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Further Collins dinner revelations use up ‘final warning’

Grant

ROBERTSON

Labour MP


19 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT
Further Collins dinner revelations use up ‘final warning’

Revelations in Parliament this afternoon that Judith Collins organised the dinner with Oravida executives and a senior Chinese border control official before she left New Zealand must be the last straw for Prime Minister John Key, Labour MP Grant Robertson says.

“Under questioning today, Judith Collins admitted the dinner she held in Beijing was organised well before she left New Zealand on her taxpayer-funded visit to China. She also said she knew the name and job description of the senior Chinese official that she would be meeting at the dinner.

“It is beyond belief she thought meeting such a senior official with her husband’s fellow directors did not give rise to a conflict of interest.

“Judith Collins has admitted she did not inform the Prime Minister of this meeting before she left to go to China, which flouts Cabinet rules. But the question for John Key is did she tell him this last week when she told him about the dinner?

“The Minister has tried to pass off her dinner and visit to Oravida as casual encounters. That is not true. She has misled and obfuscated throughout this saga, and once again she has been caught out been economical with the truth.

“It is now clear that her ministerial visit to China supposedly on justice related matters was discussed with Oravida’s directors before she left New Zealand and the promotion and support for Oravida while she was there were pre-planned.

“This is not what taxpayers expect of ministers. They are supposed to be working on behalf of all New Zealanders, not their family and friends.

“John Key needs to reveal whether Judith Collins told him or his chief of staff this was a pre-planned dinner and that she knew the identity of the Chinese official before she left.

“If she didn’t, she has surely used up the final warning the Prime Minister gave her,” Grant Robertson says.

ENDS


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