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The Government’s incompetence and constant mistruths over the fiasco of its Chief Technology Officer appointment continues with one mistake compounding another, National’s State Service Spokesperson Nick Smith says. 

“Ministers are just compounding the mess over the CTO role with error upon error. Grant Robertson had to admit with a Personal Explanation to the House this afternoon that despite weeks of questions and a specific instruction from the Speaker that the Government last week failed to disclose all of the relevant emails from former Minister Clare Curran.

“This came on top of the Prime Minister claiming she’s only had one text from Mr Handley that she did not respond to. Mr Handley’s disclosures today show both Ministers were being economical with the truth at best.  

“It was also a mistake for Megan Woods to not have personally communicated with Derek Handley when she cancelled his job on 14th September without warning, particularly when Ministers had engaged in dozens of communications with him up until that date.

“She erred again this morning in claiming she could not comment on the Derek Handley issue because of a confidentiality condition that did not exist. She erred a third time when she accidentally sent private information to my office and a fourth time with incorrect answers in Parliament.

“Derek Handley has been treated shabbily but at least he’s had the courage to be up front with the public by releasing his communications. Ministers have been ducking and diving for weeks trying to avoid disclosure.

“This has become a black comedy of errors. The Government’s been caught out by its repeated mistruths and efforts to avoid scrutiny. It is way past time for the Government to end the secrecy and release all of the relevant documents.”  

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