15 Apr 2014

PM's photo in Oravida advert

10:38 pm on 15 April 2014

Prime Minister John Key says it's his understanding an Oravida advertisement for scampi featuring a photo of him does not breach Cabinet rules.

Prime Minister John Key.

Prime Minister John Key. Photo: RNZ

Government minister Judith Collins came under pressure earlier this year when it was revealed that Oravida, to which she has close personal ties and whose husband is a director, was using her photo to endorse its milk.

Labour Party leader David Cunliffe said on Tuesday the picture of Mr Key in a Chinese airline magazine for Oravida scampi shows that the Government has too close a relationship with Oravida.

"This is an unhealthily close relationship between the National Party and this company - a company that has the husband of a Cabinet minister on its board and has given donations of over $50,000 to the National Party. It reeks of conflict of interest."

Mr Key said he appears in thousands of photos, but has been advised that this one does not break any Cabinet rules.

"It wasn't promoting or endorsing the product. It was in an ad - companies from time to time do do that. If it breaches the rules we tell them to stop doing it."