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Watch: Jacinda Ardern admits Government not 'most open, most transparent' after questioning by Simon Bridges in Parliament

The Prime Minister admitted today the Government has not lived up to the commitment to "be the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had", after being questioned by Simon Bridges over the chief technology officer saga. 

Former Associate Open Government Minister Clare Curran made the commitment in November last year.

In August Ms Curran was stripped of her Open Government and Digital Services responsibilities after not disclosing a meeting for the second time and resigned earlier this month from her other portfolios after a poor performance while answering questions in Parliament.

"Clare Curran's failure to accurately answer parliamentary questions about her meeting with [Derek] Handley did not meet my or the former Minister's expectation," Ms Ardern said today in Parliament. 

Derek Handley was offered the role of chief technology officer, which was subsequently retracted by new Digital Services Minister Megan Woods, costing the taxpayer a $100,000 payout. 

At the beginning of the month, Ms Curran admitted she had conducted Government business on her personal Gmail account

Mr Bridges today asked the Prime Minister if she had used private Gmail in correspondence with Ms Curran. 

"Primarily I conduct my business across my parliamentary accounts, but I want to ensure that I answer the member with accuracy, so if he wishes to put them down in detail, then I will do so," Ms Ardern answered. 

Ms Ardern said she recalled her only contact with Mr Handley as Prime Minister was a text message she received from him, to which deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters piped up saying: "Has the Prime Minister contemplated putting the leader of the National Party out of his misery by leaking the email?"


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