13 July 2000 Media Statement
"I note that a District Court Judge has now ruled in a reserved decision that Moana Sinclair was not an unlicensed driver, and that there was no power for the Police to do what they did in removing her from her vehicle at Foxton, in February, " Cabinet Minister Sandra Lee said today. "I welcome the decision," she said.
"At the time the legislation was passed, the Alliance raised concerns about the draconian powers being given to Police officers. This court decision has proven the Alliance to be correct," the Minister said.
"Ms Sinclair has had to withstand wide-spread adverse publicity. It has taken a personal toll on her, and she has been powerless to do anything until this decision," Ms Lee said.
"The decision now raises the question about what must be done about the other estimated 250,000 New Zealanders who had not updated their 'life-long' drivers licences," she said.
" Moana Sinclair is an extremely well qualified Maori lawyer, academic and journalist with considerable experience in each field. She is one of the few Maori women to have a Masters degree in International Law," said Ms Lee.
"On a personal note, although she has now resigned from my office staff, I continue to believe in Moana, and know that she has a real contribution to make on behalf of our people. She is a person of ability and integrity."
Please note that this is the only comment Hon Sandra Lee will be making on this issue. She declines invitations to make any further comment.