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Mr Brownlee needs to watch his behaviour

2 July 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Mr Brownlee needs to watch his behaviour

It is unacceptable for a Member of Parliament to launch a personal and brutal attack on anyone let alone a member of the judiciary.

“Judge Joe Williams acted quite correctly to correct the inaccuracy in National’s political advertisement. When National said ‘Non-Maori – 85% of New Zealanders – aren’t allowed to bring proceedings in the Maori Land Court,’ they were wrong. Inaccurate. Fibbing. Talking nonsense. Telling porkies,” said the Progressive MP.

“I suspect they knew that and deliberately went ahead. I believe that National is deliberately fomenting an anti-Maori racist campaign.

“Judge Joe Williams circumspectly wrote to the NZ Herald to point out that non-Maori can and do bring proceedings in the Maori Land Court. Applications for confirmation of sales and leases are almost always brought by non-Maori. And applications to subdivide are also brought by Maori.

“But National doesn’t like being caught out.

“So Mr Brownlee tried to intimidate a judge. Mr Brownlee threatened Judge Joe Williams with the words that he should ‘watch himself,’ with the intimations of violence those words contain.

“Mr Brownlee is in violation of an important constitutional convention that Parliament does not assault the judiciary.

“On the eve of a much touted law and order speech by his leader, Mr Brownlee, already with one assault conviction, would be wise to not advocate violence and to show respect for the law,” said Matt Robson.

ENDS

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