The Herald reports:
Trade Minister Tim Groser has been warned, after a complaint was made about rowdy drinking and disruptive behaviour by him and some members of a trade mission on a flight from Dubai in April.
But another member of the delegation has defended the minister, saying that if he had a few drinks they were “well deserved” after a stressful trip.
A complaint about the behaviour of the delegation and the minister on the April 30 flight was made to the Prime Minister’s office.
Chief of staff Wayne Eagleson spoke to Mr Groser on behalf of Prime Minister John Key, a spokesman for Mr Key said last night.
“The minister acknowledged there had been some drinking on the flight, but he felt his behaviour was appropriate,” he said.
“The Prime Minister made it quite clear through his chief of staff the expectations he had in terms of ministers’ behaviour.”
It is hard to say much about this story, in the absence of specifics. The complaint did not come from a fellow passenger, but from someone who heard about it from a fellow passenger.
Ministers (and all MPs to some degree) are always in the public eye, and have to act accordingly. This means no giving the fingers to people who steal your car park, and also means being a model passenger on flights.
Now as I said, there are no details about this flight, and the complaint was from someone not on the flight. It may be something quite trivial. Also a factor is that he was returning from a trip on which he learnt his mother had died while he was overseas.