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Questions Of The Day (7-12)

Questions For Oral Answer Tuesday, 7 September 1999

The following are paraphrases of today's questions for oral answer. They are not complete or official, the official record of Parliamentary proceedings is Hansard, which is not finalised some days after the event.

Question 7.

Tukoroirangi Morgan to the Minister of Police Clem Simich:

Q: What reports has he received regarding an incident in 1997 of illegal bugging, and what do those reports say?

A: The answer is yes. This morning I was made aware of two reports into this matter.

Q: (Tuku Morgan - Mauri Pacific) Does he understand that a member of the Labour party has been accused of illegally bugging ATN meetings?

A: Yes the named person is involved.

Q: Was the bugging via a cell-phone?

A: Yes.

Q: Has he seen any evidence of Labour officials involved.

A: In my view the reports relate to an ongoing investigation and I am not aware of any details.

Question 8.

Steve Maharey to the Minister of Social Services, Work and Income Roger Sowry:

Q: (Lianne Dalziel on behalf) Is it the Government's policy that at-risk youths continue to be placed in the care of gang members with criminal records; if not, will he instruct the Children, Young Persons and Their Families Agency to change its policy?

A: It is not the Government's policy to place at-risk youth with gang-members. Police background checks and assessment by a social worker is required before placements are approved.

Q: Does he have confidence in the CYPFA's ability?

A: Yes I have that confidence. The agency has recently updated its policy following the findings in several reviews. In the last three months there have been 7000 placements. When placements go wrong they are reviewed. This case is being reviewed. I accept that insufficient placement opportunities exist in this country which is why we are trying to open specialist placement facilities. It is made difficult by people like George Hawkins and Paul Swain campaigning

Question 9.

Matt Robson to the Minister of Defence Max Bradford:

Q: Will he cancel the military assistance programme this country has with Indonesia as a result of the role the Indonesian military forces are presently playing in East Timor; if not, why not?

A: Such a step at this stage would be premature. We are doing everything possible to get the Indonesian government to live up to its responsibility. It is important to keep the lines of communication open. We are not about to go into war against the Indonesians. There are six personnel in NZ - four are at Massey University in post graduate study and two are with the navy on technical training courses.

Q: (Phil Goff - Labour) How can he say he wants continued cooperation?

A: There are clearly some elements in the Indonesian military who are causing problems. We are working in discussions with the centre of the Indonesian military and political establishment. The periphery is clearly out of control.

Question 10.

Paul Swain to the Minister for State Owned Enterprises Tony Ryall:

Q: Is it Government policy to sell one or more of the "baby ECNZs" at any time in the future; if so, which ones?

A: Our intentions are clear. We do not intend to sell any of the baby ECNZs. Lots of false claims - like the CIA killing Norman Kirk and the chair of Creative NZ being a friend of the PM - appear in newspapers and I trust the public treat them with the disdain they deserve.

Question 11.

Belinda Vernon to the Treasurer Bill English:

Q: What economic evidence has he received indicating that the number of new jobs created will increase over the next three years?

A: The budget forecasts for the next four years forecast another 100,000 jobs. This morning we had evidence in the ANZ job ads series shows 2.1% increase in ads over July and 30% higher levels than last year. (Mr English then launched into Labour Party policy.)

Q: Can he confirm forecasts that the current account deficit is out of control?

A: The challenge of economic policy is matching it with the rhetoric. Nothing the Labour Party is planning will encourage exporter. I challenge that member to find a single exporter who agrees that Labour Party policy will help anyone.

Question 12.

Geoff Braybrooke to the Minister of Defence Max Bradford:

Q: Following the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade Committee's report questioning the wisdom of the lease of the F-16s, can he guarantee that, since the signing of the lease arrangement, he has not entered into and will not enter into any further contracts relating to that lease prior to the general election; if not, why not?

A: There are no additional documents requiring signing with respect to the F-16s.

Q: (Geoff Braybrooke - Labour) Can he confirm rumours of contracts involving another $60 million for spare parts?

A: The lease documentation already signed by my colleague Douglas Graham includes a spare parts package.

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