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Ministers' interests 2012-2013

Proactive release of information about management of ministerial conflicts of interest

1 October 2012 - 30 September 2013

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Explanatory note

The table below is a summary of actions taken by Ministers during the period 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013 in order to manage actual or potential conflicts of interest.  It includes transfers of responsibility to other Ministers and arrangements not to receive official papers. (A transfer of responsibility may also include an arrangement not to receive papers.)

The Office of the Ombudsmen has reviewed this summary and confirmed that it is consistent with the more detailed record held by the Cabinet Office.

The actions listed in the table are standing arrangements, and may cover multiple instances when responsibility was exercised by another Minister or papers were not received. It is also possible that there have been no such instances, because the particular issue has not arisen in practice.  The table only includes new arrangements put in place in the period 1 October 2012 to 30 September 2013, and is not a full summary of all transfers of responsibility and arrangements not to receive papers that have been made or are currently in place.

The nature of each actual or potential conflict of interest is described using the following categories:

  • Pecuniary: relating to a Minister’s personal financial interests such as assets, debts and gifts

  • Personal: relating to a Minister’s non-financial personal interests, such as family, whanau or close associates, former employment and business activities, and (in certain limited circumstances) current and past involvement with specific organisations

  • Portfolio: relating to different aspects of a Minister’s official responsibilities

  • Constituency: relating to a Minister’s role as a member of Parliament

The annual proactive release of information about the management of ministerial conflicts of interest (covering transfers of responsibility and arrangements not to receive papers) was agreed by the Prime Minister and the Chief Ombudsman in 2012.  The release is intended to provide public assurance that systems are in place to manage conflicts of interest effectively, while protecting the privacy of individuals, the confidentiality of Cabinet discussions, and the confidentiality of correspondence between the Cabinet Office and the Prime Minister and other Ministers about actual or potential conflicts of interest. 

Further information on the management of ministerial conflicts of interest is set out at paragraphs 2.56-2.77 of the Cabinet Manual 2008.

Minister’s name

Matter at issue

Nature of conflict

Action taken

Hon Christopher Finlayson

Treaty negotiations decisions in respect of particular iwi

Personal

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Michael Woodhouse

Hon Paula Bennett

Potential decisions about an organisation receiving Crown funding

Personal

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Tony Ryall

Hon Craig Foss

Potential decisions in respect of particular companies

Pecuniary

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Dr Jonathan Coleman

Hon Chris Tremain

Responsibility as Minister of Internal Affairs for certain decisions under the Citizenship Act 1977 and the Gambling Act 2003 in respect of Napier constituents

Constituency

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Nathan Guy

Hon Chris Tremain

Responsibility as Minister of Internal Affairs for certain decisions under the Citizenship Act 1977 and the Gambling Act 2003 in respect of Napier constituents and other individuals

Constituency / personal

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Nathan Guy (replacing earlier transfer)

Hon Nikki Kaye

Responsibility as Associate Minister of Immigration for decisions affecting Auckland Central constituents

Constituency

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Michael Woodhouse

Hon Maurice Williamson

Responsibility as Minister for Land Information for LINZ-managed land at Musick Point, in Pakuranga electorate

Constituency

Responsibility transferred to Hon Nathan Guy

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Responsibility as Minister of Immigration for decisions affecting Dunedin residents

Constituency

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Nikki Kaye

Hon Michael Woodhouse

Decisions in respect of a particular company

Personal

Will not receive papers

Hon Dr Pita Sharples

Decisions in respect of a particular school

Personal

Responsibility for decisions transferred to Hon Christopher Finlayson