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Mallard appears to dispute MfE view on Leigh

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party State Services Spokesman

6 December 2007

Mallard appears to dispute MfE view on Leigh

National Party State Services spokesman Gerry Brownlee says Trevor Mallard has revealed why he won't apologise for defaming Environment Ministry whistleblower Erin Leigh - he doesn't appear to support his Ministry's version of events.

"Facing questions in Parliament today, Mr Mallard said that he would wait for the results of the State Services inquiry into the politically motivated appointment of Clare Curran to his Ministry.

"Mr Mallard clearly thinks the report will excuse or explain his use of the dirt file that was prepared for him on the whistleblower.

"If that is the material that CEOs are passing to their Ministers, the public will be very surprised indeed.

"Is it now the norm for CEOs to provide dirt files on neutral public servants who challenge Labour's politicisation of the public service?"

Mr Brownlee says it is hard to escape the conclusion that Mr Mallard's attack, and subsequent defence of his attack on Erin Leigh, was actually more about sending a coded message to other public servants who might speak up.

"What brave soul would stand up for the neutrality of the public service when they know their boss will be asked to put together a dirt file that Ministers will later use under the protection of parliamentary privilege?

"Is it really the Environment Ministry's business to be putting together dirt files for Ministers to misuse?

"Mr Mallard should do the right thing. He should be big enough to admit he got it wrong, and apologise. He and Mark Prebble also need to reassure other loyal public servants that their fate won't be the same as Erin Leigh."

ENDS

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