April 22, 2014
Leadership gift crossed party lines
Labour MP Shane Jones says his life before politics may have been a factor in a significant donation from a leading National Party member.
The next release of the register of MP’s pecuniary interests will include a $1000 donation to Mr Jones from Sir Wira Gardiner, a former National Party vice president and the husband of Education Minister Hekia Parata.
The unsolicited donation was to support the list MP’s tilt for the Labour Party leadership.
The two served together briefly on the Treaty of Waitangi Fisheries Commission.
Mr Jones says Sir Wira has always been pro-Maori and he accepted the money in that spirit, even though he knew it would raise eyebrows in the Labour Party.
Sir Wira says he believes it’s important to encourage Maori leadership, and he is still a National Party supporter.
He did not tell Ms Parata about the donation until this week.
Copyright © 2014, UMA Broadcasting Ltd