Do you smell what I smell ?


The NZ Herald heavily promoted news story repeated in the Northern Advocate reads rather like a copy&paste job from a press release :

Former National MP Mike Sabin has been appointed chief executive of Peppers Carrington Estate, a five-star, 1000-hectare resort on the Karikari Peninsula. 
He will be in charge of plans to redevelop the property into the largest five-star resort in the country. 
Chinese real estate giant Shanghai CRED purchased the business from US businessman Paul Kelly for $28.7 million in 2013, and planned to market it to wealthy Chinese tourists. 
Mr Sabin resigned as Northland’s MP in early February. 
Mr Sabin’s resignation forced a by-election, which National lost to New Zealand First’s Winston Peters. 
Before he entered Parliament in 2011, Mr Sabin was a policeman and founded an anti-methamphetamine company called MethCon.

When I read the story at first I thought that my iMac was one of the next generation of computers that had escaped the lab where they are working on devices, which give you not only pictures and sound but the appropriate smells to go with it. The story stinks.

No word from Mr Sabin himself who has disappeared ever since he resigned from Parliament at the beginning of the year triggering the Northland by-election political earthquake.

The copy&paste artist Isaac Davison fails to ask the most fundamental journalistic questions like :
Is this for real ? How can a former policeman come operator of an anti-methaphetamine campaign business come MP without any relevant qualifications be appointed CEO of what wants to become the most luxurious resort in New Zealand for Chinese billionaires?
It seems to be obvious that Mr Sabin would be paid a CEO’s salary not for his business skills or qualifications but for his political connections. What do the Chinese owners expect in return from the National government ?
And finally and most importantly how can any sane business person especially in the top end hospitality industry employ someone as CEO who is before the courts under suspicion of serious crimes with the risk of being jailed in a few months time ? What is really behind this “appointment” ?

Look at what the rumor mill is churning out for months.


Let us recapitulate. Mr Sabin was under police investigation for serious crimes well before the last election and the government knew about it. Even the candidate selection three years earlier was controversial as Mr Sabin was regarded as a bully.

Blogger lauda finem has questioned the latest Sabin story and “did a little phoning around today, we spoke with a number of recruiters in the industry who asked not to be named and then just roared with laughter when we listed Sabin’s unique skill-set. The up-shot was that not one of the agencies were prepared to put Sabin forward to a client, even for a first interview…..
After all Sabin landing that job is right up there with the immaculate conception and walking on water!”

Across the ditch Derryn Hinch notes :
If you think politics in Australia gets crazy around election time just have a look at what is happening across the ditch right now.
Why does he care ?
Well it is, because it involves suppression orders, political intrigue, serious criminal allegations against a former member of parliament and unanswered questions surrounding the actions of Prime Minister John Key.  And he calls it a :

touch of Watergate“.

Here Matthew Hooton in the NBR headlined “Sabin clock keeps ticking for Key” makes it quite clear what he thinks :
Mr Key’s government stands accused of somehow covering up after Mr Sabin, with Labour leader Andrew Little going so far as to say he believes Mr Key is lying. That is not entirely implausible.
Then he gives irrefutable reasons why Mr Key must be lying when he pretends not to have known anything when he considered Sabin for a cabinet post before settling for the chair of the parliamentary Law and Order select committee.
Hooton gives a dire prediction for the Key government :
The risk for Mr Key is that if the full Sabin story becomes known in a week, a month, six months or a year, it will look as if his government covered it up not just through a general election campaign but then again through the by-election as well. The clock keeps ticking. 

The real story is not the serious criminal allegations against Mr Sabin but the role of Mr Key and his government in this affair. What can we expect the Prime Minister to do to try to save his own skin ?

Here I am reminded of the WWJD (What would Jesus Do?) Bracelet some young Christians wear and according to reliable sources have become very popular among young Nats and other fundamentalist John Key supporters. For them it of course reads : What would John do ? And they don’t mean John Campbell.

To answer the above question about what we can expect Key to do let us give it the WWJD treatment. What would John (need to) do to make the whole story disappear.

Step one is to make Sabin look innocent. Look, he has been given a high profile job so there can’t be anything to the rumors. We can tick this one off.
Step two make the criminal prosecution go away. Let the National government appointed police commissioner – who is on record to condone police corruption – know if that is still necessary that this prosecution is not in the government’s interest. The Police has quite a record recently of acting like the Prime Minister’s private enforcer. Just a couple of examples. We had the Epsom cup of tea saga with the police getting heavy handed against a cameraman and various mainstream media. We had the very questionable day long police raid of Nicky Hager’s home in his capacity as a “witness” almost as retaliation to his “Dirty Politics” revelations. At the same time the PM’s mate gutter blogger Slater who boasted about accessing the Labour Party computer got no police attention. We have to wait and see what the police might do to scuttle the prosecution and make this case go away.
If step two fails the next option would be to have the complaint withdrawn by leaning on or bribing the victim(s). The later is quite a common practice specially with complaints of a sexual nature.

If any of the outstanding steps above would happen some of you would still think of it as a conspiracy theory.


So lets hope that it doesn’t happen and Mr Sabin gets the justice he deserves and the people of New Zealand finally get to know what the Key government is hiding from them.

Till then we all have to hold our noses.

by Dr. Hans B. Grueber



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1 Response to Do you smell what I smell ?

  1. Axel says:

    C’mon Blogmaster – get over it!
    They have been doing this sort of thing in the third world forever – and in the first world.
    The difference being, that in the first world they try to be elegant about it, whereas third world leaders don’t give two hoots about how blatantly obvious their particular flavour, or odour, of nepotism is.
    Remember: New Zealand was an attractive immigration destination in the 80’s because it was said that there was no corruption.

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