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Paramar must resign from the Families Commission

Rajen
PRASAD

Associate Spokesperson on Social Development
17 March 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Paramar must resign from the Families Commission

Dr Parmjeet Paramar must make a moral decision and resign from her role as a Family Commissioner, Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Rajen Prasad says.

“Dr Parmar has spent the weekend in the ethnic media defending her right to campaign for the National Party while maintaining she can hold on to her role as a Families Commissioner. She saw no conflict but the overwhelming majority of callers to Radio Tarana believed she was wrong and should resign . I agree.

“This morning Parmjeet Parmar finally came clean and confirmed she was seeking nomination for Hunua for the National Party but intended to stay on as a Families Commissioner.

“So what changed from yesterday, when she maintained her silence on her candidacy and today when she has declared? Is the smell of a conflict of interest getting too strong for the Prime Minister and the National Party?

“How much did the Chief Commissioner, herself a former staffer for her own Minister Paula Bennett, know about Dr Parmar’s intentions before last week? She has said she had heard rumours but why did she not follow them through? How is it credible that on Wednesday she accepted that Dr Parmar had not yet made a decision?

“Dr Parmar believes that my questioning of her conflict of interest is petty and that her position is within the State Services Guidelines for Crown Entity Boards. It is not because now there will always be the perception that she is biased in favour of the Government.

“The Families Commission is an autonomous crown entity required to base their findings on evidence and to critique policies and programmes that are inconsistent with that evidence. Any perception of a political conflict of interest compromises this role.

“Given the circumstances under which Dr Parmar has declared her political intentions today and the fact that she has already been campaigning, she can no longer be a credible independent Families Commissioner. She must now do the right thing and resign.”

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