There is a sharp contrast between the Prime Ministerial responses to last week’s respective indiscretions by two of his more accident-prone Ministers.
Here’s Key’s response to David Carter opining on the possible sale of the Crafar farms to foreign interests:
Agriculture Minister David Carter has been told off by Prime Minister John Key for saying a sale being considered by the Overseas Investment Office is unlikely to go through.
But he did not think the minister had prejudiced the case and no legal advice had been sought.
Natural Dairy (NZ) Holdings accused Mr Carter of attempting to subvert an independent process.
And here’s his response to Paula Bennett saying “she did not believe she had done anything wrong” in making public the request from beneficiary Natasha Fuller for an apology and compensation for breaching her privacy:
Prime Minister John Key has backed Social Development Minister Paula Bennett’s decision to reveal a request for $15,000 from a solo mother who has a taken privacy complaint against her.
Mr Key said he supported Ms Bennett’s decision to publicise Ms Fuller’s request.
“The minister’s acted honourably the whole way through, and I believe acted appropriately, and it’s now got to go through a process.”
So, according to Key, due process without Ministerial influence or comment is to be afforded a multinational company with an application before the Overseas Investment Office, but not a beneficiary with a complaint before the Privacy Commission.
Perhaps that is because the privacy complaint is about the Minister. I would have thought that should be even greater reason for a Minister to keep her mouth shut.