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Laban asks Te Heuheu: What about Pasifika training initiatives?

New Zealand Prime Minister John Key (C) drinks Kava as Hon Georgina te Heuheu looks on (R) during a visit to His Highness Head of State Tui Atua Tupua Tamasese Efi, July 7, 2009 in Apia, Samoa. The Prime Minister is on a four day visit to Tonga, Samoa, Niue and the Cook Islands for the first time in his role as Prime Minister of New Zealand.News that National is supporting the expansion of Maori training initiatives is welcome by Labour. However, Pasifika Spokesperson for Labour, Luamanuvao Winnie Laban was questioning why Minister of Pacific Island Affairs, Georgina Te Heuheu was not supporting similar initiatives for Pasifika people. <READ MORE>



Garrett gets two strikes in one
June 29, 2009, 3:15 am
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In regards to lewd comments he had made about a female worker Garrett was reported as saying:

“I’m on a very steep learning curve, I now understand very clearly that the kind of thing that might have been okay in a law firm in Tonga is not okay in Parliament.”

Mr Garrett said he “very much” regretted the remarks.

In a bid to excuse his behaviour he seems to have put his foot in it again by suggesting lewd comments about workers were acceptable in a Tongan law firm.

What was supposed to pass as an acceptable excuse for his ‘understandable’ mistake was quickly realised by Labour list MP Carmel Sepuloni who thinks Garrett should apologise to the Tongan community.

In the article linked above, Ms Sepuloni says “Choosing to make a gross and racial generalisation about sexual harassment being normative in Tonga to defend his own misconduct is not only unwise but also disrespectful. As the pin-up boy for the ‘Three Strikes and You’re Out’ policy, I do find it ironic that he is so quick to blame his unprofessional conduct on his past experiences – working on oil rigs and time spent in Tonga.

Mr Hide said “It is a learning experience in becoming an MP. I said it is good he can learn quickly – because he has to.”

Hope he learns quick, because its one more strike and out, right?