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Te Papa Review Team A Cheap Set-Up

27 March 2000


United New Zealand Party leader and Ohariu Belmont MP, Hon Peter Dunne, says the Te Papa review team is just a "cheap set up" designed to confirm Helen Clark's elitist prejudices.

"How on earth can the review team be treated in any way seriously when it contains Te Papa's major critics, and when the Prime Minister refuses to even consider Te Papa as the national museum?" Mr Dunne asks.

"Rodney Wilson has whinged and moaned about Te Papa ever since it was established, and it is difficult to see how he can act in any way impartially in reviewing Te Papa."

"His agenda has always been an Auckland first one, and there is no doubt at all he will use this review to advance that agenda," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says the Prime Minister has shown the most "appalling intellectual arrogance" over Te Papa.

"By constantly denigrating Te Papa's efforts and lapping up every overseas criticism, she is betraying an appalling cultural cringe."

"Whether she likes it or not, Te Papa is the national museum and art gallery and is seen by mainstream New Zealanders as such."

"That is why they keep visiting it, something which clearly annoys the Prime Minister, who would seem to prefer that museums were dark and dingy places where no-one ever went, but where scholarship was maintained."

"The pseudo-intellectual affectations of the Auckland arts set may be of interest to the Prime Minister and her dinner-party companions, but they are of neither any relevance nor interest to the rest of New Zealand."

"The sooner the Prime Minister stops pandering to the egos of a narrow-minded set of self-interested Aucklanders on this issue, the better," Mr Dunne says.


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