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Prebble Defends Hide

ACT leader Richard Prebble has defended his fellow MP Rodney Hide from personal attacks by Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton and Finance Minister Michael Cullen.

"It's absurd to accuse Rodney Hide of trying to sabotage the People's Bank or to claim he's putting taxpayers' money at risk," Mr Prebble said.

"I note that the Ministers don't deny the accuracy of the information that Mr Hide has made public.

"We understand that Mr Anderton breached the Securities Act with statements he made promoting the bank on television last year. His reckless statements mean the government can no longer finance the bank by a share float, thus putting all the risk on the taxpayer.

"The government also doesn't deny that while NZ Post's managers are focused on banking and overseas commercial activities, the core postal business is in serious decline. The government doesn't deny that officials are recommending another wave of Post Shop closures.

"Why has the public not been told these facts? If the government didn't keep it secret, no one would have to leak.

"Taxpayer money is involved. There's no commercial reason for secrecy. Mr Anderton and Dr Cullen want to keep the facts secret because they're embarrassing.

"Rodney Hide is acting as the taxpayers' guardian by pointing out that the $80 million going into the NZ Post bank is at the expense of postal services.

"It's clear that Labour Ministers want to pull the plug on the venture and it's probably them who are leaking," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS


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