MP Condemned For Association With ‘Scam’
12 March 2002 Media Statement
MP condemned for association with ‘scam’
Acting Consumer Affairs Minister Jim Anderton is appalled after a new report showed a Member of Parliament has been associated with ‘investment seminars’ that have been exposed as a scam.
He told Parliament today that Act Party MP Rodney Hide travelled to Fiji to speak at the seminars, where Mr Hide described himself as ‘part of the Government.’
The scam is described in the latest issue of Consumer magazine. It says the five-day seminars can cost more than $10,000, promise huge returns for little or no risk and provide no prospectus or investment statement.
Jim Anderton notes Mr Hide had no connection with the organisers other than being a speaker, but by stressing his role as an MP, and claiming to be part of the Government he gave credibility to seminars and investment scams that should have none.
“Mr Hide spoke at a seminar in 1999, but it now appears that he has known since at least July 2000 that the seminars were dodgy. He appears to have done nothing since then to alert anyone who was a victim. In the meantime, possibly hundreds of New Zealanders have lost millions of dollars.
“Mr Hide recently took it upon himelf to alert news media to the activities of a Judge. He does not appear to have been so diligent in exposing these schemes.
“Apparently Mr Hide attended the seminar for several days. He may have been simply remiss in failing to check out the reputation of the promoters in advance. But how could he have overlooked the nature of the scheme once he arrived and spent a few days vacationing with the promoters?
“It is serious that Mr Hide associated himself with the scheme by carefully pointing out to victims that he was a member of the New Zealand Parliament. It is even more serious that he erroneously claimed to be a member of the New Zealand government.”