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Ombudsma Investigates Minister's OIA Refusal

Yellow Triangle Prevention Project

Media Release

July 5th 2000

OMBUDSMAN INVESTIGATES MINISTER'S REFUSAL

The Ombudsman has decided to investigate the Minister of Police's decision not to release the Crown Law advice on the controversial Under 25 Scheme under the Official Information Act. Ombudsman Anand Satyanand has written to the Minister of Police, George Hawkins, asking him to write a report justifying the Minister's refusal to release the advice. The investigation is in response to an appeal by Yani Johanson who is coordinator of the Yellow Triangle Prevention Project. The project is opposed to the Under 25 Scheme because of its negative impact on young people. It has welcomed the investigation because of the increasing public opposition to the Under 25 Scheme.

Yani Johanson, Yellow Triangle Prevention Project coordinator said today:

"I welcome the decision of the Ombudsman to investigate the Minister's refusal to release the Crown Law advice on the Under 25 Scheme. It is absolutely amazing that the Minister of Police refused to release the advice when there is mounting public pressure for the Scheme to be abolished. Instead of waiting for the Human Rights Commission to make a decision, he made a dubious statement about the legality of the Under 25 Scheme. Based on that, he then allowed the Police to extend the Scheme into other parts of New Zealand while refusing to release the Crown Law advice. If the Minister is so confident the scheme is lawful and does not discriminate then why is he refusing to release the advice? I look forward to the results of the Ombudsman's investigation."

Ends

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