Peters Stays Away From Constitutional Conference
FOR IMMEDIATE USE
4th April 2000
PETERS STAYS AWAY FROM CONSITUTIONAL CONFERENCE
The New Zealand First Leader, Rt Hon Winston Peters, has declined an invitation to attend a controversial constitutional conference in Wellington this coming weekend .
Mr Peters said today that he did not believe in the principle of elitist groups deciding New Zealand's political future, particularly over issues such as establishing a separate Maori state.
"The whole idea of constitutional change being driven by these people is abhorrent to ordinary New Zealanders and it surprises me that taxpayers' money is being spent on it," he said.
Mr Peters said he hoped that the Chief Justice, Dame Sian Elias, would not attend the conference as she was the nominal Head of State when the Governor General is absent.
"There are obvious constitutional reasons why her attendance would be quite improper," he said.