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Minister mislead Parliament - National

Minister mislead Parliament - National

National is laying a Privilege complaint over George Hawkins comments in Parliament over the rotting homes crisis, with the Speaker of the House.

National Housing Spokesperson Dr Wayne Mapp says George Hawkins mislead the House by saying he was first formally informed about the weathertightness issue when the 'Building Industry Authority wrote to me on 30 April 2002', when documents just released have revealed the Minister was advised in 2001.

"These documents, obtained by National under the Official Information Act, show the Minister was formally informed about a weathertightness investigation when the Building Industry Authority (BIA) sent him a copy of its draft Business Plan on July 31 2001. The Minister then replied on September 5 saying he had received the draft business plan.

"I am concerned that his answers to Parliament were not correct. He created a misleading impression that he had been informed that the BIA was investigating the seriousness of weathertightness issues nine months later than he actually was. "There can be no more formal advice than a Statement of Intent (Business Plan) of a Crown entity to a Minister. For the Minister to acknowledge receipt of this in September 2001 but then claim that he was not formally advised about the issue until April 2002 does not tally up.

"Further, the fact that a document is tabled in Parliament itself is evidence of the formality accorded to the document.

"Misleading statements have the effect of bringing the integrity of Parliament into question. That integrity must be protected," Dr Mapp said.

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