David Carter’s relentless avoidance of responsiblity over the Pork Board is unacceptable. He is the Minister responsible and he has the power to sack the Board.
The thing is that the directors of the Pork Industry Board are required to act in ‘good faith’ under Schedule 1 of the Pork Industry Board Act 1997.
And if the Minister believes that directors of the Board are in breach of their duties, including the duty to act in good faith, then the Minister can remove the directors of the Board using his powers under Schedule 2.
Now it seems to me that, when the Board wrote to pig farmers outlining a strategy for evading the provisions of the Official Information Act so that results of an audit of pig farms would not be publicly released under that Act, in my opinion this is not acting in good faith.
And when the Pork Board threatened legal action against the government to stop the pig animal welfare code proceeding, that is not acting in good faith.
And when they take information from a private investigative firm on the activities of animal welfare activists, in the knowledge that that firm has a history of covert spying on lawful political advocacy groups, then that is not acting in good faith.
Carter is responsible for the Board. They only are there because he hasn’t sacked them. He should sack them.