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PM Wants Answers on New Timberlands Allegations

27 January 2000

Government demands answers to new allegations regarding Timberlands

Prime Minister Helen Clark and the Minister responsible for Timberlands, Pete Hodgson, said they would be demanding that the chair of the Timberlands board explain why a senior employee was participating in what amounted to guerilla warfare against the government.

The minsters were referring to copies of email correspondence conducted between the Timberlands West Coast General Manager for Planning and others in the Timberlands 'constituency' which discussed how to target politically the Prime Minister, Mr Hodgson and Environment Minister Marian Hobbs.

"Last year the book Secrets and Lies disclosed that Timberlands did indeed engage in political lobbying.

"These latest disclosures suggest that within Timberlands there are deeply politicised employees of a state-owned enterprise who are prepared to put their weight behind political campaigns against the Prime Minister and key ministers.

"This behaviour is completely unacceptable within a public sector organisation. We are asking Timberlands chair Mr Young to explain why this employee should continue his employment given this apparently disgraceful conduct," Helen Clark and Pete Hodgson said.

Ends

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