rova | Today FM

The best of Tova.

read less


Something is very rotten at the Beehive
Mar 29 2023
Something is very rotten at the Beehive
Opinion: Something is rotten in the state of beehive. First up, great that the Prime Minister has asked the cabinet office to review all of Stuart Nash’s communications with his cash donors but beyond appalling that the PM is using that as a smokescreen to hide behind and avoid accountability now. "The advice I’ve had from the cabinet office is that will take two months and I will await the outcome of that review before making any further decisions or comment on it," Hipkins said in Parliament. And zero assurances all communications will be reviewed - nor an explanation of this very questionable erasing of possible evidence… "Has he asked Stuart Nash why his Facebook account appears to have been deleted last night?" Luxon asked. Hipkins responded in a single word... "No."  A sound of 'ohhhhh' echoed out following the PM's response. Forestry, fishing, tourism - Nash has been minister of industries with very powerful lobbies. And he takes cash from them. And then what?  "I will await the outcome of that review before making any further comment on the matter," said Hipkins. And here’s where the rot really starts to stink. When was the Prime Minister’s office first made aware of the email which saw Nash sacked - the one where he divulged confidential cabinet information to cash donors with a vested interest in the information?  "I did ask this morning... ah last night for review to identify whether the office had in any way been aware of that communication prior to that," said Hipkins. "My understanding is that in 2021, Stuart Nash's then ministerial office consulted the office of the then Prime Minister, on an Offical Information Act (OIA) request release, where that email had been identified as part of that release and was identified as being outside the scope of the review… "Neither the Prime Minister of the time, nor the PM's chief of staff of the time was made aware of that." "Disgrace!" "Boo!" "Cover-up!" can be heard in outbursts from the opposition. Nicola Willis shouting out in the background there seems right. This does have the hallmarks of a cover-up.  Jacinda Ardern’s Office knew - it looks like they colluded with Nash’s office to keep that offending email - that smoking gun - a secret from the public.  And what, no one told the former PM or her chief of staff? No one alerted this new Prime Minister even after he put Nash on his third and final warning?  And then the Prime Minister - without a hint of irony - declares that everything is hunky dory, Stuart Nash is squeaky clean, has done everything by the book... Whaaat?  "I can confirm that all Stuart Nash's donations, to the best of my knowledge, have been publicly declared and transparently," said Hipkins. "Any conflicts of interest that he had were registered with the Cabinet Office, using the usual process." Right. The same Stuart Nash who gave the Prime Minister assurances that there were no other skeletons in his closet after those first three strikes.  Something is very rotten. And just cause Hipkins has cut out the source of the rot, I’m not feeling particularly assured that the government’s going to get to the bottom of how deep that rot goes.See for privacy information.
Nash has made Hipkins look gullible, naive and weak
Mar 28 2023
Nash has made Hipkins look gullible, naive and weak
Opinion: That Stuart Nash had to be sacked now is an utter failure of leadership by the Prime Minister.  It’s the action Chris Hipkins should have taken after Nash’s first offence, definitely after the second or even third offence.  That he waited til the fourth makes him a sucker and he needs to own his shortfall here as PM. You might argue that a good guy gives second chances and you’d be right, but not in this case.  This was a case of political naivety and poor leadership.  Hipkins is at his best when he’s at his most ruthless - whether you agree with his decisions or not - his political compass points sharp North. He’s usually pretty good at making fast, decisive, politically astute and broadly popular decisions.  On Nash, he let his guard down and trusted someone he shouldn’t have trusted - and it looks weak rather than charitable.  Just remember how Nash handled the fallout of that first offence - he outed himself on the radio, seemingly unaware there was even a problem with dialling up the Police Commissioner to give him advice about a prosecution. His brazen ignorance fast became defiance when questioned by the media. There was no contrition there. Nash didn’t think he’d done anything wrong. We were the idiots for daring to question his autonomy.  Nash was stripped of his Police portfolio but that was all despite the cabinet manual making it clear no minister can intervene with constabulary independence. Being Police Minister had nothing to do with it.  Then we learnt of a second offence - Nash was nearly charged by the Solicitor-General for this one and was given a telling off by the Attorney General - for his comments about the killer of police officer Matt Hunt.  Then a third offence - Nash shortcutted the rules, directly asking a senior Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) official to look into an immigration case of a constituent.  The Prime Minister demoted him in Cabinet. A nothing penalty. Hipkins screws up again. Anyone who knows Nash knows he’s a brazen, bold, bolshy, blokey bloke prone to saying things he shouldn’t. The PM should have seen this coming. It wasn’t just a failure of political leadership but Hipkins’ political foresight failed him here too. He also looks gullible.  Nash took him for a ride. Hipkins had sought assurances from Nash there was no more naughty stuff, and Nash - all sunshine and lollipops - batted his eyelashes and said 'of course not PM, I promise...' Hipkins believed that, looking the schmuck.  So a failure of leadership, a failure of decisiveness, a failure of foresight and a failure to judge character or properly investigate a problem minister.  The PM needs to own these labels and needs to own the embarrassment that comes with them all. ‘Cause it is embarrassing to have messed up so many times in so many ways.  That’s how Hipkins will learn from this and I suspect once bitten, twice shy, I pity the next minister who tries to get one past the PM. He won’t be walked over like that again.See for privacy information.