“The Prime Minister needs to explain to New Zealanders whether she was misleading them when she said a controversial change to Three Waters was “not something I would necessarily be aware of” or whether she just wasn’t paying attention in caucus when it was discussed,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Stuff this morning revealed that the Labour Caucus, which Jacinda Ardern Chairs, discussed the controversial entrenchment amendment and agreed to support it.

“For her to go on to say it’s “not something I would necessarily be aware of” is either disingenuous to put it mildly, or she has admitted she wasn’t paying attention in her own meeting.

“The Cabinet Manual states in section 7.78 that “Ministers should keep themselves informed about matters that may affect their portfolios, such as: legislative amendments proposed other than by government members of Parliament. Cabinet consideration of the government position on whether to support such a bill or proposal may be required.”

“At the very least Nanaia Mahuta was required to be across the amendment and Cabinet consideration should have been required.

“Mahuta said in the debate “We know that while this particular SOP may not pass the constitutional threshold, there is a moral obligation of people who believe that privatisation should not occur to support that particular SOP.”

“The Prime Minister has some explaining to do. How was it that this was discussed in caucus, but she claims she wasn’t across it? Why didn’t it go to Cabinet for consideration despite 7.78 of the Cabinet Manual and how was it that her Senior Minister Nanaia Mahuta was so across this, even saying in Parliament that it “may not pass the constitutional threshold” and yet Ardern was blind to it.”

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David Seymour