Transparency International has rated us the least-corrupt country on the planet. Ironicly, they did this on the same day the news about Peter Thiel's special citizenship deal dropped, which raised questions about whether the government was secretly selling citizenship. In light of that news, TI's ranking looks utterly divorced from reality.
Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is defending the secret citizenship grant as business-as-usual, while of course withholding all information which would allow us to see whether that was actually the case. And he says that there
needed to be a balance between giving everyone a fair chance of citizenship, and encouraging those who would make a positive difference to New Zealand.
Sure - but isn't it amazing that those who "would make a positive difference" turn out to be billionaires, rather than refugees or people who have fallen through the immigration cracks and face deportation from their families in New Zealand?
Meanwhile, he's also playing Key-like games over whether he and Thiel have ever met. At which stage, we should remember: thanks to National's weakening of donation disclosure laws, we will likely never know if Thiel donated to the National Party in exchange for this special treatment.
This was a dirty, rotten decision, which at best involved giving special treatment to a rich tax-exile who wants to use us as a lifeboat once he's destroyed the country he is currently parasitising. Now that Thiel's a citizen, we can't revoke it - but we should damn well make sure our government can't do this again.