Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Getting the story straight

The government can't seem to get its story straight over Amokura Panoho. In Question Time today, John Tamihere claimed (or rather, agreed with the claim) that the meeting which sparked the complaint against Ms Panoho had been held on government time:

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Could the Minister tell the House and the country whether his concern about this person’s attendance was that the person in question was attending business in respect of the Tariana Turia party, at the time she should have been, and was employed to be, doing work on behalf of the New Zealand taxpayer?


Yet later, Steve Maharey seems to be denying it:

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Is it a fact that a substantial number of the people who attended that hui were there whilst being paid by the taxpayer to be somewhere else - namely, at their job - and if it was wrong for Ms Panoho to be in that situation, which I think most people would accept, then what is being done about the remainder of those who left their job that day to attend that hui at the taxpayers’ expense?

Hon STEVE MAHAREY: I advise the member that the meeting was in the evening...

Who's right? Well, Ms Panoho's former employer seems to back Maharey. Does this mean that Tamihere's vindictiveness has led him to lie to Parliament?