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Collins continues cover-up on Blue appointment

Source: Labour Party – Press Release/Statement:

Headline: Collins continues cover-up on Blue appointment

Grant Robertson  | 
Wednesday, May 29, 2013 – 16:40

Judith Collins has made the dodgy appointment process for the Equal Employment Opportunities Commissioner even worse by covering up who was on the interview panel that recommended National MP Jackie Blue for the position, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Grant Robertson.

“Given that a sitting National MP was appointed to this role, it is more important than ever for the process to be transparent.  Judith Collins gave Jackie Blue special treatment by allowing her expression of interest to go through a month after public applications closed. 

“This is not the fair process New Zealanders would expect, but it is typical of National’s approach of looking after its mates and cronies.

“Now papers released under the Official Information Act show that Judith Collins has covered up the name of one member of the appointment panel. Two chief executives of government departments (Andrew Bridgman and Helene Quilter) have been named, but the identity of the third member has been withheld.

“This is an appointment to a public organisation that acts as a watchdog on human rights and the activities of government.  This alone should mean that the public have a right to know who is on the panel – even more so when that panel recommends a National Government MP for the role.

“An email from Secretary of Justice Andrew Bridgman, released under the OIA, indicates that Judith Collins had agreed to a panel that included a ‘Chief Executive of an SOE’.  In Parliament today Judith Collins said this was not the case and that the panel member was in fact a lawyer from Auckland.  What possible reason is there to withhold that person’s identity?

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“Judith Collins needs to front up as to who was on the panel that recommended the appointment of Jackie Blue.  The lack of transparency in this process is anti-democratic, and New Zealanders deserve far better,” said Grant Robertson.

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