More scrutiny of O’Rourke

May 2nd, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Hamish Rutherford at Stuff reports:

Parliament’s Speaker is refusing to disclose whether a New Zealand First employee has travelled at the expense of the taxpayer, after the MP he lives with, Denis O’Rourke, denied the two are partners.

Yesterday Parliamentary Service confirmed it was investigating a complaint into O’Rourke, who entered Parliament in 2011, and , an out of Parliament staff member for the NZ First transport spokesman.

Under the directions of the Speaker, David Carter, MPs are not allowed to employ their partner, husband or wife. O’Rourke has denied that James is his partner, reportedly saying that the two live in different parts of a single house.

Electoral records from 2011 showed O’Rourke and James living at the same address. Although the latest electoral roll shows James now lives at a different address, property records show it also relates to O’Rourke’s Christchurch home.

The two were previously directors of the same company, and companies they continue to run give similar contact details.

So they live together, and run business together, and O’Rourke has out him on the taxpayer funded payroll. It’s not a great look.

James is said to frequently travel from Christchurch to Wellington during weeks when Parliament is sitting. It is unclear whether he travels at his own expense, and a spokeswoman for Carter said the Speaker would be making no comment on the matter until Parliamentary Service had completed its investigation, expected next week.

It is rare for Out of Parliament staff to come to Wellington. Most OOP staff would probably come to Wellington just once a year or so. James has been seen out and about in Wellington, often with O’Reilly O’Rourke.

MPs are allowed to have their partner or spouse travel with them, or if they do not have one, nominate a family member, under the directions of the Speaker.

Staff members can also travel via funding from the MPs parliamentary budget.

The Herald also has a new angle:

New Zealand First MP Denis O’Rourke is under further pressure after being caught out over a fake testimonial on the Trade Me page of his classic car rental business. …

However, the complaint from Queenstown resident David Simpson which sparked the investigation said there was “a clear case of Mr O’Rourke and Mr James conspiring to create bogus testimonials about a wedding car hire firm they both have an interest in”.

The pair were directors of Christchurch-based wedding business Garden City Weddings.

After the business ceased trading, Mr O’Rourke continued to lease classic cars for weddings, including a 1948 Jaguar Mark V named Winston.

Under his Trade Me handle DJSteve, Mr James wrote: “Such beautiful black cars – thanks for your great service for our wedding.”

Mr O’Rourke replied: “Denis: Many thanks Steve. it was our pleasure.”

The post was placed three months before Mr O’Rourke was elected to Parliament in 2011 and has since been deleted.

Mr O’Rourke said he knew Mr James had placed the reference but, because it was done before he was an MP, he did not need to apologise to the public.

Yep fake testimonial from your business partner are fine so long as you did them before you were an MP!

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34 Responses to “More scrutiny of O’Rourke”

  1. anonymouse (706 comments) says:

    It will be interesting to see whether Winston continues to stand by O’Rourke,
    Horan was thrown under a bus for less..

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  2. stephen2d (66 comments) says:

    But so close to an election? He’ll have to do it almost right now, but if he does that, it will blunt any of his granstanding against the government and Maurice W.

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  3. Rich Prick (1,603 comments) says:

    O’Rorke’s story has more versions (and bugs) than Microsoft’s operating system. We can handle the truth.

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  4. anonymouse (706 comments) says:

    @Stephen2d, possibly, but if the smell lingers, Winston looks bad by keeping him and it makes Key look strong for dumping him Williamson from Cabinet,

    The other possibility is that Winston dumps O’Rourke so far down the list for the coming election he does not return after September

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  5. Elaycee (4,322 comments) says:

    Oh, dear.

    They live in the same house on a corner section. They have two addresses – one uses one street address and the other uses the other. When it suits. But they are not ‘partners’ because O’Rourke says they’re not. Yet their names appear as the two directors of a Company. And one director has written a ‘selfie’ testimonial. And the ‘non-partner’ regularly travels to Wellington – by coincidence it’s at the same time his ‘non-partner’ travels when the House is sitting. And this is all private business because Winston says so…

    You just can’t make this shit up.

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  6. publicwatchdog (2,213 comments) says:

    Of course – THIS is the BIG political story today ……..

    Penny Bright

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  7. Ashley Schaeffer (432 comments) says:

    If these two really are or have been “partners”, I doubt that they will be able to keep it hidden for very long. In today’s online world, there will be ample evidence lying around.

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  8. Nick R (498 comments) says:

    Hey, look over there!

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  9. somewhatthoughtful (455 comments) says:

    Look, other people are doing bad stuff so Collins and Smith and Bennett and Williamson are all sweet!

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  10. freethinker (685 comments) says:

    O Rouke was a Lawyer and a Chch city councilor so is well qualified to deceitful explanations.

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  11. BeaB (2,074 comments) says:

    Although Williamson obviously crossed some esoteric ‘line’ we are only going through all this posturing and charade becasue it’s a political game and an unpleasant one at that.

    We really need some perspective on these things – is the person lying? Has money changed hands? Was a favour asked for and granted? Is there any criminal act? Is there something revolting or disgusting? Has someone been harmed?

    If these kinds of questions can be answered satisfactorily and the person has only made an error of judgement or been a bit silly, surely we can accept that and move on. All this baying for heads to roll will eventually empty Parliament of anyone who actually does anything.

    I apply these tests to Labour too of course.
    Philip Field fails as do many others but Shane Jones’s minor credit card offence, for instance, was ridiculously overblown. Our only interest should have been that he paid the money back and didn’t do it again.

    I would love to see the political parties stopping this senseless pursuit for personal destruction and a concentraion on policy and the welfare of the country. You just know that whatever the government, ministers and MPs will slip up but that’s what human beings do and it doesn’t always have to be a gotcha moment.

    And you really have to laugh at Cunliffe – what a plonker parroting his lines over and over.

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  12. Rich Prick (1,603 comments) says:

    “And you reallt have to laugh at Cunliffe – what a plonker parroting his lines over and over.”

    And he does it in such an authoritarian school-masterly way it sounds almost creepy.

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  13. hannity (152 comments) says:

    BeaB on Williamson,
    We really need some perspective on these things –

    is the person lying? Yes

    Has money changed hands? Yes

    Was a favour asked for and granted? Yes

    Is there any criminal act? yes

    Is there something revolting or disgusting? yes

    Has someone been harmed? yes Williamson, Key and National .

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  14. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    The issue here for me is NOT O’Rourke’s sexuality. As a taxpayer, I want to be assured that he and Mr James have not been receiving my money when they are not entitled to it.

    Given the standard of proof that Winston Peters applied to Brendan Horan, it is amazing that O’Rourke hasn’t already been kicked to touch. But Peters will be thanking his lucky stars for the Williamson debacle taking the sportlight off a potential NZF rort.

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  15. deadrightkev (319 comments) says:

    Oh dear, can the quality of MP get any worse in NZ?

    What happened to being straight and informed, positive and focused, professional and ethical? This is not going to end well for Winston and his man.

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  16. Keeping Stock (10,161 comments) says:

    Of course – THIS is the BIG political story today ……..

    Penny Bright

    MP’s rorting the system are always a big political story Penny. Best you get your friend Mr McCready ready to prosecute Denis O’Rourke for his misdeeds; after all, ripping off the taxpayer is akin to withholding your rates.

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  17. Ed Snack (1,773 comments) says:

    This does look suspiciously like a “Look, a squirrel” story. I wonder if the complaint was made knowing that the Williamson story was coming out… It’s not that I don’t trust politicians, but I don’t trust politicians, of any stripe.

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  18. Yoza (1,653 comments) says:

    James has been seen out and about in Wellington, often with O’Reilly.

    A two timing floozy with a thing for Irishmen, apparently.

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  19. iMP (2,308 comments) says:

    DPF, you have a typo (your para 3). It’s not “O’Reilly” (he’s at Fox News) but O’Rourke. They are both older white Irish guys, so the mixup is easy enough.

    For me, this is about O’Rourke’s character and a propensity to conceal and deceive. Of more moment, is that the deception is focussed at the Electoral Commission (registering to vote falsely), Parliamentary Services (having someone on the payroll with benefits) and then openly lying to the NZ Herald journalist. No wonder they staked out his house.

    What else is this MP concealing and lying about? This is corruption. We need to root it out when ever it emerges. The guy got chucked off the CCC by locals as a thoroughly un-liked individual, got a few hundred votes in his seat, but was Listed in to Parliament. Winston has some responsibility here.

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  20. George Patton (350 comments) says:

    Nah, it’s ok. O’Rourke is in the clear with the living arrangements at the house. He swears he only uses the rear entrance.

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  21. ross69 (3,652 comments) says:

    But they are not ‘partners’ because O’Rourke says they’re not.

    Well, maybe it’s a fwb situation…

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  22. Sir Cullen's Sidekick (828 comments) says:

    Bros – This is Winston’s MP. He cannot do no wrong. Move on will ya?

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  23. Nostradamus (3,077 comments) says:

    I think DPF meant to say “living the life of Riley” – not O’Reilly- so maybe just a half-typo :)

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  24. davidp (3,550 comments) says:

    >Although the latest electoral roll shows James now lives at a different address, property records show it also relates to O’Rourke’s Christchurch home.

    If O’Rourke’s claim that James occupies a “bedsit” is true, then it is doubtful that he needs a separate letter box. Why can’t the two of them just sort the post that is delivered to a single box? But if James demanded a letter box of his own, then surely the easiest way to do this would be to install a second box next to the existing box and append an “A” to the address for the second box. I can’t see any reason to install the second letter box on a different street frontage except to allow a different street name in the address, and therefore to create confusion so that people wouldn’t realise that this was one home. I think that establishes an INTENTION to deceive. Deceive who? Probably Parliamentary Services. Probably the media. Maybe others.

    O’Rourke has told several different stories about his current situation. Unless he comes out with full and consistent disclosure backed up with documentation, then he needs to resign.

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  25. gazzmaniac (2,319 comments) says:

    Of course – THIS is the BIG political story today ……..

    Penny Bright

    Paid your rates yet?

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  26. hannity (152 comments) says:

    Top draw stuff this.

    Must be dawning on Key – that hes going to be jilted at the alter by Winston.

    The weathers nice in Hawaii in September

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  27. iMP (2,308 comments) says:

    DavidP, these are exactly the issues.

    But now we have photographic evidence c/- NZHerald of James collecting O’Rourkes mail, from O’Rourkes mailbox, thru O’Rourke’s front door, and then refusing to answer O’Rourke’s door when he was inside. So, the whole “#19 St Andrews Hill Rd” address thing is a ruse. It is further made “Denmark pungent” in that James was previously registered on the Electoral Roll as #18 Te Awakura Tce, so what has changed? He still lives there.

    The letterbox and registration, that is all that has changed. But WHY?

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  28. Jack5 (4,781 comments) says:

    I think O’Rourke voted against the Marriage (Definition of Marriage) Amendment Bill which introduced gay and lesbian marriages.

    However, if these accusations against O’Rourke prove valid where do they leave NZ First in regard to the conservatives who opposed gay marriage?

    Colin Craig is eyeing Maurice William-Sung’s electoral seat, so Craig’s back in the MSM.

    Will any O’Rourke embarrassment enable Craig’s party to tap into the votes of the conservative senior citizens who often back Winston Peters and NZ First? Perhaps Craig can also tap the votes of some of those angry about legal highs.

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  29. duggie (21 comments) says:

    I bet Winston gives him the heave-ho before the week is out. He is going to ask them for the truth, and that will be it.

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  30. kowtow (7,864 comments) says:

    O’Rourke?O’Reilly?

    Orally?

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  31. Viking2 (11,220 comments) says:

    Winston is too busy dishing up dirt to the Herald to deal with his own incompetents.

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  32. itstricky (1,681 comments) says:

    More scrutiny of O’Rourke

    And yet the papers are leading with more scrutiny of Williamson, Tolley, Orivida and O’Connor. You’ve not mentioned one of them all day.

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  33. holysheet (286 comments) says:

    Reminds me about the two gay priests. Michael Fitzpatrick and Patrick Fitzmichael

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  34. hj (6,607 comments) says:

    big story. the public will be really pissed about false citations (compared to Nationals greasy Chinese mates)!

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