Liar liar pants on fire

Newshub reports:

Newshub can reveal the Minister's office instructed officials to delay the release of attendance so it could be timed with a truancy announcement.

Jan Tinetti has previously said she had nothing to do with the delay and now the Party is accusing the minister of being caught in a lie. …

Tinetti is also under pressure about the attendance data itself and whether her office instructed officials over when it should be released.

In February, under fire in the House, she said: “I can categorically tell that Member that the is responsible for the data. I have no say over that.”

Newshub can reveal the minister's office very much did have a say over that.

Emails obtained under the Official Information Act show that on December 14 the attendance data was ready but the minister delayed the release saying she wanted more information.

On February 14, Tinetti's office told officials the plan is to release the data after her upcoming truancy announcement

A week later the ministry again asks when it will be released and her office again replied it would be after the announcement.

“This stinks to high heaven. The Minister of Education should have known that her staff were actively planning behind the scenes,” said National's education spokesperson Erica Stanford.

Newshub asked Tinetti if she was aware her office was holding up that data release.

“Not at that time,” she said. 

Stanford said: “She's got caught out in a lie and tried to cover it up.”

But Tinetti said there is “no lie there”. 

“Absolutely no lie there. I stand by my statement at the time in the context that I made it.”

It is a blatant lie.

The Minister's Office has no power in its own right. It speaks on behalf of the Minister.

The notion that her staff would tell the Ministry to refuse to release the data for two months, without the Minister's knowledge is laughable.

There is a pattern here. First we get told the PM's Deputy Chief of Staff knew about the Nash letter and never told anyone about it. Now we are told the Education Minister's office heaved the Minister into delaying attendance data for two months, behind the back of the Minister.

I'm surprised Tinetti is not before the Privileges Committee for misleading the House.

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