Act Party wants answers over Nanaia Mahuta and Government family connections

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 30, 2022 |

The Act Party has joined National and is urging the Government to answer questions about Nanaia Mahuta and her family connections.

The husband and family members of the Labour Minister were awarded contracts worth $90,000 by the Ministry for the Environment in a period when Mahuta was the department’s Associate Minister according a report in the New Zealand Herald.

A spokesperson for Nanaia Mahuta said “the Minister has had no involvement in the appointment of family members.”

National Party Leader Christopher Luxon told Chris Lynch said Nanaia Mahuta’s family ties to government contracts amounted to “serious allegations which the minister needs to answer in the coming weeks”

ACT Leader David Seymour said “at the very least, a perception of a conflict of interest exists.”

“As a Minister, Mahuta is responsible for ensuring no conflict – real or perceived – exists between her personal interests and her public duty.”

“The Cabinet Manual notes: conflict may arise if people close to a Minister, such as a Minister’s family, whānau, or close associates, might derive, or be perceived as deriving, some personal, financial, or other benefit from a decision or action by the Minister or the government.”

Seymour said “ACT has sought answers on these matters through the Official Information Act and Written Parliamentary Questions. In the interests of openness and transparency, the Government should release the following information proactively: What interests the Minister has declared and how they have been managed; What processes were followed in appointing the Minister’s family members and who made the decisions; Whether the positions were publicly advertised, what qualifications the successful applicants have, and whether the applicants declared conflicts of interest.

Seymour said “If proper processes have been followed, there should be no difficulty in releasing this information. It’s critical that New Zealanders can have confidence that government appointments are being made in an appropriate way. Ministers need to be above suspicion.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?