Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Did Minister offer jobs in exchange for silence?

Did Minister offer jobs in exchange for silence?

Health Minister David Clark has attempted to gag public servants, appearing to offer them jobs in return for their silence, National’s MP for Botany Jami-Lee Ross says.

“In a voicemail obtained by National, Dr Clark offers to consider former Counties Manukau District Health Board chairman Rabin Rabindran for further appointments while at the same time asking him to stop commenting on issues at Middlemore Hospital which were embarrassing the Government.

“In the voicemail, Dr Clark says he would like to publicly ‘signal… that I would consider you for further appointments’ and wanted to ‘test’ Mr Rabindran’s thoughts on that.

Dr Clark then goes on to discuss the ‘challenge with the media speculation’ about the hospital, adding that he’s seeing more and more ‘commentary’ in the media about issues at Middlemore Hospital, including public contradictions of claims by Dr Clark.

“Dr Clark adds that ‘I’m hopeful that there won’t be much more commentary. My fear is that if you and I keep commenting the story keeps ticking along… I’d rather not have a distraction about who said what when’.

“This is appalling. The Minister of Health appears to have been attempting to use his position to dangle jobs in front of Mr Rabindran to silence him in order to avoid embarrassment and his own untruths being exposed.

“Worse, newly released emails obtained by National also appear to suggest efforts by DHB staff to speak publicly in defence of their actions and in opposition to the Minister were suppressed by the Minister’s office.

“This is not good enough. Public servants including DHB leaders should have the right to contradict ministers if those ministers are not telling the truth.

“Instead, Dr Clark appears to have attempted to orchestrate a situation that benefited himself and the Government politically, at the expense of our hard working health professionals.

“This is yet another sign of an arrogant and incompetent Government in disarray.

“You have a Health Minister trying to silence officials, a Deputy Prime Minister suing the Government, an Economic Development Minister threatening business leaders and openly defying the Prime Minister, a Corrections Minister who has no clue and a bumbling Justice Minister who’s just been humiliated by his own party’s coalition partner, NZ First.

“It’s a shambles and it’s not good enough. It’s a clear breach of the Cabinet Manual, Dr Clark has not lived up to the standards required of a Minister and the Prime Minister needs to explain what she’s going to do about it.

“The Prime Minister needs to urgently get her Government together, hold her ministers to account and force them to start acting in the best interests of New Zealanders rather than themselves.”

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Pay Equity: Historic Settlement For Education Support Workers

The New Zealand Educational Institute (NZEI) and the Ministry of Education today signed Terms of Settlement to address a pay equity claim for 329 support workers who work with very young children in early childhood and primary schools.

“Almost all education support workers are women, and they do vital work helping young children with severe learning and behavioural challenges to learn. I am delighted to say they will finally be paid fairly for the crucial work they do,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Stereotypes About Jacinda Ardern

Routinely, female politicians get depicted as either show ponies or battle axes, with little room for anything else in between. .. More>>

Weekend Interviews: "Discriminatory And Racist" Aussie Deportations

The former president of Australia’s Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs says deportations have risen dramatically in Australia since 2014 when ministers and ministerial delegates were given the power to cancel visas - and half of those being deported are New Zealanders. "These are massive numbers, actually escalating dramatically."... More>>


Legal Challenge: Prisoner Has 9 Boxes Of Documents Seized

Human rights organisation People Against Prisons Aotearoa says a prisoner they advocate for has had 9 boxes of legal documents seized from him just days before his case against the Department of Corrections was to be heard. More>>

Single-Use Plastic Bags: Govt To Phase Them Out

Single-use plastic shopping bags will be phased out over the next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage announced today. More>>


Lesser Politicians: ACT Conference Promises Fewer Politicians

Party Leader David Seymour today revealed his Smaller Government Bill which will reduce the size of Parliament to 100 MPs, limit the size of the Executive to 20 Ministers, and remove the Maori seats. More>>


Gender Changes: Suggested Change To Birth, Deaths And Marriages Act Welcomed

The current process to change the sex ‘marker’ on a birth certificate is lengthy, expensive and requires medical evidence as well as the involvement of the Family Court... More>>


Major Health Review: Terms Of Reference Finalised

Health Minister Dr David Clark has confirmed the final details of the wide-ranging review of New Zealand’s health and disability system as it begins its work in earnest. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The EU’s Battle With Washington Over Iran (In Wellington)

Luckily, at least the European Union is standing up to the Washington bully – and the EU chose a press conference in Wellington this week to make its defence of the international rules-based system perfectly clear. More>>


Mental Health: New 6-Bed Unit For Wellington Region

The Mental Health Foundation is supportive of the news of a new, national mental health unit, but is more encouraged by the Minister’s comments that suggest more mental health initiatives will follow the Mental Health Inquiry. More>>





Featured InfoPages