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Apology over El Alamein visit

Richard Worth National Defence Spokesperson

25 October 2002

Apology over El Alamein visit

"I understand there has been media comment about my absence from the Maori Battalion Service at El Alamein on Friday 18 October 2002," National MP Richard Worth said today on his return from the El Alamein anniversary.

"Today I have written a letter to the organisers of that service, expressing my most sincere apologies for any misunderstanding regarding my attendance.

"As a decorated former naval reserve officer I take these memorial events extremely seriously and would have attended, had I received a formal invitation. Invitations were issued for the other services which I attended including the Commonwealth, New Zealand and International Services.

"The Maori Battalion made a substantial sacrifice in World War II and I honour its warrior tradition. It was a privilege to have lunch with members of the battalion in the company of the Prime Minister at El Alamein.

"I have nothing but respect for the huge sacrifice made by the Maori Battalion and offer my heartfelt apology for any offence I have caused," Mr Worth said. Mr Worth said he would not be commenting further on the matter. Ends

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