Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Only himself to blame

Yesterday, Stuff reported that the Overseas Investment Office was failing to monitor whether conditions on overseas land purchases were being met. Today, the Minister has issued a "clarification", claiming that the information was "dangerous and misleading" and that

OIO monitoring of cases is robust and numbers have remained fairly consistent over the past three years.

The kicker? The information Williamson is complaining about and "clarifying" came from his own office, in response to Parliamentary written questions. Which suggests firstly that he was somewhat less than forthcoming in those answers, and secondly that he really has no-one but himself to blame for this. After all, if the Minister doesn't want stories based on information he describes as "dangerous and misleading", he could not answer questions in that manner, and instead give a straight answer in the first place. The fact that he didn't speaks volumes about his (lack of) commitment to transparency and democratic accountability.