New Zealand Attorney-General resigns

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

David Parker resigned today from Cabinet, a day after he resigned his position as Attorney-General and after publicity around his filing of an incorrect declaration with the Companies Office on behalf of Queens Park Mews Limited.

The declaration said that the three shareholders had unanimously agreed not to appoint an auditor for the company; but according to Investigate Magazine, another shareholder, Russell Hyslop, had never been consulted about the matter.

Parker confesses to making a "mistake" over the returns. He says when Hyslop was declared bankrupt in 1997, he cleared it with the Official Assignee for the first two years. He then forgot to clear on other years.

Parker was saying early this morning that he would persist in holding his other portfolios.

Prime Minister Helen Clark released the news shortly before 11 a.m. (NZST) as she walked into a caucus meeting. She said, "I have this morning accepted Mr Parker's resignation from all his portfolios."

Knowingly authorising a false statement is an offence under the Companies Act. The maximum penalty under section 373(4) for filing a false return is a fine of $200,000 or five years of imprisonment.