Jones only declared a conflict after media asked questions

Radio NZ report:

New information released to RNZ reveals that ’ office was sent documents about a forestry company’s bid for $15 million from the Provincial Growth Fund multiple times and many months before he declared a conflict of interest because of links between the company and the New Zealand First Party.

As Guyon Espiner explains, it has now emerged that Mr Jones only declared a conflict of interest over the NZ Future Forest Products bid on the day RNZ lodged an Official Information Act request asking for details of his involvement.

In any Government of good standing, this would be a sackable offence.

The company’s directors were his party’s legal advisor, his son, and later the leader’s partner. The ultimate beneficiaries are hidden foreign investors.

Jones should have declared an interest the first time he was informed of the bid. You declare a conflict at the start of the process, not the end. And it seems he never even intended to declare a conflict – it was only media inquiries that led to it.

UPDATE: Hilariously Jones is claiming it was pure coincidence that he declared the conflict of interest on the same day that Radio NZ lodged an OIA about it.

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