Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Touting for the donors

Judith Collins has been coming under renewed pressure in Parliament over her endorsement of (and secret meetings with Chinese customs officials on behalf of) her husband's company Oravida. Meanwhile, John Key says he's perfectly comfortable with it. No wonder - it turns out that he's touting for them too:

Prime Minister John Key says Oravida's scampi is "tasty" but the company's use of his photo in advertising does not constitute an endorsement of the product and does not breach any rules.

Oravida, which is owned by Stone Shi, a substantial National Party donor and close personal friend to Justice Minister Judith Collins, is using a picture of Mr Key in an ad in a Chinese magazine.


However, advice received by his office on Oravida's use of his picture in its advertising was, "it wasn't promoting or endorsing the product".

"It was in an ad, companies from time to time do do that, if it breaches the rules we tell them to stop doing that."

I guess Key can hardly sack one of his Ministers for something he is doing himself (and by refusing to tell them to stop, he's made it clear that Oravida has his implicit permission to use his image to implicitly endorse their product with the message "as eaten by the Prime Minister of NZ"). But it does raise some serious questions about just how close the links are between Oravida and the National Party - and exactly what they're getting for their money.