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One rule for Lianne another for John

Gerry Brownlee MP National Party Deputy Leader

22 October 2004

One rule for Lianne another for John

National Party Deputy Leader Gerry Brownlee says those seeking to defend John Tamihere are defending Helen Clark's ministerial double standard.

"The evidence is already in on the key issue around this affair. Mr Tamihere took a golden handshake after saying he would not do so.

"Only yesterday, the Education Minister said he regretted a golden handshake given to former Lincoln University head Frank Wood, which was made up of a mix of salary, contractual obligations and an ex-gratia payment.

"Mr Tamihere received a mix of salary, contractual obligations and an ex-gratia payment.

"The terms of the golden handshake are almost identical, even though the circumstances are slightly different," says Mr Brownlee.

The Collins dictionary defines ex-gratia as: Given as a favour or gratuitously where no legal obligation exists.

"Mr Tamihere said he would not take a golden handshake and he did. Lianne Dalziel was caught out misleading the public and she was sacked. Helen Clark is accepting two standards.

"At the last election Labour campaigned strongly against such payments, while Helen Clark promised higher standards of ministerial accountability and behaviour.

'I give you my word tonight: that what we say we will do, we will do,' she told voters.

"Helen Clark must keep those promises to the New Zealand public, even if her ministers will not. Mr Tamihere took a payment that he said he would not take and that should be enough for the Prime Minister to act decisively," says Mr Brownlee.

ENDS


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