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Embarrassed Anderton goes to ground

David Carter MP National Party Agriculture Spokesman

24 January 2006

Embarrassed Anderton goes to ground

National Party Agriculture spokesman David Carter says Jim Anderton's gone to ground over an embarrassing paper trail relating to the Australian ban on Kiwi apples.

"When progress looked like it was being made, Mr Anderton was front page news claiming victory. Now it seems he's not willing to discuss why he didn't bother to make contact with the Australian Agriculture Minister about the apples issue until three weeks after National asked whether he had done so."

Mr Carter is commenting on answers to written Parliamentary questions which show Jim Anderton attempted to disguise his lack of action with sneaky wording.

"On December 2 when I asked if he'd been in contact with the Australian Agriculture Minister he said he'd been in 'written communication'. "It turns out the 'written communication' was nothing more than a congratulatory letter FROM the Australian Minister on Mr Anderton's appointment. In fact, Mr Anderton didn't write to his Australian opposite about the apple issue until three weeks AFTER National asked the first question.

"Surely, if he was really serious about moving the apple issue forward he would have been in touch with the Australian Agriculture Minister long before he was prodded to do so by National.

"Having now been caught out by the National Party, Mr Anderton's been unusually silent about the issue. "Mr Anderton will today face further embarrassing questions over the more than $500,000 of taxpayer money he poured into a failed South Auckland business. He should take the opportunity to put the record straight on his contribution to the apple ban issue too," says Mr Carter.


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