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Housing Minister at odds with PM over HNZ

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

03 May 2006

Housing Minister at odds with PM over HNZ

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says the Housing Minister appears to be out of step with Helen Clark over the reaction by Housing New Zealand’s chairman to allegations of a whistleblower’s gagging order.

“Helen Clark made it clear that she thought the board should have alerted the Minister to the gagging allegations earlier*, yet Mr Carter has told Parliament that he was satisfied the board chair found out about the allegations at the same time as he did.

“What has changed? Who is right, the PM or the Housing Minister?”

Mr Heatley says that in early April Helen Clark was accusing HNZ of breaching the ‘no surprises’ policy.

“How is it that what was a breach of the ‘no surprises policy’ a few weeks ago is no longer a breach and no one will be held to account for the board’s response?”

HNZ Chair Pat Snedden was reported on April 11 as saying he first heard about the gagging allegations on talkback two weeks earlier*.

“Surely the talkback allegations should have been immediately investigated by the chair and dismissed if he found they were false.

“Is Chris Carter trying to re-write history here? Helen Clark was unhappy with the response, but Mr Carter is defending it.

“Has Helen Clark also changed her story?”

ENDS

*['Housing boss under pressure' By Colin Espiner, The Press, Tuesday , 11 April 2006 ]

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