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Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace

Judith Collins’ refusal to answer a disgrace

If John Key is holding his Ministers to any standards at all, he must make Judith Collins answer questions about the senior Chinese official she met during her taxpayer-funded visit to China last October, Labour MP Grant Robertson says.

“Judith Collins’ performance in the House today was a disgrace. She refused to answer basic questions about a person she described as ‘a senior Chinese border control official’ who she met along with her husband’s fellow company directors during her visit to China last year.

“This is despite having previously answered questions on the topic. It is treating New Zealanders with contempt to refuse to discuss a meeting that took place during a trip which cost taxpayers $30,000.

“The Minister last month publicly acknowledged she should have made reference to the dinner in her formal report to Cabinet. John Key said she should have recorded the dinner as part of her visit.

“That makes it an issue she is responsible for answering questions on.

“Everyone who does business in China knows the value of status and personal relationships.

“This dinner, which was organised before the Minister left New Zealand, was for benefit of Oravida; a company her husband is a director of, along with six other companies related to Oravida and its founder Stone Shi.

“The Minister knows that is a conflict of interest, but what else is she trying to hide?

“John Key said he would be holding his Ministers to high standards. If it is now acceptable that a Minister comes to Parliament and simply refuses to answer questions, then this confirms what an out of touch, arrogant Government National has become,” Grant Robertson says.


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