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No role for Armstrong in PPP policy

No role for Armstrong in PPP policy

Acting Prime Minister and Finance Minister Michael Cullen today advised Dr Ross Armstrong that it was no longer appropriate for the government to have any contact or discussions with him on the formulation of policy around Public Private Partnerships.

“At no stage has any Minister given Dr Armstrong any indication that he or members of a group working with him would receive any preference either by appointment to public bodies or in access to information.

“The paper that has been prepared and distributed without any reference to the government carries implications that no government should tolerate.

“In these circumstances, I have advised Dr Armstrong that public confidence in the integrity of government and in the intregity of the PPP scheme demands that we have no future communication with him on this matter,” Dr Cullen said.

Responding to Opposition calls today for the government to release any documentation relating to Dr Armstrong’s activities in relation to this issue, Dr Cullen said no documents had been written within the government.

“The only document which exists to my knowledge was prepared by Dr Armstrong’s group for circulation among that group and was leaked to the New Zealand Herald which supplied a copy to my office yesterday so that I could respond to the Herald’s questions.

“Dr Armstrong’s project was entirely at his own initiative and not, as he implied, at the request of the Prime Minister or any other Minister,” Dr Cullen said.

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