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Labour calls for Cabinet Manual to be followed

2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark and Cultural Affairs spokesperson Judith Tizard today condemned the Government's decision to make appointments to the chair and membership of Creative New Zealand barely three months before the general election without any consultation.

Helen Clark said the National Party's arrogance knows no bounds.

"The Cabinet Office Manual notes that the practice has been for restraint to be applied in relation to significant appointments from approximately three months before a general election. We expect the National Government to follow that practice," Helen Clark said.

"We are now so close to the general election that filling appointments to major agencies without consultation is clearly an attempt to foreclose options for an incoming government. The Government should refrain from making significant appointments at this stage in the electoral cycle.

"The appointments to Creative New Zealand today add insult to the injury already created by the junior Minister for Cultural Affairs purporting to restructure government arrangements for culture so close to the election.

"Labour has not endorsed those restructuring plans and regards all options as being open with respect to Creative New Zealand and general arrangements in the cultural sector," Helen Clark said.

Judith Tizard said the chair of Creative New Zealand was one of the most influential and powerful positions in the New Zealand arts and culture sector.

"Labour in government, at the end of this year will need to work closely with the Chair of Creative New Zealand to foster and encourage New Zealand's cultural identity. It is therefore insulting and breaks with convention for the Government not even to consult with us over this appointment," Judith Tizard said.

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