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Parmar must be gone by the end of the week

Rajen Prasad
Associate Social Development Spokesperson

18 March 2014

Parmar must be gone by the end of the week

The Families Commission must ensure Dr Parmjeet Parmar is gone by the end of the week if it wants to retain its reputation for independence, says Rajen Prasad, Labour’s Associate Social Development spokesperson.

“The Minister responsible for the Families Commission, Paula Bennett has clearly been aware for some time that Dr Parmar was a candidate but refused to manage her conflict of interest. She appointed Dr Parmar to the Commission in this knowledge. She has said: ‘I have known Dr Parmar for several years and I am well aware of her political views – she brings extensive knowledge and professionalism to her role in the Families Commission.’

“Paula Bennett must now take responsibility for the mess that the Chief Commissioner Belinda Milnes and Dr Parmar have got the Families Commission into. Both of them knew about the conflict of interest and now can’t let it continue. Dr Parmar has been actively campaigning and has announced she is standing for the National candidacy in Hunua. She was not wearing a blue rosette as a fashion accessory when she joined the Prime Minister and other MPs last weekend at Pasifika.

“It is also clear from Belinda Milnes answers to the Social Services Select Committee last week she was aware that Dr Parmar was rumoured to be a candidate at the elections. She chose not to protect the independence of the Commission. She effectively colluded with Dr Parmar and her judgement must now also be questioned.

“The Minister is relying on the Commission, to manage Dr Parmar’s conflict of interest. It clearly used these processes effectively to manage a conflict declared by another political candidate inside the Commission, so why did it not do the same with Dr Parmar?

“There is now too close a link between the National Party and the Board of the Families Commission and that link must end now,” Rajen Prasad says.

ENDS

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