Pansy Wong Resigns as Minister

Pansy Wong has resigned as from her job as Cabinet Minister. She was Minister of Women’s Affairs, and Minister of Ethnic Affairs. She resigned because her husband has been getting cheap international travel through her office for his business trips. MPs and their husbands or wives are allowed cheap international airfares for Parliamentary business or holidays but not for private business. Her husband has used these cheap air fares for his own private business. It is not clear if this happened only once, in 2008, or more often. Pansy Wong said she will find out how many times this has happened and she has promised to pay back the money to the government. Her husband, Sammy Wong, is a Malaysian-born businessman.

It is very disappointing that this has happened to Pansy Wong. She has been a leader in the Asian community. She is the first Asian Minister in New Zealand. She was born in Shanghai, brought up in Hong Kong and moved to Christchurch in 1974 to study for a Master of Commerce degree which she gained with Honours. She became an accountant. She was a list MP for National in 1996 then moved to Auckland where she was elected, by a huge majority, as the MP for Botany.

She has not resigned from Parliament.

A Labour Party MP found out this information about Pansy Wong’s husband.

1. Why do we need a Minister of Women’s Affairs? Look at Office of Women’s Affairs
2. Why do we need a Minister of Ethnic Affairs does? Look at Office of Ethnic Affairs
3. What is the job of the Opposition – in this case the Labour Party?

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