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Dr Richard Worth—Confidence

Thursday 25 June 2009 Hansard source (external site)

Hodgson10. Hon PETE HODGSON (Labour—Dunedin North) Link to this
to the Prime Minister

Why did he lose confidence in Dr Richard Worth as a Minister?

EnglishHon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Prime Minister) Link to this

I refer the member to the response to question No. 12 on Tuesday, 16 June.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

Does the Prime Minister believe that to date his handling of the resignation of Dr Richard Worth as a Minister has been spot on, or does he think there might be room for improvement?

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

How many times has the Prime Minister changed his mind so far about whether he would or would not say anything about his loss of confidence in Mr Richard Worth as a Minister; and, should he ever have the chance to decide this again, would he try to change his mind on fewer occasions?

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

Has the Prime Minister avoided specifically answering questions for the past 2 weeks on the grounds that it is not in the public interest, or is it more true that he does not have any additional substantive information to withhold, and is therefore just avoiding answering questions in the first place?

CunliffeHon David Cunliffe Link to this

I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That was an either/or question, and it could not possibly be answered with a one-word rejection.

HideHon Rodney Hide Link to this

It is quite clear that if the Minister is asked a question with two limbs, he needs to answer only one of them. It is quite clear that that is what he did.

SmithMr SPEAKER Link to this

The member is quite correct.

HodgsonHon Pete Hodgson Link to this

Does the Prime Minister think, in retrospect, that a better way to handle this issue might have been to say at the outset something like: “I have accepted Dr Richard Worth’s resignation as a Minister, on the basis that he has repeatedly failed to keep me informed of matters he should have informed me on, including a police investigation into matters of a sexual nature that may or may not be of substance, and that my tolerance of his failure to respect my no-surprises policy has reached its limits.”?

EnglishHon BILL ENGLISH Link to this

The Prime Minister acted decisively and swiftly. Mr Worth is no longer a Minister and no longer a member of Parliament. This Parliament has been spared the shambles that used to occur under the previous Government, where even people who were accused of breaking the law hung on for years, collecting their salaries.

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