Belinda Milne

Labour hypocrisy over state servant candidates

It is never a good look when candidates for office appear in the news, but it is pretty scurrilous for Labour to be attacking Parmjeet Parmar when their own candidates are less than clean themselves. Rajen Prasad should also be very careful about going after people when I note Prasad himself must have campaigned for Labour while a commissioner – because he was named on Labour’s list very soon after he stood down.

I suspect there is a bit of Indian politics at play here, but Parmjeet doesn’t help herself when she talks to delegates claiming she has the support and is the preferred candidate for John Key and Peter Goodfellow. All that is going to happen now is some journalist is going to ask John Key if he supports Parmjeet and he is going, as he should, to say no. Selections are in the hands of the delegates not the plaything of the president of the party and the prime minister.

The Families Commission is facing scrutiny over political links, after one of its commissioners was photographed campaigning with Prime Minister John Key.

During a select committee hearing, Labour MP Dr Rajen Prasad held up a photograph of commissioner Dr Parmjeet Parmar wearing a National Party ribbon with Key at a recent Auckland event.

Prasad said he understood Parmar was planning to run as National Party candidate and asked chief commissioner Belinda Milne whether it was appropriate for a potential candidate to remain as a commissioner.

Milne said she had heard “rumours” of Parmar’s political involvement but she had no knowledge of any candidacy.

“There are all sorts of rumours going around about who is doing what,” she said.

“Until there is a firm situation … we can’t do anything.”

She said another staff member was intending to run as candidate for Labour, which he had declared to the commission. They had already discussed with him how to separate his political activities from his work.  Read more »