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Time for Collins to face up to conflict of interest

Grant Robertson
Labour MP

9 March 2014

Time for Collins to face up to conflict of interest

Judith Collins' denials that she did anything wrong in visiting the Shanghai office of her husband's company on a taxpayer-funded trip late last year are becoming increasingly untenable, Labour MP Grant Robertson says.

“The public condemnation of Judith Collins' actions is growing. Three major newspaper editorials in recent days have all concluded not only that there was a conflict of interest in the trip, but that the Minister's denials are arrogant and out of touch with the public mood.

“Her hubris, as one editorial calls it, is rubbing off on her colleagues. John Key has now repeated the diminishing of the visit as ‘popping in on the way to the airport’.

“That is not true. This was a well-planned photo opportunity to endorse a company that Judith Collins has an interest in.

“It was not a naive action, but a deliberate one that takes the mickey out of New Zealand taxpayers who footed the bill for her travel.

“Now is the time for Judith Collins to admit she is wrong and apologise.

“If she is not prepared to do that, then John Key needs to take action if his claims of high standards for Ministerial behaviour will have any credibility,” Grant Robertson says.

ENDS

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