Auditor-general agrees to English investigation

September 25th, 2009 at 1:53 pm by David Farrar

The Dom-Post reports:

Deputy Prime Minister ’s use of his taxpayer-funded accommodation allowance is to come under scrutiny from the .

Following a complaint fro Progressive MP Jim Anderton to Auditor-General Lyn Provost about the finance minister claiming out-of-town accommodation expenses, the Office of the Auditor-General confirmed today it would make “preliminary inquiries”.

I’m delighted the Auditor-General has agreed to investigate. It is entirely appropriate she does so as questions of propriety have been raised.

I actually think the Auditor-General should have been asked to investigate much earlier on. In fact it would have been smart politics for Bill English himself to have asked them to investigate a month or so ago.

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32 Responses to “Auditor-general agrees to English investigation”

  1. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    As I posted on another thread;

    As much as I would like to see English held to account if he has rorted the system I fear the Labour party set a precedent that the interpretation by the AG is not worth the paper it is written on when it is inconvenient for the govt to be bound by it.

    The lovers of corruption will get behind National if National decide they know the rules better than the AG.

    It will be good to get it cleared up though, lets hope National set a higher standard of accountability than Labour did. Would be shame to see English stand in the dock over this, but that would be more palatable than having national validate his actions because it is expedient to do so.

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  2. Alistair Miller (557 comments) says:

    hmmm. An allegation of a rort by the leader of a pretend party which exists only to allow his troughing of an additional $300k plus per year. Did someone order a double-shot of hypocrisy?

    The interesting thing about this is not whether English broke the rules, because I suspect he will be exonerated. I think the more important issue is that the rules are so poor that they allow the perception of a rort like this in the first place. Or, or course, the rort that allows the Greens’ super fund to own their accommodation.

    It’s that word “entitlements” again

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  3. menace (407 comments) says:

    Good stuff, we should keep a damn good eye and make sure the so called example’s of our society are not frauds.

    In addition, should they prove to be acting dishonestly, they should be punished 3 time’s more harshly than the general public would be.

    Alistair, “the rort that allows the Greens’ super fund to own their accommodation” could you give me some terms to search for to find out about what you are talking about, I’m not familiar with it.

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  4. village idiot (748 comments) says:

    3 responses to ‘English under investigation by Auditor general’, 100 plus comments on Sue Bradford’s exit from Parliament.

    Haw, haw, haw, haw, haw!!!!!

    You slay me!

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  5. menace (407 comments) says:

    Village Idiot.

    Totalicontructionism

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  6. Shunda barunda (2,964 comments) says:

    Now now veeelarrrge eejiot, I am sure Blinglish will be found to be a very naughty boy and you will be able to cry from the village square “I told you so”, are you confident he will be found guilty of gross naughtiness?

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  7. Ross Miller (1,624 comments) says:

    You need to be aware that the Auditor-General has also been requested to investigate the additional payments that Anderton receives as leader of a Party in name only.

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  8. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    where have all the commenters gone..?..long time missing..

    where have all the commenters gone..?..they just don’t wanna know…

    where have all the commenters gone.?…gone to slag bradford..every one..

    when will they ever learn..?

    when will they ev-er learn..?

    (apologies to peter paul and mary..)

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  9. alex Masterley (1,437 comments) says:

    Philu, It’s friday.
    They are at the pub.

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  10. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    nah..!..they are on the slag-bradford thread..

    that their deputy-prime minister/finance minister is ‘under investigation’ dosen’t seem to have registered..

    or they would just rather it would all go away..

    (i suspect the latter..)

    remember the hysterics around these parts over that painting clark signed..for that charity auction..?

    and here we have english being investigated over 14 years of allowance claims..

    and the possible altering of his trust arrangements…to ‘qualify’ for even more money…

    and not a peep from those who screamed at clark..

    meh..!

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  11. peterwn (2,932 comments) says:

    Means little – local body politicians are always asking their political enemies to be investigated by Audit. It is one of the irritating little harassments councillors have to put up with.

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  12. philu (13,393 comments) says:

    somehow..peterwn..i think this could prove to be a little more than an ‘irritating little harassment’..

    eh..?

    phil(whoar.co.nz)

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  13. menace (407 comments) says:

    And yes Anderton should be checked on two.

    The slightest whisper of an inquiery is all good.

    Things have to be correct from the top down.

    I don’t really get the devision thing in here. As far as I’m concerned good policy can come from any party, logically there is parties that i favor due to there combined policies suited me better a package. But that doesn’t mean i totally hate all other parties, that to me would be destructive. As I’m always gonna have to deal with all parties at one stage or another.

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  14. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    Much as I hate to admit it I think Bill is looking very shifty and I predict that John will have to let him go. To quote Cromwell:

    “You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

    As a good left footer Bill will surely recognise the intent of this statement in all its subtlety.

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  15. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    “(apologies to peter paul and mary..)”

    No point in apologising to Mary Travers Phil she is off making music with Sir Howard now.

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  16. NeillR (345 comments) says:

    Following a complaint fro Progressive MP Jim Anderton

    The same Jim Anderton who’s party is a sham and who is ripping off the taxpayer by a huge amount as a result? What a freakin’ joke.

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  17. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    NeillR

    The same Jim Anderton who once used a parliament franking machine to pay for postage on something like 1,000 letters sent out for his wives local council campaign. But it’s OK because when someone complained Jolly Jim made the supreme sacrifice and paid it back.

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  18. Johnboy (13,335 comments) says:

    “The same Jim Anderton who once used a parliament franking machine to pay for postage on something like 1,000 letters sent out for his wives”

    You mean Jimbo has 1000 wives? Whuck no wonder the man is a legend. Christ I would vote for the prick too if I lived in Wigram. Wonder who runs his local pharmacy? Bastard must be a millionaire from supplying the viagra!

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  19. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    Ooops… make that his Wife’s;-)

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

    Where was the AG when the socialist bastards were screwing the country over. Aren’t the socialists big on retrospective legislation? I guess if the AG was to look into past socialist misdeeds we would have to bill another jail.

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  21. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    side show bob

    No don’t be silly, it’s OK when Labour do it.

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  22. reid (15,501 comments) says:

    I actually think the Auditor-General should have been asked to investigate much earlier on. In fact it would have been smart politics for Bill English himself to have asked them to investigate a month or so ago.

    That’s bloody right and I can’t believe KB’s conservative commenters are giving English an easy ride on this. It is exactly the issue which we all railed against during Hulun’s regime. If this had been a Liarbore minister, we would have had 150+ comments on this by now.

    One reason I’m a conservative is that I honestly genuinely believe that we conservatives are straight. We don’t bend the truth, whether for “the cause” or for anything else.

    English’s actions prima facie, really stink.

    I like Bill, I think he’s capable, bright, competent.

    But politics is NOT about pretend integrity, it’s about real integrity, and if English has in fact tried to rort the system, then he should NOT escape the penalty.

    And professing that he has stuck to the letter of law through some kind of finessed political play, is NOT an acceptable outcome, for a person of his stature and experience.

    Otherwise, we’re no better than Liarbore, and fuck that.

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  23. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    I can’t think of one politician in NZ who doesn’t rort the taxpayer by merely accepting thier salary. Perks aside.

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  24. reid (15,501 comments) says:

    It’s not an easy or trivial job by comparison to the cash you get for it, Murray.

    $250k is what a small to medium CEO gets. That’s nothing compared to the responsibility, scrutiny and pressure of a Crown Minister.

    Sure, a few, maybe more than a few, wouldn’t be able to get more than $35k working in an F&C Shop.

    But that’s not the rule, amongst most of them. Most sacrifice the money for the service. Some sacrifice it for the power. A lessor number amongst the Ministers are promoted beyond their competence.

    You can usually tell who’s who in those respects.

    I think the current crop are better than we’ve had, for a decade or so.

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  25. Murray M (455 comments) says:

    “$250k is what a small to medium CEO gets. That’s nothing compared to the responsibility, scrutiny and pressure of a Crown Minister.” I noticed you made no mention of accountability.

    “Sure, a few, maybe more than a few, wouldn’t be able to get more than $35k working in an F&C Shop.” Agreed.

    “But that’s not the rule, amongst most of them. Most sacrifice the money for the service. Some sacrifice it for the power.”
    Mostly for power.

    “A lessor number amongst the Ministers are promoted beyond their competence. You can usually tell who’s who in those respects.” Fair enough

    “I think the current crop are better than we’ve had, for a decade or so.” Absolutely Fucking A

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  26. reid (15,501 comments) says:

    “I noticed you made no mention of accountability.”

    No, but I should have.

    “Mostly for power.”

    Yes, I was thinking that myself but was trying to be charitable. I think you’re right and that’s probably where most of the problem lies. Hard to meet a modest politician, isn’t it….

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  27. big bruv (12,319 comments) says:

    I wish the bloody national party cheer leaders would stop defending English, his (English’s) behaviour is exactly the kind of thing we rallied against less than a year ago, when you chaps defend him it makes you no better than the knuckle dragger’s who supported labour irrespective of all their crimes, rorts and flagrant disregard for our laws.

    Yes, it may not be illegal, and yes, it may be within the rules but that is not the point, I thought all of us who fought to rid our nation of the corrupt Klark government wanted something better, sadly that does not seem to be the case.

    Many Nat’s seem happy to excuse English simply because he is “one of us”.

    English should resign, apart from the fact that he is a bloody hopeless minister of finance he also remains a political liability and a dangerous one at that, make no mistake, English believes he is born to be PM, he harbours dreams of once again leading the National party and all of us who never want to see another Labour government should be extremely afraid of that possibility.

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  28. reid (15,501 comments) says:

    Was just listening to Radio Left Wing’s last Monday Politics. Hooton was saying that Mallard has said that Liarbore’s strategy is not to kill but to wound English over this.

    If they kill him, according to Hooton, then Liarbore fears Joyce may step in, the implication being he would be extremely competent in the role.

    Not sure I buy that, but that’s what he said.

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  29. burt (7,083 comments) says:

    reid

    Labour, and Mallard in particular, are thick enough to go hammer and tongs after English and then think of the consequences once they nail him. Don’t for one moment imagine Mallard is smart enough to be trying on some form of double play here – Hell Mallard didn’t even think he needed an authorisation on his Labour sign written van after he voted for the EFA!

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  30. John Ansell (861 comments) says:

    I think Mallard’s right, reid. Steven Joyce will get there sooner or later, probably sooner.

    What he lacks in pure ministerial experience now, he makes up for with a keen understanding of both business and ordinary Kiwis from his years running radio stations.

    People forget that successful businessmen get that way by being good amateur psychologists, and honing their judgement in the white hot crucible of competition. You don’t build a media network from scratch without knowing how the punters tick.

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  31. the deity formerly known as nigel6888 (856 comments) says:

    No Reid, its labour’s strategy to let it be known that they think they have wounded English, and that they would like people to see Joyce as a rival.

    Its all about trying to sow little seeds of dissent, and hope they can create rifts in the Cabinet.

    That said, its a pretty bad look for English. About as bad as the Greens rorting their super fund to buy houses and rent them to each other, but we expect that level of rorting from socialists.

    Whats that line again “school holidays in Dipton, yeah right”

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  32. jabba (280 comments) says:

    I thought labour hated the AG .. now he is their New best friend forever . or at least could be, what’s that all about?

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