Politician denies claims he smoked cannabis while ambassador

Monday, August 6, 2007

A New Zealand politician has denied claims made by his ex-wife that he smoked cannabis while acting as an ambassador to New Zealand in Jakarta, Indonesia and as the New Zealand ambassador to the World Trade Organisation (WTO).

The National party member, Tim Groser, stated that he has smoked cannabis earlier, but did not do so while working. "I admit to having used cannabis in my earlier life and do not want to hide that fact. This story needs to be seen in the context of the fallout from a failed marriage."

He says that he has made regrettable mistakes, "I make no claim to having led the full life of a choirboy when I was younger."

Groser says the claims made by his ex-wife, Milda Emza, were the result of comments published in Sunday newspaper, Herald on Sunday. Emza was, allegedly, furious at the comments that were published. Groser issued a statement apologising unreservedly to Emza.

"I will take the comments of my angry and hurt ex-wife on the chin," Groser said.

Paul Holmes wrote in the aforementioned newspaper, "Tim's marriages have not been successful, as he frankly admits. He's had rather a tough time over the years. He says he has reached the point now that if he is attracted to a woman he has to assume there is something seriously wrong with her."

John Key, leader of the National Party, has accepted Groser's word that there is no truth to the allegations. If the allegations proved to be correct, Groser would be guilty of gross misconduct and lose his job.

"I repeat that these specific allegations published today are untrue," said Groser.

Groser will no longer comment on this issue, regarding it as now a private matter.

Groser was ambassador to Indonesia from 1994 to 1997, and he resigned from the WTO in 2005 to become a politician. He is regarded as one of the world's leading experts on international trade.