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PM shouldn’t use Maori culture as an excuse

Tau Henare MP
National Party Maori Affairs Spokesman (Education & TPK)

22 February 2008

PM shouldn’t use Maori culture as an excuse

National Party Maori Affairs (Education & TPK) spokesman Tau Henare says the Prime Minister should not be attempting to use Maori culture as an excuse for her nightmare photo opportunity with Owen Glenn.

“Once again the Labour government is using Maori as an excuse for their failures. Helen Clark and Judith Tizard should explain and apologise.”

Mr Henare is referring to the opening of Auckland University’s business school last night, where Helen Clark refused to hongi Owen Glenn.

Associate Arts Culture and Heritage Minister Judith Tizard later claimed it was Ngati Whatua custom that women did not hongi.

“This claim was promptly contradicted by Ngati Whatua Orakei Maori Trust Board chairman Grant Hawke who confirmed there was no such custom.

“As Ministers for Arts Culture and Heritage both Helen Clark and Judith Tizard should know better.”


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