Some facts about Owen Glenn

July 13th, 2008 at 10:22 am by David Farrar

Some related facts about :

  1. He was not born in New Zealand.
  2. He has not lived in New Zealand for over 40 years.
  3. He is not eligible to vote in New Zealand.
  4. He is estimated to have a fortune of around NZ$1.1 billion.
  5. He donated $500,000 to for the 2005 election.
  6. This is the largest known donor ever in New Zealand politics.
  7. The Labour Party amended the to specifically allow him to keep donating money, while restricting other foreign donations to $1,000 (by defining a foreign donation as being okay from overseas residents who are NZ citizens even though they are ineligible to enrol or vote)
  8. He gave Labour a further $100,000 interest free loan in 2007.
  9. Labour gave him a gong – Officer of the NZ Order of Merit in 2007.
  10. Labour President lied when he said they had not received a donation from Owen Glenn since the 2005 election, as the interest free loan counts as a donation.
  11. Mike Williams has said he will be asking Owen Glenn for money for the 2008 election.
  12. Owen Glenn says of Sovereign Yachts had been “badly dealt by” over getting cheap Government land for his business “…but it’s all been resolved through the good services of Mike Williams, the President of the Labour Party, who’s done a mammoth job.”
  13. Owen Glenn wants to be Honorary Consul for NZ to .
  14. Before Owen wanted this post, the Government had repeatedly ruled out having a Consul in Monaco.
  15. Mike Williams lobbied on behalf of Owen Glenn to get him made Consul.
  16. Owen Glenn lobbed Winston Peters to be made Consul and said he will be confirmed as Consul “when Peters gets off his arse”.
  17. Owen Glenn was never given any negative signals about being made Consul even though a previous expression of interest by an individual was comprehensively ruled out by the Government.
  18. Owen Glenn says he has donated money to NZ First.
  19. The then NZ First President says a five figure donation closer to $100,000 than $10,000 appeared anonymously in their bank account in December 2007.
  20. Winston Peters says NZ First has never received any money from Owen Glenn or his associates.
  21. NZ First filed a donations return claiming no-one gave then more than $10,000 in 2007.
  22. Owen Glenn’s PR firm advised Owen Glenn not to contradict Winston’s denials even though he did make a donation.
  23. The say someone offered them $250,000 as a campaign donation before the 2005 election if it agreed to support Labour. The offer was made twice.
  24. The Maori Party say it was made on behalf of someone who “lived outside New Zealand, and had donated money to the Labour Party” and the intermediary met with him on a yacht or a boat.
  25. Owen Glenn’s PR firm says he was right to deny he made the offer.
  26. Labour and NZ First forced through the whose purpose is “to strengthen the law governing electoral financing and broadcasting, in order to … prevent the undue influence of wealth on electoral outcomes and … provide greater transparency and accountability on the part of candidates, parties, and other persons engaged in election activities in order to minimise the perception of corruption”
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42 Responses to “Some facts about Owen Glenn”

  1. boomtownprat (281 comments) says:

    10 letter word, begins with “c” ends with “n’, sounds like “eruption”.

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  2. John Ansell (874 comments) says:

    Brilliantly put, David.

    Let the diverting, denying and denigrating begin!

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  3. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    All this whilst the Labour Party came down like a tonne of bricks on the Brethren. Remember the big deal over the alleged false address etc? (Completely false allegation of course) Remember how the outrage from the left rained down in torrents??? All the outcry over some pissy little pamphlet that only told the truth anyway, and meanwhile, in the back ground, all this scheming and colluding and plotting was going on among senior Labour Party officials and Peters and their big money pals..

    Remember all the hype about “big money buying the election”, and while the left were screeching about this, their rich buddies were allegedly trying to engineer the Labour Party’s re-election and buy off the Maori Party with more money than has ever been spent in an election campaign. Apparently in return for some choice informal diplomatic posting.

    Leaving aside the absolutely mind boggling arrogant hypocrisy, could there be a more cronyist corrupt crooked outfit than Helen Klark’s Labour party and the lickspittle lapdogs that support it. Gawd, I’ll be glad to see the back of this double dealing deceitful power obsessed bunch of crooks and their lackeys sitting on the government benches. It would be too much to hope for that this election they all get sent into total political oblivion.

    (Glenn should have his Order of Merit rescinded too.)

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  4. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    ..and on top of all this, they misappropriated money from the public purse as well..!!!

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  5. petal (705 comments) says:

    What is it that drives Owen Glenn to influence NZ politics towards Labour Governments? As a “rich prick”, he seems hell bent on doing damage to other “rich pricks”. He got some kind of chip on his shoulder? What does he get out of it?

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  6. Gooner (995 comments) says:

    Geez, DPF, all of that is straight out of the Crosby Textor book of spin.

    Isn’t it?

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  7. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “What is it that drives Owen Glenn to influence NZ politics towards Labour Governments?”

    Its a consequence of a government controlling so much of the economy. Under such a circumstance, cronyism and corruption will grow like tomatoes in a hothouse, and the kind of unscrupulous and unprincipled “businessmen” that proliferate under such circumstances know that there is much profit to be made if they wheel and deal within the right political circles.

    For example, any such businessman who through political cronyism might engineer his own appointment to an informal overseas diplomatic posting would have the inside running on a huge amount of local commerce, and this would especially apply in a place like Monaco.

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  8. Grant Michael McKenna (1,156 comments) says:

    Good point Gooner- who are Labour’s spinmeisters? Redbaiter- too true.

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  9. Swampash (114 comments) says:

    Didn’t Ian Wishart do an analysis of Glenn’s finances in Absolute Power, suggesting that he’s wealthy but nowhere near a billionaire?

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  10. davidp (3,556 comments) says:

    >What is it that drives Owen Glenn to influence NZ politics towards Labour Governments?

    Why does he live in a tax haven, while donating money to Labour so they can maintain high taxes?

    He must hate NZers with a vengeance… a NZer slept with his girlfriend or something and he still hasn’t forgotten, even 40 years later. And we’re all been punished for it.

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  11. petal (705 comments) says:

    @redbaiter. That’s not bad. So it’s not so much a Labour Government that Owen Glenn is after, it’s a corruptible government. And a 3rd/4th term Government on it’s current track record is preferable over a bunch of enegergetic, bright eyed and bushy tailed Nats that are looking to change the status quo!

    The more I think about it, the more I think Owen Glenn is to be treated as an enemy of the state.

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  12. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    My theory on Glenn is that he chose NZ since he could get good leverage from a small investment. I don’t imagine he’d be looking for business opportunities inside NZ but rather he was after the diplomatic credentials which he would then use offshore to benefit his business interests.

    The fact he identified the 5th Liarbore govt as being up for that to the point where money changed hands is very revealing as to the ethics of this particular govt. It actually shocks me, since it clearly illustrates how the possibility that Clark has never been interested in playing a straight bat on anything, might in fact be true. And that’s stunning. I mean it’s one thing to sign a painting for charity or politically maneuver out of a speeding incident, but this is fundamental corruption.

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  13. Inventory2 (10,167 comments) says:

    Where’s woger?

    Surely there’s a simple explanation for all this. Or is it a series of “factual misunderstandings”?

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  14. 3-coil (1,204 comments) says:

    Good point Redbaiter (11:05am) re the EB backdrop to all this.

    It seems the Brethren have ultimately been shown to be far more trustworthy than the Sisterhood.

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  15. Pique Oil (39 comments) says:

    SwampAsh, you are correct that Wishart did an investigation into his finances. Perhaps even more interesting was that he claims on page 164 of Absolute Power that Vanguard Logistics is the sole customs agent for BAT products in Australia.
    How this can be reconciled with the anti-smoking brigades principles (is that an oxymoron?) is difficult to understand.

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  16. petal (705 comments) says:

    >the Brethren have ultimately been shown to be far more trustworthy than the Sisterhood

    In the same sense that someone is more trustworthy for only stealing $1000 instead of $2000?

    (DPF, did you de-nome kiwiblog?)

    [DPF: No]

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  17. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    Well said, Redbaiter and the others. WHY o WHY do the socialists get away all the time with this sort of behaviour, which now is obviously typical to them, while the “free market” side of politics which is ASSUMED and condemned by assumption to be the natural home of this kind of behaviour, is actually too scared of the backlash (MSM etc) to ever try to do any such things?

    On why wealthy people might support socialist politics, David Horowitz explains a lot in an article “Intellectual Class Wars” (Google it yourself).

    Re Wishart’s investigative journalism on Owen Glenn, I thought it was much worse than just “tobacco money”, hasn’t Wishart insinuated at least, that much of Glenn’s sources of wealth are not visible?

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  18. PaulL (5,977 comments) says:

    de-nome. If only that were possible…is it like some sort of insecticide – one that only targets nomes?

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  19. PhilBest (5,120 comments) says:

    “Petal”, that is one crass comment, since when have any of the EB been charged with “stealing” anything?

    DPF, I hit “PLUS” one Karma for the above comment by “Petal” by mistake instead of “MINUS” one……my silly fault…….but can you please reverse it for me?

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  20. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    “In the same sense that someone is more trustworthy for only stealing $1000 instead of $2000?”

    Petal are you saying you think the EB did something wrong?

    I can’t understand why people think that, myself.

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  21. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    I’d love to find out who leaked those emails.

    That is my main question about this latest episode.

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  22. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    This incident also illustrates how inept Liarbore have been in their 3rd-term.

    It was obviously a long-term project, in two parts: political donations and civic generosity via the Business School.

    It was obviously setup to be a case of awarding the ambassadorship following the opening of the Business School, presumably in a background of warm public acclaim.

    Instead it was clumsily mishandled on a colossal scale (snigger).

    Was it incompetence or artful sabotage?

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  23. burt (7,988 comments) says:

    Well its clear what needs to happen now. Owen Glenn needs to be awarded his Honorary Consul for NZ to Monaco. Then Owen Glenn can say he was confused, didn’t give any money to Winston and with the help of a few retrospective validations passed under urgency we can all move on.

    What a f##king mess! How could the corrupt bastards get this so wrong… they had a rich donor, a perfect mechanism for hiding it from the public and they still stuffed it up…. You have got to wonder when the govt can’t even be corrupt without stuffing it up just how incompetent they really are. Snap election ! End the rot !

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  24. petal (705 comments) says:

    3-Coil>>>the Brethren have ultimately been shown to be far more trustworthy than the Sisterhood

    Petal>>In the same sense that someone is more trustworthy for only stealing $1000 instead of $2000?

    PhilBest>that is one crass comment, since when have any of the EB been charged with “stealing” anything?

    @PhilBest: I was trying to point out that being trustworthy is an absolute measurement, not a sliding scale.

    The EBs have been trying to influence the outcome of an election while at the same time trying not to be known for doing so and when asked if they were responsible for the leaflets they denied involvement in it.

    To me, that is not trustworthy in any absolute sense. And in the sense of the teachings the EB are supposed to adhere to, well off the mark. (Those who live by the sword… etc).

    I wonder if we would have had the current Electoral Finance Act if the EBs had been up front about that particular campaign. In my mind, the ‘trustworthiness’ of the EBs during that particular election was THE event that set the wheels in motion that is now the EFA.

    Please click -ve karma this time. I’m sure DPF isn’t going to be pleased to have to fix it twice ;)

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  25. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    “In my mind, the ‘trustworthiness’ of the EBs during that particular election was THE event that set the wheels in motion that is now the EFA.”

    Well that’s how Hulun painted it with the help of the idiot media and the large supply of useful idiots in the general population. The reality however is that the Nat’s Billboard campaign kicked off the EFA and that the EB were simply a convenient and useful scapegoat that was ruthlessly exploited by idiots.

    As someone said above, they were never charged. You can bet Crown Law was asked to closely examine their behaviour and the fact they were never charged despite such scrutiny is significant. Secondly, what the hell is wrong with putting something in your letterbox during election time? Thirdly, the cult status they were awarded by the idiots is an element of unnecessary and vicious nastiness that I deplore – since everyone except apparently the idiots know the EB are in fact serious established heavily committed Christians, not some hippy commune.

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  26. Gashlycrumb (7 comments) says:

    Perhaps Owen Glenn is smarter than people give him credit for and his overall plan is to actually discredit the Labour-led coalition.

    What a better way than to approach the Labour party at their hour of need and offer a seemingly “no strings attached loan and donation”? It appeals to their sense of greed and need. Then simply bide your time and wait until an opportune moment to “leak” some emails and word of the donation to the media.

    Then there is the cherry on the top. Make a small(er) donation to one of the Government’s partners. Now who would you choose? The Greens are unlikely to accept a donation from an overseas business person, but New Zealand First needs money and is lead by a self-serving leader who is convinced that he is above the law. Perfect. Now, make the donation and wait until your fool makes his declaration stating that he didn’t receive any donations. Trap set and inescapable hole dug. Time to leak another set of emails to the media.

    Job done.

    Either that or Mr Glenn is a big mouth politically unaware expat who likes to splash his cash around. Either way he is the gift that keeps on giving :)

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  27. petal (705 comments) says:

    @reid: If they were so heavily committed to their principles, they would not have 1. tried to meddle in the election process when their own covenants state they can not vote (!), 2. done so openly (which is particularly difficult taking 1 as a starting point), 3. own up when confronted with it. These people set standards that are higher than the ones others keep to. They are therefore to be judged by those standards, not by those of the others. You can’t have it both ways. So, no – I do not think those EBs involved with that particular caper had a lot of integrity when they judge and shun non-EBs for not having sufficient standards. You live by the sword, you die by the sword.

    I do like the “heavily committed Christians” label. You should be a spin doc :)

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  28. PaulL (5,977 comments) says:

    petal: every pamphlet the group of EB businessmen issued had their names and addresses on them. How is that in any way hiding what they are doing, or not owning up? It wasn’t actually the church itself that issued the pamphlets, it was a group of businessmen who went to the same church. Do you think that every rabbi, imam, priest and preacher in NZ knows what every different group in their congregation are up to? The whole thing was a beat up that the media went along with, the facts really are nothing like the fiction that goes around it.

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  29. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Mr Farrar, why, oh WHY is there no mention of Glenn’s charitable giving in the list up top? Maybe before number 9? The most notable and recent being the $7.5m to Auckland University’s Business School (Maybe you could write ‘this is the biggest ever donation to an education institution in New Zealand’??). He gave $500,000 to Auckland University’s marine research lab up at Goat Island a couple of years ago, and is associated with many other causes. He even has a frickin’ Foundation.

    He deserves the ONZM (even as a quasi-NZer), but have no idea why all this is being ignored.

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  30. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    PaulL, ‘every pamphlet’ didn’t have names and addresses on them. One was a shop I think – is probably in THM/Lefty Bible somewhere i’d imagine.

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  31. reid (16,091 comments) says:

    Gashlycrumb: It’s possible Glenn did leak the last set of emails to get payback for the money he’s lost down the drain. I think however he wouldn’t have sunk money into the Business School if he wasn’t serious about getting Monaco.

    @petal:
    (a)…tried to meddle when didn’t vote… I read awhile ago they’ve changed that non-vote position but anyway who cares? Just because they don’t vote it doesn’t follow they therefore should stay out of politics altogether.

    (b) …should have done so openly… I agree and I’m sure they learned their lesson. The fact they didn’t however doesn’t mean it was underhand. How many improperly and unauthorised political advertisments have we seen lately? Some idiots believe that simply because something is secret that automatically makes it sinister. Holding that attitude through life IMHO, is so incredibly dumb, the mighty English language fails me in my search for a sufficiently strong adjective.

    (c) …should have owned up when confronted… I agree again, but the fact they didn’t own up was not illegal and that’s the only standard by which we should judge them. If you feel entitled to make an ethical judgement against them for not owning up then that’s your prerogative but it don’t mean diddly squat in a court of law, and that’s the only accepted place where public wrongdoing is punished.

    petal, none of your arguments change the fact these guys committed no crime and yet, they were and continue to be treated by large numbers of idiots as if they did.

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  32. PaulL (5,977 comments) says:

    stephen: one of many, and it was improperly authorised, not unauthorised. They listed a shop address not a home address. Technically illegal, but hardly made it hard to identify them. If anything it probably made it easier to identify them.

    Donating is not enough to get an ONZM. Shit, if Roger Kerr donated money (as I am sure he does) I doubt that he would get a gong. You’re not supposed to be able to purchase the things, you have to do something more than just give money over, even if that money is to a third party (and there is a lot of suspicion that the money that got the gong was that donated to Labour, not that donated to the business school). It was an incredibly bad look, the fact that Labour thought it was OK just shows how out of touch they are.

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  33. petal (705 comments) says:

    Reid> petal, none of your arguments change the fact these guys committed no crime and yet, they were and continue to be treated by large numbers of idiots as if they did.

    If you want me to state that I agree that they committed no crime – sure, fine. But if you refer back to my original comment (please), it is not the legality of it, it was the trustworthiness of EB vs Hellen’s “Mob”. And my point was that trustworthiness is something that is not a sliding scale. You either are, or you are not.

    I’ve not been pushing for any sort of admission of a crime. I took on the statement that they were more trustworthy.

    I think I have put a reasonable case forward that the EBs were not trustworthy by their own standards as well as the community at large.

    As for the EBs being “really committed Christians”, I will not debate that as their commitment is very public. If a son leaves the EBs, he is excommunicated from the EBs and is not to associate with any of them ever again. Of course that includes his mum, dad, brothers, sisters, his wife and children.

    (Think about that for a moment. Put yourself in that position. Is that really just a sign of commitment as a Christian?)

    You have to admire THAT commitment to Christianity (Jesus loved the prostitutes and money lenders, but I no longer have a son/husband/father). And admire also their “flexibility in trustworthiness” when it comes to trying to surreptitiously influence an election in a country or two that they will not vote in themselves as well as deny having done so when confronted. Now THAT is being a committed Christian in my book.

    The EBs are a poisoned chalice when it comes to NZ and AUS elections for quite some time. Their donations would be as welcome as Owen Glenn at Hellen’s valedictory speech.

    EBs did something illegal? No. Are they trustworthy? No.

    Fin.

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  34. Redbaiter (13,197 comments) says:

    “PaulL, ‘every pamphlet’ didn’t have names and addresses on them. One was a shop I think ”

    A false allegation. …and even if it were true, you’ve actually got the hypocritical gall to witter on over something so minor in the face of the major deceit of the Labour Party and NZ First?? get a life mate, but first get a sense of perspective. Leftist idiot.

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  35. KevOB (265 comments) says:

    Glenn seems to be a man of his word. He wanted Monaco: a nice respectable consulate job; he made what looks like a down payment but lost the prize. Some people don’t like being shafted, even if their deal is a dodgy one. Such people can very mad, even bad tempered, and cause considerable mayhem to those they believe showed disrespect that way. Peters and Clarke are out of his league. I would expect more covert operations against them. Funny that, in view of her comments about being able to dish it out. He may have actual proof of corruption.

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  36. Rich Prick (1,629 comments) says:

    So, let me get this right, Labour enacted the EFA to knobble everyone except this guy (or guys of his pursuation), who happens to donate large amounts of dosh to Labour?

    Yet he doesn’t live here, pay tax here (or anywhere from some reports), vote here, or even use the odd public toilet here?

    Bagman …. hmmmm …. I remember Labour getting very excited about National possibly having a bagman. Shame National didn’t have one like Glenn!

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  37. side show bob (3,660 comments) says:

    KevOB prehaps he is just trying to get into Dear Leaders pants, Hmmm God knows why.

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  38. stephen (4,063 comments) says:

    Fair point PaulL, but at the same time Glenn already had quite a long and extensive giving history. Doug Myers got a CBE (Commander of the British Empire) for ‘services to business management’, whatever that means (he’s good at making money?). Glenn had already done a lot of charitable giving, and made a lot more money from a company HE started.

    Sounds like standard practice to give an award to these business guys for…doing business!

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  39. Dave Mann (1,187 comments) says:

    David, that was a really revealing and on the face of it damning summary of evidence indicating gross corruption at the deepest level of our government. I was amazed.

    It seems to me that the prize for this Owen Glenn character is to obtain some kind of diplomatic post in Monaco, in order to facilitate some scheme or other which we have no way of finding out about. But one thig we do know is that Monaco is itself a corrupt and venal cesspit of intrigue operating on the international laundering of stolen and dubious money, and lil’ ol’ EnZed is in his sights as the most obvious sucker on the block.

    All this should scream a warning and set off warning flares – but is the general public aware of any of this? It doesn’t seem to be.

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  40. roger nome (4,067 comments) says:

    “This is the largest known donor ever in New Zealand politics.”

    Niice DPF. I like it how you throw in that caveat, given National’s $1.4 million in secret donations during 2005.

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  41. gd (2,286 comments) says:

    KevOBs last comment could be on the mark Maybe just maybe Clarks turning down Winnies request for Glenn to be Counsul has angered Glenn to the point where he is going to extract utu on them both. So he arranged to have the emails with his PR leaked to dig Winnie a nice big hole.

    And then he follows up with a nice juicy hit on Clark to cement her defeat and ensure she goes out under a dark cloud.

    Glenns always struck me as one not to trifle with. Alas most pollies arent that clever when dealing with business guys like Glenn. The Glenns of this world play the long game and are very very paitent in awaiting their revenge

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  42. Ryan Sproull (7,059 comments) says:

    I don’t know about you, but this guy sounds like trouble to me.

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