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Government Staff Should Follow ACT Example

ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble today said Labour's Senior Whip Rick Barker was wrong that the ACT Party raised a breach of privilege against Alliance Press Secretary Steve Collett after it was alleged he smoked marijuana in Parliament's debating Chamber.

"A breach of privilege was not raised for two reasons. Firstly, Mr Collett denied the allegations and secondly, on examining Standing Orders, it was not an issue that raises a breach of privilege.

"However, Rick Barker and Annette King do raise an interesting point. Mr Collett denied any wrong doing but continued to work in Mr Anderton's office despite National MP Gerry Brownlee standing firmly by his statements that the incident took place.

"In contrast, Mr Gregory, who is also disputing the allegations, advised me that he was tendering his resignation to Parliamentary Services - an action that I did not dissuade him from because the ACT Party believes that people in the public service should not only obey the law, but be seen to do so.

"I would be interested to know if the Government is now going to insist that Government staff who face allegations of wrongdoing resign immediately. Or will Government staff follow the example of Mr Collett and, more recently, Sandra Lee's Press Secretary who has been sitting at home on full pay while facing charges," said Richard Prebble.


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