The Minister for Social Development needs to make it clear to the Government that it can’t use its departments to try to gain votes, National’s Social Development spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“Dunedin South MP Clare Curran took glossy Labour Party booklets to Ministry of Social Development sites in Dunedin and Mosgiel which stayed there for almost a month.

“It’s highly inappropriate for party political information to be distributed by public servants who are meant to be neutral. An MP like Clare Curran who has been in Parliament for ten years should have known better.

“Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni tried to make excuses and blame staff, something that’s become a common theme from this Government. MPs shouldn’t be putting Government agency staff members in the position of having to deal with political propaganda.

“I’d like to thank the Minister of State Services Chris Hipkins for today clarifying that this was not appropriate and that ‘Material that promotes a political party must not be displayed on Government agency premises, vehicles or websites’.

“I hope the Labour Party won’t make the same mistake again.”

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