2004-02-26 21:08:17 UTC
The government is continuing to demand that National Party leader Don
Brash apologise for falsely claiming universities are lowering their
standards to let Maori students graduate.
Associate Education (Tertiary Education) Minister Steve Maharey wrote
to Dr Brash this morning repeating his demand that he apologise for
the comments made on One News last Thursday. The comments were
repeated by National's colonial affairs spokesperson Gerry Brownlee on
20/20 last night. New Zealand's universities and the key professional
associations have since confirmed in writing that, contrary to Dr
Brash's claims, the standards for graduation and entry to professional
associations have never been lowered for Maori or any other group.
Steve Maharey said Dr Brash must now put up the evidence for the
claims, or unreservedly apologise for them.
"Dr Brash's comments were disgraceful because they were not only
inaccurate, they also called into question the professionalism of
Maori doctors, lawyers and other professional who New Zealanders put
their trust into every day.
"The nation's universities, the Institute of Professional Engineers,
the Nursing Council, the Medical Council and the Dental Council have
all confirmed that Dr Brash's claims are wrong.
"I am publicly releasing the letter I have sent to Dr Brash today
because his comments cannot be allowed to stand. It's not good enough
to continue misleading New Zealanders as he has been doing for the
last two weeks. He must apologise and he must pull his spokesperson
into line," Steve Maharey said.