Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

PM Ducks For Cover Over Welfare Merger & Rankin

Wednesday 2nd May 2001 Dr Muriel Newman Media Release -- Social Welfare

Helen Clark is deliberately dodging questions aimed at revealing her key role in the Christine Rankin affair and the proposed merger of the Department of Work and Income and the Ministry of Social Policy, ACT Social Welfare Spokesman Dr Muriel Newman said today.

“When I filed an oral question for the Prime Minister today about her pivotal role in this matter she chose to refer the question instead to State Services Minister Trevor Mallard – despite the fact that the question was directed solely at Helen Clark.

“Later, I gave the Prime Minister, who was present in Parliament, the opportunity to answer the question instead of Mr Mallard and she refused.

“Why is she doing this? She is doing this because if she started answering questions it would be revealed that she was a driving force in a sham merger dreamed up purely to get rid of Christine Rankin.

“The earliest dated document among those released by the Government on the merger is a letter on December 18, from the State Services Commissioner stating: ‘Dear Prime Minister, YOU have asked for my views about the future of the Ministry of Social Policy and the possibility of amalgamation with the Department of Work and Income’.

“Bizarrely, despite the State Services Commissioner’s clear recollection that it was the Prime Minister who asked him for information, Trevor Mallard today tried to claim that ‘I asked to have the Prime Minister supplied with a briefing on the possibility of this merger’. How can he claim this when the most senior public servant has said something totally different?

“The Prime Minister’s deliberate evasion is extending to her responses to written Parliamentary questions as well. Questions simply asking her about meetings and discussions relating to the merger are being met with a blanket: ‘This question touches on issues awaiting judicial decision. It is therefore inappropriate for me to comment’.

“This is again bizarre. If the Prime Minister says she won’t answer questions about the merger because of the pending court case from Ms Rankin, then how does she square this with her reported comment on April 23 that the merger ‘had nothing to do with getting rid of Christine Rankin’.

“It is time Helen Clark fronted up to the people of New Zealand and started answering questions,” Dr Newman said.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Suffrage 125: NZ A Trailblazer For Women

“We acknowledge the work of Kate Sheppard, Meri Te Tai Mangakāhia, and all of the suffragists who tirelessly campaigned for the vote. We also acknowledge the men who supported the cause and voted for the Bill to pass.

“Today we also need to ask each other: how we can continue to make our country a fairer and better place to continue the legacy of the suffragists.

“Aotearoa New Zealand has a female Prime Minister, we have women in cabinet. And I’m here as Acting Minister because the Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter is on maternity leave. New Zealand is a good place to be a woman!” More>>

 
 

Asylum: Refugee Quota Increasing To 1500

“The quota increase will take place from July 2020. In the meantime, we will work to increase the number and spread of refugee resettlement and support services. We need to make sure we’re prepared for this change in policy.” More>>

ALSO:

'Post-Settlement Era': Māori Crown Agency To Be Established

Cabinet has approved the final scope of the Māori Crown portfolio and agreed to establish an agency to oversee Government’s work with Māori in a post-settlement era, announced Crown/ Māori Relations Minister Kelvin Davis. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Military Roles In Iraq & Afghanistan

The politics of the deployment extension have degenerated into a slanging match about whether the previous National government was right or wrong to make the initial commitment to Iraq – and whether the extension is a responsible thing given our joint training role in Iraq with Australia, or is hypocritical in the light of prior statements made by a previous Labour leader... More>>

ALSO:

Commissioner To Be Appointed: Govt To Dismiss Board Of Whitireia And WelTec

Education Minister Chris Hipkins has made a preliminary decision to appoint a Commissioner to Whitireia and WelTec to address the two polytechnics’ financial woes. More>>

ALSO:

Open Government Action Plan: Government To Proactively Release Cabinet Papers

The Cabinet papers will be released no later than 30 business days after a Cabinet decision. This process will be in place for Cabinet papers lodged from 1 January 2019... More>>

ALSO:

NZ Initiative: Evidence Of "Huge" Government Waste

It is not so much that spending is being literally wasted. Rather the best performing countries are achieving much better outcomes relative to their spending. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels