Thursday, September 22, 2022

Cam Slater: Unfair? It Looks Like Nepotism to Me

Grant Robertson certainly has a strange way of looking at things. He has said that he thinks it is “unfair” that there is so much focus on Nanaia Mahuta. This is a rather strange way to describe what in reality is nepotism.

“There are government agencies who have been contracting with Minister Mahuta’s husband’s company, we want to make sure that we look at those processes that they are done properly. New Zealanders deserve that.”

Robertson said New Zealand was a small country and that “we have had these sorts of issues over many years with many different people”; he said some of the focus on Mahuta “has been unfair”.
NZ Herald

No Mr Robertson, what is unfair is the wholesale awarding of uncontested contracts to the husband and cousin of Nanaia Mahuta, Gannin Ormsby.

You know there is some substance to the allegations when the first time the Minister addresses those allegations of her perceived conflicts of interest, nepotism and corruption, she says that racism is driving the allegations.

“It has concerned me for some time that even though I have declared conflicts of interest and noted they have been managed in accordance with the Cabinet Manual, these stories are still persisting.”

She said “that of all the issues that have been raised, I had no say in approving, at contract level, any of the matters that have been raised in the public domain”.

Asked if she believed racism was driving social media targeting of Mahuta and potential conflicts of interest, the minister said: “It could well be a number of things”.

“If you look at other media platforms, you can see there are certain motivations behind this that aren’t helpful”.

She then goes on to explain why this is a storm in a teacup:

Mahuta said she doesn’t keep a track of her family members involved in local government or who are engaged with government departments.

“There is so much talent in my whanau… our world is a very small one. New Zealand is only two degrees of separation in terms of the relations to others. For Maoridom, it is one degree of separation.”

Really? You didn’t discuss the piles of loot Gannin Ormsby was trousering while chewing on the pork and puha at dinner, ever?

If we are supposed to buy that, we’d buy anything, including a used business plan for a bike bridge over Auckland harbour.

This is just excuse-making for why Maori can’t or won’t follow the rules that apply to everyone else. Apparently, normal rules don’t apply if you are Maori. Perhaps, also, they could avoid one degree of separation if they didn’t run around marrying their cousins.

Who knows, maybe Mahuta is right, there is no conflict of interest, just a little case of No Conflict of Interest Here, just a simple case of papa o te panga?

All I know is that there will be a brown wash report in the end with nothing to see here. Then the trough will be filled up and the Mahuta clan will start supping again.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE


Anonymous said...

"If we are supposed to buy that, we’d buy anything, including a used business plan for a bike bridge over Auckland harbour."
This sentence made me wonder if any payments were made to GO for the bridge plans as well. He seems to be a very talented man with expertise in many unrelated fields.

Anonymous said...

And of course there's her sister Tipa. No mention of an inquiry into her appointment to the Chair of the Maori Advisory Group over Taumata Arowai (involving Three Waters), because that was undertaken by a short-term portfolio swap with Kelvin Davis. I'm sure I'm not alone in wanting to see how that Chair position was advertised; just when was Tipa a contender for the role; who else was considered; why the necessity for the Ministers to swap portfoilos at all; and who approved that swap and what was the reason why, or was it solely in aid of what it appears - working in cahoots with a colleague in a way to distance herself from what otherwise would be a clear case of nepotism?
Doesn't smell sweet, does it? And here was me thinking they are supposed to always act beyond reproach - how naive

Robert Arthur said...

I am not much fussed by the money aspects of Mahuta's nepotism. For a government which pours out tens of millions for a myriad bribe projects, from marae maintenance to home delivery of vaccinations and maori bon homie, a few tens of thousands of dollars to the Mahuta clan is insignificant. But what does worry me is the incestuous nature of the ideas pool. Apart from the small may as well be related maori academic/corporate activist clique, no knowledge or views from outside seems to be sought or considered.