The Green Party is calling for the review into Foreign Affairs’ handling of allegations of attempted rape by a Malaysian Diplomat to be expanded to cover actions of Ministers, and for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to stand down while the review is being held.
The review also needs to be conducted by an external agency, not the Ministry whose actions and inactions need to be independently examined.
“The woman at the centre of these allegations, Tania Billingsley, last night called for Mr McCully to resign, saying he had failed to do his job and that she was still waiting for an apology,” Green Party Co leader Metiria Turei said.
“I’m not about to argue against Ms Billingsley’s call. If I was the Prime Minster I’d seriously take note of everything she said last night.
“It is astonishing that Ms Billingsley was still waiting for an apology from anyone in Government yesterday.
“Mr McCully has said he’d apologised, but an off the cuff apology over the TV doesn’t cut it, especially for a generation that doesn’t even watch it. Mr McCully would never have considered a TV apology good enough for the Prime Minister and it’s not good enough for Ms Billingsley.
“Our position is that the review of MFAT’s handling of this case should be expanded to include Ministers’ actions, and inactions, and that Minister McCully should stand down while this review is going on.
“New Zealand needs those in power to take leadership on the issue of sexual and domestic violence. What happened in Ms Billingsley’s case shows that they didn’t. If Ministers had shown leadership, it’s hard to see that the diplomat would have been allowed to leave New Zealand.
“Ms Billingsley has always said that she wanted him to stay to face trial in New Zealand. We still don’t even know if he’s coming back and that would be understandably distressing for her.
“The New Zealand Government has let Ms Billingsley down and the lack of leadership shown over her case should cause everyone to be concerned,” Mrs Turei said.