19 Mar 2014

Collins knew official would be at dinner

6:21 pm on 19 March 2014

Justice Minister Judith Collins has admitted she knew before she went to China she would be dining with her friends from dairy exporter Oravida, as well as a senior border control official.

Judith Collins.

Judith Collins. Photo: RNZ

Ms Collins has been accused of having a conflict of interest over her involvement with Oravida while on a taxpayer funded trip to China last year. The company is run by two of the minister's close friends and her husband is a director.

Ms Collins has already had to apologise to Prime Minister John Key after disclosing there was more to her trip than she had previously told him or the public and for not revealing the dinner earlier.

She has been accused of breaching Cabinet rules by visiting Oravida's office in Shanghai and praising its milk products.

At Parliament on Wednesday, Labour's Grant Robertson asked Ms Collins if she had concerns when she learned that a senior border control official would be at the dinner.

Ms Collins said she understood the man was a close personal friend of her friend, Stone Shi, from Oravida.