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Solid Energy bosses face contempt complaints

Tuesday 19 Mar 2013 2:13 p.m.

Clayton Cosgrove (File)

Clayton Cosgrove (File)

Contempt of Parliament complaints have been laid against Solid Energy executives.

Labour MP Clayton Cosgrove says interim chief executive Garry Diack told a select committee hearing former chief executive Don Elder had not approached the company offering to appear and answer questions.

When Mr Elder did appear, he told the committee he had made the offer in emails to Mr Diack and other executives.

Mr Diack subsequently explained that he hadn't been concentrating when he was asked about Dr Elder and was confused about what he was being asked.

Mr Cosgrove has also laid a complaint against chairman Mark Ford, Mr Diack and strategy manager Bill Luff on the grounds they told the committee they couldn't answer questions about Solid Energy's collapse because they had been recently appointed.

"Five days later Bill Luff appeared on Campbell Live and answered many questions similar to those asked at the committee hearing," Mr Cosgrove said on Tuesday.

"It's now clear Bill Luff had been at the company for 18 months and was in a position to answer many of our questions - avoiding questions obstructed the committee."

Mr Cosgrove says the executives' attitude was "contemptuous and completely unacceptable".

It is now up to Speaker David Carter to decide whether the men should appear before Parliament's privileges committee.

The committee could censure them or impose more severe penalties if it decided they were in contempt of Parliament.

NZN

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