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mccully.co.nz: 1 July 2005 (#211)

mccully.co.nz: 1 July 2005 (#211)

A Weekly Report from the Keyboard of Murray McCully
MP for East Coast Bays

Treaty Spin

The appointment of Trevor Mallard to hose down Treaty-related political correctness was a sure sign the Government didn’t actually plan to do anything – apart from a bit of posturing and bullying, of course. And so it proved to be. The periodic updates on the search for race-based funding have been a joke. And the final report, tabled after the last Parliamentary question time for a month, and buried in massive piles of paperwork, was the final proof that this was indeed an exercise in spin.

How very very amusing therefore, that at the same time Mallard has allegedly been engaged in riding shotgun on the Treaty-related silliness of his colleagues, he has been busily engaged in inventing a whole new brand of taxpayer-funded Treaty propaganda. For it is he who is responsible for the latest brain washing campaign, designed to stuff the Treaty of Waitangi down the throats of as many New Zealanders as possible over the coming weeks.

Mallard’s Treaty Propaganda

Opened a newspaper recently to find a glossy brochure about the Treaty of Waitangi? Well, join the club. So have a million other New Zealanders. Welcome to Mr Mallard’s Treaty of Waitangi force feeding programme.

According to answers to Parliamentary questions from the humble and diligent Member for East Coast Bays, Mr Mallard has been very busy:

1,038,000 full colour glossy brochures for insertion into the Dominion Post, Herald, Press, Sunday Star-Times, Waikato Times, North and South, Listener, Mana magazine and Womans Weekly.

The cost: $122,201.

All of the above designed, of course, to promote the sets of expensive booklets Mr Mallard has prepared about the Treaty:
60,000 copies of the Timeline of the Treaty,
35,000 copies of the Story of the Treaty,
35,000 copies of the Journey of the Treaty.
A mere snip at $174,990.

And Mallard is promising another set of booklets at $3.00 per set later in the year.

Finally, the Treaty line 0800 number at a cost of $20,963 to date. Total cost of this current programme (brochure inserts, booklets and 0800 number) $318,154.

That’s on top of the website and all of the other costs already met. All of the above, of course, to tell us something that we can access by dropping into the local library, bookshop or by getting onto the internet. And all of it courtesy of that nice Mr Mallard, the man who is stamping out Treaty related political correctness throughout our land.

More Mallard Silliness

But wait. There’s more. Just imagine which Minister could be silly enough to take a proposal to Cabinet asking for $1.2 million to create a mobile Treaty Exhibition to cart around the countryside. Not Trevor Mallard, surely? But yes, the Cabinet papers located by the worldwide headquarters’ supersleuths confirm it. In May of this year Cabinet approved the $1.2 million Treaty of Waitangi Touring Exhibition. And the Minister who proposed it? One Trevor Mallard.

Complete with a drawing of the Exhibition and a proposed nationwide touring route, the Mallard paper tells us that the programme will start in January 2006 and finish in April of that year. It will visit 35 locations and reach a potential audience of 250,000 over 110 days.

The Treasury, for once, we’re onto it. "Treasury does not support funding the exhibition," said the Treasury paperwork. "Various exhibitions exist in regional museums and it is not clear what additional benefits would be gained from a national touring exhibition. Opportunities for third party funding have not yet been explored," they said.

But the Sisterhood just went ahead anyway. No one was going to see it until after the election, yet they would be able to tell their politically correct activists all about it for a bit of pre-election motivation.

But what, we hear you ask, if no one wants to visit the exhibition? Ah, well, the cunning Sisterhood have got that risk covered off. People are not going to have to visit the exhibition. The exhibition is going to visit them at "venues where an annual or local event such as a festival, A&P Show or similar is taking place at the time."

We can just see it now. All those farmers at the Mystery Creek Fieldays saying: "No,no. I think I’ll give the tractors and the utes a miss. I’d rather see that Treaty of Waitangi Touring Exhibition that nice Mr Mallard has sent along." There’s one for the Tui billboards.

Hobbs Funds Destruction of Speedway

News emerged this week that Environment Minister Marian Hobbs has funded a $30,000 campaign to destroy Speedway at Western Springs. The Minister, we are told, funded a group of fellow lefties, who engaged in a crusade to shut down the decades old Speedway due to noise issues.

Let’s hope the International Rugby Board leaders currently assessing New Zealand’s suitability to host the 2011 Rugby World Cup don’t bump into Marian anywhere soon. Our bid will rely heavily on the expansion of Eden Park as our major test venue. And the same sorts of Labour Greenie lefties who oppose Speedway also oppose the expansion of Eden Park.

So, the worldwide headquarters is betting that Hobbs has already got her chequebook at the ready to fund the troublemakers as they oppose the Eden Park expansion at every turn. Which makes Marian and her fellow lefty troublemakers arguably the biggest obstacle to New Zealand demonstrating its 2011 Rugby World Cup credentials.

Defence Chiefs Rearguard Near an End

Two long years ago, the Ombudsman commenced an investigation into Defence tendering of Project Protector – the new patrol boats and multi-role vessel. At issue are some interesting decisions which had the effect of seeing the project awarded to Tenix, with other parties feeling the outcome was less than kosher. Early this year, the Ombudsman provided his draft report to the Defence chiefs. And, according to the worldwide headquarters’excellent sources, a final report is now imminent.

The fact that a full six months have been occupied arguing about the draft report is highly significant. The way we hear it, Defence have been spending a small fortune on legal advice. Defence Secretary Graeme Fortune is reported to be more than a little fretful. And his senior colleagues know that trouble is on the horizon.

For a department of state to spend a full six months attempting to water down the Ombudsman’s report, is highly unusual. It can only spell deep, deep trouble. And on the information currently available, it’s all thoroughly deserved. So watch this space. You know where you will read about it first.

Trouble at Radio NZ

Rumours have been, as they say, swirling around the head offices of our favourite state radio station of great unhappiness in certain quarters. Most unhappy, reportedly, is one Derek Fox, of Mana Maori News. At issue is the content of some recent bulletins of the most biased programme on the RNZ menu (some achievement, surely).

Several recent bulletins have shown a complete disregard (as opposed to the normal hardy contempt) for the Broadcasting Standards requirement for fairness and balance. Even the desensitised souls at RNZ could sense that any complaint would have them in serious trouble. The way we hear it, Mr Fox was told that certain prepared items were unacceptable for this reason. And now there is much pouting and not a little shouting as a grade A tanty has ensued.

Hot off the Press

The Crown accounts for the eleven months to 31 May 2005 just released show an OBERAC surplus of $7.4 billion. That’s $600 million ahead of the forecast in the Budget only a month ago. Still no room for tax cuts?


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