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MOH Lobbying - Typical Response - No One's Fault

Thursday 27 Nov 2003
Rodney Hide
Press Releases -- Economy

MOH Lobbying - Typical Response - No One's Fault

Thursday 27 Nov 2003 Rodney Hide Press Releases -- Economy

ACT New Zealand Finance Spokesman Rodney Hide said today that the politicisation of the public service, revealed by the Health Ministry funding groups to lobby MPs for law change, should worry all New Zealanders.

"The Government's casual response to the use of taxpayer money to lobby MPs in covert political campaigns is a disgrace," Mr Hide said.

"When I first raised the use of taxpayers' money to fund lobby groups to lobby MPs to change the law, Minister in charge Damian O'Conner did not even know about the contracts - he then said he saw nothing wrong with his own officials using taxpayer money to have himself and other MPs lobbied.

"Civil Servants are not elected to run the country - MPs are. The Health Ministry has turned this concept on its head. Taxpayers' money should be used to fund operations - not lobby MPs to re-arrange our laws to advance the politically correct causes of Ministry bureaucrats.

"Either the money paid was responsible for changing Parliament's vote, or it was wasted spending. Either way, it's a disgrace.

"It is a joke that the Ministry has investigated its own disgraceful conduct - it should have been investigated by the State Services Commission and the Auditor-General's Office."

"It staggers me that, here, we have a complete breach of the Public Services Code of Conduct - but no one is held to account.

"We have a big sister government headed by Helen Clark, which has no respect for taxpayers' money, the democratic process or the citizens of New Zealand," Mr Hide said.


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