“… New Zealand, your halo is slipping.
Frequently topping global transparency indexes, the world believes Kiwis operate the world’s cleanest government.
Its politicians are rated incorruptible: fraud, bribes and sleaze-free.
And yet, of late, domestic politics has been dominated by a series of grubby scandals.
Take Taito Philip Field’s conviction in 2009 as the watershed. Since then MPs have been exposed for rorting their expenses to pay for blue movies and gluttony, golf clubs, flowers and massages, family holidays and bucketloads of booze.
After a shedload of naughtiness, minister Richard Worth was eventually sacked for something so egregious that Prime Minister John Key wasn’t prepared to reveal it.
Key’s intervention in the SkyCity convention centre tendering process is now subject to an inquiry – after cash-for-pokies accusations.
Barely rehabilitated after charging hotel porn to the taxpayer, Shane Jones was plunged into fresh controversy over the granting of a passport to Chinese fugitive Bill Liu.
He hopes a pending auditor-general report will clear his name.
A bit player in that scandal, Pansy Wong quit over misuse of her travel perk.
Act’s law and order hardliner David Garrett ended his career with the jaw-dropping confession that he was inspired by Day of the Jackal to steal the identity of a dead infant.
(He’d also failed to declare he had an assault conviction).
His boss Rodney Hide demolished his reputation as a perkbuster by taking his girlfriend on holiday on the public purse…”
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