Fronting up and answering parliamentary questions and Official Information Act requests is a basic ministerial function. Fundamentally it is about accountability. On that score the Minister of Internal Affairs, Dr Richard Worth, has failed miserably. Since December I have been trying to get information out of Dr Worth about what he has been up to whilst receiving his $240k a year ministerial salary. I’ve used written parliamentary questions and Official Information Act requests and he has stonewalled repeatedly. He won’t even answer questions as basic as one asking what reports he has received from his Department.
One would have thought given his recent troubles Dr Worth would be going to some lengths to prove that he had nothing else to hide. Could it be that he is embarrassed by his total lack of action since becoming a Minister? Does he think that he should be exempt from basic accountability requirements? Or does he have something to hide?
I’m pleased that John Key made a commitment on Breakfast TV this morning to investigate Dr Worth’s refusal to answer. I look forward to Dr Worth’s forthcoming conversion to the principles of openness and transparency following Mr Key’s intervention. If he isn’t willing to front up, he shouldn’t be a Minister.
Selection of Dr Richard Worth’s answers (PDF – 60K)