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What is the Maori Party’s Official Position on Dame Devoy?


MANA President Annette Sykes

Wednesday 24th April 2013

What is the Maori Party’s Official Position on Dame Susan Devoy’s Appointment to Race Relations Commissioner?

“Like many Maori, I have some major concerns around Dame Susan Devoy’s appointment to the role of Race Relations Commissioner” says MANA President Annette Sykes.

Under the Official Information Act, Sykes asked the Minister of Justice Judith Collins what process, if any, was undertaken to consult with Maori including with the Minister of Maori Affairs over Dame Susan’s appointment. Yesterday she received this response from Judith Collins:

I can advise at the time the position was publically advertised, I wrote to Ministerial colleagues and the leaders of the supply parties inviting them to provide nominations. The Minister of Maori Affairs and the Maori Party were thus given the opportunity to have an input at the outset of the process. The co-leader of the Maori Party, Hon Tariana Turia is a member of the Cabinet Committee that considered my recommendation for Dame Susan’s appointment”.

Since her appointment to Race Relations Commissioner, the Maori Party MP for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell, has questioned Dame Susan’s suitability. When interviewed on Q & A, Flavell stated about Dame Susan’s appointment:

Well, I think we call into question some of the statements that she's made in the recent past, with respect to her view about race relations and indeed specific people in this country. We just raise the question about the suitability of her as being a candidate”.

“So after having had the opportunity to recommend another candidate via the nomination process, after being consulted during the appointment process, and after one of their co-leaders signed off on the appointment, the Maori Party still thought it appropriate to criticise her appointment”.

“This must be what it is like being ‘inside the tent’. That you roll-over when it comes time to appoint a race relations commissioner who is on record as having racist views and when the public backlash comes home to roost you then conveniently forget the role you had in their appointment”.


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