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Judith Collins briefing request the final straw

Judith Collins briefing request the final straw

New documents showing Judith Collins requested an official briefing before her dinner with a Chinese border control official in Beijing must be the final straw for John Key, Labour MP Grant Robertson says.

“Documents released today under the Official Information Act show the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade knew Judith Collins was to attend a dinner with a Chinese official and Oravida boss Stone Shi.

“For some reason the request for the briefing was later withdrawn by the Minister’s office which suddenly claimed it was a private dinner.

“It is now clear this was never a private dinner. It was a minister meeting someone who could influence whether Oravida – a company her husband is a director of – got its products into the lucrative Chinese market.

“Judith Collins has claimed this was a casual dinner with friends of friends. In fact the documents released today show the official ‘agreed to meet with the minister’ five days in advance.

“These documents also show the visit to Oravida’s Shanghai office was the subject of planning between her office and MFAT, and was hardly ‘popping in on the way to the airport’. Stone Shi and Julia Xu were effectively part of the minister’s delegation.

“This was supposed to be a taxpayer-funded visit about justice issues, instead the minister used it to conduct multiple engagements to benefit her husband’s company.

“John Key has done the right thing in demanding Maurice Williamson’s resignation. It is time for him to ditch the double standards and make Judith Collins go,” Grant Robertson says.

Ends

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