Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Public Representation at Gisborne Invaluable

Hon Phillida Bunkle


Media release
11 May 2000


Public Representation at Gisborne Invaluable

The Gisborne Inquiry into cervical screening has already shown the value of allowing parties to cross-examine witnesses, Alliance health spokeswoman Phillida Bunkle said today.

She said that there was already a range of options before the Government in the style of inquiry to be used when issues requiring investigation arise.

Ms Bunkle was commenting on Ministry of Health proposals that lawyers not be allowed to question or cross-examine witnesses at future inquiries or investigations because of the additional cost and length of time taken to complete.

She said it was important to note that what had been suggested was merely an idea of the Health of Ministry, on which the Government had sought further advice and consultation.

"I cannot help but be relieved that parties at the Gisborne Inquiry have had the ability to question and cross examine Ministry of Health officials and experts at the cervical screening inquiry.

"What we have learned in the past few weeks – much of it as a direct result of questioning from parties represented at the hearing - has been invaluable in both increasing the public's understanding of the issue and, in assisting the Inquiry team's search for the truth."

"I do have to wonder what has motivated them to suggest this change to future inquiries. Perhaps they haven't wanted closer scrutiny of their resistance to then Health Minister Helen Clark's instructions on a quality control measure. It's apparent that ignoring her instruction contributed to the problems, now under investigation in Gisborne.

"If officials had only listened to Helen Clark then, the National Cervical Screening Programme would have been pulled back on track."

Ms Bunkle said she empathised with concerns about lengthy inquiries and resulting costs.


"Not all matters which require inquiry need to be dealt with on the scale of the Gisborne Inquiry. It has to be said that the Government does not rush into Ministerial Inquiries willy-nilly. In fact, I found it an enormous exercise to get the previous government to investigate the cervical screening problem. It is happening now only because of the immense lobbying and the Member's Bill I put forward."

Ms Bunkle said that in the Gisborne case, she believed it was impossible to scrutinise Dr Michael Bottrill's work without canvassing wider concerns and issues surrounding the implementation of a National Cervical Screening Programme.

She believed that concerns about multiple groups being represented at inquiries, and as a result adding the length and cost, were unfounded.

"I am confident that the Gisborne Inquiry panel has ensured that all questions put to witnesses have been relevant to the Inquiry process. It hasn't been a time-wasting exercise. You need only to look at the facts which have emerged over the past several weeks," she said.

Important information that has come to light through the Inquiry to date includes:

 Testimony from Scottish pathologist Dr Euphemia McGoogan who described the programme as inept and lacking in professional leadership.

 The Department of Health defied the express wishes of then Health Minister Helen Clark in 1990, for a senior level manager to be appointed to run the cervical screening programme.

 Expert advice on implementation of the programme was also ignored by the department.

 The programme was under resourced and inadequately evaluated.

 Pathologist Dr Michael Bottrill was inadequately trained and his work inadequately evaluated and monitored.


ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Peters/Ardern Triumph

There are a lot of good reasons to feel joyful about this outcome. It is what so many young voters – the best hope for the country’s future – wanted.

Far more important than the implications for the Economy Gods ( is the dollar up or down? ) last night’s outcome will also mean many, many vulnerable New Zealanders will have a better life over the next three years at least.

Yet the desire for change was in the majority, across the country..>>>More


Reaction

Labour on its agreement |Peters: Post-Election Announcement Speech | Greenpeace “cautiously hopeful” about new Government | ACT - Madman on the loose | E tū ecstatic | Chamber welcomes the outcome | Greens on their joining Govt | EDS welcomes new govt | Immigrant groups worry | Feds ready to engage new coalition government | Labour Ministers of the Crown announced

 

Climate: Increasing Greenhouse Emissions Hit NZ

New Zealand is seeing impacts of excess greenhouse gas emissions in our climate and oceans, according to the latest national report from the Ministry for the Environment and Stats NZ about the state of the atmosphere and climate…More>>

ALSO:


Wellington.Scoop: Arrests At Blockade Of "Weapons Expo"

“We encourage people in Wellington to get down to the Westpac Stadium now for a day of awesome peace action. There will be plenty of food, music and activities to keep us sustained through the day.” More>>

ALSO:

Rorschach Restructuring: PSA Taking Inland Revenue To Court Over Psychometrics

The Public Service Association will be seeing Inland Revenue in Employment Court over its intention to psychometrically test employees reapplying for their roles at the department as part of its controversial Business Transformation restructuring plan. More>>

ALSO:

Nuclear Disarmament: Nobel Peace Prize 2017 Awarded To ICAN

Congratulations from iCAN Aotearoa New Zealand to international iCAN, the other iCAN national campaigns and partner organisations, and the countless organisations and individuals who have worked so hard for a nuclear weapons-free world since 1945. More>>

ALSO:

Expenses: Waikato DHB CEO Resigns

An independent inquiry has identified that Dr Murray had spent more than the agreed $25K allocated for relocation costs, and other unauthorized expenses involving potential financial breaches of the chief executive’s obligations. More>>

ALSO:

Wellington.Scoop: Sad About The Trolley Buses?

The Regional Council’s MetLink is today spending money to tell us that it really loves Wellington’s trolley buses, even though they’re all being taken off our roads by the end of this month. More>>

ALSO:

Post-Election: Preliminary Coalition Talks Begin

New Zealand First will hold post-election preliminary discussions in Wellington with the National Party tomorrow morning and the Labour Party tomorrow afternoon. More>>

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election