On Sunday we released information gained under the Local Government Official Information and Meetings Act that several regional councillors had received gifts and hospitality from Fonterra in the form of Rugby World Cup tickets for quarterfinal and bronze medal matches. There is a clear conflict of interest when the regulator is accepting gifts from the industry it is supposed to be regulating.
Horizons Regional Council Chairman Bruce Gordon reacted angrily to my suggestion that there was a conflict of interest. However the Manawatu Standard’s Grant Miller has written an opinion piece in support of the Green Party’s view.
This is the second time in this month that a conflict of interest has arisen between the dairy industry and Horizons regulatory independence, with criticism being voiced last week regarding Horizons intentions to invest in the dairy sector.