Jenny Shipley denies conflict

Dame Jenny Shipley

Dame Jenny Shipley has issued a hot denial of conflict of interest over her Mainzeal directorship.

The accusations were fired in parliament yesterday by NZ First Leader Winston Peters.

He says her role as a director of Mainzeal conflicts with her position on the review board of the Canterbury Earthquake Authority.

The former National prime minister hired PR spin doctor Bill Ralston to write a media statement on her behalf refuting the accusation.

In a statement she says she "absolutely rejects" suggestions that her role in the CERA Review Panel – paying $1000 per day – constituted any conflict of interest due to her former role with the Mainzeal companies.

“The CERA Review Panel, of which I am a member, reviews proposed variations to rules, regulations and the law in relation to the Christchurch emergency powers and has no connection at all with the commercial letting of contracts,” she says.

“Accordingly, there is no potential for conflict of interest whatsoever.

“For the record, I have never claimed any fees or expenses for my CERA panel work because I felt that sharing my experience in this way was something I could contribute to Christchurch post earthquake.”

Dame Jenny enjoys $109,832 fees as Genesis Energy chairman.

Her directorship at Mainzeal ended when she and fellow board members, ex-Brierley chief executive Paul Collins and Clive Tibby, quietly resigned in January.

c.hutch@clear.net.nz

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11 Comments & Questions

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It is being competent for the position that is important.
If she can't hack it as a director of Mainzel what makes her think she is competent to be involved in the Christchurch rebuild?

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Well done Mr Peter's holding Mr Shipley accountable for a possible conflict. In light of quietly slipping off the Mainzeal board the day before it collapses then blaming the BNZ, she is certainly clouded in two dubious events.

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How does being a politician provide the right qualifications and acumen to be a director and /or chair of a commercial enterprise? From the press reports to date on Mainzeal, it appears highly probable that it was trading while insolvent, the directors should be personally responsible if this is the case. The subcontractors and other unsecured creditors will get shafted, yet the directors will continue on their merry way. Who said ignorance is no excuse?

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Surely there IS a very clear conflict! Mainzeal will be subject to CERA's emergency powers as a major player in the construction industry. In reviewing those emergency powers, the conflict for Shipley is obvious?

Or do none of those emergency powers in any way relate to the construction industry?

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Greed. Shame on you ex-prime minister.

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Don't you mean, ex-schoolmarm?

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What business and governance credentials do Shipley bring to the boards she sits on?

She has done nothing for us minorities in Richina Pacific but is happy to take the directorship and the fees, part of which came from us Richina minorities.

What is it about these ex-National party politicians like Doug Graham (Lombard), Wyatt Creech and John Luxton (Blue Chip), Ruth Richardson (iCap), Bill Birch (IRG) and Shipley (Mainzeal)?

The best part is that we have 2 Sirs and 1 Dame in the above 6!

Damn!

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She was a director when shareholders were encouraged to delist Richina from the New Zealand stock exchange. What a disaster, and many years later some shareholders still waiting to be paid.
If she's so qualified why does she have to hire somebody to make statements on her behalf?

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The practice of appointing celebrities (news readers, politicians) to companies' boards is very helpful to New Zealand investors - it allows us to identify those for whom "front" is more important than substance.

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Just have a look at all the complaints made to the Ombudsman about Genesis Energy - and Dame Jenny Shipley is the chairman part-time for $109.000 on top of a massive "for life pension" for being in parliament for at least three terms.

I can remember when she found she was unable to live on the unemployment benefit, despite claiming it would a piece of cake. She apparently invented an imaginery illness to get out of it.

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Look, with all her money she can pay someone to fashion her statements for her...perhaps she is not clever enough to sit on CERA if she can't even express herself!!

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