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Clark Hiding Lame Duck Ministers From Scrutiny

"The Prime Minister's admission that some of her Ministers are 'sitting ducks' who it 'wouldn't be wise' to expose to media scrutiny says a lot about the way this Government operates," National's Roger Sowry said today.

"Members of Parliament, and most especially Ministers, have a duty to be publicly accountable for their actions and beliefs. Helen Clark's admission in the latest Listener that she has Ministers who she has counselled against speaking to the media is an unhealthy indication that democracy is not being served.

"It is absurd that some Labour and Alliance MPs have reached Ministerial office while being adjudged by their leader as unsafe to explain their actions in public forums.

"The Prime Minister has a duty to name these inadequate Ministers and encourage them to either front up or ship out.

"Any observer of politics could guess the Ministers Helen Clark is referring to. They are the same ones who are 'conveniently' unavailable to answer tough questions from the Opposition in Parliament.

"Those Ministers aren't just sitting ducks, they're lame ducks. If they are the best candidates this Government can find for Ministerial Office then it's time to cut the size of Cabinet back severely.

"They get the cars, the houses, the perks without being exposed to media or Parliamentary scrutiny. That is a sorry state of affairs," Roger Sowry said.


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