Shane Jones fails to declare 61 meetings

What is it with these guys?

The most ‘open and transparent government’ seems to have bad habit of forgetting about meetings that they attend.

We saw this with Clare Curran, of course, who kept writing cryptic messages in her diary, and the ‘forgot’ about what those meetings were about.

Nobody was fooled by Clare and her obfuscating. But Shane Jones has taken this to a whole new level.

Stuff reports: quote.

Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has failed to disclose 61 ministerial meetings to the Opposition.

Jones was forced to correct 20 answers to questions from the National Party about meetings he had earlier this year, RNZ reported.

National claimed a number of the meetings were to do with the $3 billion of public money Jones has responsibility for as regional economic development minister.

National MP Paul Goldsmith told RNZ on Monday morning it left a “question hanging” over whether it was deliberate.  end quote.

61 meetings… yes. He just forgot. Nothing to see here, Opposition. Move on. quote.

“We have concerns about who he meets with and the robustness around his decision-making.

“We haven’t been able to get anything out of the minister about the spending of the $3 billion provincial growth fund,” he said. end quote.

Do you know something? Obfuscation was not a word I ever used prior to this government taking power. Why is that? quote.

But Jones took responsibility for the error, which he put down to a transcribing issue from his outlook diary.

“I’m not from the school of thought that the staff in my office should be tossed under the bus,” Jones told RNZ.

“I as the robust, Tai Tokerau, Dalmatian, Māori politician shall take it on the chin.”

Jones said he has received about 3000 written questions from National since he became a minister, the majority of which had been answered accurately.

This represented 1 per cent of what he does which was “small fry”, he said. end quote.

It is still 61 meetings, Shane, and you are in charge of $3 million of taxpayers money. None of this is small fry. quote.

The correction was made by Jones’ office in an email to Goldsmith’s office on October 16.

The meetings included appointments with local mayors, tourism groups and business representatives, and his own ministerial colleagues.

Goldsmith was concerned that one of the meetings was with Ngāti Hine, when there had been controversy about the money they received from the provincial fund.

“Now I’m not saying there’s anything untoward in him meeting with that person, but the fact that he didn’t declare that meeting initially, and later declared it after our office queried the nature of what he was releasing, raises alarm bells.” end quote.

There is nothing like ‘open and transparent government’, is there? 61 meetings… which Shane Jones thinks are small fry. Some of them probably are. But ‘open and transparent government’ means that you declare everything, so that no one can accuse you of obfuscation. Otherwise, we look like a country with a corrupt government.  I’m not saying that this government is corrupt. It just seems that they all have terrible memories, for some reason.

 


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Accountant. Boring. Loves tax. Needs to get out more. Loves the environment, but hates the Greens. Has been called a dinosaur. Wears it with pride.

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