Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Key needs to put a figure on his 53 Cabinet Club meetings

8 May 2014

Key needs to put a figure on his 53 Cabinet Club meetings

The Green Party is challenging John Key to say how much money the National Party made from selling access to the Prime Minister at the 53 “Cabinet Club” events he’s attended since 2008.

“New Zealanders deserve to know how much the National Party gained from selling access to the Prime Minister at the exclusive Cabinet Club meetings he attended, said Green Party co-leader Dr Russel Norman.

“This could be upwards of a million dollars for access to the heart of Government.”

John Key has defended the Cabinet Club scheme, in which wealthy donors reportedly pay between $2,000 and $10,000 a year for meetings with senior Government ministers, including the Prime Minister.

“John Key claims the Cabinet Club is part of the normal political donations process. Cash for access to the inner circle of the Government is not normal,” said Dr Norman.

“This is party fundraising with access to ministers at its heart. It is democracy for sale, and it its worlds away from legitimate forms of party fundraising.

“The Green Party does not believe that the Cabinet Manual sanctions this behaviour or that Ministers are attending Cabinet Club outside their ministerial roles.

“Ministers attending Cabinet Club events are advertised, by their colleagues, as attending in their ministerial capacity. Those who pay Cabinet Club memberships clearly expect access to Ministers with real power, not backbenchers or members of the opposition.

“The Cabinet Manual is clear - ministers are not entitled to receive money for going about their ministerial work and those close to them are not allowed to benefit from information that the minister has only because they’re Minister.

“The Prime Minister’s admission that he has attended 53 separate Cabinet Club events, potentially raking in hundreds of thousands of dollars for the National Party in the process, has eroded the credibility of Parliament and the Government.

“We think ordinary New Zealanders, who are not invited to these events, would be shocked to hear the Prime Minister say there’s nothing wrong with this.

“The Government of the day should work for the people, not for the highest bidder.”

The Green Party calls on the Government to restore political credibility by introducing a Ministerial Disclosure regime.

“The public has the right to know not only who donates to political parties, but how often Ministers meet with those donors afterwards and what they discuss,” said Dr Norman.

Dr Norman said there are outstanding questions for John Key over the Cabinet Club racket:

“If there is nothing untoward about Cabinet Club fundraisers for the National Party, why did two of his Ministers pretend not to know what the Club was when questioned by a reporter?

“And if his Ministers don’t attend Cabinet Club fundraisers in their Ministerial capacity, why does he think these fundraising groups are called Cabinet Clubs?” Dr Norman said.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Land Swap: Setback For Ruataniwha Scheme As Forest & Bird Wins Appeal

The Royal Forest & Bird Protection Society has won an appeal against a proposed land swap by the Department of Conservation which would have allowed 22 hectares of Ruahine Forest Park be flooded as part of the Ruataniwha Water Storage Scheme that will provide irrigation for farmers. More>>

ALSO:

Up: Official July Crime Stats Released

Official crime statistics for July 2016 show that Police recorded 11,171 more victimisations than the same period last year, which equates to a 2.3 per cent increase. More than three quarters of this increase can be attributed to burglaries. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Judith Collins Charm Offensive

Suddenly, Judith Collins is everyone’s new best friend. It isn’t an election year, but the Corrections/Police Minister is treating 2016 as an opportunity for a political makeover… Feel that the Police don’t attend burglaries often enough, or assiduously enough? She’s the peoples’ champ on that one. More>>

PM's Press Conference: Crime And Diplomacy

The Prime Minister's press conference today was dominated by foreign affairs and an open letter from the PM to the Chinese community on crime. More>>

ACC: Govt Caught In Unethical Cluster Bomb Investments

The ACC Fund admitted that it had $1.4 million invested in cluster munitions and nuclear weapons manufacturer Lockheed Martin. Before responding to the Green Party’s request for information,however, ACC sold its Lockheed investment and updated its ethical investment policy. More>>

ALSO:

Local Governments To Decide: Easter Trading Bill Passes

The union representing working people in the retail industry is condemning the Government for whipping its MPs to pass the controversial Shop Trading Hours Amendment Bill. More>>

ALSO:

Departure Speech: Governor-General’s State Farewell Luncheon

"...Unfortunately I was unable to get to the Antarctic, the Chatham Islands and the Kermadecs. A dicky heart thwarted our travel to the Antarctic; and even though I volunteered to parachute into the Kermadecs to join the Young Blake expedition, time, commitments and officials frustrated my plans to visit the Kermadecs and Chathams." More>>

ALSO:

New Research: Most Homeless People Working Or Studying

“The cost of housing has been rising without corresponding increases in income, whilst the number of state houses per capita has been in decline. Many low-income people are missing out on housing, whether we recognise them as ‘homeless’ or not. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Traynor: New Offender Info Sharing Plan

“This Bill delivers on that step-change by moving away from name-based records held by individual agencies to a shared, anchor identity based on unalterable information, such as fingerprints and facial recognition. It also gives agencies access to the drivers’ licence photo database and birth, death and marriages information." More>>

  • NZ Law Foundation - New $2M fund for research on information challenges
  • Get More From Scoop

     

    LATEST HEADLINES

     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
    Parliament
    Search Scoop  
     
     
    Powered by Vodafone
    NZ independent news