Green Party supports Action Station call for Saudi sheep scandal investigation

The New Zealand public deserve to know the full facts behind the Saudi sheep scandal and the only way this will occur is through the Auditor-General investigating the matter, Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.

The Government has paid $11 million to an influential Saudi businessman to prevent a ‘possible’ lawsuit over a false promise the National Party made to the businessman before they were in Government.

The New Zealand public deserve to know the full facts behind the Saudi sheep scandal and the only way this will occur is through the Auditor-General investigating the matter, Green Party Co-leader James Shaw said today.

The Government has paid $11 million to an influential Saudi businessman to prevent a ‘possible’ lawsuit over a false promise the National Party made to the businessman before they were in Government.  Since the story broke more than 10,000 people have signed an Action Station petition calling for an Auditor-General’s investigation.

“The Green Party is happy to stand along-side groups such as Action Station in calling for a full investigation by the Auditor-General into this unorthodox spending of taxpayer money,” Mr Shaw said.

“In just a few weeks more than 10,000 New Zealanders have signed Action Station’s petition calling for an investigation into this scandalous use of millions of taxpayers’ dollars.

“The deal between the New Zealand Government and Saudi businessman Hamood Al Ali Al Khalaf has only gotten murkier since first revealed.

"The Prime Minister’s statements concerning this deal are at odds with the story originally outlined by Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully.

“On the face of it Mr McCully’s story that he was protecting the New Zealand public from a lawsuit appears completely false.

“The only way the public will get the full truth is to have the matter thoroughly investigated by an independent body such as the Auditor-General.

“This scandal isn’t going away in a hurry.  On top of reckless use of taxpayer’s money there is the issue of animal cruelty involved.  Many of the sheep exported to Saudi Arabia have died.

“National needs to realise that New Zealanders care about animal welfare, our international reputation and spending taxpayers’ money in an ethical, upfront way,” Mr Shaw said.

Note: Green Party Co-leader James Shaw will meet with members of Action Station in front of Parliament today at 12:30.  As well as Mr Shaw and Action Station members there will also be a sheep component.

http://www.actionstation.org.nz/saudisheep

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