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Labour stacks rail board with 'friends'

John Key MP National Party Deputy Finance Spokesman

23 July 2004

Labour stacks rail board with 'friends'

National Party Deputy Finance spokesman John Key is accusing the Government of pork barrel politics after stacking the board of its new rail company with notoriously "good friends of Labour".

"The announcements today confirm my fears that Labour can't resist indulging in pork barrel politics over improvements to the rail network.

"This is a classic case of jobs for the boys.

"The Government has stacked the NZ Rail Corporation board with a unionist, the President of the Labour Party and a former Labour Party cabinet minister. Those appointments raise serious questions about the way funding decisions for track upgrades will be made.

"My biggest fear is that rail lines of questionable economic value, but strong political value, may get special treatment when it comes to funding for upgrade work.

"The appointment of Dr Clive Matthewson alone could probably have been justified - he is a qualified civil engineer. But when coupled with the other appointments, serious questions have to be asked about the Government's agenda," says Mr Key.


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