The Opposition is continuing to apply pressure on Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones over conversations he may have had with the NZ Transport Agency's boss over a matter to do with a Northland logging company.
But Jones, who is also Associate Transport Minister, insists he has done nothing wrong and his conversations with NZTA chief executive Mark Ratcliffe were about another matter entirely.
Jones had been criticised by National's economic development spokesman Paul Goldsmith for wading into a matter relating to Semenoff Logging while it was before the courts.
Earlier this month, Jones told the Herald he was "concerned about the economic implications flowing from issues between the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) and Semenoff Logging".
He made the comments roughly three weeks after NZTA revoked Semenoff's transport services licence over a range of safety issues.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Jones was wrong to wade into the case.
"My view is that we need to act with caution when it's generally cases that could be seen as having influence attached with them," she told Newstalk ZB.
Last week Goldsmith said it was "constitutionally inappropriate for any minister to wade in on a matter before the courts".
Jones said he was not wading into the matter, and fired back by saying he was entitled to talk about challenges in the regions.
He told reporters outside the House last week that he had not commented on "anything to do with the innards of that court case" and was just focusing on "the supply chain impact in the North in the Forestry and logging".
He said he had had a "very brief" conversation with NZTA's chief executive but it was not about Semenoff.
On Newstalk ZB yesterday, when talking about the matter, Jones said: "I wanted clarification as to why they have been offering immunity and amnesty for Filipino truck drivers to, arguably, spy on New Zealand-owned businesses".
Today, in the House, Jones doubled down on that and said the conversation with Ratcliffe was around what authority NZTA had to do this.