The ongoing cover-up of the Saudi sheep scandal has reached new lows with the Primary Industries Minister saying releasing a taxpayer-funded report into the lamb deaths isn’t in the public interest despite admitting he hasn’t read it, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“Question Time is becoming a farce when ministers are able to dodge questions in this way. Nathan Guy was asked a direct primary question on the NZTE report into the 80 per cent death rate of lambs on the Saudi sheep farm but admitted he had not even read the report.
Trade Minister Tim Groser has been forced to admit in Parliament that South Korea can ban New Zealanders buying Korean homes after refusing to acknowledge this previously, Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker says
“National has blundered badly in its Korean free trade agreement.
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 for the Saudi sheep farm was awarded to Brownrigg Agriculture – long-time business associates and now partners of the Saudi businessman Hmood Al-Khalaf. This is separate to the $4 million cash payment to the Al Khalaf Group.
The Auditor General’s decision to investigate the Saudi sheep scandal is important, necessary and welcome, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says.
“The independent functions of the Auditor General are a cornerstone of the New Zealand system of government. The Auditor General’s oversight powers are intended to ensure taxpayer money is applied legally, and uphold proper standards of ministerial and departmental conduct.
Murray McCully appears to have breached the Public Finance Act by dressing up the cash payment paid to Al Khalaf as a joint venture, new documents show, Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says.
“In a briefing to Murray McCully on 19 April 2012, MFAT officials said they would find a way to meet Al Khalaf’s previously stated desire for compensation ‘possibly through the joint venture’. They did this after Mr McCully had earlier insisted the $4 million payment not be called compensation because that would cause “a plethora of layers and bureaucrats” to become involved.
John Key must take responsibility for his Government’s Saudi sheep scandal, and apologise to New Zealanders for sullying the reputation of our country for fair dealing, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“His ham fisted attempt to blame everyone but his own Government has now unravelled with yesterday’s release of official papers. He stands guilty of having sullied New Zealand’s international reputation, and wasting over $11 million of taxpayers money.
It is now even more apparent that the $4 million payment to the Al Khalaf group was to advance trade with Saudi Arabia, not to settle a legal claim, says Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“Documents released today show the Auditor General found the Indicative Business Case raised more questions than it answers.
After failing to protect the right to stop foreign speculators buying our houses it’s clear the Government is not going to get wins on dairy in their TPP negotiations either, Labour’s Trade and Export spokesperson David Parker says.
“Labour has set out our bottom lines on the TPP, but it appears National’s keep sliding
All New Zealanders should be treated fairly at work. Currently, the law allows non-employment relationships to be used to get around the minimum wage. This is unfair, says Labour MP David Parker.
“The Minimum Wage (Contractor Remuneration) Amendment Bill, a member’s bill in my name, is due to be considered in Parliament this evening. It protects New Zealanders who are paid less than the minimum wage on contract.
The Labour Party will today lodge a complaint with the Ombudsman after the Treasury became the latest government department to withhold information on the Saudi sheep scandal.
Labour’s Trade and Export Growth spokesperson David Parker says the Government has been trying to hide facts from the public since it was revealed two months ago it flew sheep to Saudi Arabia, spent millions on a farm in the desert and provided a $4 million facilitation payment to the Al Khalaf group.