Tag Archives: Labour Party

Sexual abuse of boys will see New Zealand continue to raise angry young men

Today I met a young guy in Kaitaia whose life experiences replicate the story of this gang member, and which saw him go to prison and find an escape in “P”.

The sexual and physical abuse of boys is under-reported and misunderstood.

I support Ken Clearwater who in this video says there needs to be more research on the sexual abuse of males.

Failure to address the sexual abuse of boys will see New Zealand continue to raise angry young men who struggle to live to their potential and are often likely to end up in prison hurting many others along the way.

This just fuels the call of certain sectors of society to lock more people up. Building more prisons is not a pathway to economic, cultural or social success.

Sexual abuse is most likely to be perpetrated by someone a boy knows, loves and should be able to trust.

We need more men to speak out about sexual violence.

Kelvin Davis, Labour MP for Te Tai Tokerau

John Key talks free tertiary education

OD: “Finally on education, in your first State of the Nation speech you spoke about the opportunity you had for a good education. Kids today end up with an average student debt of $28,000 to get the same education as you did. Any plans to go back to tertiary education, free tertiary education?”

JK: “I don’t know if we’d go back free…” (continued below)

"Let's Be Frank" with Oliver Driver, ALT TV, 6 March, 2008,  1.06 - 5.29 
 

OD: “Why not?”

JK: “Um, sheer cost of it I guess. It’s about…”

OD: “$350 million a year.”

JK: “Yeah. I guess what would you do with the $9 billion of student loans.”

OD: (partly unaudible, possibly ‘scrap em’)

JK: “there’s equity issues..”

OD: “C’mon lets look at you, here you are, the perfect example of a man who was born into a state house, made good, got his education, was able to go to university because it was free.”

JK: “Yeah.”

OD: “Ya know, got to the place where you are.”

JK: “Yeah.”

OD: “And now, you might be our prime minister.”

JK: “Yeah.”

OD: “And yet the next generation of John Keys’ have to pay $28,000 in student loans, if they can get a student loan in the first place.”

JK: “Yeah. Look there’s a number of different parts of that right. Firstly, probably, that tertiary education is widened out substantially to where it was. So a lot of those students, I mean the loans aren’t necessarily um related to, ya know tertiary qualifications, they’re actually around – well they are tertiary but not university per se, they might be a whole lot of other sort of areas.”

OD: “Sure, but it is estimated around $350 million is all we would need to provide free tertiary education.”

JK: “Yeah. Well {int}”

OD: “Now surely with the massive surpluses you keep going on about and the huge desire we have for ‘tax cuts’, we can afford these ‘tax cuts’ because of these huge surpluses. You could give every kid in this country back to having free tertiary education.”

JK: “I guess what I want to say to you is look, I mean we are looking at things like student allowances and all those sort of things. We made it clear we’re going to keep loans at zero percent, and we’ve made it clear, if you repay early , and some will, they’ll get a 10% discount on that.”

OD: “But you didn’t have to do it.”

JK: “I know.”

OD: “And look at where you are?”

JK: “Yeah but the issue..”

OD: “And you’re worried about the brain drain, you’re worried about upskilling our people, and you’re worried about all these sorts of things and yet, that, seems to me one of the most basic things you could do.”

JK: “And there are some areas where we could do that right and we’ve argued that we want to ‘bond’ doctors or might want to certain things with teachers, and write off their student loans, which is the virtually the same thing. I mean wholesale could we do it I dunno, we could look at it. I mean one thing I could say to you is, and this is what I say to young people when I go out to all of the schools all the time – if you’ve got a chance, go to university don’t worry about the student loan, that is the least of your problems but do two things, finish the degree…”

OD: “It’s not the least of their problems once they graduate, I know them.”

JK: “Yeah”

OD: “They’re walking around with $28,000, $40,000, $60,000 dollar debts around their necks, while you were in your first year of work, earning your first amount of cash, they’re hard slog paying back their debt.”

JK: “Yeah”

OD: “To be an educated part of society.”

JK: “Yeah. I mean yeah, you’ve got to look at it and say, “hey what’s driving those costs”, so what is your average course fee at university? About $4000 dollars are year? That sort of number? Probably. Um, I haven’t looked recently, but I guess it’s that sort of number. So, so a lot of what is driving that debt is because they are living away from home right? Now, so, had I been at university and lived away from home – I mean I know I had the luxury of being able to live at home, and I was in Christchurch, and I could go to Canterbury – but the bottom line is, I would have racked up debt then too. I mean, even back in my day, it was only the fees that were paid. So.”

OD: “So do that.”

JK: “Yeah, well that’s a possibility I suppose. I’m just saying, I understand where you are coming from and I’m not disagreeing with you. We want people to go and we don’t want people racked down with debt; and one of the reasons I didn’t like zero percent loans, and I was open about it in the campaign in 2005, was I was really worried people would take down more debt, and that actually even shows, they have, and for longer.”

OD: “But don’t you think part of the reason people are fleeing to Australia is to escape them?”

JK: “Partly because {int} well partly, {int} partly what the problem is I think, is they get this debt and while they’re at university it doesn’t seem that much, they say “ok, I owe $30,000 grand, well I’m gonna start working, I’ll pay it off”. As soon as they come out, there’s lots of other expenses that they hadn’t thought about – they want to move out, whatever, boyfriend, girlfriend, whatever it might be – move in, and the problem is that debt hangs around, at which point their income is higher – then they go…”

OD: “Hang on just two minutes ago you said to me you encourage kids to not worry about the debt, to go to university, the debt won’t matter, and now you’re out here telling me that debt builds up, and it’s a whole lot more expensive, and they have to run to Australia.”

JK: “No. I’ll tell you why I think it shouldn’t matter if they get debt, and the answer to that is, getting the qualification, all the academic evidence shows you, your tertiary qualified, you complete your degree, your average income earning stream is much higher. So it’s what I say to you, what I say to young people is, get the qualification, and make sure you go there, make sure you complete it.”

OD: “I’m just saying I think you should think about that. You want people to not leave for Australia. You want increase our national average income. Surely free tertiary education is a way to achieve both of those things. In some part. ”

(Please report any transcribing errors below, thank you)

Does the prime minister stand by all his statements?

It looks like today’s questions were a coordinated effort by opposition parties to make the prime minister answer questions and not have him fob them off to someone else or deny he has any responsibility to answer it. I thought Duncan Garner was a political journalist once, so surely he would have known this? Or is this fobbing off questions a new thing, unique to Team Key?

When MPs ask Key if he “stands by all his statements” he has to answer questions that are put to him and not pass it on to one of his Ministers. If they simply asked him about a particular subject, he can blow it off and not answer it by saying he has no responsibility for that portfolio, thereby wasting a valuable question. The government does this so the prime minister is kept from having to answer tough questions and/or be associated with dodgy, useless, inept, corrupt, etc, government ministers and departments.

For example you could ask Key about the state of operations at a particular DHB, he could claim he has no ‘ministerial responsibility for that’ and pass the question to his Minister of Health to answer. Or he might have made the claim a health department is operating very well, but when it’s proven it isn’t, he can simply deny he has any knowledge or responsibility for it. Whereas asking him if he “stands by all this statements” (usually it is only in relation to a particular topic) but to make the point the opposition parties gave him no wiggle room today by asking if he stood by all his statements since becoming prime minister, means he has to answer, and truthfully, MPs including the PM can not to lie to or mislead parliament. It’s probably the worse thing a politician can do.

Passing off questions has been happening a lot with this government and it frustrates democracy. A country needs a strong opposition (regardless of your politics) to hold governments to account but if they are hindered in the very house where they are meant to get answers for the public, from the very ministers or a prime minister who serve us, then there’s not much an opposition can be, but inept – and that doesn’t do anyone any favours. I applaud what the parties did to day. More of the same please.

Does the prime minister stand by all his statements

Does the prime minister stand by all his statements

“Where the bloody hell are you?” Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Would Australia’s political pundits be as  ready to embrace their brand new prime minister Malcolm Turnbull’s unflinching admiration of  New Zealand prime minister John Key if they were aware that the subject of Turnbull’s affection had mislead an early 90’s investigation by their National Crime Authority (NCA) into the now infamous ‘H-Fee’ transactions? So what do you think? Would the tran-Tasman bromance still be welcomed despite it? Or would Australia’s journalists and commentators not be distracted by the flush of first love and actually call for the New Zealand prime minister to explain himself? Could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s so far hasn’t?

Key & Turnbull

When Key’s 1991 statement to the H-Fee investigations surfaced a week before he was elected prime minister in November 2008, the document was largely accepted as ‘truth’ – even to the point that one highly regarded New Zealand journalist used the statement as ‘evidence’ of Key telling the ‘truth’ about one of his more infamous pre-PM brain-fades. In 2007 Key had tried to front foot questions by New Zealand Labour party politicians about his involvement in the H-Fee investigation, and in doing so had told a journalist that the ‘Labour hounds had nothing on him because he had left EMF in 1987 long before any of the H-Fees we’re decided’. When his statement came to light and it showed Key had actually told investigators he had left EMF in 1988, not 1987 as he’d told this reporter, Key confidently reassured waiting media that what he told investigators in 1991 was the real year and if they were to hear anything to the contrary, then it was nothing but a left-wing smear campaign by a desperate Helen Clark  and her then incumbent Labour government colleagues.

At the same time as Australia’s (now defunct) NCA were investigating the complex H-Fee foreign exchange movements between Australia’s corporate high-flier Elders IXL and New Zealand’s own Equiticorp, New Zealand’s newly established Serious Fraud Office (SFO) were trying to unravel this and many other dodgy movements of money into the hands of Equiticorp founder Alan Hawkins. The two investigating bodies worked closely together sharing information, running separate prosecutions within their own jurisdictions, with the NCA bringing a case in Australia against some of the offending parties over there and in 1992 in New Zealand the SFO’s brought successful charges against Hawkins. He was subsequently sentenced to six years in prison.

Key became involved in the H-Fee investigations when an ex-colleague of his Paul Richards, now head of forex at UBS in United States, was facing fraud charges for his part in one of the transactions. He had helped to facilitate some of the foreign exchange movements necessary to hide these transactions while working for Elders IXL’s New Zealand based subsidiary Elders Merchant Finance (EMF) in Wellington in 1988. Richards was only ever a bit player and eventually was given immunity from charges in return for giving evidence for the NCA’s prosecution across the ditch. Funnily enough a defense lawyer in that court case alleged Richards and Key’s statements to the investigation we’re completely made up, nothing but utter fabrication. What did they know that we don’t?

Richards who was first interviewed in November 1990, told investigators he could supposedly recall an event from 31 August 1988 because he and an ex-colleague ‘John Key’ had had a lunch that day. He could recall the exact date of the lunch because it allegedly marked his colleague’s last day with the firm. This date was at odds with the evidence of Richards’ boss Peter Camm and Elders IXL executive from Australia, Ken Jarrett, both of whom were also under investigation. Allegedly Richard’s was called away from the ‘lunch’ to meet with these two men. Jarrett had supposedly flown to New Zealand from Australia that morning.

In May 1991 Key was asked to corroborate Richards’ evidence. He told investigators he had given notice on 24 June 1988 and then two months later on 31 August the two colleagues were celebrating his final day, he was leaving EMF to head a newly established forex exchange department at rival finance company Bankers Trust. He confirmed Richards’ evidence about their lunch including how Richards had received a call and had to return immediately to the office. About 45 minutes later Richards allegedly returned, a little shaken but he told Key he could not go into detail other than to say he had just had a very strange meeting with his two co-accused. Allegedly the men continued their lunch and supposedly never discussed the strange turn of events again.

Now at Bankers Trust we were told Key worked with infamous American currency raider Andrew Krieger who was based at the company’s New York branch at the time. This relationship we we’re told was highly lucrative for the New Zealand branch and had soon turned the Auckland dealing room into the number one forex dealing room in the country. Reports about the success of this relationship worked to cement the then Leader of the Opposition’s backstory as a ‘state house kid made good’, a currency trader of some merit, a man at the top of his game, right in the thick of it with the world’s most notorious and infamous best. Key’s ex boss Gavin Walker, now chair of the Board of Guardians of the New Zealand Superfund, told media Key was responsible for the Auckland branch’s relationship with Krieger, it was in his job description to look after him and that as far as Walker was aware Key knew everything that Kreiger was executing across the local branch’s trading desk. Key himself told media he would never forget his first phone call with Krieger as the currency legend asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and it’s monetary supply.

Except Key working with Krieger means there is no time in 1988 that Key could have been working with Richards at EMF – it is simply not possible. Kreiger resigned from Bankers Trust on 23 February 1988 – some six months before the 31 August date Richards had told investigators, and later corroborated by Key, as been Key’s last day before he joined Bankers Trust in Auckland. Krieger’s resignation is well documented. He had disputed the amount of bonus he was due from his 1987 trades and promptly resigned leaving the company within a matter of weeks. Upon leaving Krieger spent one month on holiday before returning to the forex markets with another company. By June 1988 though he was disillusioned with currency trading and left the currency markets altogether, not only the markets but America itself, to study Sanskrit in India. He did not return to the currency markets until sometime in 1990. Even if Key’s statement to the H-Fee investigation is believed, it does not explain how he could trade millions upon millions of dollars of currency with someone that helped turn his trading room into the best in the country, when that person had left the currency markets entirely a couple of months earlier?

Did Key lie to the H-Fee investigations? More than likely. Will Aussie commentators think less of him for it? Hopefully. Not sure if Prime Minister Turnbull will, but no one will ever know unless the New Zealand media start asking Key to explain himself. Or could Australia’s media do what New Zealand’s media so far hasn’t?

In his book ‘Dirty Collars’ ex SFO head Charles Sturt says this of the vast powers bestowed upon his department,

“while a person may be compelled to answer questions, these answers may only be used in evidence if the accused subsequently gives evidence inconsistent with their previous statements”

So c’mon on journos, “where the bloody hell are you?”

_____________

2008 6 March ALT TV: Oliver Driver (Lets Be Frank) interview where Key talks about working with Andrew Krieger at Bankers Trust

2008 30 October Radio New Zealand: Kathryn Ryan(Nine to Noon) interviews John Key about H-Fee a week before 2008 General Election

Legal scholar & author Frank Partnoy interviewed Andrew Krieger for the book “Infectious Greed: How Deceit and Risk Corrupted the Financial Markets” and dedicated a chapter to him. The intro & chapter featuring Krieger ‘Patient Zero’ can be read free on Amazon Kindle +PC. Click “Read first chapter free” to view.

Please share this page with others, thank you.

Either way, John Key is a liar. It’s hightime someone called him out on it.

Every time I read a story about Key lying I cringe. I cringe because the caliber of this man was there, ready for the exposing back in 2008.

One week before the election Key’s 1991 statement to the Serious Fraud Office investigation into failed corporate high-flier Equiticorp surfaced. Key had been interviewed by investigators and went on to corroborate the information an ex-colleague had given to the inquiry. This colleague/friend was facing fraud charges and Key’s statement, parts of which are now a matter of public record, confirmed the two had met for lunch on a particular date, and during that lunch meeting another event (of interest to the investigators) allegedly happened. Despite there been an issue with the date, but both men where steadfast they were remembering it correctly because the date was “Key’s farewell”. Key, they alleged was leaving one company for another and they were celebrating his last day.

However this timeline conflicts with media reports from February 2008 that discuss at length Key’s working relationship with infamous currency trader Andrew Krieger at this new firm. Key’s ex boss, Gavin Walker, discussed at length this relationship, as did Key himself, telling journalists’ he could recall his first phone call with Krieger, where the New York based trader asked him about New Zealand’s GDP and monetary supply. Walker told John Roughan, for his book “John Key: Portrait of a Prime Minister”, he gave Key a list of top clients on Key’s first day, of which Krieger was one of them. Krieger himself though resigned from the firm some six months before Key told SFO investigators he started with the firm. Krieger, not only resigned from the firm six months before, he removed himself from the currency markets altogether two months before Key’s SFO statement alleges he started with Krieger’s firm.

What is most disturbing about all this is not that Labour’s Mike William’s was pilloried for trying to uncover information about the SFO Equiticorp investigation, accused of dirty politics, although that was pretty disgusting in itself; rather, instead of investigating the discrepancies in Key’s statement, his SFO statement was used as ‘proof’ he was telling the ‘truth’.

I ask you New Zealand, if Key’s SFO statement is not a fabrication, then his relationship with Andrew Krieger is, and if his relationship with Andrew Krieger is true, the his statement to the SFO a lie.

Either way, John Key is a liar. It’s hightime someone called him out on it.

Yours sincerely, Enough.

(Originally appeared as a comment on TheStandard)

Transcript: David Shearer – Stop the GCSB Bill Meeting – 19/08/2013

Labour Party leader David Shearer addresses the audience at Stop the GCSB Meeting, Auckland Town Hall, Monday 19th August 2013

Kia ora katou, it is so great to be here with you all tonight, turning out for an issue that strikes at the very heart of our freedoms and rights as New Zealanders. 

Let me start by saying, in case you missed it, that we in Labour oppose this Bill utterly [audience claps].

We are fighting, and have fought it all the way, to stop this Bill with you, with the other political parties, because this Bill will make bad law.

It fails to get the basic balance right between the need to keep our country safe and our fundamental rights to privacy – and those rights are something I am absolutely committed to protecting as the leader of a future Government [audience claps].

Because some, some people might say this issue doesn’t matter to New Zealanders – in fact there was a poll the other, about 4 months ago that said thirty-two percent of New Zealanders said that they had full trust, sorry ‘only’ thirty-two percent of New Zealanders said they had full trust in our intelligence agencies, we have to revise that in light of John Campbell’s latest poll.

And that’s why a Labour led Government will commission a full, independent inquiry across our entire intelligence network and of the basis of that replace the current law [audience claps].

We need to restore that trust that people have, and this review should not be just about the GCSB, it has to be about the SIS, and the Police, and the Defence Forces, and how they actually work together, because we do know before the GCSB issue came up that there was new legislation being proposed for the SIS as well – and the idea was to bring the SIS and GCSB even closer together – that’s been shelved because of what’s going on now [audience claps].

So we will work with the other political parties including those here, and it’s been a privilege to work with them over the last few months, to set the terms of reference for that inquiry – and we will talk to you, to make sure that we have the right changes made for this law in the future.

This Government isn’t listening; it’s ramming this Bill through, not because of any urgent changes are actually needed – but because it wants to get this issue off the political agenda. 

Y/know I actually asked John Key if he had any evidence that New Zealand would be at risk if his legislation wasn’t rushed through, would there be a greater threat somehow without this Bill? And he couldn’t come up with a case for why these changes are so urgent. 

This Bill is being rushed through, put together in an ad-hoc, Mickey Mouse way – that even the Prime Minister is unsure about it, what it will actually do. One day he said that the new law won’t let our spy’s look at the content of New Zealander’s emails , the next day he writes a to the Herald saying,

“actually they will be able to do that, but I’ll put a stop to it by putting conditions in the warrant I give the GCSB,”

– it’s a just a matter of trust really isn’t it.

“Hey she’ll be right. It will be okay,”

Well if that’s the case? Why not put it in the legislation [audience claps]?

So tomorrow in the House, Labour will propose an amendment to put that promise, of not looking into the contents of New Zealander’s emails into law.  And we’ll see if Mr Key stands by his word and support’s it – because the whole trust thing hasn’t worked out that well so far [audience laughs].

We’ve had to drag the truth out on every issue, on each of the debacles that have continued to go down the tracks.  From Dot Com – actually I want to just acknowledge Kim Dot Com and say we wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him – looking at our legislation [audience claps]. 

From Dot Com, from appointing your mate as the Head of the GCSB, to illegal spying, to snooping around in journalists emails – it took weeks, and weeks until we got to the bottom, in each of those cases, to what was going on.   Now as New Zealanders we deserve much better than that.  They need to know there is proper oversight of our intelligence agencies, and right know too much power lies in one person’s hands.

The Prime Minister appoints the Head of the GCSB, currently his mate, Prime Minister heads the Committee overseeing the agency, sets the agenda of that Committee, and has the casting vote – so during the inquiry we had, I asked because he was the, the committee overseeing the agency sets the agenda of that committee, and has the casting vote.

So during the inquiry we had I asked, because he was, the, the proposal was that the GCSB was going to be helping out the SIS, the Police, the Defence Forces – perhaps we could hear from the Police, and the SIS about exactly what they were going to be doing, why the need the GCSB.  That was refused, it was voted down by the committee. So you can see what sort of role that committee has.

But the Prime Minister also appoints the Commissioner of Warrants who issues the spying warrants, appoints the agency’s watchdog, the Inspector General – there’s nobody else providing those checks and balances and that is utterly unacceptable [audience claps]. 

New Zealanders are looking for leadership on this issue.

We went to the Government to see if we could find some way forward but it wasn’t interested.  Instead I was told Peter Dunne was willing to give his vote, and get them across the line [audience heckles].

A ‘willing buyer’ and a ‘willing seller’ as Dunne so eloquently put it.  So the Government has got the numbers to slip it across the line – on a profoundly important issue and that’s simply not good enough.    If we truly want to restore public confidence in our intelligence agencies we have to move beyond the fog of scandal and actually work together. 

We could do much better than this Bill.

Some of the best safe guards in the world could be put in our legislation – we could actually have some of the world leading legislation here – we have that opportunity, we have that chance.  But we’ve squandered it. It requires a commitment to do what is in the best interest of New Zealanders rather than what’s politically expedient [audience claps].

Labour will provide that commitment and that’s the promise I bring to you tonight.

Thank you very much.

Download pdf transcript: GCSB 2013 08 19 Auckland Town Hall – David Shearer