Thursday, February 02, 2017

This smells II

Yesterday the Department of Internal Affairs finally released the documentation on vampire capitalist Peter Thiel's citizenship. And lo and behold, it turns out that the "exceptional circumstances" relied upon by the Minister in approving Thiel's citizenship despite his never having lived in New Zealand was that he was rich:

"Given the investment Mr Thiel has made in New Zealand companies and the support and contacts he is able to provide, the Department is of the view that granting Mr Thiel's citizenship would be in the public interest due to his exceptional circumstances," the report concluded.

And there you have it: under National, if you wave enough money around, they'll give you citizenship. They sell it to the highest bidder, just like Tonga.

As for what to do about it, increased transparency seems to be in order, both around "exceptional" grants of citizenship, and (to ease our minds) political donations. Because currently we have no way of knowing who National has been selling to - or what they have been given in return. If we want to be non-corrupt, lets be non-corrupt - and scrutinise our government and politicians properly so that we can be seen to be clean.