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More evidence of the need to clean up the system

4 September 2014

More evidence of the need to clean up the system

The latest release of emails and messages between disgraced Minister Judith Collins and blogger Cameron Slater are more evidence of the urgent need to clean up politics, Labour MP Grant Robertson says.

"This new evidence confirms a near constant flow of information between Judith Collins, her staff and Whale Oil’s Cameron Slater. It includes discussions about official information act requests that Slater is apparently directed to, or encouraged to make.

"Sitting alongside the information already released about the former Minister's role in targeting an innocent public servant, the SIS OIA releases, the campaign against the Serious Fraud Office and Financial Markets Authority, and the Bronwyn Pullar affair, we now have a clear picture of the abuse of power and knowledge that has been going on.

"This is the culture that has developed under John Key. He has acknowledged that he has regularly been in contact with Cameron Slater. His senior advisor, Jason Ede, appears to have been deeply involved in the orchestrated smear campaigns.

"It is time for a change. Labour has released a plan to clean up our political system. It will include a full commission of inquiry into the conduct of Ministers and reform of the Official Information Act. This will include proactive release of information, clearer expectations of government agencies and expanded powers for the Ombudsmen to ensure that government agencies meet OIA standards and treat those requesting information fairly.

"John Key has lost his moral compass. Other messages today that detail disgusting and revolting exchanges between National Party aligned bloggers and players are a disgrace. The absence of a condemnation from the Prime Minister about this speaks volumes.

"John Key might think it is okay to give his cronies and bloggers privileged access and information, Labour does not. We will clean up the system and make it fair for all New Zealanders,” Grant Robertson said.


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