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The Mapp Report: What's with Helen?

The Mapp Report: What's with Helen?

Has she finally lost the plot? Her extreme outburst this week shows exactly how determined she is. She has put the survival of her government above everything. She as refused to accept the decision of the Auditor General. She has failed to conduct politics with at least some level of civility.

The extraordinary thing about the whole of the last few weeks is that Labour actually has the option of doing the right thing. All they have to do is pay back the money that was inappropriately spent. It is what all the other political parties are doing. And it is not as if they couldn’t afford to do so. If the 6 Green MPs can pay back $65,000, well, so can 50 Labour MPs pay back $800,000.

So why don’t they? And that is the hardest thing to work out. Public opinion is pretty clear that they want the money paid back. Virtually everyone I meet thinks she has been way too personal. A lot of people have been attracted to Michael Basset’s suggestion that she needs a break. He suggested a 2-week holiday.

I reckon a lot longer would be better. How about an election to clear things up?

Dignity in leadership Yesterday I was reminded that it is possible to discuss the great issues in a considered way. Gerry Brownlee and I went to Sir Hugh Kawharu’s tangi. Denese, my wife, sang the Waiata for us.

Sir Hugh lived in Milford, though he tended to be identified with the whole Auckland region, rather than the North Shore. His younger daughters went to Westlake Girls.

He was a colleague of mine at Auckland University, and I could always rely on him for thoughtful and considered ideas when I developed the Diploma in Business (Maori Development) in the early 1990s.

Denese worked with him during the great era of Maori litigation of the 1980s and early 1990s (another great figure of this time, Lord Cooke, has also just passed away).

As Gerry Brownlee put it in his speech he showed us the possibilities of drawing out the best in our nation. I personally will never forget how well he represented our nation during the welcome of the APEC leaders in 1999. Very few of them would have had any contact with Maori culture and greetings. With dignity and ceremony Sir Hugh formally welcomed world leaders including Presidents Clinton, Putin and Zhang Zemin to New Zealand. It was truly a case where New Zealand government ensured we showed our best to the world, and Sir Hugh was the personification of that. His presence at so many Auckland and national events will be missed.

Events Defeating Rate Increases

Public Meeting

Wednesday 27th September, 12-2pm

Milford Baptist Church Auditorium

3 Dodson Avenue, Milford

Come and join North Shore MP Wayne Mapp, Northcote MP Jonathan Coleman and National local government spokesperson John Carter to debate solutions to defeat rate increases.

Saturday Clinic

October 7 2006

Mairangi Arts Centre

20 Hastings Road


North Shore MP Wayne Mapp will be available to address any questions or concerns from members of the public. No appointment is necessary.


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