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Neutral public service? Yeah right!

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Services Spokesman

22 November 2007

Neutral public service? Yeah right!

"The acting State Services Minister has confirmed that in Labour's view, Ministers have the right to 'insist' on placements in the supposedly neutral public service," says National's State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee.

He is responding to the answers given in reply to parliamentary questions about the appointment of a Labour Party activist to the Environment Ministry's communications team.

It has been alleged by a former staffer that the activist was employed there to be a watchdog for David Parker's and Labour's political agenda.

"On behalf of the Minister, Trevor Mallard has confirmed that, in Labour's view, Ministers do have the right to 'insist' on certain appointments."

Mr Brownlee says regrettably, Labour now appears to have rounded on the whistleblower who raised the alarm about the nature of Mr Parker's involvement in the appointment of Clare Curran.

"It was inevitable that Labour would try to shoot the messenger, and Erin Leigh says it was for precisely for that reason she did not come forward earlier."

Trevor Mallard today described Erin Leigh as a 'sad' person and questioned her competence.

"She has not yet had a chance to provide evidence to the State Services inquiry, but she is already under attack.

"Erin Leigh predicted the Labour Government would attack her personally and professionally. That it has chosen to do so is nothing short of disgraceful."


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