David Cunliffe |
Wednesday, August 21, 2013 – 16:18
Nathan Guy needs to learn the meaning of ‘controversial’ and fast – the word is crucial to his future as a minister, Labour fisheries spokesperson David Cunliffe said today.
“Yesterday Nathan Guy said ‘I don’t think the proposals are too controversial’ regarding changes to the Snapper 1 fishing take. That is an astonishing statement and it’s getting him into hot water with his Cabinet colleagues.
“If a discussion document or policy is controversial and not taken to Cabinet then it’s a breach of Cabinet rule 5.12. Nathan Guy is the only person in Cabinet or the country who doesn’t seem to think snapper is controversial.
“The Prime Minister himself says the snapper proposals are a bigger issue than the GCSB Bill, which is one of the most controversial pieces of legislation in recent times.
“The Government has been hit with a firestorm of protest: over 30,000 emails; thousands of people are attending meetings to protest; and full page ads are being taken out in newspapers.
“Mr Guy’s senior Cabinet colleagues are publically lambasting the proposals. Backbenchers are running for cover. He is being hung out to dry.
“If that’s not ‘too controversial’ for Mr Guy, what is? Nathan Guy needs to brush up on his vocabulary and find out what controversial means.
“The Cabinet Manual says any ‘significant policy matter’ (Rule 5.12 (a)) or ‘controversial matter’ (Rule 5.12 (b)) must go before Cabinet. Rule 5.12 (f) also requires that this applies to discussion documents as well as to final decisions.
“Mr Guy didn’t do that and that’s why the likes of Judith Collins are making the astonishing move of criticising proposals from another minister.
“Nathan Guy has clearly breached the Cabinet Manual. That has grave consequences for the potential validity of the consultation and for his future. He is struggling as a minister, in fact he’s a fish out water,” says David Cunliffe.