Steven Joyce has been caught red handed and is now attempting to worm his way out of reference to privileges committee.
I hope Speaker of the House, Lockwood Smith, who is a straight shooter, can see though Joyce’s ploy.
Yesterday I laid a complaint with Lockwood over whether Steven Joyce deliberately misled Parliament by not revealing the existence of a crucial letter from Telecom CEO Paul Reynolds on the ultrafast broadband project. The letter made reference to the possible structural separation of Telecom. He denied seeing any correspondence on the issue.
This morning, two years after that letter was sent and 21 months after he responded in the negative to a written question by me, he issued a corrected reply.
What a coincidence that his corrected response comes just a day after I laid the complaint with the Speaker.
I find it breath-taking that Steven Joyce can show such cynical disregard for accountability and transparency for Parliamentary procedure. He is treating the entire process with contempt. Whether it’s the Labour Opposition’s right to receive a truthful answer to a question, or the parliamentary process to take its course once a complaint has been laid.
For these reasons I am releasing both my letter to the Speaker and Steven Joyce’s corrected answer (see below).
I hope the Speaker holds Steven Joyce to account for his deliberate obfuscation.
Subject: 15840 (2009) Published – Communications and Information Technology – Corrected Reply
Question: What correspondence, if any, has he received or sent, listed by correspondent and date, about possible structural separation of Telecom?
Portfolio: Communications and Information Technology
Minister: Hon Steven Joyce
Answer Text: I have not sent any correspondence about the possible structural separation of Telecom. I have received one letter from Telecom dated 6 August 2009 where Telecom indicated they understood the Government had a preference for Telecom to structurally separate. Officials advised Telecom at the time that this was not the case.
Here’s his original response to the same question:
15840 (2009). Clare Curran to the Minister for Communications and Information Technology (23 Oct 2009): What correspondence, if any, has he recieved or sent, listed by correspondent and date, about possible structural separation of Telecom
Hon Steven Joyce (Minister for Communications and Information Technology) replied: I have not received or sent any correspondence about possible structural separation of Telecom