Thursday, May 16, 2024

This is what corruption looks like

When National first proposed its Muldoonist "fast-track" law, they were warned that it would inevitably lead to corruption. And that is exactly what has happened, with Resources Minister Shane Jones taking secret meetings with potential applicants:

On Tuesday, in a Newsroom story, questions were raised about a dinner Jones had on the West Coast on February 16. It only came to light because it was mentioned by Barry Bragg, deputy chair of coal mining company Stevenson Group, in a letter released by ministerial officials under the Official Information Act.


On Monday, Jones told Newsroom his dinner with Bragg wasn’t included in his regularly disclosed ministerial diary because “it was very much a last-minute thing”.

But after more questions were asked, Jones is correcting the record. Not only was the dinner organised in advance, it had two other participants.

There's no suggestion any money changed hands. It's "merely" secret lobbying, which Jones "accidentally" failed to declare in his published diary. I think we can draw our own conclusions about that. Meanwhile, it blows any suggestion that he could be an impartial and unbiased decision-maker over any fast-track application from these polluters out of the water. And the fact that Jones is too stupid or greedy to see this shows that he is simply unfit to be a Minister.