Parliament

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

 

PM closed and opaque on GJ Thompson

“The Prime Minister has all but confirmed that GJ Thompson remained the director of his lobbying firm while he worked as her most senior advisor”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“She also appears to have set a new standard, saying it’s acceptable to have a conflict of interest as long as it’s temporary.

“Jacinda Ardern has previously said that Mr Thompson took a ‘leave of absence’ as a director and shareholder of Thompson Lewis while he was employed as her chief of staff.

“The problem with Ardern’s claim is that the Companies Act does not allow a director to take a leave of absence. In any case, Companies Office recordsconfirm Mr Thompson remained a director and shareholder throughout this period.

“The PM walked back her previous statements, saying that Thompson only took leave from day-to-day business. But this statement is meaningless. Directors have a duty to act in the best interests of their firm at all times.

“Astonishingly, Ardern also claimed that because Thompson only ran her office for four months, this diminishes the seriousness of the conflict of interest.

“We have an extraordinary situation in which Mr Thompson, whose clients include Huawei, was required by law to keep his firm’s best interests at heart while he had access to all Cabinet papers and the Government’s legislative agenda.

“The biggest question that remains is: Did Thompson have access to briefings and other information that may have benefited his firm and his clients?

“I have asked the Prime Minister whether there were any meetings Mr Thompson did not attend, or any briefings he did not receive, while he was her chief of staff because they related to his clients, including Huawei. She flatly refused to answer.

“I have also asked whether he attended meetings relating to Huawei or the Telecommunications (Interception Capability and Security) Act. Again, Ardern refused to say.

“This is seriously murky business and the PM has an obligation to voters to clear it up.

“There was huge potential for a conflict between Mr Thompson’s personal interests as a lobbyist for firms such as Huawei and his duties as the Prime Minister’s chief of staff.

“If Jacinda Ardern is committed to openness and transparency, she will tell New Zealanders whether her senior most advisor had access to confidential information that could have benefited his firm and his clients.”

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

RNZ Live Updates: SkyCity Fire Brings Auckland CBD To A Halt

The fire at Auckland's SkyCity international convention centre has been raging for more than a day resulting in nearby offices being shut, roads closed and health warnings being issued...

• The fire broke on the roof of the SkyCity international convention centre just after 1pm Tuesday.

• Fire and Emergency manager Ron Devlin says the plan is to "sacrifice the roof". Once materials from the roof have fallen in, crews can go into the fifth floor and put the fire out, he says. Photo: RNZ / Danielle Street More>>

 

Gordon Campbell: On Simon Bridges And Political Correctness

Having failed all year at being a credible alternative Prime Minister, National leader Simon Bridges has lowered his aspirational target this week to something more within his range. More>>

Bullying: Police Commissioner Announces Review

Police Commissioner Mike Bush has today announced an independent review of the systems and processes NZ Police has in place to address complaints of bullying. More>>

ALSO:

PM's Post-Cab: Now We Are Two

Questions covered Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters' comments on the potential closure of Mediaworks' television channels, the Auckland light rail planning process, the select committee report on the Zero Carbon Bill and its methane target range... More>>

Court Issues New Guildines: Revamp Of Meth Sentencing Welcomed

The court accepted submissions by both the New Zealand Bar Association and the New Zealand Law Society that rather than solely focusing on the quantity of meth involved, there should be greater focus on the role of the offender. More>>

ALSO:

'Armed Response Teams': Armed Police "Will Cause American-Style Shootings"

The Police Commissioner's announcement that squadcars of officers with automatic rifles will patrol New Zealand's streets is dangerous and unnecessary, according to the criminal justice community organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa. The ... More>>

ALSO:

Control Orders: Amnesty Says Don't Rush Terrorism Bill

"The problem is, we often see the word “terrorism” being applied broadly by oppressive regimes to detain innocent people who're simply rallying for a better life." More>>

ALSO:

Expert Reaction: $17 million To Fight Online Extremist Content

The Department of Internal Affairs will double its work investigating and preventing violent extremism online. Funding will also help bolster the Chief Censor's work to make fast decisions about harmful content. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels