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Transparency report highlights our dirty politics

Maryan
STREET

State Services Spokesperson
27 August 2014 MEDIA STATEMENT

Transparency report highlights our dirty politics

A new report by Transparency International has called for “serious and urgent action” to protect government integrity and highlights the dirty politics played by National, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Maryan Street says.

“This latest report highlighted concerns about appointments to boards and high level public sector positions, a decline in the quality of public service advice, transparency around lobbying of MPs and Ministers and government independence from business interests.

“One example was the Prime Minister’s involvement in direct negotiation with SkyCity over the convention centre in exchange for changes to gambling rules. The Office of the Auditor-General found a lack of due process led to a perception of favouritism. Transparency International also said National’s decision-making process failed to meet ‘established principles of fiscal transparency’.

“The report also stressed the need for the Government to reassure the public it is using its powers in the public interest, especially with respect to appointments. New Zealanders deserve better than John Key phoning his old school friend when the Government Communications and Security Bureau was looking for a new boss.

“Unfortunately, the report’s first two recommendations rely on the Justice Ministry to lead a comprehensive National Anti-Corruption Strategy and develop an ambitious Action Plan for the Open Government Partnership.

“It would be perverse for that to be overseen by Judith Collins, whose integrity is under question after becoming repeatedly embroiled in scandals involving favourable treatment of her friends and family.

“The Justice Minister’s use of her Ministerial position to advantage her husband’s company Oravida stands as an example of everything we need to guard against. Her release of the private details of a public servant to a destructive blogger make her unfit to oversee a plan for open government. She clearly misunderstands the term. New Zealand would be a laughing stock if she was in charge.

“There is much work to be done to clean up our systems and maintain our reputation internationally. However, John Key and Judith Collins are not the people to do that,” Maryan Street says.


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