Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Jenny Shipley Behind SOE's Political Lobbying

SECRETS AND LIES
The anatomy of an anti-environmental PR campaign

News release 17 August 1999

JENNY SHIPLEY: BEHIND STATE-OWNED COMPANY’S POLITICAL LOBBYING

Prime Minister Jenny Shipley needs to explain why she and staff in her office supported and assisted Timberlands’ politically-motivated multi-million dollar anti-environmental PR campaign but in response to a question in Parliament in July denied there had been any involvement.

Jenny Shipley and her office assisted Timberlands to lobby other MPs and bureaucrats to enable the logging of native forests to continue, say the authors of Secrets and Lies, Nicky Hager and Bob Burton. “Shipley was also aware of and supported the state-owned company's efforts to undermine public opinion against their logging of native forests.”

Secrets and Lies reveals details of confidential ministerial meetings in which Mrs Shipley argued that the government should not be seen to be giving in to the environmentalists. In 1997 as SOE Minister she successfully stalled former Prime Minister Jim Bolger’s private plans to stop the logging and conserve the West Coast forests.

“It seems that Jenny Shipley was determined to back Timberlands’ continued logging of native forests, no matter how much public relations money it cost, no who poor the company’s financial records were, and no matter how much public opinion was against it,” says Nicky Hager.

Chapter 12 of the book goes into the details of Shipley’s involvement in Timberlands’ lobbying efforts. Numerous petty incidents show that she knew the company was lobbying other politicians, and supported its efforts.

“Mrs Shipley was abusing her position as SOE minister and as prime minister, by actively supporting expenditure by a state-owned company of millions of dollars on lobbying politicians and on dirty public relations tactics aimed at discrediting genuine public interest groups concerned for the environment,” says Nicky Hager.

Leaked minutes of Timberlands PR meetings and other leaked correspondence show that Timberlands and its PR firms made a point of sending details of many of their activities to Mrs Shipley. Other documents record her approval for secret tactics in the anti-environmental campaign.

For example, a 15 September 1997 paper written by Timberlands’ PR company, Shandwick New Zealand Ltd stated that Mrs Shipley supported Timberlands’ “graffiti erasure” campaign. Shandwick was paying contractors to paint out all graffiti critical of native logging in the capital city (and at times to paint over posters too).

Mrs Shipley began co-operating in the PR campaign as SOE Minister in 1997. Under the SOE Act, she was required to avoid involvement in day-to-day operations on the state company. But Secrets and Lies shows she made an exception for Timberlands. The book quotes numerous references from the leaked papers of liaison between Timberlands and Mrs Shipley’s office over the day-to-day details of the Timberlands’ campaign, and partisan support from her office staff, who under state service rules, should be politically neutral. Mrs Shipley’s staff assisted Timberlands by sending copies of Native Forest Action’s latest posters to its Wellington PR firm, Shandwick, advising Timberlands what MPs were thinking, and which MPs and bureaucrats to lobby. They even provided feedback to Timberlands on its “communications” strategy.

Mrs Shipley’s involvement did not end when she became Prime Minister and ceased being SOE minister. Soon after becoming PM, Mrs Shipley noted graffiti on a wall in Wellington’s Balaena Bay on the way to the airport and her staff told Shandwick. The wall was painted over in a mural initiated by and covertly sponsored by Timberlands.

For more information, contact Nicky Hager and Bob Burton at 04 3845074

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The Elusive Charms Of Christopher Luxon


Well, the first 36 hours of viewing the Christopher Luxon selfie were always going to be the best, before the repetitions set in. We get it, already. He’s an extroverted/big ego/high achieving/God fearing/country music lovin’/family man who is not at all averse to mansplaining to little ladies like RNZ’s Kathryn Ryan what “technical” words like “productivity” actually mean. But wait, there’s more. National is back! Mind you, that’s not the Bad National of recent experience, but the Good National of days gone by... More>>




 
 


Defence: New Zealand Response To Assist Peace And Stability In Solomon Islands
The New Zealand government has announced that it will deploy Defence Force and Police personnel to Honiara to help restore peace and stability. “New Zealand is committed to its responsibilities and playing its part in upholding regional security,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.... More>>


Government: Delivers Reactivation Package As Aucklanders Reconnect For Summer
A new support package will help revive economic, social and cultural activities in our largest city over summer, and ensure those in hardship also get relief. The Social Development and Employment Minister Carmel Sepuloni and the Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash... More>>



Government: Crown Accounts Reflect Strong Economy Amid Pandemic

The Government’s financial accounts continue to reflect an economy that has performed better than expected, despite the latest Delta COVID-19 outbreak. The Crown accounts for the four months to the end of October factors in the improved starting position for the new financial year... More>>

ALSO:



National Party: Bridges Appointed Finance & Infrastructure Spokesperson

Hon Simon Bridges is the National Party’s new Finance and Infrastructure spokesperson, National Leader Christopher Luxon announced today. “Simon has prodigious skills, incredible talent and the intellectual heft needed to excel as National’s Finance spokesperson,” Mr Luxon says.... More>>

Waitangi National Trust: Waitangi Week
The Waitangi National Trust has decided there will be no in-person events at Waitangi Treaty Grounds during Waitangi Week 2022. Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework it would be practically impossible to safely proceed with the usual events of Waitangi commemorations... More>>


Freedom Camping: Making Sure People Are Up To Play With Changes
People interested in finding out how the proposed improvements to freedom camping might affect them are being invited to an information-sharing webinar... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels