Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Amy joins Judith as rip-off artist...

Is, Amy Adams yet another National Party Cabinet member who is ripping off the system and manipulating the law to suit her business interests? Judith [Crusher] Collins appears to have used her position as Justice Minister to push her husbands business based in NZ and China, Bill English used his position to pay himself for living in his own house and was forced to refund thousands of dollars. We all know about Key’s dear friend John Banks who fibbed about campaign donations and falsified his returns. We know that at present 14 or 15 present members of the National government are not standing this year and we need to ask the simple question, why. Judith Collins has now been pressured by John Key to come clean and tell the truth and unless she does Key will have no option but to sack her…
The case against Amy Adams is clearly explained below by the ‘No right turn’ blog site. It makes interesting reading and shows to what extent some will go to make a few more dollars…what makes this case more galling is that Amy Adams is the Minister charged with protecting our water from misuse by the money hungry dairy industry who seem to not care a hoot about our environment or the state of our rivers and especially those in Canterbury.  

Over at Rebuilding Christchurch, James Dann has done some digging into Environment Minister Amy Adams and the ECan dictatorship. Adams owns several farms, worth millions of dollars. Those farms are in the irrigation area of Central Plains Water (a company Adams' farm owns shares in), meaning they are likely to increase substantially in value. As a backbench MP, Adams voted to overturn Canterbury's elected regional council and replace it with unelected dictators - a move subsequently revealed to have been all about giving water rights to companies like CPW, and for the 2011 Budget which assigned $400 million to an Irrigation Acceleration Fund intended to fund such companies. And as a Minister, she fronted Cabinet's decision to extend the ECan dictatorship - a decision which will make it easier for CPW to gain the water and funding it needs. Which seems to be a fairly significant conflict of interest, as Dann says,
The Central Plains Water scheme would not have been viable if the National government had not passed the ECan bill in 2010. The value of land with access to water for irrigation is greater than land which does not. Adams owns a large amount of land which is within the CPW water scheme, and also owns shares in the scheme itself. It is difficult not to conclude that the actions of this government, including Adams and Carter, have benefitted their farming portfolios.
The Cabinet Manual agrees that this would be a conflict of interest:
Pecuniary interests are financial interests such as assets, debts, and gifts. A pecuniary conflict of interest may arise if a Minister could reasonably be perceived as standing to gain or lose financially from decisions or acts for which he or she is responsible, or from information to which he or she has access. A pecuniary conflict of interest could, for example, relate to the value of land or shares that a Minister owns, or the turnover of a business in which a Minister has an ownership interest.
[Emphasis added]

I think its clear that Adams could reasonably be perceived as standing to gain from broad decisions around ECan and irrigation in Canterbury. So did she declare those conflicts? Not as an MP - she spoke on the Canterbury dictatorship bill, but made no declaration (though her farm - but not its shareholding in CPW - was listed in the Register of Pecuniary Interests). As for the Ministerial decisions, she became a Minister in December 2011, and declared a number of conflicts [p. 7], including a pecuniary interest in "potential decisions in respect of a particular company" (responsibility for which was transferred to Bill English, then Gerry Brownlee), and a personal interest in "potential decisions as Minister for the Environment in respect of a particular company" (responsibility for which was transferred to David Carter). Unfortunately the Cabinet Office won't say what those companies are (or even whether its one company or two), but we can guess that one was her farm, and one may have been CPW. The question is how broadly those declarations were interpreted, both by the Cabinet Office and by Adams. Did Adams behave ethically, and recluse herself from discussion about extending the Canterbury dictatorship, a governance regime which protects and increases the value of her investments? I think she owes us some answers on that.
Posted by Idiot/Savant at 3/12/2014 11:36:00 AM

Note: You'd think that with the money she already has dear Amy would be happy with what she's got....

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