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Turia relieved of ministerial responsibilities

30 April 2004 Media Statement

Tariana Turia relieved of ministerial responsibilities

Prime Minister Helen Clark has advised the Administrator of the Government, who is acting in place of the Governor-General, to dismiss Tariana Turia from her ministerial responsibilities as Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector and her associate portfolios, and from the Executive Council.

Helen Clark said that the government had made its decision clear on Tuesday.

“A number of options were open to Mrs Turia which could have seen her continue in her work as a Minister, or spend a period on the backbench with a reasonable expectation of returning to ministerial duties.

“She has chosen to take none of those options, making it inevitable that she would be dismissed.”

The Prime Minister said she did not share Mrs Turia’s opinion that the foreshore and seabed issue was more important than the hugely significant work which the Labour-led government had been doing for close to four-and-half-years on Maori economic and social development.

“This government has made tremendous strides in reducing Maori unemployment and supporting Maori achievement in many areas. It is of concern that Mrs Turia does not wish to continue to support that work.

“A by-election now is a waste of everybody’s time and money and the Labour Party will not be participating in it. We are a busy government with an important budget coming up in the next few weeks and do not intend to participate in a side- show.

“We will see Mrs Turia at the general election.”

Steve Maharey will be acting Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector.


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