Michael Wood resigns, David Parker appointed Transport Minister

In News2 MinutesBy NZ Trucking magazineJune 23, 2023

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed on Wednesday that former transport minister Michael Wood has resigned following his share scandal.

David Parker has been named the new Minister of Transport.

Wood was stood down as transport minister and was under investigation earlier this month after it emerged he had not declared shares in Auckland Airport, worth about $13,000.

Wood was asked to sell the shares at least 12 times.

David Parker

The prime minister was then alerted to additional shareholdings Wood held in the JM Fairey Family Trust, of which he is both a trustee and a beneficiary.

“These new shareholdings raise significant concerns around Michael not identifying and managing potential and real conflicts of interest. In particular, the trust holds shares in Chorus, Spark and the National Australia Bank,” Hipkins said.

“Despite repeated requests from the Cabinet Office and myself for Michael to manage his shareholdings, he has repeatedly failed to identify, disclose and appropriately manage conflicts of interest.”

Hipkins said when he stood Wood down, he asked if there was any other relevant information he should know about it, and Wood indicated there was not.

“It has become evident, therefore, that not adequately managing the airport shares was not an isolated incident and it is not appropriate for Michael to continue as a Minister,” he said.

“New Zealanders expect and deserve very high standards from Ministers.

“While I do not believe Michael Wood has acted with any intent of personal gain, his actions have let himself and the Government down.”

Michael Wood said none of his actions were financially motivated.

“I am a true believer in politics and that we are all here to serve the public. There has not been a second of my political career where any of my financial interests have influenced my actions or even crossed my mind,” he said.