Hunter vs Wishart

January 31st, 2016 at 1:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

An author-on-author scrap has broken out over the Marlborough Sounds murders with Ian Wishart’s new book being pulled from bookshelves under threat of legal action.

Author Keith Hunter, who has also written on the case, told Whitcoulls he would sue Wishart and anyone connected to selling Elementary if it contained criticisms of his professional conduct.

Hunter produced the documentary Murder on the Blade? in 2003 and then published Trial By Trickery in 2007.

He said he had heard Wishart made claims this morning that the book was critical about Hunter’s research on the case.

“I told Whitcoulls that if that is true that he did say that in the book that I would sue him and anyone else who helps him distribute his book. If he has defamed me — lowered my reputation — I will undoubtedly sue him.”

Hunter was in the process of reading Elementary when called by the Herald, having bought a copy at a Ponsonby bookshop chain which was among those he had contacted this morning. He said the other chain should also pull the book from shelves. As for Whitcoulls, he said: “Good on them.”

Not a good look to threaten a book chain with defamation over a book you have not even read yet. It comes across more as trying to prevent an alternative argument be read.

What I find interesting is that Wishart had previously wrote he thought Watson was innocent, but the evidence he gained has now convinced him the other way around. Stuff reports:

Wishart says the sheer amount of new material he had access to led him to conclude Scott Watson was guilty – a complete turnaround from the findings of his first book on the case.

Ben and Olivia: What really happened?, published in 1999, supported the theory Watson was innocent.

Wishart said he had access to 7000 extra documents for Elementary, including evidence the police had possessed and discarded, and that had led him to a different conclusion.

“I’ve had to retract what I’ve previously said and say ‘I was wrong’.”

This must be a rare event – to publish one book supporting innocence and 16 years later publish another concluding guilt.

Wishart claims Watson was the killer but had an accomplice

January 29th, 2016 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

A new book claims Scott Watson had an accomplice when he killed Ben Smart and Olivia Hope. 

Author Ian Wishart says his book, Elementary, includes previously unseen police evidence and the witness account of a boy who was eight years old at the time that disprove Watson’s claims he is innocent.

Smart, 21, and Hope, 17, disappeared after a 1997 New Year’s Eve party at Furneaux Lodge, in the Marlborough Sounds.

“[The police] chose the wrong evidence trail and that’s why the trial of Scott Watson became a near disaster for them. It’s a miracle they got a conviction based on the case they put up.”

The book describes the account of Matthew Stevens, who was eight years old in 1998. His story includes a detailed description of what he believed was Watson’s ketch, Blade, in Queen Charlotte Sound after Ben and Olivia’s disappearance and two men aboard:

“They were both men. Both had black hair. One was steering. The other was on the starboard side. They were sitting down. One had a glass or something in his hand – the one who wasn’t steering. The man steering had a green t-shirt and the other guy had a black sweater. It might have been a woolly jersey.”

The identification of Watson and his boat over that New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day was a central part of the prosecution case. Watson claimed he sailed it alone to a friend’s house in a nearby bay where he painted it on January 2.

Wishart said Stevens’ account, and those of passengers on two boats who said they saw two men on the Blade, and that it was being painted while at sea, undermine Watson’s alibi, prove he lied and destroyed his claim of innocence.

My view is that Watson killed them. But I also accept that the Police case was wrong in some details and may not have made the case beyond reasonable doubt – they were arguably lucky to get a conviction.

The possibility of an accomplice is interesting. You have to be wary of putting too much weight on the testimony of an eight year old, but if backed by two other people, then it does become more reliable.

Twas Jadis

July 4th, 2011 at 11:27 pm by David Farrar

TVNZ reports:

Many people have also commented on the book’s timing, including prominent blogger David Farrar who said it was “appalling in itself” and that “Wishart has chosen to market the book during the coronial inquest into the death of the twins”.

In a statement to ONE News, Wishart also said the book’s timing was “appalling”.

However, he added it was not intentional and that “the only positive is that it has created a strong national debate on child abuse”. The story broke after ONE News contacted Wishart following a tip-off.

Wishart said it was not true that the publicity for the book, which is being published by his Howling at the Moon company and is due for release at the end of the month, was deliberately timed to coincide with the inquest.

My guest bloggers do not post often, so it is an easy mistake to make. But those quotes in questions come from Jadis, not me. If you scroll down the main page, you’ll see her listed as the author for the posting on 29 June at 10.26 am.

The site doesn’t list authors on individual archive pages, only the main page. I have on my to do list to get that changed.

Macsyna King and ‘that book’

June 29th, 2011 at 10:26 am by Jadis

As we have all heard by now Ian Wishart has produced a book about Macsyna King.  Perhaps memories are short but through Chris Kahui’s trial we got a picture of Macsyna’s life. Yes, Macsyna has had a hard and awful life, but she has had several opportunities to make a difference to the lives and memories of her children.

  1. If Macsyna was so concerned about the environment she was introducing her twins to she could have adopted them out to a family that could have ensured a safer and healthier environment.
  2. If Macsyna suspected abuse or neglect from herself or others within her household she could have spoken up for her babies… yes, she could have spoken anonymously or otherwise to CYFS, the Police, a Not-for-profit, Plunket, and others.  Her previous children are cared for by others, why not these babies?
  3. She could have kept her eyes open.  Macsyna either never noticed or didn’t care about injuries caused to the twins in previous “attacks” or incidents.
  4. After the hospitalisation of her babies, Macsyna could have spoken to the Police fully about what she did know.
  5. Macsyna could have encouraged others in her family to speak to the Police.
  6. Macsyna could have told her story to the court throughout the trial. Indeed she did do this, but why not the whole story (as suggested by Wishart)?
  7. And, she certainly could have told her story to the coronial inquest.
  8. Macsyna has even had multiple opportunities to talk to mainstream, sensitive interviewers where she could have told her story in a non-confrontational way.

Macsyna has had multiple opportunities to put this right, and she has chosen the one forum where her words can be edited, where her words can be put in a better light, and where she can release her guilt.  Or, she’s decided that she can make money and perhaps fame from the deaths of her children.  I would be very interested to hear from Ian Wishart if Macsyna has received any ‘gifts’ or ‘expenses paid’ during the production of the book – and what about the marketing of the book?  Will Macsyna be involved in that?  Will she receive an appearance fee?

Putting aside the rationale for the book, the timing of the book is appalling in itself.  Wishart has chosen to market the book during the coronial inquest into the death of the twins. The moment where the media interest in the twins is at its highest.  It is important for Wishart to talk about the book now as, potentially, when the inquest is over the media interest will also wain.

To say that it is ghoulish and unsympathetic is understatement of the year.

Those babies deserved to have a good Mother, a good Father, people that cared for them.  They deserved to be fed, to be held and most of all, they deserved a future.  Macsyna, Chris and the wider whanau may not have been able to do that but there were otehr options.  And, let’s be honest that Macsyna has had plenty of opportunities to atone herself, to tell her story and to put her children before herself.

Wishart says that any profits from the book will be given to charity.  Which one?  Which charity CEO or Board in their right mind will accept money made from this book, effectively guilt money (if not blood money)?

Of course the book should not be banned.  Banning books is a horribly, slippery slope.  We, as consumers have the freedom to buy the book or reject the book.  That means we can boycott the book, and any other books by this publisher – Howling at the Moon.  Wishart could have redeemed himself.  If he had published this book with the intention to bring justice in this matter or to hand over the guilty killer.  Sadly, Ian Wishart has positioned himself as sensationalist, and undermined any previous reputation he had for investigative reporting.


Jevan Goulter vs Labour

April 20th, 2010 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Whale Oil has blogged a summary of a 24 page story in Investigate, with a large number of allegations by a Jevan Goulter against various Labour MPs and others.

These are not anonymous allegations – Goulter is making them himself under his name. However that does not mean they are overly reliable, and are the gospel. In fact Ian Wishart himself concludes the article by saying:

As for the abuse of trust, did Labour abuse its trust in looking after a troubled 14 year old badly, or did Jevan Goulter abuse the trust of a political party who’d taken him under their wing?

At several points through the article, Wishart reveals that Goulter’s story is incorrect or exaggerated, and my personal take is that there is a lot of bragging there. It does not mean everything he has said is false, but I would caution people not to assume everything he has said is true.

Also in one section he says:

As for Phil Goff I probably had more to do with his daughter, who worked for a Government agency when Labour was in. Her name is Samantha. She was just stunning, she was beautiful when I met her, she was really hot. And I was like, ‘Piss off, you’re not his daughter?’ And she was, so we used to go out and have dinner and lunch quite a bit. Phil was a, I think he was a bit of a nobody then.

Now Phil Goff does have a daughter whom, umm could be seen to fit that description. However her name is not Samantha. If Jevan really was going out for meals with someone “quite a bit”, you think he would correctly remember their name. So again, does not help the credibility.

He makes allegations of sexual harassment against Tim Barnett. And some time later his partner (Mika) asked Barnett to pay $25,000 as compensation for Javen’s mental health. To my mind that is close to blackmail

Barnett makes the reasonable point that as a prominent gay MP pushing the boundaries of social legislation he was careful, like Caesar’s wife, to be above reproach, and not to be alone with people in situations that could be misconstrued.

There are no witnesses to the allegations so it is a case of he said vs she said. As someone who worked in Parliament for eight years, I got to hear a lot of gossip about a lot of MPs. You get to know which ones screw around and are sleazy. I don’t recall at the time any suggestion of inappropriate behaviour from Tim Barnett, and to the contrary he seemed very committed to his partner, Ramon. Without witnesses, I do not regard the allegations as credible. There are other MPs I would be more sceptical of.

Another allegation I find lacking in credibility is this:

INVESTIGATE: Michael Cullen?

JEVAN: I know he smoked it at the annual – I think it was the Christchurch Labour conference with Annette, but I don’t think Annette had it. I couldn’t be honest and say I saw her smoke it.

INVESTIGATE: But you did see him?

JEVAN: He had it in his hand, yes. I just remember him having it, it was passed to him by one of the young Labours.

This is in reference to cannabis use. It is quite possible Dr Cullen, like many NZers, has used cannabis at some stage. However to think the Deputy Prime Minister would openly smoke cannabis at a labour party conference – and in front of dozens of Young Labour activists is frankly incredible. I just don’t think it happened, and if that did not happen, I doubt some of the other allegations about cannabis use.

Not everything can be dismissed though. It seems very clear that some Labour Party MPs did lie about whether or not they knew Javen. The most blatant fib came from Lianne Dalziel, who confessed it online:

And yet…within five minutes of making the call to Dalziel’s office, Investigate received a phone call from Jevan, “You’ve just rung Lianne? She’s just sending me a Facebook chat apologising for denying that she knew me”.

This is what Dalziel said to Goulter:
“I owe you an apology. Ian Wishart has just contacted me and I’m afraid I said I didn’t remember you. I feel so guilty. All I’ve said, I told him you were a Facebook friend, so I knew ‘about’ you.

I hope this doesn’t affect what he is writing about you.”

Considering Lianne lost her ministerial job for not telling the truth, this doesn’t help her credibility.

The person who comes out of this looking very wise and sensible is Jacinda Ardern:

Young Labour were always very angry towards me, they didn’t like how I got to do what I wanted. Jacinda Ardern, who’s now an MP, she was my biggest hater….

But then I’m getting drunk and Jacinda comes over and rips the glass of wine out of my hand, ‘You can’t drink in here, you’re only 15!’

‘Yeah I can drink in here, it’s a private function, you’re not my mum, piss off’, and I got really verbal with her, I really didn’t like her.

So I walked over to Helen and I said,‘Jacinda’s just said I’m not allowed to drink. Am I allowed to drink or not?’ And Helen’s exact words were, ‘Of course you are, this is my house.’ I said, ‘I’m only 15’. And she said, ‘It’s my house’.

So I got my glass of wine and I started boozing up again. Jacinda just went off her nut. Now, Helen was drunk that night, in my view. Helen was drunk and she gets to the point when she’s drunk where people just take her away.

I think a number of Jacinda’s colleagues may rue that they were not as cautious around Jevan as she was. Jacinda’s actions look very prudent to me.

Incidentally I am also unconvinced of Helen Clark being drunk, and having to have people take her away. It’s not exactly an image that fits the former Prime Minister.

So overall I find the allegations lacking in credibility in significant areas. Having said that though, I think there are some lessons for Labour in the perils of letting a 14 year old run riot through Parliament and the party. He should have been in school in Christchurch.

As I have said before, I am a big fan of encouraging young people to get involved in politics. But I never encourage school age people to get significantly involved. Your school years should be a time of fun and learning, plus one often lacks the maturity to cope with “adult politics”.

That is not a universal rule. One friend of mine got involved at age 15 or 16 and went on to become a highly valued parliamentary and ministerial staffer. [UPDATE: Said staffer has e-mailed to say they are not highly valued but in fact under paid and over worked :-)]

But I also recall the 1993 election night when I allowed a 14 year old Young National to attend the election night HQ function, as a “results chalkie”. There was of course an open and free bar and I failed to supervise properly with the end result being the poor girl vomiting up in the boardroom, and then collapsing unconscious on the floor as she had never drunk alcohol before. I had to decide whether or not to take her to A&E or home, and had to deliver her still unconscious to her parents, who quite rightly were less than impressed. I visited the next day to check she was fine, and the parents were blaming her more than they were holding me responsible, but in the end I was the one responsible as the adult and still feel some remorse about it to this day.  Similarly, I suspect some Labour MPs are regretting allowing Jevan to spend so much time at Parliament, at functions at Premier House and the like.

ETS and Climate Change

November 24th, 2009 at 10:01 am by David Farrar

As I am travelling, I have not yet had time to read through the detailed documents on the ETS changes, and agreement with the Maori Party, or the stolen/hacked e-mails from climate change scientists. So I am not yet in a position to give my take on both of them.

Ian Wishart has a detailed post on the stolen e-mails. Again I have not had time to read them myself, and check for context – but there are links to the originals, so people can do so.

The Beehive announcement on the ETS agreement is here. I imagine it will be passed into law by the time I am home. If the changes are not passed, then the status quo of Labour’s ETS will come into force next year.

Tasman Capital and WSD

February 18th, 2009 at 5:52 pm by David Farrar

NBR has a story on the ongoing saga of Tasman Capital and Progressive Deputy Leader Matt Robson:

Former MP Matt Robson and Tasman Capital are forging ahead with plans to list WSD Global Markets on the NZX, despite a Serious Fraud Office investigation into alleged money laundering operations by WSD’s related company in the Cook Islands.

SFO director Grant Liddell last night confirmed to NBR that the Cook Islands-based WSBC and “associated entities” were under investigation. WSBC out-sources its margin trading operations to WSD Global Markets. …

Accusations of connections between WSD director Riaz Patel and illegal activity around the globe have been made public this week, with journalist Ian Wishart also linking the alleged laundered money with international terrorism.

It is all rather murky. NBR reports Robson is suing Wishart:

Mr Robson says defamation proceedings against Mr Wishart have now been launched and he rubbishes the connection Mr Wishart had made between Mr Patel’s businesses and international terrorism.

The original article from TGIF is here. And Wishart also blogs that Robson tried and failed to get an ex parte injunction against the story.

I would suggest people be cautious with any comments they make, noting this appears to be heading to the courts.  All I’ll comment is to say it seems unwise to try and get listed on the NZX while the SFO is investigating you.

Obama mania

January 29th, 2009 at 5:30 pm by David Farrar

God I am getting sick of almost 24/7 coverage of everything Obama does. Don’t get me wrong – I have no criticism of the job he is doing to date. But the media fixation is just so over the top.

Ian Wishart reminds us that Reagan’s inauguration in 1981 got a 37% TV share compared to 29% for Obama. But Reagan didn’t have the media report on his first ten days with near hourly updates.

As one example, the NZ Herald has done 103 stories mentioning Barack Obama from Inauguration Day last Wednesday to today. 103 stories in nine days.

Shane Jones and Yang Liu

November 21st, 2008 at 1:48 pm by David Farrar

Ian Wishart has more damning documents in tonight’s TGIF. It’s proving very good value for $3 a month.

His documents include the clear advice from Internal Affairs that Shane Jones decline the application and that Liu was under active criminal investigation within New Zealand. There is also a revelation of a Cabinet Minister who received a donation from Liu, lobbying his Cabinet Colleague Jones on Liu’s behalf.

I advocated that Labour, when in power, should have established a full independent inquiry into the granting of citizenship. They failed to do so, once again trying to hide beind a Departmental Inquiry knowing such an inquiry can not question Ministers over their actions.

Now it is slightly more difficult for John Key to launch a public inquiry, as it is into a former Minister and could be seen as partisan. But what he should do is approach Phil Goff and get Goff’s agreement to a terms of reference into the granting of citizenship to Liu. Key and Goff would both be praised for ding the right thing, and a break from the past practice of trying to over these things up.

Yang Liu’s private VIP citizenship ceremony in Parliament

October 25th, 2008 at 9:36 am by David Farrar

The NZ Herald reports:

A Chinese man granted citizenship against the advice of officials and wanted in his homeland for “large-scale misappropriation and embezzlement” was given a VIP citizenship ceremony at Parliament.

Yang Liu, also known as Bill Liu, was granted his citizenship in August by ministerial prerogative.

He became a New Zealander at a private citizenship ceremony in the Maori Affairs select committee room, officiated over by Labour MP and former Cabinet minister Dover Samuels.

And who is Yang Liu?. The latest TGIF from Ian Wishart reveals:

His real name, confirmed for the first time in this country by TGIF Edition, is indeed Yongming Yan

Even worse, an informant resource report to the Immigration Service last year, but apparently ignored by Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones, provides detailed information on Yan’s involvement at the head of an Asian organised crime syndicate, which “paid large cash sums to various ministers and delegates indirectly through secret anonymous accounts

Now whether this is correct or not is one issue. But what is not in dispute (it seems) is that Shane Jones knew of these allegations, as the were part of the file officials had who fought against citizenship. So why did Jones ignore this?

Tonight, TGIF Edition can also reveal that one of Yongming’s former associates in this country – Shane Phillips – was a Labour Party campaign manager, and his brother Daniel Phillips works in the office of Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones – the man who gave ‘Bill Liu’ citizenship against the recommendations of officials who’d investigated his background.

Shane Phillips is also known as Shane Te Pou, and in 2000 Helen Clark vetoed his appointment to a ministerial job. Also:

There are fresh allegations this week, including that ‘Liu’ (in reality, Yan Yongming) may have donated cash to the campaigns of Rick Barker and Dover Samuels.

And Wishart has unearthed some interesting aspects of donations to Dover Samuels:

A further $5,000 was given to Dover Samuels by the oddly-named ‘Tamaki ki te Paki Wu’, apparently residing at a house in Derrimore Heights in Manukau City.

So, according to the official documents, two separate Wu’s slipped a total of eight grand between them into the Dover Samuels campaign fund. But who was this mysterious Mr Tamaki Wu? A check of the Manukau address Dover had given for him provides an added twist to this story: it was registered not to Mr Wu but to Daniel Phillips – Dover’s former private secretary now working for Associate Immigration Minister Shane Jones. So $5,000 had come to Dover from the address of a man whose brother was involved with Chinese
businessman ‘Yang Liu’ (real name Yan Yongming), yet the money was not in Daniel Phillips’ name, but a person or entity named Tamaki Wu.

There is also a suggestion that an anonymous $5,000 donation to Rick Barker was from Yan.

The issues raised here can not be dealt with by a departmental inquiry. Departments can not investigate their own Ministers. A fully empowered commission of inquiry should be set up to investigate this. The key tasks should be

  1. To verify the real identity of the man granted citizenship by Labour Ministers over the protests of officials
  2. Does he have a criminal record, and what is the nature of that
  3. Determine the full extent of his donations to all parties and candidates
  4. Why Ministers both refused to revoke his residency and further granted him citizenship against the strong advice of officials

Citizenship Scandal?

October 17th, 2008 at 5:41 pm by David Farrar

Just listened to Ian Wishart on Newstalk ZB with Larry Williams. The story seems to be:

  1. A Chinese gentleman has had problems with Australian immigration as he travels under different names, different passports with different dates of births.
  2. This was known to NZ authorities
  3. He applied to be a NZ Citizen
  4. DIA recommended he be turned down due to the multiple aliases
  5. The Minister approved it, despite the dodgy aliases and the recommendation
  6. The gentleman’s application was supported by a Labour MP and is known to a couple of Ministers
  7. He attended a fundraising function for Labour and probably donated to them, but impossible to know for sure as they do not record who donated what – people just throw cash into a hat or something.

This is all off listening to Ian on the radio.


October 16th, 2008 at 4:00 pm by David Farrar

Just received this e-mal from Ian Wishart:

TGIF EDITION this weekend will be breaking a massive story, implicating two current cabinet ministers and a former Labour cabinet minister, in an unprecedented political scandal.

We have the documents and the bodies. Read the burial notice on the front page of TGIF EDITION, out this weekend, and exclusively available to subscribers via

Sounds interesting, to say the least!

A late link to TGIF

August 10th, 2008 at 10:36 am by David Farrar

Ian Wishart has released the first edition of his new weekly e-newspaper – TGIF. The first edition is available for free. As web designer Dennis Smith has noted, it is quite large (8.5 MB), but probably hard to have it much smaller and retain the quality.

The lead story focuses on this quote from Ruth Dyson:

“Shifting the focus from social welfare to social development is about considering the wellbeing of the whole population, and communities within that population, rather than solely focusing on the traditional family group. We must cater for the diversity, we know exists. By this I mean the range of relationships from single, couples, triples, blended, de facto, and so on. That’s where we’re going with social policy.”

Now this is not just something Dyson blurted out, or was secretly taped saying in a sting operation. This was in her speech notes on the Beehive website. They have since taken it down, which suggests the Government knows it is embarrassing. That is in itself worthy of questions as the Beehive website is meant to be a record of all Ministerial speeches, and not just selected ones.

Now I’m a fan of the TV series Big Love, but really I don’t think the Government needs to be catering for the polygamists. In fact in most countries they actually tend to discourage polygamy, while Ruth seems to want the NZ Government to cater for it.

Debate on Absolute Power

April 30th, 2008 at 11:17 am by David Farrar

Poneke has blogged a review of Absolute Power, and there is a vigorous debate in the comments section, including author Ian Wishart, Keri Hulme, Russell Brown and even Kay Goodger who is featured in the book. My favourite point is when Ian Wishart labels Danyl M as “slippery”. The tag is catching on!

Incidentally I suspect the book is selling well. Both times I have been in book stories in the last week, and people ahead of me in the queue were buying a copy.

Review of Absolute Power

April 28th, 2008 at 7:05 am by David Farrar

Ian Llewellyn of NZPA has done a review of the Helen Clark biography “Absolute Power” by Ian Wishart. It’s a fair and balanced review in my opinion. I am not sure which papers will carry the review, but here are some extracts:

The book, released last week, is a collection of articles which attempt to prove Wishart’s thesis that the current Government is corrupt and Prime Minister Helen Clark entered Parliament under false pretences to push a hidden agenda.

The book is similar in many ways to Nicky Hager’s book The Hollow Men, and they share many of the same strengths as well as flaws.

They also both reveal as much as about the author’s world view as they do about their subjects.

Both gathered exhaustive (and in places exhausting) material and did meticulous research, but the impression is the evidence has been gathered and presented to reach a pre-determined position.

I think that is a very fair call. Ian Wishart didn’t just form a view as he started to put his book together that Helen Clark was no good – he has been of that view for some time.

In Hager’s case it was that National was controlled and driven by dark forces ranging from big business, the religious right and foreign interests.

Wishart aims at the other end of the political spectrum and sees Miss Clark as someone who would do anything to get into power and do anything to hold on to it, all in order to push a hidden feminist, socialist agenda on an unsuspecting New Zealand.

It is unclear whether political blindness or naivety colours both authors’ views as they often see quite ordinary political processes as something far more sinister.

In Hager’s case, the lobbying of big business and internal caucus power struggles were proof of conspiracy. …

The fact that people join or lobby political parties to push a view that they believe is a better way for the world seems to be lost upon both authors.

I can’t agree too strongly here. Hager would have you believe that every business donor and supporter is motivated by self interest and greed, rather than a genuine belief in their views and policies being best for NZ. Likewise Wishart does fall down when he reads too much into fairly predictable stuff such as the PMs Office not being very helpful too him.

This is not to say that Wishart’s compilation of all the scandals under Clark is not valuable. People have become so used to them, they hardly register now, and the one thing they all have in common is that in almost every case Clark or her coterie lied and covered up – from paintergate to corngate to speedgate (yes I know all those gates sound lame but they make for easy reference) to doongate.

Much of the book is spent on Wishart’s arguments over whether it is ethical to get into the personal lives of politicians.

He concludes that it is necessary to expose hypocrisy.

Some of the material is an interesting take on political events, such as the downfall of former police commissioner Peter Doone and similar events.

It also documents the habit of many politicians to say one thing in opposition and another in government.

Wishart believes his book portrays a pattern of behaviour that makes Labour and Miss Clark unfit to hold office.

For his followers and those who dislike the current administration, the book will be a gospel.

Miss Clark’s supporters will dismiss it as the ravings of an obsessed individual.

The vast majority of the population will simply not care either way as they accept things are not black and white; instead there are many shades of grey.

Most people accept that others are prone to make mistakes and get things wrong, as much as they get things right.

In the end Absolute Power is not Absolute Gospel, but neither is it entirely Absolute Nonsense.

NZPA should be congratulated for doing a review of the book, rather than just ignore it. I suspect those on the left will not like the comparisons to Hager’s book (which is treated like the Koran by some Labour Ministers as they refer to it daily), but likewise some on the right will not like the dismissal of much of the book as reading too much into everyday politics.

When you have upset people equally on both sides, then you are often spot on 🙂

Absolute Power

April 21st, 2008 at 7:58 am by David Farrar

I have not yet read the whole book, but on Friday I got hold of an electronic version of Absolute Power by Ian Wishart and have read a couple of hundred pages.

He tells the story of Helen Clark’s use and abuse of power, starting with her first weeks in office when she undermined then Police Commissioner Doone by not just leaking confidential information to the Sunday Star-Times, but by leaking false fabricated information and claiming it was in official reports, when it wasn’t. Some of this info has been covered previously but Wishart has done a service by putting it all together.

He contrasts the hounding from office of Peter Doone, with the treatment of allegations against Howard Broad for a similar but allegedly far more serious offence. The Dom Post reports:

The police watchdog has been asked to intervene after the State Services Commission cleared Police Commissioner Howard Broad of any wrongdoing in a 1992 drink-driving incident.

Journalist Ian Wishart claims Mr Broad “pulled rank” to get out of a breath test in Christchurch, saying something like “Don’t you know who I am” to a junior officer.

Mr Broad admitted he had been drinking, and a SSC investigation found he was told to park his car and refrain from driving for several hours.

Wishart has complained to the Independent Police Conduct Authority.

“The SSC claims the junior cop had a discretion not to breath-test despite seeing Mr Broad swerve across a lane, and despite an admission of drinking.

Now on the face of it, there is a gross double standard here. Doone was investigated by both the PCA and the Deputy Commissioner for merely getting out of his car when his partner was pulled over for no headlights on.

Broad allegedly had himself been drinking and driving, was swerving across the road, pulled rank on the officer (using swear words allegedly) and was told to stop driving and park his car. And somehow this is merely an issue for the State Services Commission!!!

Now Broad was not Commissioner when this incident happened, but anyone can see the double standard involved.