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Chief Exec at odds with PM over Tamihere advice

Roger Sowry
Opposition State Services spokesperson
23 April 2000

Chief Exec at odds with PM over Tamihere advice

National is demanding an investigation into the conduct of the Chief Executive of the Ministry of Maori Development after he was caught out denying he'd given advice to the Prime Minister over the John Tamihere allegations, says National's State Services spokesman Roger Sowry.

Dr Ngatata Love denied briefing the Prime Minister prior to an Evening Post story on 4 March which outlined allegations against Mr Tamihere.

"Dr Love has breached the principles of conduct for State Sector Chief Executives. He has a duty to comply with New Zealand law, but has flouted the provisions of the OIA and obstructed the public's right to official information.

"At the same time, the Government is exploring roles that Dr Love can play in assessing the performance of public sector chief executives as part of its plans to improve Government performance for Mäori. Given the low standard he sets for himself how can the Government have faith in him assessing the performance of other chief executives?" Mr Sowry asks.

National is calling for State Services Minister Trevor Mallard or the State Services Commissioner to investigate. "Dr Love denied National's OIA request for any advice the Ministry of Maori Development provided to the Prime Minister, saying that no advice in any form was given to the Prime Minister or existed.

"Just days later, the Prime Minister revealed she was warned by Dr Love prior to the 4 March Evening Post story, and she received advice directly from him that the allegations about Mr Tamihere were likely to be in the public arena.

"These actions show that this Chief Executive has nothing but contempt for the public interest. How much more information has the public been denied because Dr Love thought he could get away with it?

"The public expects senior public servants to carry out their functions in accordance with the law. The evidence we've compiled suggests that Dr Love thinks he's above the law and he needs to be brought to account smartly," says Mr Sowry.

Ends

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