INDEPENDENT NEWS

Government uses process to duck questions

Published: Tue 21 Oct 2003 09:44 PM
Government uses process to duck questions
The Government is hiding behind the cover of urgency in a bid to escape the torture of questions at question time, according to National Party Shadow Leader of the House Gerry Brownlee.
Parliament has moved into urgency ahead of the one-week recess. That means the Opposition will not be able to ask any further questions of Ministers until the House resumes.
"We are staggered that the Government has put the House into urgency to pass eight bills which have substantial support.
"Given that the House is unlikely to continue much beyond the normal rising time on Thursday, it's obvious Labour has decided to end the session with urgency to avoid question time," Mr Brownlee says.
"It's part of a pattern for a Labour Government that drops major decisions late on Thursdays and during recess breaks so it does not have to face public scrutiny.
"There are a string of important issues on the table, like the stalled foreshore and seabed proposal, plans to overhaul our justice system for the Supreme Court, trade prospects and the breakdown at CYF - to name just a few.
"Labour is not prepared to give the public a fair go. What does the Government have to hide?
"The National Party believes Labour should be showing more respect for democracy, given its long forgotten promise of an open and transparent administration.
"Instead the Government is abusing its position and denying New Zealanders the opportunity to learn more about important decisions that are affecting all our lives," Mr Brownlee says.

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