Brash denies Banks vetting speeches

Act New Zealand leader Don Brash has dismissed as "garbage" suggestions that John Banks is vetting his speeches, after claims he had ditched a speech on welfare at Mr Banks' insistence.

Act New Zealand's Epsom candidate John Banks said on TV3's The Nation that he had seen some of Dr Brash's speeches and that he had "told him he needs to stay on the economy because he's best qualified to talk on the economy."

He was speaking in response to a question about whether he had vetoed a speech by Dr Brash on welfare.

Mr Banks would not confirm he had vetoed a specific speech, but said: "There's nothing wrong with giving speeches on the welfare but Don doesn't have an experience on talking on welfare."

The two had a disagreement last month after Dr Brash publicly advocated the decriminalisation of cannabis, without first advising Mr Banks, who was strongly opposed to such a stand.

Dr Brash yesterday said that while Mr Banks had "encouraged" him to talk about the economy, he had not tried to stop him covering other topics and Dr Brash himself acknowledged he was not an expert on welfare.

The only planned speech on welfare was due to be delivered in August.

A draft of the speech was circulated, but before it was discussed a decision was made to speak about property rights instead.


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