Too hard to hold one’s nose at these New Years’ Honours



It might seem churlish to criticise those receiving New Years honours because every year, as well as some very deserving people, the awards predominantly go to friends of the government in power or “business leaders” who have feathered their own nests at the expense of the rest of us.

But it’s too hard to hold one’s nose at awards to the likes of Teresa Gattung and Murray McCully.

Gattung’s citation says she received her award for “services to business and philanthropy” but her contribution to New Zealand would be better described as “a successful public relations campaign to cover deceit and theft from New Zealanders with highly publicised “good works””

Gattung was the golden girl of neo-liberalism who was appointed CEO of Telecom after it was privatised and ran it as private monopoly which stripped billions from ordinary New Zealanders. She even bragged about the corporate deception at the heart of Telecom’s pricing of services.

I wrote about this in 2006 like this:

“Gattung told business analysts in Sydney two months ago that Telecom has “not been straight up” with customers. She said “Think about pricing. What has every telco in the world done in the past? It’s used confusion as its chief marketing tool. And that’s fine. You could argue that that’s how all of us keep calling prices up and get those revenues, high-margin businesses, keep them going a lot longer than would have been the case. But…customers know that’s what the game has been. They know we’re not being straight up”.

This kind of cynical manipulation of the public by a multi-million dollar “golden girl” is a tragedy for us all. For 16 years we have suffered as Telecom has abused its private monopoly over our phone networks. We have been fleeced.


In round figures the purchase price for Telecom was $4 billion and when the original American buyers sold it, the selling price was $12 billion. This capital gain of $8 billion was on top of another $12 billion they made in profit over the 10 years they owned the company. Ameritech and Bell-Atlantic (the initial American owners) were staggered at their good fortune and at the blind stupidity of our government. They nearly drowned in the trough.”

That the likes of Gattung should receive a New Year’s honour is an insult to every New Zealander and in particular to families who have struggled to pay their phone bill. The fact she gives a small amount of money and publicity to a couple of charities is a cover – like trying to hide the stench of a sewage pond with a bottle of cheap perfume.

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In Murray McCully’s case the award says more about a weakness in the character of Prime Minister John Key than anything to do with McCully.

McCully is reported as saying “It was unusual to do it while Members of Parliament are serving but in this case he (John Key) was keen to take that step in recognition of the (United Nations) Security Council campaign and I regard it as a recognition of the whole effort that was made by the ministry, in particular, and those who worked with the ministry to achieve what was an outstanding outcome.”

However the truth is that McCully has been a poorly performing minister at best having attempted to trash the public service ethos of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and downgrade our diplomatic representation – all to save money and look good at the cabinet table.

Knowing how widely despised McCully is within the public service, Key has taken the opportunity of the security council seat to give the fingers to public servants

It’s much the same reason he keeps Hekia Parata as Minister of Education – a sly dig at those educationalists who genuinely believe in high quality education for every child.

The New Zealand honours system should be taken out of the hands of politicians and vested in an independent body which is above cheap party politics, community abuse or cynical philanthropy which purchases awards.


  1. Oh God . Just when I was feeling vaguely rested .
    Sir Roger Douglas must feel very proud of himself . That he destroyed his country by stealing its assets thus creating , from subsequent poverty , a sub class from those workers who created those assets in the first place . He then sold those assets to his friends who installed soulless reptiles like Teresa Gattung to head and to be paid obscene salaries to lie to us and cheat us and for that she’s proud . What the fuck is wrong with us that we don’t act on that ?
    Scum like her should never be able to walk our streets unmolested . She should be pelted with shit then run out of town after we asset strip her fat arse .

    Where do roger douglas and his cronies actually live ? We should all pop in for a visit of a Sunday .

    I know you’re a peaceful man John Minto and I know you must lament when you to see that I write sweary words but this has to stop . It must stop . And I can’t fall into a rage without wanting to write sweary words . The time for being polite is over . We must stand up for ourselves . We must .

    And how might we do that some might ask ? Any fucking way you like . Any action is better than this . This anaesthetic-like brain fog . This adoration of petty authorities . This beige , brain dead compliance must stop . We New Zealanders must stand up and say ENOUGH !

    And be ware of the cunning fuckers who use logical fallacies to confuse and disband any direct action . They’ll use sexism , racism , ageism and intellectualism . They’ll use bullying tactics , arrogance , insults and generalisations to confuse and distract . And if that doesn’t work ? They’ll just lie to you . You must remember ; we’re all brothers and sisters in this fight against them . It doesn’t matter whether you’re brown , white or fucking green with pink spots . It doesn’t matter whether you like shagging men , women or beasts . Doctors must stand beside labourers who must stand beside cops and soldiers because we’re all in this together . We’re Kiwis . They’re taking more than money , they’re taking more than our assets . They’re taking our lives from us . Every day we worry about increasing costs of living thus work harder to keep from drowning in debt , they keep ratcheting up those basic costs of living for the profits of off-shore ‘ investors’ . We’re being bled out like a stuck pig . When you get to your time of death will you think back on how hard you worked for them ?

    That must stop . Not tomorrow . Not next election . Now . Today . Immediately .

    The New Years Honours List is as absurd as our election was . It’s all bullshit .

    Where do those fuckers live ? Lets rattle a few cages .

    Finally . Here’s some Farmer wisdom .

    One dog can control three thousand sheep .
    One dog can force those three thousand sheep into yards . One dog can force those three thousand sheep into sheep trucks . One dog can force those three thousand sheep into a freezing works where they’re slaughtered . And as those sheep have their throats cut and are hung up by their heels , all the other sheep just watch on . Waiting their turn .

      • Thank you , you guys . That means a lot to me .

        I mean every word I write .

        Lets find out where they live then go and tell them that we know what they did and that what they did ( and are currently doing as I write ! ) was/is just plain fucked .

        No politician-bastard asked me if I thought selling telecom was a good idea . No politician – bastard asked me if selling our electricity was a good fucking idea . Don’t get me started about the BNZ . Remember the cluster fuck Labour gave National in 1990 ? Those scum bags on both sides have been playing you and I .
        I could go on … I know we could all go on .
        If they had ? Asked ? I’d a said ” Are you fucking kidding me ? N-the fuck-O !
        My fore bears worked their arses off so as we could have a good and fun life without some sociopathic fucker rorting us to death at their pleasure for things freely available to us all ”

        What did they do ? Back in the day ? In the ’80’s ? And even earlier ? Ask that dead ( rhymes with runt ) Holyoak . He’ll tell you , via Ouija board perhaps , the only means of communication for those dead souls whom no one wants .
        They schemed , they colluded , they concurred , they got pissed , they got sexy , they got rich and now we’re fucked and they don’t care . I’m sorry , but it’s that simple . ( I’m sorry about the runt simile also . No disrespect to actual small , weedy people/beasties . x )

        We must now do some dirty work . We must regain steerage of our country or we’ll not have one to steer . And we must make those fuckers pay . They must atone . With our wealth lining their pockets . That’s a crime in any country , at any time .
        And please ? For Gods sake remember . We’re all in this together . Like it or not . Brown , White , Yellow , Pasty , Spotty , Tan , Black , Boy , Girl , Weirdy , Straight , Geek , Bloke , Gay , Kitten Snuggler , Poultry Fancier , Stamp collector , Whipper – Binder , whipper-snapper ( You know who you are xx ) Fetishist , philanderer , fornicator , Free Lance Cow Kisser . Honestly , it doesn’t matter . We must take their shit back to them , fling it and show no fear .
        At the end of this year , I want to see jonky in a job more suited to his level of us having found out what he’s been up to . As the accountant for the Matuara Freezing works . In a small , windowless office that stinks of boiled cow arse holes .

        So , where do they live ? Lets make a start . A list of addresses please ? One step at a time .

        I still like the idea of a the ‘ Bring – A – Brick ‘ picnic .

  2. Giving McCully a gong in “recognition of the whole effort that was made by the ministry, in particular, and those who worked with the ministry to achieve what was an outstanding outcome” is a joke.

    There are people who work selflessly over years making an effort, achieving “outstanding outcomes” against the odds.

    McCully said “outcome”. What he should have said was he’d been paid an “income” for doing his job, no more or no less than many others.

    Another case of the purest of pure political aggrandisements. Maybe the only surprise is that John Key had his nose out of its browning position to think about who McCully was. Having said that, in Key’s history of brown-nosing to the USA this is another little disgusting play in that pathetic drama.

    • I could imagine the guy from Mangere Budgeting Services deserving an award a thousand times more so than McCully.

  3. Probably McCully got this for his work in cashing in Shane Jones. An ugly little expense for the nation but one that hurt Labour at the right time.

    Still these nod nod, wink wink, who you know honours are thoroughly polluted by their government connections especially if you were one who propped them up. And their indulgences are typified with McCullys inclusion this year and so they all are the more meaningless and seemingly corrupt little extravagances anyway.

    • The fact that they made Roger Douglas a Knight and Jenny Shipley a Dame pretty much says all you need to know about the “honours” system.

      It’s basically a way for morally-bankrupt shysters to pat themselves on the back and say, “Well done chaps, we’ve fucked the peasants for another year! Champers all round!”

      It’d be funny if it weren’t so fucking sad.

  4. Country Boy good wrap you gave there, I felt the same.

    Corruption breeds more corruption, so the Key juganaught will keeping chugging along until the real harm begins to hit home to the very idiots that placed these puppets there, and this may be coming to them during 2015.

    “Where do those fuckers live ? Lets rattle a few cages ”

    Because the whole global economy is due for another very nasty correction this year, we will see those puppets flee to safe havens abroad as key has already done.

    So perhaps we can all now keep a register on the blog site of all those puppets who have bought or are buying foreign hideaways now so we can order their movements to be made known to those seeking retribution.

  5. The New Zealand honours system should be taken out of the hands of politicians and vested in an independent body which is above cheap party politics

    There’s no such beast. IMO, it should be entirely up to the public who gets sponsored for an honour and who of those sponsored gets so honoured.

    Oh, and then there’s this:

    A politician in Northern Ireland who reportedly blamed Hurricane Katrina on gay people and said Aids was the result of the “filthy practice of sodomy” has been awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year honours list.

    An incredibly good example of why we should drop the British honours system – again.

  6. Perhaps it is time to simply announce “the alternative New Year’s honours awards”, right here on TDB?

    Martyn can present events and so quite well, so perhaps he can end of this year organise something like this, a bit like a “holiday season event” also, at a new years eve celebration?

    Simply get some more enlightened, independent and good minds together, to form a quorum of sorts, and have them nominate “the New Year’s Alternative Honours” or “the New Year’s Progressive Honours List”. Send the stupid MSM media releases, and celebrate and debate the awards here on the blog site.

    Perhaps this is an idea to address this every year event of the “old boys” and “old girls” of their “networks” celebrating only their “elite own”.

    I could imagine some people from the coal face, fighting poverty, and standing up for the disenfranchised and so, to be awarded instead.

  7. I actually think the most of those that refuse the honours.

    Even those deserving who receive the award must feel hard done by to find such morally despicable business and politicians included such as Gattung and McCully. It makes the whole awards shameful and politically void.

    On education and charter schools just read this gem.

    Exposing the charter school lie: Michelle Rhee, Louis C.K. and the year phony education reform revealed its true colors
    Charter schools promised new education innovations. Instead, they produced scam after new scam

  8. This is a smack in the face for all those people involved in community work who donate houndreds of hours of their time each year to feed & clothe the less fortunate. They not only donate their time, they take money out of their own back pocket to make communities a better place by buying food and other necessary items for the needy. They restore the environment for free that was pillaged from the last selfish company that polluted the stream.

    I think if you’re being paid well for what you do, you should be ruled out of any “honours” like these. I appreciate rich philanthropists giving money to help problems, but they are afforded that luxury through their position. Common folk doing it are putting much more on the line, and deserve the far greater recognition.

    • I think if you’re being paid well for what you do, you should be ruled out of any “honours” like these.

      Yep. If you’re just doing your job, no matter how well, you shouldn’t get any honours.

  9. Agree I think honours should only go to volunteers Key bringing back knighthoods was only done so he could get one himself it has also been a rich source of donations for the nats as some of the recipients ie Graham Douglas,Jenny Gibbs have then made big donations to the Nat party.I did,nt agree with Turia being made a dame either payback
    for a being a lame duck coalition partner.

  10. Seems to be that the whole point of these honours is for politicians to TRY and tell us who we hoi polio should look up to.(Remembering Dame Turia cowering on the floor of Helen Clark’s limo makes this difficult.)
    Our national icon Sir Ed wasn’t thinking of a knighthood, he just wanted to ‘knock the bastard off’ for his own personal satisfaction.
    Even the Queen had to change her German family name, Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, to the more English sounding Windsor when the WW2 came along.
    In my opinion it’s a mistake if any of us ever except that any of these people are better than us.

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