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
The Government’s rubber-stamping of every one of the nearly 400 applications from overseas investors to buy New Zealand farm land over the last three years proves tougher laws are needed, Labour MP Phil Goff says.
“In the last term of the National government, ministers and the Overseas Investment Office didn’t decline any of 370 applications received from overseas investors to purchase agricultural land.
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.
Murray McCully must send the strongest possible message to the Nauruan Government that New Zealand does not condone its actions given the disturbing developments there, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
“Right now we are seeing Nauru stripped of its basic human rights and freedoms. It’s our responsibility to stand up for democracy and human rights in our region.
At the same time thousands of New Zealanders are being locked out of the property market, the Government is spending up on a lavish New York penthouse for its diplomats, Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson David Shearer says.
News that taxpayers have forked out $11.4 million for an upmarket New York apartment has been posted on an Australian website.
“That is extravagance in anyone’s language. The neighbourhood is home to some of Hollywood’s A-listers.
Today in Parliament Murray McCully said the reason Michelle Boag was involved in 2011 in the Saudi farm scandal was in her capacity as a member of the New Zealand Middle East Business Council. The problem with that answer is that she was not on that council until 2012, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“Ms Boag was on TV on the 31 May of this year defending the government. Asked then about her involvement, she said she worked for the Middle East Business Council. Asked if she helped with the farm deal she said: ‘ No, no it was done entirely by officials.’
Blaming Saudi sand storms for the deaths of 70 per cent of Kiwi lambs born on a model farm meant to showcase New Zealand agricultural expertise is another part of the ludicrous attempt to disguise buying the cooperation of a wealthy Saudi Arabian businessman, Labour’s Trade Spokesperson David Parker says.
“Ministers are now trying escape being caught up in the scandal caused by Murray McCully.