NZ transport minister steps down on airport shares

Insight Online News

Wellington, June 6 : New Zealand Transport Minister Michael Wood resigned on Tuesday due to controversy of his Auckland airport shares.

Wood did not declare his shares immediately when he became a member of Parliament (MP) or when he became the transport minister, according to local media.

Prime Minister Chris Hipkins spoke to Wood on Tuesday on the issue and advised him that he step down as transport minister while any remaining issues around his conflicts are appropriately resolved.

The minister purchased the shares of the Auckland International Airport, worth about 13,000 NZ dollars (7,900 U.S. dollars) when he was a teenager in the 1990s.

He declared the shares to the Cabinet Office when he became a minister in 2020. However, he failed to declare them in the public register of MPs’ assets and other interests until 2022, local media reported.

Wood said he did not disclose them as he thought the shares had been sold.

Hipkins said Wood would sell the shares of Auckland International Airport “as soon as possible” and will work with the Registrar of Pecuniary Interests to resolve the issues around his past declarations.

Kieran McAnulty will be the acting transport minister.

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