Ombudsman leaves Minister with nowhere to hide
5 August 2019
The Ombudsman has poured cold water on the Government’s desperate attempt to stop the public from seeing Julie Anne Genter’s secret Let’s Get Wellington Moving letter, National’s Transport spokesperson Chris Bishop says.
“On the back of my enquiries, Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier has today made public the ruling that Associate Transport Minister has been using as a shield to keep her letter secret.
“Julie Anne Genter now has no reason not to release her letter after the Ombudsman made it clear the Official Information Act only offers protection for free and frank correspondence between political parties, not between Ministers.
“She has already confirmed she wrote to Transport Minister Phil Twyford in her ministerial capacity, weeks before construction of Wellington’s second Mt Victoria Tunnel was pushed back by at least a decade.
“We then saw a complete farce in Parliament last week as both Phil Twyford and Leader of the House Chris Hipkins tried to bamboozle the Speaker of the House by hiding behind the Ombudsman’s ruling – but the Speaker was having none of it.
“Taxpayers and ratepayers are being asked to cough up $6.4 billion to pay for Let’s Get Wellington Moving and they deserve to know how much Julie Anne Genter tinkered with the project before it was signed off.
“She needs to start being open and transparent, and
release her letter now.”