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Melissa Lee comments appal South Auckland MPs

14 May 2009 Media Statement

Melissa Lee comments appal South Auckland MPs

Labour MPs for South Auckland are outraged at the comments made by National Party MP Melissa Lee regarding criminals coming from South Auckland.

MP for Mangere Su’a William Sio said Melissa Lee’s behaviour was offensive and she should front up to the people of South Auckland and apologise.

“This sort of behaviour is completely unacceptable and John Key should move quickly to admonish his candidate in Mt Albert.

“Clearly attitudes in the National Party haven’t changed since 2000 when Jenny Shipley asked ‘Where is the 5 percent discount for Pacific Island people, if they are actually causing trouble, as well? They climb in the windows of other New Zealanders at night. It is not only Maori’,” Su’a William Sio said.

MP for Manurewa George Hawkins and former Minister of Police said Melissa Lee’s comments showed she had absolutely no idea about either the people of South Auckland or about crime prevention.

“If she thinks bulldozing houses to build a new road and stereotyping the entire population of South Auckland will reduce crime then she is clearly out of touch with reality.

“Clearly Melissa Lee has no confidence in Police Minister and South Auckland MP Judith Collins, to do her job, if she thinks her colleague’s electorate is full of criminals.

“The reality is the people of South Auckland are hard-workers trying to build better lives for them and their families and the bigoted and outdated attitudes of people like Melissa Lee do nothing to assist them in that goal.

MP for Manukau East Ross Robertson said he was flabbergasted when he heard of Melissa Lee’s comments.

“I can’t believe that someone could hold such ridiculous prejudices. Perhaps Ms Lee should spend more time visiting all the Auckland communities if she really wants to understand the region.

“Her comments were outrageous and the fact that she is now attempting to blame them on a nameless police officer is appalling.

“Ms Lee needs to take responsibility for her decision to stereotype the people of South Auckland as criminals rather than trying to pass the buck and blame someone else. She made the comments she should retract them.

“I have had a gutsful of people criticising South Auckland,” Ross Robertson said.

ENDS

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