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Minister had no say in funding decisions

29 August 2001 Media Statement

Minister had no say in funding decisions


The Minister of Defence Mark Burton has confirmed that he has no role to play in funding decisions relating to the Centre for Strategic Studies.

"The Minister of Defence does not fund the Centre – as Max Bradford knows well.

"And after the trouble Mr Bradford got into over the sacking of former Centre Director Terence O'Brien, I have been very careful to stay at arms length from any discussions about the Centre.

"The Centre receives financial support from three sources – the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, the Ministry of Defence and the New Zealand Defence Force.

"I understand that financial support of the Centre was never intended to be a permanent arrangement, and that the heads of these three agencies review each year their ongoing support.

"I have never had any involvement in those funding decisions," Mark Burton said.

"I have been advised in recent weeks by both the Chief of Defence Force and the Secretary of Defence that their current funding commitments to the Centre will not be renewed when they expire on the 31st December 2001.

"Both the Secretary of Defence and the Chief of Defence Force have decided to offer smaller, targeted funding.

"I have long been critical of Dr Dickens inability to offer "independent" analysis, and of his blatant links to the National Party," Mark Burton said.

"I have been able to voice that criticism safe in the knowledge that I have no say whatsoever in paying his wages."

ENDS

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