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It's Unacceptable For A Minister To Tell People To Break The Law

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
It's Unacceptable For A Minister To Tell People To Break The Law

The Public Service Association wants to know what Prime Minister John Key is going to do about Cabinet Minister Rodney Hide recommending people break the law.

Mr Hide, who is Minister for Local Government and Regulatory Reform made his call for people to break the law on TVNZ's Close Up programme last night.(February 3).

The show featured a locksmith who was unhappy that his council was telling him that under the Building Act he had to make a shower at his business wheelchair accessible.

Mr Hide said he was working with other Ministers to change the Act. Asked by Mr Sainsbury if the locksmith should ignore the law Mr Hide replied: "Look as a Minister I can't recommend someone breaking the law but I believe that he should."

"It's completely unacceptable for a Cabinet Minister to say on a prime time TV show that people should break the law," says Brenda Pilott.

"The Cabinet Manual clearly states that Ministers are expected to act lawfully and uphold the highest ethical standards."

"I'm asking the Prime Minister if he thinks it's acceptable for Ministers in his Cabinet to tell people that they should break the law because they disagree with it," says Brenda Pilott.

She says there seems to be a double standard operating in John Key's government.

"On the one hand Police Minister Judith Collins says we should uphold the rule of law and

crush the cars of boy racers who flout the law," says Brenda Pilott.

"While on the other hand Local Government Minister Rodney Hide is telling people who don't like the Building Act, to go ahead and break it."

Brenda Pilott says Mr Hide is in affect saying that people should ignore local government staff who are simply upholding the law.

"Does this mean that it's now OK for boy racers to ignore the police because they don't like the traffic laws?" says Brenda Pilott.

She says local government staff and other public sector workers support moves to remove red tape and make laws, like the Building Act, more user-friendly.

"But they, like Cabinet Ministers, have to uphold the law as it stands," says Brenda Pilott.

"It's unfair and dangerous for a Minister to tell people it's OK to flout the law and I want to know what the Prime Minister is going to do about Mr Hide's unacceptable behaviour," says Brenda Pilott.

The PSA represents 56,000 workers in the public sector including 5500 working in local government.

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