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Key’s rush to judgement a worrying sign

30 August 2008 Media Statement

Key’s rush to judgement a worrying sign
John Key’s move to ‘toughen’ his stance against Winston Peters ahead of rulings by the Privileges Committee and the Serious Fraud Office shows he has no respect for fair legal process, Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen said today.

On Wednesday, Mr Key said that Mr Peters would have to provide a credible explanation of the conflicting accounts relating to New Zealand First finances before National would consider working with his Party after the election.

Today, however, Mr Key has removed his ‘wriggle out’ clause, saying he would not work with New Zealand First even if Mr Peters is completely cleared by the SFO and the Privileges Committee.

“John Key’s stance shows that he has no respect for basic New Zealand values of fair play,” Dr Cullen said.

“In an effort to look tough in a year where he has time and time again looked slippery and weak, Mr Key is showing a complete disregard for the proper functioning of our independent justice system. This is a worrying rush to judgement for a man that wants to be Prime Minister by Christmas.

“The irony of Mr Key’s stance seems to be lost on him. He is attacking Mr Peters for the use of anonymous donations when Mr Key and his own Party have never agreed to allow their books to be independently examined.

“Anonymous donations accounted for over 90 per cent of National’s 2005 election war chest. Despite claims that MPs did not know who was donating to the Party, it has been revealed that John Key himself was tasked with meeting with potential anonymous corporate donors to fund the campaign.

“Mr Key should explain his own record on these issues before rushing to judgement on Mr Peters.”


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