Murray McCully has denied a link between a a hotel deal in Niue and a large donation to the National Party.
The donation – just over $100,000 – was paid to the National Party by Earl Hagaman, the founder of Scenic Hotel Group, shorty before the company won a contract to run the Matavai Resort in Niue.
“The National Party receives millions in donations each year,” the Foreign Minister said in a statement, “and sometimes people give us policy suggestions or ask us for stuff. It’s always a very happy coincidence for the National Party when monies and askings come from the same person/lobby group at roughly the same time. But that’s all it is. A coincidence. A fiscally delicious coincidence.”
McCully was also at pains to point out he was, in his role as Foreign Minister, setting up a range of opportunities that would benefit New Zealand long after he had retired from parliament to the McCully Suite at the Matavai Resort in Niue.
Here at MyThinks we’ve been following the career of Foreign Minister and former national Movember champion Murray McCully for some years now. From his time as Witchsmeller Pursuivant for the Bolger regime of the 1990s up until his current role of chief emissary between the current National-led coalition and the various military juntas around the Middle East. Recently McCully has been praised for his no-nonsense approach to the shifting of vast sums of money and the odd meat-works from New Zealand to well-known poor people, The Saudi Royal Family.
Today McCully called it a day. In a short statement released this morning, the MP for East Coast Bays announced he wouldn’t be standing as a candidate at the next election.
The minister said the decision wasn’t easy. He acknowledged the hard work of the East Coast Bays electorate committee and the lady members of the Browns Bay Bowling Club who, McCully said, cook a mean sausage role.
When asked about life after politics McCully was coy, however he said there had been many offers – particularly to clean up dead lambs on desert farms around the Saudi peninsula.
Thank you Mr McCully for your years of many service in discrediting people who even remotely questioned anything the National Party did. It’s a shame we will not longer feel your Machiavellian wrath or witness unique subsidies that are definitely not bribes even though you are paying money to someone to try to get them to do something which is technically a bribe except when you do it, in which case it’s a internationalised cash transfer.
Godspeed Muz. Good luck and godspeed.
Earlier this week this blog published a satirical piece suggesting Foreign Minister Murray McCully was corrupt in his dealings with the murderous Saudi regime.
We may have implied McCully was Minister of Brown Paper Bags Full of Cash.
The implication that the minister is any more or less corrupt than the rest of his cabinet colleagues, fellow National Party MPs or, indeed, the wider National Party as a whole is inherently untrue.
We apologise for any inconvenience or confusion this may have caused.
What follows is a transcript of a brief press conference given at parliament earlier today by the Rt. Hon. Murray McCully, Minister of the Dark Arts and Brown Envelopes Bulging with Cash.
MURRAY MCCULLY (entering, walks up to podium, stands on strategically placed beer crate): Good afternoon everyone. Thank you for coming. I’ve called this press conference to just clear up a few things regarding our investment in a random agricultural hub in the middle of the Arabian desert. Firstly I’d like to read from a brief statement, then I’ll take some questions from the floor. Ahem…
This week the government announced an exciting venture where we plan to ship an abattoir from New Zealand to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. This is a very exciting venture because, as everybody knows, sheep can’t survive in the desert, so having somewhere to turn them into prime export cuts is a very exciting venture. This abattoir will be paid for by the New Zealand taxpayer and goes some way to fulfilling our obligations under the Middle East Free Trade Agreement, or MEFTA, that we haven’t been able to get them to sign yet. We hope to get this packed into crates and on a plane by the end of the week. Thank you. Any questions?
VANCE, TVNZ: Is this just a bribe to try to get them to sign MEFTA (mumbles to self: MEFTA sounds ridiculous)?
MCCULLY (looking down and to the side): Absolutely not. This isn’t a bribe. A bribe is when you pay someone money to do something. There is no money being paid here. Only a building. A building paid for with money. Come on, you can’t bribe anyone with a building.
VANCE: Once you give them the building, are you hoping they will sign MEFTA?
MCCULLY: That’s why we’re giving them the building.
CAMPBELL, RNZ NATIONAL: Are you concerned that this money is benefiting a regime that’s just killed nearly 50 people who oppose that regime?
MCCULLY: Oh look, we are not giving this abattoir to Saudi Arabia, we are giving it to the businessman who owns the farm.
CAMPBELL: Yes, but in Saudi Arabia, nobody is allowed to do own anything like an abattoir or large farm. It just becomes assets of the Saudi royal family – the same family that put to death all those people just before Christmas.
MCCULLY: But we are bribing the grumpy businessman with this meat-works, not the Saudi Royal family. Haven’t you read the ministry papers?
GOWER, NewShub: Is there anything else you are giving the Saudis?
MCCULLY: No. Absolutely not. We have no plans to give them anything else other than the abattoir. There is absolutely no bundles of American dollars that might fall out of the containers when they are opened on the other side. No. Nothing else.
GOWER: Are you concerned this will make New Zealand look like just another corrupt regime willing to do business with anyone at any cost?
MCCULLY: Look. The National Party of New Zealand prides itself on the unique way I like to do business. Sometimes you’ve got to get your hands dirty. You’ve got to roll up your sleeves, reach into the wrong end of the cow and pull out some policy that just looks so very terrible and smells even worse. Ultimately, John Key is the PM. He’s told New Zealanders he been known to take a whazz in the shower. If they don’t care about that, I don’t think they’re going to care about a few million dollars spent to get a free trade deal with a country that murders members of the opposition.
Ok… so if there’s nothing else I need to whip across to the Reserve Bank and sort out some non-sequential bills. Good afternoon.
Jumps off beer crate and exits through side door.