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Labour Plans Easter Egg Hunt For Journalists

Finance Minister Michael Cullen could be looking for new press secretaries in a few weeks time, National's Finance spokesman Bill English said today.

The Government has confirmed it will release a large number of documents on Wednesday and Thursday next week, most notably much of the advice it received on the 'Peoples Bank'.

"That's a blatant attempt to bury negative information, by releasing it at a time when people are focussed on other things and many media outlets are running on skeleton crews," Bill English said.

"You would think they would have learned from last year's experience, when Attorney General Margaret Wilson's press secretary resigned just weeks after Easter. The Evening Post noted at the time that Wilson's press secretary had just 'faced a barrage of criticism over the Easter timing of the release of Official Information Act papers on the Employment Relations Bill'. (Evening Post, 3 May 2000)

"If Michael Cullen's press secretaries have any sense they will both be typing up their CVs now, because Dr Cullen and his office will get the same criticism for the same reasons.

"Helen Clark's promises about setting 'new standards of accountability and transparency' have turned out to be as real as the Easter Bunny.

"The public has a right to know the basis on which the Government allowed NZ Post to proceed with this $80 million gamble with taxpayers money. The timing of this OIA dump means the public is being denied that right," Bill English said.

Ends




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