Forget Pete Tong, it's all gone Pansy Wong
Second travel-perk trip under scrutiny
A second business trip to China by the husband of MP Pansy Wong which coincided with the Prime Minister's 2009 visit is likely to come under scrutiny as part of an investigation into the travel perks that caused her downfall as a minister. Mrs Wong quit the Cabinet yesterday after it was revealed her international travel perks paid for part of her husband Sammy's holiday trip in late 2008 to China, where he also did some business.
Well, well, well. What do we have here? The Right Wing were quick to attack Pete Hodgson as a muckraker for trying to suggest her signing as Minster of the Crown as a witness in her hubbies business deal was unacceptable, here is what David Farrar the mouthpiece for National online had to say about it...
Wow that will bring the Government down for sure. The quality of Pete Hodgson’s scandals seem to be declining rapidly and they were never that great to start with.
...indeed even John Key was quick to rush to Pansy Wongs defense...
PM spokesman defends Minister
A spokesman for John Key says the Women's Affairs Minister didn't break any Cabinet rules on a recent trip to China Assurances from the Prime Minister's office this morning that Women's Affairs Minister, Pansy Wong, has not broken any cabinet rules.
...but as it now turns out that Pansy Wong used her travel perks to fly hubbie off to do private business deals, she has to go. I love the U-turn.
In another interesting turn Clare Curran (who should feel pleased at the decision to keep neurological services in Dunedin that she fought so hard for) asks if the private business trip scrutiny should be turned on Steven 'Hollow Brain' Joyce...
At question time yesterday Steven Joyce was asked why he doesn’t believe there is a conflict of interest with Murray Milner, who carried out consultancy work for Chinese company Huawei Technologies, a potential bidder to supply services and equipment for the broadband roll-out, being at the same time a Crown Fibre Holdings board member who was approving decisions about the tendering process for services and equipment suppliers for that very same equipment and infrastructure.
Joyce says he believes there is no conflict of interest. The Chair of Crown Fibre Holdings Simon Allen has said he believes there is no conflict of interest.
They also say that Huawei is not a bidder in any process that Crown Fibre Holdings is considering.
Yet, a document produced by Crown Fibre Holdings outlines the process that Crown Fibre Holdings will manage to engage those equipment suppliers. The document makes clear that the decision will be made by whoever wins the broadband bid, but that CFH is setting out its expectations of how that process will work and what the timetable is.