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Strong-Arm Tactics To Bring Turia Into Line

The Social Services Minister's extraordinary admission it took the strong-arm tactics of Labour's three most senior Ministers to get Tariana Turia to toe the line reveals just how shallow her apology is, Shadow Leader of the House Roger Sowry said today.

"Steve Maharey has revealed that he and the bully-boys Michael Cullen and Trevor Mallard were brought in to heavy Tariana Turia, and to get her to comply with the "Prime Minister's edict".

"He has told Parliament it was only a result of their intervention that Mrs Turia released a statement agreeing to comply with the edict.

"The Prime Minister can't keep a Government together in the long term by edict.

"It was obviously another edict that kept Tariana Turia out of the House today - but the Government can't muzzle her forever.

"Tariana Turia clearly firmly believes her views relating to Maori and holocausts.

"A forced apology and statement saying she will comply with the PM's edict and collective responsibility are almost meaningless.

"Tariana Turia is on the record as saying she wants to be remembered for not selling out - and was on the verge of resigning over this issue last night.

"Instead she came out with a midnight statement complying with the Prime Minister's edict after crisis talks forced on her by senior ministers.

"This whole saga spells big trouble for the Prime Minister - within her caucus, among Maoridom and New Zealand," Mr Sowry said.

Ends

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