Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Speaker fails biggest test of neutrality so far

Clayton
COSGROVE
Spokesperson for SOEs
9 April 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Speaker fails biggest test of neutrality so far

The Speaker has failed his biggest test of non-partisanship to date by refusing to refer a clear contempt complaint regarding Solid Energy’s statements at the Commerce Select Committee on March 7 to the Privileges Committee, says Labour’s SOEs spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.

“I am extremely disappointed that the Speaker has refused to refer my contempt complaint to the Privileges Committee and hasn’t given any reasons as to why the complaint should not be referred.

“This was the Speaker’s biggest test so far as a neutral and non-partisan figure. He has failed it. I believe it was an open and shut case.

“On March 7 I asked the following questions to Solid Energy chairman Mark Ford and interim executive Garry Diack on former chief executive Dr Don Elder’s availability to appear before the committee:

Clayton Cosgrove … did Dr Elder approach anyone in Solid Energy, including the executive team, and offer to make himself available for this hearing—yes or no?
Mark Ford I can’t answer that yes or no, because he certainly didn’t approach me. I’d have to ask the executive—
Clayton Cosgrove Well, could I ask your acting chief executive.
Garry Diack I’m not aware that he’s approached anybody on that basis.


“But we now know that the day before the hearing, Dr Elder’s solicitor wrote to Garry Diack and the company’s solicitor to formally advise them that he was willing and able to attend the hearing if they wanted him to do so. And further he requested that if they did not want him to appear they should tell the committee.

“That same day the company’s solicitor responded to Dr Elder in writing, saying that he would not be required to appear.

“It would be impossible for anybody to believe that Mr Diack would not be able to answer simple questions on Dr Elder’s availability, when this was the critical issue for the committee and was well canvassed by the media.

“Such a blatantly misleading statement from Garry Diack must, at the very least, be investigated by Parliament for contempt.

“Instead the Speaker has refused to even refer it to the Privileges Committee for investigation. Not only that, he has refused to provide any reasons for his decision which is a departure from how he has handled these matters previously.

“This is a slap in the face to taxpayers. Allowing anyone to turn up and completely mislead MPs without consequences has made the Select Committee process a laughing stock.

“Before becoming Speaker David Carter said: ‘Having been a very politically active player for 18 years, the transition I have to make as speaker is to be completely without bias, completely a-political. That is a big ask and I’ll do it to the best of my endeavours’.

“Obviously this hurdle is proving to be a bigger challenge than he expected,” says Clayton Cosgrove.


Letter attached
http://img.scoop.co.nz/media/pdfs/1304/SKMBT_C35313040909340.pdf


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Patience: Drive Safe

Be patient before passing is the AA's message for drivers this Labour weekend.

"People taking crazy risks to get past other vehicles is one of the most dangerous things on the road,” says AA spokesperson Dylan Thomsen.

“The weather is looking good for the long weekend so the roads will be busy. Unfortunately, that also increases the chances of people getting frustrated and trying a risky passing manoeuvre. When they get past, there will probably be more traffic up ahead anyway so it won’t get people there faster.” More>>

 
 

Parliament Today:

Employment Relations Bill: Govt Strains To Get Tea Break Law Through

The Government has been left with egg on its face - failing to get its much-vaunted, but hugely unpopular, meal break law passed in the first week of its new term, Labour spokesperson on Labour Issues Andrew Little says. More>>

ALSO:

Guns: Police Association Call To Arm Police Full Time

"The new minister gave his view, that Police do not need to be armed, while standing on the forecourt of parliament. The dark irony was that the interview followed immediately after breaking news of a gunman running amok in the Canadian parliament in Ottawa..." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn. More>>

ALSO:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news