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Meeting Won't Affect Women's Refuge-PM

Nothing that was said in a meeting between the head of Women’s Refuge and the Minister of Maori Affairs could impact on government funding for the refuge, Prime Minister Helen Clark said today.

The head of the Women’s Refuge said she was told to pull her head in by the Maori Affairs minister for commenting on the level of violence in Maori families, while several high profile cases of violence in Maori families have been in the news.

Miss Clark said there undoubtedly was a robust exchange of views in the meeting, but said the Women’s refuge is not a government agency and is not accountable to the Government.

The Prime Minister said she doesn’t see a need to follow up on the meeting in the Maori Affairs Minister’s office.

Miss Clark said the Government must not impinge on the autonomy of voluntary organisations.


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