A resignation, not a sacking

February 25th, 2010 at 3:09 pm by David Farrar

I’m amazed. It seems that ’s resignation is a genuine resignation, not a sacking. This is incredibly rare, and I cynically assumed this was the case.

Let me explain what is normally the case. 95% of Ministerial departures are “officially” resignations, but are de facto sackings. Richard Worth in an official sense merely resigned, but in an unofficial sense he was sacked.

A resignation is almost always at the request of the PM. Maybe not directly, but because the Chief of Staff or PM has advised the Minister their situation is probably untenable.

Alastair Campbell in the UK was often the person who negotiated resignations on behalf of the PM.

But in this case, it does appear to be the very rare beast, that a Minister voluntarily went, while the PM was still willing to keep him on. The Herald reports:

Prime Minister says he hasn’t lost confidence in resigning Housing Minister Phil Heatley and wouldn’t have asked him to quit had he not insisted on resigning.

Mr Heatley resigned from his housing and fisheries portfolios this morning over an error in his expense accounts.

Mr Key says he has accepted Mr Heatley’s resignation “with regret”.

“I wouldn’t have asked him to resign. It would have been my preferred pathway that he chose to stand down [during the Auditor-General's investigation] because I think that’s important, but I wouldn’t have asked for his resignation. It was the minister himself who offered his resignation and I have respectfully had to accept that.”

This also means that Heatley’s exile may not be as permament as I assumed. However Phil himself said that he is not expecting a quick return.

Mr Key did not rule out bringing Mr Heatley back into Cabinet and returning his ministerial portfolios in the future. But he said he would wait for the Auditor-General’s report.

The sad reality for Phil is that unlike the previous Government, there is a fairly talented backbench who are eagerly waiting for their chance to have Ministerial responsibilities.

Last night Mr Heatley told Mr Key that he wanted to resign and hand over his accounts to the scrutiny of the Auditor-General, but Mr Key told him he would prefer that he stand down during the Auditor-General process.

He told Mr Heatley to sleep on it, and he would accept whatever decision he came to in the morning.

Mr Heatley called to offer his resignation this morning, and it was accepted.

While Phil’s actions with the expenses were wrong and not acceptable, his decision to resign, rather than wait for the Auditor-General’s report, does him credit.

Other Ministers will be somewhat nervous, as this effectively lowers the barrier to what one should resign over. I suspect more than two Ministerial credit cards are heading towards the scissors.

Tags: , ,

72 Responses to “A resignation, not a sacking”

  1. DRHILL (121 comments) says:

    And yet The Standard jumps to the conclusion that there must be a massive conspiracy.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    “Other Ministers will be somewhat nervous, as this effectively lowers the barrier to what one should resign over”.

    It also raises the bar on the meaning of Honorable.

    “I suspect more than two Ministerial credit cards are heading towards the scissors”.

    They should get the same treatment as Heatley.. or where are the standards… and how high are they set.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. camrun (49 comments) says:

    Just wondering…

    If he felt it was appropriate to resign his portfolios, why not resign from Parliament? If this scandal shows a lack of judgment not acceptable for a Minister, does he still think he is good enough to represent his electorate?

    Personally I have great respect for his decision to resign. It shows a sense of decency. However I would had even more respect for him and National if he had just left altogether.

    Resigning portfolios instead of just standing down while the AG investivates seems like a strange middle ground.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. Pete George (22,853 comments) says:

    Seems like a strong and more than reasonable action to take, good on him. What would be gained by resigning from parliament? I think that would be pointless and over the top.

    It could be very beneficial for parliament if he stays there to keep reminding others what self responsibility is.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    Education Standards.. Health Standards… now Ministerial Standards… this Government is on a roll…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. MIKMS (164 comments) says:

    I personally expect to see his return as a junior cabinet or as the top Non cabinet minister around 2012-13, a respectual period of backbench contemplation

    As he is a electorate MP his 600$ mistake would have ended being a 40,000 dollar by election if he had quit :p

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. camrun (49 comments) says:

    @ Pete George

    I agree, good on him for taking responsibility. I think standing down would have been enough, but obviously he thinks he will not be a minister again for a while.

    I’m just trying to work out his thinking. He felt he fell below the standard of a minister, therefore resigned. Maybe his offence falls between the standards for ministers and MPs. He can’t think it falls below the standards of a MP.

    His decision is definitely good for Parliament, but surely it would have been even a bigger reminder if he was gone altogether.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Tassman (238 comments) says:

    Apart from Mr. Key laughing it off, it’s a ploy to calm public uprising and escape criminal investigation and a prosection. They really are smart aren’t they??

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. gravedodger (1,516 comments) says:

    camrun (9) where were you during the thoroughly contemptable activities around the clark government shenanagins, Benson Pope,Dyson, Dalziel, Field,Peters etel.
    Now you don’t just want blood you want all Mr Heatly’s.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. emmess (1,371 comments) says:

    He should of been sacked for blubbing like a little girl
    Phil Heatley needs to man up

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. camrun (49 comments) says:

    @Tassman

    “Calm public uprising”? Read, “doing what the taxpayers want”.

    “Escape criminal investigatin and a prosecution”? Yes, the best way to do that would be to freely admit there was no food with the purchase (how would anyone have known), and to ask the Auditor-General to investigate.

    @gravedodger

    Where was I? Dyson and Dalziel, in high school probably, what are the issues with them? I was 9 when Labour took office, I know Bolger as the chairman of KiwiRail, not a PM. I followed Pope, Peters and Field, but never felt interested or compelled enough to comment, probably because of a lack of conviction in my own opinions, and a preoccupation with NCEA exams, acne, girls etc. (Personally, I think Peters should be sharing a cell with Field at the moment if you want to know my view).

    As you can tell from my small number of postings, I am new to this. I don’t want Heatley’s blood, I never want Labour in power again if anyone currently on their benches is there.

    I would have been happy if he just stood down while it was investigated. I just want to know why he feels good enough to represent Whangarei but not be a Minister.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. YesWeDid (1,029 comments) says:

    Reading these comments makes me sick.

    ‘Heatley is honorable, a shining beacon to others, a new standard has been set, blah blah blah.’

    Please, this guy doesn’t have the brains to not use a government credit card to pay for his own personal stuff, that just makes him an idiot.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    Apart from Mr. Key laughing it off, it’s a ploy to calm public uprising and escape criminal investigation and a prosection. They really are smart aren’t they??

    Oh yes real smart arnt they – guess you missed the part where Heatley has requested the Auditor General investigate his acounts.

    Oh yes, they are really trying to sweep it under the carpet!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Manolo (13,380 comments) says:

    Heatley could be a nice guy, but also thick as a plank. Not to know when to use a (business or ministerial ) credit card shows him in a very poor light.

    Whatever his personal merits, they are erased by this gross mistake that highlights his lack of judgement. He had to go.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    I heard some of the Willie and JT radio show .. even mad Willie suggests Phil shouldn’t resign. He also suggested that Phil felt so guilty about the stuff up (plus a couple other minor errors of judgement) that he couldn’t continue in such a high profile role(s) in being a cabinet minister .. I tend to agree. there are people, even MP’s, who are honorable so the left wing cretins should let the man go and look at your own corrupt present and former lot.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    BLiP says:
    February 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm
    Good to see Key actually holding his ministers to account – unlike one past PM that I remember very well.

    This, obviously, is the spin: that Shonkey is a tough PM. Well, bollocks to that. Heatley rang the PM the night before and was advised by Shonkey to “sleep on it” but went ahead with his decision the next morning.

    But, hey, don’t let facts get in the way of your crazed belief system.

    the above is a comment by a substandard contributor, this time on Redalrt. These scum sucking mutants just don’t get it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. gravedodger (1,516 comments) says:

    How many of the people who are dumping on Mr Heatley have a second creditcard and have to answer to the petticoat or jocky wearing boss at home every time the use the one and only.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    YesWeDid (56) “Please, this guy doesn’t have the brains to not use a government credit card to pay for his own personal stuff, that just makes him an idiot”.

    And there are a lot of IDIOTS in Parliament.

    National is getting rid of theirs.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Komata (1,111 comments) says:

    At last – a Minister who is prepared to fall on his sword and. having made a mistake, to own it and take the consequences. A very definite breath of fresh air after nine years of socialist cover-ups. Long may it continue.

    I find it personally very interesting that the socialists, instead of actually congratulating the Minister for his actions (I know, I know, pigs might fly etc, etc) which show a high degree of ethics, straight-away go into attack, faux-outrage, accusation-type mode, yet where where was the same self-righteous ‘noise’ and opprobrium they when one (no, several- wasn’t it – even DL) of their own was/were repeatedly lying and cheating and extorting? It wasn’t, as we know.

    Says a lot really doesn’t, and confirms once again that, truly, thieves really DON’T have any ‘honour’, (unless it is bestowed upon her by the Governor General).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. DJP6-25 (1,270 comments) says:

    Wow! Fancy that. Makes a change from Mssssssssssss Clark stonewalling,; and the culprit blaming mummy and daddy for not buying him a trainset for their tenth birthday. Didn’t blame ‘society’ eiher. things are looking up.

    cheers

    David Prosser

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Paul Marsden (986 comments) says:

    My pick is that Heatley has diddled the taxpayer more than has been revealed to date and he’s baling now before before the AG lifts the lid on his other shannigans.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. RKBee (1,344 comments) says:

    gravedodger (225)
    “How many of the people who are dumping on Mr Heatley have a second creditcard and have to answer to the petticoat or jocky wearing boss at home every time the use the one and only”.

    Not me blouse, Stop crying like Heatley. He diserves the all the ribbing he gets. No one likes pussy’s on the team.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. camrun (49 comments) says:

    @Paul Marsden

    Your pick is wrong.

    If he was “baling now before before the AG lifts the lid”, I found it highly unlikely he would invite the AG to lift the lid. Heatley might be an idiot, but he’s not stupid.

    How many guilty people ask for an independent investigation?

    Could it just be that he has some sense of morality?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    There could be a whole lot of other dodgy stuff surrounding him that hasn’t been disclosed yet, and he has decided (or been told) to cut and run before the shit really hits the fan.

    We just don’t know yet – the Auditor General’s office will be investigating, supposedly at Heatley’s (but maybe actually at Key’s) initiative.

    Time will tell. Or maybe it won’t – we still don’t know what Richard Worth resigned over.

    In any case, an “MP with honour” would not charge drinks for himself and his wife to his Ministerial credit card in the first place. Unless he was too pissed at the time to notice which card he was pulling out of his wallet – I suppose that could be an excuse.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. kiki (425 comments) says:

    I always wonder if the good men fall on their swords when they make a mistake who the hell is left?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Bevan (3,965 comments) says:

    There could be a whole lot of other dodgy stuff surrounding him that hasn’t been disclosed yet, and he has decided (or been told) to cut and run before the shit really hits the fan.

    Then I doubt Key would have come out and said the minister still has his confidence.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    It is a great shame to see a man who had mastered his portfolios fall over something so silly. Looking at fisheries we have had David Benson Pope useless Pete Hodgson slightly better than useless, Jim Anderton suprisingly good, and Phil Heatley also very good. It is a bitch of a portfolio due to all the competing interest groups and the factions within those groups. Hint to all ministers rather than cut up your credit card cut a nick out of the card so you can see at a glance what card you are useing. I hope the Auditor General can do a quick investigation ( I have no idea on the time frame for something like this ) and Phil can be rehabilited reasoably quickly as well. Incidentaly I thought Carter was in Paris chairing a OECD conference wonder if he knows yet ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. Inventory2 (10,104 comments) says:

    toad said “There could be a whole lot of other dodgy stuff surrounding him that hasn’t been disclosed yet, and he has decided (or been told) to cut and run before the shit really hits the fan.”

    There COULD be toad; but likewise, Global Warming COULD be a complete and utter sham …… bullshit speculation like yours cuts both ways.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Manolo (13,380 comments) says:

    Why don’t we give several credit cards to the incompetent Nick Smith to induce him to make the same mistake? It would be the perfect solution :-)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    “In any case, an “MP with honour” would not charge drinks for himself and his wife to his Ministerial credit card in ”

    And a PM with honor would not sign off someone else’s art work as her own.

    “There could be a whole lot of other dodgy stuff surrounding him that hasn’t been disclosed yet, ”

    Doing what you do best I see Toadie making sly slurs and innuendo without any facts to back your shit up.
    Why don’t you piss off and get your speech notes updated from that soulmate of yours Trevor the Turd.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. Fale Andrew Lesa (473 comments) says:

    I love how some of us are already drawing conclusions from this entire issue, the fact is that an investigation has yet to get off the ground yet so all you’re doing is clutching at broken straws.

    Until the investigation is complete, we don’t know how much was inappropriately charged nor do we know the extent of these allegations.

    Why someone would choose to resign over a $70.00 cock up is beyond me however. Clearly there is more here than meets the eyes.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Toad,

    If the Greens ever make it into Government (more likely to miss the 5% threshold when NZ finally wakes up to the waste of space they are) you will be saved by the fact that most dope dealers don’t accept credit card.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @Le Grande Fromage 6:25 pm

    Mine do – King Dicks in Glenmall, Glen Eden. They sell alcohol – shitloads of it. Or any dairy that sells me cigarettes.

    He’s got cocaine, morphine too. Lots of shit to get you all high. Little pink pills in a big brown bag; going trucking off across the sky.

    Anyway, what has all this got to do with Heatley, vous fromage puant?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    toad

    You know very well that if the AG points to more dodgy stuff that the only acceptable remedy (as supported by your party) is to claim the AG made a bad call and validate the misspent money using urgency. Your team loved it when Labour did it so I guess you would vote to support it if National did it ? Or is it different when it’s not socialists rorting the tax payers in the best interests of themselves ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. IHStewart (388 comments) says:

    Annette King , just watched her on TV One news assuring New Zealand that there has to be more to this ie. no Labour MP would ever resign over such a silly mistake. Judgement is everything and I think Phil realises that. Labour would do much better to say he has acted honourably and say that this is the new standard of accountability and it is one that Labour will adhere to should they become government. She actually said to us that Labour will not act honourably if re-elected she told us Labour has not undergone the culture change required to be electable.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  36. Le Grande Fromage (145 comments) says:

    Toad,

    Good to see that your 5th form French wasn’t a total waste though many would say the stinkier the cheese the better the flavour.

    Anyway see if you can keep up;

    C’est dommage que tu sois dans la mauvaise equipe! J’espere qu’un jour tu te rendras compte des conneries que tu dis. Pour finir suce mes couilles!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  37. fatman43us (166 comments) says:

    There was a time here when this action would have been seen as an act of honour, rather than have a thousand sleazy people rummaging through the rubbish tin for some sign of further wrong doing. Not now, the inaction of the Muldoon years, the grubbiness of Clark and the Labour Government have reduced most of our people to becoming the Lowest Common Denominators of public life, where evey action can only be seen and judged as base and jaundiced.

    I applaud Heatley’s actions. I applaud the fact that the whole thing is to be investigated, and to Heatley’s family I offer my thanks for his service to our country, and the hope that he will not be lost to public life, and that he will come back the stronger for this. We don’t have the talent and energy in our people to burn it off like this.

    AND may his example may become the standard by which others in the government service are judged.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  38. noodle (151 comments) says:

    Hey Phil, that worked well, eh? Suggestion; both you and John take your toys home to mummy and have a tantrum or three in the play rooms. Eat a few burgers, icecreams and jelly then come back out , say sorry and shake hands.
    Go on. Its a grown-up thing to do.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  39. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Vos boules ne faites pas goût de si bon.

    Sounds something like what a Frog/Toad would gurgle with his gob full. :)

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  40. noodle (151 comments) says:

    Johnboy, you snob. There must be a froggy term for jelly and frigging icecream.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  41. Hurf Durf (2,860 comments) says:

    The left is so confused about this because they’ve never seen a Labour MP resign for this much in their whole nine years of destruction.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  42. Johnboy (14,998 comments) says:

    Noodle try: gelée et glace frigging.

    or: Gelée et glace foutues

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  43. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    Hurf Durf

    Perhaps politics is like having debt. If you owe the bank $100,000 and you can’t pay it you have a problem – if you owe the bank $1,000,000 and you can’t pay it – the bank has a problem.

    So if you use $800,000 of tax payers money to get yourself elected then it’s the country’s problem and validation sorts it out. If you use $70 to buy some stuff you should have paid for yourself – it’s your problem and you resign.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  44. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @ Le Grande Fromage 6:59 pm:

    Je ne suis pas même homosexuel, la grosse légume, pourquoi voudrais-je sucer vos testicules?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  45. Brian Harmer (686 comments) says:

    You know, I have voted Labour all my life, but as I read some of the disgusting posts above, I can feel myself switching sides. Politics ought to place more emphasis in what you are for than what you stand for , rather than who you hate. Both sides in this forum are equally guilty of sectarian hate, so I haven’t yet changed my lapel rosette to blue, but right now it sure isn’t red either.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  46. big bruv (13,314 comments) says:

    Brian

    “You know, I have voted Labour all my life, but as I read some of the disgusting posts above, I can feel myself switching sides”

    That is both interesting, and, from my point of view, bloody disappointing.

    Many of us have accused Neville Key of being Labour lite, the fact that a life long Labour voter now feels an affinity with the Nat’s just proves how far to the left Key has taken the party just to stay in power.

    It infuriates me that Neville Key refuses to take an axe to all those things that the left hold sacred, when Labour are in power they have no problem at all socking it to those they consider “rich pricks” yet for some reason Key seems determined to keep financially raping those same “rich pricks” so he can hand over my money to those who are too fucking lazy to work for a living.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  47. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    I find this weird, to resign over $70 worth of wine just doesn’t seem believable. I will be shocked if this is the end of it. I have no beef against Heatley, he seems a decent bloke.
    Something smells funny.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  48. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    kaya

    If a person who worked in a service station lifted $5 from the till to pay for bus fare home they would most likely get the sack and quite possibly be charged with theft as servant. We would accept that because theft is theft – it only seems to be acceptable when its massive amounts of money and it is a Labour person doing it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  49. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    I think the problem here is that we have become conditioned to politicians being caught with their snouts in the trough just saying sorry, sometimes paying the money back and then carrying on like nothing happened.

    Try telling the police that you will pay for the goods you got caught shop lifting and see how far you get. But MPs, well the rules (that they made for themselves) are confusing, others were doing it too… yes we know…. heard it all before.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  50. Rich Prick (1,553 comments) says:

    cf, Labour’s retrospective validating legislation, Phillip Field, King, Dyson, Peters (where is our $156,000 you nicked you prick?), Benson-Pope et el. Whist this is a refreshing dose of honorable action, it just is not necessary in my opinion.

    No Labour Minister who grossly fucked up or committed acts of corruption ever took such an honorable step, every one of them had to be pushed, or actually needed to be committed to trial.

    As I said, its refreshing but given the underlying nature of the “offence”, utterly unnecessary. But, if this is what we can expect over such a minor matter it bodes well for National.

    Toad, you can go boxing at shadows just as much as you like, but evidence would be nice, just not “peer reviewed” by your advocates thanks very much, just like with Global Warming™ . Leftists are so good with bullshit and supersition.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  51. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    Rich Prick

    Where should we draw the line? $100, $500, $1,000 – $800,000 ?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  52. big bruv (13,314 comments) says:

    I wonder if any of the pinko’s making a noise about a couple of bottles wine are the same labour party staffers who stole all the booze from the press party a couple of years back.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  53. calendar girl (1,175 comments) says:

    BB – most know your views on the policies of the government, but you miss Brian’s point. He is merely applauding an honourable action by a National MP, and expressing his disgust at partisan reaction from the Labour side. Well he might.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  54. Rich Prick (1,553 comments) says:

    Burt, I believe rules must be followed, but I think a resignation over such a minor matter is unnecessary, an apology and putting it right is fine in my book, we all fuck up with expenses from time to time. The amount involved is irrelevant. Intent is what strikes at the heart of the matter. Corrupt, dishonest or intent that otherwise requires retrospective validating legislation is utterly unacceptable, hence my cross reference to Labour’s corruption, dishonesty and theft and NZ First’s theft. Never saw a Labour minister voluntarily take his/her snout out of the trough over these far more serious matters committed with intent. That was my point really.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  55. dime (9,458 comments) says:

    gotta be honest, ive used the company CC a few times by mistake. theres been a few times ive cast my eye over the bill at the end of the month and gone “oh shit”.

    as for toad, his track record isnt the best. he spent weeks ranting against the “fire at will” bill, promised multiple cases where an emplyeee had been hard done by. so far he hasnt produced any.

    its just a way of looking for cheap political points, score em now. muse that “who knows what they AG will find”.. knowing full well the report will take a while and when nothing comes of it.. who cares. points have been scored.

    youre better than that toad, i think.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  56. tvb (4,209 comments) says:

    It reminds me of the curious little resignation of David Parker – remember that???r. John Key is leaving the door open and merely appointing acting Ministers etc pending the AG investigation. But Heatley has pushed things fairly hard on the expenses front. I suspect his colleagues gave him the thumbs down.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  57. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    Rich Prick

    Public money has a much higher standard of accountability – and rightfully so.

    However I agree it is a severe consequence but I do wonder if I think that it is severe because compared to the previous crowd where people didn’t resign over hundreds of thousands of dollars I’m just not use to seeing the high standard of accountability that we see now.

    I think it sets a good example and resets the bar – which was very much needed.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  58. Rich Prick (1,553 comments) says:

    I agree Burt. I have actually found myself in a position of breaching firm policy, was flying to London, met up with a mate at Akl domestic while transferring and had a beer, paid with my eftpos card, didn’t get it back, landed in London with no access to cash, had to get a cash advance on the company Amex, paid it back of course, unlike Winston and Labour. It was against all the rules, and by this example I should have resigned … that resignation would never have been accepted, in fact it would have been laughed off. Like I said, it all goes to intent.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  59. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    Rich Prick

    If you had waited till an internal poke around found a discrepancy prompting an external audit then yes you probably would have resigned, and it may have been accepted. In your example you didn’t wait to be caught. I agree, question of intent or perhaps an issue of entitlement.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  60. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    Mind you I would rather an MP used the tax payers purse to buy a plate of scampi than they received free scampi while chairing an inquiry about abuse of scampi quota.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  61. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    tvb

    Wishart covered the David Parker saga quite well. Stories of selling air conditioning units from a development while it was in receivership was a key plank if I remember correctly. A chap I know in Dunedin was named in the article as a sub contractor to the development company that Parker was involved with before the liquidation. The story rumbled around parliament for a brief moment before it was moved on. Then the story refocused on the false company office returns which became a slap with a wet bus ticket. Perhaps the $70 will be the slap, keep your eyes open for a whitewash.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  62. tvb (4,209 comments) says:

    The $70 looks like a misleading return when he said it was food instead of two bottles of wine. Of course one could easily make a mistake – who remembers back far enough to know what was paid for at what meal. I think he should be given the benefit of the doubt. The sum is trivial, he has fessed up promptly – there does not appear to be a orchestrated intention to deceive, the transaction appears isolated – or is it.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  63. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    tvb

    I don’t dispute that is a possibility. However the difference in application of standards between National and Labour is stunning. Absolutely stunning. Thank you Phil Heatley for starting the restoration of accountability in parliament.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  64. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @ Le Grande Fromage 6:59 pm

    Yes, still 5th form French – actually, I did 6th form French too, but have had very little time in Francophone countries, so pretty rusty with it.

    ;Je fais aussi bien que je peux sur Kiwiblog, même si je dois m’occuper de “Le Grande Fromage”. Je peux parler le Français, la mouche verte. La pitié vous ne pouvez pas vous trouver présent pour parler te reo Maori!

    Te Reo Maori est acceptable – Te Reo Maori devrait être la langue de chacun dans ce pays.

    Mais presque personne ici parle le Français. Je m’excuse.

    Yep, I know this is a plaintive plea to DPF to let my mate greenfly back here as a commenter. Come on DPF, the humour ‘fly provides has to be worth the occasional pisstake at your expense. No-one else from a Green perspective can do that better (apart from Catherine Delahunty, and you wouldn’t want her commenting here on a regular basis, would you?)

    So how about letting greenfly back DPF! Pretty please? With sugar?

    Oh, and ban d4j, on the basis of the “Nigger” comments yesterday. Just for a wee while – I do not support censorship, but that effort from d4j was extraordinarily offensive. Needs a carrot, but also needs a stick.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  65. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    toad

    You are deluded, greenfly was a watermelon. Looked green, hard core lefty through and through and abusive to boot.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  66. dime (9,458 comments) says:

    is greenfly still alive? i figured he saw a group of fat kids eating pies at school and his heart gave out.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  67. burt (7,821 comments) says:

    greenfly didn’t have much to say about environmental issues. YesWeDid might be greenfly.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  68. Rich Prick (1,553 comments) says:

    What’s all this talk of scampi?? The smell of rotten fish left Parilament with Winston.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  69. kiwi in america (2,437 comments) says:

    My take is that Heatley probably has made a few more dubious claims but likely to be of the same magnitude (ie $100 of wine etc). In watching Key’s response to Worth’s situation and conscious of the slow drip drip of negative publicity that flowed from the Bill English expenses situation, he concluded that politically he was likely to eventually be toast. Best to take the hit early and be the reason for the AG to look into the situation. If the AG unearths new dodgy claims there is little the Opposition can do or say as the correct course of action has already been taken-that of Key accepting Heatley’s resignation.

    If Heatley gets a clean bill of health then that makes it easy for Key to ease him back into Cabinet in the fulness of time a la Ruth Dyson. If it’s clear he played fast and loose with the authorisations a number of times, Key simply says that he was right to accept his resignation and that there is no chance of him being part of the Executive again.

    If the former is the case then Heatley has shown rare integrity and an astute political antennae to head off a political storm at the pass. If it is the latter then Heatley was wise to jump before he was pushed.

    So much more neat and tidy than the way Clark handled the $900k pledge card rort.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  70. big bruv (13,314 comments) says:

    Toad

    You want Greenfly back here yet your own site bans people for what you guys class as “trolling”.

    Not very consistent is it, even for a socialist.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  71. Nick Archer (137 comments) says:

    My thoughts exactly ‘kiwi in america’ that seems to be the narrative in the wider media too, there is some degree of puzzlement by the media (and opposition) as to why he would fully resign over such a small thing instead of just steppong aside till the AG reports back.

    Who knows maybe there is something more to it (like media and opposition suspect, the perception is there), but yet AG investigating it in the full course of actions taken make Key look good.

    I think the suspicion of there maybe being more into it comes from them cutting the press conference short when they started to question Heatley why he was resigning over a small matter instead of just stepping aside till the AG report, so the perception is created that ‘Maybe he has something to hide and it will come out when the AG reports back). But in his defence if he comes back squeeky clean may have been the exhaustion he would have been under and wanting to cut it short (press conference) etc, but that perception (he may have more to hide) is still there though…

    As it is Key expressed that he would have been happy for Heatley to just step aside as opposed to the full resignation, but if he comes in squeeky clean it looks like he will be rehabilitated a lot quicker than Clark put own her minions back into Cabinet…

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  72. david (2,539 comments) says:

    A small point I know but it was Heatley who requested the AG audit, not Key.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.