Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The Letter

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  • Craig Ranapia, in reply to Russell Brown,

    This seems unusually pervasive partisan gossip and the fact that some of it apparently comes from information obtained with the powers of a ministerial office is a bit creepy.

    Let's hold fire on the second part until there's some documentary evidence on the table, but where "pervasive partisan gossip" is concerned? To quote Mrs Marcellus Wallace: When those scamps get together, they're like a sewing circle.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Felix Marwick, in reply to Russell Brown,

    Russel,

    it wasn't so much a case of Woodhouse doing his own OIA but the Minister collating information on the Donghua Liu case because of questions being asked in the house.

    It's not uncommon for Ministers in such circumstances to request material on such matters so as to be prepared to provide answers at Question Time.

    What's interesting is the material he got covered Cunliffe's letter and also Chris Carter's letter, but not material involving former assoc' immigration minister Damien O'Connor. We haven't, as yet, got an explanation for why it wasn't covered (you can guess Cunliffe's opinion I think)

    With regard to OIA process there's a reasonably well established system that's in place (and I believe the Herald's David Fisher OIA'd it previously) for how the Beehive handles information requests, particularly those with political connotations. In essence they're flagged and Ministers are made aware of them. I'm informed the system currently in place is pretty much the same one the last Labour Government used.

    Does it lend itself to being politically manipulated? Probably.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 200 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh,

    Good timing, Felix. I just read this article, which has a quite reasonable explanation for how the various National ministers had the letter.

    But what has me going WTF? now is this:

    Mr Woodhouse learned of the letter just a day after the Herald requested Immigration NZ's entire file on Liu's residency application.

    Emphasis added, obviously. But really people, the entire file? Do you* have any idea of the kind of intensely personal stuff you have to put into such applications? Is there really any legitimate journalistic reason to request somebody's entire file?

    *that particular 'you' directed at the Herald staff who did that particular bit of OIAing.

    Oh, and Felix:

    What’s interesting is the material he got covered Cunliffe’s letter and also Chris Carter’s letter, but not material involving former assoc’ immigration minister Damien O’Connor. We haven’t, as yet, got an explanation for why it wasn’t covered

    I'm curious about that, too. After all, the Carter letter did actually advocate, and it was O'Connor who approved the residence application. I'm struggling to see how Cunliffe's letter is evidence of anything more than an electorate MP's electorate office doing its job.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Felix Marwick,

    I'm informed the system currently in place is pretty much the same one the last Labour Government used.

    not so, via Russell

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19695 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Jared savage says Barker up the Yangtze River. I think Barker’s stand is a good one too. Especially after Sacha reminded us of the OIA changes in February

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen R,

    On the drive to work this morning, we turned on National Radio to hear Guyon Espiner talking to David Cunliffe. David said he felt that there were more important things to talk about, such as a recent report on child poverty in NZ, and Guyon agreed, and then said (rather forcefully) that for the moment the story was about Mr Cunliffe. Then he proceeded to ask Mr Cunliffe why he had let the story be about Mr Cunliffe ...

    Partner and I screamed at the radio in unison and competed to see who could turn it off fastest.

    Some days, I despair of my species.

    Wellington • Since Jul 2009 • 259 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Stephen R,

    Hey ‘Spinner!

    (re: Morning Report) Some days, I despair of my species.

    They seem to have progressed beyond ’ambulance chasing’
    to the much more odious ‘body prodding’…

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    Jared savage says Barker up the Yangtze River. I think Barker’s stand is a good one too.

    Thanks for the link. It’s interesting – from Barker’s description, it sounds like a purely opportunistic invite from Liu, as if he’d heard Barker was in town, decided it’d be a good idea to meet, and invited him along to a work do that was already scheduled. Not a whole lot to see here.

    As for Barker’s tone, I’m curious as to the sudden increase in aggression. Should I conclude that Liu is a bit miffed at having been used to bash National and has decided to bite back, albeit from somewhere shadowy and out of direct sight of the public?

    ETA: Has anyone outside the Press Gallery been speculating about Cunliffe’s leadership?

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Yes, Minister...

    I just read this article, which has a quite reasonable explanation for how the various National ministers had the letter.

    This article has a great timeline on Mr Woodhouse's ongoing battle with sequential reality:

    June 19:
    • 2pm Mr Woodhouse denies telling Mr Key about the letters
    • 3pm Mr Woodhouse says officials from his office briefed Mr Key's office on the letters.
    • 7pm Mr Woodhouse's office says the minister himself told Mr Key's office about the letters and his office also gave copies of the letters to Mr Key's office.

    Such spin, as he frantically back-pedals to give some semblance of illusion that he has any control or knowledge about what goes on in his own office ...
    - don't get sucked under in the 'swiftboats' wake, Mikey...

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    No, disagree, Barker was Assistant Speaker of the House. He is well aware of regulations rules and insinuations and I think he has given the media the short sharp shove they and Lui need. Woodhouse’s faffing about is highlighted today also by Adam Bennet.Seeing as those OIA changes mean that there should be no surprises so close to Elections especially, I see a call for legal accountability as an obvious move.
    ETA... SNAP! Ian

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Such spin

    Makes about as much sense as anything else in this saga.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    ETA: Has anyone outside the Press Gallery been speculating about Cunliffe’s leadership?

    Doubt it, but Espiner seems to be salivating :) And TV3 are speculating on the speculating whilst Gower is traipsing around with Key and Tova O'Brian (?) is trying to look important.

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Chris Waugh, in reply to Sofie Bribiesca,

    I see a call for legal accountability as an obvious move.

    Yes, but it's things like this:

    Liu hurls accusations behind cover, protected by others and process,

    that have me wondering.

    Wellington • Since Jan 2007 • 2401 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca,

    Toby Manhire has a much better idea of what's going on in general when it comes to National :)

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Sofie Bribiesca, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    that have me wondering.

    Yeah but he is savvy as to how things go down too and National + Liu + Harold= Well mostly anti Labour unless it’s Shane Jones.
    And it's Tova O'Brian not en. I checked spelling

    here and there. • Since Nov 2007 • 6796 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel, in reply to Chris Waugh,

    Makes about as much sense as anything else in this saga

    I know!
    It is risible that Woodhouse can't clearly remember these simple steps of 'process' from mere weeks ago, yet they (National's baying wolves) expect Cunliffe to retrieve detailed memories of a pretty basic electorate assist from 11 years ago!

    Is it just that National swaddle it in such sanctimonious smarm that they continue to get away with comparing chalk and cheese so convincingly (apparently)?

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Barkering up the wrong tree or selling us up the Yangtze

    That seems to be all Xiong Qui can do but I could be wrong, it all depends on what state he is in.
    The state he is in at the moment is Washington so I reckon he'll sell us up the Potomac. Who knows what he will do next, or even has done, he doesn't. Perhaps he will pop into Egypt on the way back and get in de Nile or maybe Paris where he could go in Seine.
    Who knows? I don't, but I can tell you this..... [insert meaningless twaddle about how bad the opposition is here]

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes, in reply to Ian Dalziel,

    Is it just that National swaddle it in such sanctimonious smarm that they continue to get away with comparing chalk and cheese so convincingly (apparently)?

    Yes.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Ian Dalziel,

    What about The Herald trying to kneecap Campbell Live
    (well Rachel Glucina - the 'I' disease - weighs in)

    A well-informed source tells The Diary there is a level of concern at "very senior levels" about daily current events show Campbell Live and whether adding a female co-host could be a solution.

    (this story was on the front page I heard on Morning Report!)

    aaargh she goes on to laud seven sharp and the Paul Henry Show's vapid conscious couplings - so I know her taste is well out of stride with mine.

    Don't listen to this tosh John (and TV3) they are trying to drag you down to their dumb level.
    Please leave it as it is - trust, quality and consistency are your unique selling points.

    Christchurch • Since Dec 2006 • 7893 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    One of the things that SOOoo annoy me is that no-one, and I mean no-one not number one, seems to be willing or able to hold this Government to account, where is that cycling track they promised? is it that they think that allowing our once great roading system to descend into disrepair and go to pot(holes) every time it drizzles a little, will deliver us a maze of BMX tracks?. And what good is a Rock Star economy if it spends all its time smashing up hotel rooms in China? Where is our long promised Knowledge Economy? we don't know and Xiong Qui says he cant recall either but he can tell us that Labour did it, or didn't depending on context.
    Where is the fiber to the home they promised, are we all to receive a packet of All Bran shortly before the election, not too shortly of course, could get messy but it could create jobs, not 170,000 of course but low paid ones at least.

    At least they are doing something about education and the appalling statistics on exam pass rates, they have the answers. They are getting teachers to tell students what those answers are so they can write them down at exam time.

    So its not all bad and you can rest assured that they will be keeping an eye on things, those things being you and your friends and families, especially if they are overseas or kinda funny looking.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Steve Barnes,

    Attachment

    Federal Reserve chair Janet Yellen

    she was asked by New Zealand reporter if she had heard about New Zealand having been described as a "rockstar economy"

    Oh how we laughed...

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

  • Matthew Poole,

    This smells rather bad.

    Auckland • Since Mar 2007 • 4097 posts Report Reply

  • Richard Aston, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    This smells rather bad.

    Starting to smell bad all right and the worm is turning .
    So letters from Labour MP lightly supporting Mr Liu's immigration are ok to release but not those by Nat Ministers that actually influenced the decision . Hell how many letters from politicians did this guy get?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 509 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    I'd say a lot of the newly undecided voters in the latest polls would be too liberal for Winston First and Peter Dunne, too left-wing for NACT and too-right wing for Labour/Greens/InterMana at this stage. In Britain they'd be LibDem voters, but here there's no such equivalent party. Maybe they're just known as 'floating voters'?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5423 posts Report Reply

  • Idiot Savant, in reply to Matthew Poole,

    This smells rather bad

    No shit - its a blatantly political release decision, with embarassing information on government MPs withheld unlawfully to protect the government of the day. And it shames out entire public service to be used as a tool of the government-of-the-day like this.

    I am confident the Ombudsman will force release. Though it will probably come far too late.

    (Note: none of this excuses Cunliffe or Labour's muppetry; it just shows us that other people are guilty of other things as well)

    Palmerston North • Since Nov 2006 • 1713 posts Report Reply

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