Wednesday, 19 December 2018

Whinlayson clocks back in

Today's bonus Quotes of the Day are observations made by several commenters (mainly at Kiwiblog) on the political retirement of National's Chris Whinlayson, who as former government Treaty Negotiator doled out more millions of dollars than any such minister before him, and as a former (and future) iwi treaty counsel negotiated the receipt of many millions more -- the signing of the Treaty deal for Ngāi Tahu in 1997 was, he has said, "the highlight of his legal career":
"One of the smarter than average swamp creatures that fester under the proportional list system. He was trounced whenever he could be bothered facing the people in a fair election. Along with Palmer, he is a key contributor to destroying the rule of law in this country and replacing it with racial apartheid." 
"Not a single redeeming feature as a politician that I ever observed and as for the settlements -well he never ‘settled’ anything just fueled the greed for more and more money for the iwi elite. What a monument to futility.
A man who was never elected – and indeed couldn’t get elected, has been paid more than handsomely to give away billions and not solve a problem!"
"He would do well with settlements, after all he grew in the legal profession because of them. What a wonderful nest egg to return to." 
"Finlayson is a smart man.His ego gets the better of him. Basically conferring a Q.C upon himself detracts from his career achievements." 
"Given the sweetheart settlement deal he negotiated for Ngai Tahu, it was cheaper for NZ to have Finlayson in Parliament than out of it."
He embodies what the great HL Mencken once said about lawyers:
“All the extravagance and incompetence of our ... Government is due, in the main, to lawyers, and, in part at least, to good ones. They are responsible for nine-tenths of the useless and vicious laws that now clutter the statute-books, and for all the evils that go with the vain attempt to enforce them. Every Federal judge is a lawyer. So are most Congressmen. Every invasion of the plain rights of the citizens has a lawyer behind it. If all lawyers were hanged tomorrow, and their bones sold to a mah jong factory, we’d be freer and safer, and our taxes would be reduced by almost a half.”


  1. That’s a very ungracious post on an MP who made a far more positive impact during his time as an MP than most.

    1. Positive? In what respect was his impact positive? Or gracious?

  2. Sorting legitimate claims is the only way we can hope to get from grievance to growth.

    1. I don't know enough of the history to comment with certainty on whether they were legitimate claims or not, except a suspicion that at least some of them weren't. But I can say something that somewhat supports what you're saying. Ngai Tahu have in my experience generally got past grievance, and have well performing assets and property developments throughout the South Island. They also seem to appoint based on merit regardless of race. Regardless of whether the wealth that initially went their way was deserved or not, I have to at least give credit for how they've grown it rather than squandered it.


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