National Continuing To Look After Its Own

28 March 2017

The National Party looks after its own – long after they have left Parliament as has been seen again with the appointment of Simon Upton as the new Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland Member of Parliament Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The existing commissioner is staying on until October so there was plenty of time to make a fair appointment.

“The appointment of Mr Upton, whose political career was far from being a blazing success, smacks of jobs for the boys, and the old boys’ network coming in to play again.

“Every year National has been in power, ex-National MPs and party officer holders have popped up on countless boards and in other organisations with the pathway to these appointments seemingly being made easy by their links to the National Party.

“To name very few we have had Katherine Rich (Apec Business Advisory Council, Health Promotion Agency Board), Dame Jenny Shipley (Genesis Power, Canterbury Earthquake Review Panel) soon to step down MP Maurice Williamson (Consul-General in Los Angeles), former Trade Minister Tim Groser (Ambassador to the US), Lockwood Smith (High Commissioner in the UK), and Jeff Grant (appointed to board of AgResearch by Steven Joyce in 2014).

“The public should know these appointments are non-political and Mr Upton’s record does not disclose that likelihood,” says Mr Peters.