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Politicians need to earn respect, Anderton to JPs

Hon Jim Anderton
Deputy Prime Minister

News release

27 February 2000

Politicians need to earn respect, Anderton tells JPs

New Zealand's political system has not been well-known for delivering good value on words like 'truth', 'honesty', 'integrity' and 'respect', deputy Prime Minister Jim Anderton has told a conference of Justices of the Peace in Christchurch.

But if that helped to persuade politicians that respect had to be earned, then it might not be a bad thing, he said.

"People must deserve respect, not just claim it by virtue of public office. Respect is never owned and it can be taken away immediately. So, if politicians do not earn respect, they have no right to expect it as though it automatically goes with public office."

Jim Anderton said basic values like integrity, honesty and acting in good faith stand at the heart of the coalition government.

"We have committed ourselves to acting in good faith to restore public confidence in the integrity of the electoral system and of Parliament.

"On the bedrock of honest government, we also hope to rebuild the confidence our people once had in our economy. People invest their lives and their money where they see stability and hope.

"Enormous damage has been done to public confidence over the last twenty years, especially in rural New Zealand. Our country was changed dramatically, often by people who never really told us what was going on, and in response to forces we never really understood. Repairing that sense of stability and hope may take some time," Jim Anderton said.

ENDS

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