18 Aug 2010

Demoted MP confirms return to Parliament

10:58 pm on 18 August 2010

Demoted ACT MP Heather Roy has confirmed she will remain in Parliament as a member of the caucus.

Mrs Roy was dumped as the party's deputy leader and replaced by first-term list MP John Boscawen. She subsequently resigned her three ministerial portfolios.

In a statement, Mrs Roy refers to notes she prepared for Tuesday's caucus meeting, during which she was ousted, that have been leaked to the media.

The 82-page document outlines the breakdown of the relationship between herself and ACT leader Rodney Hide, with much of the content relating to a defence paper drawn up by Mrs Roy as Associate Defence Minister.

The MP says she is concerned the document has been made public as it was a draft, and not all of the material ended up being presented to the caucus.

That defence paper was also at the centre of a complaint from Mrs Roy to Ministerial Services about Mr Hide.

On Wednesday, Mr Hide said the complaint was prompted by him asking Mrs Roy if he could read that document.

He denied he had taken it from Mrs Roy's office without asking her and says Ministerial Services found there was no substance to her complaint.

Mr Hide is refusing to give any reason for Mrs Roy's demotion, saying only that it was a caucus decision.

Mrs Roy says she has put the tough things said in caucus behind her and is looking forward to being a productive MP for ACT.

Mrs Roy is home on leave for two weeks and is making no comment about her demotion.

Radio New Zealand's political staff say ACT's other MPs have been shut down, clearly under instruction not to talk to the media.

Hide felt threatened, says lawyer

The lawyer acting for Mrs Roy says she was dumped from her deputy leadership role because Mr Hide did not want to work with her.

Lawyer Stephen Franks, a former ACT MP, was at the caucus meeting to support Mrs Roy.

Mr Franks told Nine to Noon Mrs Roy was not making any attempt to dislodge Mr Hide, but Mr Hide felt threatened by her, and, as he holds the seat that keeps the party in Parliament, he calls the shots.

However, Mr Hide denies that he s Mrs Roy a threat.

Boscawen sworn in

Mrs Roy's replacement, John Boscawen, was sworn in as a minister outside the Cabinet on Wednesday.

As well as the deputy position, Mr Boscawen picks up the Consumer Affairs and Associate Commerce ministerial portfolios.

Prime Minister John Key says despite there now being a new minister in his executive, he was not informed of the reasons.

He says he believes the ACT party is stable, as are the National Party's governing arrangements.

Labour Party leader Phil Goff says ACT should come clean about why it dumped Mrs Roy. "They talk about openness and transparency, but don't show it," he said.

Mr Goff also believes the Prime Minister must tell the public why Mrs Roy lost her ministerial positions.

He says Mr Key is responsible for his ministers and he should be told why Mrs Roy was dismissed, and whether it was her fault or the fault of Mr Hide.

Mr Boscawen is a vocal opponent of the Emissions Trading Scheme and is open about his belief in that people are not inducing global warming.

Green co-leader Metiria Turei says having such a vehement climate change denier in a position of power is going to be a real problem for the environment and the economy.