New Zealand Labour Party

Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you

Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni.

“Just last week the Minister met with social sector leaders and claimed to be their ‘champion at the Cabinet table’ but in reality he’s been put up as a soft face to usher through some unwelcomed changes.

“Leaders in the community sector tell me they are bitterly disappointed.

“He led them to believe they had a Minister who understood the sector and had a heart for it. It’s now clear his role has been to gag organisations who might speak out against the Government.

“It also appears he’s demanding fealty for funding on behalf of the Government.

“In recent weeks we’ve seen the Government’s strategy of only providing funding if they are guaranteed access to data. Now it seems organisations will only secure funding if they stay silent.

“It is going to be very difficult for Alfred Ngaro to rebuild the bridges he has burnt over his threatening comments and to rebuild trust across the sector,” says Carmel Sepuloni.