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Labour stalling on more papers

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

09 September 2005

Labour stalling on more papers

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Labour is stalling on the release of important papers just days out from the election.

"National lodged an official information request for details on capacity building, capacity assessment, local level solutions and whanau development grants with Parekura Horomia's office in early July.

"We still have not received a response, despite the intervention of the Ombudsman's office.

"This stalling tactic mirrors that of the student loan bribe, and bears similarity to the decision from Helen Clark's office at the last election to withhold crucial Corngate documents in the lead-up to the election. "Our information request relates to close to $30 million worth of grants. This is important information for the public and they deserve answers ahead of the election.

"After the National Party's initial request on July 5, Mr Horomia replied on 28 July saying he wanted an extension of 20 working days to 30 August.

"After a complaint to the Ombudsman we were told yesterday that Mr Horomia's office confirmed the response was in the office but he wouldn't be in until next Monday to sign it out.

"We all know that Labour MPs were in Wellington on Monday for a meeting at Premier House - so why isn't the information on its way already?

"Te Puni Kokiri is still not meeting deadlines set in statute.

" Where is the accountability and transparency for a large chunk of taxpayers money? We simply want to see where the money from the last financial year went.

"The longer they delay, the more suspicious we become," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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