National's ‘Cabinet Club’ questioned

By Maiki Sherman

National's cabinet club was under scrutiny as questions regarding it have surfaced.

A club which sees its members pay a fee or donation on a yearly basis which includes three or four gatherings where they have a chance to interact with ministers.  

According to the cabinet manual "accepting additional payment for doing anything regarded as a ministerial function is not permissible". National says its MPs don't attend in their ministerial capacity and says they're not breaking the rules. 

According to John Key, “They go in their capacity as an MP they don't go as party member they don't go as a Minister but the cabinet manual also makes it quite clear they're free to actually talk about any portfolio matters.”

Nanaia Mahuta says, “In my experience of that position, you are a minister at all times, day and night.”

Pita Sharples states, “'I wasn't aware of that club but I'm quite keen to take a look.”

Despite having no knowledge of the club, the Opposition says the Māori Party have already taken part, citing its two fundraising nights where John Key was the star attraction.

All of the donations paid to National regarding its cabinet club were declared, another reason it says no rules were broken. However, it may be a different story from those on the outside looking in.