Wednesday, 5 March 2014

They'll Soon Discover

The Cabinet Manual said:

Product endorsement

2.87No Minister should endorse in any media any product or service. Ministers may, however, appear in party political advertisements or in non-political advertisements or announcements in the public interest (promoting, for example, water safety), where no fee would be expected or accepted.
2.88Ministers receive many invitations for events and speaking engagements. Ministers should carefully consider which invitations they will accept, and try to honour invitations from a variety of organisations.
2.89When accepting an invitation, a Minister should inform the organisation that it may not:
  1. use any photos taken of the Minister at the event; or
  2. publicise the event,
in a way that could be perceived as an endorsement by the Minister of the organisation, or its products or services.
2.90In speeches, it is appropriate for a Minister to speak positively about the objectives and achievements of an organisation or business. It is not appropriate for a Minister to explicitly promote that organisation, or its products or services.
There's no wiggle room there, especially for an experienced minister, and one who is a lawyer to boot.  Time for resignation, solely on the grounds above.

But wait, there's more.

The product endorsed is from a company* who has, as one of their directors, the minister's spouse.  Forget the idea of a perceived conflict of interest, there is a clear undeclared and unmanaged conflict of interest.  That is simply corrupt, and by itself is also grounds for resignation.

So, let's have not one, but two resignations.  Ministerial warrants first, seat in parliament second.  There's still time for a by-election before the general election, and it won't affect the balance of power because the good people of Papakura will most certainly vote in a blueberry lamington with the correct colour rosette pinned to it..

* Hat-tip - Almost a year ago Frankly Speaking did a thorough job of identifying the links between the aforementioned company and the sale of the Crafar farms.  It's not over, yet.

The Shins - SpongeBob SquarePants Movie Soundtrack, 2004

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