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Waters still muddied around Ruataniwha process

Conservation Spokesperson

25 September  2013      MEDIA STATEMENT

Waters still muddied around Ruataniwha process

Conservation Minister Nick Smith won’t be getting a ‘sorry’ from Labour any time soon, its Conservation spokesperson Ruth Dyson says.

“Dr Smith wants us to apologise for suggesting he interfered in the Ruataniwha dam process, following the Speaker’s decision not to act on a privileges complaint from Labour.

“But if Dr Smith reads the Speaker’s letter outlining his decision he would see it confirms the Minister’s role in the process has been less than squeaky clean, noting that in response to oral questions ‘The Minister’s answer did not clearly address the question’ and that the ‘answer given was certainly contestable.’

“Far from endorsing Dr Smith, it paints him in a quite unflattering light.

“The fact is Dr Smith has repeatedly failed to tell the House the full story about his involvement in DoC’s Ruataniwha submission.

“His response to the Speaker failed to address the main concerns raised by Labour, adding further grist to our claims that he knows more than he’s letting on.

“Labour is still waiting for responses from Dr Smith to official information act requests, which he claims he released a week ago, plus responses to written questions were only forthcoming after complaints had been made to the Speaker.

“If Dr Smith has nothing to hide then why is he hell-bent on preventing the release of every scrap of information possible?

“It is clear that this process has been dodgy from the outset. It’s time Nick Smith acknowledged his full involvement in the Ruataniwha decision.” 



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