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Questions and Answers - March 29

1. ACC, Minister—Confidence
[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

1.GRANT ROBERTSON (Deputy Leader—Labour) to the Prime Minister: Does he have confidence in the Minister for ACC?

Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister) on behalf of the Prime Minister: Yes, the Minister is a hard-working and competent Minister.

Grant Robertson: What occurred after the ACC Minister’s first denial that she was behind the leak of the email sent by Michelle Boag that prompted him to ask her a second time, as he told the media he had done?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I think the member is making a mountain out of a molehill. The fact is that these matters were serious matters of public interest, and as the story unfolded the Prime Minister simply checked his understanding of what had occurred.

Grant Robertson: Did someone from his office ask blogger Cameron Slater whether he received the email from Ms Collins’ office, and if so, what was the reply?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I simply do not know the answer to that question.

Grant Robertson: Who else has he or his office spoken to about whether they were part of or behind the leaking of the Michelle Boag email?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: What happened with the email is a matter for the Minister and a matter for the ACC board. The Prime Minister does not regard it as his—

Hon Member: Why did he ask her then?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister is not involved with managing ACC cases. He has asked the Minister for an assurance and he has received it, and he has confidence in that Minister.

Grant Robertson: Does he agree with Bill English’s assessment of Judith Collins as being “pushed beyond her capacity”, with an “unfortunately high estimate of her own competence.”, and that she “spent too much time cultivating the media herself, and believing the resulting publicity.”?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: I think those comments were made some 7 or 8 years ago. The Prime Minister understands that Mr English has changed his views on all of those matters.

(Parliament Editor Note: The PDF file covering the questions today was in an unusual format and can be found below)

Questions and Answers March 29 pdf

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