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English embarrasses himself again

15 September 2004

English embarrasses himself again

National Party education spokesperson Bill English has been embarrassed again because information he has been forced to table in the House has failed to back up his extravagant claims, Associate Education Minister Steve Maharey said today.

“Mr English was embarrassed recently when he said he had documents claiming that Hauraki Plains School was not administering the NCEA properly.

“He claimed to have a cardboard box full of evidence, but when the New Zealand Qualifications Authority was finally allowed to look in the box it was revealed that there was in fact no evidence at all.

“Mr English had to apologise to the school.

“More recently Mr English claimed he had correspondence showing that Unitec was behaving inappropriately in relation to a course run for Site Safe, an independent not-for-profit industry organisation set up to improve workplace safety practices.

“The letter turned out to be a year old and Mr English has been criticised by one of the correspondents, Site Safe Executive Director Iris Clanachan, who said:

‘My comments, which were taken from one isolated letter out of a series of correspondence, was unfortunately taken out of context when presented in your media release. We are now pleased to report that the relationship between the electrical industry and Site Safe has improved and resulted in the satisfactory outcome as outlined above. We still have our critics, but what organisation hasn’t.’

“Iris Clanachan today asked Mr English for an apology. He should give her that apology and also apologise to Unitec.

“This is very embarrasing for Mr English, who is struggling to re-establish himself after being dumped from the National Party leadership. He is trying too hard and making mistake after mistake.

“He seems so angry about his demotion that he is willing to misrepresent what people say and to hurt the interests of school children to try to advance his political agenda.

“He is cutting an increasingly sad figure.”

ENDS

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