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Tariana Turia Comments On Haami Piripi Case

Maori Party Co-Leader Tariana Turia Scoop Interview (Snippet)

By Kevin List

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Q: What were you thoughts on the recent row regarding the submission of Haami Piripi?

A: Well you know Haami Piripi has been a public servant for probably twenty or thirty years and he's been a very loyal professional public servant. One of the issues I think that surrounds this whole matter, is that it is a very contentious issue for Iwi. Now, not only is he [Mr Piripi] a public servant, but he is also a chief in his own right within his tribal grouping. He hasn't participated professionally in any aspect of this Bill [the Seabed and Foreshore Bill]. In terms of his public service role he has had no involvement at all. I personally cannot see why he should not have been allowed in his role as a Chief of his tribe to give their submission. That was their [the tribe's] submission, it wasn't his personal submission. I think that is where the problem lies, you have got the Prime Minister and the State Services Commissioner and others seeing this as a personal submission, when it is not, it is a tribal submission and I think there is a huge difference. He has to take his place in the tribe otherwise do public servants just become puppets of the Crown?

Q: So you think the government should have perhaps supported him on this issue?

A: I think they could have ignored it. He has not done anything illegal. He hasn't broken any rules. The other thing is that you sign up to a document that talks about professionalism and integrity. What does integrity mean?


Due to the fact that traversing the etymological and ethical concept of integrity would be possibly as time consuming as trying to define political correctness with Murray McCully, the rest of the interview traversed more easily defined topics such as Housing, the high rate of Maori imprisonment and Health.


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