Home' Kapi-Mana News : August 6th 2013 Contents 11
KAPI-MANA NEWS, AUGUST 6, 2013
Real culprits dodging culpability
The neutral public service
owes an increasing amount
of allegiance to the minis-
ters of the day -- not only career
prospects but contract renewal
and continued employment
depend on demonstrating such
Yet when scandal is in the air,
the ethos of the old public service
kicks in, and it will usually be the
public servant and not the politi-
cal master who gets tossed over-
The bureaucrat will resign but
the politicians and their hench-
men tend to keep their jobs,
professing plausible deniability to
They didn t know, they weren t
told, their officials misinformed
them . . . and if that doesn t work,
there s always, I can t remember
as a last line of defence.
Last week, it was Parliamen-
tary Services chief Geoff Thorn
who did the decent thing and
resigned after the furore of the
accessing of phone log meta-data
and emails between MP Peter
Dunne and Fairfax reporter
In playground terms, it was a
bit like seeing the bully s
accomplice face the music for
abetting some nasty business
behind the bike-sheds, while the
instigator walked free.
In hindsight, Thorn probably
should have ensured the indepen-
dence of the Parliamentary
Services when it came to the
handling of electronic traffic rel-
evant to the inquiry into the leak-
ing of the Kitteridge report on the
Parliamentary Services should
never have colluded in accessing
the emails/phone logs in question,
and should have protected the
privacy rights of the MP and
journalist involved, if only
because of the wider need to
guarantee that parliamentarians
and the media can do their jobs
entirely free from this kind of elec-
When it mattered, Parliamen-
tary Services seems to have
wavered and Thorn has now paid
Thorn s exit, however, doesn t
resolve the matter of who applied
the pressure on him.
Not to mention whether it was
reasonable for Thorn to conclude
that if the pressure to forward all
relevant evidence was coming
from the Prime Minister s chief of
staff to assist a prime ministerial
inquiry in the PM s own portfolio
area, then perhaps that might
override all other considerations
and constitute an offer that he
couldn t, and shouldn t, refuse.
Should others higher up the
chain of command now step for-
ward and take some responsibility
for their role in this affair?
At time of writing, the response
from the Prime Minister s office
has been to indicate that no real
harm was done, so move on.
We are being expected to
believe that no-one in the PM s
office and no-one involved with
the Henry inquiry actually read
sensitive private material.
Having requested and received
the electronic data that almost
surely contained the smoking gun
evidence as to who did (or didn t)
leak the Kitteridge report, the
recipients of the emails and phone
logs, were apparently shocked --
shocked! -- and dutifully sent
them back, unopened and unread.
At which point, a Tui billboard
seems entirely redundant.
It will now be up to Parlia-
ment s Privileges Committee to
investigate the mess and to assess
what residual blame -- if any --
should be assigned to whom.
Few people will be holding their
With good reason, the public
now expects that governments
routinely lie, cheat and cover up.
By such means, our politicians
reap the advantage from the low
expectations they have created.
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being dumped on the edge of them
all the time.
Or take a walk around our coast
and have a look at the rubbish
spread around our shores -- not
very clean and green I m afraid.
Nobody likes the idea of a tip
anywhere near them, but with the
new road running over the hill
beside the tip for the new wind
farm, there are some huge gullies
on the other side of the hill that
could be used. If we are going to
ruin the area with a wind farm we
might as well make use of the
gullies as well. BRIAN BRANNIGAN
Good on you Sarah Piper for your
letter (July 23) stating your
sadness about Ms Brash s crusade
against Canada geese.
Despite Ms Brash trying to
clarify her position (July 30), does
the fact that someone has worked
in the Department of
Conservation give them a licence
What a low-life outfit it is if it
allows innocent animals be
bludgeoned to death.
And we wonder why we have
such a violent society!
I wish the ex-mayor was more
vengeful about all the shonky
developers and businesses that
continue to pollute and silt up our
waterways. That s doing far more
damage than any geese.
Ms Brash and our current
mayor are fast paddling us up the
creek towards some form of super-
The ratepayers seem happy
enough to keep forking out ever-
increasing rates by supporting
Well, wait until the super-city.
The water and wastewater for a
start will be easily privatised,
giving an income to some poor
overseas corporation, and you can
pay even more.
I was surprised to see that old
chestnut -- efficiency -- rolled out
by one of my local councillors.
From the experience of
Auckland, the only efficiency is in
how they keep efficiently scalping
us. If people are gullible enough to
believe these self-serving Yes
Minister types and the spin-
doctors, they deserve the
Government they get.
Meanwhile, we all continue to
keep paying a high price in more
ways than one. TRACEY WATERS
Who writes the
It appears to me to be very
unprofessional and naive that an
editor does not own his work.
I notice that The Dominion Post
(part of the same newspaper
group) has the same policy.
It is like the editor believes by
virtue of his job he is totally
impartial. Experienced editors
recognise this is not so and
acknowledge their leanings.
It is not surprising that you
receive much scorn for your
councillor report card when your
panel members are anonymous
and tend to favour the dominant
males on the council.
Editor's note: The issue of who
writes the editorial seems to be
vexing our readers.
Just to be clear, it is irrelevant
who writes the editorial, because
it is the view of a newspaper, not
an individual. If it was bylined, it
would not be an editorial but a
column -- lots of people have
opinion columns in newspapers.
If it is unprofessional and
naive not to have the editorial
bylined, then newspapers all over
the world are guilty!
The councillors trying to force
amalgamation on the Wellington
region should have waited until
the October election and asked for
The Local Government
Commission has now been handed
a rushed hotchpotch of ideas for
How can it fulfil the legal
requirement of making a
determination when its mandate
requires first the commission
must be satisfied there is
community support for local
government reorganisation in the
affected areas ?
Wellington Regional Council s
online self-selected response
survey has no validity for any
Yet Porirua council supports
the regional council submission.
I am not the only one who had
my response locked out when
submitting to the survey. I raised
the issue in the Kapi-Mana News
and at the so-called consultation
Many ratepayers may support
more regional co-operation, but
only if true savings can be
demonstrated. That can, of course,
be achieved with the existing
Wellington is not Auckland pre-
super city. It already co-operates
regionally on transport, water and
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