Recall National’s current Agriculture Minister David Carter’s words, back in 2004:
[Winston] Peters last night vigorously denied claims made on TV One that the meal, at Kermadec Restaurant in Auckland’s Viaduct Basin and paid for by co-owner Peter Simunovich, might imply “corruption”.
“Do you think I’d compromise my career for a meal of fish?” he said.
But Mr Peters is at least expected to face an investigation by Parliament’s privileges committee, which oversees the behaviour of MPs.
The National Party says it will lodge a complaint against him.
The chairman of the scampi inquiry, National MP David Carter, said he would ask the privileges committee to speak to Mr Peters and Mr Simunovich to clear up the controversy.
“I think the allegations are serious. If in any way he was collecting favours, it’s close to corruption,” he told the Herald. “At the very least it’s stupid. (my emphasis)”
Yet when Russel Norman revealed nine Cabinet Ministers and numerous Ministerial staff, including some of David Carter’s, have accepted corporate hospitality from Westpac – including box seats at the Rugby 7s, dinner at the White House restaurant, and tickets to rock concerts – while Westpac’s Government banking contract has been under review, PM John Key responds:
There is nothing wrong with ministers accepting hospitality from the Government’s banker Westpac, and it won’t have any bearing on the decision that will follow a competitive tender process for the contract, Prime Minister John Key says.
So what’s changed between 2004 and now? Oh, that’s right, the Nats are in Government now.