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Helen Clark Announces Dalziel Resignation

Statement from the Prime Minister

Prime Minister Helen Clark said today that she had received the resignation of the Honourable Lianne Dalziel from all her portfolios and has advised the Governor General to accept it.

Helen Clark said that her attention had been drawn this morning to the New Zealand Press Association report which formed the basis of a question to Dr Cullen in Parliament yesterday.

“That report suggested that Mrs Dalziel had been specifically asked if she knew how TV3 had obtained the lawyer’s notes, and had replied ‘No, they didn’t discuss that with me’.

“Given that NZPA stands by its report and that clearly such a reply would have been untrue, I have discussed the matter further with Lianne Dalziel.

“She has advised me that she does not recall clearly the conversation with the NZPA reporter, but in her words she has ‘come to the conclusion that I face ongoing speculation that can only be damaging to me and more importantly the government’ and on that basis has offered her resignation.”

Helen Clark also said that she has asked the State Services Commissioner to investigate the matter of officials’ involvement in the circulation of the letter in question.

Helen Clark said that Lianne Dalziel has been an extraordinarily hard working and conscientious Minister who was devoted to her job.

“I have accepted her resignation today with great sadness,” she said.

The following acting Ministers have been appointed in the interim: Honourable Paul Swain (Commerce), Honourable Rick Barker (Immigration) and Honourable Margaret Wilson (Law Commission).

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