There is no conflict of interest says Minister of Education Kelvin Davis: ‘Put up or shut up’

Question No. 8—Education

8. Hon NIKKI KAYE (National—Auckland Central) to the Associate Minister of Education: What recent discussions or meetings has he had to progress opportunities for young Māori in our education system?

Hon KELVIN DAVIS (Associate Minister of Education): I met with officials as recently as yesterday to talk about our Māori education work programme, which, for the first time in nine years, is focused on ensuring young Māori succeed as Māori.

Hon Nikki Kaye: Did he attend a meeting to help progress young Māori with the Minister of Education and representatives from He Puna Mārama Trust at Waitangi?

Hon KELVIN DAVIS: No.

Hon Nikki Kaye: When he said, on 13 February, that “I’ve been working closely with He Puna Mārama Trust, the CEO and the senior manager there and we’re very confident that together we’ll make sure this transition happens very easily with very little fuss.”, can he confirm that he’s had several conversations with the trust, including helping them out with fundraisers?

Hon KELVIN DAVIS: I can confirm that I have had a conversation around the publicly available information that the Minister of Education proactively released.

Hon Nikki Kaye: In his capacity as Associate Minister of Education, has he had any discussions or made any declarations with the Cabinet Office about potential perceived conflicts of interest?

Hon KELVIN DAVIS: No, because there are no conflicts of interest. I have no delegation—no ministerial responsibility—for charter schools. As the local MP, I am responsible for ensuring that constituents in the Tai Tokerau, who are bombarded with misinformation from the Opposition, are provided publicly available information to dispel the mistruths.

Hon Nikki Kaye: If there is proof that, in his discussions about young Māori, he either engaged in negotiations around partnership schools or provided perceived preferential treatment, will he resign as Minister?

Hon KELVIN DAVIS: The member needs to provide evidence. Put up or shut up.

If my sources are correct the evidence exists and Nikki Kaye just wanted to get Kelvin Davis to deny the conflict of interest in parliament, just like she got Minister of Education Chris Hipkins the day before to deny that Kelvin Davis had arranged his meeting at Waitangi with the CEO of a Maori Charter school. If the evidence can be tabled in parliament then the real fun will begin.

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