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Minister Broke Passport Rules, Labour Says

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Richard Worth
Richard Worth

Wellington, April 9 NZPA - Labour has again called for Internal Affairs Minister Richard Worth to be sacked after discovering he broke another rule when he visited India.

Prime Minister John Key reprimanded Dr Worth for making a private visit and then promoting an aviation company in which he had an interest.

That amounted to a potential conflict of interest.

Dr Worth apologised to Mr Key, resigned his directorship and sold his shares in the company.

In Parliament yesterday he confirmed he had travelled on his diplomatic passport, and today Labour MP Trevor Mallard produced the Ministerial Office Handbook.

"The handbook states that if travel is private, then a standard passport must be used," Mr Mallard said.

"What we have here is a shambolic situation where the minister responsible for issuing and monitoring passport use has misused his own diplomatic passport."

Mr Mallard said it was time for "timid bollockings" to end and Mr Key should sack Dr Worth.

The issue was raised in Parliament today and Mr Mallard put questions to Mr Key.

The prime minister wasn't there and his deputy, Bill English, answered.

"It is the obligation of ministers to make sure they conform with all the rules that apply," Mr English said.

"It is their obligation to make sure they know what those rules are, that they comply with those rules, and if by some event they don't comply with them to fix the problem."

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