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The buck stops with the minister on asset sale

John Key MP National Party Finance Spokesman

22 December 2004

The buck stops with the minister on asset sale

"Paul Swain's made an unpromising start to his career as the Minister for State Owned Enterprises, after ducking responsibility for a backroom asset sale done in secret," says National Party Finance spokesman John Key.

"Yesterday, I challenged Labour to come clean on the terms of the secret deal to sell Government-owned Express Couriers to German company DHL.

"This is a significant public asset and it's nothing short of an outrage that taxpayers are being kept in the dark.

"If it all goes wrong, surely we are at least entitled to know the terms of the exit provisions which will protect the New Zealand taxpayers' significant investment in Express Couriers.

"No-one is prepared to take responsibility. Mr Swain blames NZ Post and NZ Post blames him.

"He needs to know the buck stops with him. If NZ Post were a publicly listed company, the stock exchange would probably be asking serious questions about its behaviour.

"As the Minister who is supposed to represent the taxpayers' interest in NZ Post, Mr Swain owes it to us all to explain on what basis the Government approved this secret deal," says Mr Key.


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