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A Lot More than a Cup of Tea

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
12 March 2014

A Lot More than a Cup of Tea

New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters is calling for Minister for Justice Judith Collins to be sacked from the Cabinet over the conflicting accounts and lack of information she has given about her trip to Shanghai where she visited milk company Oravida, which her husband is connected with.

“Today Mrs Collins apologised for not giving broad answers during questioning of her visit. Belatedly she admits she had meetings with Oravida on three occasions.

“She revealed she had a luncheon, organised by a New Zealand diplomat, with Oravida, and this was followed by dinner with them. Those attending the dinner included her policy advisor, the Chinese managing director of her husband’s company, Oravida, and a senior government official in border control.

“Mrs Collins appears to have breached Cabinet rules on endorsing products from Oravida and Prime Minister John Key has been caught trying to defend her.

“The Minister claims she did not endorse products but the Chinese translation of the company’s website obviously said otherwise and she must take responsibility for this. Mr Key should remember he sacked Richard Worth.

“An apology is not enough, Mrs Collins has been continuously questioned on this matter both in the media and in the House, there was ample opportunity early on to reveal all.

“Mrs Collins and the Prime Minister have tried to dismiss her visit to the Oravida offices as a cup of tea on the way to the airport but this is demonstrably not true.

“What is the Minister of Justice and ACC doing holding meetings on trade matters well outside her portfolios?

“The Prime Minister has said, ‘transparency is a good thing’, yet page five of the Judith Collins Cabinet travel report was blanked out entirely when the travel report was released to New Zealand First.

“He refuses to release the Cabinet advice on this matter, that advice was never checked against the Chinese translation and he totally misled questioners when he claimed the advice was checked against the Chinese translation,” says Mr Peters.

ENDS

Attached: Translation of statement on Oravida website
Translation_of_statement_on_Oravida_website.pdf

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