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Tau's $15m deal breaks constitutional conventions

ACT Leader Richard Prebble says Tau Henare's announcement of an extra $15 million to be spent on Maori language and culture breaks constitutional conventions.

"Government should not introduce a new policy between Parliament finishing and a new Parliament being elected," Mr Prebble said. "They may claim it was decided in a cabinet meeting before Parliament ended, but if so, they should have announced it before Parliament finished. That would have enabled MPs to exercise our right to scrutinise all government expenditure.

"Mr Henare has so far refused to confirm whether this $15 million was the price for Maori acquiescence to the forthcoming electromagnetic spectrum auction. Is this a blackmail payment? Or a bribe? If the policy is so good, why wait till Parliament was finished to announce it?

"If proper constitutional conventions had been followed, ACT would have insisted this expenditure be lined up against all other government expenditure. We doubt this is the best value for $15 million of taxpayers' money."


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