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Fortuin A Good Man Hounded From Office

2 April 2002

United Future leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says Gregory Fortuin is a good man who has been hounded from office as Race Relations Conciliator by narrow-minded politicians whose homage to political correctness has got in the way of common-sense.

"In the circumstances Mr Fortuin took the only noble option available to him, and that has to be respected, but this whole affair is an absolute tragedy which has implications well beyond the immediate situation."

"Gregory Fortuin was an outstanding Race Relations Conciliator who bought flair, compassion and commitment to the role in a way not previously seen, and he has now been penalised for that."

"Gregory Fortuin's vision and breadth of experience led him to see his role more widely than was obviously comfortable for a prissy government, and a major opposition party hell bent on dredging up scandal as an alternative to policy."

"It is outrageous that in such a mired environment Gregory Fortuin has been forced to fall on his sword, because he is a far greater person than any of his detractors could ever even dream of being," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says it is a national disgrace that it appears now more important that public appointees satisfy ministers' prejudices, in addition to their normal role of upholding government policy.

"By forcing Mr Fortuin to withdraw, the government has shown itself to be as intolerant of diversity as Robert Mugabe, a bitter irony that will not be lost on Mr Fortuin who has spent a lifetime fighting such bigotry and oppression, only to now fall victim to it," Mr Dunne says.

Ends

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