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Internal Affairs, Minister—Ministerial Requirements

Tuesday 12 May 2009 Hansard source (external site)

Hodgson10. Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) Link to this
to the Minister of Internal Affairs

Can he confirm that as Minister of Internal Affairs he has met all the requirements of a Minister of the Crown as set out under “Conduct, public duty, and personal interests” in part 2 of the Cabinet Manual?

WorthHon Dr RICHARD WORTH (Minister of Internal Affairs) Link to this

Yes, I believe so.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

When he told the Indian Express in an exclusive interview: “We will be making it easy to get visitor visa as the rules will be relaxed”, had he spoken to his colleague the Minister of Immigration beforehand, or did he do so on his return?

WorthHon Dr RICHARD WORTH Link to this

All the comments that I made on immigration issues in India reflected National Party policy as set out in the manifesto.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

When the Minister told the Indian Express“We have asked the government to start a direct flight between India and Auckland and also an India Trade Centre in Auckland.”, had he received the Government’s response at the time of the interview in late February; if not, has he received the Government’s response to each of those requests since?

WorthHon Dr RICHARD WORTH Link to this

There are two questions there. As to the first, the position of the India Trade Group has been obvious for a number of years, and—Mr Goff will know this—we are very keen to see direct trade links established between India and New Zealand. That is a straightforward statement of fact. I had no further discussion with the Minister of Transport when I returned to New Zealand. As to the second question, about the India Trade Centre, that is something I know nothing about and it has never been India Trade Group policy.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

Does he recollect telling the same newspaper about 10 weeks ago: “My personal commitment to Punjab Deputy Chief Minister Sukhbir Singh Badal is that New Zealand will be committed to improve efficiency and productivity of the farmers in the state”, and was he speaking then as a Minister of the Crown, as reported, or was he speaking as a private individual?

WorthHon Dr RICHARD WORTH Link to this

That was a private trip on which I was chairman of the India Trade Group, and all times I spoke in that capacity.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

I seek leave to table answers to 25 questions to the Minister of Immigration, the Minister of Agriculture, the Minister of Trade, the Minister for Tertiary Education, and the Minister of Transport, which show in their collective that on the honourable Minister’s return he approached none of them about any of the issues he grandstanded on—

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

Leave is sought to table a collection of answers. Is there any objection to that course of action? There is objection.

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