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Helen Clark's double standard for Ministers

Don Brash MP National Party Leader

19 October 2004

Helen Clark's double standard for Ministers

"The public of New Zealand has every right to expect Helen Clark to apply the same rules to John Tamihere as she did to Lianne Dalziel," says National Party Leader Don Brash.

"Mr Tamihere has admitted receiving a payout from the Waipareira Trust after earlier saying he would not accept such a payment.

"Lianne Dalziel was caught out saying one thing publicly then doing another, and she was promptly sacked. Surely the Prime Minister already has more than enough evidence to act decisively in Mr Tamihere's case," says Dr Brash.

"If it was good enough for Lianne Dalziel, what's stopping the Prime Minister from applying the same standard to Mr Tamihere?

"There is absolutely no need to hide behind the inquiry process" says Dr Brash.

The National Party is also voicing concern about the powers given to the inquiry set up to investigate the allegations against Mr Tamihere.

"Former Labour Prime Minister and constitutional lawyer Geoffrey Palmer says the inquiry can't compel witnesses to give evidence. We also have reservations about the inquiry being held behind closed doors.

"Both these factors make it difficult to see how this inquiry will satisfy the public interest, given that in 2000 the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet investigated the Waipareira Trust and failed to identify any of the issues that have surfaced in recent days.

"According to John Tamihere's recent book, the Prime Minister even has his assurances in writing," says Dr Brash.

'I gave the Prime Minister a written guarantee that I had done nothing at Waipareira that would embarrass her, the party, and - most importantly - my family. I gave her my Wanganui Computer printout showing her my police record, and gave her written authority to access any of my financial or employment records,' - John Tamihere, Black and White, 2004 (page 147).

"The public of New Zealand expect the Prime Minister to be consistent. John Tamihere should be judged by the same standards applied to Lianne Dalziel," says Dr Brash.


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