From RNZ’s Checkpoint I hear they’ve been after Maurice Williamson all day to clarify what he said on Agenda yesterday (as discussed below). But he’s gone to ground and is not returning calls. Williamson may admire what they are doing in Australia but Gordon Campbell sounds a note of warning:
Interesting that the National Party is seriously regarding the Australian experience with public private partnerships (PPPs) as providing a precedent for using PPPs to fund schools and hospitals in this country. Here’s what the Australian Institute of Project Management had to say in 2005 about the Aussie experience with PPPs :
Public Private Partnership (PPP) projects are promoted as adding value to society. Unfortunately, this high ideal has been lost to short term profit and political expediency to make budgets look artificially good
Fresh embarrassment too for Williamson with this press release from Jim Anderton asking:
What did Maurice really want to say? Embedded formatting left in an email sent out by National to ‘clarify’ its $50-road tolls policy has deepened the mystery. Progressive leader Jim Anderton says the email formatting shows an earlier draft of the statement was heavily edited to remove Mr Williamson’s original intent….
The final three sentences were entirely inserted. Before Mr Williamson’s first draft was tampered with, the statement did not have Mr Williamson expressing contrition for letting his ‘enthusiasm’ go unchecked.
I suspect Labour and it’s allies will be chomping at the bit to raise this embarrassing episode in the House tomorrow, especially as it builds on their criticism of National’s secret agenda/ disunity beneath the surface scenario. Perhaps Williamson doesn’t quite offer the safe hands Mr Key assumed?