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Government caught out on "insider" group

Roger Sowry National Deputy Leader

18 October 2002

Government caught out on "insider" group

The Government's clearly been caught out over its cosy association with a so-called insider group set up to give members the inside running on crown projects, says National deputy leader Roger Sowry.

"The Acting Prime Minister's hasty back-pedalling this afternoon to try and disassociate the Government from this group headed by Dr Ross Armstrong does nothing to hide the fact that something murky has been going on.

"Dr Cullen still hasn't said which Ministers and officials attended yesterday's meeting with Dr Armstrong and Paul Keating. We have a right to know who else was at the meeting, and in what capacity.

"National reiterates that we support public private partnerships, but they must be open and transparent. Dr Cullen would have had a briefing note prepared for him by officials, so I question his claim that "no document had been written within the government."

"We want full disclosure on what sort of deals are being done. If Dr Cullen has nothing to hide, he should release minutes or notes of yesterday's meeting and tell us what follow-up was being discussed," says Mr Sowry.

Mr Sowry also said that the Government must consider whether Dr Armstrong should continue as chair of TVNZ in light of Dr Cullen's statement that "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".


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