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New bid to quiz officials linked to Corngate

Hon Nick Smith MP National Party Environment Spokesman

10 September 2003

New bid to quiz officials linked to Corngate cover-up

National Party Environment spokesman Nick Smith has lodged a new bid to quiz advisers from Helen Clark's office linked to the memo suggesting a Corngate cover-up.

"In Parliament Helen Clark publicly invited me to recall her Chief Executive Mark Pebble before the Local Government and Environment Select Committee investigating the Corngate affair.

"I have lodged that request which will be voted on tomorrow," says Dr Smith.

"I have asked that Ruth Wilkie be called to give evidence after her note to Dr Pebble saying 'Mary Anne Thompson reported to you and me that the PM was prepared to have these notes released if necessary.'

"The Prime Minister has publicly claimed she knew nothing of the internal decision not to release that key memo, although since then we've discovered more than a hundred other documents that were not released," Dr Smith says.

"I am also concerned by the Prime Minister's attack on the integrity of the select committee.

'I think the whole thing's become a bit of a circus I don't think that select committee's likely to even come up with a single report it's going to be a very polarised one.' - Helen Clark Late Edition 03/09/03

"Given that direct assault on the members of the Committee, the only answer is complete transparency.

"The public and media can then judge for themselves whether Opposition members are responsibly pursuing the truth in this matter.

"I have tabled a notice of motion for all future discussions to be held in open public sessions," Dr Smith says.

Ends

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