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.