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Ombudsman complaint over missing meeting

Housing Minister Phil Twyford’s excuses that a “clerical error” was to blame for a meeting not being recorded in his Ministerial diary ring hollow given he refused to release details of the meeting under the Official Information Act weeks ago, National MP Denise Lee says.

“Today, my office has lodged a complaint with the Ombudsman over the Minister’s response to my request for information relating to his meeting with Environment Minister David Parker and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff on March 2.

“Mr Twyford refused my request on the grounds the information does not exist, but this has been proven false. Documents released by Mr Parker show the information does exist, and in fact originated from Mr Twyford’s office.

“If his failure to disclose this meeting was simply an administrative error that was corrected yesterday, as Mr Twyford claimed, then was he trying to keep the information out of the public domain in May?

“The Minister told media he was ‘not aware’ his office refused to release the information. But if that is true, then why is his signature at the bottom of the letter to me saying no information about the meeting existed?

“These repeated missteps and inconsistencies suggest the Minister is either grossly incompetent or has been deliberately trying to keep this meeting out of the public eye.”

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