If Radio NZ banned Hooton for conflicts of interest why not Woke Wellington General Neale Jones?


It’s been a weird couple of weeks for Dr Bryce Edwards.

I consider him to be one if the best public academic in politics, his laser like intelligence forces ideological debate in a country too dumb to have those discussions.

His Daily Politics and Democracy Project blogs provide more political insight and oversight than any other political scientist in the game so watching the Woke try and cancel him last week because he mentioned Rachel Stewart is just another reminder of how far the Woke have infected political debate.

So his latest scorching Blog highlighting the Woke pimping for corporations is going to go down as well as Dr Ashly Bloomfield at an AntiVaxxer protest…

On Thursday it was announced that the recently departed Green Party Chief of Staff in Parliament, Tory Whanau, has become a lobbyist. She has joined the corporate lobbying group Capital Government Relations, which is headed up by chief lobbyist and political commentator Neale Jones. This latest shift from someone in a top Government role to corporate gun-for-hire indicates that the “revolving door” of vested interests keeps on spinning under the Labour-Green coalition.

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The CEO of Capital Government Relations, Neale Jones, was once Chief of Staff for former Labour leader Andrew Little. He then worked as Chief of Staff under new leader Jacinda Ardern, but moved to become a lobbyist when she became PM. Jones continues to dine out on his status – his social media publicity photo is a selfie with Jacinda Ardern, and he makes mention of his connections to Ardern in his media commentary and pitches to corporate clients, to indicate his closeness to power and decision-makers.

Of course, this would be illegal in other countries. But New Zealand has barely any rules about lobbying, and absolutely no rules to stop the “revolving door” of Beehive staffers shifting into lucrative corporate jobs to leverage their political connections and information. The likes of Jones and Whanau move freely and frequently between jobs in the Beehive and roles in which they lobby their ex-colleagues on behalf of the wealthy.

…If Radio NZ banned Hooton for conflicts of interest why not Woke Wellington General Neale Jones?

Surprise surprise Woke Wellington General Neale Jones was on Spinoff arguing for his corporate masters and lo and behold it happens…

Leftwing commentator Chris Trotter has been very suspicious of the work that Capital Government Relations does on housing, noting that Neale Jones appears to be putting forward policies that would be beneficial to the big property developers – see his blog post, Democratic socialism from the ground up? Not in Neale’s backyard.

The arguments that Jones was making in his Spinoff article were later realised in the Labour-National agreement on intensifying housing development in the big cities – something that many residents and local authorities had concerns about, but housing developers would supremely profit from.

It can’t help but raise questions about what role lobbyists with corporate clients played in bringing about this bipartisan housing policy. The problem is, who would know? We will always have lobbying, but the key is that it should be transparent and there needs to be a lock put on the revolving door of government advisors and lobbyists. It is extraordinary and undemocratic and would simply not be tolerated in other countries.

…why are the NZ woke so quiet on this?

Was that an advert on Spinff?

How is it that when it is one of their’s all that ‘conflict of interest stuff’ disappears?

When it was Hoots they screamed every week!

Where’s that @onThePaepae guy – isn’t he always going on and on about this?

The double standards applied by the woke when it’s their own are as hypocritical as Fox News!

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  1. Pointing out inconsistencies in Woke views is like shooting fish in the barrel.

    But is this really a Woke issue? Don’t get me wrong, I am anti-woke central, but this looks more like a broadly political and democratic issue. All those mentioned by Bryce Edwards are on the Left, although I don’t doubt those on the Right are immune to this when in power and should equally be pulled up.

    But, as is obvious, the modern Left are often embracing of corporate power and influence – provided it aligns with their views.

    Private businesses mandating vaccination is unproblematic despite representing an enormous imbalance of power with employees and unprecedented intrusion into private health matters of employees.

    Pharmaceutical giants pushing boosters and more, expanding vaccines to children despite almost zero risk, is unproblematic despite considerable profit motives hiding behind this. I note even Astrazeneca has increased the price of their vaccine lately.

    Giant social media corporates operating heavy duty censorship is unproblematic despite their online forums often representing the public domain for discussion.

    Compulsory “diversity and inclusion” ideologically driven programmes forced on employees is unproblematic to the modern progressive Left, despite it representing a massive intrusion into the autonomy of workers to hold their own views and live their private lives.

    Why is this exercise of all this corporate power largely unproblematic to the Modern Left? Because it all largely aligns with modern Left views and sensibilities.

    • “Why is this exercise of all this corporate power largely unproblematic to the Modern Left? ”

      Because the mainstream modern “Left” is pseudo-left, a perversion of left-wing politics. They’re best described as “progressive neoliberals”.

      • I have been getting more and more disgusted with the misappropriation of the term left wing ever since getting trapped here when NZ went into lockdown… Here is an excellent example of what is drying up my interest in NZ politics, and my confidence this country will survive as anything more than someone elses bitch..”ideologically driven programmes forced on employees is unproblematic to the modern progressive Left”.. This demonstrates a lazy minded, and self absorbed ignorance of what socialism actually has at it’s core.. Labelling young and ignorant corporate wannabies as “left” is a sick joke on those who gave their lives for the sake of our collective good.. There would have been no savage led Labour government to create a society that could take it’s place in the first world, and become a model for others to follow when it came to supporting the healthy evolution of society, if the self centered idiocy that passes for politics now had been as dominant in the thirties.. All I can see is regression back to spoilt brattery…

        • indeed allowing the right to equate the term ‘woke’ with ‘left’ is big mistake, just look how ‘socialism’ has been used in the states to describe everything from ‘state capitalism’ to ‘satanic(fill in moral panic here)’.

          The ‘woke’ just like modern feminists are not necessarily or objectively ‘left’ and no – more or better lollies just for people who are like me isn’t ‘left’ or ‘progressive’ it’s just interest group special pleading

  2. Have a clause no employment as a lobbyist for 3 years AFTER leaving your former position as MP/PM/Chief of Staff/Advisor…to limit the rot.

  3. Now that’s interesting… Good work @ MB.
    There needs to be more of this. We need to get uncomfortably up close and personal and see where this leads.
    ( I know where it leads and I know who’s behind it and I know who’s money it is they fuck with. I know of the fortunes lobbying’s built and I know the rats who wade knee deep through the quagmire of lies that surround all that dirty, filthy, lovely money… Aye boys? )

    • But cb in the country dirty, filthy muck will grow good things, diluted first though. Could the same happen in Wellington? Could we prune off the deadwood, diseased and holey growths and get real green shoots? From where they would come, if so? Who should we get alongside that isn’t a tender, glasshouse-raised exotic bloom which cannot stand the frosty, dirty, dynamic winds of the common lands.

  4. Most transparent government ever.

    If New Zealand had an anti corruption watchdog, they would be very busy.

    • Its transparent if the narrative is carefully managed and choreographed, just like Jack Tame’s privileged 2 interviews per year, time slot and duration controlled by the PM.

      Otherwise this government is as transparent as windowless room.

      In fact these guys make John Keys government look like an open book, and I thought they were bad!

    • Yeah Jacinda is maybe the most protected PM of all time. I have never seen a media more carefully curated than what we have now. They all (seem) to know they’re walking on eggshells whenever they are granted an interview with Her Highness. Presumably they’ve all been threatened with the threat of losing media access or something(?). In any case, the MSM is doing an absolutely shit job of holding this government to account.

    • We had one She died 3 years ago.
      Her name was Penny Bright RIP.
      She foresaw most of this.
      I miss her a lot
      We are ALL the worse without her in my view.

  5. Exactly, they have removed competition by wiping out traditional rental properties run by mums and dads, into the categories of emergency housing or dangerous state housing full of high needs people who they seem to be enabling, inflated housing prices to new levels, allowed the destruction of existing housing into McMansions, created infrastructure nightmares for everyone else paying for out of zone, rezoning in cheap areas, often with flooding issues, given massive subsidies to private developers who are building at glacial speeds at enormous prices…. Makes even John Key, look better on housing.

    Meanwhile SFO spends their time investigating all this political donations…. maybe just make a simple law change under urgency and while they are about it, do not allow political roles either MP or staffer to go into private practise within 3 years of exiting politics.

    Too many ex MP’s are now on bank boards, earning big bucks, ripping off the public, so that would solve that too.

  6. … and would simply not be tolerated in other countries … That’s a ridiculous statement has the author not followed recent UK and US political events? Or the outcome of COP26? Lobbyists are everywhere – a global malignancy that has turned most democratic systems into a joke.

  7. Yep, fair is fair.
    Otherwise previously dormant schisms awaken, as discussed previously on TDB…
    Does the left really want to provide blatant ammunition next election.

  8. Come to think of it now that you have mentioned it.
    RNZ is and does reflect behaviour similar and by been called NZ’s ‘Fox Wokester RNZ news does make some sense.
    It does make sense to me. I stopped listening to it a few years ago after the shake up they had.
    The station lost its ‘flavour’and became pedestrian news and views. I noticed to the wokery in their reporting. Less accuracy and more kinda news worthy shite. News influencers and has been reporters who’s gigs on other media platforms that have dried up. I mean ffs, Tau Henare! Wtf! So desperate for a Maori righties National perspective they drag that ole bootlicker up!
    Pregnant ‘People’ was another fuck’n joke they promote on Fox Woke RNZ news too!

    Other than Kim Hill. They’ve got nothing.

  9. Wellington has become a cestpool of selfserving backhanding corrupt bureaucrats. They get rich on money that’s supposed to serve the nation…the taxpayers really. We should all get together and refuse to pay any taxes for say two years until this gets sorted. But it won’t.

  10. On RNZ.

    It’s bloody hard to work out what’s going on with that organisation. They have become obsessed with pure inclusivity and diversity and fanatical adherence to Te Reo but in the trade-off is becoming shit useless at the basics of journalism because that does match with inclusivity, diversity or annunciation purity quota’s.

    Lately the governments handling of Covid 2 should have been like shooting fish in a barrel to good journalism. But RNZ have been MIA!

    Its no wonder RNZ’s ratings have dropped!

    • Covid 2, like shooting fish in a barrel to good journalism? RNZ surely could have found someone whose breakfast in MIQ arrived at 8:10 rather than 8:00. The tragedy, rank cruelty and exposure of diabolical systems would have given them days of busyness and copy.

      And investigating the vaccines? I’m sure if they’d tried really hard they could have assisted vaccination rates to be at 35%. Plenty of fear factor was there to use. Not to forget the 27 year old in Buenos Aires who someone said had an attack outside a vaccination centre and died. That had plenty of potential.

      We’ve had wall to wall covid for 22 months. Can’t think why RNZ wasn’t leading the charge on behalf of the people to highlight that the government’s handling of Covid 2 has been diabolical.

      Maybe the flawed people at RNZ with their limited thinking and ability are like the people in the myriad other roles right through society to do with covid – not up to it.

      Things would have been so much better if I’d been in charge. They wouldn’t have needed me of course if a different government had been elected in 2017. From top to bottom, here there and everywhere, RNZ included, things would’ve been not just better, but perfect,

  11. When John Campbell was hosting Checkpoint on RNZ, it was watchable – even good.

    About a year ago RNZ’s Monday Morning ‘Political Commentators’ show was OK – almost insightful at times.

    Those two shows were really ALL RNZ had to offer.. unfortunately they are now awful. RNZ has been removed from my bookmarks along with the likes of NewsHub and Stuff..

    Speaking of Stuff, many people are finding Fairfax Media isn’t worth the advertising spend these days. These news outlets are propaganda arms of the government and property lobby.

    I think NZ First [correct me if I’m wrong] had policies at one point to defund this corrupted outlets?

    What about how even TheSpinOff gets large amounts of government funding? The only good thing on TheSpinOff is Bernard Hickey’s podcast ‘When The Facts Change’, and that’s sponsored by KiwiBank!

    It’s a cluster.

  12. Whilst I agree with much of this, thinking back to a media person in the Green team in parliament who then moved, sadly, to work as spokesperson for one of the big oil companies in Wellington.

    But also thinking of Chen and Palmer who worked for some pretty revolting companies and the power they wielded because of who they were, this all opened doors for them

    HOWEVER to say that Tory Whanau, had a top government role I think is ridiculous. She worked for the Greens, not Labour. And of course she has a career and if that is the path she wants to take then so be it.

    Some of us just have more moral fibre than that.

    • dogranger
      I think you missed the point of MB article by a country mile. Yeah, maybe Hooton is cringe, but what do think MB is writing about here?

  13. it’s easy to stop corruption ‘only individual NZ citizens’ allowed to lobby MPs, if you team up to oppose
    ‘action x’ each individual must separately lobby individual MPs…this would underline the commitment of individuals to oppose ‘action x’ but would also give the MP personal proof of the size of the feeling, something they notice as re-election guarantees more time at the trough.

    the other is any and all favours/remuneration/inducement/golf holidays/fact finding missions/bursaries etc etc etc be regarded and dealt with as bribery and corruption..any foreign citizen engaged in such activities to be immediately deported

    no need to worry LINOs you’ll never let it happen

    NZ least corrupt country—–YEAH RIGHT

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