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Thursday, May 01, 2014

National, Rotten to the core.


By Nico, SA.


The writing's on the wall as yet another Minister in John Key's government
is forced to resign over the inappropriate use of their position. This has
become a reoccurring theme to John Key's tenure as Prime minister. This
pattern of behaviour has become more than just isolated bad apples making
poor decisions, instead it's a reflection of the way National and it's
support partners abuse the power they have as the governing elite of New
Zealand.

27 years in politics couldn't teach Maurice Williamson right from wrong,
ethical from unethical, or the difference between helping a friend and
corruption. The fact that he called the police about an internal matter
that had nothing to do with the MP or his duties is of course very
concerning. But what is more alarming is that preceding this, he had
lobbied for this person; millionaire property developer Donghua Liu, to be
granted citizenship against official advice. To make matters worse, he
conducted a VIP citizenship ceremony in his own parliamentary office,
instead of having him granted citizenship in public like most new citizens
do. This blatant favouratism stinks of corruption as yet again, the
National party bends over backwards for those moneyed individuals or
corporations that have been given an easy ride in New Zealand. All they
have to do is say 'Jump', and National rush to ask 'How high'?

It seems that all it takes to get citizenship in New Zealand is to donate
money to the National Party ($22,000 in Mr. Liu's case). This apparently
stands them in good stead as individuals of merit and deserving of the full
rights and privileges of New Zealand citizenship. Furthermore, according to
Maurice Williamson, Mr Liu's investment in the building and construction
sector was necessary to the police investigation of whether he beat his
wife. How these two are linked will leave most people scratching their
heads.

Maurice Williams was right to resign, but he should not just resign as a
Minister, but from Parliament altogether. The people of Pakuranga deserve
better than this from their MP. As we head towards the election in
September we need to remember that National's time in office has not been
squeaky clean, but rather has shown a pattern of arrogant behaviour that
does not inspire hope that New Zealand is heading in the right direction.
We have a government that tramples on workers rights, a complete disregard
for the environment and a disdain for democracy.

National has been beset by forced resignations and while they might like to
forget them, or brush them under the rug, we need to make sure they are
remembered as people make their choices in the election this year.

National MP Aaron Gilmore was forced to resign after he verbally abused a
waiter who refused to give him free wine at a  restaurant in Hamner Springs
in 2013.

National MP and Cabinet Minister Nick Smith was forced to resign in 2012
from his portfolios after it was found he had also used his ministerial
position to 'help' a friend. As the Minister for ACC, he helped advance
National Party activist Bronwyn Pullar's ACC claims.

In 2010, National MP Phil Heatley resigned after it was made public he had
repeatedly misused his Ministerial credit card. He had previously been
warned after it was found he was claiming $1000 a week in accommodation
expenses when he'd moved into a larger home while renting out his
apartment.

In the same year, National MP Pansy Wong was forced to step down as a
Cabinet minister and later as MP for Botany after it was revealed her
husband had been conducting private business while on a taxpayer-subsidized
trip to China.

In 2009, National MP Richard Worth resigned both as a Cabinet Minister and
as a list MP after a pattern of behaviour demonstrated poor judgment
befitting an MP. He had actively promoted an aviation training academy in
India while having a conflict of interest in the academy. He had
inappropriately visited a taxi driver who was attacked by a group, one of
the group being the son of a friend. But the icing on the cake was when
serious sexual allegations were brought against him by an Auckland business
woman.

As for National's support partners they have little to be proud of.

United Future's sole MP and leader Peter Dunne resigned as a Minister in
2013 after he withheld information from an inquiry into the leaking of a
GCSB report.

Act MP David Garrett was disgracefully forced to resign in 2010 after it
emerged he had forged a document using a dead 2 year olds identity to
obtain this persons birth certificate and subsequently a passport in the
dead child's name with him in disguise.

And in 2013, Act's sole MP and leader John Banks resigned from his
Ministerial Portfolios after he was committed to trial for knowingly filing
a false electoral return when he was running for the Auckland Mayoralty in
2010.

New Zealand deserves better than this!

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