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David Cunliffe: Chch By-Election | Chorus | GCSB

David Cunliffe: Chch By-election | Chorus | GCSB

David Cunliffe's weekly pre-caucus press conference – 3 December 2013

Scoop Audio+Video+Photos

By Hamish Cardwell

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Click for big version.

At his weekly pre-caucus standup Labour leader David Cunliffe introduced Christchurch by-election winner Poto Williams, accused Telecommunications Minister Amy Adams of “backtracking” over the release of an independent assessment of Chorus copper price setting, and said Prime Minister John Key needed to be more upfront on what he knew about NSA spying on New Zealanders.



David Cunliffe introduced new Labour MP Poto Williams who won the Christchurch East by-election on the weekend. He said he was absolutely delighted and that she would make a wonderful addition to the caucus.

A tweet sent by Mr Cunliffe on the morning of the election, which was against Election Commission rules, was an “error”, and was immediately deleted. Labour was cooperating fully with the Electoral Commission inquiry.

Mr Cunliffe said Labour were very critical of the governments position not to pursue corporate manslaughter charges after a spate forestry industry deaths, and the Pike River disaster.

On Chorus copper pricing Mr Cunliffe said Telecommunications Minister Amy Adams was “backtracking” by saying that the independent advice on the Commerce Commission's copper price was not a formal report and may not be released.

These two issues showed that the government was “soft on the top end of town and hard on the bottom”.

On Edward Snowden leaks and New Zealand intelligence agencies Mr Cunliffe said the 5 Eyes Treaty was binding and prevented the wholesale spying on New Zealanders by other members of the treaty. He said he did not take the Prime Minister at his word that he did not know if NSA agencies had spied on New Zealanders.

“My suspicion is that he is using a fairly high bar for the word 'knowledge'.”

Mr Key should seek assurance from the GCSB that the NSA did not perform wholesale spying on New Zealanders, and if the terms of the treaty had been broken the public had a right to know, Mr Cunliffe said.

Mr Cunliffe also spoke about ACC lowering its levies.


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