GUEST BLOG: Ross Meurant – CORRUPTION

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Only happens in Russia – so I am often told by knowledgeable Kiwis.

Of course, there is no corruption in New Zealand – so I am often told by knowledgeable Kiwis.

That said however, I bin thinkin.

What is corruption?

Take the movie about the capture of the Enigma machine – WW2 movie.

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In this movie America claim they were the heroes who captured the German code machine.  Trouble is; they weren’t even in the war at the time the British achieved this feat which had a major impact on the war.

But that’s ok.  Re-writing history is not corruption these days.

Except in this case, it really pissed-off the Poms to the extend Tony Blair (also accused of war crimes and unlawful invasion of Iraq) had to rebuke America for insulting British servicemen. 

PS America was not defeated in Vietnam.  They simply lost count of the civilians they’d carpet bombed, so they went home🙄

War Crimes?  Is that corruption?  Looks like it is in Aussie:

“The Inspector General of the Australian Defence Force (IGADF) has recommended 19 current and former personnel be prosecuted for war crimes, and compensation be paid to Afghan victims and families.”

On the other side of the Tasman, doing questionable deeds in Afghanistan is still regarded as, “spreading democracy”. 

Oops!  Better check that with Nic Hagar. 

If corruption is not falsifying history, then corruption must be taking money to get an outcome which defeats due process?

Oh! You mean cops taking a cash payment or free dinners at a restaurant, to turn a blind eye to breaches of the liquor act at one end of the scale and at the other, ignoring cash clients through the bar, who don’t actually come for dinner?

Wharrt? Who would be silly enough to pay but not turn up for a feed?

Well, it’s sort of like where someone buys a bar or whatever, through which they can launder cash which accumulates as a result of selling dope or some other racket.

Of course, there are far more commercially acceptable forms of corruption. 

Take for example a gift to a well-placed bureaucrat, to issue immigration status or turn a blind eye to blatant abuse of the rules. A few years back, 34 immigration staff were under investigation for “misconduct”.

AND “Our Immigration system is broken”:

Oh dear. And this happens in New Zilnd?

If you really want to go after big rewards for naughty boys and girls; try contracts awarded by local body authorities.

For example – hypothetical of course. A property developer pays a conveniently placed bureaucrat an agreed sum to allocate the rights, to fast track develop a block of land which would otherwise likely be declined or would only be approved with horrendous environmental obligations – and costs to Council.

Another example might be to award a contract to a footpath or roadworks provider over better qualified contractors or with a lower tender price. Why? Because the successful contractor agrees to pay well placed bureaucrats, rewards!

This sort of thing is rampant abroad, so I am often told by knowledgeable Kiwis.

Take the recent Leighton case.  An Aussie company – senior executives arrested for massive amounts of bribery payments for contracts spread across the Middle East.

But this wouldn’t happen in NZ, insist many knowledgeable Kiwis.

Oops! Rodney District Council. 

Two senior management blokes found guilty of corruption and bribery offences relating to more than $1 million of bribes which took place between 2005 and 2013 at Rodney District Council and Auckland Transport.

PS  Interestingly, when I was a Rodney District Councillor and was blamed for imploding that Council – resulting in Sandra Lee terminating elected councillors and imposing a fill-in till the next election; the spark that ignited the final melt down was me making enquiries inquiries about In House corruption (I was supported by Councillor Graeme Jurkovich who together with me identified preferential behaviour toward specified developers by specific Council employees). 

Oh, by the way. That Leighton company?

This is the same Leighton parent which was a water service provider in Auckland a decade or so ago. Somehow Kiwi firms missed out?

 

Two final points.

I have a profile for demanding rule of law over rule of police with particular focus on killings by police.

AND

This.

In my view, avoiding scrutiny by a proper Court to determine culpability in the killing of a human being, is tantamount to, “Back Room Old Boys Justice” – which brings us back to Nic Hagar viz the current SAS outcome in Australia.    

But I say now unequivocally, with the odd exception, in my 21 years’ experience as a cop, NZ police don’t take backhanders to turn a blind eye.

In my 21 year on the police I encountered only two cases:

  • As a detective on fraud in the car industry. When I arrested a perpetrator, I was transferred off fraud squad to drug squad.
  • When I was a drug squad detective, I became aware of a penchant of some associates, to encourage sex as a get free card for minor raps.

If you found this post boring, try reading; OUT OF THE INFERNO

It’s only a novel but as Chris Trotter comments on the back cover:

“In Out of the Inferno, Meurant proves there’s only one way to tell the unvarnished truth about the country he loves – write fiction.”

Available via Wheelers on line or here

Oh!

To make your day.   Yes, I have been exposed to corruption.   

Not the Scampi Affair false allegations of political donations – finally put to rest when TVNZ and Herald capitulated in defamation proceedings.

But, read this link: WARLORDS – para 16 refers.

 

 

Ross Meurant, graduate in politics both at university and as Member of Parliament; formerly police inspector in charge of Auckland police spies; currently Honorary consul for an African state; Trustee and CEO of Russian owned commercial assets in NZ and has international business interests.

 

12 COMMENTS

  1. Hey Ross, everything you say is right but doesn’t corruption go deeper than just specific examples? Like what happened to you when you were transferred off the fraud squad. Is corruption more to do with what does on the shadows of the organisation or even the system which the organisation is part of?

    What about the example you previously gave about the commissioner of Police Walton who put pressure on you to give false evidence in the court hearing looking into the Arthur Allan Thomas murder conviction? I think it was about wanting you to say you had not searched an area of ground, where the planted cartridge case was found, properly enough. In other words, the way I understand it, the Police wanted you to say you had mucked up to cover the planting of the cartridge case. The corruption was not only planting the cartridge case but also Walton’s direction to you – direction of an organisation that condoned the planting of the cartridge case, which I presume was some sort of crime. That to me is the corruption we never get to hear about but which needs to be exposed and stamped out. It probably won’t be though because corruption, like the chameleon, changes its colours to fit its environment.

    • Morning Youngsuffrajet

      In my blog, the second link “this” under “Two Final Points “; is the 8,000 word North & South article in which I address with specificity, the issues you raise.

      Cheers

      • Thank you Ross – I have just skim read the link under “this”. I will read it more fully later but yes, you are right. The sub-heading which reads – “Regrettably this practice of placing the preservation of the police above the preservation of the rule of law has been condoned by successive governments” – answers my question. You are so on to it. I guess that applies to other government organisations too.

        I showed your blog to the old retired detective who lives close-by to me and he nodded sagely and said – “Mr Meurant is quite right my dear”. That was all he said, which to me was very powerful.

  2. You need to add buying list MP seats for $100k party donations and free trips to China for NZ mayors who then give free water and cheap land consents.

    Forget to mention how prime land and the CAB building in the CBD was sold for $3million without a public tender and apparently Auckland Council is so cash strapped but somehow has multiple premises everywhere paying a fortune????

  3. Years and years ago I read the book ” MR Nice” by howard marks who was once the worlds largest Cannabis and Hash smugglers. https://youtu.be/2SyhBRnIV7g

    In his book he detailed how he used multiple identity’s and false passports to travel ,,, the ‘Mr Nice ‘ book title was one his false identity’s .

    One bit of info which stuck in my mind was that New Zealand citizenship could be purchased from corrupt immigration officials based in Hong Kong for $10,000 or so ,,, this was talking place many decades ago.

    On a more modern note regarding fraud and corruption ,,, NZ seems to be on the side of some of the worst criminals and thieves in the world ,,, our nice kind PM seems cut from the same cloth as John Key
    NZ’s Jacinta Ardern can show real kindness by helping Malaysia recover stolen 1MDB money laundered via New Zealand – http://realpolitikasia.blogspot.com/2019/02/nzs-jacinta-ardern-can-show-real.html

    How did New Zealand’s Shewan inquiry miss the Low family’s 1MDB theft? – https://realpolitikasia.wordpress.com/2016/12/24/how-did-new-zealands-shewan-inquiry-miss-the-low-familys-1mdb-theft/
    John Shewan — “He advised Westpac Bank in a dispute with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) over the taxation of specialised funding structures. The bank, along with three other major Australian-owned banks, settled the cased by paying IRD $2.2BILLION.”

    Currently he is teaching ‘creative accounting’, which is called theft if you try it as a poor person or beneficiary ,,, at Victoria university.

    I’ll end with Rimbunan Hijau ,, A name which should stand for fraud, theft and crime in multiple languages ,,, Is the second largest private land owner in NZ
    https://www.sarawakreport.org/2019/06/havoc-and-destruction-sarawaks-logging-industry-is-globally-everybodys-loss/

    The Untouchables: Rimbunan HiJau’s World of Forest Crime and Political Patronage – https://www.greenpeace.org/usa/research/the-untouchables-rimbunan-hij/

  4. Aye Ross, you just get better and better with age. You are a little like a retired Samurai who has seen the futility of blind loyalty to an evil superior in conducting slaughter on his behalf. A little too heady at this hour @ 02.37,… so I will leave you with this,… even though I must say, I have a peculiar respect for Sir Rob Muldoon, last of our Keynesian Prime ministers and his recognition of the KIWI battler…

    Blam Blam Blam – No Depression in New Zealand (1981)
    https://youtu.be/2HVogejKx_c?t=17

  5. Before the government started printing money post Covid pushing up property, money laundering in particular though Sky City was pushing the property prices up by laundering drugs and other money through NZ property in particular. Not even considered a crime!

    Queen St money remitter discharged after laundering Polish and Russian crime syndicate’s cash
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12260326

    (OZ did an enquiry and fined the banks, NZ did nothing and trust the same banks prosecuted in OZ!)
    BNZ struggled to abide by anti-money laundering laws
    “But the leaked documents show that BNZ was confident it would not be pinged by New Zealand authorities and rated the risk of fines as “minor”, though it worried about the public finding out, and its reputation being damaged.”
    https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/114664719/bnz-struggled-to-abide-by-antimoney-laundering-laws

    They only bothered to arrest Bill Liu after hundreds of millions of gambling through Skycity, because he invested in Dotcom not the hundreds of millions in gambling!
    https://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/controversial-citizen-william-yan-aka-bill-liu-admits-money-laundering-of-significant-sums/ZTXEQ3DSHDBZHDLTEZSNUEBER4/

  6. Could Mr Meurant have investigated what was behind his described drug squad transfer, since he was a police officer trained to investigate? Or would he have been met by a wall of silence. Is it acceptable for police to tolerate this kind of practice? If Mr Meurant had gone to the top with his concerns, presumably nothing would have happened, and he would have just put a black mark by his name. Transferring police to possibly hobble investigations that senior police don’t want, for reasons that can never be found out, is a practice that must still be continuing, if it works. And there is nothing to stop it continuing, and those at the top must tolerate it, or must certainly know of it, as they would have experienced it as they rose up through the ranks. If there’s nothing to hide, then senior police who are against any particular investigation, should be able to contact the investigators directly, to state their reasons, if genuine. But transferring persons elsewhere, is sus.

    Do the police need their own police. Just how bad would this practice have to be, before it was considered corrupt enough to do something about? To take an extreme example, what if there was some shooting atrocity by a supremacist, and police making progress in identifying the suspect were suddenly transferred elsewhere, after finding links between the suspect and those in their higher ranks. Would such transfers break any regulations, or laws, or oaths, and is anyone responsible for stopping such bad practices, and if those responsible already condone it, then what? If the transferred police complained to their seniors, then they would be complaining to the very people behind the practice, so what to do? What do police in other countries do. What is the awareness of the Minister, or the position of the Commissioner, and has any previous Commissioner ever tried to address it, or is it simply tolerated because it’s always been tolerated?

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