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Labour should come clean over Industrial Research

Paul Hutchison
National Party Research, Science & Technology Spokesman

27 June 2006

Labour should come clean over Industrial Research

Steve Maharey is talking out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to selling off a business unit of Industrial Research, says National’s Science spokesman, Paul Hutchison.

“The Minister is presiding over the sale of Material Performance Technology Solutions (MPT), despite telling a select committee last week that ‘right now the only thing that’s up for sale is a piece of land in Auckland’.

“Last year, Mr Maharey wrote regarding the sale of CRI spin-off companies or business units: ‘A key criterion when shareholding Ministers consider any such disposals is ongoing benefit to New Zealand, including the continual ownership of intellectual property’.

“And Trevor Mallard said last week that ‘Labour will not sell off the family silver’.

“But the sale has clearly been planned for some time.

“MPT staff today confirmed that it will have changed ownership by the end of the week, and they have been advised that employment terms and conditions will change once the sale has been completed.

“Labour is all over the place when it comes to asset sales.

“Last week they said they wouldn’t ‘sell off the family silver’, yet today this business unit, whose strength is intellectual property, is being sold.

“This Government should be more honest and up-front about its intentions,” says Dr Hutchison.

ENDS

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