Own goal by Mallard

August 29th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Barry Soper reports at NewstalkZB:

Over the next three weeks the spotlight will be on Labour and in particular the three wannabes. 

But it’s a party that can’t help tripping over itself as it did yesterday when flew into the bear pit, accusing the pedantic of bludging off the taxpayer after he tearfully relieved himself of his ministry last year when his Bronwyn Pullar conflict of interest became an embarrassment. 

Of course he’s repented and is now back in the fold. Mallard claimed he’d stayed on in his taxpayer supplied ministerial home when he wasn’t entitled to. 

Smith tells us he stayed on for a couple of weeks so that his kids could finish their school term which would seem reasonable in the circumstances. 

But big Gezza Brownlee wasn’t going to let them get away with that. He ruffled Mallard’s feathers, saying what’s good for the goose is good for the gander. 

If he expected Smith to cough up some cash then what about Dithering David doing the decent thing? 

Since making the dramatic announcement last Thursday, and then refusing to take any questions about it, Shearer got on the next plane out of the capital and will be lying low for the next three weeks. 

He’s still picking up his leader’s salary and the perks that go with the job, which Gezza says is a bit rich given Labour’s view of Smith’s indiscretion. 

More points on the Tory board then as Labour again scores an own goal!

As far as I can tell Trevor Mallard seems to be claiming that if you lose a job which has accomodation as part of it, you should be evicted from that house the same day.

Presumably he thinks if a Police officer resigns, they should be evicted from their Police accomodation immediately. Likewise Railways use to have many homes for staff. Again Labour now seems to say there should be no grace period at all – you should have your furniture thrown out that afternoon.

Presumably Trevor has written a refund cheque for staying on in his ministerial house after the 2008 election, rather than moving out that night.

As this Herald story pointed out, outgoing Ministers were given a dignified time:

Prime Minister John Key pointed out that when National entered Government he encouraged outgoing Prime Minister Helen Clark to remain in Premier House in Wellington as long as she wanted, at no cost.

Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee suggested that outgoing Labour leader David Shearer should have his privileges stripped because he had stepped down and was absent from Parliament.

This is the all too common problem in Labour – go for the easy hit, and not worry about consistency.

UPDATE: Trevor would not have had a Ministerial house as he is a Wellington MP. But his colleagues of course did, and I am sure did not pay rent for staying on for a few weeks after they lost in 2008. Unless they had already packed up before the election!

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40 Responses to “Own goal by Mallard”

  1. Chuck Bird (4,402 comments) says:

    DPF, I agree with your point. However, I have heard that Peter Done is still in a ministerial house. That may not be correct but if is he should be moving out soon I would think. Does anyone know anything about this?

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  2. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    As far as I can tell Trevor Mallard seems to be claiming that if you lose a job which has accomodation as part of it, you should be evicted from that house the same day.

    What Mallard appeared to be saying to me was not that Nick Smith should be evicted immediately, but that Nick Smith should be paying rent for the period when he wasn’t entitled to live in the house for free.

    Which is what would have happened with the railways, and the police. Mallard was saying Smith shouldn’t be there, he was saying that Smith shouldn’t have been there without paying.

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    I have heard that Peter Done is still in a ministerial house. That may not be correct but if is he should be moving out soon I would think. Does anyone know anything about this?

    This would be a big deal, because, as a Wellington-based minister, Peter Dunne has never been entitled to a ministerial house. So I presume it isn’t true.

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  4. Redbaiter (6,464 comments) says:

    “Mallard was saying Smith shouldn’t be there, he was saying that Smith shouldn’t have been there without paying.”

    It was a matter of 6 weeks AFAIK, and not two weeks, but apparently this was to allow Smith’s kids to finish their school terms. Maybe he should have paid some rent. After all, he resigned.

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  5. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    maybe mallard wouldn’t be inclined to point this out if DPF and his band of merry men hand’t decided that Labour MPs should not fly for free on party business even though going to a national party conference on tick is just fine.

    It’s an all to common problem for National selective memory

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  6. bhudson (4,720 comments) says:

    Maybe he should have paid some rent. After all, he resigned.

    It would appear there was some good old plain common sense applied by Ministerial Services and Parliament Service.

    Nick Smith was permitted to remain in residence until the school term ended with no rent payable and was not paid the accommodation allowance from Parl Service during that time.

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  7. Ian McK (237 comments) says:

    Mallard is a real a/hole. I remember when he mouthed off at a chap Meurant (I think it was) outside Parliament, when Meurant questioned him about his abuse and approached him, Mallard ran down the hallway like a scolded cur. If this is the type that Labour are still using as traction fodder, they may as well hand over to Norman now. Instead of worrying about Nick Smith, we should be questioning the thousands of taxpayers’ dollars being wasted on this three-person junket for leadership of the dead party.

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    Sorry, my final sentence for my 3:07 comment should read:

    Mallard was not saying Smith shouldn’t be there, he was saying that Smith shouldn’t have been there without paying.

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  9. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Whatever the rights or wrongs of this case the bigger picture is how are taxpayers funds/ assets being used by the political elites?

    Irrespective of personalities or politics there seems to be a fast and loose attitude to OUR money.

    They should all remember they are stewards not barons.

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

    RB …. as I understand it an ordinary MP (not a cabinet minister) is entitled to a Wellington Allowance of $160 per night. Smith stated in Parliament he did not claim that allowance as qpq

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  11. BeaB (1,945 comments) says:

    What a low creep Mallard has become – from being an MP who could have become PM one day. How do these old guys become so despicable?

    Perhaps we should trawl back through 9 years of Labour living high on the hog. Remember all those lavish overseas trips with spouses in tow? Jim Anderton, the great lay preacher, among the most brazen in his troughing.

    I wonder how quickly they vacated their ministerial homes? In fact, isn’t it John Key who has cleaned up the sorry mess?

    But I cannot forgive Mallard for the sickening and cruel way he tried to bait the trap. He is not fit for public office.

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  12. Alan (908 comments) says:

    Do the people of Wainuiomata really care about this ?

    Whomever takes over as Labour leader needs to get this crap stopped and get his team firmly on message; housing, jobs, cost of living.

    No more crappy Wellington process issues.

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  13. Graeme Edgeler (3,216 comments) says:

    isn’t it John Key who has cleaned up the sorry mess?

    The changes under Key increased the allowances available to ministers.

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  14. davidp (3,319 comments) says:

    BeaB>But I cannot forgive Mallard for the sickening and cruel way he tried to bait the trap. He is not fit for public office.

    Pretending to be concerned about state house tenants and then springing the Nick Smith is a state house tenant trap was pretty low. I wonder how the poor residents of Naenae and Mangere feel about being fodder for Mallard’s dirty tricks?

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  15. peterwn (2,933 comments) says:

    I find it odd that Trevor had a Ministerial house when he lives in Wainuiomata and Helen Clark would not provide Ministerial accommodation to Ministers already resident in Wellington. Perhaps Wainuiomata is too far away so the rule did not apply. This is what the Phillida Bunkle fuss was all about – she got Ministerial accommodation, then it transpired that she owned a house in Thorndon. She had to resign over that and Helen never reinstated her.

    If he did not have a Ministerial house I can see that he could be bitter and twisted over that. Or did Auntie relent in his case.

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  16. kowtow (6,690 comments) says:

    Alan

    They do prioritise “housing ,jobs,cost of living”.

    Their own housing ,jobs and cost of living.

    Perks for the pols not for the proles.

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  17. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    Mallard.. hmm name rings a bell.

    lisp? suits that dont fit properly? consigned to the back benches? pretended it was his idea because he wanted to be speaker?

    the dude who used to comment here and told us key would be rolled long before goff? then wouldnt accept a bet with dime..

    i thought the private sector would have snapped him up by now.

    anyway, back to the topic of the post. im not sure i care. i think smith staying on was a reasonable thing. 6 weeks.. i assume hes already paying a mortgage on another house somewhere?

    to be consistent i wouldnt care if mallard had done the same thing if so entitled.

    if smith had worked for some huge multi-national and was one of their top people, im sure he would get a grace period after standing down.

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  18. Redbaiter (6,464 comments) says:

    “if smith had worked for some huge multi-national and was one of their top people, im sure he would get a grace period after standing down.”

    That’s private money not public.

    Tristan above is probably right. Its payback for the free flight allegations of a few days ago.

    These people, Nat or Labour, are not our Kings and Queens you know. (no pun intended in respect of the latter)

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  19. david (2,482 comments) says:

    watching the replay it is quite clear that Smith is saying that his family moved out withuin 2 weeks but that, with Ministerial Services approval, he was able to leave his furniture there for a short period which took it out to 6 weeks. This makes an even bigger mockery of Mallard with his claims (through sneering clenched teeth) that Smith would have enjoyed housekeeping and bedsheet replacement services for 6 weeks.

    It made me think that Trevor is not seeing a rosy future for himself and is acting like he has fallen down the long-drop.

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  20. dime (8,746 comments) says:

    red – the govt owns the house anyway? so its an opportunity cost? or was the govt paying rent on it?

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  21. Evadne (65 comments) says:

    The house is currently empty.

    Smith resigned from a post which came with a house. Within two weeks, his family had moved out of the house. (Pretty prompt activity – anyone else tried to move house in two weeks? Not easy!)

    He left his furniture within the UNOCCUPIED house for a further 4 weeks. The house remains unoccupied.

    During this time, he declined the living allowance he was entitled to.

    The house is currently owned by the National PARTY.

    I’m sorry – where’s the scandal?

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  22. alwyn (359 comments) says:

    When did the practice of not giving Ministerial houses to Wellington based ministers start?
    Certainly they used to get them. Jack Marshall, who was the MP for Karori, used to live in the big house at the bottom of Bolton St that Gerry Brownlee now has.
    Even earlier Fraser, who was the MP for Wellington Central used to have a ministerial house in Northland

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  23. thedavincimode (6,102 comments) says:

    It was a perfectly legitimate question for Mallard to ask. The entrée was tedious in his endeavour to pull off the eventual question that he was getting at. But it was also a stupid question to ask given the history – eg Klerk mentioned by Key and undoubtedly other similar concessions to Ministers from both parties in the past, the recent resignation of Shearer, Dalziel going troppo to campaign whilst on the taxpayer’s tit, the Three Contestants pissing around over the labour leadership, also on the taxpayers’ tit, and Dunney getting extra dough when his party didn’t exist. So the issue is worth raising and we need some control around this; particularly where politicians are being paid but skive off to do other things.

    So there is nothing outrageous in Mallard’s questions other than outrageous stupidity. The hue and cry over his questions is more a reflection of the fact that he is an odious bullshitting and [deleted by DPF]

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  24. Redbaiter (6,464 comments) says:

    “RB …. as I understand it an ordinary MP (not a cabinet minister) is entitled to a Wellington Allowance of $160 per night. Smith stated in Parliament he did not claim that allowance as qpq”

    Can’t follow that. He was being given an allowance to stay in a house for free? And after he resigned he stopped getting this allowance? But still lived in the house for free? Is that it?

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  25. jaba (2,068 comments) says:

    gooooooooooooooooooooooaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll

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  26. James Stephenson (1,885 comments) says:

    @Red – ceases to be minister therefore loses the house and drops back to being an MP entitled to the allowance. Stayed on in the house, therefore didn’t claim it.

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  27. peterwn (2,933 comments) says:

    alwyn – Helen Clark decreed that Wellington resident ministers were not entitled to Ministerial houses – prior to that all Ministers were entitled to a house which was also expected to be used for entertaining purposes. Also up to the 1984 Lange Government all Ministers were entitled to two self-drive car (one in Wellington and one in the electorate). s in addition to the limo service.

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  28. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    Big fucking deal…

    This ain’t shit compared to Double Dipton living in his wife’s house and claiming rent.

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  29. Rex Widerstrom (5,124 comments) says:

    alwyn asks:

    When did the practice of not giving Ministerial houses to Wellington based ministers start?

    I’d like an answer to that question too. Because I am quite certain that in 1996, when appointed Minister-for-getting-a-nose-ring-and-hanging-wid-da-youf, a vital role in every Parliament since Disraeli, Deborah Morris and her partner were treated to a Karori home at our expense, despite both being Wellingtonians.

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  30. lolitasbrother (338 comments) says:

    from DP Farrar
    ” UPDATE: Trevor would not have had a Ministerial house as he is a Wellington MP. But his colleagues of course did, and I am sure did not pay rent for staying on for a few weeks after they lost in 2008. Unless they had already packed up before the election! ”

    hah ha this is great. What a pathetic show from Mallard, eating his own people.
    PM John Key said graciously that it was normal, and time honoured practice to allow Minister resigning to move away from house. God in heaven, will we not support a Minister of the Crown, who had to resign, and needs to re-locate his family .

    The criticism is mainly that Mallard encroached on family issues. It was not. It was parliament allowance issue for Minister Nick Smith.

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  31. lolitasbrother (338 comments) says:

    Black with a Vengeance (1,432) Says: August 29th, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    Big fucking deal…
    This ain’t shit compared to Double Dipton living in his wife’s house and claiming rent.

    The Ministers accomodation provision is for people who don’t otherwise have Wellington
    accommodation, family owned home .
    So then he Bill English still needs a house to live in, near Parliamant house .
    I think it is an allowance, and I think he can live where he wants.

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  32. cha (3,529 comments) says:

    So why did English pay back the $32k he’d claimed in allowances?.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/2910957/Bill-English-buckles-over-housing-allowance

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  33. Duxton (544 comments) says:

    Cha….because he’s honest.

    Did the paedo**** Benson-Pope ever apologise to, or pay compensation to, the schoolgirls he oogled in the showers?

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  34. cha (3,529 comments) says:

    Being honest after you’ve been caught – too funny.

    BTW, if the KB logs were ever requested could you afford to defend yourself?.

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  35. flipper (3,268 comments) says:

    Rather late for this thread, but early yesterday morning I made the following comments (which seemed rather popular) on GD…..

    *flipper (2,289) Says:
    August 29th, 2013 at 8:21 am

    News addicts would have seen brief reports on Mallard’s gratuitous attack on Smith in The House yesterday afternoon. If you did not see it, go to the draft Hansard reports.

    To my mind, this was the most direct, personal, and bottom of the barrel scraping episode, since Colin Moyle took on Thea Muldoon’s cat. Rob later, and famously, got his revenge on Moyle in the House when he was caught lying over that Wellington toilet / Police episode.

    Mallard should beware. Folks in and around politics have a very long memory. I am no fan of Nick’s blue-green policies, but what Mallard did was personal, family, and DIRTY. It was absolutely, bloody, disgraceful. JK’s and BGB’s interventions with timely (but non personal) hint questions on Clark and Shearer, showed Mallard up for the smart-arsed, unconscionable prick that he really is.

    Can’t remember whether the duck shooting season is still open, but mallards may soon become a much sought-after species. ***

    Says it all I think….and as for the fool claiming DPF has a selective memory. It has NO memory.

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  36. flipper (3,268 comments) says:

    Graeme Ed should stick to electoral law.
    He knows fuck all about fairness, decency and precedents. GE…go back to your school boy study of esoteric

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  37. scrubone (2,971 comments) says:

    I come back to what I said when Shearer was elected leader. His first words should have been “and it goes without saying Trevor, that I expect your resignation on my desk by the morning”.

    Mallard is an embarrassment, and should have been let go a long time ago. But I’m quite happy that they keep him around :D

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  38. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    And he’s the Greens/ Labour ‘s nominee for Speaker’ if they should form a government.

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  39. Tookinator (195 comments) says:

    I seem to remember some outrage at Judith ? (Labour/Auckland Central) still using Ministerial cars some MONTHS after she had been kicked out – DPF can you Google this and regurgitate it pls!

    (Tizzard I think)

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  40. Black with a Vengeance (1,552 comments) says:

    The Ministers accomodation provision is for people who don’t otherwise have Wellington
    accommodation, family owned home .

    oh right, so technically it wasn’t not his house, it was his wifes and he had to pay rent to live there.

    Just fuck off with that shit!!!

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