Nice one Don. From today in the Wairarapa Times Age:

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It will be a boon for democracy in Masterton that some sunlight is to be applied to all this “curious” malarky that Councillors Hooker and Harris have got themselves involved in.

I am of course talking about this 1 million dollar running track that is used by Harris as a private business. You know, that one that barely sustains Harris’ cheeky enterprise because only 14 people are in his club and he doesn’t like other people using it?

At best, it is careless use of public money by the increasingly incompetent Hooker, Council, and Trust House.

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At worst, it is what could be described as corruption in local government by Hooker and Harris. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in the middle.

However, I have a duty to inform you, Don, that you may be in danger in bringing this to light. Let me explain why…

Jonathan Hooker is attempting to bully the media to his will.

Yesterday, a story appeared in the Dominion Post that reported on the Balloon event that was a huge egg on the face for Masterton. Here is the link for that story.

If you saw the story between the hours of 9am and noon, you would have seen this quote.

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But then, it was “curiously” removed. And this was added in [to the original story]:

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No one except the usual moaners on Facebook are criticising the decision not to inflate the balloons. No problem there.

The “organisers” said other aspects went well… like the fireworks. Oh, those fireworks that went off as most people were leaving? Nice communication there… and to think in a natural disaster Hooker is the Civil Defence controller…***shudder***

Their excuse for being completely unprepared? The pre-bookings didn’t match the turn out! um, ok? Did the organiser think the 12,000 people-on the offical Facebook page- who said they were interested in coming were just joking? What kind of event organisation is that?!

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Screen Capture of Offical Balloons Facebook page.

It comes down to this folks: Hooker “curiously” gets a lot of contracts from Council to provide services. He does get remunerated for it. Quite handsomely many would argue. A stuff up like this is a legitimate reason to question him. So why did this quote disappear…

“The fact that one of the organisers is a five term Masterton District councillor – Jonathan Hooker – and has been well remunerated for his work with the festival should lead to some quite serious questions being asked,”.

Well, I was just so interested I called the newsroom down in Wellington and spoke to this guy:

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After someone rang ahead then transferred me to him- I kid you not- he answered the phone “ugh, is this Jonathan again?”

I allayed his fears and said I am just a follower of politics and I would just like to know if he can shine some light on why the story changed. He obliged me quite well and said Hooker had contacted them more than once and …well… I don’t really need to finish this sentence do I?

At some point of the conversation I think he clicked that maybe he shouldn’t have said that and he turned a bit Yes Minister on me, claiming Hooker was not interfering, he was merely “resending what he sent us yesterday” and asking us to reconsider, he said. Right-o. And the media wonders why people are turning to blogs run by hobbyists, who at least wear their colours on their sleeves…

So there you have it: Hooker got the story changed by bleating, moaning, whinging, and kicking up a big stink.

It is dirty politics, and it highlights the growing hypocrisy and sanctimony of Hooker, who frequently wheels out his tired line about “a strong dislike of all the politicking in Politics”, whenever he comes up for some criticism. That is his way of deflecting criticism.

Thousands of people from the lower North Island now think events in Masterton are run by people who  would struggle to organise a root in a brothel. Talk about tripping just before the finish line… after all the ground work the people behind “My Masterton” put in. A real shame.

So, I wonder what the Bonallack thinks of Hooker barking at media people to do as he wishes. Bonallack, after all, repetitively blathers on in his Sky-TVesque editorial rota that newspapers serve an important and sacred role in “recording the history of the day as it happened”.

Hooker lacks any of the essential qualities required of a councillor. “Hypocrisy”, “sanctimony”, and “excuses” are the three words that define his career.

What do you think? Vote in the poll below.

 

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-Theus

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