Bishop gives English power to crush KO via text message stitch up

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Revealed: The simple texts between Sir Bill English and Chris Bishop that led to Kāinga Ora review

Newshub can reveal Sir Bill English was signed on to head a half-million-dollar review of Kāinga Ora through a couple of simple text messages with the Minister – weeks before he even got Cabinet signoff for the review. 

Kāinga Ora’s response to the scathing report said they were hardly consulted and Newshub’s obtained text messages showing it was the Minister’s preference they had no involvement. 

Billboard duty with Sir Bill and Housing Minister Chris Bishop back in 2017 – six years on, out with the staple guns and in with the calculators. Sir Bill was appointed to undertake a review of Kāinga Ora which, when completed, was highly critical.

“Kāinga Ora is underperforming and not financially viable,” Bishop said.

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Newshub can reveal how the former Prime Minister came to head the half-million-dollar probe.

Here is the text exchange:

Sir Bill: Chris will there be a review of KO.

Bishop: We are going to do an independent review into finances, performance, cost, etc. Commence it asap, hopefully get terms of reference and reviewers sorted before Christmas. 

Sir Bill: I could help with that.

Bishop: Excellent lets do that.

This is a Government of Landlords, by Landlords, in the interest of Landlords and all it took was a couple of text messages to kill off State Housing.

National screw over first time home buyers by scrapping the $60million so they can afford the $2.9billion for rich landlords and they took from front line housing services to pay for Bill English to do his hit job on Kaianga Ora

the Government is unapologetic about its tough choices on housing, including paying Sir Bill English to review Kāinga Ora using $500,000 from the fund that pays for transitional housing – urgent accommodation for those who don’t have anywhere else to go. 

“I think it was done exceptionally well, exceptionally quickly by three experts at a very reasonable cost,” Luxon said of the review. 

But McAnulty said about 80 transitional houses “were sacrificed to pay for the review. It’s… poor”.  

…this report has been overseen by fanatcal Catholic fundamentalist and former National Party leader Bill English, who has championed social investment which is a right wing ideological experiment using big data to undermine universalism to fund just the cases that cost the State the most.

ImpactLab is a social investment company that Bill English has founded, is run by his daughter and just had New National MP Emma Chatterton leave them to join the Government.

How the living Christ Bill English can get away with reviewing Kaianga Ora using money for transitional housing, pronounce a massive debt problem and offer his company up as the solution is all a tad beyond me.

Bishop announces no mass sell off of state house, yet next day Luxon refuses to define what ‘mass’ is.

Bishop has a track record of saying one thing and then being unable to back it up.

He claimed a renters rights group loved his plan to allow Landlords to throw you out onto the street but then refused to give anyone the name of that organisation.

He claimed he understood the pain of renters because he was a renter, when asked if he was renting from family, he said no, only for it to turn out he was renting it from his in-laws and he didn’t consider them technically ‘family’.

He has this habit of lying to deflect criticism even when the lies can be easily discovered.

By attacking Kianga Ora, he is manufacturing a housing crisis for the benefit of landlords!

National don’t have $60m for first time home buyers but they do have $2.9b for landlords!

This is what we are now, this is who we is.

We are witnessing a class war but don’t have the political vocabulary to describe it in a country blinded by its egalitarian pretensions.

 

 

27 COMMENTS

  1. Wow, so Bill English can remember this brief text message exchange. I seem to recall he couldn’t remember participating in about 400 of them a few years back. Maybe it’s Christopher’s surname that keeps it front of mind.

    From lying to being just vile claiming an allowance for living in his own home, Bill must have a dedicated confessional booth to keep the lightning bolts away.

    • Yes, everybody seems quite concerned about the fact that it was Bill English doing it, but less concerned that they paid him half $1 million for fuck all work. If the government arranged it so that everyone was paid like this, I’d probably vote National – or even act.

      • I agree I wouldn’t be surprised if all this Kaianga Ora work was actually done when these fools were in opposition. Don’t the voting public of Aotearoa understand that they are actually being taken for fools. All governments suffer from cronyism however this lot is taking it to a new height in also pretending that their cronies are also independent

      • I agree I wouldn’t be surprised if all this Kaianga Ora work was actually done when these fools were in opposition. Don’t the voting public of Aotearoa understand that they are actually being taken for fools. All governments suffer from cronyism however this lot is taking it to a new height in also pretending that their cronies are also independent

        • Not My Government Paula Bennett heading Pharmac was possibly another part of their hidden pre-election agendas too.

          • Either that Pip or she’s returned to her old ways of the 80’s where she found drug and party life alongside abusing the DPB easily accessible.

            • I thought it more Seymour being a bully boy putting Paula there, Seymour not being a very nice person and not averse to chills running down the spines of ill and ailing others.

  2. From Gerard Otto;
    An Excellent response.
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    The perception of corruption screams in our faces
    Perhaps it is a matter of coincidence that parliamentary Hansard stops at oral question number 7 this morning – and does not show the public question 8 – an exchange between Kieran McAnulty and Chris Bishop yesterday afternoon – where Kieran asked Chris Bishop if he stood by his statement that the review into Kāinga Or was thorough?
    The hansard record would be handy for anyone wanting to review what was said – especially in light of NewsHub’s revelations last night that reported the txts exchanged between Chris Bishop and Sir Bill English when “jacking up” the crony half a billion dollar review – two weeks before Cabinet had agreed to it.
    Fortunately I had a personal recording so I was able to match up what Bishop was saying in parliament with the txt exchange and what was reported by NewsHub.
    Here is the txt exchange between Bishop and English on 29 November 2023:
    “Sir Bill: Chris will there be a review of KO.
    Bishop: We are going to do an independent review into finances, performance, cost, etc. Commence it asap, hopefully get terms of reference and reviewers sorted before Christmas.
    Sir Bill: I could help with that.
    Bishop: Excellent lets do that.”
    – END OF TXT EXCHANGE.
    Then NewsHub reported that :
    “A day after Bishop gave the green light, Sir Bill issued some terms of his own.
    “I will help if it’s a short sharp review. No public submissions or field trips,” he texted.
    Bishop agreed saying: “Definitely not. Three people. You and two others… No involvement from KO. Independent.”
    To reiterate, the Housing Minister said there would be no involvement of Kāinga Ora in the review of Kāinga Ora. ”
    In Kieran’s fourth supplementary question to Chris Bishop in parliament yesterday – Kieran asked Bishop if he had advised Sir Bill English not to involve Kāinga Ora in the review?
    Kieran
    Did he advise Sir Bill English not to involve Kāinga Ora in the review?
    Bishop
    Ah No. And they were involved in the review. He met with Kāinga Ora and they were involved in the review, alongside community housing providers, developers, builders, across a range of organisations in the social sector.
    Bishop is arguing that what he meant by “no involvement of KO” was that he did not want Kāinga Ora investigating themselves – which is why the next word in the text was “Independent”.
    Whatever Bishop may have meant – the TXT Bishop sent to Sir Bill specifically sated “No involvement from KO” and the question was – did he advise Sir Bill English not to involve Kāinga Ora in the review?
    Bishop’s answer yesterday did not match what he told the press subsequently about his intentions so his story changed from no – to what I meant was..
    I would not be surprised if Bishop makes a correction in parliament today before Oral Questions commence.
    The perception that he is lying screams at the public and answering no – may have mislead the House.
    Failure to correct the record in a timely way will mean – Bishop could face the Privileges Committee – in the exact same way Jan Tinetti was put on trial in lead news stories in 2023 – never mind what she meant or intended or was advised.
    It’s also interesting to note that as soon as Bishop had delivered this incorrect answer to Kieran’s fourth supplementary – Willis was on her feet trying to insert her spin into the next question.
    We have noted in the past how Willis tries to break the flow and get the last word in this way and yesterday after a couple of unsuccessful attempts – she did get the last word – smearing Kāinga Ora with various anecdotal dissatisfactions from unnamed stakeholders who had bad experiences with Kāinga Ora.
    It will be interesting to watch Kieran take up the sword again today – and remember – Kāinga Ora have three pages of examples where Sir Bill’s report was factually incorrect.
    What a stitch up job by Bishop and Sir Bill who pocketed the equivalent of 80 transitional housing places from the cosy wee job. A job that was sold dishonestly shrouded in half truths – all about debt and nothing about asset value by Luxon and Bishop – the gall of these two !!!
    On top of Bishop’s shifting answers G News readers will be putting together the way Mike King actively helped Winston to get elected and was then rewarded with $24 Million in thanks for a job well done.
    That crony deal meant no other health providers got a look in – there were no procurement processes and then Mike King slags off Labour after it was highlighted that – his Chair had donated $27,000 to National over the past two elections.
    Finally good old Todd Stephenson selling off shares because there could be a perception of a conflict of interest – when we all know – an investigation into the way he had a hand in the writing of the letter of expectation to Pharmac – was looming – so quick step – the matters were flushed down the toilet.
    It’s only a matter of timing and knowing the game is up, but the conflict is still essentially there – while Andrea Vance says nothing here reaches the levels of Scandal of Labour Ministers four months before an election. Righto !!!
    This morning Simon Wilson is digging into who the donors to David MacLeod were – and how others within National must have known that so many potential “fast Track Consenters” with fossil fuel and mining interests were giving large sums here.
    It’s dodgy upon dodgy upon shady upon shady.
    And they deny all of it and carry on.
    Taking the public for fools – and they make no apology for that.
    The perception of corruption screams in our faces
    Morena

    • Thanks for the excellent posts and information Geoff ….

      Posts like yours will have Martyn being hacked again :0

  3. Brilliant piece by Simon wilson on this Govts corruption and conflicts of interest.

    NATIONAL MP DAVID MacLEOD AND A PARLIAMENT FULL OF CONFLICTS OF INTEREST
    Written by SIMON WILSON
    28TH May, 2024.
    National MP for New Plymouth David MacLeod, flanked by colleagues Tama Potaka and Dana Kirkpatrick, explaining himself to media after it was discovered he had not declared most of his campaign donations. Photo / Mark Mitchell
    You couldn’t make it up. The Government has a bill that undermines democratic processes. The MP in charge of hearings on the bill received far more donations for his election campaign than any other candidate and failed to declare 85 percent of them.
    Some of the undeclared money came from interests who will probably benefit if the bill becomes law.
    The MP is National’s David MacLeod, from New Plymouth, and he has now been stood down.
    But what was he even doing in the job in the first place?
    Isn’t his conflict of interest obvious?
    MacLeod is new to Parliament but was put straight into the chair of the Environment Select Committee, which is considering the Fast-track Approvals Bill.
    The bill will allow the ministers of Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development to approve projects, even if they have been ruled out by the courts and experts have advised against them.
    MacLeod won the New Plymouth candidacy on October 31, 2022. Over the two months that followed, he received 18 donations worth $168,335, all of which he failed to declare.
    In his 2023 declaration he also failed to include another $10,000 donation.
    All up, MacLeod received $207,662 for his campaign, including seven big donations from Aucklanders. The recipient of the next-highest amount was National’s unsuccessful Manurewa candidate, Siva Kilari, who raised $110,483.
    Even NZ First’s Shane Jones, who sometimes seems like a magnet for political donations, pulled in “only” $98,549.
    MacLeod says it was an honest mistake: he thought his party had declared the money on his behalf. I believe him. It’s not credible, to my mind, that he would have deliberately tried to hide those donations.
    But that hardly lets him off the hook, because he should have known better. What remains is a sense that he didn’t think it was important to know the rules.
    But there are other questions. How was he able to raise so much money? What did he do with it? MacLeod’s declared election spend was only $22,826.
    The discrepancy exists because, while candidates are allowed to spend no more than $30,600, that doesn’t apply until three months before election day. Parties and candidates are free to spend what they like before that.
    It’s an absurd rule, and those who can take full advantage. As well as the money donated to MacLeod and other individual candidates, National received a record $10.4 million in campaign donations last year. That followed the $5m it raised in 2022: also a record, for a non-election year.
    The result was plain to see: there was a blitz of billboards up and down state highways and throughout many electorates, and the spend carried over to social media, print ads and a torrent of radio advertising.
    (Among the other parties, Labour raised $4.8m in 2023, Act $4.3m, the Greens $3.3m and NZ First $1.8m.)
    There are many problems with the Fast-track Approvals Bill, not least that it will enable bad decision-making and lead to environmental harm.
    Its purpose, we’re told, is to free big infrastructure development from bureaucratic traps that delay progress. But if the Government thinks planning rules are too restrictive – too weighted to environmental concerns – the proper democratic response is for it to change the law.
    Instead, it’s adopted an approach that means, at least for its own decisions, that environmental law won’t matter.
    In my opinion, the worst thing about this is that the unchecked power the bill gives to three ministers will open the door to corruption.
    You might think the Government would be going out of its way to avoid that charge.
    In one sense, it has done that with MacLeod. He was dobbed in by his own party, when it discovered the mistake.
    Prime Minister Christopher Luxon then moved swiftly to demote him.
    But MacLeod has been the recipient of considerable largesse from members of the mining, property and investment worlds, all of which stand to benefit when the Fast-track Approvals Bill becomes law.
    It’s not credible that senior members of the Government were unaware of either the scale or the source of his financial backing – right from the get-go.
    Again, why was he allowed to chair that committee?
    MacLeod’s sin, once revealed, was that he’d breached the disclosure rules. It wasn’t that he had an obvious conflict of interest.
    Why didn’t that matter?
    Is it because too many politicians think that conflict of interest actually doesn’t matter?
    When Auckland Council considered whether to sell its remaining shares on Auckland International Airport this month, three councillors declared that they or their spouses held shares in the airport company.
    They also told the council they had taken legal advice, which assured them they did not have a conflict of interest and they would be free to vote. So they did.
    I’m not contesting the advice, which I assume reflects the law. But if holding shares in a company you’re going to vote on is not a breach of the rules, then the rules should be changed.
    When the Government announced it would repeal Labour’s smoke-free law changes, many questions were asked about links between the tobacco industry and Government ministers.
    As for Shane Jones, he’s the minister for regional development, fishing and resources (aka mining), despite his party receiving financial support from individuals and/or corporate interests in all three sectors.
    It looks to me like he could be up to his neck in conflicts of interest, but the rules say he’s not.
    I Am Hope, the Gumboot Fridays charity, has just received a $24m contract for health services, although there’s little independent analysis the charity does a good job. Its chair donated $27,000 to the National Party over two elections.
    Act MP Todd Stephenson has a “special responsibility” for advising Pharmac’s minister, Act leader David Seymour, on Pharmac and the funding of medicines.
    As my colleague David Fisher reported last week, Stephenson has spent 17 years in the pharmaceutical industry, has investments in three drug companies and retains close links to the sector.
    It looks for all the world like he’s their guy on the inside.
    That may or may not be true, but for the democratic process to function properly, what it looks like matters.
    Seymour says Stephenson “is fully compliant with the Cabinet Manual and we are comfortable that there is no conflict of interest”.
    But if this isn’t a breach of the Cabinet Manual, it should be.
    Or is it just that politicians will always have expertise in one field or another, so inevitably they will have links to some of the people they get to make decisions about?
    That really doesn’t fly. For starters, I believe, there’s a difference between having a background in an industry or sector group, and being compromised by receiving funding from it.
    On top of that, where the appearance of partisanship exists, it’s vital to have transparent and credible processes.
    Every decent Minister for the Arts, for example, is a proud advocate for the sector.
    But nobody thinks the decisions about which performers, writers, movies and arts groups get funded should be made by the minister.
    And what about the biggest conflict of all? Successive parliaments have consistently voted for a tax system that favours property investment.
    This makes it ridiculously hard for people to buy their first home and provides tax-free rewards for people who are already well-off.
    It’s also financially incompetent.
    The New Zealand economy is distorted so badly, 91 per cent of our national assets are tied up in housing. That’s a direct cause of our having one of the lowest levels of productivity in the Western World.
    But MPs keep voting for this. And according to the Register of Pecuniary Interests released last week, about half of them own investment properties. Quite a few have several.
    The Prime Minister has two “residential properties” in Auckland and another one in Wellington, as well as four rental properties. Act MP Simon Court has what he calls four “family homes”, in Auckland, Wellington and Rotorua.
    National’s Carlos Cheung owns five rentals and two property management businesses. Todd Stephenson has an interest in six rental properties. And on it goes.
    Why don’t investment property owners recuse themselves on all votes to do with tax? How is it not a conflict of interest when every vote related to tax is, in effect, a decision not to introduce a capital gains tax?
    In politics, a conflict of interest is where you’re in a position to decide something for the greater good, but your personal interests get in the way, or could be seen to get in the way.
    Appearances matter. It should not be hard for politicians to understand this

  4. Bill English would benefit from getting e.g. Nicky Hager to teach him how to produce a factual report with relevant footnotes, tables and references in lieu of pages of opinion. That English’s government helped bring about the current housing crisis may be neither here nor there, but it does add another level of murkiness having him heading a fix, such as it is. It matters nought if English is perceived as valuing money over reputation, but there are honest-living decent people who need a place to call home, and whether they like it or not, politicians have a duty of care towards all who they purport to represent.

    • And all of the above is evidence to not only show how utterly incompetent Bob tf is at reading people but how he promotes corruption.
      Wisdom chased Bob tf yet somehow he always manged to escape.

      • He doesn’t matter. Just another disgruntled immigrant hoping to be a big fish in a small pond after failing back in the Dulwich whence he fled. He could return, help address the street sleepers of the Uk.

  5. Not to, or not two, worry. This Minister of Finance, the giver of giving relief, to those hard working Kiwi!s, are we all Kiwi!s, or just a spread sheet of monies, giving hope, as the Minister, gives relief, to those not Kiwi!s not hard working, off shore Landlords and exploitive investors, who for so long, should, inside and out shore, been taxed financial gain by all our Governments.
    See today Fontera, quarter profit result after tax, $200, mil, on our billion!s invest. and larger than our last quarter result.
    Farmer Brown, how our care and hearts go to when, your next quarter result, as our true productive workers, dare say, strike tomorrow. Or as the old joke goes. Person saying to a Territorial Soldier, why do you do this, to protect our community, mind ye! only hope they have the revolution, in the weekend as i have to work through the week, and being a hard working Kiwi, the past tax relief, i might be joining those others.

  6. Bill English created the social housing problem. This new govt only has the same old stupidity of the freemarket. The Right has that stupidity and Labour, the stupidity of not over-turning it. Laughter as I choke to death.

    • sumsuch English couldn’t see the truth staring him in the face with the “ Hit&Run” exposee of what we did in Afghanistan. I don’t know what his reading level is, but it wasn’t the first time he’s erred big time. This should have precluded him from being chosen him for such an important issue, although it looks as if he chose himself. Bishop would have done better consulting with a more reputable source like the Salvation Army, or one of the child poverty groups, not a dodgy ex-politician, and if he doesn’t know this, then he should.

      It’s no laughing matter though, not for families desperately needing stability in their lives, and it’s they who matter, not venal failing politicians.

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