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Greens in Government?

Tau Henare Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

28 November 2005

Greens in Government?

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee is asking where Government collective responsibility begins and ends, following a departmental advertisement that appears to give broad new responsibilities to the Greens. The advertisement is for Two Ministerial Liaison - Senior Advisors, who will baby-sit Green MPs Sue Bradford and Jeanette Fitzsimmons.

The advertisement says: 'One advisor will provide high level advice to Jeanette Fitzsimons in her role of leading government projects in energy efficiency and solar energy, and in her portfolio areas of sustainable economics and transport. The other advisor will work with Sue Bradford on a government buy-Kiwi-made programme.'

The advisors are expected to work with 'government officials, ministers' offices, and relevant sector groups'.

"If neither Jeanette Fitzsimons, nor Sue Bradford are in Government - who will answer questions and be accountable for these programmes in Parliament?

"If Jeanette Fitzsimons is not in Government, why will the taxpayer be footing the bill for an advisor who will provide advice in her 'portfolio areas of sustainable economics and transport'?

"And are the Greens, as suggested by this advertisement, tied by collective responsibility on issues including, energy, economics and transport?"

Mr Brownlee says New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters and United Future Leader Peter Dunne should make it clear whether they support the Greens involvement in transport and energy policy.

"Mr Dunne and Mr Peters said they wouldn't be part of a government with the Greens. Have they back-tracked on another promise?"

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