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Mallard’s Attack A Personal Smear

ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble today said the Education Minister’s attempt to influence the membership of the Parliamentary Select Committee inquiry into literacy was close to a breach of privilege.

Mr Prebble said it was a contempt to try to prevent an MP form carrying out their Parliamentary duties.

“Donna Awatere Huata is a world recognised expert in reading. Her four minute programme is internationally recognised.

“Mr Mallard knows that Donna has no conflict of interest. It’s as absurd to claim that an MP shouldn’t be involved in a Select Committee inquiry into reading because they have developed a reading programme in the past as it would be to say that Trevor Mallard shouldn’t be Minister because he was a school teacher in the past and he will be one again after the next election.

“What is disturbing is that Mr Mallard said to me in Parliament that he would attack Donna to retaliate for ACT’s questioning of Mr Tamihere’s role in the Waipareira Trust.

“On the face of it Donna appears to have been singled out simply because she is Maori – exactly what ACT was accused of doing.

“Mr Mallard should, as Minister of Education, be praising Donna for having raised the vital question of why so many New Zealand children, especially Maori, are failing to read, instead of engaging in this personal smear attack,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

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