“I believe there is no conflict” – Nelson Mayor

A Nelson reader wants some Whale sunlight on their Troughing Mayor:

Chinese e-commerce opportunities that Nelson Mayor Aldo Miccio has been touting as being great for Nelson businesses also look set to make money for the mayor himself.

This year ratepayers paid more than $10,000 to send Mr Miccio on trips to China in March and September to help develop connections for Nelson businesses.

Sounds interesting so far. What has he done wrong?

Mr Miccio says there is no conflict of interest between his mayoral work in developing Nelson-Chinese business and his chairmanship in a new venture, NZ Inc Shop.

It intends to sell New Zealand products through Tmall.com, a subsidiary of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba.

[The trip] included a delegation of local [Nelson] businessmen and saw Mr Miccio and Mr Findlater visiting e-commerce capital Hangzhou, where they met Alibaba’s president.

Companies Office records show 15 per cent of NZ Inc Shop is held by Mr Miccio, his parents Cristina and Raffaele Miccio, and his wife, Kimberley, through Nelson-based company Bissi Ltd, of which Mr Miccio is sole director.

Mr Miccio said there had been no council crossover and he had never spent any council time on NZ Inc Shop. Instead, it was his past personal business experience in China that had led to his involvement. He said nothing he had done on the council trips “added value” to his role in NZ Inc Shop now.

Readers will remember that alleged private business conducted on the same trip as tax payer funded travel claimed the scalp of National MP Pansy Wong.

Miccio is a blatant trougher of the highest order. His arguments hold no water. Either his trip had nothing to do with his private business, or the trip is for benefit of the Nelson ratepayers. He can’t have it both ways.

Please notice the weasel words: “spent no council time on NZ Inc shop”. Left unsaid is that he did spend ratepayers money.

Word on the street is that Miccio is a one term mayor, so he seems to be making hay while the sun shines. The Whale will keep shining light on this trougher as he squeals his innocence.