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National again changes its story on Kiwibank

6 August 2008 Media Statement


National again changes its story on Kiwibank

Fresh doubts about the sincerity of National's 'clarification' of its plans to sell Kiwibank have been raised by John Key again changing National's story, Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton says.

On radio this morning he claimed that Mr English's comments about selling Kiwibank eventually were the result of a government dirty tricks campaign, and tapes 'doctored' by 'young people'.

"This new line from National directly contradicts yesterday's apology and the claim from Bill English that he should have chosen his words 'more carefully'," Jim Anderton says.

"Today National didn't need to choose its words more carefully because it says its words were doctored. Unfortunately, Mr Key hasn't presented any evidence at all that the tape recordings were doctored, and Bill English himself admitted the comments. So why now claim the tape was doctored?

"Instead of outsiders taping Mr English, isn't there a pretty good chance that the majority even of National supporters support Kiwibank and don't think it should be sold?

"This is at least the third tack National has taken in three days to explain away Bill English's comments. First National stood by Mr English's comment because they said it was always their plan to sell Kiwibank eventually. Then they said Mr English misspoke and National was unlikely to ever sell Kiwibank. Now National is saying Mr English's comments were doctored.

"The more likely explanation is that National is planning to sell Kiwibank, and Mr English simply told the truth in private, and National has been scrambing to cover its tracks ever since.

"National is frustrated that its secret plans have been exposed. Instead of dumping those secret schemes, it is expressing frustration that they have been made public.

"This has an eerie resemblance to the infamous response of David Lange, who, when asked why his government had not told the people of New Zealand about its secret policy agenda, replied 'because they wouldn't like it.'

"John Key is a weak leader who doesn't have the strength to tell the public the truth about National's plans. He concocts stories instead of fronting up to hard truths about his own party," Jim Anderton said.


ENDS

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