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Turia Naive, Confused, And Worse

Media Release

8 November, 2001


"Associate Corrections Minister Tariana Turia has been at least confused and naïve and probably much worse" New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said today.

"There would be few MPs who have not made representations on behalf of constituents, but this Minister has confused her roles in intervening in the manner she has.

"Worse, her representations on behalf of these Maori prisoners are preferential and exclusive. Her role as a Member of Parliament is to represent constituents irrespective of their race, gender, colour or creed. What would we think of the Member who chose only to represent farmers, or Europeans, or women?

"Representations should also be made in a way that is clear to departmental officials that they are not Ministerial instructions. This has clearly not been the case here. The Prime Minister is engaging in sophistry when she says that her Minister has no direct administrative influence," Mr. Peters said.

"The Prime Minister is also out on a limb defending her Minister's inappropriate actions - and her flippancy on this issue is another illustration that she is fixed on playing the political game to the detriment of due process, fairness and equity. The action the Prime Minister has taken to date gives no one confidence that such meddling will not continue," Mr. Peters said.


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