Ardern won’t release the secret section of the coalition agreement

The Herald reports:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has declined to release a key coalition document despite Winston Peters saying it would be made public.

Labour and NZ First have released a brief coalition document, but in October Peters spoke of the existence of a 38-page document underlying the list of policy wins, and setting out how the Government would work.

“We put a lot of thought into it. On day one of the negotiations, that was the first subject we raised ‘how are we going to handle a successful, cohesive arrangement’?

“It’s a document of precision on various areas of policy commitment and development,” Peters said, saying it would be released in the coming months, but exactly when would be up to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

 The document has not been released, and Ardern’s office has declined an Official Information Act (OIA) request by Newsroom, saying the Prime Minister does not hold such official information.

 

The office referred to Section 2 of the Act, saying official information is only that held by a Minister of the Crown in his official capacity.

So because it is an agreement between Labour and NZ First, it is not an official Government document so Ardern won’t release it. But it is binding on Labour and NZ First Ministers so the secret codicil to the coalition agreement is very important and significant.

Has any Government every been so secretive and arrogant after just one month in office?

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