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Independent Royal commission of inquiry only option for Key

Independent Royal commission of inquiry only option for Key

Prime Minister John Key needs to respect the constitutional status of his Government this close to an election and proceed with an independent Royal commission of inquiry, the Green Party said today.

John Key will this week announce the type and terms of reference of an inquiry into the allegations against former Justice Minister Judith Collins.

“Any inquiry into serious allegations must be independent of the current National Government,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“A Royal commission of inquiry is the only option for Key, as the other types of inquiries available to him are either established by Cabinet or a Government Minister. This is too close to home.

“Only a Royal commission of inquiry is independent from Government, and is the only option for this kind of situation.

“Regardless of how close we are to the General Election, an inquiry of this nature must be independent of Government. The fact that we are less than three weeks out from an election makes it that much more important for the Prime Minister to act with caution.

“John Key must respect the convention that Governments are limited in what they can do this close to an election, and at the very least consult with leaders of other political parties on the scope and terms of reference of this inquiry,” said Mrs Turei.

Governments are not bound by the caretaker provision in the immediate lead-up to the election, but the Cabinet Manual makes it clear that it’s convention for governments to restrict its’ actions to some extent at this time, ‘in recognition of the fact that an election, and therefore potentially a change of government, is imminent’.

“The Greens will clean up politics by holding a Royal commission of inquiry into all of the allegations of National's dirty politics in order to restore the public’s faith in a fair and even-handed government that treats all people and businesses fairly,” said Mrs Turei.

“We will ask the Royal commission to provide advice on new rules to strengthen our democracy so future Governments can't engage in the dirty politics we have seen under National.”

ends

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