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PM should tell us where she stands on Tamihere

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

26 October 2004

PM should tell us where she stands on John Tamihere

"The Prime Minister should tell New Zealanders where she stands on the subject of Cabinet Ministers saying one thing in public and doing another thing in secret," says National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee.

He is referring to statements made by Helen Clark this morning when she confirmed she had 'spoken with him (John Tamihere) on the phone a couple of times' during the weekend.

"It's simply not good enough for the Prime Minister to take a wait-and-see approach. In other words - she's watching the polls.

"Helen Clark should tell New Zealanders what message she gave to Mr Tamihere, who is clearly guilty of taking a golden handshake from the Waipareira Trust after promising not to take such a payment.

"It took only a few days for Ms Clark to reach a conclusion on Lianne Dalziel. The case against Mr Tamihere is clear-cut by comparison.

"By allowing Mr Tamihere to remain on full pay while this matter is investigated, the Prime Minister is telling the public that she is prepared to tolerate two standards in Cabinet.

"But Mr Tamihere's value to Helen Clark is decreasing by the day, especially in light of his absurd claim at the weekend that the 'golden handshake' was actually koha.

"The koha argument serves only to reinforce the deep public suspicion about this Government's secret PC agenda.

"Just this morning Helen Clark said what the payment was called was of 'no moment to me'.

"If that's really the case John Tamihere should be gone. He told the public one thing and did another," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS

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