Parliament

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

 

Ministerial Interference Means Turia Must Go

The gross interference by the Associate Minister of Corrections in a number of cases involving prison inmates is extremely serious and raises questions about Tariana Turia's fitness to hold a Ministerial Warrant, National MP Tony Ryall said today.

Documents obtained by National under the Official Information Act over a period of months show a pattern of behaviour, dating back to early last year, that goes well beyond the acceptable conduct of a Minister.

"I don't think we've ever seen a situation where a Minister has so systematically involved herself in day-to-day inmate management issues such as placement and security classification.

"Is this the culture that is allowed by the Clark Government? There are very good reasons why Ministers do not and should not have the power to make directions about individual inmates placement and security classification.

"Some people may say this is just an MP doing their job and writing on behalf of constituents. But Tariana Turia's letters go much further than that. She directed and demanded actions from the department in her capacity as Associate Minister of Corrections. The letters on inmates A, H and J were all on ministerial letterhead or from her ministerial computers and signed 'Associate Minister of Corrections'.

"These documents raise questions about the nature of the inmates' relationship with the Associate Minister. We know from parliamentary questions to Matt Robson that Tariana Turia has not declared any 'conflict of interest or family interest relating to any communication or action regarding an individual inmate'.

"However, Tariana Turia notes in correspondence with Corrections 'you will be aware of my relationship with [inmate]' and 'you will be aware that I have a particular interest in the situation for [inmate]'. Any failure to declare a conflict of interest is a serious breach of the Cabinet Manual.

"The Associate Minister of Corrections may decide to make an apology to the public of New Zealand. This will not be acceptable. We know from the past that Tariana Turia's apologies are hollow. She has to go," Mr Ryall said.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pike River: Mine Drift Re-Entry Plan To Proceed

The Pike River Mine Drift will be re-entered, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little announced today.

“I’ve decided the Te Kāhui Whakamana Rua Tekau Mā Iwa - Pike River Recovery Agency, recommended course of action to enter the drift, using the existing access tunnel, is by far the safest option,” said Andrew Little...

“The advice I have received indicates that it is likely to be around February before the re-entry proper gets underway, by breaching the 30m seal.” More>>

 

Rebuilding: Silvia Cartwright To Lead Inquiry Into EQC

“The inquiry will be the first of its kind under the Public Inquiries Act 2013 and will have all the powers of a Royal Commission, be independent of Government and make its report directly to the Governor-General. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Royal Commission Into Child Abuse

Obviously, it is good news that the coalition government has broadened the scope of its Royal Commission into the abuse of children, beyond its previous focus on children in state care. More>>

ALSO:

Cases Delayed: Court Staff Refuse To Handle Sentencing Papers

Dozens of court cases have reportedly been delayed, as court staff escalate industrial action at two Auckland courts by enforcing a ban on handling sentencing papers. More>>

ALSO:

Education: Primary Teachers Rolling Strikes

RNZ Report: More than 100,000 primary school students in Auckland will be home from school today as teachers and principals walk off the job for the second time this year. It's the start of a week of rolling one-day strikes around the country, after the collapse of contract negotiations last Thursday. More>>

ALSO:

"Process Was Sound": Inquiry Into Haumaha Appointment Released

The Inquiry’s purpose was to examine, identify, and report on the adequacy of the process that led to the appointment. It found the process was sound and no available relevant information was omitted. More>>

ALSO:

Govt Loses In Supreme Court: Call For Debate On Prisoners' Right To Vote

The court earlier this week upheld a High Court decision which found that a law restricting a prisoner's right to vote was inconsistent with the Bill of Rights. More>>

ALSO:

 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels