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Further links to the Exclusive Brethren revealed

Hon Ruth Dyson
Minister of Labour

12 December 2006 Media Statement

Further links to the Exclusive Brethren revealed


Minister of Labour Ruth Dyson disclosed further National Party links to the Exclusive Brethren, when she noted in Parliament today reports revealing National's unsuccesful Waimakariri candidate and recently approinted Industrial Relations spokesperson, Kate Wilkinson, acted as legal counsel for the Exclusive Brethren in Christchurch.

"I note the Exclusive Bretheren sought to change the law in an attempt to bar unions from all of their workplaces, regardless of size. They describe employment relationships as 'master and servant'.

"This unsuccessful attempt was supported by the National Party. Considering Kate Wilkinson and the Brethren’s close associations, I wonder what other policy concessions she and the National Party might be willing to grant them?"

Kate Wilkinson did not ask any supplementary questions or refute the allegations.

"This also confirms National leader John Key's continued misjudgements in appointing unknown backbenchers to important shadow portfolios – first by confirming Jonathan Coleman as Associate Health Spokesman despite knowing about Coleman's behaviour during an incident with British American Tobacco, and now with Kate Wilkinson – or did he, like the public, not know about her Brethren associations?"

"Not only is John Key himself contradictory in his public statements on industrial relations, he has provided further evidence of his lack of judgment in appointing his spokespersons," said Ruth Dyson.


ENDS



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