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Race Conciliator Playing Politics

Marie Hasler National List MP

23 March 2002

The reported attempt at mediation in the internal disputes of the Alliance Party by Race Relations Conciliator Gregory Fortuin is disturbing, says National MP Marie Hasler.

"Public servants should not be used to prop up the Government. Mr Fortuin, as the holder of an important public office, must explain why he was involved in such an overtly political role.

Ms Hasler says that any failure to observe the neutrality of such an important public institution could seriously affect public confidence in it's integrity.

"If, as has been stated, Deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton initiated Mr Fortuin's involvement, then that would represent a serious breach of Ministerial and Parliamentary protocol. It would also set a very dangerous precedent.

"Mr Anderton and Mr Fortuin need to explain themselves as soon as possible," said Ms Hasler.


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