New Zealand Transport Minister resigns over airport shares controversy

Wellington, June 6 : New Zealand Transport Minister Michael Wood resigned on Tuesday due to controversy over his Auckland airport shares. Wood did not declare his shares immediately when he became an MP or when he became the Transport Minister, Xinhua news agency quoted the local media as saying. 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 NZ$13,000 ($7,900)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. /IANS


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