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Minister takes cavalier approach to truth - again

Phil Heatley MP
National Party Housing Spokesman

15 August 2006

Minister takes cavalier approach to truth - again

National Party Housing spokesman Phil Heatley says Housing Minister Chris Carter is saying one thing to the media, and giving different answers to proper questions asked through official channels.

"This is a Minister that is stooping to new lows when it comes to official Parliamentary questions. He has shown a total disregard for the rules that govern our democracy."

Mr Heatley is referring to the Minister's response to media questions about the amount spent by HNZ on hui for Maori staff and fono for Pacific Island staff.

"When I asked what was spent on this stuff during the past year I was refused an answer and told 'the Corporation cannot aggregate the information in a form that answers the Member's question without considerable collation and research'.

"So it is with some suspicuion that tonight I see the Minister has actually been able to answer the question, but not to me, to the media."

Mr Heatley says this is not the first time he has been misled by Chris Carter.

"The Minister had to apologise for misleading answers to oral questions in Parliament recently, and it took a couple of attempts before he settled on an answer to questions about the high incomes being receievd by some state house tenants.

"Ministers are supposed to provide answers to questions posed by members of the Opposition. Mr Carter is making a habit of not doing so. He can be assured that I will seek redress for this gross abuse of his position at the earliest opportunity," says Mr Heatley.

ENDS

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