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Frustrated Tamihere should look inward

Hon Georgina te Heuheu MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesperson

19 June 2003

Frustrated Tamihere should look inward

The National Party's urging the outspoken Associate Maori Affairs Minister to target the real source of his frustration - his boss, Parekura Horomia.

"It must be increasingly difficult for the ambitious John Tamihere to sit idly by and watch the Maori Affairs Minister undermine the credibility of all Maori leaders, including himself," says National Party Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu. "But Mr Tamihere, who is seldom seen on tribal marae, should focus his anger at Mr Horomia, not at those who are genuinely trying to make a difference for Maori.

"Instead of attacking those elders in Maori who have traditionally been in charge, Mr Tamihere should be looking to get his own house in order," says Mrs te Heuheu.

"What I've seen on marae is that while many positions are held by elders, it's the younger generation, around Mr Tamihere's age, who are driving the decisions, particularly those of a commercial nature.

"With his vicious attack on Maori elders, Mr Tamihere is taking the pressure off Mr Horomia, whose performance has been woefully inadequate.

"The reality is that it's Mr Horomia who Mr Tamihere has a problem with, not the elders who've been singled out," Mrs te Heuheu says.

"The Government has now reached a cross-roads on how to deal with the Maori Affairs portfolio.

"Helen Clark's backing a lame duck Minister who passes the buck to officials at the first sign of trouble and now she's got an Associate who's put himself off-side with those in Maori who are in a position to make positive changes," says Mrs te Heuheu.


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