Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Govt failed to read controversial Taleban speech

Hon Murray McCully MP National State Services Spokesman

16 March 2003

Govt fails to read controversial speech before delivery

National Party MP Murray McCully's uncovered a paper trail which shows Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres sent his controversial 'Taleban' speech to two Government ministers to read before it was delivered.

"Margaret Wilson and Parekura Horomia were sent copies of this speech the day before it was delivered, now they admit they didn't read it," says Mr McCully.

"It seems George Hawkins isn't the only one who doesn't read his mail," Mr McCully observes.

"The papers also show that almost two weeks before the speech was delivered a draft was circulated to the Race Relations Commissioner's political mates.

"Many of those names have been deleted from the documents and I've asked the chief ombudsman to review those deletions.

"I believe it's in the public interests for us to know who else was involved in the speech preparation," Mr McCully says.

The speech by Mr de Bres in December, compared the colonial history of New Zealand to the activities of the Taleban in Afghanistan.

Documents obtained under the Official Information Act also show that the Race Relations Commissioner's speech was sent to members of the Greens and United Future.

"It wasn't sent to National, Act or New Zealand First," Mr McCully says.

"He's showing his political colours in a job that's supposed to be non-partisan.

"The Race Relations Commissioner should not have political favourites," says Mr McCully.

"Mr de Bres also knew his speech was going to be controversial, at one point saying that he thought people might 'need waking up'.

"That's a slap in the face for every New Zealander who thinks the Race Relations Commissioner is there to promote harmony, to bring people together and reduce tension.

"Gregory Fortuin was sacked for less and we'll be urging Margaret Wilson to be consistent when Parliament resumes this week," Mr McCully says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Charlotte Graham: Empowering Communities To Act In A Disaster

The year of record-breaking natural disasters means that in the US, as in New Zealand, there’s a conversation happening about how best to run the emergency management sector and what philosophies best engage and protect communities in the event of a crisis.

How much of the responsibility for a community’s safety in a natural disaster is the Government’s, and how much can be left up to the community themselves? And how do we ensure none of our most vulnerable residents are left behind? More>>


CPAG Report: The Further Fraying Of The Welfare Safety Net

New Zealand’s welfare system has undergone a major transformation during the past three decades. This process has seriously thwarted the original intent of the system, which was to provide a decent standard of living for all New Zealanders in times of need... More>>


Signage, Rumble Strips, Barriers: Boost For State Highway Road Safety

Boost for road safety this summer Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter today announced a short term boost in road safety funding this summer and signalled a renewed focus from the Government on introducing safer speed limits. More>>


Risks & Adaptation: Cheaper To Cut Emissions Than Deal With Climate Change

The cost of climate change to New Zealand is still unknown, but a group of experts tasked with plugging the country's information gaps says it will likely be significant and it would be cheaper to cut greenhouse emissions than simply adapting to those changes. More>>


BPS HYEFU WYSIWYG: Labour's Budget Plans, Families Package

“Today we are announcing the full details of the Government’s Families Package. This is paid for by rejecting National’s tax cuts and instead targeting spending at those who need it most. It will lift 88,000 children out of poverty by 2021." More>>





Featured InfoPages