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Don Brash appoints new Maori Affairs spokesman

National Party Leader
03 February 2004

Don Brash appoints new Maori Affairs spokesman

National Party Leader Don Brash has moved today to replace his Maori Affairs spokesperson Georgina te Heuheu.

"In keeping with the importance that National places on the portfolio, responsibility for Maori Affairs will now rest with Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee.

"National is determined to reverse the dangerous drift to racial separatism being promoted by Helen Clark's politically correct Government, and that determination has been overwhelmingly endorsed by our Caucus today.

"National believes in one set of rules for those in key positions, unlike Labour, which is conveniently abandoning long-held conventions around the Cabinet manual."

At this stage consideration is being given to alternative portfolio responsibilities for Mrs te Heuheu. A decision on that is expected in a few weeks. She will retain the Broadcasting portfolio.

Mrs te Heuheu is also being stood down from her role as associate spokesperson on Constitutional and Treaty Issues. Gerry Brownlee will also take on that role.

"Georgina is a valuable and experienced member of our Caucus, and I know she will continue to make an important contribution," Dr Brash says.

"I expect Gerry Brownlee will be a fierce advocate for our message that funding should be based on need rather than race."

"His robust debating skills will become an essential component to National's campaign to restore common-citizenship for all New Zealanders and one rule for all," says Dr Brash.

Ends

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