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Refusal to release information arouses suspicion

27 August 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

Refusal to release information arouses suspicion

The Department of Internal Affairs’ refusal to release information about the Otago Rugby Football Union's (ORFU) involvement in pokies arouses suspicion, says Labour’s Internal Affairs spokesperson Ruth Dyson.

“New Zealanders are becoming increasingly anxious about the shonky pokie deals and deserve to know how their local clubs are operating,” Ruth Dyson said.

Confidential documents about the clubs involvement with pokies were supplied to the Department by the New Zealand Rugby Union. But the information is now being kept from the public on the grounds that it might prejudice the supply of similar information.

“The Department of Internal Affairs refusal to release information, especially on such weak grounds, arouses public suspicion. What is being hidden from us and why?

“Club members and local communities deserve to know how their clubs are funded. If there are issues around the funding a club is receiving from gaming trusts, people should be aware of them,” Ruth Dyson said.

“Most communities are aware that their clubs are reliant on grants to survive. But the use of those grants should be transparent. They should be used with the interests of the local community in mind.

“If there is a valid reason to withhold information around the funding of the Otago Rugby Union– the department should make that clear. If not, the information should be released as soon as possible, Ruth Dyson said.
ends

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