Brash should come clean or resign
9 May 2006
Brash should come clean or
Government Minister Trevor Mallard called on National leader Don Brash to tell the truth about whether or not American strategists were involved in his election campaign in New Zealand last year - as he promoted in an email tabled in Parliament today.
"The email tabled by NZ First leader Winston Peters was from Dr Brash to key players in his campaign team, and in it he suggests that the involvement of American strategists in National's campaign is a good idea," Trevor Mallard said.
"This followed a 15-person lunch meeting in New York with Dr Brash, facilitated by United States billionaire Julian Robertson.
"The question is, what happened next? National furiously denied my statement in July last year that suggested the campaign was being run by Americans, as "rubbish", a "thunderous lie", and as "gutter stuff". Yet clearly, as this email reveals, such an approach was under active consideration.
"Dr Brash has to tell us now whether his team accepted his suggestion that US strategists be used in his campaign and whether, as was widely rumoured at the time, the strategist did visit New Zealand in order to assist the National party.
"Dr Brash last year stated that "there's noone that I have met who is an American involved in our campaign.
"That is patently untrue because he has in an email confirmed that Julian Robertson was a go-between between him and supporters in the United States.
"We have seen Dr Brash be less than open with the truth when it came to the involvement of the Brethren in his election campaign. Now we have evidence yet again of Dr Brash's inability or is it reluctance to be totally honest with the public.
"He should front up or resign."
PRESENTER (MIKE MCROBERTS): Labour has launched another stinging attack on National Leader Don Brash, claiming he has an American raising money for the party and, in return, influential Washington backers are writing National's policies. Brash has bitten back , calling Education Minister Trevor Mallard a liar , as Duncan Garner reports.
REPORTER (DUNCAN GARNER): Don Brash appeared relaxed and happy to shake hands with these protestors in Christchurch yet , hours later, his blood was boiling because of these claims from Trevor Mallard.
HON. TREVOR MALLARD (EDUCATION MINISTER): There's no doubt that the lead bag man for Mr Brash is an American.
REPORTER: Mallard won't name the individual but is accusing National of having an American fundraising for the party both here and overseas.
DR DON BRASH (NATIONAL PARTY LEADER): There's no one that I have met who is an American involved in our campaign.
When Peter Keenan and I were in the US last month, we met about 15 people over a lunch hosted by Julian Robertson in New York. Among those present were two guys who have been actively involved in various Republican campaigns and who have expressed a strong interest in helping with our campaign in New Zealand after the elections in the US are over. As you will see, they have suggested that one of them visit New Zealand for a week between now and the end of August to discuss the issue. Their email arrived in New Zealand nine days ago and, through an oversight, is only just now coming to my attention. How do you react? They would probably be pretty expensive and of course have no experience of New Zealand.
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