Michael Wood didn't recuse himself from more decisions on Auckland Airport

With former minister Michael Wood gone to ground, the Prime Minister is being forced to clean up his resignation fallout.

Newshub's obtained a more detailed timeline of how many times the Cabinet Office had to nag Wood to sell his Auckland Airport shares.

Newshub can also reveal Wood didn't recuse himself from even more decisions which he should have.

The Prime Minister was in his happy place on Thursday morning: the Hutt.

He was flanked by one of his dwindling number of ministers.

Hipkins also faced more questions about Wood.

"Yesterday would have been a very difficult day for him," said Hipkins.

Perhaps as much difficulty as the Cabinet Office had in getting Wood to stop ghosting them.

The saga starts in November 2020 when Wood admits he has shares in Auckland airport - he's told to think about getting rid of them.

Wood is then asked to confirm he's divested them. No response.

In early December, there are calls and emails. Wood says he actually hasn't done it yet and he'll do it over the break.

"He hasn't given me an explanation for why it is he was indicating to the Cabinet Office that they had been sold when clearly they hadn't," Hipkins said. 

In March 2021, the Cabinet Office calls to check in again. They don't hear back and so assume the shares are gone.

In June 2021, the Cabinet Office follows up again and is told Wood has told his sharebroker to get rid of them.

A month later, Wood is sent a letter. Then in December there's another check, but still no response.

In March 2022, Wood's office says, it is happening this week.

Then in May, the Cabinet Office asks whether it happened. The response? Not quite.

"The documentation that we've seen suggest that he has misled the Cabinet Office and that's a pretty serious thing," said National's Christopher Luxon.

And it just keeps going 

In January this year, there was another check. 

Then again in March, the Cabinet Office sat him down and to their faces he tells them he's intending to divest - but still hasn't done so.

Asked if Wood mislead Cabinet, Hipkins said: "He certainly did not disclose interests which he should have."

Newshub can reveal all the while Wood had his Auckland Airport shares there were five requests from the airport to him as Transport Minister for support.

Only two were delegated to his associate minister.

"That's totally unacceptable," said ACT's Simon Court. "New Zealanders deserve and expect better from their Government."

Wood has not responded to Newshub's request for comment, but a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: "As the Prime Minister said yesterday and today, there could be other instances where Michael Wood, as Transport Minister, should have recused himself from decisions involving Auckland Airport.

"I note that the three instances in question here were in relation to the same funding request, which was declined.

"After the creation of an Associate Minister of Transport, requests were delegated to the Associate Minister. This was the case for the final two requests."

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