PM should release Jones conflict documents

Mon, 11 Mar, 2019

If the Prime Minister wants New Zealanders to believe Shane Jones appropriately managed his conflict of interest in relation to the $4.6 million Manea project, she will publicly release the relevant documents, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

The Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet regularly meets with Ministers to document their conflicts of interest and the steps that need to be taken to appropriately manage them.

ACT revealed yesterday that Shane Jones played a key role in helping to provide $4.6 million to an organisation he was to chair before becoming a NZ First MP and then tried to cover his tracks in answers to written parliamentary questions.

The Prime Minister has said that based on the information and advice she has received, she believes Jones’ conflict of interest was managed properly.

“If that is the case, she will have no problem in revealing the documents which show that Jones acted in accordance with Cabinet Office advice.

“Jacinda Ardern has promised the most open and transparent government New Zealand’s history and yet she is asking New Zealanders to take her at her word. That is not good enough.

“But Jones’ conflict of interest is not the only issue here. He’s also misled the Opposition in answers to written parliamentary questions about whether he ever attended the key funding meeting for Manea.

“Helen Clark and John Key would have despatched Jones to the backbenches by now.

“The Prime Minister should carefully reflect on whether Jones’ behaviour is acceptable for a Minister in her government.”