20 Jan 2020

Forestry company says it met Jones before PGF application

From Morning Report, 7:14 am on 20 January 2020

A forestry company with close links to New Zealand First says it made a presentation to Shane Jones about the project it was seeking a $15 million government loan for, months before Mr Jones says he first heard of it.

Mr Jones has said he first heard about a bid by New Zealand Future Forest Products for Provincial Growth Fund money in October and immediately wrote to the Prime Minister declaring a conflict of interests because directors at the company have close ties to his party.

But the company's PGF application form says the project was discussed with Mr Jones in a presentation before the bid was submitted on April the 8th.

Mr Jones has issued a statement to RNZ saying the presentation never happened.

But NZFFP director David Henry says the presentation was a meeting he personally had with Mr Jones in Wellington.

Here's Investigative Journalist Guyon Espiner.