INDEPENDENT NEWS

Too late to cover your back, Minister

Published: Tue 2 Aug 2011 11:47 AM
Too late to cover your back, Minister
The Speaker must hold Steven Joyce to account for his deliberate obfuscation around a letter from Telecom boss Paul Reynolds about the Government's ultrafast broadband project, Labour's Communications and IT spokesperson Clare Curran says.
The letter made reference to the possible structural separation of Telecom. Mr Joyce has previously denied seeing any correspondence on the issue.
"Today, two years after that letter was sent and 21 months after he responded in the negative to a written question by me, the Minister has decided to issue a corrected reply.
"Coincidentally it also comes just a day after I laid a complaint with the Speaker regarding Mr Joyce misleading the House," Clare Curran said.
"The Minister has shown a cynical disregard for accountability and transparency in the Parliamentary procedure and has treated the entire process with contempt.
"For these reasons I have decided to release both my letter to the Speaker and Mr Joyce's corrected answer."
Subject: 15840 (2009) Published - Communications and Information Technology - Corrected Reply
Question: What correspondence, if any, has he received or sent, listed by correspondent and date, about possible structural separation of Telecom?
Portfolio: Communications and Information Technology
Minister: Hon Steven Joyce
Date Lodged:23/10/2009
Answer Text: I have not sent any correspondence about the possible structural separation of Telecom. I have received one letter from Telecom dated 6 August 2009 where Telecom indicated they understood the Government had a preference for Telecom to structurally separate. Officials advised Telecom at the time that this was not the case.
Date Received:02/08/2011

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