15 March 2013 MEDIA STATEMENT
Key Must Front Up With $1 Billion Evidence
John Key must front up with the evidence that Solid Energy formally requested a $1 billion dollar capital injection
after the former company chair blew that claim out of the water, says Labour’s SOEs Spokesperson Clayton Cosgrove.
“The Prime Minister has just made it up and he’s been found out. He tried to create the impression he was some kind of
white knight riding to the rescue of taxpayers by knocking back a Solid Energy bid for $1 billion capital injection. But
that’s now been exposed as just a fantasy in his own mind. Although there is another word for that!
“This is what John Key told Kiwis at a press conference on February 25th: ‘They (Solid Energy) wanted a very large
capital injection in the order of $1 billion’.
“But former chairman John Palmer has blown that claim out of the water saying: ‘I cannot recall that we have ever asked
him explicitly for $1 billion dollars’.
“So who’s telling the truth? With the Prime Minister’s track record, it’s not likely to be him.
“His SOEs Minister Tony Ryall is now scrabbling around trying to cover his back by claiming there’s some sort of
‘advice’ that exists. Well he should stop weaselling around and just front up with it.
“Conversations or advice from officials about spending a billion dollars of taxpayers’ money don’t just happen over a
cup of tea. Where is the formal request for the billion dollars and where is the formal rejection from the Government?
“This is a case of John Key trying to rewrite history and look like some kind of hero when in fact he and his ministers
were asleep at wheel.
“They are responsible for overseeing the downfall of a previously top performing asset into an absolute dog that’s
costing taxpayers hundreds of millions and workers their jobs,” said Clayton Cosgrove.