On 16 November Revenue Minister Stuart Nash wasn't in Question Time following an embarrassing gaffe where he'd advocated for the introduction of GST on online goods imported from overseas. Finance Minister Grant Robertson was forced to slap down Nash, saying that it would be considered as part of the government's tax working group.
Nash was also set to get caught up in Kelvin Davis' disastrous stint as Acting Prime Minister, where he was to be asked questions from National's Chris Bishop.
When asked why Nash wasn't in Question Time to front up to questions, his office claimed that Nash had been delayed in Auckland after attending a chartered accountants conference and hadn't made it back to Wellington until after Question Time.
Given this, I asked of Stuart Nash's office for a copy of his Ministerial diary for that day, including "actual flights taken". It turns out, Nash wasn't delayed in Auckland. He was back in Wellington and interviewing a potential advisor until 2.15pm.
Either Nash's office lied to Radio New Zealand when asked about why he had dodged Question Time, or they've supplied incorrect information in replying to my OIA. Either way, it's another entry in the list of mounting embarrassments for Stuart Nash who was meant to be one of Labour's raising stars, but only seems to be lowering the bar for ministerial incompetence.