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Alexander backs probation officer over protocol

Media Statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 19 July 2005

Alexander backs probation officer over protocol

United Future’s Marc Alexander today came out backing probation officer Josie Bullock who has said she will continue to sit at the front at Corrections Department ceremonies in breach of Maori protocol.

“Good on her. Why has a decent probation officer been investigated just because she wants to do her job and not waste time on cultural protocol nonsense?” he asked.

“It’s an absolute travesty that the department’s white liberal cringing saw Ms Bullock facing serious misconduct charges as a result of refusing to move to the back at a poroporoaki, or farewell, for male offenders who had completed a violence prevention programme last December.

“She was told that she might have breached three clauses of an employee code of conduct in doing so. Well, if that’s the case then maybe its time to rip up the rule-book and start again,” Mr Alexander said.

“Ms Bullock has worked as a probation officer for eight years and if the department now thinks that all her experience now counts for nothing because she won’t take this ceremonial stance, then it’s time for Corrections to get a reality check.

“Let’s not forget who the criminals are! Soon we’ll be calling them sir and bribing prisoners with KFC for doing cell checks ... oh hang on, we already are!”

ENDS

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