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Key seeks TVNZ inquiry extension

John Key MP
National Party Finance Spokesman
13 February 2006

Key seeks TVNZ inquiry extension

National Finance spokesman John Key will seek an extension of time to the inquiry into TVNZ being conducted by the finance and expenditure committee.

Mr Key says he is writing to the committee chairman to seek the extension and hopes his request will be considered when the committee meets on Wednesday.

“I want the committee to investigate both whether the TVNZ board has intimidated former chief executive Ian Fraser for speaking out, and whether Mr Fraser has received a golden handshake.”

Mr Fraser has been stripped of his remaining duties by the board for what it has called his “serious misconduct” by speaking out at the committee’s hearings last year.

“On 3 February, I wrote to the Clerk of the House, David McGee, seeking his ruling on this issue, because the board’s behaviour directly challenges the oversight responsibilities Parliament has for all public entities,” says Mr Key.

“Mr Fraser is reportedly preparing a personal grievance, and has alleged that the conduct by the board is a breach of parliamentary privilege.

“Mr McGee has come back to me and advised that the appropriate course, if I wish to take the issue further, is to raise it at the next meeting of the finance and expenditure committee.

“That’s exactly what I intend doing. TVNZ’s outrageous behaviour cannot be allowed to stand.

“Public servants and quasi-public servants must be allowed to tell the truth to select committees without fear of retaliation. Otherwise, Parliament’s oversight role of public entities will be undermined and accountability goes out the window.”

ENDS

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