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Don Brash supports Clem Simich decision

Don Brash National Party Leader

29 July 2004 1600 Embargo

Don Brash supports Clem Simich decision

National Party Leader Don Brash has welcomed the decision of the MP for Tamaki, Hon Clem Simich, to seek election as a list Member of Parliament, and not to seek the National Party Tamaki nomination at the next election.

"For the past two years, Mr Simich has served as an Assistant Speaker. He has performed that role with distinction.

"Without in any way wishing to prejudge the decision of voters, as Leader of the National Party I must plan for the real possibility that New Zealand might have a National-led Government after the next election. That, of course, means nominating a Speaker.

"It is my strong view that the Speaker's role should be performed by someone who steps back from the cut and thrust of party politics. That outcome can best be achieved by someone who does not have to worry about constituents being disadvantaged by the Member of Parliament being subject to the constraints of the Speaker's Office.

"It is therefore appropriate that I should signal my intentions at this time. I am pleased that Mr Simich has accepted my proposal and made consequent decisions to leave him free to accept nomination as Speaker, should I have the privilege of forming a Government.

"National Party President Judy Kirk has been closely involved in this process and I welcome the fact that the two wings of the Party are able to cooperate in dealing with the realities of preparing for Government.

"Mr Simich's decision will mean an open selection will now be held in Tamaki. I welcome the opportunity to see a vigorous contest, attracting new talent to the ranks of our caucus," says Dr Brash

Ends

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