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Govt accused of flouting OIA

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 30/06/2016

Opposition parties have accused the government of flouting the Official Information Act.

"This government is increasingly secretive and devious," NZ First leader Winston Peters told parliament on Thursday.

"We have 10 outstanding complaints still with the Ombudsman, one dating back to 2014, which are serial examples of how a casual corruption is creeping in."

He said his party had a witness to Ministry of Social Development staffers openly belittling the OIA.

"These attitudes don't come from the bottom up, they come from the top down."

The Greens' Kennedy Graham said the Ombudsman had oversight of the OIA but was under-funded for the work.

"We have observed a growing and concerning trend in which the executive and a number of government departments are failing to comply with OIA requests, undermining the crucial functioning of the Act."

Mr Peters and Mr Kennedy used a routine debate on the appointment of an Ombudsman to criticise the government.

Parliament approved the appointment of Deputy Ombudsman Leo Donnelly as an Ombudsman for a year to replace Prof Ron Paterson, who has resigned.

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