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Piripi must retract, apologise or ship out

Piripi must retract, apologise or ship out

National’s Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says extreme and racially divisive comments made by Haami Piripi raise serious questions about his role as Chief Executive of the Maori Language Commission.

In a strongly worded submission opposing the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, Mr Piripi said that the proposed legislation would see the country brought to its knees by internal conflict and civil war.

“The Seabed and Foreshore Bill is based on the idea that non-Maori can never have the same love and respect for the land as Maori,” says Mr Brownlee.

“Despite this flagrant disenfranchisement of 85% of the population, I am yet to hear any threatening and alarmist comments along the lines of Mr Piripi’s very deliberate and inflammatory statement.

“This legislation toys with ideas at the heart of what it means to be a New Zealander. Highly-charged, alarmist comments from senior civil servants is unacceptable.”

The submission was lodged in the name of Haami Piripi as chief of the Northland community of Ahipara.

“There is no way that Mr Piripi’s comments can be taken as a personal view. The fact is, he is the public face of the Maori Language Commission and as such his views are inextricable from those of the commission.

“The Chairman of the Maori Language Commission must demand an apology from Mr Piripi for this outburst. If that doesn’t happen he should either resign or be sacked,” says Mr Brownlee.

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