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David Benson-Pope statement

27 July 2007

David Benson-Pope statement

"It is with considerable regret that I have tendered my resignation from Cabinet," David Benson-Pope said today.

"I believe I have served the community and my colleagues well, but I am not prepared to allow a sideshow to be prolonged, which detracts from the issues we face as a nation.

"While I do not believe I did anything inappropriate in relation to the employment issue at the centre of recent media attention, I do not want this controversy to divert attention from the huge successes of this government. People will make their own judgment of my actions and it is right that they should.

"I have had more than my fair share of personal abuse and attack from the opposition, their fellow travellers and parts of the media. No one should underestimate the toll that this has on family members. I would urge opposition politicians to focus on policy not personality.

"My own family aside, there is nothing more important to me than the continued success of this Labour-led government led by Helen Clark, and it is for that reason I take this step today.

"I want to thank the staff who have served me so well and the staff of the Ministries and departments who do so much to support communities up and down the country.

"I look forward to spending more time in Dunedin - the electorate and city which I am so proud to represent.

"I will continue to work to ensure the return of the best government this country has seen in a very long time," said Mr Benson-Pope.

Mr Benson-Pope will not be making any further comment on the matter.

ENDS



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