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The colonisation of our public service

This Government wants to colonise the public service with sycophants, said Opposition Timberlands Spokesperson Tony Ryall speaking in today’s general debate.

“Before the election the Labour Party singled out chief executives they wanted to get rid of if they didn’t toe the line. Will the bullying not stop until our public servants have given up? The campaign against Timberlands Executive Kit Richards is pure vindictiveness.

“Kit Richards was a public servant who happened to disagree with the Labour Party’s ideology on sustainable forestry. He was sacked for something he did in his own time, using his own resources. Imagine if I, as Minister responsible for Radio New Zealand, had sacked Brian Edwards because he was helping advise the Leader of the Opposition on running a campaign against the Government.

“This Labour-Alliance Government is full of double standards.

“Anyone who dares to disagree with the Labour Party’s ideology is hounded out of their job. The Government has signalled to public servants that they will not tolerate any dissent. They are only to be advised what they want to hear. After three years of this Government we will have a politicised public service devoid of initiative and innovative thinking.

“As the Evening Post Editorial said over a month ago – “Democratic government depends on a certain level of tolerance of differing views, and the summary dispatch to political Siberia of people whose views are contrary to those of Government could have an unhealthy chilling effect on debate in areas of public policy”.

“The Government has overstepped the mark time and time again. So who’s next?” Mr Ryall said.


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