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Turia - Response to Allegations about Website

2 February 2005

Response to Allegations about Website Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Allegations have been made in today’s the Independent which imply the Maori Party website is connected to activities promoted on the Tino Rangatiratanga website.

I want to make clear my position on these allegations.

My Parliamentary office received one telephone call from the Independent journalist on 1 February 2005. My staff member responded to the call by stating there was no relationship between the two websites, other than a link (as is the case with 28 other websites). It is common practice to link to external organisations. We have no control of any material published in the linked websites.

We subsequently initiated our own investigation into these allegations. We would invite any evidence to be presented to my office, to assist us in this review.

My staff asked the journalist to send a copy of the letter from NZ First MP Dail Jones which supposedly contains the said allegations. To this point, my office has still not received that letter.

My staff contacted the Speaker’s Office to ask them to provide me with a copy of the letter from Mr Jones. The private secretary to the Speaker responded with an email which stated that he “had not received any correspondence from Mr Jones concerning the Maori Party”.

My staff also searched the Tino Rangatiratanga website and were unable to find any information to substantiate the claims that private addresses of MPs, were included on that site.

The Independent journalist was advised of this fact, a fact which is not included in his article.

The Maori Party website is funded and managed completely independent of any Parliamentary funding received for my office.

Notwithstanding the spurious nature of these allegations, I want to make it quite clear that the Maori Party distances itself from any action involving the individual homes and addresses of Members of Parliament. Families, partners and Members of Parliament must be entitled to have their privacy protected.

The Maori Party does not support any action promoted by anyone which is not in line with the kaupapa laid down by the Party.

To this end, I have asked our website people to remove the link until our investigations are complete.

We are extremely concerned by suggestions in the article that the genesis of these allegations came from the Prime Minister’s office.

While we expect that in election year there will be attempts to discredit the party, we do not expect deliberate attempts to mislead the public of this country.

ENDS

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