8 November, 2001
TURIA NAIVE, CONFUSED, AND WORSE
"Associate Corrections Minister Tariana Turia has been at least confused and naïve and probably much worse" New Zealand
First Leader Winston Peters said today.
"There would be few MPs who have not made representations on behalf of constituents, but this Minister has confused her
roles in intervening in the manner she has.
"Worse, her representations on behalf of these Maori prisoners are preferential and exclusive. Her role as a Member of
Parliament is to represent constituents irrespective of their race, gender, colour or creed. What would we think of the
Member who chose only to represent farmers, or Europeans, or women?
"Representations should also be made in a way that is clear to departmental officials that they are not Ministerial
instructions. This has clearly not been the case here. The Prime Minister is engaging in sophistry when she says that
her Minister has no direct administrative influence," Mr. Peters said.
"The Prime Minister is also out on a limb defending her Minister's inappropriate actions - and her flippancy on this
issue is another illustration that she is fixed on playing the political game to the detriment of due process, fairness
and equity. The action the Prime Minister has taken to date gives no one confidence that such meddling will not
continue," Mr. Peters said.