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Budget plan reveals McCully’s dishonesty

Foreign Affairs Spokesperson

6 September 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT
Budget plan reveals McCully’s dishonesty

MFAT’s Four Year Budget Plan, belatedly released by Murray McCully, reveals just why the Minister was so reluctant to have it published, says Labour’s Foreign Affairs spokesperson Phil Goff.

“This document proves that Mr McCully knew and had approved the botched restructuring plan a month before he publically distanced himself from it,” Phil Goff said.

“The Budget Plan was prepared in late 2011 as usual and finalised by February 2012. No Budget Plan goes forward without the detailed knowledge and explicit approval of the Minister.

“The Plan makes reference to the alternative approaches to representation, outsourcing of services, changes in pay and allowances for staff, job cuts and substantial spending cuts.

“Yet a month later in a letter to his Chief Executive Officer, John Allen, dated 22 March, which he deliberately released, Murray McCully was distancing himself from the plan we now know he approved.

“It’s gutless for him to make his CEO a scapegoat when Mr Allen couldn’t answer back. But it’s even worse to attack him for seeking to implement a plan that Mr McCully himself approved.

“Murray McCully was the only Minister to instruct Treasury not to release Budget documents, which for every other Minister were published on 29 June 2012. And he was dogged in his refusal to release the information under the Official Information Act.

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“It was only following my Ombudsman complaint and persistent media requests that he backed down and revealed the papers.

“This information confirms what everybody suspected already. The Minister himself is responsible for the botched restructuring of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

“The damage his process has caused to New Zealand’s international reputation as well as to the confidence and morale within the Ministry is deplorable.

“Murray McCully has handled his search for cost savings abysmally and hung his CEO out to dry in the process,” Phil Goff said.



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