No Right Turn
Last year, when the government was making a lot of noise about its goal of "closing the gap" with Australia, we were confronted with the odd sight of Economic Development Minister Gerry Brownlee claiming in the House to have targets and milestones for this goal, but refusing to say what they were.
Since then I've been engaged in a prolonged OIA battle with the Minister to force him to produce the advice on which these "milestones" were based.The answer?
Despite being given numerous interesting but irrelevant documents, its been clear from the beginning that there was no such advice - that Brownlee made up his "milestones", and in the process lied to Parliament. And today, I received confirmation of this, in the form of the Ombudsman's preliminary views on a complaint I lodged about Brownlee's answers. The Ombudsman has formed the view that Brownlee should have refused my request, on the grounds of section 18(g) of the Act - basically, that it does not exist. Why? Because the Minister had admitted it
It doesn't get plainer than that and what a disgrace this minister is. He makes it up as he goes along and he cannot be trusted.
My investigator met with the relevant officials from the Ministers office. She was advised that the answer given in the House was not based on specific advice received by Mr Brownlee either from the Ministry of Economic Development, or from the advisors in his office... It has become apparent during my investigation that there are no source documents for the answers given in the House on 27 July and 5 August 2010.
Thank you I/S for all your hard work in uncovering these incompetents.
Hat tip - The Standard