Labour Minister distances himself from under-fire donor Troy Bowker

Labour MP Stuart Nash has made it clear he won’t be taking any more money from under-fire Wellington businessman Troy Bowker.

Bowker, who is a part-owner and board member of the Hurricanes rugby franchise, has been widely condemned for comments he made accusing animation entrepreneur Sir Ian Taylor of “sucking up to the left Māori loving agenda”.

Taylor posted on LinkedIn last week, in response to National leader Judith Collins’ backing for a referendum on the use of the name Aotearoa for New Zealand.

Bowker, executive chairman of Wellington-based investment company Caniwi Capital, called the post “absolute nonsense,” before questioning Taylor’s blood quantum.

“Another example of European NZers not being proud of their own ancestors and sucking up to the left Māori loving agenda. FFS. Wake up NZ.”

The Hurricanes have since distanced themselves from Bowker, saying the franchise doesn’t support Bowker’s comments but it cannot control his opinions.

Hurricanes star TJ Perenara said Bowker’s comments were “insulting” and showed “underlying racism”.

NZ Rugby chief executive Mark Robinson said, “The comments made by Troy Bowker are not supported by New Zealand Rugby in any way”.

Today, Newsroom revealed Stuart Nash, Minister of Regional and Economic Development and Tourism, received at least $51,000 in direct and indirect donations from Bowker.
The money was reportedly donated to three of his election campaigns, and the pair are said to have a longstanding relationship.

But Nash has made it clear that relationship has changed.

“I’ve made it clear I won’t be taking any more donations from Troy.”

Nash said the comments made by Bowker were appalling, and said ‘it’s not the Troy I know”.

“I have no time for those sorts of comments whatsoever, I don’t believe them.

“I know Sir Ian Taylor, I think he’s a fantastic gentleman. I’ve been doing work with him in the tourism space, in fact I’ve done quite a lot of work with Sir Ian over the years and I think he’s fantastic.

“I certainly think the comments were appalling and I hope he backs away from them actually.”

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