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Prebble Requests Inquiry

ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble confirmed today that he has written to the Maori Affairs Select Committee requesting that the Committee set up an inquiry into the Waipareira Trust.

“The Chairman of the Committee, Mr Tamihere, strongly criticised me last week for having raised matters in Parliament without first having bought them to the Select Committee where he publicly claimed he would have allowed my questions to be asked.

“This week, the Chairman has, under the protection of Parliamentary privilege, claimed that three prominent members of the Maori community are “thieves, drug addicts and the like”. I believe the only reason they have been attacked is because of their connections to the Trust.

“I am saying to the Committee that we can only clear these three citizens’ names from the serious defamations of the Chairman of the Select Committee through an inquiry.

“I believe the Committee should call the three citizens and ask them what are the documents that Mr Tamihere says that they have and what are their complaints, if any, against the Waipareira Trust. The Committee can then examine the integrity of the evidence making any further inquiries that may be needed and report our conclusions to Parliament.

“I am, in particular, challenging the Government Members on the Committee, Willie Jackson, Joe Hawke, Mahara Okeroa and Mita Ririnui, who know that Mr Dennis Hansen, Naida Pou and Mr Parata are not ‘drug addicts, thieves and the like’ to join with me in giving these prominent Maori an opportunity to clear their names.

“So far no Coalition MP has disassociated themselves from Mr Tamihere’s false and defamatory character assassinations.

“Of course, Mr Tamihere should stand aside as Chair, something that he has told Parliament he will not do. We should not allow this refusal by the Chair to stop us, as a Committee, clearing the good names of the people Mr Tamihere has so recklessly attacked,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

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