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Lee's resignation needed to achieve partnership

Murray McCully National Local Government Spokesperson

Monday 28 August 2000

Minister's resignation needed to achieve partnership

"The Government needs to secure the resignation of Local Government Minister Sandra Lee if it is serious about establishing a close partnership between central and local government," National MP Murray McCully said today.

"Sandra Lee's actions cost LGNZ chief executive Carol Stigley her job, and now the three members of the so-called Presidential Team have ended up on the pile of victims of this serial career killing Minister.

"These people would all still be in their jobs if it wasn't for Ms Lee's actions and the pressure she applied by banning Ms Stigley from her office.

"That action started a chain of events which culminated in both Sandra Lee and Louise Rosson deliberately misleading the public.

"If the Government is serious about its much vaunted new era of partnership and understanding between central and local government, it will have to find a different Minister.

"Now that the details of this saga are in the public arena, Sandra Lee is a lame duck Minister in the eyes of Local Government. The sector knows that she cannot deliver on the programme the Government has committed to. Local Government leaders throughout the country will draw their own conclusions if Sandra Lee remains as Minister.

"The Minister's stated desire to have "as meaningful a working relationship with the incoming Local Government New Zealand Presidential team, as (she) had with the outgoing team" will be seen as indeed ominous.

"One side of the poisonous partnership has cleared the decks. The question now is whether the Government is going to back its promises to the sector, or its Minister. It can't do both," Mr McCully said.


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