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"Guess Who's NOT Coming to Dinner"

"Guess Who's NOT Coming to Dinner"

Friday 6th Oct 2000 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Economy

The Prime Minister’s efforts to get business leaders around the table for an economic pep talk is shaping up to be a “sparse nibbles affair,” ACT MP Dr Muriel Newman said today.

This week Dr Newman received a non committal reply from the Prime Minister to her request for names and details of the people, Helen Clark had invited to a proposed forum in Auckland, so the Government could try and improve its miserable standing in the business community.

The Prime Minister replied that a range of business leaders who were “interested in having a constructive a dialogue with the Government” were attending.

“It is now shaping up to be a sparse affair indeed. Its been easier to find out who has not been invited,” Dr Newman said.

“Ms Clark has not even had the good grace to contact some of the country’s top business leaders,” Dr Newman said.

“It may come as no surprise that Roger Kerr is off the A list, but Ralph Norris, the chairman of the Business Round Table has been snubbed by Ms Clark as well.

“Just today the Prime Minister called on the Business Round Table to sack Roger Kerr, claiming there were BRT members who were supportive of the Government’s economic policies. Well she has just passed up the opportunity to talk to someone at the head of the table,“ Dr Newman said.

“On top of this, Helen Clark has not even invited Doug Myers, undoubtedly the country’s leading business identity.”

Dr Newman said the Prime Minister was determined to personally attack anyone who disagreed with her.

“This is classic case of playing the man not the ball,” Dr Newman said.

“If she refuses to talk to some of our really top business sector leaders, it will only help drive another nail in the coffin of business confidence in New Zealand,” she said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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