Friday, August 06, 2004


Haami Piripi has been censured by the Maori Language Commission, but it's not good enough for National who say that it is an insufficient punishment for a "blatant breach of the rules".

Unfortunately, as I've said earlier, the usual rules governing public servants don't apply to Mr Piripi (nor, as far as I can tell, did they apply to Don Brash when he was campaigning around the country for right-wing economic policiy while Governor of the Reserve Bank). He works for a Crown Entity, not a core government department, and therefore is not bound to public service neutrality.

Those rules are currently in the process of being changed to allow the State Services Commisioner to lay down codes of conduct governing Crown Entities, but they haven't been changed yet. Under the circumstances, without a clear policy forbidding Mr Piripi's actions, a censure is probably the best that can be done without inviting an immediate personal grievance suit.

But hey, why should Gerry Brownlee let the facts get in the way of things?