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Maori Language Commission board releases statement

4 August 2004

Maori Language Commission board releases statement

The Maori Language Commission Board acknowledges that it is in the centre of a political, legal and media storm;

· This is not an issue of the performance of the Chief Executive in his workplace. We are proud of the Commission's progress. · This is not an issue of the Chief Executive's rights to act as a private citizen in this country. He does have legal rights.

Commission Board Chairman, Patu Hohepa says, "This morning I had a free and frank discussion with the Minister of Maori Affairs. He made it clear that any matters to do with the Chief Executive's employment is a matter solely for the Board. He did make it clear that he had concerns about the actions of the Chief Executive, particularly when it has lead to distracting the Maori Language Commission from its primary role of delivering of the Maori Language Strategy."

Haami Piripi's actions, timing and comments have had inappropriate and unfavourable unintended consequences that the board must consider when it meets next week."

The Board takes this matter seriously and will not comment on this further until it has met, deliberated and come to its decision.

Mr Haami Piripi says that he is entirely satisfied that this is a matter for the board and looks forward to their deliberation and awaits their decision.

"For myself," says Mr Piripi. "I have been reflective about my own actions and can assure you that I have learnt from this."

ENDS

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