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Privilege Report a "licence to lie" - McCully

Murray McCully MP for East Coast Bays

13 May 2003

Privilege Report a "licence to lie" - McCully

National's Murray McCully, who originally raised the privilege case against New Zealand Post, is slamming a Privileges Committee report released today as a "licence to lie."

The East Coast Bays MP says he is "angry and disappointed" over the handling of the matter by the Committee.

"I raised this matter on 11 February last year. Today, 15 months later, the Committee has issued a report which fails to even slap New Zealand Post over the wrist with a wet bus ticket," says Mr McCully.

"By such a lengthy delay, which has seen both the chairman and chief executive depart the scene, the Privileges Committee has sent a signal to SOEs and Crown entities that they can lie to Parliament and its select committees with impunity.

"New Zealand Post told a deliberate lie to avoid providing a copy of an incriminating report to a select committee.

"Elmar Toime, the former chief executive has apologised for "any perception" that his actions were misleading and expressed "regret" at the "brevity" of his reply to the committee. Jim Bolger, the current chairman, has apologised also for any "perception" of misleading statements on Post's behalf.

"Rodney Hide MP and I invested two years in uncovering the appalling state of affairs in NZ Post. Post was ultimately held to account only because persons inside NZ Post decided to supply documents which Post had denied possessing.

"The Auditor General has now reported to Parliament with damning findings regarding the position inside NZ Post, and has fully vindicated the concerns pursued by Mr Hide and I.

"With its report, and its delays in dealing with this matter, the Privileges Committee has failed Parliament and failed the select committees of Parliament.

"This report will rightly be regarded as a licence to lie by any SOE or Crown entity minded to avoid the proper scrutiny of the select committee process," says Mr McCully.


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