Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:
Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples has defended his connection to the head of collapsed construction company Mainzeal after their relationship was criticised in Parliament. …
New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has repeatedly questioned the relationship between the Government and Mainzeal since the company went into receivership last week, threatening 200 jobs.
He believed the Government knew of the firm’s difficulties but continued to give it lucrative contracts in rebuilding Christchurch. Yesterday, he highlighted Dr Sharples’ relationship with Richina Pacific chief Richard Yan, whose company owned Mainzeal.
Dr Sharples took a $10,000 donation from Mr Yan before the 2011 election, and has been a strong supporter of the Chinese-born businessman’s proposal to build New Zealand House in Shanghai.
Mr Peters said these actions raised serious questions about the integrity of government negotiations. “This is another example of big business influencing government decisions behind closed doors.”
Excuse me while I vomit. How can anyone seriously report anything Peters says about integrity and donations. Sharples reported the donation from Mainzeal, and as far as I know the Minister of Maori Affairs has no role in allocating construction contracts in Christchurch.
Compare that to Winston Peters who took hundreds of thousands of dollars from racing companies, never declared them despite being legally required to, and pushed policy highly favourable to them through Cabinet – again never having disclosed the donations both NZ First receive and he himself personally (they paid for his damages to Bob Clarkson).
And of course the Owen Glenn case where he arranged for a $100,000 donation to his lawyer to cover his legal fees, lied dozens of times over many months about the existence of the donation, and as Minister of Foreign Affairs tried constantly to gain a diplomatic appointment for Sir Owen.
The conduct of Winston Peters is the classic example of big business influencing government decisions behind closed doors. He and his party failed to disclose donations, he lied about them, and he actually advocated policies and decisions beneficial to his donors without ever disclosing the donations.
This is in stark contrast to Sharples who both disclosed the donation, and as far as I know has had no role at all in decisions affecting them.
The hypocrisy is monumental. This is like Richard Prosser calling for religious tolerance.