An Ombudsman’s interim decision released about the existence or otherwise of legal advice on the multimillion dollar Saudi sheep deal shows MFAT has failed to back up the Prime Minister’s claims on the matter, says Labour MP David Parker.
“The Prime Minister and Murray McCully have both repeatedly claimed that there was a legal risk to New Zealand taxpayers that justified the payment of $4m to a Saudi businessman.”
The Government has now spent more than a year resisting disclosure of official information regarding whether there was legal advice supporting Murray McCully’s statement that the $4 million cash pay-out to a Saudi businessman was to settle “a legal claim”, Labour MP David Parker says.
“The media and the Labour Party have been seeking clarification through the Ombudsman under the Official Information Act of the existence, or otherwise, of documents to show whether this was true or just an excuse.
Documents released today confirm Treasury were not aware of any threat of legal action from a Saudi businessman to justify the Government handing over millions of dollars in taxpayers’ money, Labour MP David Parker says.
“Almost $12 million has been spent on equipment and sending sheep to businessman Hamood Al Khalaf's farm in Saudi Arabia.
“KiwiBank must remain in public ownership - the bottom line for New Zealanders who don’t want to see KiwiBank end up in the hands of overseas owners like the other major trading banks, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson David Parker.
“National has ignored the need for KiwiBank to access more capital it needs to expand and compete and constrain the dominant Australian banks.
Question time in Parliament today flushed out the silly “flood” excuse used against the swimmable – rather than wadeable – standard needed for our rivers, Labour’s Water and Environment spokesperson David Parker says.
“The Prime Minister and Environment Minister have tried to claim that they can’t enforce swimmable rivers because they are occasionally polluted by floods.
Nick Smith is deeply mistaken – or deliberately misleading – to claim our rivers cannot legally be made dirtier under National’s rules for freshwater management, Labour’s Water and Environment spokesperson David Parker says.
“The Environment Minister today – just an hour after the Choose Clean Water petition was presented to Parliament – denied that the 2014 National Policy Statement for Freshwater Management could result in rivers currently clean enough to swim in becoming unsafe for swimming.
The Government needs to stop now and analyse whether the proposed Wairarapa water storage projects at Tividale and Black Creek are a waste of millions of dollars, says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker.
“The Wairarapa projects have all the hallmarks of another white elephant. $4 million of ratepayers money has already been spent on the planned dams with little to show for it.
The race for new ICT developments and innovation is heating up and New Zealand businesses will need access to capital to compete internationally, Labour’s ICT spokesperson David Parker said in a speech to the Telecommunications and Broadband Summit yesterday.
“New Zealand must maximise our share of new niche technologies and innovations before someone else seizes the opportunity.