Kim Dotcom and the Govt Minister who said 'NO'
Friday 9 Mar 2012 6:03 p.m.
By Patrick Gower
3 News has obtained over 2000 pages of Government documents relating to Kim Dotcom's successful residency application and failed attempt to get Overseas Investment Office approval to buy the Dotcom Mansion.
The documents show a series of officials and ministers impressed by Dotcom's proposed benefits to New Zealand - except for one.
The documents reveal that Dotcom admitted to three convictions for hacking and financial crime, and being blacklisted from Thailand, but immigration officials thought him living here was in the national interest - and so did the then immigration minister, Jonathan Coleman.
“I think the officials did their very best and made the right decision on the available facts at the time,” says Mr Coleman.
Mr Coleman designed the investor plus category which grants residency to those who buy $10 million of Government bonds - like Dotcom.
But Winston Peters says the category should not exist.
“Any Tom, Dick or Harry, or in this case, Kim, can get in no matter what their record or reputation is – and they can do it for money,” says Mr Peters.
The documents also show Dotcom letting the neighbours piggy back off the powerful broadband rolled out to the mansion was viewed as an "enhanced service for New Zealand" with "the benefit to those neighbours significant, given they do not have access to a fibre optic cable."
This too, is something Mr Peters disagrees with.
“That’s a separate industry that the Government claims to be looking at. Now we’ve got some shonky guy out of Germany providing the service,” says Mr Peters.
The Overseas Investment Office approved the mansion sale and Minister Maurice Williamson ticked it off, but the documents show that was overturned by former Associate Finance Minister Simon Power who found:"... the character or judgement of Mr Dotcom is in question" and was concerned he may "... act inappropriately and bring this country into disrepute."
Something Mr Peters says is what ended up happening.
“That’s exactly what he did – he’s brought us into disrepute,” says Mr Peters.
So Dotcom managed to get past two government agencies and two ministers before one man stood in his way - Simon Power.
And Dotcom really does not like him, sulking by cancelling an annual fireworks display for Auckland - and blaming it all on Power.