Keeping the register accurate

The Taranaki Daily News reports:

MP Jonathan Young failed to declare to Parliament a pecuniary interest in a company in which he holds a directorship, triggering a “please explain” demand from the Labour benches.

Mr Young, National MP for New Plymouth, is a director of Seaview Super Trustees Limited, a firm he says “carries his trust’s properties”, and for which he is listed by the Companies’ Office as holding a 50 per cent shareholding. The other 50 per cent is held by his wife, Maura. Another director listed, without a shareholding, is North Shore accountant Mark Thompson.

Parliamentary rules require that MPs must declare any interest where they hold a directorship or more than 5 per cent of the voting rights.

Labour MP Pete Hodgson said that at the very least, Mr Young “had some explaining to do”.

He does. It clearly should have been disclosed. However I am not aware of any “gain” from non disclosure, and think that the omission would be accidental.It sounds like it is associated with a trust which he did declare.

A similar apparent non disclosure comes from Shane Jones. It was reported in July 2009:

The New Zealand United States Council is sponsoring a visit to Washington DC by Hon Shane Jones and Craig Foss MP, respectively Chair and Vice Chair of the New Zealand United States Parliamentary Friendship Group in the 49th Parliament. …

In Washington DC 20-23 July Shane Jones and Craig Foss will meet their counterparts from the Friends of New Zealand Congressional Caucus

Now if we turn to the Register for the year ending 31 January 2010, we find:

Craig Foss:
United States of America – representing New Zealand-US Friendship Group. Contributor to travel:
NZ-US Council (USA domestic airfare). Contributor to accommodation: NZ-US Council.

And when we turn to Shane Jones we find:

Shane Jones
Rarotonga – play in New Zealand Parliamentary rugby team in match against Rarotongan
Parliament team. Contributor to travel: Air New Zealand (subsidised airfare). Contributor to
accommodation: Parliamentary Rugby Club (subsidised accommodation).

So Shane has failed to disclose the funding from the NZ-US Council.

Now like with Jonathan Young, I don’t think there is anything sinister about it. But maybe Pete Hodgson will be calling on Shane Jones to also “explain himself”. That is when he takes time off from pursing H Fee Mark II.

Also of note is that bloggers pointed out Chris Carter failed to disclose his trip in January 2010, to St Kitts and Nevis to observe elections. Carter has now filed an amended disclosure, including this.

Amusingly Lockwood Smith also forgot to disclose gifts of a kilt and a vase, which he also included in an amended disclosure!

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