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Staff for Greens should be stood down

09 January 2006

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

Taxpayer-funded staff for Greens should be stood down

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee says the taxpayer-funded Ministerial advisors to the Greens should be stood down while the Auditor- General investigates whether their appointments are legal.

"If they (the advisors) have already been appointed they should be stood down."

The Auditor-General has confirmed an investigation into the legality of attaching two Ministerial advisors to the Greens. The funding comes from the same pool used by legitimate Ministers of the Crown.

"The Greens are not in Government, they will not be answerable to questions in Parliament, so technically, why is the taxpayer providing this extra subsidy to their office?

"Helen Clark is again trying to bend the rules for political convenience and to suit her unconventional coalition arrangements.

"In answer to Parliamentary questions, Helen Clark recently assured National that the taxpayer-funded appointments were within the rules. We're pleased others are now starting to ask questions too," says Mr Brownlee.

"This is not a trivial matter. It goes to the heart of whether Labour should be entitled to re-write the rules, without any discussion, so it can keep its mates onside with taxpayer-funded baubles."

ENDS

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