Back in May, Point of Order drew attention to the work by journalists outside of the mainstream media who had been delving into public posts filled by members of Nanaia Mahuta’s family and payments made to companies with which family members are associated.
The Platform – for example – reported (HERE) on the questions raised after two payments come to light from Ministry for the Environment to companies owned by Mahuta family members for their roles in an expert group. In another article (HERE) The Platform drew attention to co-governance roles filled by family members and the influence the family was wielding on the restructuring of New Zealand’s governance.
Much of the information that had come to light at that time and subsequently has been winkled out and posted in tweets by the pseudonymous “Thomas Cranmer”.
Partly by tapping into Thomas Cranmer, the New Zealand Herald has drawn its readers’ attention to the matter of the Mahuta appointments. Other media – notably Stuff and RNZ – have been curiously lacking in curiosity.
DR BRYCE EDWARDS, director of the Democracy Project, in a column posted in July mentioned the mainstream media’s bemusing avoidance of the Mahuta matter. Today he is revisiting the issue and makes the case for an inquiry by the Auditor- General or the Public Service Commission.
- UPDATE: This afternoon Newshub reported that …
“Public Services Commissioner Peter Hughes has been tasked with running a ruler across the entire public service to ensure everything is above board – a request that came from Public Services Minister Chris Hipkins. Hipkins was asked to examine the issue by Mahuta following several news stories outlining concerns about potential conflicts of interests.”
Dr Bryce Edwards writes…
Pressure is increasing on the Auditor-General to undertake an inquiry into numerous contracts, appointments and grants awarded to members of Cabinet Minister Nanaia Mahuta’s family by various government departments she has had official responsibility for.
Allegations and revelations are mounting up, meaning this issue can no longer be ignored. As economist and political commentator Eric Crampton wrote yesterday, if the allegations – especially those documented by Herald journalist Kate McNamara – bear up, then
“New Zealand is a fundamentally corrupt country. If it doesn’t, the air needs clearing”. Continue reading “Bryce Edwards’ Political Roundup: It’s time for the Auditor-General to investigate Mahuta contracts”