Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Smoking gun on 'Corngate' cover-up


Hon Nick Smith MP National Party Environment Spokesman

27 August 2003

Smoking gun on 'Corngate' cover-up

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith has produced evidence which shows Helen Clark misled the public over the 'Corngate' scandal in the crucial lead-up to the last election.

"Helen Clark told New Zealanders during the election campaign that there would be 'total disclosure' 'full disclosure' and 'all Government advice would be made public', while her Chief Executive Mark Prebble, knowingly kept secret key advice to her.

"This is an outrageous abuse of executive power," says Dr Smith.

"I can not believe that the head of the Prime Minister's own department would deliberately defy her very public instructions without seeking her consent.

"Either the Prime Minister knew or alternatively Mr Prebble defied her and deprived the public of crucial information about Helen Clark's involvement in 'Corngate'.

"In December 2000, right at the time key decisions were being made about the handling of the GM scare, Helen Clark was advised there was uncertainty about whether the corn was contaminated or not, that the blanket GM ban was not sustainable and that there was a proposed level of tolerance.

"These statements significantly contradict what the Prime Minister told the public during the election campaign.

"Helen Clark has consistently said there was no cover-up, but 10 days before the election policy advisor Ruth Wilkie sent a damning memo. It said 'the decision to withhold from public release DPMC notes to the PM' which ' fill an important gap in the paper trail' was contrary to Helen Clark's public statement of total transparency.

"If Helen Clark wants to stick to her line that she did not know that this document was with-held, then her chief executive must resign for defying her specific public instructions on the most important election issue.

"The next test will come tomorrow, when my motion for the Prime Minister to give evidence before the select committee investigating 'Corngate' will be voted on," Dr Smith says.

"If Labour has nothing to hide, the Government majority on that committee will support her appearance.

"Labour demanded Jenny Shipley appear before the Justice Select Committee inquiry into the Christchurch protest during the Chinese President's visit. The challenge will be whether they apply the same test to their own Prime Minister," says Dr Smith.

Ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

 

Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>

ALSO:

Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>

ALSO:

Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>

ALSO:

General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news