ANGLIMP-South Waghi MP Jamie Maxtone-Graham has been removed as chairman of the parliamentary bipartisan committee investigating the May riots against Asian-owned and operated businesses.
He has been replaced by Ijivitari MP David Arore.
Leader of Government Business Paul Tiensten moved a motion without notice where he announced the changes, to the surprise of most MPs.
The National understands that the Government caucus last week discussed the issue but after a heated debate, it was agreed that the changes be shelved.
However, Mr Tiensten announced the changes yesterday to the surprise of many MPs.
Mr Maxtone-Graham, when contacted last night, said most of the committee members were unhappy with his removal as the investigations were gaining momentum and they believed they were doing something worthwhile.
“I am a nationalist. I believe in the indigenous people who need to be protected before they lose their heritage.
“We are being invaded by investors and we are not doing enough to protect our people,” he said.
Mr Maxtone-Graham also raised concern that the committee had not been properly funded and called on Mr Tiensten to release funding for the committee to complete its investigations.