No conflict of interest - Shipley

TRACY WATKINS
Last updated 11:32 13/02/2013
Jenny Shipley
BARRY HARCOURT
MAINZEAL COLLAPSE: Former director Dame Jenny Shipley.

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Former Prime Minister Jenny Shipley says she "absolutely rejects" suggestions there is a conflict of interest in her role as a former director with Mainzeal while also sitting on the Christchurch Earthquake Recovery Authority Review panel.

NZ First leader Winston Peters yesterday used parliamentary privilege to question Dame Jenny's involvement in decisions relating to the Christchurch rebuild.

Earthquake Recovery Minister Gerry Brownlee confirmed the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority had contracts with Mainzeal Property and Construction, for the demolition of the Clarendon Towers, at a cost of $8.9 million, and the QEII complex, costing $2.1 million.

He said there were a number of other contracts held by Mainzeal in the private sector for the Canterbury rebuild.

Dame Jenny is one of four people on the review panel, which was set up to provide independent scrutiny and advice on Government orders relaxing, suspending or extending laws that might have an impact on the recovery effort.

In a statement this morning, Dame Jenny said she "absolutely rejects" suggestions that her role in the CERA review panel constituted any conflict of interest with her former role at Mainzeal.

"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," says Dame Jenny. "Accordingly there is no potential for conflict of interest whatsoever."

She had never claimed any fees or expenses for her CERA work "because I felt that sharing my experience in this way was something I could contribute to Christchurch post earthquake."

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