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”.
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