong Kong into a police state”.

And our response … well, I guess you need to go no further than this comment from Foreign Minister Mahuta made following her meeting with her Australian counterpart when she suggested that “New Zealand needed to maintain and respect China’s particular customs, traditions and values”.

Clearly China has nothing to fear from the NZL government.

Written by The Veteran

May 14, 2022 at 2:15 pm

Posted in China

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with 6 comments

The Australian Foreign Minister must be scratching her head following her bi-lateral meeting with her NZ counterpart. She gave a firm ‘No way, Hosay’ to any suggestion that NZL might seek to be a silent partner in AUKUS (something to do with our anti nuclear legislation) and would have been disconcerted to hear Mahuta blathering on about the effect of climate change in the pacific region while failing to address in any substantive way the huge threat posed by the Kiribati government selling out to the Chinese for 30 (+) pieces of silver.

Clearly and unlike Australia, no criticism of the Chinese government is allowed under Mahuta’s (and Ardern’s) watch.

One suspects that our relationship with Australia (at least in the areas of Foreign Affairs and Defence) just got a little more brittle.

One also suspects Mahuta is treating her portfolio as a second class citizen. To be fair she has some experience in that field with her championing of He Puapua and all that means for the other 84% of us.

Written by The Veteran

November 13, 2021 at 11:36 am

Posted in NZ Politics

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with 19 comments

My good friend Wayne Mapp has often taken me (and others) to task for what he describes as an irrational dislike of Winston Peters but I’m bound to concede that Peters handled his two stints as Foreign Minister with a certain style and panache … smoothing ruffled feathers where they had been ruffled by a Prime Minister punching below her weight and station.

Not so his replacement who is clearly out of her depth and is fast becoming an embarrassment to New Zealand. One shudders to contemplate what happens when she is let lose on the international scene. First up was her call for Australia to be more accommodating and understanding of China (echoed by her partner in crime, Minister O’Conner who was forced to apologise to his Australian counterpart for his comments) only to have the ground cut from under her completely by the new Biden administration who said they would be maintaining their sanctions against China until that country stopped ‘bullying’ Australia over their criticism of China’s foreign and trade policies and their genocide against the the Uyghur peoples.

And now she opens up on the Australian Home Affairs Minister Minster Peter Dutton calling him trash for saying that 501 deportees are “trash”. Well sorry Ms Mahuta … deportees are, by definition, trash. The have broken the laws of their host countries and have forfeited their right to stay. That’s why countries (including New Zealand) deport them. And it’s instructive that already a significant number of 501 deportees have been charged with serious crimes (including murder) in the short period since their arrival. They are not good people.

They are trash and Mahuta in arguing otherwise only serves to further trash her own reputation and does nothing to improve trans-tasman relationships already under pressure because of Ardern’s prevarication over the two-way travel bubble between our two countries.

Perhaps Ardern could consider offering Peters a job as Mahuta’s ‘minder’.

Written by The Veteran

March 27, 2021 at 8:57 am

Posted in New Zealand

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with 10 comments

Hot on the heels of some injudicious comments by New Zealand Ministers chiding Australia for taking a hard line against China (never mind that China has just now arrested and charged Chang Lei, an Australian journalist, with supplying state secrets overseas after detaining her under house arrest arrest since last August, nor the fact that China has detained Australian writer Yang Hengjun for over two years now shackling him in his cell and subjecting him to hundreds of interrogations) we now have the Pacific Islands Forum in crisis with five of the member nations quitting over the failure of the Forum to honour the long standing convention that it was the turn of a member nation of the Micronesian sub-group to Chair the Forum. Instead, the Forum on a nine to eight vote elected former Cook Island Premier, Henry Puna, to the post over the Marshall Islands Ambassador to the United States, Gerald Zackois.

Australia and New Zealand are traditionally first among equals in the Forum and have a responsibility to provide leadership. It is understood that the Australians backed the Micronesian bid while it is unclear which way New Zealand voted although you might be forgiven for hazarding a guess that they didn’t given our close ties with the Cook Islands and the fact that New Zealand retains primary responsibility for their external affairs in consultation with the Cook Islands government.

Whatever, the breakup of the Forum is an unmitigated foreign affairs debacle presided over by Minister Mahuta who participated in the meeting by way of teleconference.

The defection of Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, Narau and Kiribati (who just recently severed ties with Taiwan in order to cozy up to China) will send alarm bells ringing summed up by Jonathon Pryke, Director of the Pacific Islands Programme at the Lowy Institute, who labelled it as ” A disaster for both the Forum and Pacific regionalism”.

Beijing will be breaking out the Maotai (Moutai).

New Zealand … the way you’ve got it.

Written by The Veteran

February 10, 2021 at 2:09 pm

Posted in New Zealand

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