Friday, February 23, 2024

Bought and paid for

Candidate donation returns for the 2023 election are out, and surprise, surprise - Shane Jones has been taking money from the industries he is now responsible for regulating:

Newly released donation information for 2023 election candidates show the Fisheries Minister received $5000 from West Food Seafood (Westfleet Seafoods Limited).

Earlier this month, Westfleet chief executive and shareholder Craig Boote was one of the industry leaders lobbying Jones to review policy around cameras, catch limits, bottom trawling and immigration waivers at an exclusive wine and oysters function.


Fisheries wasn’t the only industry to contribute to Jones’ more than $95,500 in candidate donations.

He received $3000 from Northland Forest, $5000 from J Swap – a logistics firm dealing with construction, transport and forestry – as well as $15,000 from high-profile property developer Andrew Krukziener.


Meanwhile, Jones received $20,000 from Vladimir Barbalich – a Wellington property developer and former financial backer and board member of fringe anti-mandate party Democracy NZ.

And as Minister for Fisheries, Economic Development, and Resources, he'll now be making the rules for the people who oh so generously gave him money (including devising an entirely new corrupt Muldoonist resource consent scheme which will place decisions in the hands of Ministers). But apparently he won't be influenced by it, because $20,000 is just a trivial amount of money to him.

Yeah, right. And if you believe that, I have some fish to sell you.

This sort of corruption undermines trust in government, and calls every decision Ministers make into question. And that alone should be reason to ban it. If we want government decisions to be made on the merits, and no be influenced by bribes, we need to get money out of politics entirely. And if that means politicians can't enrich themselves on the side, and have to be content with their very generous salaries, boo fucking hoo.

(Meanwhile, we also have a foreign-owned mining company blatantly interfering in our politics by buying themselves an independent to kneecap a candidate they didn't like. So I guess we can chalk that up as another fail by the SIS. Or is it only "foreign interference" if its from China?)