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Anderton Should Cough Up Out of His Own Pocket


Anderton Should Cough Up Out of His Own Pocket

Thursday, August 30 2001
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

ACT Finance spokesman Rodney Hide today congratulated Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton for accepting he was wrong in abusing the free postal service to Parliament in an attempt to drum up customers for the "People's Bank".

"The only worrying thing is that he didn't immediately confess his error of judgement when I caught him out," Rodney Hide said.

"It took him a week - and a talking to from the Speaker - before he would admit his mistake.

"The Prime Minister could spot it was wrong immediately. So too could every other MP. It's worrying that the Deputy Prime Minister and Leader of the Alliance could suspend his judgement for an entire five days.

"It was an abuse of taxpayers. Jim Anderton should have confessed immediately that he was caught. He should not have spent two days bad-mouthing me simply for pointing out that MPs can't abuse the free-post to Parliament for commercial purposes. The trouble is that Mr Anderton can never admit that he is wrong without a great deal of assistance.

"I also see that Mr Anderton is saying that the Alliance will pay the costs. I think this is a mistake. He should pay the money for his error of judgement out of his own pocket. The Alliance members don't pay their membership fees to bail out Mr Anderton for his foolishness. He has gone now from ripping off taxpayers to ripping off his own membership.

"If I was in Mr Anderton's shoes I would be apologising to taxpayers, and to Parliament, and I would be coughing up out of my own pocket. I think too that I would be writing to the Police and to the Chief Registrar of Electors saying that I was sorry for breaching sections 116 and 117 of the Electoral Act. Each breach carries a potential fine of $50,000.

"The very fact that Mr Anderton has had to cough up for the cost of the postcard leaves him with little defence to my complaint to the Chief Registrar of Electors," concluded Rodney Hide.

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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