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Maharey keeps up pressure on Brash to apologise

24 February 2004 Media Statement

Maharey keeps up pressure on Brash to apologise

Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey kept up the pressure on National party leader Don Brash in Parliament this afternoon to apologise for suggesting that universities are lowering their standards to ensure Maori students graduate.

During Parliamentary question time Steve Maharey repeated his call for Dr Brash to apologise for the comments made on One News last Thursday. New Zealand’s universities and the key professional associations have since confirmed in writing that the standards for graduation and entry to the associations have never been lowered for Maori or any other group.

Steve Maharey said that Dr Brash’s comments call into question the professionalism of Maori doctors, lawyers and other professional who New Zealanders put their trust into every day.

“These comments cannot be allowed to stand because they have smeared all Maori and Pacific graduates. They are also an attack on the integrity of New Zealand academic staff and the international reputation of our universities.

“As New Zealand First MP Ron Mark said in Parliament this afternoon individual Maori and Pacific graduates have no redress for these disgraceful comments and must suffer the smear cast on all of them.

“I will continue to stand up for the integrity of their qualifications and for the reputation of our university system. The way to clear this up once and for all is for Dr Brash to apologise and admit that his comments were inaccurate,” Steve Maharey said.

ENDS

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