Regional Development Minister Shane Jones raised NZ Transport Agency’s case against a Northland trucking company with the chief executive of the regulator.
If the Government had any standards he would be sacked as Associate Transport Minister. You do not talk to your agencies on such matters. This is effectively trying to influence a prosecution.
Jones has confirmed he is related to the company’s managing director, Stan Semenoff, and that he accepted a $2000 donation from the former Whangarei mayor in 2008.
This makes it even worse, but is also a distraction from the main point. No matter what his relationship is to Semenoff, he should not be lobbying the agency he is Associate Minister of, on their behalf.
Stan Semenoff Logging was ordered to stop work from March 22, however the company, which has clocked up 116 speed and traffic-related offences in the last four years, successfully applied to the High Court to be given the right to stay on the road for now.
116 offences in four years is huge.