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Clark's indecision has made crisis

Wyatt Creech

Acting Leader of the Opposition

Wednesday 28 January 2000

Clark's indecision has made crisis

Helen Clark has created a crisis for herself by switching ground and undermining the Minister of Maori Affairs, but failing to deliver with his resignation, Acting Leader of the Opposition Wyatt Creech said today.

"Every step of the way, Helen Clark has mis-handled this affair. If her interests were really with the "closing the gaps" policy, she would have acted decisively but she's been incapable of doing that throughout this affair.

"Instead of acting, she has constantly shifted ground. No one knows what she's planning from day to day. At the very least, a Prime Minister has to provide leadership to maintain stability and confidence in the Government.

"But even her own caucus is in the dark about where she's heading on this one.

"She knew about the Dover Samuels affair for six months but didn't act until it became an intolerable public scandal

"She admitted yesterday that when the young woman's mother contacted her office 11 days ago they went to the police, but she continued to defend the Minister and made sure the public did not hear about it.

"Just last week she was adamant he would survive as a Minister as long as there was no criminality:"

Asked if Mr Samuels could come back as a minister, she said: "Of course he can. If the investigation comes to the conclusion that there are no grounds for criminal charges, which is Mr Samuels' belief, he will be back." - "Holmes" Wednesday 21 June

"What changed? Does Helen Clark know something she hasn't said - in which case she should come clean.

"Or is it just that she sees her judgement has been wrong all along? She picked this one wrong from the outset. She has realised that she made the wrong call and is sacrificing Dover Samuels for the sake of her own credibility," Mr Creech said.


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