INDEPENDENT NEWS

Govt Continues To Destructively Withhold Information

Published: Thu 11 Jul 2024 11:04 AM
“This government is choosing to deliberately mislead and withhold information, keeping our people in the dark about this government’s agenda and the future of our mokopuna,” said co-leader and spokesperson for Health, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
The call comes after the demand from the Chief Ombudsman that Associate Minister of Health, Casey Costello, apologise for her choice to deliberately withhold information under the Official Information Act.
“What we continue to witness is a government that is so deliberate in its destruction that it simply doesn’t care. They don’t give a flying toss about process, about judicial rulings, about the advice they’re given, and about being transparent.
“My office has also submitted requests for information to Minister Costello under the Official Information Act and by Written Questions. The Minister's office was entirely dismissive, lacking in depth, and arrogantly conceited in their carelessness about being held accountable.
“Smoke reforms stopped by this Minister were rushed and passed through urgency. The Minister again deliberately withheld information, failing to disclose a $46 billion economic benefit by 2050. She is also on the record for lying about pausing tax increases for tobacco.
“This government needs to come clean. They are playing with the intergenerational loss of life and of whakapapa. This demands robust scrutiny.
“I am writing to the Ombudsman’s office to ask that a thorough investigation be launched into the Minister's responses to all requests for information under the Official Information Act.
“Our people demand more than a slap on the hand and an apology. We must continue to be assured that this government is no longer enabled to take process and law for a ride at their free will of destruction,” said Ngarewa-Packer.

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