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Grubbiness from National

Labour
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"The public is tired of grubby backroom deals from National and can look forward to a cleaner, more transparent style of government post-election from Labour," Labour state owned enterprises spokesperson Paul Swain said today.

He was commenting on the deal National secretly negotiated with Mauri Pacific to sell the 2GHz spectrum, which is subject to a challenge under the Treaty of Waitangi. Mauri Pacific leader Tau Henare has allegedly sold his consent for the auction in exchange for $15 million to promote the Maori language.

"His silence has been bought for 15 pieces of silver," he said.

"Labour supports the promotion of the Maori language. We also support the auction of the spectrum because we want new technology and new investment in the telecommunications industry. However we are concerned that any potential anti-competitive issues arising from one dominant player buying all the spectrum are resolved first.

"Our real problem at this stage is with the process," he said. "This sort of behind-closed-doors horse-trading brings the political system into disrepute.

"And the timing of the decision, immediately after the House has risen, smells bad as it suggests the Government has deliberately and cynically sought to avoid the scrutiny of Parliament."

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