Murray McCully tried to keep the $4 million facilitation payment secret and didn’t announce it in any press release dating back to February 2011, despite claims of transparency from Michelle Boag, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.
“The Saudi sheep scandal was never meant to see the light of day. Until Tuesday – the day before the Official Information Act release – Mr McCully had not disclosed the initial $4 million payment, and was not even promoting the $6 million model farm.
“On Q&A this morning former National Party President Michelle Boag – a friend to Mr McCully – claimed there has been transparency around this deal. That’s simply not true. Ms Boag confuses her own extensive knowledge with what others knew.
“Ms Boag has been involved in the background to this issue for several years. Having defended the government today, it is fair to expect her to be fully open and transparent about her involvement and the steps she took.
“As to her assertion that there has been transparency, there were no releases from Mr McCully in the past five years on this issue.
“Normally any action the Government takes is trumpeted on the Beehive website. Mr McCully’s usual practice is clear from the long and detailed list of all his releases attached.
“This Government is undermining New Zealand’s international reputation and standards at home.
“The SkyCity Convention Centre deal and the Judith Collins and Oravida abuse of position used to be National’s worst public examples. The Saudi facilitation payment now joins the ranks of the rank,” says David Parker.
31 May 2015 MEDIA STATEMENT