Is the Prime Minister’s office worse than we thought?

by Lord Sutch
What me worry?

What me worry?

It’s Sunday afternoon and I shouldn’t be thinking about politics but there was a radio programme this morning on RadioLive that deserves some scrutiny.

The Mark Sainsbury show (10am-11am) was hijacked and became the Matthew Hooton and Michelle Boag show. The two of them are known as “National party zealots”. In fact Matthew probably believes that Key is a left-wing sell-out and would rather have Genghis Khan rise from the dead and lead us to a triumphant right-wing utopia.

However today they were not friends. Matthew in fact accused Michelle of being a hack, loyal to the National Party even when its policies don’t marry up with the “right” ideology – “you supported Muldoon, Richardson, Bolger” etc. The discussion was tense.

As the show went on Matthew kept attacking PM Chief of Staff Wayne Eagleson. Michelle wanted to know why. She kept pushing on this point. Matthew then said that the Prime Minister’s office allegedly tried to have Matthew fired as a PR advisor.

The allegation was that the PM’s office called CERA after Matthew won a contract through the normal (painful) Government process (GETS). The PM’s office said to CERA that they should kick Matthew out of CERA’s office and not use him as a provider. Matthew then said that apparently Gerry Brownlee intervened and said the State Sector Act prevented the Government from doing such a thing.

Matthew then went on to say that he had a private client who the PM’s office also allegedly rang to say that they should fire Matthew and hire Mark Unsworth – a noted friend of Wayne Eagleson’s – otherwise they would never have access to the Beehive. Mark was subsequently hired as the frontman in Wellington while Hooton remained in the background.

If this is true, then this needs to be investigated. Because it would mean the Prime Minister’s office is intervening in a) Government Department contracts that are supposed to be done in a politically neutral way, and b) intervening in a large New Zealand business and telling them to hire a mate of theirs to do their lobbying (we all remember the infamous trip to Las Vegas trip where Wayne and Mark had a gay old time). This would be cronyism at its worst.

In the interests of disclosure, I am friends with Matthew. But that in no way shapes my disgust at how awfully the Prime Minister’s office seems to behave. It thinks it can behave above the law. Well the times, they are a’changin.

Cam Slater has said that September 11th, a day already darkened by events last decade, is going to be a very uncomfortable day for members of the Prime Minister’s office. That a number of them will be talking to the Inspector General of the SIS about the OIA release concerning Phil Goff’s briefing. Jason Ede will be there. Wayne himself will be there. I’ve even heard that John Key may be one of them. Cameron Slater will also be one of them. And I’ve heard that Cameron Slater is now gunning for Key. After having been a confidante for so many years, Key has hung Slater out to dry who I understand is considering a little “whaledump” of his own (pardon the imagery). If Slater releases his emails himself he’s not only hitting the self-destruct button but the fall-out will go from Auckland, right to the doorstep of level 9 of the Beehive.

And there’s still three weeks to go.

Whew.

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12 comments

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Mary Millicent August 31, 2014 - 4:44 pm

He also said on RadioLive that (Transport Minister) Steven Joyce intervened in a major ($50-100 million) transport contract that had already been awarded under normal tendering processes, dictating variations in the terms. This is an extremely serious allegation. Especially for someone who aspires to be the catcher of Mr Key’s bridal bouquet.

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Marian August 31, 2014 - 7:13 pm

I’m not at all surprised by this. I’m awaiting more allegations about Mr Joyce.

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Tane Woodley August 31, 2014 - 4:44 pm

I don’t understand it when people say that politics is boring…

I don’t know what’s going to happen over the next 4 months, but it’s going to be an interesting ride.

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phillip August 31, 2014 - 4:49 pm

great article
the radio live segment was out of the ordinary also

lets see what cam does on the 11th

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Latest news: Sunday, 31 August | Dirty Politics August 31, 2014 - 4:59 pm

[…] Is the Prime Minister’s office corrupt? – The Ruminator […]

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Yvonne August 31, 2014 - 5:04 pm

The issue is that if Whaleoil does decide to dump, more parties than National will be affected. Some serious damage control will be required all round. Just depends who’s up to it.

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The Peak Oil Poet August 31, 2014 - 5:45 pm

This myth that Slater worked evenly for all of the parties is a nasty little right wing lie being told often to try and make it appear as truth.

If Slater had anything at all of this caliber he would have used it – he probably has a bounty out on anything that can be used to give him a chance at appearing even handed.

He’s a sociopath in every way you look at it but he was in perfect company with those he daily interacted with.

All politicians a slimy i agree but here we have an opportunity to deal with obvious criminal behavior in as brutal a way we can to try and stem the rise of this type of politics.

Saying they are all the same right now is just a way of telling a big lie.

p

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CnrJoe August 31, 2014 - 5:04 pm

Eagleson, the source said, was “more powerful than a minister”. and all thats 2010? sleepy hobbits alright

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Hilary August 31, 2014 - 5:10 pm

There’s always been something decidely odorous for me about this govt, and to and extent ‘Dirty Politics’ was an exercise in schadenfreude and a bit of a laugh… But now it’s just getting worse. To be able to throw around words like ‘corruption’ and ‘cronyism’ legitimately, when I’ve previously rolled my eyes at the left winger conspiracy faction for doing so is really, really, unsettling me.

And I’m sure as hell going to be squinting a little closer at all parties now. They’d better be able to prove themselves to not be rolling in this as well, or at the very least front up and clean up.

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Richard Kimble August 31, 2014 - 7:30 pm

One wonders…
1. Is Cathy Odgers in fact in NZ at the moment (not Hong Kong) and actively helping to clear the decks by leaking material to National insiders?

2. Is her blowing up of Judith Collins (and Matthew Hooton’s Radiolive broadside of Michelle Boag) part of a coordinated Matthew Hooton strategy to disenfranchise the Centre Right voters in National, allowing it to return to its ‘moderate’ ‘conservative’ core, post-Election, under Messrs English and Joyce?

3. Is Matthew Hooton contemporaneously launching a Centre Right/classical liberal party as the replacement of/alternative to a terminal ACT, to scoop up these disenfranchised supporters and provide National with electoral support (at a price) into the future?

4. Will any (post-Election) National MPs who are on the right side of National’s centre, and who loathe Joyce and feel aggrieved at English for past injustices, look to switch over?

5. Who has insured themselves comprehensively against damage when Judith Collins decides to pay it back double?

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Matt August 31, 2014 - 8:58 pm

“I understand is considering a little “whaledump” of his own (pardon the imagery).”….in all of my disgust at this government and what is being exposed, this actually made me laugh out loud!

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National's campaign train wreck « The Standard The Standard September 3, 2014 - 8:34 am

[…] the tactics. Matthew Hooton is now a prominent critic of the Government.  Allegations that Key’s office tried to have his firm’s contract with CERA cancelled and also put pressure on a private client to change to Saunders Unsworth from Hooton’s firm […]

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