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Questions for Shipley to answer over Timberlands

2000 web siteLabour Leader Helen Clark said today that the Prime Minister must respond to allegations that she as State Owned Enterprises Minister condoned and assisted political lobbying campaigns mounted by the state-owned enterprise Timberlands.

"If the allegations made in the book Secret and Lies are correct, Timberlands and its public relations firm have been orchestrating an improper campaign of political lobbying in an attempt to maintain political support for its logging of native forests on the West Coast.

"This lobbying has involved attacks against the New Zealand Labour Party, which is in the process of considering a policy at odds with Timberlands' desire to prolong widespread native forest logging.

"It is hard to think of any precedent for a state-owned enterprise, or any Crown agency, or government department running a public relations campaign against the policies of an opposition party. It is a gross misuse - verging on the corrupt misuse - of public money.

"If Mrs Shipley has been involved with Timberlands' political lobbying campaigns in any way, then yet more serious questions are raised about her judgement and fitness for office," Helen Clark said.

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