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Public servants aided de Bres Taleban speech


Public servants aided de Bres Taleban speech

National MP Murray McCully is accusing senior public servants of complicity in the "Taleban" speech made by Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres, which is at the centre of the MP's Court and Tribunal battle with the Commissioner.

Mr McCully today released emails, obtained under the Official Information Act, showing communications between Mr de Bres and officials in two departments which show "a small coterie of Treaty activists in operation."

"The Race Relations Commissioner emailed a draft copy of his speech, complete with Taleban references, to more than a dozen public servants on 22 November 2002, 12 days before the speech was made on 4 December," says Mr McCully.

"On 28 November, a week before the speech was delivered, a gushing email from an official at the Ministry of Justice was sent to Mr de Bres saying "Joris, this is truly wonderful... It really is an important speech....Joris, it really is a great speech. Well done, well done."

"Another email, forwarded on behalf of Te Puni Kökiri chief executive Leith Comer by one of his officials, refers to "a courageous and hard-hitting speech from a long time campaigner for Maori rights."

"It is clear from these emails, and others I have obtained, that a number of senior and very influential public servants received a draft copy of the speech.

"Several proceeded to make the sort of comments which no independent, non-partisan professional public servant should make. I am drawing these matters to the attention of the State Services Commissioner," says Mr McCully.

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