Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


PM Distancing Herself From Tamihere

The Prime Minister Helen Clark has this morning admitted for the first time that there is evidence of financial irregularity at the Waipareira Trust and is attempting to distance herself from MP, John Tamihere.

Speaking on Morning Report Miss Clark said, “What I suspect is there’s been some sloppiness with the accounting and we know that money was paid into wrong accounts. Later in the interview she went further saying “as I say, I have seen suggestions and probably evidence of some sloppy financial management.”

ACT Leader Richard Prebble said this is a significant U-turn from Miss Clark who yesterday also tried to put air between herself and her beleaguered MP by blaming the National Party for entering into contracts with the Trust while in Government. “Last week Helen Clark was telling Parliament that she had full confidence in Mr Tamihere and was publicly calling on me to ‘put up or shut up’. ACT has done just that,” he said.

“The public needs to realise that these are not ACT’s allegations but are in fact being made by members of the Maori community. The Labour Party knew of these allegations last year. The local Labour electorate committee refused to support Mr Tamihere’s nomination and it was Helen Clark who publicly overrode that advice and insisted on selecting him.

“When prior to the election some of the allegations became public, the Labour Party held a ‘show audit’ with prominent Labour MPs visiting the Trust and publicly giving it a clean bill of health. When, after the election, further complaints were made to the Prime Minister’s Office of a very serious nature, she chose to ignore them. Indeed, she told Parliament that she had asked Mr Tamihere about the allegations who had assured her all was well and that was good enough for her.

“The Prime Minister took no action to disassociate herself from Mr Tamihere calling me a racist and indeed, issued a press statement implying support. This week, despite being given an opportunity in Parliament to publicly disassociate herself from Mr Tamihere’s claim that three prominent Maori leaders are ‘drug addicts and the like’ she failed to take the opportunity.

“It is interesting to note that not a single Maori Member of Parliament has been prepared to support Mr Tamihere’s conduct or his allegations. The Labour Party, on Wednesday, in Parliament claimed that it was standing behind Mr Tamihere but, Labour Members of the Maori Affairs Select Committee yesterday supported setting up a Select Committee inquiry into the Trust’s handling of taxpayer money.

“It’s clear that Helen Clark is scrambling to get off Mr Tamihere’s chariot. She can't. Helen Clark selected him, she ignored representations from Maori and she can’t now claim that some how it is the National Party’s fault,” said Hon Richard Prebble. ENDS

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines


Breed Laws Don’t Work: Vets On New National Dog Control Plan

It is pleasing therefore to see Louise Upston Associate Minister for Local Government calling for a comprehensive solution... However, relying on breed specific laws to manage dog aggression will not work. More>>


Corrections Corrected: Supreme Court Rules On Release Dates

Corrections has always followed the lawful rulings of the Court in its calculation of sentence release dates. On four previous occasions, the Court of Appeal had upheld Corrections’ practices in calculating pre-sentence detention. More>>


Not Waiting On Select Committee: Green Party Releases Medically-Assisted Dying Policy

“Adults with a terminal illness should have the right to choose a medically assisted death,” Green Party health spokesperson Kevin Hague said. “The Green Party does not support extending assisted dying to people who aren't terminally ill because we can’t be confident that this won't further marginalise the lives of people with disabilities." More>>


General Election Review: Changes To Electoral Act Introduced

More effective systems in polling places and earlier counting of advanced votes are on their way through proposed changes to our electoral laws, Justice Minister Amy Adams says. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Our Posturing At The UN

In New York, Key basically took an old May 2 Washington Post article written by Barack Obama, recycled it back to the Americans, and still scored headlines here at home… We’ve had a double serving of this kind of comfort food. More>>


Treaty Settlements: Bills Delayed As NZ First Pulls Support

Ngāruahine, Te Atiawa and Taranaki are reeling today as they learnt that the third and final readings of each Iwi’s Historical Treaty Settlement Bills scheduled for this Friday, have been put in jeopardy by the actions of NZ First. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Damage De-Regulation Is Doing To Fisheries And Education, Plus Kate Tempest

Our faith in the benign workings of the market – and of the light-handed regulation that goes with it – has had a body count. Back in 1992, the free market friendly Health Safety and Employment Act gutted the labour inspectorate and turned forestry, mining and other workplace sites into death traps, long before the Pike River disaster. More>>

Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news