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Clark Defies Ombudsman

"Helen Clark is defying the Ombudsman by refusing to release sensitive documents regarding discussions between the Labour Party and the CTU about wage restraint for working families," National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

"Miss Clark made an undertaking to the Ombudsman to release the documents to me by 14 March, but the documents have not been released.

"I first sought these documents in December last year, and accepted in good faith a promise from her office that the papers would be available by February 14, two weeks after the statutory deadline. It is now six weeks past the statutory deadline and there is no sign of these documents being released. Miss Clark has broken a promise to me, and a promise to the Ombudsman.

"I can understand why Miss Clark is worried about the content of the documents, but she is not above the law. There is a good deal of public interest in any arrangement the Labour Party has made with the CTU, and because of its economic significance those arrangements should be made public.

"Helen Clark's refusal to release the documents on time can only create suspicion that the documents are being doctored, or that she needs to prepare the ground for their release. I suspect she will hold them until the Thursday before Easter to minimise public attention.

"I have asked the Ombudsman today to urgently address Miss Clark's failure to meet her obligations under the law, and her failure to keep her promise to the Ombudsman," Bill English said.


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