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Parliament misled by irresponsible answers


New Zealand First MP and Deputy Leader, Peter Brown, has labelled the actions of Minister of Internal Affairs George Hawkins, for attempting to mislead the Parliament as “lamentable, reprehensible, and most regrettable”. The incident giving rise to the issue arose from Questions asked why a Deputy Chief Censor had not yet been appointed to the Films and Literature Classification Office.

“I asked Mr Hawkins a perfectly straight forward question seeking his confirmation that a Deputy Chief Censor was a statutory requirement under the Act, why the position had remained empty for so long, and if there was a Cabinet paper in existence expressing the Government’s position on the matter.

“The answer given of no, no and no, has been shown to be manifestly wrong and late last night the Minister had to revisit the answers previously given to correct them. This is simply not good enough and reflects badly upon Minister Hawkins and indicates a cavalier attitude to censorship on his part,” said Mr Brown.

“Censorship of the film and video industry is a critical issue for modern society and if the work required is not carried out to the fullest extent possible, we very quickly reap the negative outcomes which flow from that failure, as we are currently experiencing by the flood of serious offending by young people,” Mr Brown said, “and flippant misleading answers by an incoming Minister does nothing whatsoever to ease the concerns of those of us who do care about such fundamental issues as community behaviour and standards,” concluded Mr Brown.

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