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Cheap Shoddy politics from Mrs Shipley

3 May 2001

Cheap Shoddy politics from Mrs Shipley

Member of Parliament for Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove today responded to the Leader of the Opposition, Mrs Jenny Shipley’s allegations in Parliament yesterday.

“Yesterday, with the protection of Parliamentary Privilege, Mrs Shipley impugned my integrity by alleging that I had prior knowledge of the proposal to site a youth justice facility in my electorate at Mandeville and that I had misled my constituents in Waimakariri.”

“In order to set the record straight I yesterday requested that the Minister of Social Services and Employment Hon Steve Maharey clarify in writing (copy of letter attached) an answer he gave in Parliament yesterday afternoon”.

“I have received the letter from the Minister confirming what I have always maintained from the beginning that I was first advised of the proposed site a few hours prior to the public announcement on 4 April 2001. Given that I have now received this evidence it is clear that I have misled no one,” Mr Cosgrove said.

“I assume Mrs Shipley is acting in this way to put up a smoke screen to prevent people in Canterbury from being reminded that as the then Prime Minister she blocked the former Royal New Zealand Airforce Base at Weedons as a potential site for the Youth Justice Centre -South,” Mr Cosgrove said.

“Mr Ron Mark has also joined Mrs Shipley in playing petty politics. In a statement released today, Mr Mark expressed surprise that I was out of the House while the issue was being discussed.”

“He was right. I travelled to Christchurch prior to the House sitting to meet with Mr Michael Beard, Managing Director of TranzRail, to continue to make a case for the people of Kaiapoi to have barrier arms installed at the Williams Street Rail Crossing. As a result of this case being presented to him, Mr Beard gave me a commitment that barrier arms would be installed at the crossing sooner rather than later.”

“Whilst Mr Mark was playing politics, I was doing my job working for my constituents in the Waimakariri Electorate,” Mr Cosgrove said.

“I have been absolutely consistent in my opposition to the proposal by Child Youth and Family Services to site the Youth Justice Facility - South in Mandeville because in my view the site is inappropriate and I am doing everything in my power to represent the views of my constituents.”

“Mrs Shipley and Mr Mark should stop taking cheap political shots, get their facts straight and stop using the people of Mandeville as a political football to try and score cheap points where a very serious issue is concerned,” Mr Cosgrove said.


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