INDEPENDENT NEWS

Calls for Transport Committee to Conduct Inquiry

Published: Tue 22 Oct 2002 05:35 PM
Coddington Calls for Transport Committee to Conduct Inquiry
Following United Future's rejection of a select committee inquiry into the Government's involvement with Ross Armstrong's dodgy insider group, ACT Commerce Spokesman Deborah Coddington has written to the Transport Select Committee to hold an inquiry.
"All the Opposition needs on the Transport Committee is support from the Greens, and an inquiry can be held. I believe this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Transport Committee because Pacific Road was set up allegedly to give companies the `inside running' on the construction of road infrastructure.
"I am yet to speak with Jeanette Fitzsimons or Rod Donald, but I am very hopeful that this could work. Ms Fitzsimons herself stressed after Dr Armstrong's exit that it was important "broader public interest issues of public-private partnerships not be lost sight of". That is exactly what this inquiry would examine.
"Of course, if United Future and Labour were to support an inquiry, we could hold it in the Finance or Commerce committees instead.
"I find Peter Dunne's bold announcement that Mr Swain, Dr Cullen and Ms Clark are squeaky clean absolutely fascinating. I haven't been around parliament as long as Mr Dunne of course, but even as a newcomer, I can see straight through his decision to protect his friends in Labour at the expense of the public's right to the truth.
"Sadly for Mr Dunne, he does not hold the balance of power in the Transport Committee.
"I look forward to having constructive talks with the Green Party, and I look forward to a proper inquiry answering the questions that New Zealanders have every right to ask," Miss Coddington said.
The Chairman Transport and Industrial Relations Committee Parliament Buildings
Dear Madam Chairman
Inquiry into Private Public Partnerships
This letter is to register that the Transport Committee hold an urgent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Dr Ross Armstrong's belief he was acting on behalf of the Prime Minister in promoting public/private partnership and creating "first mover" advantage for selected companies.
As the Co-Leader of the Greens, Jeanette Fitzsimons stressed, it is important following the resignation of Dr Armstrong that the "broader public interest issues of public-private partnerships not be lost sight of".
I believe this matter falls under the jurisdiction of the Transport Committee because Pacific Road was set up allegedly to give companies the inside running on the construction of road infrastructure.
The terms of reference should include investigation into PPP arrangements overseas, including in Australia and the United Kingdom, and particularly in transport projects.
These are matters of grave concern to the business community. Dr Armstrong maintains very strongly that he did not mislead the government. Dr Cullen says it's the worst position he has ever been placed in.
Clearly the Transport Committee needs to investigate to find out what really happened and what action needs to be taken.
Yours sincerely,
Deborah Coddington ACT Transport Spokesman

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