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Maharey welcomes Speaker's Rrivilege Ruling

Hon Steve Maharey
Minister of Social Services and Employment
Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education)
Minister for Community and Voluntary Sector
MP for Palmerston North

24 February 2000

Maharey welcomes Speaker's privilege ruling

Associate Minister of Education (Tertiary Education) Steve Maharey this evening welcomed the decision by Parliament's Speaker, Jonathan Hunt, to dismiss a claim of breach of privilege laid against him by National MP Nick Smith.

Mr Smith claimed that Mr Maharey had misled Parliament over matters surrounding the resignation of the Vice-Chancellor of Victoria University and a subsequent reported settlement.

"I welcome Mr Speaker's ruling that I have no questions of privilege to answer.

"Dr Smith and his colleagues need to think seriously about their behaviour on this issue.

"His baseless allegations risked dragging the reputations of others outside the House through the mud simply for his own political gain.

"What the House and the public of New Zealand have been left with is clear evidence of how poorly National has adjusted to Opposition.

"Devoid of any new ideas and unwilling to back away from the policies which saw it soundly rejected by the public of New Zealand at the election, it would appear National have decided to sling mud in the hope it will rescue them from the poll doldrums.

"My message to Dr Smith is that New Zealanders want to get on with building a dynamic economy and strong communities. They do not want to be bothered by the kind of trivia that seems to attract the likes of Dr Smith", Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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