Minister to resign portfolios

Friday 12 November 2010, 2:25PM
By Pansy Wong

"It is beyond my wildest dreams that a baby girl born in Shanghai, China, grew up in a Hong Kong apartment where eight families shared a single kitchen and bathroom to be New Zealand's first List M.P., first constituent M.P. of Botany and first Cabinet Minister of Chinese and Asian ethnicity," says Pansy Wong.

"That dream is not mine alone and it comes with expectation, responsibility and hope. I have tried every single day to keep that dream alive and nothing should happen to dash that dream.

"That dream can only be kept alive by living up to the high standard set by the Prime Minister and myself. Therefore I have given my resignation as a Cabinet Minister to the Prime Minister.

"This action follows questions about use of my parliamentary travel entitlement to pay for my husband to travel within China at the end of 2008.

"Although the trip was a holiday, my husband did conduct some business. Further, I am not able at this point to give the Prime Minister an assurance that this is a one-off situation.

"As a Member of Parliament it is my responsibility to ensure that the travel entitlement is used within the rules and that does not appear to be the case on this occasion.

"Given that, the appropriate and honourable thing to do is to offer my resignation to the Prime Minister. He has been gracious enough to accept it.

"I have asked the Speaker of the House to have Parliamentary Service review the use of my entitlement.

"In the event that any of my or my husband's international travel is found to be outside the rules, I will be making a full refund to Parliamentary Service.

"I do not intend to make any further comment to the media pending the outcome of the investigation."