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Maharey abuses ministerial position

Maharey abuses ministerial position

National’s Education spokesman, Bill English, says Steve Maharey abused his position as Broadcasting Minister by asking journalists at Radio New Zealand not to report on the NZQA’s briefing to the incoming minister.

He is referring to comments made by Mr Maharey, who is also Minister of Education, on National Radio this morning (see attached).

“This behaviour is disgraceful from a minister with direct responsibility for Radio New Zealand. So much for editorial independence,” says Mr English.

“The briefing paper, released by Mr Maharey himself, is of vital public importance. He has no right to keep it from parents, teachers and employers who are understandably concerned about our national qualification.

“Mr Maharey should spend less time trying to use his ministerial position to intimidate journalists and more time fixing the problems highlighted by his own officials,” says Mr English.

Excerpt from interview, Morning Report 18 November 2005:

PRESENTER: You mentioned the exams of the minute. Are you at all concerned that this news coming out now will cause some of those what, 150,000 students a little bit of concern about whether their qualifications will be okay?

MAHAREY: Yes, and in fact I asked your journalists not put this news item on the air at the present time because the briefing to the incoming Minister of course is nothing more than a record of the issues that are well known and well aired, and I am concerned that if we have debate about issues that are not new and are not flaring up in any new or different way, that it may lead people to be concerned about it.


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