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PM caught fudging answers again

PM caught fudging answers again

For the second day running National Party Leader Bill English is raising serious questions about the Prime Minister's integrity.

"Just yesterday the Prime Minister was forced to apologise for misleading the New Zealand public when she claimed to have nothing to do with controversial clauses inserted into the Resource Management Amendment Bill," says Mr English.

"She flatly denied encouraging the Select Committee to use phrases like 'ancestral landscapes and spiritual resources' that would have given Maori more rights than non-Maori.

"But she's been caught out," Mr English says. "Today, the National Party's releasing a document which exposes the Prime Minister's dishonesty over her Government's stated economic goals.

"The Government has since backed away from a policy to return New Zealand to the top half of the OECD in a decade, claiming it never set the target.

"The Prime Minister was adamant no goal was set," he says.

"Then on February 27 this year the National Party tabled a document from the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor of 2001 which contained a foreword written by Helen Clark.

"It said 'these results are greatly encouraging for our goal of economic transformation and a return to the top half of the OECD ratings by 2011'.

"She then told Parliament 'I have no recollection of that document'.

"But from the documents we're releasing today, it's clear her office was intimately involved in the preparation of that foreword," says Mr English.

"An internal e-mail proves that she was expected to 'confirm' she was 'happy with the foreword'.

"Helen Clark must not be allowed to hide from her decisions and the policies that she is promoting on behalf of the Labour Government," he says.

"The target to lift New Zealand to the top half of the OECD within a decade was a significant plank of Labour's last election campaign.

"The Government back-down on that policy is just as important, but even more important is the obligation of the Prime Minister to tell us the whole truth," Mr English says.

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