New Zealand Prime Minister John Key, the Whale Oil Blog, and International Organized Crime

A new book is causing a stir in New Zealand. It’s called “Dirty Politics“. From the blurb:

Early in 2014 Nicky Hager was leaked a large number of email and online conversations from Cameron Slater’s Whale Oil blog. Many of these were between Slater and his personal allies on the hard right, revealing an ugly and destructive style of politics. But there were also many communications with the prime minister’s office and other Cabinet ministers in the National Government. They show us a side of Prime Minister John Key and his government of which most New Zealanders are completely unaware.

Key has constructed an easy-going and relaxed public image, declaring to the public that ‘there’s no room for negative campaigning in New Zealand’. The reality is very different. His government has worked hand in hand with Slater and his collaborators in a sustained campaign of personal attacks against their political enemies, a deliberate but hidden strategy to avoid being held responsible for negative campaigning.

The New Zealand elections are on 20th September 2014, so the timing of these revelations is most unfortunate, at least for Prime Minister Key and his incumbent National Party. Here’s a brisk summary of the very numerous allegations, and a prognosis:

Key has already dismissed Hager’s book (‘left-wing conspiracy theory’) so it looks like he might try to bluff this out. I really, really, really doubt that will work.

So far, that prognosis is correct. The bluffing has already led to one first-rate trainwreck of a media appearance. Here’s part of the transcript:

ESPINER:  OK. Well what about the behaviour of your minister Judith Collins?  Is it acceptable for her to divulge the name of a public servant, because he may have leaked details ?

KEY: Well I don’t have the details on that one

ESPINER: she suspected he did.

KEY: I just don’t

ESPINER: Well, why don’t you ask her?

KEY: Well because I. A: it’s very. Sorry it’s.  Look to be

ESPINER: In fact, in fact, with respect, Mr Key, she has admitted that. She conceded she did pass on that name.

KEY: Yeah, but I don’t know the details under, of all of that scenario.

ESPINER: So why don’t you ask her?

KEY: Because, at the end of the day, we’re five weeks out from an election, people can see that Nicky Hager’s made a whole lot of things up in his book. He can see that he can’t back a lot of them up.

ESPINER: Well, I’m talking about one that can be backed up. You’re not going to get away with that.

KEY: See he

ESPINER: Because, because, this is one that can be backed up, because the Justice Minister of New Zealand has conceded publicly, that she did pass on the name of a public servant.  That resulted in him getting some pretty severe death threats. And you think that’s, OK?

KEY: And people can see that


KEY: And people can see

ESPINER: Yes or no? Is it OK?

KEY:  And people can see that this


KEY: People can see

ESPINER: Is it OK that Judith Collins did that, yes or no?

KEY: And people can see that this is a smear campaign by Nicky Hager and

ESPINER: I’m not asking you for a critique about Nicky Hager’s motivation

Key: Well I

ESPINER: I’m asking you about something that is publicly in the arena. Judith Collins has said, “I passed on the name of this public servant.” And we know what happened after that.

KEY: But the

ESPINER: I’m asking you a simple question. Was that appropriate, Yes or No?

KEY: context  is totally relevant, because at the end of the day, I don’t know all the context of what happened here and in all those situations

ESPINER: You know the context here, Prime Minster. Please answer the question.

KEY: We don’t know

ESPINER: Was it appropriate for your Justice Minister to pass on the name of a public servant doing his job, who was then severely sanctioned on a website?

KEY: So, I don’t know all the details behind all of that. But what I do know, is that this is a series of selected pieces of information. Many of which can’t be backed up. I know that this was

ESPINER: I’m asking you about one of them.

KEY: Yeah, well, I’m not going to go into your individual ones, because in the end, this is a smear campaign, about which, I gotta say, started the week with with people, you know, out there

ESPINER: No, I’m not, you’re not going to talk about burning effigies, etc, because it has nothing to do with this.

KEY: Well, it does [voice hits a squeaky note]

The precedents are sparse to nonexistent, but surely it can’t be entirely a good sign when a Prime Minister starts squeaking.

For my part, I’d like to focus on another of the allegations, and, as my dogged readers might expect, drag in New Zealand shell companies, investment frauds, and the Russian mafia. That’s my one trick, after all.

One of Whale Oil blogger Cameron Slater’s “personal allies on the hard right”, is Ms Catherine Michelle Odgers, aka award-winning blogger Cactus Kate, citation (2010):

Intelligent, persuasive and influential, with the sort of investigative journalism Metro should be publishing. This is a blog which has contributed to changes in the administration of some of New Zealand’s most important regulatory bodies, as well as providing a healthy degree of humour.

Until this week (ahem), Odgers was part of the NZ Herald’s election reporting team. Ms Odgers’ media profile shades off from blogging and occasional column writing, into something more like attention-seeking behaviour: here she is in a ninja suit, with an America’s Cup-related stunt from last year that made it to the then-friendly NZ Herald. I assume that Ms Odgers is the small one with the strong-looking thighs: “The Lawyer”. The attention-seeking sits oddly with her day job, which requires Ms Odgers to be the very soul of discretion, for she is an expatriate New Zealand lawyer specializing in the offshore trust business, for instance in Hong Kong and Samoa.

Ms Odgers has a particular beef with the author of Dirty Politics, Nicky Hager, for his reporting of the New Zealand connections that surface in the ICIJ offshore leaks database (here, for instance, last year). Her way of settling the score, as implied by her message to her mates Farrar, Slater and Hooton, published in “Dirty Politics”, is a little hair raising:


First, note that the posting of Nicky Hager’s address details isn’t just a revenge fantasy; it’s an actual attempt at revenge, with Hager’s “full details” provided to Odgers’ clients, who, she hopes, are appropriately “vicious”. Happily, her Chinese clients do not appear to be as morally defective as Ms Odgers, and, in fact (so far anyway), there has been no “Chop chop for Nicky”.

Second, note that Ms Odgers is perfectly aware who her very shy clients are. She talks to them on the phone.

One bit of the excerpt deserves a more extended parsing: “Shame Russians don’t seem affected”. In context it means something like “It’s a shame Hager’s piece hasn’t earned the ire of my Russian clients, since they would be really effective agents of my revenge.”

As if by a miracle, Ms Odgers appears to be quite right about that. Here’s the background.

Between the 8th of September 2006 and the 20th November 2009, Gannaway Mercer, a firm of chartered accountants in Auckland, New Zealand, incorporated at least 118 shell companies (now struck off) for clients of a rather secretive & diffuse international incorporation network that, for want of a better term, I will call the “Maharal network”.

It’s probably best to explain what I mean by that by way of the recently dissolved UK company agent Meridian Companies House. Meridian’s officers were, at one time or another:

  • Erez Maharal of Israel;
  • Marianne Gemenitzi of Cyprus;
  • two corporate entities registered in Belize, Advance Developments Limited and Corporate Solutions Limited;
  • and finally, with a touch of the bizarre, Meridian itself.

Is a UK company permitted to act as its own company secretary? Not really, but on this occasion, UK Companies House didn’t seem to mind. Erez Maharal also acted briefly as a director of another UK company, Administrative Office Limited; another director there was Sabine Boze, who is also a director of yet another business services company, B2B Company Secretary Limited. Meridian Companies House, Administrative Office Limited and B2B Company Secretary Limited all have registered addresses in Cornwall Buildings, 45 Newhall Street, Birmingham, UK.

Between them, these names link together a reasonably large shell company network, and that’s what I am calling, for the moment, the “Maharal network”. The pieces of it that one can find in easily accessible public info imply that it is, or was, quite a big deal.

For instance, Meridian Companies House has been an officer of 238 UK companies, Administrative Office Limited of 340, B2B Company Secretary Limited of 233. The Belizean entities add still more: Advance Developments Limited, 848, and Corporate Solutions Limited, 843. Via LVL Finance Limited we discover another entity acting as a company officer in the Maharal network, Trinitron Investments Limited (another 403 UK companies), which, the ICIJ leaks database tells us, is another Belizean company. There’s also Consulting Group Corp (domicile unknown to me, but I’m pencilling in Belize…), officer of 569 UK LLPs.

There’s plenty more to the Maharal network than that, but one has to stop somewhere, and we now have enough to establish a link between the Gannaway Mercer incorporations in NZ and the Maharal network in the UK. As usual, it boils down to a shared taste in nominee directors. The Gannaway Mercer NZ companies that I am highlighting have, between them all, just six directors, all offshore.

Of course, Gemenitzi and Boze have actually directed companies alongside Maharal, so their links to him are immediate. The other directors are nominees who, in the UK, are only used by the Maharal network, as you will see from the hyperlinks, which take you to the Opencorporate entries for each director, with their UK and NZ companies.

In other words, the Gannaway Mercer NZ companies represent the New Zealand end of the international Maharal network.

There’s another link between these Gannaway Mercer NZ companies: each and every one of them is 100% owned by  GCSL (New Zealand) Limited, whose director, since January 2011, is Catherine Michelle Odgers of Hong Kong. That’s our Cathy Odgers, of course.

Now, the Maharal network is an important part of the so-called Russian Laundering Machine,

The money allegedly stolen by Russian authorities through Hermitage Capital passed through a series of front companies including Nomirex Trading Ltd. Nomirex is part of an international money laundering platform identified by the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) and used by several major criminals.

The Hermitage Capital case caused an international furore after Hermitage’s lawyer Sergei Magnitsky was allegedly tortured to death by Russian authorities after he named high ranking members of the tax authorities in the scam.

You can find a summary of the ghastly Magnitsky story, which continues to ramify, in a really obvious place. Note the saga’s chilling impact on Russian-American relations, which were souring well before the current Ukrainian troubles, not least because of the Magnitsky affair.

Back to the Laundering Machine:

In all, US$365 million passed through the Nomirex bank account, according to account statements obtained by OCCRP. Most of the money is unaccounted for and comes from phantom shell companies or even Asian criminal groups.

According to Hermitage Capital Management Limited, the money taken in their name by Russian authorities flowed to Swiss accounts through a chain of phantom companies, including Nomirex from UK and Bristoll Export from New Zealand. Those companies in turn received money from a Moldovan company named SC Bunicon-Impex SRL. The shell companies hid the real perpetrators of the crime.

One of the key companies was Nomirex. Nomirex is tied to Tormex through at least one financial transaction between the two phantom companies.

According to the UK business registry, Nomirex was established in August 2006 and was wholly owned by a Cyprus company named Voilent Trade Limited. Voilent Trade Limited in turn is wholly owned by a company from Belize – Trade Invest System Ltd. According to UK business registry, the same Trade Invest System Ltd from Belize was at some point director in at least 250 UK companies, half of which no longer exist.

The agent which registered Nomirex was Meridian Companies House Limited, an international financial company, which specializes in the incorporation and management of firms and asset protection. The director of Meridian Companies House is Erez Maharal who is a specialist in offshore management.

Maharal says that he really doesn’t know anything about Nomirex’s beneficiaries, bank accounts or why the company filed no reports to the companies’ regulator. “We just registered the company, and nobody ever makes us aware what is going on with the company in future … I feel that I was framed.”

In July 2009 a yoga instructor from Cyprus Lana Zamba became the new director of Nomirex. Zamba, who is likely just a proxy, simultaneously was director of dozens of companies in Cyprus, UK and Eastern Europe. Zamba, however, fronts for significant financial and political interests. She is currently director of Eurobalt Limited, a UK company that owns controlling interest in Altkom OOO, a road construction company based in Donetsk (Ukraine). Altkom is a one of the major contractors for the Euro-2012 football championship and has received hundreds of millions of dollars in no-bid contracts. Altcom’s preferential treatment on lucrative contracts and its non-transparency led to a series of critical reports in the Ukrainian press most of which speculated that high-ranked politicians were behind Altkom.

While Nomirex’s annual reports from 2007 until 2009 described its business as “inactive,” OCCRP found that dozens of firms from all over the world transferred at least US$365 million to Nomirex’s Latvian bank account in Trasta Komercbanka in Riga, Latvia. The majority of the transactions relate to Russia.

Now, there aren’t all that many shell-company-related Russian murders, so it would be quite a surprise if the particular extralegal unpleasantness Ms Odgers had in mind for Nicky Hager were wholly dissimilar to the extralegal unpleasantness associated with the very shell company network whose New Zealand end was run by her company GCSL, 2006-2009.

That is the most economical explanation for what Odgers is saying in the leaked communication cited by “Dirty Politics”, at any rate. Of course, as a defender remarks in the comments at another Whaleoil-friendly blog, Kiwiblog,

Cactus Kate – pretty sure if you were an assassin, someone would be dead by now.

The innumerable logicians amongst NC’s readership will naturally object that it doesn’t follow, from the fact that someone is dead by now (Magnitsky, in particular), that Ms Odgers is an assassin. But given the associations, and what the knowledgeable Odgers says about her clients, herself, it’s perfectly conceivable that it’s Odgers’ clients who are the assassins: an outrageous idea, obviously, but by no means impossible.

Another possible objection is that Ms Odgers only became a director of GCSL New Zealand in 2011. Maybe GCSL’s previous director, Jack Flader, ran the NZ end of the Maharal network, not Odgers. Perhaps Flader stitched up Odgers, and perhaps they split up long ago. Or this whole Russian mafia connection is all just conspiracy theory.

Is that right? Not necessarily. In fact, probing the Flader/Odgers connections makes the whole thing look even worse.

There is, or was, a group of GCSL companies; the main one was based in Hong Kong. Odgers was its legal counsel; the CEO was Flader. Flader and GCSL of Hong Kong are best known in connection with the Australian Trio/Astarra pension fund scam:

THE suspected mastermind of a $120 million superannuation fraud, Jack Flader, has sold his company to two Liechtenstein businessmen who have been fined $157 million each for their part in a huge US loan scam.

Mr Flader is a US lawyer who made headlines most recently as a shareholder of the failed erectile dysfunction business Advanced Medical Institute.

In 2007 he founded a Hong Kong-based company-services business, Global Consultants and Services Ltd, which has been named in court as being instrumental in the disappearance of $120 million in Australian money invested in a hedge fund, Astarra Strategic.

The chairman of the Liechtenstein-based Jeeves Group, Bryan Jeeves, OBE, said in a media release last Thursday that his company had bought 100 per cent of GCSL’s shares and that Mr Flader would act as a consultant.

In November 2009 a US investor, Kevin Campbell, won a court case arguing that a stock-loan program involving the Jeeves Group and Mr Flader had been a $1US billion Ponzi scheme that ripped off investors and paid $US100 million to its promoters.

Bryan Jeeves and his son, Alexander, were named alongside Mr Flader as ”Racketeer influenced and corrupt organisations” defendants in the case before the US District Court in Charleston, South Carolina.

The Jeeveses were ordered to pay $157 million each after the court accepted evidence they had breached multiple laws by committing mail fraud, wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering.

In April last year the court finalised default judgments against the Jeeveses and companies they own, after they failed to file a defence.

The Jeeves Group website states it offers company services, including trustee services, asset management and investment advisory services.

There’s something else that the Jeeves Group website states: Cathy Odgers (pic, but no thighs this time, this is business) is now one of its directors (archive). Evidently she, and, one might reasonably suppose, GCSL’s Russian clients 2006-2009, came along as part of the GCSL sale.

Anyhow, it is perfectly clear that Flader and Odgers were in business together 2006-end 2010; and, for some time after that, both were under the sheltering wing of Bryan Jeeves, OBE, who, as far as I know, still hasn’t coughed up his half of the $314Million that two Jeeveses still owe the US justice system. Of course, if Mr Flader is still “acting as a consultant”, then Flader and Odgers are still close together in 2014.

Mind you, as of October 2013, Flader is off the hook for the pension scam,

A parliamentary inquiry into the collapse of Trio Capital in May last year slammed regulators, including ASIC, for their scanty efforts to prosecute Mr Flader.

The following month, ASIC said it did not have enough evidence to show Mr Flader had breached Australian law, but would provide information to Federal Police, the Crime Commission and overseas regulators.

On Tuesday, ASIC said that since then, ‘‘ASIC, the Australian Federal Police and our overseas regulatory counterparts have sought to obtain extra evidence to establish that Mr Flader breached Australian law’’.

‘‘However, despite this work, there is insufficient evidence to prove Mr Flader breached Australian law,’’ ASIC said.

‘‘In the circumstances, ASIC is now finalising its investigation into Mr Flader.’’

…so maybe the embarrassing Australian part of the story has  all gone away, then.

Anyhow, there must, of course, be some reasonably innocent explanation for these very unfortunate recurring Odgers associations with major international white collar crime, other than that Odgers is a crook. Coming up with something else that’s plausible stumps me, I must admit. For instance, Odgers doesn’t appear to be an idiot; not, at any rate, in the formal sense of having a very low IQ. Whatever the explanation is, it will have to be something more complicated than that.

So, worst case: Odgers is a crook, directly involved in Russian mafia moneylaundering, a $1Billion US Ponzi scheme, and the largest pension fraud in Australian history. If that’s how it is, then Key, via Whale Oil,  looks a little too close to her.

Best case: Odgers is a monumentally oblivious idiot, with an astonishing knack for working with, or for, large-scale fraudsters, again and again. Even in that best case, and somehow discounting Trio Capital and the Russians altogether, it’s still only two steps from the Prime Minister to the crooks (Key => Whaleoil/Odgers => Flader/Jeeves), and that $1Billion US Ponzi, and $314Million in US penalties.

That’s snug, best case or worst, but in the very particular context of dubious politicians’ connections, not unusually intimate. So could the Odgers part of the Whale Oil story really blow back to Key and the election, in the end?

I’d be astonished if, by itself, it made any difference at all to voter intentions. It’s just another piece of a not-great picture. But many media hands are at work adorning that picture, so let’s see how it looks in a week or two’s time.

UPDATE 23/08: Heck, I had better name check John Hempton, who did so much for so long to expose the Trio/Astarra scam.

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  1. Ed

    According to wikipedia anyway, Key’s party has a large lead in the polls.

    I have a hard time understanding why Key would authorise his operatives to conduct a dirty tricks campaign when its both unnecessary and could blow up in his face. Its high risk low reward behavious. But the same could have been said of Nixon.

    1. Ulysses

      I remember hearing a psychological account of Nixon and his inner circle that suggested they never fully accepted the fact that they had won an election and now had access to all sorts of perfectly legal and time-honored methods to influence events. In other words, they acted as if they had broken into the White House, tied up the legitimate President in the basement, and were trying to run as many scams as they could before the cops showed up.

      1. tED

        They also projected their own thoughts and behaviors onto their opponents.

        ‘Since we are doing all these illegal acts (including ratf*cking tricks and breakins and bugging looking for evidence of illegal activities, the fact that we can’t find the evidence “proves” they are must be better at it than we are, and have somehow hidden the evidence from us. Try harder!’

    2. ambrit

      Dear Ed;
      I suspect that the ninja video tells the tale. If this tights encapsulated ‘assault team’ is representative of the Key camp, then we’re dealing with a bunch of arrested development types. In other words; kids playing at being grownups.
      It brings to mind a line from Langston Hughes play “The Old Settler.”
      The young woman has stolen the young boyfriend from the older woman. When confronted by the older woman and asked why she did the despicable deed, the young woman replies: “Because I can.”
      There you have it. These people do stupid and illogical things simply because they can. I don’t know who’s running against Key, bit I’m beginning to root for them, because I can.
      Oh! Oh! I just made the connection! That’s where the Obama camp got that “Yes we can” meme from. Langston Hughes! (I wonder what Hughes and his contemporaries would have thought of Obama?)

    3. tED

      “why Key would authorise his operatives to conduct a dirty tricks campaign when its both unnecessary and could blow up in his face. Its high risk low reward behavious.”

      The construction here assumes that Key is making all the decisions as a rational person. Maybe he is someone elses operative? Some could argue that this is in fact high reward low risk behavior. Just like the banksters, even if you get caught will you suffer real consequences? Fines larger than the take from the crimes? Removal from office? Jail? If you successfully set the precedent of getting caught and getting away with it…

      1. Tom Bradford

        The commentor who asks ““why Key would authorise his operatives to conduct a dirty tricks campaign when its both unnecessary and could blow up in his face. Its high risk low reward behavious”, is assuming Key is a politician and thinks like one. He isn’t. He began a career in the foreign exchange market in New Zealand before moving overseas to work for Merrill Lynch, in which he became head of global foreign exchange in 1995, a position he would hold for six years. In 1999 he was appointed a member of the Foreign Exchange Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York until leaving in 2001. ( He entered Parliament as a National MP in 2002 and became its leader in 2006 – that is from nothing to leader of a major political party in four years, which is what having a personal fortune of $50 million or so can do for you on the Right Wing of a small, isolated, somewhat parochial nation.

        IMHO Key as Prime Minister has never had anything to do with serving the public and country, and everything to do with serving John Key’s ego. I consider him a classic narcissist who will risk a very great deal in responding to slights and attacks that dent his ego and both believes (or at least believed) that he would never be caught out, which is the answer to the question set above.

        1. interested gal

          Classic Narcissist.
          thanks for that i have been trying to put my finger on it
          i always see him as disconnected non committal ..i wonder what happens when reality strikes at the end of the day

          Many of my friends are National supporters ,,I think they think because he is a millionaire he knows how to run the country..and so many people say they ‘like’ him…what is it that they see?

          1. downunderer

            National supporters of my acquaintance see a calm, self-assured paterfamilias, which is what they most want to see. While admiring the current state of the economy, they fail to note the amount of new debt and financial trickery that underlie this febrile and temporary prosperity. While the money is flowing, who bothers to notice the offshore flow of jobs and industry that is constraining the future of the next generation?

  2. ambrit

    Curious, isn’t it, that the U.S. Feds go after an outside entity for fraud under RICO, and local crooks get nary a look see.
    On the N.Z. ninja front; the non N.Z. sailing boats had better have some sophisticated anti-mine gear aboard next running of the race. This N.Z. ninja woman seems to have the requisite connections to obtain both Russian and Chinese armaments. Now that would make the Cup an interesting race!

  3. Cliff

    You do know that ‘defender’ you quoted, cactus kate, is cathy odgers? She has a blog herself and thats her writing alias.

    1. broccoli

      The person being quoted is actually “Linda Reid” — though Cathy Odgers does make a post early on in the comments as Cactus Kate, Linda is simply replying to that one.

  4. juliania

    Thanks for this. New Zealanders may just have got very tired of being the fifth eye. (Or is it fourth?) Nicky Hagar has helped spotlight that can of worms also, so I don’t think the Chinese will be going after him either.

    The ‘who’s running’ is David Cunliffe, Labour Party, who has been playing his cards very close to the vest. Key has been privatizing like billyho, national assets down the drain, and I don’t think his slick veneer fools many people any longer. They all know he has a nice holiday spot in Hawaii. Obama’s ‘creds’ should be making a difference, one would think.

    But from the outside it is really hard to gauge public sentiment.

  5. downunderer

    Thanks for your continuing interest in this network of scams. I think it is far more important to many more people than one might expect, and in many more places, though most Kiwis are usually too busy enjoying life to be bothered about politics, especially its nastier side. But at least the Hager book and Key’s responses are generating a major fuss by local standards, and perhaps the wider international connections/implications, from 5-eyes through finance, will also get noticed now.

    A columnist at the New Zealand Herald had this to report about the Espiner interview of PM Key, who has never before faced such a situation and who is finding his usual “What? Me worry?” defenses inadequate:

    Radio New Zealand public relations man John Barr said there were a few brickbats, but overwhelmingly bouquets for Guyon Espiner’s interview with John Key this week. The Prime Minister obfuscated in response to questions about government links with Whale Oil.

    Espiner demanded the Prime Minister answer questions about Justice Minister Judith Collins, and told him he was not going to get away with avoiding the question.

    Partway through Wednesday there had been 18,000 downloads of the Morning Report interview, making it the most downloaded item ever on the RNZ website.

    1. downunderer

      Thinking about international connections – I forgot to mention that the linked article also mentioned Slater’s rather unlikely Israeli support, which continues even as others are distancing themselves:

      But the Israeli Embassy in Wellington is relaxed about picking Slater – a climate change denier – to cover the World Science Conference in Israel. Despite the bad publicity, it believes Slater is “fair-minded” and “spiritual”.

      The use of “relaxed” is a snide aside only visible to locals, as a key Key tactic is to smile and say “I’m relaxed about that” or “I’m comfortable with that” about any potentially embarrassing topic that is brought up. This time, not so much. More squeaks are eagerly anticipated in some quarters.

  6. Tom Bradford

    Another little New Zealand spat involving John Key and the National Party which might even trigger a few ripples in the US is the “Hell hath no fury like a Media Mogul scorned” response of MegaUpload’s Kim DotCom, who emigrated to New Zealand and who (feels he) has been sold down the river by the New Zealand Government’s support of the breach of copyright actions brought against him by the US.

    In response Kim DotCom has launched his own political party, the Internet Party, which under New Zealand’s Proportion Representation electoral system would gain seats in Parliament (and the powers that go with them) if it gains more than 5% of the vote – which he might even achieve given the numbers of young voters who haven’t bothered to vote for the stale old parties on previous occasions but might vote for anything with the word “Internet” in it.

    DotCom has summoned the world to a Town Hall event in Auckland on 15th September (five days befor the election) “because that is going to be the day when I’m going to reveal my evidence… evidence around the political interference and my evidence that John Key lied,”

    And elections used to be so boring.

    1. Conrad

      The internet party has merged with Hone Harawira’s Mana movement, so they don’t need to get to 5% so long as Harawira retains his seat.

      I’m curious what DotCom will reveal on the 15th, Hager seems to have covered the ground pretty thoroughly. It seems too late to cause a big poll shift in any case but who knows?

  7. Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg

    What is it about the west now where big majorities routinely vote enthusiastically for the most venal hacks and ignore the most shocking revelations? The ultimate triumph of propaganda? Civilization as psy-op?

    1. ambrit

      It’s because we no longer teach critical thinking in the schools. Taking a test is not the same thing as figuring out a problem. High scores do not a scholar make.

      1. Lara

        No, no, no!!

        Thinking is an integral part of the curriculum.

        School is way different from when you and I went.

        We DO teach critical thinking. Its huge. We teach skills before knowledge, along with enough basic knowledge to learn more.

        Please don’t perpetuate that bollocks. Our NZ curriculum is very modern, our teachers are well trained, and at the end of the day, they’re there because they love it not for the money because the money is crap!

  8. fdx

    We will be getting the popcorn out and the Champange ready for polling day.
    We must vote this psychopath out of office. Never before has someone wreaked so much havoc on our little country in such a short amount of time than has this poisonous and odious man John Key.
    His government has been propped up by a convicted fraudster and hyporcrite in the form of John Banks, parliament should have been dissolved a year ago and new elections held already.
    I doubt the man can lay straight in bed, If ever there was a reptilian humaniod race, John Key would be their king.
    We are a lovely little country that has been brought to its knees by a government of right wing liars and fruit loops and we deserve better. Higher standards we were promised and all we got was a mountain of bullshit.

    1. juliania

      “We are a lovely little country that has been brought to its knees by a government of right wing liars and fruit loops and we deserve better. Higher standards we were promised and all we got was a mountain of bullshit.”

      Well said!

      The same can and should be said for this hubristic and megalomaniac, warmongering bankistry/oligarchy that thinks it is the United States government, so I will say it:

      “We are a lovely little country that has been brought to its knees by a government of right wing liars and fruit loops and we deserve better. Higher standards we were promised and all we got was a mountain of bullshit.”

      Thanks to the New Zealand posters who set us right here, and to the commenter at who posted a link to Tom Bradford’s first comment. We are not only a lovely little country; we are a lovely little world, and we are sick and tired of seeing it trashed!

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