Winston and Kelvin Davis need to get their facts straight

Yesterday in parliament Winston Peters and Kelvin Davis led a shameless and more to the point dead wrong attack against a local company in Northland.

They are trying to link Judith Collins into the attack and Nick Smith didn’t really help her with his hesitant responses.

Kelvin Davis : Has he discussed the issue of swamp kauri exports with Judith Collins, whose husband, David Wong-Tung, and good friend Stone Shi are directors in the chain of shell companies that owns the Ruakākā mill, the ultimate ownership of which is obscured by a lawyer’s nominee company?

Mr SPEAKER : In so far as there may be some ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I thought that this member was above getting involved in that sort of murk.

Kelvin Davis : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did ask a question, and it was not addressed.

Mr SPEAKER : Yes, and I said that the Minister could answer it in so far as there was ministerial responsibility. There was very little connection there with ministerial responsibility. I allowed the Minister to answer it the way he did, and that is acceptable.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is he denying what is well known to locals in Northland: that swamp kauri is being exported illegally and that his ministry’s lax enforcement of the law is because people high up in Oravida are major donors and players in the National Party, and there are the photographs of the logs, all being exported illegally?

Mr SPEAKER : Again, I will invite the Minister to answer if he sees ministerial responsibility.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : The law in respect of the export of indigenous forests was passed in 1993, with that member’s support. It was softened in 2004 by colleagues adjacent to him, with his support. My advice is that the law is being followed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. He cannot get up and accuse me of supporting a law when I was not a member of the Government. He did it on both occasions—1993 and 1994. We all know that. He is just telling lies.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] No, I do not need further help with that. That is certainly not a point of order. I will invite the Minister, if he wishes, to add further to his answer in order to complete it before we go to further supplementary questions.

Hon Dr NICK SMITH : I would invite the member to check the Hansard as to how New Zealand First voted in 1993 on the Forests Amendment Act, and, again, as to how the party voted in 2004 when the law was changed.

They are running off their mouths under the protection of parliamentary privilege.   

I bet they won’t say it outside the house. Because if they did it is likely they’d have to do what both The Press and the Northern Advocate have had to do over the last few days. Apologise.

On Thursday June 18 a story was published in the Northern Advocate, entitled “Call for Halt on Swamp Kauri Exports”.

This story mentioned that Kauri Ruakaka Limited, formerly known as Oravida, has a stockpile of swamp kauri at Ruakaka.

The story referred to Kauri Ruakaka Limited by its former name and described it as a Chinese company, when in fact Kauri Ruakaka Limited is and always has been a New Zealand registered company.

We wish to clarify that the article was not intended to give the impression that Kauri Ruakaka Limited (Oravida), Judith Collins MP and her husband have engaged in any illegal or improper conduct in respect of the collection or export of swamp kauri.

The Northern Advocate apologises if any of our readers formed an inaccurate view of the activities of Kauri Ruakaka Limited as a result of this story.

– Northern Advocate

 The Press also had to apologise:

press-apology

What is worse for Kelvin Davis and Winston Peters is that in deliberately lying, or let’s be generous, being mis-informed, is that they have attacked a local company that is actually building a factory to process swamp kauri, that will employ local people, create jobs in Northland and comply fully with the law regarding the export of swamp kauri by value adding to the raw product in a meaningful manner.

The fact that these two idiots want to try and spike that shows that their commitment to industry development in the far north is about as honest as their usual intentions.

If they want to hand their seats back to National and to Hone Harawira then they are going a good way about it. They will take the blame if this company decides it can’t be bothered with the hassle of wanting to build a business and employ people in an areas with the highest unemployment in the country.

Way to go boys. If I was them I’d quietly be making amends.

– Northern Advocate, Parliament


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