Unfit for a gambling licence but OK to be NZ Race Commissioner

If 20 years ago you were the subject of a high level police investigation involving allegations of bribery and graft, would you remember it? NZ’s Race Commissioner Meng Foon claimed he couldn’t. However once reminded of the incident, it all came back to him, for he then related in detail how the investigation had been “totally hopeless”.

Meng Foon was elected Mayor of Gisborne six times over eighteen years but says NZ is a “deeply racist” country.

The Dept of Internal Affairs officer who investigated the case decided the allegations were credible and recommended Foon be stripped of his licence to operate poker machines. Strangely, no action was taken.

Employment lawyer David Fleming said candidates for an appointment as a statutory officer, like the Race Relations Commissioner, should disclose anything that might disqualify them. However Mr Foon must have just “forgotten about” it before his appointment, as he claimed.

Media asked Foon directly if he had asked for a kickback. Foon said: “Never. Never happened.”

Media then put it to Foon that the investigating office, Senior Policeman Martin Legge believed the offending had happened. Foon said: “I can’t recall, that is what I am saying. It was 20-odd years ago.”

None of this is really good enough. Meng Foon is clearly fudging. It is the opinion of this blog that he is not of suitable character to be employed on the taxpayer payroll in the senior position he now occupies. He needs to resign immediately.

Note: Great to see the NZ media really holding the powerful to account for once.