Government Defies Convention Over Honours
Media Release – For immediate use
11 April 2000
GOVERNMENT DEFIES CONVENTION OVER HONOURS
New Zealand First has accused the Government of defying Parliamentary convention with its arbitrary decision to scrap Dames and Knights from the Honours system.
The Deputy Leader, Peter Brown, said this morning that the Government acted “sneakily” by making the announcement when Parliament was in recess.
“This issue should have been debated out in the open instead of being decided behind the closed door of the Cabinet room at a time arranged to avoid Parliamentary scrutiny.
“Scrapping these Honours represents a major constitutional shift for New Zealand and it should have been subject to consultation and debate.
“Titles for Knights and Dames are recognised internationally, and if they have to be replaced it should be by more than a traditional Kiwi ‘Good on yer mate.’
“We sincerely hope that we do not wake up one morning to find that the Prime Minister has declared New Zealand a republic without any debate whatsoever,” said Mr Brown.