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Bullying – It’s Not Okay

Labour Leader
24 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Bullying – It’s Not Okay

The Prime Minister should tell Gerry Brownlee and KiwiRail to pull their heads in, and stop bullying the media, says David Shearer.

“It is outrageous that KiwiRail is wasting taxpayers’ money and the court’s time with its gagging orders against the media. The public have a right to know what’s going on inside their rail company. What are they trying to hide?

“Obviously KiwiRail and the Government are embarrassed about what this report reveals about the future for rail on Gerry Brownlee’s watch. But it is completely unacceptable to bully news organisations just to protect the Government from a few bad headlines.

“But perhaps we should not be so surprised. It seems trying to intimidate the media and anyone brave enough to criticise the Government is just business as usual for John Key and his ministers.

“From the Prime Minister calling in the police on the Teapot Tapes, to Paula Bennett breaching the privacy of Natasha Fuller and Judith Collins suing MPs and threatening to sue Radio New Zealand, this Government has a history of bullying behaviour.

“It is time for KiwiRail and Gerry Brownlee to get real and let the media get on with its job of reporting what is clearly in the public interest. And then maybe the Minister and the company could get on with their jobs, and fix up some of the problems identified in the report that they are so desperate to keep secret,” says David Shearer.


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