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Censure of Maori Language boss not good enough

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman

05 August 2004

Censure of Maori Language boss not good enough

National Party Maori Affairs spokesman Gerry Brownlee says the censure of Maori Language Commission CEO Haami Piripi is not good enough.

"The Government confirmed in Parliament today that Mr Piripi has been censured and suggested that his contract will be reviewed, but only when it expires next year.

"This is little more than a slap on the hand with a wet bus ticket.

"Helen Clark said she would reconsider whether she had confidence in the Commission when she saw its response to the affair.

"The Commission's response to date has been laughable and the Prime Minister must now take matters into her own hands.

"Ms Clark cannot accept a mere censure as punishment for this blatant breach of the rules.

"Mr Piripi is a senior civil servant who appears to have used his position to add weight to his point of view. Mr Piripi made it very clear in his submission that he was a 30 year veteran of the public service who has represented the Government in New Zealand as well as overseas.

"Helen Clark campaigned ruthlessly against Timberlands boss Kit Richards when he sent a private e-mail from his personal computer which was deemed to be critical of Government policy.

"It is clear the Government is guilty of exercising the worst kind of double standards.

"National is also concerned that public confidence in the civil service is being eroded by the way Labour has handled this issue.

"When you consider that Mr Piripi's fate was decided by a Board with a Chair who has also publicly opposed the same Government policy, the public deserves answers," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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