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Vengeful Cullen Needs To Learn His Place

State Services Minister, Simon Upton, condemned Labour deputy leader Michael Cullen's willingness to threaten public servants as "outrageous".

Mr Upton was reacting to Mr Cullen's comments reported in the National Business Review this morning, where he identified four leading public service chief executives he wanted to see sacked.

They were the Chief Executives of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet, Commerce, Education and the State Services Commission.

"I had seen Mr Cullen's bland speech notes for his Deloitte's address earlier in the week and thought nothing of them. I had no idea that the official record was the sanitised version, while in person he was indulging in one of Labour's favourite past-times of bullying public servants.

"Such an approach flies in the face of an independent public service that, by long convention, is employed to provide free, frank, and fearless advice", Mr Upton said.

"New Zealand enjoys one of the finest non-politicised public service in the world. We should jealously guard it.

"It's incredibly rich for Labour to complain that the public service has become too politicised and then, in the same breath, threaten to clean out all the individuals they don't agree with if they come to power."

"In Labour's view, the only people Chief Executives have to keep happy are their ruling Ministers. Well, I'm sorry, but that's just not so. They have to be able to offer free, frank and fearless advice.

"It's the same every election year; Labour convince themselves they're going to win and then start threatening officials who are not in a position to respond".

ENDS

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