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It’s time for detail Mr Key

Hon Dr Michael Cullen
Minister of Finance

26 August 2008 Media Statement

It’s time for detail Mr Key

With growing evidence that all is not well in the National Party policy shop, it is time for John Key to release the confidential background documents his Party is producing, Finance Minister Michael Cullen said.

The past 24 hours have seen National in damage control following Maurice Williamson’s assertion that National’s infrastructure plans could see motorists pay up to $50 a week in tolls. Mr Key and his deputy Bill English worked furiously yesterday to discredit Mr Williamson, going as far as to suggest that he would not be appointed Transport Minister if National were to win this year’s election.

This follows similarly embarrassing incidents involving Mr English, Kate Wilkinson and Shane Ardern in the past few months, all of whom have spoken out on policy only to be corrected by Mr Key. Two major polls have shown that New Zealanders do not believe National is being honest about their policy.

“New Zealanders don’t think National is being honest about their real intentions,” Dr Cullen said. “They have watched the National Party unravel on major policy fronts including Kiwibank, KiwiSaver, and now toll roads.

“It has become clear that behind the one-page glossy policy summaries Mr Key has been releasing, there is in fact a great deal of confusion and conflict in National’s policy process.

“Mr Key has admitted that National has more detailed policy documents – up to 30 pages in length – that sit behind the one page summaries he has released on important areas like Employment Relations. It is time for those documents to be made public, especially since Mr Key claims they are uncontroversial.

“Mr Key himself has a major credibility problem after his major speech on infrastructure did not mention tolling once, despite the fact he has now confirmed tolls are a central plank of his plans.

“National can no longer be given the benefit of the doubt. Let’s see the policy papers Mr Key.”


ENDS

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