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ACT Insists on Burton's Resignation - Prebble

ACT Insists on Burton's Resignation - Prebble

ACT Insists on Burton's Resignation

Friday, August 17 2001
Richard Prebble
Press Releases -- Foreign Affairs & Defence

ACT leader Richard Prebble has written to the Prime Minister seeking the resignation of Defence Minister Mark Burton over his misleading answer to a Parliamentary question on the LAV3 armoured personnel carriers.

"Mr Burton's written answer claiming LAV3s could have operated in the terrain where Private Manning was killed in East Timor, is a lie designed to persuade Parliament that the $700 million being spent on the LAV3s is justified," Mr Prebble said.

"Lying to Parliament is completely unacceptable.

"While the Westminster Convention for Ministerial responsibility in New Zealand is now restricted to matters that the Minister is directly responsible for, no one disputes that the convention must apply to Mr Burton.

"If Ministerial responsibility to Parliament means anything, Mr Burton should have already resigned.

"Despite his pathetic attempt to blame Major Duncan Ferner, who was working in the Minister's office, Mr Burton must have been aware of the type of terrain where Private Manning was killed, and the capabilities of the LAV3 - so he must have known the original answer he gave was false.

"He only changed the answer when he knew the ACT Party could prove that he'd lied. We in ACT had been tipped off that there were doubts about the accuracy of the Minister's answer," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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