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Clark argues both sides of Peters' saga

Gerry Brownlee MP
National Party Shadow Leader of the House

29 October 2008

Clark argues both sides of Peters' saga

"Helen Clark is now asking the public to believe that she both accepted and rejected Winston Peters' story about Owen Glenn's donations and his appointment as honorary consul to Monaco," says National Party Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee.

"She's speaking out of both sides of her mouth. The picture she's trying to paint today is that of a deeply concerned Prime Minister who moved to intervene. But previously she told Kiwis she accepted Mr Peters at his word and saw no wrong-doing.

"She simply can't hold both positions at the same time. She either believed Mr Peters or she didn't. And if she didn't believe Mr Peters, why did she keep that to herself?"

Even now, Mr Peters still claims he did not push the process to appoint Mr Glenn as honorary consul, but Helen Clark has finally admitted she's known that to be false since at least February.

According to reports, she was so concerned that she instructed Foreign Affairs officials to refer any discussions about Monaco to her.

"MFAT will have a note or a memo that indicates the Prime Minister's interest in the consul appointment. In the interests of transparency, Helen Clark who is the acting Foreign Affairs Minister, must produce that piece of paper to back up her version of events."

Mr Brownlee says both Helen Clark and Michael Cullen knew that Mr Peters was pushing Mr Glenn's Monaco appointment, but they kept silent even as Mr Peters gave contradictory evidence to the Privileges Committee and issued denials in public.

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"As Mr Peters sat there holding his 'NO' sign, Helen Clark knew about the donation and she knew about the Monaco posting. She said nothing.

"According to Mr Glenn, Labour Party President Mike Williams had even waved the idea past Helen Clark who had no problem with him being considered.

"But today Helen Clark is feeding New Zealanders a different story. She was so concerned that she intervened, even though a few months ago there was no need to intervene so she hadn't.

"She can't have it both ways."

ENDS

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