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ACT New Zealand Board Meeting - Awatere-Huata

ACT New Zealand Board Meeting
Catherine Judd - Party President
Saturday 25 Jan 2003

The Board of Trustees of ACT New Zealand met today. Included in the meeting was a discussion on the serious allegations made against ACT MP Donna Awatere Huata by The Dominion Post and other related matters.

“Donna was invited to provide a written explanation in relation to the allegations and other concerns the Board had and to address us if she wished,” ACT President Catherine Judd said today.

“A written explanation was not provided and Donna chose not to address the Board.

This follows her failure to respond to similar requests from ACT Leader Richard Prebble, despite repeated undertakings to do so.

The Board regards Donna’s treatment of the Board in not providing any response to our request as contemptuous.

The Board made no judgements or findings of the truth or otherwise of the very serious allegations against Donna. However we hold strong views on what constitutes the proper behaviour of an ACT MP.

ACT sets the highest standards for its candidates and Members of Parliament. In particular we expect a very high level of personal integrity from our MPs. We pride ourselves on holding the government accountable on issues of the spending of taxpayers’ money.

The Board therefore finds it unacceptable for an MP to refuse to be fully and publicly accountable for behaviour, especially with regard to the expenditure of taxpayers’ money.

The Board fully endorses the action of the Leader of the ACT Parliamentary Party in requesting Donna to make a full public disclosure in answer to the serious allegations against her, or resign.

The Board agrees that the honourable course of action for a member of parliament who chooses to take the right of silence and/or to embark on a course of legal action to clear their name is to resign.

The Board further noted that Donna’s continuing silence on these matters puts the credibility and integrity of the Party at risk.

In light of all of these considerations the Board has resolved to formally ask Donna to resign from Parliament, and has authorised me to write to her to ask her to do so. I am also prepared to meet with Donna and her lawyer to communicate our position.

The Board also noted that Donna has failed to comply with Caucus rules regarding full disclosure of financial and health issues.

In addition we noted that an MP who makes herself unable to be contacted by the Leader, the Party President, the media and the public cannot be carrying out her duties as an MP.

The Board endorses the action already taken by the Leader in accepting Donna’s resignation from all her portfolio responsibilities.

The Board is now writing formally to the Caucus to ask that pending her resignation, Donna be suspended from the Caucus with immediate effect.”

ENDS

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