Minister for redactions’ questions answered by minister for smarmy non-answers

The arrogance of this government keeps on proving that it is possible for a government to become profoundly arrogant with barely six months elapsing.

Nick Smith exposed Clare Curran via questioning of Chris Hipkins in the house yesterday. Clare Curran is, of course, the minister for open government, and she has released her reply to an OIA request on the government’s strategy for open government. The entire strategy was redacted.

Chris Hipkins and the government members thought this was a great joke, which showed that while Clare Curran is dumber than a bag of hammers, the rest of the government is infected with shameless arrogance.

Their claims of being more open and transparent have been destroyed with arrogant replies to OIA requests.??

Hansard reveals it all: Quote:

Question 11.?Dr NICK SMITH (National?Nelson)?to the?Associate Minister of State Services?(Open Government): Does she stand by her statement that this Government will be “the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had”?

CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of State Services)?on behalf of the?Associate Minister of State Services?(Open Government): Yes.

Dr Nick Smith: Why has the Minister re-dated or blocked nearly all?

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I think the member meant “redacted”.

Dr Nick Smith: Redacted?why has she redacted or blocked nearly all of the report on the open Government strategy recently released under the Official Information Act, and does the Minister see an irony in reports on the open Government strategy being kept secret?

CHRIS HIPKINS: In answer to the second part of the question, no. In answer to the rest of the question, the clue was in the middle bit of his question?that it was released in accordance with the Official Information Act and the criteria set out in the Official Information Act.

Dr Nick Smith: Is the Minister telling the House that by re-dating?

Mr SPEAKER: Redacting.

Dr Nick Smith: ?redacting all of the open Government strategy?

Mr SPEAKER: Can the member start again, please?

Dr Nick Smith: Can the Minister advise the House of why it is acceptable to block out all of the Government’s open Government strategy in the name of being the most open and transparent Government ever?

CHRIS HIPKINS: Redacting is part of the Official Information Act. I encourage the member to read the Act.

Dr Nick Smith: Why is it necessary for reports to her on the open Government strategy to be kept secret?

CHRIS HIPKINS: Because they were released in accordance with the Official Information Act.

Dr Nick Smith: Is it consistent with the Government’s commitment to be the most open and transparent Government ever for the Minister of Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media to refuse to release a key letter between the Radio New Zealand chair and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment chief executive, when the document has already been made public by the select committee?

CHRIS HIPKINS: I’m unfamiliar with the details of that particular case. If the document’s already in the public domain, then there’s no need to release it.

Dr Nick Smith: Can the Minister explain as to why she would give the reason for not releasing the document as the importance of confidentiality, when the select committee has released that very letter?

CHRIS HIPKINS: It could well be an issue of timing. I’m not familiar with the exact details of that issue.

Dr Nick Smith: Why does making the Government’s open Government strategy secret somehow comply with the Government’s ambition to be the most open and transparent Government ever?

CHRIS HIPKINS: The Government is doing a number of things in this area, but I’d encourage the member to read the Official Information Act.

Dr Nick Smith: I seek the leave of the House to table the Official Information Act request provided to my office in which the Government’s open Government strategy is kept secret.

Mr SPEAKER: Can I just check: is the member seeking to table the request or the response?

?Dr Nick?Smith: I am seeking to table the document that’s been provided to my office, under the Official Information Act, where the bulk of it has been kept secret.

Mr SPEAKER: The response. Is there any objection to that? There appears to be none. The document can be tabled. End quote.

Chris Hipkins might not yet shave, but he is the leader of the house and his conduct is seriously unbecoming.

It just proves that Labour have taken just six months to develop the levels of arrogance that took National seven years to develop.

The Nats have released a video slamming Curran:

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