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Judicial enquiry urgently needed in Wellington

Judicial enquiry urgently needed in Wellington Central

Tuesday 13th Feb 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Party leader Richard Prebble has called for an independent judicial enquiry into whether false electoral enrolments have played a part in the row surrounding claims for accommodation expenses made by Alliance cabinet minister Phillida Bunkle.

In Parliament today Mr Prebble has revealed new information which he says contradicts statements made by Ms Bunkle about places she has lived in, when she lived in them and who else lived there.

“What is most intriguing is her claim that because her so-called one-bedroomed cottage in Wellington City was too small, she made her family home in Waikanae. Examination of the Habitation Index for the Wellington Central Electorate for the 1999 election, shows four adults listed as living in what she had described as a one-bedroomed cottage.

“What is going on? If four adults did live at the Wellington address, it must have been the family home, and Ms Bunkle’s claim for out-of-Wellington expenses would be fraudulent. If the four adults did not in fact live there, questions over whether their enrolments were legitimate have to be answered.”

Richard Prebble says controversy over Ms Bunkle’s accommodation expenses has come about purely as a result of her own actions and statements.

“She has been making different claims to the voting public, her own party, Parliamentary Services and the Registrar of Electors.”

In calling on Prime Minister Helen Clark to order a judicial enquiry, Richard Prebble says such issues in Australia are treated with the utmost seriousness. “Recent incidents of electoral fraud in Australia have resulted in Ministers and MPs resigning, one even standing aside from a ministerial post because a staff member made a false enrolment.

“Was I beaten in Wellington Central because of fraudulent enrolments made by Alliance campaign workers? I would like an explanation. If it cannot be provided, the only proper course of action is to set up an independent inquiry under a judge,” he said.


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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