The Herald reports:
Controversial Cabinet Minister Shane Jones told a forestry awards ceremony they needed to vote for him or miss out on the billions he’s handing out for provincial growth, it has been alleged.
One person present labelled Jones’ comments as an inducement to “bribery” and another thought the minister – responsible for forestry and the $3 billion provincial growth fund – was “buying votes”.
So this makes it crystal clear that the PGF has nothing to do with provincial growth. It is a bribery fund.
A third person who objected to Jones’ comment said it detracted from the intent of the evening, which was to celebrate excellence in forestry.
“It should never have been a political rally, which is what he made it. He was saying ‘if you don’t vote for me, you won’t get any share of the billion dollars’. He said you’ve only got a few months of me here, so you’d better vote.
“It’s just bribery. I thought that was pretty disgusting.”
Another person present said: “It wasn’t a political forum. He didn’t do himself any good. He just made a complete idiot of himself.”
Those interviewed did not want to be named, citing the influence of Jones’ Provincial Growth Fund and concerns speaking openly could have a personal and financial impact.
Lovely country we live in where people are too scared to be named.