21 Mar 2023

Hipkins confident Kirton had cut ties with lobbying firm before taking up role as Chief of Staff

From Morning Report, 7:10 am on 21 March 2023

The Prime Minister is confident his Chief of Staff cut ties with his lobbying firm before taking up his new role.

Andrew Kirton headed the New Zealand arm of an Australian lobbying firm whose clients included alcohol companies opposing a proposed container return scheme, which has since been put on hold by the government.

Chris Hipkins told Morning Report the Cabinet decision to halt the scheme was made after Kirton began work with him.

"Part of his taking on the job was that he had to dispense off any remaining commitments he had to any of the clients that he had worked with previously."

Hipkins says there is a need for transparency and vigilance around lobbying.