New Zealand Labour Party

Sheep cover-up ridiculous as minister doesn’t read NZTE report

The ongoing cover-up of the Saudi sheep scandal has reached new lows with the Primary Industries Minister saying releasing a taxpayer-funded report into the lamb deaths isn’t in the public interest despite admitting he hasn’t read it, says Labour’s Export Growth and Trade spokesperson David Parker.

“Question Time is becoming a farce when ministers are able to dodge questions in this way. Nathan Guy was asked a direct primary question on the NZTE report into the 80 per cent death rate of lambs on the Saudi sheep farm but admitted he had not even read the report.

“A minister cannot decide if releasing a report is in the public interest without reading it first. That’s a farce and he should be held accountable to Parliament and the public.

“This so-called demonstration farm has had more than $12m of taxpayer money thrown at it, including a $4m cash facilitation payment to a disaffected Saudi businessman. Ministers should answer questions in Parliament and release the report. Instead there has been cover-ups and smear campaigns to muddy the waters,” says David Parker.