Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


SOE endorsement of Labour MP raises questions

Jenny Shipley Leader of the Opposition

19 June 2001

SOE endorsement of Labour MP raises serious questions

National Leader Jenny Shipley has demanded an explanation from the Government over suggestions that money from a State Owned Enterprise has been used to promote the Labour MP for Christchurch Central, Tim Barnett.

In Parliament today Mrs Shipley revealed that Tim Barnett had told National's Nick Smith that a full page ad worth many thousands of dollars in the Christchurch Press on Saturday was paid for by Meridian Energy - at a time when that SOE is being reviewed in terms of its performance.

"That advertisement, signed in the name of Tim Barnett, contained strongly partisan political statements. It is an outrage that an SOE, an asset owned by taxpayers, should be donating money to promote a party political agenda," Mrs Shipley said today.

"Mr Barnett's decision to accept money is a blatant transgression of the rules governing appropriate use of SOE money. Under no circumstances should an SOE use the money it earns from its control of taxpayer assets to promote a political agenda in the name of an MP.

"This is a blatant misuse of power by Mr Barnett, compounded by his use of the House of Representatives official seal in this advertisement. Is that meant to connote that Parliament in some way endorses Meridian Energy against its competitors, because that is the implication many will take from this ad.

"National has today written to the Speaker for an explanation on the use of the seal, and we expect the Speaker to investigate.

"The questions surrounding this highly dubious use of money from a taxpayer owned company must be answered. As it is, it appears that Labour has its hand in the pocket of the taxpayer. I for one would rather see Meridian Energy's money used to make electricity more affordable to householders, rather than used to promote a Labour MP," Jenny Shipley said.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>


Hunting v Pest Control: Tahr Control Needed To Protect Alpine Habitats

A cull of introduced Himalayan tahr browsing conservation land in Kā Tiritiri o Te Moana/ the Southern Alps is needed to protect special alpine plants and their habitats, Conservation Minister, Eugenie Sage said. More>>


Protest At Sea: Judge Discharges Greenpeace Activists

The judge today discharged Norman and Howell without conviction, saying the cumulative consequences of a conviction would be out of proportion to what was “low level” offending off the Wairarapa coast in April 2017. More>>


No Reshuffle: Meka Whaitiri Removed As A Minister

Meka Whaitiri will be removed as a Minister with immediate effect... The decision was made after receiving a report into an incident that occurred on 27 August in Gisborne, involving Meka Whaitiri and one of her staff. More>>





InfoPages News Channels