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Paul Goldsmith to Shane Jones on Regional Ecomomic Development


From Hansard – Oral Questions – 3 April 2019


Question No. 8—Regional Economic Development

8. Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (National) to the Minister for Regional Economic Development: Does he stand by all his statements and actions?

Hon SHANE JONES (Minister for Regional Economic Development): Yes.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: After he told the New Zealand Herald yesterday, “Constitutionally, I must not comment on the High Court case.”, referring to a case between the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) and Semenoff Logging, why did he then proceed to comment on the case?

Hon SHANE JONES: Naturally, I won’t comment further on the case. The principles of comity and privilege are important constitutional privileges that define our system, but there is no stone that should be put upon the tongue of the champion of the regions to talk about the implications of decisions that our Government may, from time to time, be held accountable for.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: Has he discussed the case with any officials or ministerial colleagues; if so, who?

Hon SHANE JONES: I have had absolutely nothing to do with the decision associated with the NZTA, and, indeed, that’s why the court case exists, as people are entitled to test whether or not statutory authority has been exceeded. I have not raised this matter with my fellow transport Ministers, and I have had one discussion—very brief—with the CEO of the NZTA. His name eludes me; he’s a short-term traveller.

SPEAKER: Order! Order! The member will withdraw that last reflection on a member outside of—

Hon SHANE JONES: I withdraw and apologise.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: Is Stan Semenoff his mother’s cousin, as he told the Otago Daily Times in 2009 when explaining a $2,000 donation from him?

Hon SHANE JONES: During the 2008 election, I declared, in 2009, that I had received a $2,000 koha—contribution. Stan Semenoff’s great-great-grandmother is my mother’s great-great-great-grandmother.

This serves as some background to some later posts concerning perception, leadership, conflicts of interest, transparency, probityetc


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