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Parekura Horomia appointed Maori Affairs Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark announced today that the Labour caucus had elected Hon Parekura Horomia as the next Minister of Maori Affairs.

"Mr Horomia's promotion to Cabinet was made at this morning's meeting of the Labour caucus.

"I congratulate Mr Horomia on his election. I am appointing him as Minister of Maori Affairs. As Acting Minister for the past four weeks, Mr Horomia has already shown his willingness to commit himself fully to this challenging job.

"The closing of gaps between Maori, Pacific peoples and other New Zealanders is a flagship policy for the coalition government. As Minister of Maori Affairs Mr Horomia will play a crucial role in this work.

"Mr Horomia is a former senior public servant, bringing a wealth of knolwedge about public sector processes to his new job.

"As someone who was born and raised in a poor East Coast community, Mr Horomia's personal commitment to closing the gaps is strong. His presence at the Cabinet table will be a valuable one," Helen Clark said.

Mr Horomia will be formally appointed Minister of Maori Affairs tomorrow, 26 July, when his ministerial warrant is signed by the Governor General at Government House, Wellington.

Contact: Mark Watts, 025 822 734 or Mike Munro, 025 428 835

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