PM Wishy Washy Over Breach By Minister

Prime Minister Bill English should be hauling the Minister of Arts, Culture and Heritage Maggie Barry into his office for a please explain over a potentially serious breach of the Cabinet Manual, says New Zealand First Leader and Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister, Maggie Barry, failed to declare a conflict of interest when she presented former Prime Minister Dame Jenny Shipley to Cabinet’s Appointments and Honours Committee for a new role,” says Mr Peters.


“Specifically, Minister Barry had already offered Dame Jenny the role of chair of the James Cook 250th Commemoration six months beforehand.


“Minister Barry even claims she followed State Services Commission Guidelines. She did not.


“National’s arrogance has become so extreme its MPs were jeering in Parliament today over the fact that an Opposition leader had the temerity to raise questions over this Minister’s appalling actions.


“Not only did Minister Barry recommend Dame Jenny for the chair’s role, she pushed for and got from Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett an “exceptional per diem (per-day)” rate that’s over the maximum of $1,062 per day.  It will even be paid annually just like a salary.


“But the Prime Minister won’t act because he is weak and wishy washy and his cabinet rudderless.”