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PM salutes retiring ministers

Rt Hon Helen Clark
Prime Minister of New Zealand

4 October 2005 Media Statement

PM salutes retiring ministers

Prime Minister Helen Clark today paid tribute to three ministerial colleagues who have announced that they will not be seeking re-election to the Cabinet.

Helen Clark said that Hon George Hawkins, Hon Paul Swain, and Hon Marian Hobbs had all contributed a great deal during their two terms as ministers in the Labour-led government.

“All three have been dedicated and hard-working ministerial colleagues and I want to place on record my appreciation of their efforts,” Helen Clark said.

“George Hawkins has held the portfolios of Police, Internal Affairs, Civil Defence, Veterans’ Affairs and Ethnic Affairs during my time as prime minister. He deserves a lot of credit for the achievements in the Police portfolio during his watch. Crime is now at its lowest level in 25 years, and the steady improvement in police resources can be largely attributed to his quiet but effective advocacy.

“Paul Swain has been a very able and highly regarded member of the Cabinet team. He has held a raft of portfolios since 1999, most recently Labour, Immigration, Corrections and State-Owned Enterprises. A desire to spend more time with his family has been Paul’s prime motivation for not seeking a Cabinet post, and I greatly admire and respect him for that.

“Marian Hobbs came to grips with important responsibilities during her six years in the Cabinet, most notably in the Environment, Disarmament, Broadcasting and Biosecurity portfolios, and as Associate Education Minister, where she oversaw major improvements in adult and community education. Her energy and infectious good humour will be missed around the Cabinet table.

“All three will continue to contribute to the government through their work as electorate MPs, and in the Labour caucus, and I look forward to my team having the benefit of their skills and experience,” Helen Clark said.


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