The Watchdog

Keeping citizens in the loop

NBR: ‘Knight’ of the Roundtable Roger Kerr -was made a Companion of the New Zealand order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours’ & my comment(s).

Rob Hosking | Friday June 03, 2011 | 10 comments

‘Knight’ of the Roundtable Roger Kerr

Business Roundtable executive director Roger Kerr was made a Companion of the New Zealand order of Merit in the Queen’s Birthday Honours – the country’s secondest highest honour.

Mr Kerr (66) has held the role since the Business Roundtable was formed in 1986, and now notes that nobody expected the role, let alone the organisation itself, to last anything like this long. Formed at the height of the economic reforms of the David Lange/Roger Douglas government, the organisation was aimed at seeing those reforms, and the principles which inspired them, continued.

Mr Kerr, at the time a Treasury official, was deeply involved with those reforms but he credits businessmen Sir Ron Trotter and Sir Douglas Myers as the main push for the Roundtable to become a formal organisation.

“We had the view the Lange-Douglas government economic reforms would not stay in place unless there was broad support in the business community for them.

“I thought we might all last for a year or two until it all fell apart in disunity and argument.”

At the time the Roundtable stood out from most of the other business groups (Federated Farmers was an exception) because it was not involved in arguing for specific concessions from the government for its members but instead was arguing for a principled approach of low taxes, no subsidies, and less rather than more regulation.

Ten years after its formation, at the start of the first MMP coalition government of National and New Zealand First, ministers offered a business assistance package and all the business groups turned it down.

“We said thanks, but no thanks … progressively all have come to the same sort of view – the differences between what we, Business New Zealand, the Chambers of Commerce and the Federated Farmers are all very similar.”

As for his award, he said that he is “delighted and deeply honoured to be recognised in this way; but the honour really goes to those courageous business leaders who cared enough about the country to set up the Business Roundtable back in the 1980s when the country was in a crisis.

“And the honour also belongs to all of those business leaders who over the years have quietly but determinedly backed me as a foot soldier and the Business Roundtable as an organisation in our efforts to promote better public policies for New Zealand.

“So I see this honour as recognition of all that we’ve been able to achieve together – and the list of achievements is very substantial – and I’m very proud to accept it on behalf of the organisation.”

He also acknowledge the support of his family, “especially my three wonderful sons, who did not see as much of me when they were growing up as they might have needed to, when I was so heavily committed to my work

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MY COMMENT:

“Formed at the height of the economic reforms of the David Lange/Roger Douglas government, the organisation was aimed at seeing those reforms, and the principles which inspired them, continued.

Mr Kerr, at the time a Treasury official, was deeply involved with those reforms but he credits businessmen Sir Ron Trotter and Sir Douglas Myers as the main push for the Roundtable to become a formal organisation.” __________________________________

When did the public elect Roger Kerr, Doug Myers and Ron Trotter?

Where was the democratic mandate for these ‘reforms’ and whose interests were served by them?

Was the influence of the NZ Business Round Table at the ‘policy’ level – before these ‘reforms’ became legislation, actually an example of the form of ‘grand corruption’ known as ‘State Capture’ ? (where vested interests ‘get their way’ at the ‘policy’ before legislation is passed?)

Never heard of ‘State Capture’?

Neither had I until I attended the 14th Transparency International Anti-Corruption Conference last year.

(Now am in contact with international experts on the subject).

(Check out the role of ‘Regulatory Impact Statements’ – who is ‘consulted’ on various ‘policy’ initiatives before they become legislation.)

Has this been helped by NZ’s lack of an enforceable ‘Code of Conduct’ for MPs, and ‘lobbyists’, and the lack of a ‘Register of Lobbyists’?

How is public scrutiny maintained over who exactly is ‘meeting the Minister’, on whose behalf, and for what purpose?

All this ‘transparency’ in New Zealand – ‘perceived’ to be the least corrupt country in the world (along with Denmark and Singapore according to Transparency International’s 2010 ‘Corruption Perception Index’).

Looking forward to the next ad hominem attempted smear campaign by ‘disinformation agents’?

The more vicious the attacks – the more I know that I’m hitting the mark – eh Lindsay?

Going to try and get me banned from NBR (again) Lindsay for raising these issues?🙂

Kind regards Penny Bright http://waterpessure.wordpress.com

[Penny, it’s Queen’s Birthday. Go and have brunch or something – CK] Penny Bright |___________________________________________________________________

Monday, June 6, 2011 – 10:23am reply Penny you could ask exactly the same question about the Unions and also apply your “state capture” comments. Both are in, effect ,lobby groups Ross12 | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 10:45am reply Hi Penny 1)Who paid for you to go to this conference and how do you source your current income? 2) Without the sweeping changes in the mid 80’s by this group, NZ would not been forced to be efficicent in farming and other industries, to be forced to close low value manufacturing before the China Story really took off. You should be thanking these guys that our small economy is so cutting edge and without the smoke that protectionism causes. And apparently I am a “Rich p#rick” according to the left , but here i am working on Queens Birthday to make sure my team has work to fund their salaries and lives… Beanie | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 11:34am

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reply In response to Penny Bright | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 10:23am

Well there was certainly a democratic mandate given by the voters when the Lange/Douglas Labour Party were re-elected in 1987 with an increased percentage of the votes (43% in 1984 to 48% in 1987).

There is the mandate for you Penny, but you knew about that already didn’t you. The mandate that wasn’t given by the voters was for Lange to stop the reforms in 1988 that everyone voted for 1987. Anonymous | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 11:38am

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reply Get a life penny bright. You are a piece of scum who thinks your doing good work. Everyone secretly knows your a joke. Thomas. D | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 11:55am reply

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An excellent man who many young and old NZ’ers should get insipration from. I hope someone makes a small documentary on this legend Devon | Monday, June 6, 2011 –

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12:01pm reply I constantly read Roger Kerrs analysis of business and government. It is excellent. Congratulations Mr Kerr. Anonymous | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 12:51pm

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reply Roger Kerr’s hounours award has been given for his public engagement with the field of business. Any democracy should allow lobbying by different groups, such as business organizations or unions. They have a right to exist and voice their views. Equally, the public has a responsibility to critically analyse what they say and respond if they wish. Personally, I don’t support the views of either Roger or Penny Bright. Anonymous | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 1:21pm

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reply In response to Penny Bright | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 10:23am Penny, are you in line for any award yet? If not, why not? No Time | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 1:40pm

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reply

In response to No Time | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 1:40pm

Missed these did you ‘No Time’? http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10655565

Perennial protester Penny Bright – arrested 22 times, often at Auckland City Council meetings – has received a “Good Citizen” award from a council community board,

The Aucklander reports.

The outgoing Eden Albert Community Board’s chairman, Christopher Dempsey, says the controversial character is being honoured for focusing attention on water privatisation and pushing for transparency in council contracts.

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10602660 Auckland council protester and “anti-corruption campaigner”

Penny Bright has the backing of Local Government Minister Rodney Hide in her drive to increase the level of transparency and accountability from local government politicians. Her inquiries have found only a few councils have a register of interests for elected members, not all of which are available on the council websites.

Councils that declare some or all of local members’ pecuniary interests include Auckland City Council, Manukau City Council, Palmerston North City Council, Horowhenua District Council and Hurunui District Council.

Penny Bright, who attended the Australian public sector anti-corruption conference in Brisbane in July, said there was huge scope for abuse of public office for private gain in New Zealand.

At the very least, she said, local government politicians should be subject to the same rules as MPs and have to declare the assets, debts and gifts they may have accumulated or received.

She said New Zealand should follow measures introduced by the Labor Government in Australia, where ministers have to divest themselves of shares (except investment schemes such as diversified superannuation funds) and are forbidden from seeking government or public service work for 18 months after leaving office.”

However – I don’t expect to get an award for my services to big busine$$ anytime soon;)

Penny Bright https://waterpressure.wordpress.com Penny Bright | Monday, June 6, 2011 – 3:35pm

June 6, 2011 - Posted by | Fighting corruption in NZ, Fighting corruption internationally, Human rights, Internationally significant information

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