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Perspective on Conflict of Interests

Conflict of Interest can be a touchy subject, but it is very important that we keep in mind the consequences, or potential consequences.

Resignation Announced

NICK SMITH: “I have made not one error of judgement but two in dealing with a conflict of interest.”

Embattled MP Nick Smith has resigned all of his Cabinet portfolios.

The MP for Nelson has been embroiled in a controversy over a letter he provided to friend Bronwyn Pullar while he was still ACC minister which was used to advance her ACC claim.

“I made not one error of judgement but two in dealing with a conflict of interest in respect of a friend,” he told Parliament this afternoon.

He said doing the letter was an error and ‘more so” doing it on ministerial letterhead.

Dr Smith said it was the “proper” thing to do to resign.

“Mr Speaker I want to put on the public record that I did not interfere in any way, in my view, in the judgement calls ACC made about that person’s claim, but I do accept the signing of those two letters is not up to the standard that Parliament expects of its ministers.”

An emotional Dr Smith said he would serve out his term in Parliament.

Dr Smith said his speech in Parliament was hard, and the fiasco has been difficult for his family.

“I messed up and I just apologise to all those people that I let down,” he said.

“I want time with my family to reflect on my future. Obviously, prior to the 2014 election, I’ll make a decision as to whether to continue as an elected representative,” he said.

The portfolios he resigned from are climate change issues, environment and local government.

Prime Minister John he had accepted Dr Smith’s resignation “with sadness”.
……..
NZ First leader Winston Peters yesterday told Parliament it was “a shabby little case, involving blackmail, sex, [and] a minister with a conflict of interest”.

However, Dr Smith today rejected Peters’ claim.

“What I have openly done is acknowledged that Bronwyn Pullar was a friend, that I knew her because she was a volunteer of the National Party in Auckland and I knew her from her work as a marketer in the fruit exporting business.”

He had made it clear in the letter Pullar was a “good friend” and told her in two previous letters that as ACC minister there was no way he could advise the Corporation on her claim.

The third letter was written on the basis of supplying a reference on her state of health prior to her cycling accident in 2002.

“You always walk this difficult line as a minister. You do have friends, you do have family, where is that line? In hindsight it was an error, as the letter could be misconstrued.”

Smith said the only people in politics who didn’t make mistakes were those who didn’t do anything.

The letter had not resulted in Ms Pullar getting ACC entitlements, he said.
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I have not kept up with this story in detail, but what hit me like an axe falling from the sky, was that the letters had not resulted in the lady receiving any additional entitlements?

By comparison, where legal-workers can and do receive extra money, by featherbedding out hearings and I believe, tending to find against richer litigants, to pressure them to appeal, the consequences for children’s lives and their parent’s live, are huge.

Consider Chris Jones and Kay Skelton. If Kay Skelton had been handled competently by familycaught$, then Jayden would have been saved a huge amount of manipulation, from age 0 to 6 years. Both of his parents would have been saved huge legal charges, for just destructive service. His mother would have been saved from 2 years jail for perjury.

By comparison, where legal-workers can and do receive extra money, by featherbedding out hearings and I believe, tending to find against richer litigants, to pressure them to appeal, the consequences for children’s lives and their parent’s live, are huge.

Consider the many cases of sexual abuse allegation, after sexual abuse allegation. The children under these may lose years of contact and relationship with a parent, usually their father. I do know of cases where the father has generated multiple allegations, so I don’t see false allegations as a gender issue. As well as consequences in terms of time and dollars, we must also add in father’s and mother’s suicides and children’s suicides in the wake of these allegations. These are situations which must be handled competently in the real world, not just “professional thief competently”.

It is an old subject:

Are unmanaged conflicts of interest hazardous to our children and our wealth?

Parental Conflict – Alienating a Child

More Corruption by Judge and Judicial Conduct Commissioner

Mother Hazard Father Hazard

Suicides prompt child custody shakeup

Inviting Media to report on Family court Case’s

Study Shows Little Interest By News Media In Family Court Proceedings

So what?

I am suggesting that the caughts must be held to the same level of transparency and accountability, as Parliament works to. Dr Nick Smith resigned after a $0.00 problem was exposed.

What would happen, if all “judges” in NZ, who worked on through a conflict of interest over $1,000 were exposed? I doubt that there would be a single judge remaining. The most important issue, is protecting all customers of familycaught$, from the caught itself!

I don’t believe that NZ has a surplus of talent in politics. To dispose of a talented Minister is a significant cost to NZ. On the other hand, if NZ had an open common law system and judicial services were charged at reasonable cost, we have far more judges than needed. It would be constructive to cut their numbers down, by removing the less useful judges.

We could also look at the total value of these conflicts of interest. I would guess that the value to legal-workers, of all manipulated and undeclared conflicts of interest, in the last 30 years, is about $3 billion in familycaught$ alone, plus about 1000 suicides, plus many damaged childhoods for children. We are our own worst enemies, by meekly tolerating these situations.

I remember being yelled at as a child:
Keep your eye on the ball!

Shoot me dead! MurrayBacon.