Shane Jones shouldn't be rewarded | The Jackal

13 Mar 2013

Shane Jones shouldn't be rewarded

Yesterday, Bill English reported:

The Auditor-General’s report into the Yang Liu affair is extremely damning of the way Shane Jones handled the issue, and calls into question David Shearer’s judgment in reinstating him to Labour’s front bench, Acting Prime Minister Bill English says.

Perhaps it's the wording, but it appears that Bill English is saying the Auditor General, Lyn Provost, has been "extremely damning" of Jones being reinstated to Labour’s front bench.

However Jones' reappointment happened after the Auditor General released her Inquiry into the decision by Shane Jones to grant citizenship to Yang Liu (PDF), and she's made no further comment on the issue.

But not satisfied with that clunker and desperate to gain some political ground, the deluded Bill English goes on to cherry pick:

For example, on page 66 of the report, the Auditor-General says of Mr Jones: “In our view, given that he knew there were ongoing investigations by Immigration and the New Zealand Police, he should also have consulted them before making his decision, as the investigators note of the first meeting suggested he was intending to do.”

There is no doubt that Shane Jones failed to do his job properly, mainly because he didn't seek advice from other concerned parties before making his decision to grant Yang Liu citizenship.

He also ignored some of their formal recommendations and didn't properly document a reason for his decision to grant citizenship or give other concerned parties enough time to question that decision before informing Yang Liu and his representatives the application had been successful.

Clearly Yang Liu shouldn't have been granted citizenship, and that incorrect decision should have raised questions in David Shearers' mind about the ability of Shane Jones to follow proper process.

In my opinion, Shane Jones' incompetency has brought Labour into disrepute and should have ruled him out from reattaining the front benches, especially because Labour has other more competent MPs to choose from.

So what else does the equally incompetent Minister of Finance think is wrong here:

And on page 67, the report continues: “The decision to approve an urgent private ceremony, following so closely the decision to authorise the grant of citizenship against the recommendation of officials, caused a degree of consternation among the department’s staff. It added to the impression that Mr Liu was receiving special treatment.”

Actually, the report found that Jones, upon his granting Yang Liu citizenship was somewhat perturbed about the legal requirement for there to be a ceremony. He apparently inadvertently approved an urgent ceremony, a ceremony that was attended by a number of National MPs who had supported Yang Liu's application I might add.

“This is just a few weeks after he [David Shearer] demanded the Government stop the Sky City Convention Centre project because of an Auditor-General’s report. He should look in his own party’s backyard first.”

However the Auditor General found no evidence that there was any improper motive, collusion, or political interference in the Yang Liu decision, which is more than can be said about what the report into the SkyCity convention centre deal found.

So all in all another very messy affair and one clearly displaying that our political system is dysfunctional and full of idiots who don't bother to follow the rules.