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Privileges complaint lodged over Whangamata emails

Hon Nick Smith MP
National Party Environment Spokesman

11 June 2006

Privileges complaint lodged over Whangamata emails

National has lodged a privileges complaint against Conservation Minister Chris Carter, alleging he misled Parliament over when he made the Whangamata Marina decision and whether he solicited support for his move.

“Mr Carter has told Parliament he did not solicit support for his rejection of the marina, and that he was still considering his decision in early March, yet recently revealed emails tell a very different story,” says National’s Environment spokesman, Nick Smith.

“It’s no wonder that former Labour Party president Bob Harvey is squirming at having to give an affidavit to the High Court in the Whangamata Marina judicial review case.

“He either has to confess his email was a lie or confirm that Mr Carter misled Parliament.”

Bob Harvey first said he would provide an affidavit over his emails, then withdrew this offer, but has now been forced by the court to make an affidavit.

“The mischief in this sorry saga is that Chris Carter overturned the decision of the local council, the regional council, the Department of Conservation and the Environment Court in a dubious process where he solicited a public campaign to support his rejection,” says Dr Smith.

“The law requires that he makes his decision only on the basis of evidence presented before the Environment Court, yet it is clear he went way outside this.

“Mr Carter’s sloppy decision-making was compounded by then trying to cover up his dubious dealings with Bob Harvey over the marina.

“Parliament has to take Ministers at their word. This is a serious breach, with a Minister misleading Parliament over the timing of his decision and his involvement in soliciting a campaign of support for his decision.”

Ends

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