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Roche Allegations Completely Unfounded

Roche Allegations Completely Unfounded

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne says allegations by Green MP Denise Roche that he has a conflict of interest over his role with the Northern Wellington Festival Committee have been proven to be completely unfounded.

Last week, Ms Roche complained to the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests that there was a conflict of interest between Mr Dunne’s roles as Minister of Internal Affairs responsible for gaming regulation and Associate Minister of Health responsible for problem gambling services and his role as chairman of the Northern Wellington Festival Committee because it received funds from local community trusts to support the annual Johnsonville Christmas Parade.

Ms Roche alleged that in addition to this apparent conflict Mr Dunne had failed to declare his interest in his annual return of pecuniary interests prior to 2013.

Mr Dunne says he has now been formally advised by Sir Maarten Wevers, Registrar of Pecuniary Interests, that as the Northern Wellington Festival Committee was neither a Trust, nor received any government funding, and nor did Mr Dunne receive any pecuniary reward from his involvement with the Committee, there was no requirement to have ever declared it as part of his annual return in the first place.

Sir Maarten had advised Mr Dunne that accordingly, his 2013 and 2014 returns would be amended to delete the Northern Wellington Festival Committee and the North Wellington Voluntary Service Awards Committee.

“As the Registrar has found I was not required to declare my role with the Committee because no pecuniary interest was involved, Ms Roche’s allegations of a conflict of interest fall completely flat.

“Since she made these false allegations in Parliament, I challenge her to now do the decent thing and apologise to me on the record in Parliament.

“Failure to do so will reveal her actions to have been no more than a cheap political stunt – something the Greens as a self-proclaimed party of principle say they never involve themselves in.

“However, I am not holding my breath waiting,” Mr Dunne says.


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