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Emerging Evidence Has Justice Minister in Deeper Mire

Rt Hon Winston Peters
New Zealand First Leader
2 MAY 2014

Emerging Evidence Has Justice Minister in Deeper Mire

Evidence has emerged that clearly contradicts Minister for Justice Judith Collins’ repeated assertion that the dinner she attended in China was purely a private affair, says New Zealand First Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Documents under the Official Information Act show that her office requested a briefing of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and also that Ambassador Carl Worker attend the dinner.

“It is difficult to conceive of an event that could be less official than one to which the New Zealand ambassador is invited!

“Did Minister Collins want the ambassador at this dinner to impress a senior Chinese border official with how extensive milk company Oravida’s ‘pull’ was with the New Zealand Government?” says Mr Peters.

In a reply to the OIA request MFAT redacted (deleted) the name of a person at the dinner.

“Why on earth has Foreign Affairs redacted that name?

“Are they trying to protect some trade arrangement with China because withholding that name is inexcusable.

“We are not responsible to China, we are responsible to New Zealand citizens.

“It is proof that the Minister knew well beforehand, as has been alleged, who she was going to see and why.

“The arrangement for Oravida to attend two functions, both lunch and dinner, put on by MFAT was at the request of Judith Collins.

“All these things she kept secret from Prime Minister John Key, in her application for ministerial leave to go to China.

“The Prime Minister has act now over a clear conflict of interest and gross misrepresentation by the Minister of Justice,” says Mr Peters.


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