'Stop The Hurt' Conference Succeeds
'Stop The Hurt' Conference Succeeds Despite Minister's Mean-Spirited Comments
"I have no wish to play along with Social Services Minister Steve Maharey's mean-spirited attempts to pick a fight over the 'Stop the Hurt' conference," National's Bob Simcock said today.
"However I must set the record straight on a particularly unfounded comment in his written statement today. Mr Maharey repeatedly claims it was my intention to use the conference 'as a forum to develop National Party policy'.
"This is purely a figment of his imagination. I have never said, or even thought, that was the intention of the conference. I have plainly and repeatedly explained that the conference is a forum for social agencies to express their views and discuss the pros and cons of mandatory reporting.
"What I do hope is that all political parties will listen to the messages coming from this conference. This isn't about National party policy - it's about providing information to help all political parties in the creation of sensible policy. That's why all parties were invited along to listen and to learn.
"Mr Maharey has created an out-and-out fiction to justify his ban on attendance at the conference by Government MPs and public servants.
"For the Minister to issue a press statement on the very day of the conference, undermining it, is an insult to the many people and social agencies which are taking part.
"His attempts to make this forum a political football are deeply regrettable," Mr Simcock said.
A printable formatted copy of this press release will be available on http://www.national.org.nz along with an archive of previous releases.