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Dhasa: The position of Chris Carter, a member of the ruling New Zealand Labour Party, has come under scrutiny after he kept a trip to China and Tibet a secret from party leaders. Carter claims the trip was financed entirely by the Chinese government, as opposed to taxpayer dollars, and therefore he did not see it as necessary to seek authorization for the vacation.
Mr Carter's controversial absence is another in a succession of rule-breaking issues that have put his parliamentary future in jeopardy. Phil Goff, the party leader, has expressed concern over his colleague's capabilities, suggesting that Carter's irrational behaviour may be due to mental health issues.
Revelation of the clandestine visit to China, as well as attempts to undermine Goff, prompted his ejection via a unanimous vote from a caucus (party meeting) on Thursday (July 29), almost guaranteeing his permanent expulsion from the party council on August 7.
According to the New Zealand parliamentary candidate, the trip was offered to him by China four months ago, to coincide with a conference on poverty alleviation. Carter said that during the trip he spent six days in China and one day in Tibet. He argued that the uproar about the trip was an attempt to conceal concern over Goff's leadership.