“…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.
The Green Party today released the results of a series of written questions to Government ministers over their relationships with Westpac.
Nine ministers said they had accepted corporate hospitality from Westpac in the past year, including box seats at the rugby sevens, dinner at the White House restaurant in Wellington, and tickets to rock concerts.
Thirteen ministers said their staff had accepted similar hospitality from the bank.
Green Party co-leader Russel Norman said the ministers accepting personal gifts from Westpac created a potential conflict of interest while the Government was reviewing its banking.
“The fact that so many ministers had staff who also accepted Westpac’s largesse is disquieting, given the central role of ministerial staff in influencing the decisions of their busy ministers,” he said.
Dr Norman called for a competitive tender for the master banking contract, and for the Cabinet manual to be more explicit about accepting gifts…”
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