Saturday, October 17, 2015

Judith Collins, bringing third-world politics to NZ one dodgy deal at a time

I'd like to say I was shocked by this story, but I'm actually completely unsurprised by it.

Why has Judith Collins been bragging so much about her new car? 
Well, she's been crowned brand ambassador for Peugeot, DS and Citroen at an Auckland car dealership. 
The former justice minister has been posting promotional updates on social media about driving around in her flash new car. 
The partnership, which is free of charge, is for six months. In that time, she gets to drive around with petrol costs paid for, in exchange for raising the profile of Southern Autos Manukau.

It's not illegal, just like her using her role as a cabinet minister to promote her husband's business in China wasn't illegal.  In fact, in the Third World it's entirely normal, everyday, expected practice for politicians to indulge themselves in influence-peddling - that's one of the main perqs of the job there. It just pains me to see it being practiced so blatantly here by an MP.  It ought to pain the National Party as well, but apparently doesn't.


The Veteran said...

PM ... hmmmmmmmm. That's one take on it. Here's another. Collins is not a Minister, she's an ordinary MP.

Yep, she gets to ride round in a car for free. Were it her own car she would get to claim a mileage allowance as set out in clause 14 of the Speaker's Directions on travel services for MPs. You also 'conveniently' forget to mention that for every vehicle sold where the purchaser mentions her promo the franchise makes a payment to the Papakura Crimewatch Patrol.

So, a win for the taxpayer and a win for a safer Papakura by an MP prepared to think outside the square.

Any real difference between that and say Damien O'Connor being a Director of Tourism Partners Ltd and Mahana Berries Ltd? ... yes there is and who benefits here?

pdm said...

Actually PM it is past time that she was back in Cabinet and therefore using a Ministerial Car.

The National front bench is the poorer for her continued absence.

Psycho Milt said...

The fact that this is influence-peddling isn't opinion. Using your position of influence to endorse a friend's products in exchange for free use of the products is the very definition of influence-peddling.

Any real difference between that and say Damien O'Connor being a Director of Tourism Partners Ltd and Mahana Berries Ltd? ... yes there is and who benefits here?

There is indeed a difference, unless I've missed the bit where Damien O'Connor uses his position as an MP to promote those businesses. As to who benefits, well, Southern Autos Manukau chief executive Matthew Newman, who's "known Collins for years," is certainly benefiting from it. Whether Collins benefits financially from it depends on whether or not family members are driving her nominated "work" car - without knowing that, we don't know whether she's benefiting from it financially or not. It really doesn't matter - influence-peddling is as much about generating a sense of obligation as anything else.

The Veteran said...

C'mon PM ... don't be precious. An MP who is a Director of a Company promotes that Company by the very use of his/her name to his/her ultimate benefit.

Faux outrage and CDS to the fore.

Anonymous said...

All it shows is that she is unfit through lack of foresight to hold office. It speaks volumes about her character that she would entertain such an idea that may compromise her in the future.

It's pointless speculating about what legislation may appear in parliament in the future but it's greedy and unnecessary little acts like this that come back to haunt you. Surely to god we can expect dignity from our elected representatives.

It surprises me that Veteran, a man who holds great store in personal accountability and dignity should back her on this, or am I missing something?

Perhaps we may hear her do a Key and say No, I have never taken a Vag pic.
Utterly underwhelmed I is.

Lord Egbut Nobacon

The Veteran said...

Lord EN ... explain to me if you will why it's ok for an MP to be a director of a publicly listed Company trading on his/her name for a profit and receiving director's fees in cash or kind and why it's not ok for Collin's to do what she did saving taxpayer money and producing a community dividend.

Tell me too what's the difference between this and an MP receiving corporate hospitality to a name event.

Total beat-up and faux outrage to boot.

Psycho Milt said...

I'm happy to declare both Collins and O'Connor influence-peddlers who shouldn't be let anywhere near the reigns of government. Collins has achieved a new low in touting for a car dealer, though. When Hunter S. Thompson reported on Richard Nixon's victory by declaring "Another cheapjack hustler enters the White House," its sting came from the fact that it was an apt description, not just sour grapes. Collins seems keen to garner similar aphorisms.

Anonymous said...

Now what if she does a volte face and tries for the Mayoralty. A big favour owed to a large motor company with substantial landholding and expansion plans. Hang on, here comes the BMW rep, bloody hell he's giving the other candidate a BMW loan of course.

There is no justification for any political appointee accepting "gifts" as there are no free lunches. I hope she declares this little stipend on her tax return.

Shelldrake said...

What about all of the cute red cars with MP's names emblazoned all over them? What's the deal there?

The Veteran said...

Anon 1.14 ... Collins is not a political appointee and MPs can and do accept 'hospitality' of all shapes and sizes as long as they declare it on the Register of Pecuniary Interests so its
out in the open.

Please authenticate your statement that Collins has received a stipend from the dealership (assuming you understand what a stipend is).

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Vet, you must get tired of forever correcting thsse sufferers of juvenile dementia.

Ghost Of Greenwood said...

What Collins has done may indeed be "within the confines of the rules" but once again she displays a clear lack of judgement. If she was smart, she would realize that this Southern Auto's arrangement will get jumped on by the media, who for the most part despise her. It serves as a further example that the woman has learned nothing, hence I cannot see Mr Slippery inviting her back into the Ministerial fold anytime soon.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Ghost, are you seriously suggesting any MP's activities should be governed by the level of 'despise' in which he or she is held by a few arseholes in the media?

Dr Goebbels has taught you well.