Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Donna, meet Helen

On the occasion of Donna Awatere-Huata finding herself back in the news again, it's worth reflecting on this question: How does the misappropriation of taxpayers' money by Donna Awatare-Huata to fund her lifestyle and her stomach stapling differ either materially or in principle from the Labour Party's misappropriation of taxpayers' money to fund their election.

In both cases, money was appropriated from the taxpayer for one purpose and was used instead for another, more venal, purpose.

Their are only two material differences that I can see:
  1. Donna was convicted of fraud for $80,ooo, whereas (according to the Auditor-General) the Labour Party's misappropriation was ten times that; and
  2. She at least paid for her own defence when caught.
UPDATE: Commenters here have pointed out the taxpayer also paid for Huata to defend herself against the charge she's ripped off the taxpayer, despite her being able to put her hands on $2 million of assets. So on that I stand corrected.

So the material differences between then amount to:
1) one of scale, and
2) a difference in relative assets between Huata and the Labour Party. Huata could afford to pay back her fraudulently-gotten gains. The Labour Party can't.

LINK: Pipi offers Huata bonus of $60,000 - Stuff

RELATED: Politics-NZ, Politics-Labour, Darnton V Clark

13 Comments:

Blogger Southern Gent said...

Ooops! I think you have an extra zero in bullet point #1

SG

10/04/2006 11:32:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

PC, TRN's 10 & 11am news bulletins reported that Brash has asked the NZ Police as to why charges were not laid against Labour's appropriate personnel when they discovered election-spending anomalies ..

10/04/2006 11:43:00 am  
Blogger PC said...

Oops. Thanks SG.

And thanks for that, Sus.

10/04/2006 12:01:00 pm  
Blogger Steve said...

I'm fairly certain that Huata actually got her defence paid by the taxpayer too, under legal aid.

10/04/2006 03:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Falafulu Fisi said...

Steve said...
[I'm fairly certain that Huata actually got her defence paid by the taxpayer too, under legal aid.]

Yep, that's right. Huata got her defence paid under legal aid. This legal aid for her defence were criticised by the media when it was revealed that she & her husband have a family trust for properties worth $ 2 millions.

10/04/2006 03:16:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

sus, I just loved Annette King's statement that Brash's compalint to the Police was "taking NZ down the road to a police state"!
Is she stupid or simply ignorant?

10/04/2006 03:48:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

grrr.."complaint"

10/04/2006 03:58:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Huata's sentence was absurd vis a vis her crime - 80k is chicken feed.

Suggest you look at the Graeme Rutherford case - we testified in this and were nearly declared hostile witnesses. Rutherford stole $55million - but from rich listers like Fernyhough. He got a pathetic sentence of something like 12 months.

It doesn't matter if it is from the taxpayer or not - it's double standards.

Maybe it's just the fact Donna is a Maaari eh Peter. You can get political points from bashing that.

10/04/2006 05:45:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

"Maybe it's just the fact Donna is a Maaari eh Peter. You can get political points from bashing that."
Sigh.. when will you idiots realize that some of us--most of us in fact--are truly "colour blind" and we don't give a stuff about the ethnic origins of anyone.
What we object to is the behaviour, not the bloodlines.
Accusations of "maori-bashing" get tedious. And it's dishonest.

10/04/2006 06:00:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How is it dishonest in this case.

How else do you explain a 3 year sentence for misappropriating a piddling 80K? Give me a break.

10/04/2006 06:45:00 pm  
Blogger KG said...

anonymous, I can't explain the sentence because I haven't read the court transcripts.
But courts hand down what appear to be disproportionate sentences in a lot of cases. (remember the Maori who dropped a concrete block from the overpass and killed someone? who got a ridiculously short sentence for murder?)
To suggest that Huata's sentence was "Maori bashing" is illogical, since just as many Maoris get lenient sentences for violent crimes.

10/04/2006 07:09:00 pm  
Blogger Richard said...

Good call, PC.

And, to answer your second question,

How does the misappropriation of taxpayers' money by Donna Awatare-Huata to fund her lifestyle and her stomach stapling differ ... in principle from the Labour Party's misappropriation of taxpayers' money to fund their election?

- it doesn't.

10/05/2006 12:18:00 am  
Anonymous Sus said...

Hi KG .. I missed that wee absurdity from Annette King! I'm tempted to say "unbelievable", but it's not at all. Just another case of totalitarians distorting language a la Orwell. Boy, was he ever spot on about the language revisionists! But it's almost laughable when those who love regulation scream fear of regulation!

More like another desperate diversionary tactic, methinks ...

10/05/2006 12:01:00 pm  

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