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Dover Samuels Affair

Dover Samuels Affair

Wednesday 6th Sep 2000

Richard Prebble


Media Release -- Other

“I believe Parliament should move on. I reluctantly issue a press statement to refute the personal attacks that have been made on me, said ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble.

“The decision of Labour MPs to release my private letter to the Minister of Police establishes that all of the publicity in this affair has come from the Government and not the ACT party.

“The letter establishes that at no time did I ask for the Hon Dover Samuel’s to be replaced as a Minister. The letter also shows how serious the allegations being made were and how it was impossible for any responsible member of Parliament not to act on them.

“The letter also shows that prior to me agreeing to write I ensured that the young woman had had independent legal advice and was fully aware of the seriousness of the statements she was making.

“I regard as reprehensible that Government MPs have distributed the letter. They are publicising the young woman’s name. In cases of this sort complainants have traditionally been given anonymity. It is my understanding that the Police do not, and never have, regarded this matter as a malicious compliant.

“I confirm that I have never shown the letter to any media organisation or ACT MPs. The only ACT MP who has seen the letter was Mr Stephen Franks. I sought advice from Mr Franks because he is recognised as one of Parliament’s leading lawyers. I took his advice.

“If Mr Tamihere and the Government really want a Parliamentary inquiry into this matter the ACT party will not prevent it. I advise Government members that such an inquiry will be unwise and a number of Government MPs, including those who selectively leaked, will not emerge from the inquiry with credit.

“Should the Select Committee seek to drag this young woman, who is a victim, in front of the committee, I believe there will be a considerable public backlash.

“I have no doubt that out of such an inquiry my actions will be seen to have been proper and the only course of action for a person in authority who receives a complaint such as this.

“I don’t believe that Mr Tamihere really wants an inquiry because he could, as chairman of the Maori Affairs select committee, move for an inquiry tomorrow at the committee. The notice of motion and his speech in Parliament was just another personal attack,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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