Now that Michelle Boag has seriously compromised National’s prospects at the election, it is perhaps time to reflect on her ignominious past.
In my original post, I missed out some of her sordid past. This article is more complete.
National Party hack
Boag’s history goes back a long way. She was in the Prime Minister’s press office in 1976 under Robert Muldoon, joined the National Party research unit and by 1985 was press officer to the Leader of the Opposition, Jim McClay. She survived in her job when Jim Bolger took over and appears in a Close Up documentary of the new leader Jim Bolger.
Misleading the Winebox Inquiry – 1994
Her first overt dirty dealings was with her scurrilous and underhand dirty actions in the Winebox Inquiry set up in 1994.
Michelle Boag cannot ever overcome the fact that she wilfully misled the Davison Commission over the secret filming of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters at the tax-dodging inquiry. This was recorded by Sir Ronald Davison in his findings at the time when he said, she set out determinedly with a clear intention to deceive the commission for the purpose of obtaining permission to film. In short, she set out to pervert the course of justice. Both Michelle Boag and her employer Fay Richwhite were found in contempt and fined. That should have been the end of her, but it wasn’t.
Michelle Boag was on the board of TVNZ at this time, and subsequently resigned in disgrace as a result of her nefarious involvement in the Winebox Inquiry.
Shortest and Most Destructive National Party President – 2002
She challenged my father for the presidency of the National Party in 2001. It was a dirty campaign with her team spreading rumours that my father and mother were estranged and only together for the presidency campaign. After the previous campaign that my father won, Michelle Boag was waiting for him at his office in Mt Eden. She had four A4 pages of names and suggested board positions for her “clients” that she wanted Dad to put to Jenny Shipley for appointments. After she left the office Dad filed those pages in the round filing cabinet under his desk.
She won the next bout however and proceeded to destroy the party. She was a firm backer of Bill English and has falsely claimed to have recruited John Key to the National Party. John Key disproved that years later in John Roughan‘s book by saying it was my father who had recruited him.
Boag as president tried to engineer the cancellation of my father’s membership of the party, arranging for the new Electorate Chair of Epsom electorate to hold a meeting to remove him from the membership. Pakuranga electorate, however, made him a member there, where he remains to this today. Such are the vitriolic and vengeful actions of Michelle Boag. These actions were to be repeated when Peter Goodfellow became president and tried to cancel my membership. The Pakuranga Electorate Chair told Goodfellow that his machinations weren’t going to be tolerated. He duly held a meeting and confirmed my membership. People have always wondered at my hostility towards National, they can wonder no more.
The 2002 election was a disaster, overseen by Bill English as the leader and Michelle Boag as President. The party scored its lowest ever election result. Boag skulked off shortly thereafter, but not before she stoked an internecine battle between Maurice Williamson and Bill English.
National MPs appear to have managed to silence colleagues who have been lashing out at party president Michelle Boag over the humiliating election defeat.
Yesterday morning MP Maurice Williamson vowed to keep calling for Ms Boag to stand down until she did, but today he was silent.
On election night Mr Williamson likened Ms Boag to a boil that had to be lanced.
Blame for the campaign strategy and presentation is being landed at Ms Boag’s feet by many in the party.
Following the party’s first post-election caucus meeting yesterday National leader Bill English said more pressure would be placed on Mr Williamson to be quiet after he initially ignored his call for calm reflection on the election night humiliation.
Asked whether Mr Williamson would continue his criticism despite being told to stop, Mr English said: “That is a matter that I am sure Maurice’s colleagues will be raising with him.
Williamson famously said on air to TV cameras at his electorate office on election night that the boil within the party needed lancing. I know, because I was standing right beside him when he said it.
Bill English rushed to the defense of Michelle Boag. Ultimately association with her cost him his leadership.
Using the Westpac Rescue Helicopter as a Personal Taxi Service – 2006
In 2006, wearing her hat as chairwoman of the Auckland Rescue Helicopter Foundation, Michelle Boag didn’t stop for a moment to think that it might be a bad look to call the rescue helicopter to fetch her passport when she discovered she had mistakenly left it at home.
She was nearly at Auckland Airport, a few hours early in order to check-in for her flight to Australia, when she called the Rescue Helicopter at 5.30 am to ask the team to do her a favour.
The chopper, complete with the mandatory crew of three including a paramedic, flew from Mechanics Bay to Waiheke and then out to the helipad near the international terminal to deliver the passport to her. It then returned to Mechanics Bay. Boag claimed it was all a dreadful mistake, a habit she gets into whenever anything goes dreadfully wrong.
“I was in a hole and they managed to help me out and I was happy to pay the price for that,” she told the Herald “That was my silly mistake and I won’t do it again.”
Except she remained on the board or as a trustee, and eventually became the acting CEO until she resigned in disgrace on Tuesday, for another “silly mistake”.
Involvement in Bronwyn Pullar ACC debacle – 2012
Michelle Boag was the support person for Bronwyn Pullar in her war with ACC. It was a war which also included a privacy breach of ACC claimants, and accusations of threats against ACC and the minister.
In light of this new privacy breach one wonders just precisely what went on back then.
The ACC Minister at the time of the Pullar affair was Judith Collins, but she was replaced by another person closely connected to Michelle Boag, Nikki Kaye.
NBR has a very good summary of events in this case.
Michelle Boag attacks Judith Collins – 2014
Michelle Boag, in one of her public commentary roles, commented on Judith Collins‘ friendship with me saying “My grandmother always told me when you lie down with dogs you wake up with fleas.”
Those people deeply associated with Michelle Boag will be wishing she hadn’t said that as the media goes looking for those who may have picked up fleas for lying down with the dog that is Michelle Boag.
Michelle Boag involved in McCully’s Dodgy Saudi Sheep Scandal – 2015
In 2015, Boag was caught up in the ongoing controversy about the National government’s dodgy dealing with Saudi businessman Sheikh Hamood Al Ali Khalaf.
In her role as director of the Middle East Business Council, she introduced foreign minister Murray McCully to George Assaf, the business partner of Al Khalaf.
McCully was at the time attempting to set up an “agrihub” in the middle of the Saudi Arabian desert, and eventually arranged for the government to pay $6 million to build it on sand in the middle of nowhere owned by Al Khalaf, and another $4 million “facilitation payment” for the “intellectual property” he brought to the deal.
Boag later said, “I met with George, I was not paid to meet with George, all I said was, ‘I will try and help you, what would you like?’ He said, ‘I would like to meet with the minister.'”
The Auditor General produced a report in October 2016 which found that there were significant shortcomings in the paper put to Cabinet. “In my view, settlement of a grievance was provided under the guise of a contract for services,” she said.
The CEOs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise delivered the final nail in the coffin of Murray McCully’s dodgy Saudi Arabian “Agri-Hub” deal.
Cris and Seed concluded that “The advent of the Agrihub did not translate into progress as the FTA has now been stalled for a decade. The Agrihub also failed to generate the economic benefits that had been hoped for at the time. It is MFAT and NZTE’s assessment then that at the conclusion of the process, the $11.5 million Saudi Arabia Food Partnership Agreement did not provide value for money – similar arrangements should not be recommended or utilised again.”
Backed Mayoralty Loser Vic Crone and new Auckland Centre-Right Ticket – 2016
Michelle Boag was deeply involved in Vic Crone‘s failed bid to become Auckland Mayor. Crone only got 28% of the vote but still did better, by about 30,000 votes than the next hapless Boag candidate for mayor, John Tamihere. But worse than the previous candidate, John Palino, who got 31% of the vote.
She was also behind the new centre-right ticket Auckland Future, which was a disaster and split the centre-right vote.
Boag adapts rap hit Gangsta’s Paradise for John Key – 2016
During a party fundraiser in the Tamaki electorate for the National Party, Michelle Boag rapped a self-adapted version of Coolio’s Gangsta’s Paradise entitled John Key’s Paradise.
According to the NZ Herald, Boag was not a fan of the original and did not own a copy of it. YouTube video of the performance appears to have been scrubbed from the internet, but I managed to obtain a copy for your viewing displeasure.
Mad Butcher PR disaster – 2017
In 2017 Sir Peter Leitch was attacked for being a racist by a couple of visiting scumbags on Waiheke Island.
Michelle Boag made herself and the problem so much worse when she described one of the accusers as “barely coffee coloured”.
Worse she made the comment to Maori TV. As is usual with Boag, she blamed others and said the comment was flippant and taken out of context.
Sir Peter Leitch didn’t deserve to have Boag destroy his legacy of helping Maori and Pasifika communities through his Mad Butcher franchises and involvement with Rugby League.
Backed Mayoralty Loser John Tamihere – 2019
Michelle Boag was integral in John Tamihere‘s failed bid for the Auckland Mayoralty. Tamihere scored even less votes than Vic Crone’s failed bid achieving, if you can call it that, just 22% of the vote, a number eerily close to the National party result in 2002.
Michelle Boag supports Vernon Tava’s troubled Sustainable NZ party – 2019
In 2019 Boag threw her support behind Sustainable NZ, a “green-blue” party, when it launched under Vernon Tava, a former Green candidate who had abandoned the party as “too socialist”, then failed in his bid to be selected as the National candidate for Northcote.
The party has been riven with dissent and collapsed with the exit of key people claiming the party and some of its people lacked integrity.
Involvement with Nikki Kaye
Michelle Boag has been a long time confidant, fundraiser and campaign chair for Nikki Kaye.
Kaye announced yesterday that Boag was no longer involved with her campaign. The links however go deep.
It is almost inconceivable that Kaye didn’t know what Boag was up to with Hamish Walker.
Long term involvement with Murray McCully
Boag and McCully have had a long and close association together, both inside and outside of the party.
As mentioned before she was connected to McCully’s dodgy Saudi sheep deal. And last year set up the Maori Carbon Foundation to take advantage of the climate change scam. Involved are Maru Nihonih, Murray McCully, Hone Harawira, Sir Mark Solomon, Jevan Goulter and Michelle Boag.
Stupid COVID-19 Claim
Leaked Private Health Information to National MPs
This week it was revealed that Boag leaked private health information about the people in isolation with the Chinese plague to both Michael Woodhouse and Hamish Walker.
Hamish Walker gave thoser details to media, and as a result has now stood down as the candidate for Clutha-Southland and will exit parliament at the election.
Connections to Muller?
On the 19th of May Michelle Boag, who we already know is well connected to Nikki Kaye, used one of her many media gigs, to slam Simon Bridges.
Michelle Boag says it’s no surprise people have responded positively to the Prime Minister – whose ratings shot up to almost 60 percent.
She told Chris Lynch Arden’s been visible everywhere during the pandemic and Bridges hasn’t.
“There is no doubt there’s a good chance of him becoming yet another victim of Covid-19.“
Todd Muller took over from Simon Bridges three days later on the 22 May. Was this part of the Muller/Kaye media strategy that we know included Matthew Hooton making similar pronouncements?
Has Todd Muller done a Bill English and moved to attack his own MP in order to protect confidante Michelle Boag?
We know that Michelle Boag was touting Muller in the days ahead of the coup, and MPs were told that Boag had promised significant donors if Muller won.
Is Todd Muller being extremely economical with the truth about his involvement with Michelle Boag?
For too long this harridan of the media and the National party has wreaked havoc. It’s time to put the old dog down.
Media who have shamelessly used her as a proxy for the National Party, need to discontinue using her.
I’m not sure I’d want to be a client of hers either, as you never know when you’ll be the victim of a privacy leak to further her political career.
After a lifetime of unmitigated disasters, it is fitting she has destroyed herself and will disappear in ignominy.
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