By William Felt

Mike:

The Julie Anne Genter letter to Phil Twyford. Do you know what’s in it?


PM:

ah im argh haven’t seen it. But it’s not unusual that argh umm you know there will be decisions over whether or not documents should be released that expose you know umm argh issues umm decisions before they’re made that are back and forth between ministers on decisions before they are made. So that’s not unusual. But no I haven’t seen the specific letter. And I am not that worried about it


Mike:

But do you know what’s in it?


PM:

I know the content is about argh discussions around Wellington’s transport plan. But I haven’t seen it. I’m not.

Mike:

Is it explosive?


PM:

No, I don’t believe so. I am not particularly bothered by it either I have to say Mike


Mike:

Why doesn’t she release it?


PM:

oh look argh you have to you have to make sure we don’t also set precedents here you know. We have to be able to as ministers, have discussions and policy discussions amongst ourselves before decisions are made in a form that is exposed all of the time it makes it harder for us to do our job so. I assume there is some of that playing out here. But again I haven’t been the one that has has made the decision over it so.


Mike:

It juxtaposes the open honest and transparent government promise though


PM:

oh umm look I am glad you raised that because umm argh some of the moves we’ve made which …take quite a ..bit of ..effort ..and time have been been absolutely focused on being more transparent. So we’ve released our diaries on a regular basis now. We’ve proactively released Cabinet papers um umm on a on a regular basis. So we have put in place systematic processes now which means as a matter of routine we put these pieces of information out there so we are not having to deal with requests so much because we actually we are being just proactive about it. But we still need to make sure we can run the government and so it means making sure we can still get free and frank advice and have free and frank discussions.


Mike:

But for something that started out as being non-existent, in other words, it was never written, and now turns out on ministerial letterhead, it’s turned out to be something way bigger than it should have, shouldn’t it, hasn’t it?


PM:

Well argh I think again it’s just a bit of politics Mike.


Mike:

A bit of what?


PM:

POLITICS!


Mike:

Politics or dishonesty, which ever way you look at it.


PM:

No. no no no. Look! A request has bin made for a specific piece of correspondence. It hasn’t been released. I think it is in some peoples interest to make a bigger deal out of it.