A misleading headline

March 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The SST headline:

Call to ban ministers from share float

Except they already are. Ministers absolutely can not take part in the share float.

In fact the conflict of interest obligations are taken so seriously that when Contact Energy was sold in the late 1990s, I was one of those banned from buying when it floated as I worked in the PM’s Office. Now I had zero involvement in the float, saw no papers about it, but still was banned.

So a headline that suggests Ministers are not already banned is absolutely misleading.

We asked our readers if they wanted a similar rule to Australia’s “Standards of Ministerial Ethics” that require ministers “to divest themselves of all shareholdings other than through investment vehicles such as broadly diversified superannuation funds or publicly listed managed or trust arrangements”.

That is a very separate issue to the suggestion that Ministers can take part in the Mighty River share float.

Incidentally I think it is a good idea for Ministers to follow the lead of the PM and put their shareholdings in a blind trust. But a one size fits all rule may be overly prescriptive  You may have a Minister who has say 10,000 shares in one company prior to becoming a Minister and requiring them to set up a Trust for such a minor shareholding could be a bit over the top.

Tags: , , ,

9 Responses to “A misleading headline”

  1. OneTrack (3,104 comments) says:

    Wonder what it would to live in a country where the fourth estate knew this stuff already ie like real journalists or something? Never mind, I am sure Rob Stock is first in line for the next job at Womans Weekly or New Idea.

    Vote: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. David Farrar (1,895 comments) says:

    Note that Rob wrote the article (which is fine) and a sub-editor does the headline.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    Quite right. Almost as misleading as that headline I saw yeaterday. ‘Labour to tax turnover’ it said. Journos these days huh. Seesh.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. David Farrar (1,895 comments) says:

    I think that headline had a question mark.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. itstricky (1,831 comments) says:

    You’re quite right. It did have a question mark. Good you pulled that up. Jogged my memory – I remembered it was the “article” that was misleading, not the headline.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. Black with a Vengeance (1,861 comments) says:

    HMMMM…

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/2013/03/26/mighty-river-power-members-of-parliament-and-conflicts-of-interest/

    And English using his best endeavours not to let his family buy shares…Are you fucking kidding me?

    The guy who doesn’t live where he says he lives and doesn’t own where he lives cos his wife does but claims fuckloads to live there anyway?

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. Elaycee (4,392 comments) says:

    Jeez BWAV / Pollywog / whatever name you use this week…. you need to trot off to your GP pronto – someone in Nelson has swapped your meds for Tic Tacs. 8O

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Zzzzzzzzz…*yawn*

    Vote: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. Akldnut (20 comments) says:

    “Incidentally I think it is a good idea for Ministers to follow the lead of the PM and put their shareholdings in a blind trust.”

    Is that because you liked the wine that Key was giving out that came from his “Blind Trust” David?

    Blind Trust – Yeah Right!. It was a Tuis moment when they named it and that’s why you’re all for it because it’s only blind in name.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1 You need to be logged in to vote