Pay back the 21 donors Mr Key


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If the issue is as the Prime Minister has made it, about transparency and in his own glorious words, “he’s going to be guilty of being labelled as having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’, then Key has to live up to his own standards . Those wise words were spoken in regards to David Cunliffe having two donors who didn’t want to be made public. David has paid their money back, so to avoid Key looking like he’s guilty of having a secret agenda no one can verify one way or another, Key should either make the names of all those CEOs and business leaders public, or if they don’t want that, John Key should refund every single one of their  donations back.

Remember, this isn’t some David Farrar-esk technicality ‘splaining issue here. No manner of ‘but the $5000 donations fell far short of the $15 000 declaration rate’ splitting of hairs  (a threshold that National conveniently set by the way). This is about anonymous donors and their need to be anonymous to the person receiving it so that there isn’t a chance of being , in John Key’s own words,  “guilty of being labelled as having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’’.

Those are the standards that the PM has set, not the rules. Key could have pointed to the rules, but he didn’t, he chose to make it about perception, so to hold the same standards he is criticising Cunliffe with, Key must ask the 21 donors to make themselves and their donation public, or he has to refund their money, lest he be considered as  “having a secret agenda which none of us can verify one way or another’’.

It’s not like our multi-millionaire PM ain’t short of a bob or two, I’m sure it’s pocket money to a man with a Hawaiian Mansion.

If Key isn’t prepared to make those donors public and if he isn’t prepared to pay the donors back, he is setting double standards.

Sadly it’s a double standard that also seems to be permeating the media. Cunliffe mauled for a couple of thousand from two anonymous donors he has paid back compared to the Prime Minister knowing who is donating to him and then refusing to make those $165 000 worth of donations public. Surely the latter deserves at least the same level of feeding frenzy that Cunliffe has attracted?


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  1. That’s really the nub of it Martyn, a media that applies the same approach and perspective across the board. How many of their bosses, from the boardroom, would be on the PM’s donor list?

  2. Lets keep it simple, National’s cornerstone “no corporation left behind” policy has got the lovely side effect that money comes easily, and quietly when required. And since in such an elitist environment some animals are more equal than others they have a very different threshold of accountability. And their party organs follow suit, it’s ok when National does it.

    Democratic it is not. Lets be clear about that.

    • You must have put the wrong link in there Marty, I went to the link, but it didn’t list the 21 donors – could you repost it Marty?


    • So what you’re parroting, like a good National supporter, is that there are ‘some rules’ for the Nats (minimal) and different rules for the rest of us?!

      ‘Cos maaaaate, that came through with crystal clarity on “The Nation”, this week.

      What’s the bet that Dear Leader’s “preferred prime ministership” ratings will take a real ‘hit’ in the next few polls?

  3. Do you wonder how many Corporate Media were at these secret Dinners Isn,t 21 of them the tip of the Iceberg? One wonders if Paul Henry or Patrick Gower or even Corin Dann or Mike Hosking were shouted there by their corporate bosses? How do we know?

  4. You are continuing to try to make a story out of two different circumstances. The donations to Cunliffe were to an individual, and the cost of the dinner would have no doubt included some portion to the National Party. That is not splitting hairs. John Key was not the recipient of the donations. Cunliffe was. Would you also like to mention any Labour fund raising dinners which I believe they have held within the last year.

    • No, Key has set the standard at perception, do you need me to re-quote his criticism at Cunliffe again?

      • I hear what you are saying but how can he name these people when he was never the recipient of the funds. You are also sounding a bit envious of his wealth and do you have an answer to Labour’s fund raising dinners

        • Well actually Phread, Key can can’t he as he saw all 21 eating diner with him – I’m really glad you brought this point up as it doesn’t seem to be getting much attention. Cunliffe didn’t know who donated to his leadership race, where as Key was well aware only those who had paid the $5000 would be in attendance, so he knew who was donating.

          • You are still missing the point, which destroys your argument, in that it was not John Key who received the donations but the National Party.

              • I won’t carry it on but at least you have admitted that it was the National Party who was the recipient of any donations and not John Key, and as I have said, why should he pay back something that he has not received. End of subject and have a good night.

                • Oh don’t be so phucking pedantic, Phread.

                  Your argument is ridiculous and if that’s the best you can come up with then you have no argument.

                  Without Key, the Nats wouldn’t be in power. End of.

                  Have a nice sleep. Hope you dream of a strong left-wing government re-nationalising every State asset stolen from New Zealanders since 1984.

                  • Is nationalisation mainstream left wing policy now?

                    That would be so much fun from a political point of view if it was. Sadly I don’t think Cunliffe is that reckless.

            • Phread – are we all missing something here? Did the donations go in to David Cunliffe’s pocket. If so, that is corrupt, otherwise and for want of evidence, what the hell is your point?

      • It’s not like Key would not know who they
        were as they were all at the dinners
        with him, oh I forgot he goes to so many
        dinners he would not be able to remember !

  5. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones;so the saying goes.The folly that is John Key is beginning to be exposed.This is a huge can of worms that has been opened and the effects will be far reaching for National.John Keys’ hubris built up through the many falsehoods expounded about him via a fawning corporate media, will end up being his down fall.Hoisted by his own petard one might say.How poetic.It will be interesting to see if we have journalists in this country who want to be regarded as true professionals.Or are they all just a bunch of shallow digging misconstruers ?There’s plenty of meat in this story that goes right to the core of what is a true democracy.Who is going to put their hand up?Who?

  6. 1. people hading over 5000 for a dinner could easily get over the 15,000 mark over a year, so it is important for the Nats that they know who they are so no one gets into trouble by mistake, like someone who went to three dinners, a lunch and a BBQ suddenly pointing out that they had given over 15,000 in a year and that it had not been declared.

    2. it would be worth someones while looking into who NZTE hands over Grants total 35 million
    30 million went to 47 companies
    through the International Growth Fund. The funny thing is that you have to be invited to get it, it is not a contestable fund, the companies are shoulder tapped by NZTE and almost no information on who the 37 are , nor what the money split is is actually made available.
    I think it raises questions worth asking

  7. I ate at Antoine’s once. I thought the menu was pretentious and overpriced, but I was shouted by a well off prostitute that I knew. She may have been their last honest customer, since they let their standards slip so far.

  8. $5,000 a meal for National supporters, who are the same ilk of people who begrudge the “Living Wage Campaign”. Kiwis hate this sort of inequality.

    This nation was founded on egalitarian ideals 160 years ago when migrants left countries where the rich owned everything and made the poor touch their forelocks and bow in obeisance.

    21 meals at $5,000 a head and those who complain are told to “go eat cake”, or “let’s change the flag”. We know what happened to Antionette. October’s guillotine election can’t come soon enough.

  9. Martyn, your headline brilliantly destroys your own arguement. It beggars belief that a man should return money he never received in the first place. To spell it out, the National Party received the money, not John Key. If you want the money returned you need to target the National Party, not John Key. Got it?

  10. It should probably also be pointed that you are misrepresenting the facts- precisely what has got David Cunliffe into trouble as he has again today. You don’t seem to understand the damage this does when trying to garner votes from middle New Zealand.

  11. In future if dining there we may be able
    to refer the bill to the National party
    as the relationship does appear cosey

  12. […] they post (and I thought I was being meta), and a personality attack on the Prime Minister over on The Daily Blog, that instead of analysing the seriously worrying effects of the influence that the rich and […]

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