Well done the Auditor-General

November 16th, 2010 at 8:13 am by David Farrar

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Some time ago I sent an OIA request to the  for all of their credit card expenses. They ini­tially refused because the  is not sub­ject to the OIA.

They have now recon­sid­ered and accord­ingly pro­vided the infor­ma­tion that I requested.

Voluntary compliance with a request, when there is no statutory obligation to do so is great leadership.

Every instance of expense is detailed with who was there and what it was about. Even park­ing dock­ets are fully explained. Com­pare that to Len Brown’s still secret Volare dinner.

Talking of which, has the Ombudsman made a decision yet?

is the epit­ome of fis­cal rec­ti­tude. She flew Pacific Blue to Port Moresby which is pig of a flight at the best of times and one that no one would be-grudge a busi­ness class fare and/or a Groser/McCully style truck load of piss to soothe the nerves for that flight. But our cheap and fru­gal Auditor-General flew Pacific Blue and bought two sets of sand­wiches, cook­ies and an iced tea for a total of $28.20. That’s a bar­gain no mat­ter how much they charge for an iced tea on Pacific Blue. She even stayed in a dive of a hotel. That’s tak­ing one for the team in any­ones book. …

On the 26th of March 2010 there is an amount of $3 for short term park­ing, this was when her fam­ily came to pick her up at the air­port instead of billing it to Cor­po­rate Cabs for a hundy. She fre­quently gets peo­ple to pick her up from air­ports instead of bill the tax­payer for cab fares.

She is tighter than a fish’s arse and that’s water­proof. Lyn Provost, civil ser­vant, I dub thee The Queen of Mean.

Most recipients of a nickname from Whale Oil are not that happy about it, but in this case I think the Auditor-General will be happy with it.

More seriously, it is great to see the AG aware of the moral leadership role of her office. It is a million years removed from the days of Jeff Chapman, who was actually convicted for fraud.

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43 Responses to “Well done the Auditor-General”

  1. Chris2 (754 comments) says:

    The Auditor-General’s actions go some way to restoring one’s faith that somewhere out there, there still are Government servants (be they civil or political) who do indeed have a moral compass, who do recognise that they have an obligation to be frugal, responsible and accountable for how they spend taxpayer money.

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  2. scrubone (3,048 comments) says:

    frugal, responsible and accountable for how they spend taxpayer money

    As opposed to Mr Wong who was frugal with *his* money.

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  3. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    Then at the other end of the scale you have Pansy Wong who seems to think she was elected so that her family and their business associates could grow rich from the public tit.
    Is anyone keeping a tally on how many National rorters there are in only a single term!

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  4. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    m@tt: think about it a different way. All parties have a proportion of rorters. They’re hard to weed out until you give them an opportunity to show they’re a rorter. National have taken very direct action against most of theirs, so their first term has involved a lot of them leaving. Labour tolerated, even encouraged, theirs, so they kept doing it term after term, whilst Labour helped to keep their expenses secret. I know which approach I prefer.

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  5. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    m@tt Wouldn’t you love to see Labour’s travel expenses for the 9 years they were in govt. We all know we funded Helen and Peter’s frequent holidays in places like Norway and South America but perhaps there were discussions about her new job with significant people. Would that be breaking the rules? And who knows what else is hidden away. Would Phil open the books?
    Actually I don’t really give a toss but it’s a bit rich for Phil to be on his high moral horse when for nearly a decade he and his govt kept all of this totally secret and it is only because John Key opened the books that we know what his team are doing or that we found out about Chris Carter, Jim Anderton (that $100,000 junket through Europe!!) etc etc.
    So all credit to Key and his readiness to take the flak while all this gets sorted and MPs are paid a salary and legit expenses and that’s it.

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  6. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    I completely agree that in the culture that had developed over the last few decades there were many MP’s from both sides of the house rorting the system in this manner. It was wrong then, it’s wrong now. What beggars belief is that Pansy Wong was STILL DOING IT, even after very very clear signals had be sent and a definite change in behaviour was expected. How long is it since Carter, Jones, Heatley, Worth, English, Hide were all tarred with this brush? How is it that these trips of Wong’s were being approved? Was she outright lying or were those signing off on them just turning a blind eye?

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  7. david (2,535 comments) says:

    @matt
    common error I know but the Pansy Wong trip was in “late 2008″ long befoe the Carter, Jones, Heatley, Worth, English, Hide et al expenses saga which generated much more heat than light IMVHO.

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  8. m@tt (587 comments) says:

    @david
    And after the trip she had a memory wipe?
    She didn’t think to say to JK. Ummmm I think I might have stuffed up?
    That’s as bad as Garrett thinking his crap was all in the past so he was immune.

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  9. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    David, “the Pansy Wong trip” was in “late 2008″ but it was possibly not the only one – in her statement Wong said “I am not able at this point to give the Prime Minister an assurance that this is a one-off situation”.

    Also unclear still is if there was improper use of her electorate office, and if there was when that occurred to.

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  10. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Talking of Fraud and the Labour party.

    Are they still in the Immigration business? Understand that they are no longer in Government, but just wonder wether they and their old muckers in the Department Of Labour (Appropriate and very accurate) are able to slip stuff under the radar?

    You know for old times sake and a divvy up from the grateful import who may have been generous to the Party for the easy passage.

    Mr Field and quite a few other leading labour persons, and their hench-monkeys have proven form here.

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  11. Guy Fawkes (702 comments) says:

    Chinese are masters at Corruption. It is in their DNA. Mrs Wong done a lot of Wrong.

    Police should be involved, she should get questioned……….. If found Guilty on specific charges if any.

    Then the full sentencing should be applied as a Lesson pour les autres

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  12. david (2,535 comments) says:

    @matt 9:45am I agree, retrospective revalidation of all claims and use of rebates is something that each MP should have undertaken when the manure hit the propellor. Not to do it was careless, or dumb. Either way one would expect better of a Cabinet Minister of supposed intellectual capability.

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  13. s.russell (1,563 comments) says:

    I know it is well-meant but I am not sure that the title “Queen of Mean”comes out that well! Still, full kudos to Provost for her rectitude, and to Whale Oil for his expose.

    On the subject of Wong, how about holding back with the vitriol until the full facts are established? It is not (yet) clear to me that the offence was any greater than her husband doing some business on the side while on holiday.

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  14. James Stephenson (2,018 comments) says:

    Is this the same Auditor General that completely ducked the question about Jim Anderton’s sham status as a party leader?

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  15. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    So Whale Oil now has the details of every parking docket for the AG and his staff. Well, whoopee. Should keep him amused for hours.

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  16. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    “I am not able at this point to give the Prime Minister an assurance that this is a one-off situation”.
    Doublespeak for “yes, there have been several instances of this.”

    Wong’s goose is cooked, and she should resign now, although the investigation into her travel affairs must continue. To claim, as some National Party flunkie suggested, that she probably didn’t know her husband had booked the trip, it’s beyond belief.

    Go away, Ms. Wong.

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  17. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Congratulations to that woman. She should get a bonus for the way she has conducted herself in her position. That’s the way it should be, performance based rather than the entitement attiude that the majority seem to adopt.

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  18. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    James – the auditor general has no power over that. Jim is actually a party leader. The party has only one member and representative, but the auditor general can’t make any decisions over that. Jim is inside the letter of the law (as was Bill English), but Jim has no shame and no future, and therefore won’t do the right thing like Bill did.

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  19. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    Maggie, did you have anything to add to this thread? I think Whale is doing something useful here – I’m pleasantly surprised at the result of his investigation, and he’s doing something that the MSM should be doing. Too many people complain that bloggers don’t create anything original or do any investigation of their own, when one does some we get people like you acting like it’s worthless. Realistically, what you really mean is “he’s a right wing blogger, so anything he does must be wrong, I can’t put my finger on what is wrong about it, so I’ll just denigrate it in general.” And you wonder why people have a negative reaction to you.

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  20. BeaB (2,057 comments) says:

    Great to see the AG providing such an example of financial rectitude. Just as it should be when we remember the scandal of Jeff Chapman. Was he the one with the taxpayer funded aeroplane in his garage or was that yet another? All appointed by the mandarins at the State Services Commission – Hunn and Winteringham. What a dismal series of appointments they made.

    John Key is right in his using sunlight as a great disinfectant. We owe him a big thank you. Perhaps it is a good thing having a rich man as PM as he is not in the business of lining his own pockets.

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  21. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Paul, if Whale wants to do something to earn his benefit, perhaps he could do something worthwhile? Just a thought.

    I would be amazed if people here weren’t negative towards me. Not to say very disappointed.

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  22. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    “I would be amazed if people here weren’t negative towards me.”
    Why do you say that Maggie? We all love you deeply round here. :-)

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  23. Pete George (22,784 comments) says:

    Love manifests in many ways.

    Maggie, the default reaction here is negative, towards anyone with a different view or a different perception of colour. Getting on nicely is so CR.

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  24. DJP6-25 (1,268 comments) says:

    [PaulL 11:58] Or a negative reaction to socialists in general. Meanwhile, the Queen of Mean deserves a medal. Literally. She absolutely doesn’t sound remotely like the usual socialist civil servant type. Not the remotest sign of entititlitis.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  25. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    Maggie, I don’t think that Whale is trying to “earn his benefit”. Presumably even those on a benefit get time off – you know, weekends, night times and such. Funny, I haven’t seen much suggestion from people on the left that there is a need to earn a benefit before – interesting concept. Can we broaden it to other people too, or is it specially for people you don’t agree with?

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  26. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Paul, if you are on a benefit you don’t have a job, at least that is usually the way it works. So getting time off doesn’t apply.

    But if Whale can work and is still on a benefit does that make him a bludger?

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  27. TCrwdb (246 comments) says:

    Maggie adds the same value to this thread/blog as he/she/it does to broader society… jack nothing… reminds me of an annoying fly at a BBQ, buzzing around, bumping into things… you know the drill.

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  28. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    Maggie:
    1. Strictly, no, time off doesn’t apply. As my father in law says, it’s a bugger being retired, every day you’re still retired, no holidays. But, the fact that he has time to do some blogging doesn’t imply that there is a problem, for all I know he spends 40 hours a week hitting the streets looking for work, or doing rehabilitation to get back into a job.

    2. If Whale can work, can find a job but chooses not to take it, and is still on a benefit, then yes, he’d be a bludger. I’m not sure that either of those first two conditions are true though – he’s been pretty clear about his illness, so unless you’re telling me that depression isn’t a real illness, then I’m not sure where you’re going other than being nasty to someone who is ill. Not particularly caring and sharing, but that doesn’t really surprise me.

    Were you going to answer my question about whether you’d be in favour of “earning the benefit” is something we could apply to all those in receipt of a benefit?

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  29. john.bt (170 comments) says:

    Maggie certainly is one of those people who talks a lot but never actually says anything.

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  30. Cactus Kate (545 comments) says:

    She gets relatives to pick her up from the airport and claims just $3 for the short-term parking. That’s just awesome. If applied to 120 MP’s + staff, think of the savings?

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  31. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    If Whale can work and there is work available for him, then he should work. Mind you, there is not much call for his skills in civilised society.

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  32. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    See, that’s just nasty Maggie. You repeated what I already said (so you’re agreeing with me), you ignored the important caveat about whether it is likely that he can work given his well discussed illness, and then you made it nasty with a little twist in the end.

    What value did that have? And you wonder why some people here think you’re a nasty piece of work?

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  33. Dismal Soyanz (58 comments) says:

    @Guy Fawkes 9:53 am

    “Chinese are masters at Corruption. It is in their DNA.”

    Hate to point this out to you, my pyromanic friend but if it is in Chinese DNA, you probably have exactly the same genetic sequence.

    Just saying.

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  34. kaya (1,360 comments) says:

    Actually I want to know where the fuck you can get short term parking at the airport for $3!! I pick my daughter up there for all the school holidays and it usually costs at least $6 no matter how well I time it. I suppose if you have someone waiting in the car like a formula one pitstop it might be that cheap…..

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  35. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Gee Paul, what a sensitive soul you are. I’m a socialist, of course people around here hate me. Goes with the territory.

    I’m delighted the AG is setting such a fine example. I’m sure the office tea bags are used for up to a week. Just wondering how this fits into the greater scheme of things.

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  36. Dismal Soyanz (58 comments) says:

    @kaya 9.29 pm

    I think you have to be there for less than 15 mins. I’ve managed to time picking up people well enough to get in there just before they reach the gate and then straight back out to the car. it definitely cost only $3. Quite a pleasant surprise the first time it happened – I was expecting to get socked for $6 for a 5 minute stop.

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  37. Manolo (13,341 comments) says:

    “I’m a socialist, of course people around here hate me.”

    Why do you keep coming back for more? By the way, got a job yet?

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  38. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    An interesting admission, Manolo. Keep disagreeing with us and we will continue to attack you till you go away. Exactly what I have been saying, thanks for your honesty at least.

    I’ll go when I’m ready. Might be tonight, might be in five years. At the moment I’m enjoying myself far too much.

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  39. big bruv (13,249 comments) says:

    Maggie

    Managed to find paid employment yet?

    Or are you still bludging from the tax payer?

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  40. big bruv (13,249 comments) says:

    “I’m a socialist, of course people around here hate me”

    Don’t sell yourself short Maggie, there are many, many other reasons for people to hate you.

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  41. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    Is that a mosquito buzzing around here – making a repetitious whining noise?

    Where’s the Black Flag………kills pests stone dead.

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  42. kiwi in america (2,434 comments) says:

    Big bruv
    If Maggie’s a NZ citizen then he can’t be on the Aussie dole – not for a couple of years at least.

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  43. Maggie (674 comments) says:

    More personal insults. A least the attack gang is growing smaller. We’re down to the recidivists now.

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