Clark fails the Berrymans
Don Brash National Party Leader
27 April 2005
fails the Berrymans
National Party Leader Don Brash says
Helen Clark's refusal to act over the Berryman bridge
collapse is extraordinary, given her comments from the
opposition benches following the collapse.
points to a grave injustice against the Berrymans, but still
Helen Clark will not live up to the promises she made," says
In a media release dated 27 April 1998, Ms
Clark said "the Government's refusal to enter into mediation
over compensation for Keith and Margaret Berryman highlights
the abandonment of rural New Zealand".
She said then:
"The Berrymans are victims in many ways. They are victims of
bad legislation and victims of an over-zealous government
department... I feel really sorry for these people... I
think their lives have been ruined."
Dr Brash says a
highly relevant but suppressed Army report had come to light
in the past few weeks, and made a mockery of Helen Clark's
"This is an increasingly murky situation, made
worse by the fact that the report has still technically not
been made public," says Dr Brash.
"Seven years after Ms
Clark made those comments, little progress has been made on
the issue. In fact it seems information is being suppressed
in the hope that it will go away.
"There is a huge gap
between Helen Clark's promises then and Michael Cullen's
forlorn attempt now to hide behind the skirts of the
Solicitor General in seeking to have the inquest
"In light of Ms Clark's comments in 1998, and
the fact that she has not kept her word, this case will
certainly not go away.
"Helen Clark should ensure
appropriate compensation is paid to the Berrymans, and
should launch an inquiry into why the conclusions of the
report were withheld from the coroner, the select committee,
and the Minister," says Dr Brash.
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