Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Not good enough

So, Richard Worth has been given a "bollocking" and forced to resign his directorships and shareholdings over his conflict of interest between his business interests and Ministerial role during a trip to India. That's a good start, but its not good enough. With evidence emerging that Worth had deliberately misled - or at least conveniently "forgotten" to mention - the relevant business interests, it suggests that its not just an innocent mistake. And that means a telling off from the PM isn't enough. Instead, Worth should go. Conflicts of interest and Ministers abusing their office to feather their own nests are not something we can afford to be tolerant of. But clearly, the "party of business" feels differently.

Then there's this bit (as reported by the Herald):

Mr Key said he would not have sanctioned the trip if he had known Dr Worth was a director and shareholder in an aviation company which was in a joint venture with an Invercargill flight training academy.
But isn't it his job to know? The relevant facts are right there in Worth's statement of pecuniary interests [PDF], and are presumably in the equivalent Cabinet version as well. Does Key bother to read these? Or does he just turn a blind eye?