The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little.
“Alfred Ngaro has blurred the lines between party politics and government policy in his bizarre outburst. His comments were clearly aimed at intimidating the organisations he should be supporting as Minister.
“Community organisations must have the ability in our democracy to voice their opinions on issues that matter.
“Alfred Ngaro came from the sector and organisations had high expectations he would understand their needs. His actions are very disappointing.
“Bill English is obviously creating the wrong culture for his Ministers and for his Ministries. Just last week, MSD had to apologise for attempting to gag emergency housing organisations.
“The Prime Minister needs to reassure community organisations that this sort of bullying of groups who depend on government funding will not be tolerated,” says Andrew Little.