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Armstrong's Exit Doesn't End the Story

Armstrong's Exit Doesn't End the Story

Monday 21 Oct 2002 Deborah Coddington Press Releases -- Governance & Constitution

Ross Armstrong's resignation from his Government posts increases the pressure for Ms Clark and Dr Cullen to reveal how much they knew about his dodgy insider group, ACT Commerce Spokesman Deborah Coddington said today.

"Dr Armstrong's resignation is great news for Television New Zealand and Industrial Research. His insider group `Pacific Road' has sullied the reputations of both organisations, and they are well rid of him.

"Unfortunately for the Government, Dr Armstrong's exit increases the pressure for Dr Cullen and Ms Clark to provide answers to some very awkward questions.

"What evidence of support from the Government did Dr Armstrong produce to convince former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating to become involved with Pacific Road? Just what did Dr Armstrong discuss with the Prime Minister over dinner? How was a high-level meeting with business leaders and the Finance Minister held with `no paperwork' created, as Dr Cullen claims? Was it pure coincidence that Helen Clark `floated' the idea of a strategy for public-private partnerships after a secretive meeting with Dr Armstrong and business leaders? Why did Mr Armstrong have the obviously strong impression that the Prime Minister gave him the `go ahead' to proceed with Pacific Road?

"There's a name for this behaviour in the private sector: it is `insider trading'.

"This issue does not die with Dr Armstrong's exit. Every political party must support ACT Leader Richard Prebble's request for the Commerce Select Committee to hold an inquiry. If Ms Clark and Dr Cullen truly knew nothing of this sordid business, I am sure they will be the first to offer their support," Miss Coddington said.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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