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National wants assurances over leaked report

National wants assurances over leaked report

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee says he is very concerned that what appears to be key elements of the Auditor-General’s report on spending have been leaked to the Sunday Star-Times.

“Only the office of the Auditor-General and the Speaker, Margaret Wilson, and her advisers are entitled to a copy of the report at this stage, so how is it that key elements of it has appeared in a Sunday newspaper?

“National seeks an assurance from the Speaker that neither she nor anyone on her staff have given the Auditor-General’s final report to, or talked about it with anyone in the Labour Party, and that there are no plans to do so before it is tabled in Parliament.

“It is absolutely crucial this week that the public believes that the Speaker is handling this matter, and is seen to be handling this matter, in a strictly non-partisan way.

“National also wants an assurance that it will see the final version of the report at the same time as the Labour Party.

“If we cannot be given these assurances, I think it would be only appropriate that the report is tabled by the Speaker on the first day of Parliament’s resumption, on Tuesday, so all political parties and the public can see what is in it.

“The longer its release is delayed, the longer the Labour Government gets to put its spin on its unlawful pledge card spending.

“And if, as seems certain, the Auditor-General finds that that expenditure was unlawful, Labour should do what most New Zealanders are saying is the right thing to do, and pay the money back without further delay,” Mr Brownlee says.

Ends

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