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The Standard

Oravida: Collins, Goodfellow, Key.

Written By: - Date published: 4:34 pm, March 5th, 2014 - 38 comments
Categories: accountability, corruption, grant robertson, john key, Judith Collins, national - Tags:

John Key has stated that Judith Collins was cleared by the Cabinet Office of any conflict of interest, with respect to her visit to Oravida in China: a company for which her husband is director:

Justice Minister Judith Collins has been cleared of any conflict of interest after she visited a company for which her husband is a director while on a taxpayer funded trip to China, Prime Minister John Key says.

Collins visited the Chinese offices of Auckland-based dairy company Oravida, which later claimed on its website that she had endorsed its products.

Labour says a translation from Oravida’s website claims Collins’ endorsement after she drank some of its milk.

Endorsing products is a breach of the Cabinet manual.

Collins said today she had asked Oravida to remove any references to her visit that did not comply with the Cabinet manual but was unapologetic about her visit to the company.

However, Grant Robertson disagrees.

Furthermore, Grant Robertson and Chris Hipkins have made claims, in the General Debate today, that there are connections between Peter Godfellow (as National Party President) and the promotion of Oravida.  On top of that there is apparently evidence/photos on a Chinese website of Key playing golf with with one of Oravida’s directors.

Robertson claims that Collins also opened the Auckland office of Oravida in 2013.  Oravida donated over $55,000 to the National Party in 2011.

Further information from the Oravida website apparently shows that when Oravida sponsored business people to come to NZ in 2012, they met with, as stated by the website, “The National Party chairman” Peter Goodfellow to:

Discuss the exciting opportunity of extensively developing a foundation for bi-lateral collaboration.

In the General debate Hipkins also had a go at National and John Key’s non-transparent use of trusts, as well as claiming that John key played golf with a director of Oravida.

38 comments on “Oravida: Collins, Goodfellow, Key.”

  1. Ant 1

    It’s completely sketchy behaviour, and that’s completely ignoring the begrudging reporting of the issue :)

    • Sosoo 1.1

      Don’t you worry. The great and the good will be there to remind us that the real issue is David Cunliffe refusing to identify donors who had been promised confidentiality, and forgetting minor details of the baby bonus policy.

      Have some perspective, Ant…

      • Zorr 1.1.1

        No mention of this on Stuff at all… but apparently derp face is important enough to be high up there… >_<

        http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/9793533/John-Key-does-derp-face

        If you ask me, that looks like his natural resting face

        • Sosoo 1.1.1.1

          He’s on there, in the politics section, under the headline that says “Collins cleared”.

          Just don’t forget how tricky and shifty David Cunliffe is. Remember, tricky, shifty…

        • North 1.1.1.2

          Nah, that’s the pissed just emerged from slumber gonna be a nasty bully face. Round about 2.00 pm on a parliamentary sitting day. In another office bottle blonde Louise Upstart’s smearing the lippy and stretching the neck in readiness for a couple of hours of extreme nodding behind God ShonKey in the House. Oh Fuck. Monty Python. Cow gets paid for that shit ?

      • Ant 1.1.2

        Yeah nah don’t worry about Collins, lets “scrutinise” David Cunliffe over a glorified savings account that he’s already declared!

        Trevett says “David Cunliffe facing further scrutiny over trusts” but leaves out who is doing the scrutiny or why… what an absolute hack, at least try to pretend you haven’t just put your name to a story send directly from the Nats.

        http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11214530

        Tricky David aye trying to hide the trust in broad daylight by declaring it, very tricky… a bold gambit.

  2. Skinny 2

    Yes National Party, President, Peter Goodfellow purchased a new party headquarters especially for ushering in their big business friends to ‘gloat and donate’ to the National Party’s coffers.

    You will find their new digs has a purpose built photography studio, complete with a special effects setup provided by their grateful friend Peter Jackson’s Weta Work (Sweat) Shop. Business/Donators will of course have easy access to Government Ministers for photo opportunities from near by parliament.

  3. Clemgeopin 3

    One law for Pansy Wong and a different one for Fancy Collins!

    It would be interesting to see what soft National gloves the Gutter Rat Gower will be wearing in his 6 pm TV3 reporting of this seriously shady goings on of this government.

    • Clemgeopin 3.1

      No, Sewer Gower did not touch on this issue, but was once again, as usual, vicious towards Cunliffe.

      Sabin did a report on the Collin’s suspect goings on in China with her hubby’s Oravida, but certainly not in an as vicious and destructive manner as Gower when he attacks Cunliffe.

  4. captain hook 4

    according to Collins asking about this is a hypothetical question. So how much does a hypothesis cost?

  5. John 5

    So Collins got her photo taken and suddenly that’s the huge payback in some corrupt conspiracy?

    Careful you don’t all start to look just a little bit more than desperate.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 5.1

      Careful you all don’t start to look just a little bit more than corrupt. The “payback”, by the way, looks like a bit more than a photo-op. $56,000 more.

    • felix 5.2

      Er no, it’s not just a photo.

      Collins flew across the world – god knows how many times – paid for with public money, AND while being paid her salary, AND taking her husband at our expense, to conduct private business and use her Ministerial office to publicly endorse a company(s?) her husband and other senior National Party people are involved with, and who also gave the National party $56,000 that we know of so far.

      • Hayden 5.2.1

        Wasn’t the stated reason for her trip to study the Chinese justice system? Does she want a new nick-name?

      • John 5.2.2

        Except everything has already been cleared by parliamentary services.

        • Skinny 5.2.2.1

          And in the eyes of the public John she is being crucified. Wong, now Collins caught out gaming the system putting Key and the shadowy Goodfellow under the spotlight. Like I say below the book will revel plenty more dodgy deals. By all reports sounds like The hollow Men x2. Can not wait for the release.

          Perhaps the sensible thing to do is Collins join the other 14 National MP’s calling it a day, however common sense has never been Judith’s style. I personally hope she sticks it out to get even amongst her clan.

        • Clemgeopin 5.2.2.2

          Key’s cabinet office is the parliamentary services, now? I learn something new everyday! Do you personally think that her dealings are a bit dodgy or not? What is the difference between this shady goings on and that of Pansy Wong that got kicked out?

        • North 5.2.2.3

          Cleared by Parliamentary Services. “So what ?” to quote Collins.

          Like Hone’s trip to South Africa was approved by Mr Speaker ?

          Didn’t seem to matter to Mr Wonderful did it ?

          Get real troll.

      • newsense 5.2.3

        wonder if Gerry Brownlee can think of a ‘c’ word to describe that?

    • Skinny 5.3

      We will gladly take the vote leakage John. Bad news is it’s all in a new book that will be released right on cue prior to this years general election. I understand it’s being made available free online. Ouch there goes more votes!

  6. xtasy 6

    Judith Collins can cheekily laugh this off, as under this government, conflicts of interest are as common as snails and worms in your garden, and they are found everywhere, if only people would look. The MSM have no interest in digging too deep, as they do not want to unseat their much cheered on John Key and National, and rather focus on burying the chances for Labour.

    Conflicts of interest do not only exist for MPs, but also for “advisors” of government departments, like MSD, and they seem to be treated as rather “acceptable”.

    See some of my earlier comments from 22 and 23 January 2014:
    http://thestandard.org.nz/welfare-profiteers/#comment-761243
    http://thestandard.org.nz/welfare-profiteers/#comment-761738

    On their so-called “Health and Disability Panel”, which was appointed by MSD as a supposedly “independent external advisory panel” on welfare reform, there was one “Strategic Policy Advisor” by the name of Helen Lockett, employed by “Workwise”, a company as part of the “Wise Group”.

    Now, Workwise was successful under a tendering process not long ago, to run a trial contract, to “assist” mentally ill into open employment on the job market.

    So their “Strategic Policy Advisor” was one of the more senior “panel members” that “advised” MSD and Paula Bennett on what do do under the recent welfare reforms, and surprise, surprise, her company was REWARDED with a well paying contract (nice fees for successful placements) with MSD:

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11190002
    (see list at bottom of Simon Collins’ article)

    http://accforum.org/forums/index.php?/topic/15264-welfare-reform-the-health-and-disability-panel-msd-the-truth-behind-the-agenda/

    http://waitemataunite.blogspot.co.nz/2013/10/who-are-health-and-disability-panel-and.html

    Another senior advisor on welfare reforms was a Dr David Beaumont, formerly from ATOS in the UK (the assessor for sick and disabled beneficiaries in the UK, with an appalling track record), who also has vested interests, but apparently did not win a tender contest this time:

    http://www.pathwaystowork.co.nz/contact-us
    http://nz.linkedin.com/pub/david-beaumont/2a/780/943

    As one of UK professor Mansel Aylward’s top and most faithful disciples he was also maneuvered into a crucial top position as “President Elect” of one of the leading medical practitioners’ organisations for Australasia:

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/latest-news/

    “Work will set you free” is totally accepted by the medical training profession now, thanks to him and others!!!

    http://www.racp.org.nz/page/racp-faculties/australasian-faculty-of-occupational-and-environmental-medicine/realising-the-health-benefits-of-work/may-2010-video-presentation-professor-sir-mansel-aylward

    P.S.: If only Labour Party (and perhaps also the Green Party) researchers would bother doing their jobs, then Labour (and Greens) should have a field-day with raising such matters! Perhaps they should start by “studying” info published here on TS?

  7. dave 7

    i want here more adout nationals dirty money trusts

  8. Penny Bright 8

    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11214451

    But Mr Key this afternoon said his office yesterday sought clarification from the Cabinet Office to ensure she hadn’t broken the rules.

    “They unequivocally came back and said no there’s no breach.”

    Who is ‘they’ Prime Minister?

    Where’s a copy of that advice?

    http://cabinetmanual.cabinetoffice.govt.nz/2.50

    Conduct, public duty, and personal interests

    General
    2.50To protect the integrity of the decision-making process of executive government and to maintain public trust in the Executive, Ministers and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries must conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to their office. Accordingly, the guidance in paragraphs 2.52 – 2.96:

    explains the standards of personal conduct expected of Ministers;
    assists Ministers to identify those personal interests that might be seen to influence their decision making;
    sets out options for managing conflicts of interest where necessary.

    2.51The guidance on conduct, public duty, and personal interests applies to all Ministers (inside and outside Cabinet) and Parliamentary Under-Secretaries. References to Ministers in this guidance include Parliamentary Under-Secretaries.

    Conduct of Ministers
    2.52A Minister of the Crown, while holding a ministerial warrant, acts in a number of different capacities:

    in a ministerial capacity, making decisions, and determining and promoting policy within particular portfolios;
    in a political capacity as a member of Parliament, representing a constituency or particular community of interest;
    in a personal capacity.

    2.53 In all these roles and at all times, Ministers are expected to act lawfully and to behave in a way that upholds, and is seen to uphold, the highest ethical standards. Ultimately, Ministers are accountable to the Prime Minister for their behaviour.

    2.54 Holding ministerial office is regarded as a full-time occupation and is remunerated as such. Accordingly:

    accepting additional payment for doing anything that could be regarded as a ministerial function is not permissible;

    accepting payment for any other activities requires the prior approval of the Prime Minister.

    Register of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament

    2.55 All members of Parliament are required to disclose certain assets and interests in an annual Register of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament. This register, administered by the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests of Members of Parliament, is designed to promote accountability and transparency by identifying personal financial interests that might influence members of Parliament. The detailed requirements are set out in appendix B of the Standing Orders of the House of Representatives (the Standing Orders) and in the explanatory notes on members’ financial interests in the “MPs and parties” section on Parliament’s website, http://www.parliament.nz. See also paragraphs 2.78 – 2.85 on gifts.

    Ministers’ interests

    2.56 Additional requirements apply to Ministers’ interests. Conflicts of interest may arise between Ministers’ personal interests and their public duty because of the influence and power that Ministers exercise, and the information to which they have access, both in the individual performance of their portfolio responsibilities and as members of the Executive.

    2.57 Ministers are responsible for ensuring that no conflict exists or appears to exist between their personal interests and their public duty. Ministers must conduct themselves at all times in the knowledge that their role is a public one; appearances and propriety can be as important as an actual conflict of interest. Ministers should avoid situations in which they or those close to them gain remuneration or other advantage from information acquired only by reason of their office.

    ………………………..

    Penny Bright

  9. jbc 9

    It’s all here: http://www.oravida.com/lwl/newsen/

    and here: http://www.elections.org.nz/parties-candidates/registered-political-parties-0/party-donations/donations-exceeding-30000/returns

    dating all the way back to 2011. Office purchase in Quay Street, Tim Groser visit, donation declaration, golf photo pose,…

    Anyone who was interested could have seen all this a couple of years ago and followed it. Go through the donation returns, Google the names, browse the sites. I would not believe for a second that this is news to anyone who was interested. No blind trusts to obscure the donation details.

    That someone transparently donates to a political party isn’t news.
    That a politician poses for a photo-op isn’t news either. The cheesy grins of MPs nailed to the wall are a hallmark of companies struggling to show off something of note (and an immediate warning sign to the wary visitor).

    Oh how fickle the attention spans of the ADHD generation are. I just wish they had called out Williamson on his inability to distinguish a Star Trek replicator from a poor imitation of decades-old CNC technology. FFS, I made bucket-loads of gunpowder as a teen in the early ’80s.

    The Internet has succeeded in connecting idiots with old news and sparking shock reactions.

    Thank you Maurice, and the journo who just learned how to google Oravida.

    • lprent 9.1

      I just wish they had called out Williamson on his inability to distinguish a Star Trek replicator from a poor imitation of decades-old CNC technology. FFS, I made bucket-loads of gunpowder as a teen in the early ’80s.

      Hey, I tried. You can’t much less subtle than this…
      http://thestandard.org.nz/nat-techhead-needs-3d-brain-transplant/

      BTW: The site might be a bit jittery for a wee while. I’m just testing a new configuratin for the web servers.

      • jbc 9.1.1

        Aha.. yes you totally nailed it. Rather comprehensively. But somehow the MSM really dropped the ball on that one.

        Excuse my grumpy geek-side but that whole 3D printing gold and whatnot was so astonishingly dumb that it didn’t even deserve to be called wrong. Not even in the same universe as wrong.

        But I digress, I need to stay ahead of things relevant to my job so I get rather dismissive of stuff that is ‘last year’s news’, and if it is something that I missed then I’m humbled. I’d be too embarrassed to trumpet something that Google could have turned up long before I did. And so it was with the topic at hand.

        Now.. back to assembling my robot army…

        • xtasy 9.1.1.1

          jbc

          “But somehow the MSM really dropped the ball on that one.”

          Hey, it is rather that the MSM do not want to bother, or do not want to dig into all that, as too many of them are on “mates terms” with National ministers and MPs!

          We have one Shaun Plunket on Radio Live, and my impression is that he is rather “friendly” towards Judith Collins, as callers have in the past exposed Collins for lies and misleading the public, but he does not want to hear about it and swiftly moves on.

          This morning he asks people what they think of Collins using a “photo op” for drinking milk at her hubbies China export enterprise facility in Shanghai (photos were up on the company’s website for quite some time, and she pretends she did not know or so). He takes again a very “dismissive” approach to it and lets his personal view be known. Plunket and others trivialise the incident with Collins. That rubs off on many listeners, and most then call in to basically show their “NO tall poppy allowed” like behaviour and thinking, and agree with him.

          And the MSM is full of Nat friendly journalists and “media personalities”, hence we never get much attention on all this, but daily “revelations” about David Cunliffe and his alleged hypocrisy or “misconduct”.

          I see this country as resembling something similar to a sophisticated plutocracy or even defacto “dictatorship”, where it is a very powerful elite, that is using the political forces like National and ACT (and media), to manipulate the system and media, in order to keep people poorly informed and misinformed, and thus maintain the status quo, which only benefits the top wealthy business interests, and a section of the mostly upper middle class, that serve as their excuse to be able to claim, they have “wider support”.

          Sadly too many of the rest of the middle class cling to what they have and think they will be better off also, to continue with this lot governing us.

    • karol 9.2

      So you are quite comfortable with crony capitalism then, jbc?

      • jbc 9.2.1

        No, it’s quite toxic. Ensuring the government is not captured by business is particularly important, and something I’d stand up for any day.

        That said, I don’t think it’s bad for the government to recognise companies that are promoting NZ abroad. As long as they don’t get too chummy.

        This thing with Oravida is a little bit whiffy with Collins connection, Groser visit, and the golf game with Key but everything in the news lately is old news and hasn’t been deliberately hidden by anyone involved.

        I’m surprised nobody has noticed the oddity of having a politician endorse a food product (and Judith Collins in particular). That would totally put me off and I’m guessing most people would feel the same way. That makes it all the more unwitting in my mind.

        What would be nice would be to put all of the political connections on one page – a kind of ‘map’ – showing influence, financial connections, frequency of connection, etc. The whole landscape. Then it would be much easier to judge the significance of any particular event or relationship.

        • karol 9.2.1.1

          It’s no more “old news” than Cuinliffe’s late submission of a trust to the parliamentary register.

          Yes such a map would be useful. I lack the skills to make such a graphic.

  10. swordfish 10

    testing ome tyyy

  11. Whatever next 11

    I realise we won’t get any sense out of Collins and her tribe, but saying she tells people she uses their toilet paper, which doesn’t mean she endorses it…..eh?
    Would say, Fonterra announce on their website ” Judith Collins uses the toilets when she visits Fonterra ” and a lovely big group photo surrounding her on it?

  12. Tautoko Viper 12

    In April 2013 Frankly Speaking had a very illuminating post on the origins of Oravida called part tahi.
    “Crafar Farms/Shanghai Pengxin/National Government”

    http://fmacskasy.wordpress.com/tag/oravida-ltd

    The Collins visit is the tip of the iceberg. National Party Campaign Funds feature strongly in this timeline.

  13. Tracey 13

    uphold, the highest ethical standards. ”

    we need to understand that what collins did IS The highest ethical standard of this govt. thats how low the bar is. i recall the rabidness of ththe press and nact over that evil act of helen clark, signing a picture to raise money for a charity! collins drank milk to help make money for a company and one her husband directs. HOW can you all not see the difference?

  14. AB 14

    How many milk companies did Collins visit (as Justice minister) that her husband is not associated with?

    How many milk companies did Collins visit (as Justice minister) that haven’t donated $55k to the National party?

    Why would a Justice minister visit a milk company and why this one as opposed to any possible others?

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  • Website adds to long list of big spends at MBIE
    The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s $560,000 outlay on its new website is further evidence of excessive spending by Steven Joyce on his pet project super ministry, Labour’s Economic Development spokesperson David Clark says.  “Hot on the heels of… ...
    1 week ago
  • Brownlee warned over EQC repairs but ignored them
    Gerry Brownlee was warned that EQC’s underfloor repairs weren’t being done properly by industry experts, the cross party working group and in public but he arrogantly ignored them all, says Labour’s Earthquake Commission spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.  “Today’s apology and commitment… ...
    1 week ago
  • Serco wants in on state house sell off
    The Government must keep scandal plagued outsourcing company Serco away from our state housing after their disastrous record running Mt Eden prison, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Today it has emerged that at the same time Serco was under… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Come clean on Pasifika education centre
    Minister Peseta Sam Lotu-Iinga needs to come clean and tell the Pasifika communities if he’s working to save the Pasifika Education Centre or shut it down, Labour’s Pasifika spokesperson Su’a William Sio says.  “I’m gutted the Pasifika Education Centre funding… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Time for NZTA to work on alternatives to flyover
    The High Court decision rejecting the New Zealand Transport Agency’s attempts to build the Basin Reserve flyover must now mean that NZTA finally works with the community on other options for transport solutions in Wellington, Grant Robertson and Annette King… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Shiny new system leads to record truancy
    Record high truancy rates shows the Government’s much-vaunted new attendance system is an abysmal failure, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Data released today shows truancy rates have spiked more than 15 per cent in 2014 and are now at… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Woodhouse wrong about quarries
      The Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety Michael Woodhouse was wrong yesterday when he said limestone quarries were covered by the farcical Health and Safety legislation, says Labour’s Associate Labour spokesperson Sue Moroney.  “He said he ‘understood’ limestone quarries… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Taxpayers money spent on culling one of our rarest birds
    It beggars belief that four endangered takahe were killed by incompetent cullers contracted to the Department of Conservation and the Minister must explain this wanton destruction, says Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson. “It must not be forgotten that there are only… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Housing NZ must immediately move family
    Housing New Zealand must immediately move a Glen Innes family whose son contracted serious and potentially fatal health problems from the appalling condition of their state house, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Te Ao Marama Wensor and community workers… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • No understanding of the value of overseas investment
     The Government has now admitted it has absolutely no idea of the actual value of foreign investment in New Zealand, says Labour’s Land Information spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “It is crucial that the Government starts to understand just what this overseas… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Another bridges bribe from Simon Bridges
    Simon Bridges is embroiled in another bridges-for-votes controversy after admitting funding for a replacement bridge in Queenstown is “very much about… the 2017 election”, Labour’s Transport spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “The Transport Minister is today reported as telling Queenstown locals… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Saudi tender process reeks of SkyCity approach
    The tender process for the $6m investment in a Saudi sheep farm reeks like the SkyCity convention centre deal and once again contravenes the government’s own procurement rules, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker. “The $6m contract… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Maori Party should stand up for workers
    The Government’s proposed Health and Safety Reform Bill does not go far enough to protect those in specific industries with the highest rates of workplace deaths, says Maori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “We are told that Maori workers are more… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Minister must explain budget blowout
    Māori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell must explain a budget blow out at Te Puni Kokiri, after the organisation spent more than 2.5 million dollars over their budget for contractors, says Labour’s Associate Māori Development spokesperson Peeni Henare.  “For the… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Successful effort to raise the issue of GE trees in proposed standard
    Many thousands of people submitted on the proposed National Environmental Standard –  Plantation Forestry (NES-PF).  A vast majority of the public submissions were particularly focussed on the NES having included GE trees in its mandate. People want these provisions removed,… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    2 weeks ago
  • Fair Share Friday – Thoughts and Reflections
    As part of our Fair Share  campaign, Green MPs have been doing a series of visits to community groups across the country to have conversations about inequality in New Zealand and what communities are experiencing on the ground. I visited… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    2 weeks ago

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