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Labour bullies go quiet on whistleblower

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Services Spokesman

4 December 2007

Labour bullies go quiet on whistleblower

National Party State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee is challenging Trevor Mallard to repeat his smears against Environment Ministry whistleblower Erin Leigh outside the safety of Parliament.

“Since Mr Mallard launched his attack on Ms Leigh, a number of her co-workers and managers have come to her defence. Today, Labour organised question time so neither David Parker nor Trevor Mallard were required to answer straightforward questions about this sorry saga.

“Mr Mallard should either repeat his comments or retract them. His silence speaks volumes.”

Mr Brownlee also asked Mr Mallard whether he was aware of reports that Erin Leigh’s work for the Environment Ministry was being ticked off by Helen Clark’s chief of staff, Heather Simpson.

“Whatever happened to the neutral public service? Here we have a situation where multiple staff have complained about Ministerial meddling in the appointment of Clare Curran. Then we have the whistleblower saying Heather Simpson was one of those checking her work and demanding changes.”

As the Dominion Post noted: ‘the suspicion must be that Ms Leigh's true failing was not one of competence but a refusal to churn out Labour Party propaganda while employed by a government department’.

“What’s become clear is that these departmental budgets are now being used to advance Labour’s political agenda.

“The Prime Minister’s chief of staff speaks for the Prime Minister. Her decision to meddle in the operations of the Environment Ministry is worthy of further questions and investigation to ensure it was proper.

“I would urge State Services Commissioner Mark Prebble to include Heather Simpson’s involvement in his ongoing investigation.”


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