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PM's Erratic Constitution On The Hoof

Helen Clark is getting increasingly erratic in her pronouncements on changing New Zealand's constitutional arrangements, National Justice spokesperson Tony Ryall said today.

"Her latest stream-of-consciousness comments have Ms Clark doing away with appeals to the Privy Council.

"Having, in her own words, 'dampened down' Margaret Wilson's views on the Privy Council, Ms Clark now wants to get the work started.

"National is not opposed to abolishing appeals to the London-based Privy Council. After extensive judicial, legal and public discussion, that is exactly what we were doing. But the 1996 New Zealand Courts Structure Bill didn't get enough parliamentary support to proceed.

"Back then Labour opposed our move and was jubilant when the Bill didn't proceed.

"And now they think it's a good idea - what's changed?

"Bit by bit Labour is proposing a lot of changes to our constitutional and judicial system, but who knows where they are heading?

"We have to read Helen Clark's latest media interview to find out. "Helen Clark seized on a five-year-old report to scrap Sirs and Dames, but when the past doesn't suit her, she conveniently forgets it.

"There's no rhyme nor reason to what Labour is doing.

"Judicial arrangements should not be designed on the hoof. The Minority Government has no mandate to embark on constitutional process without widespread consultation and endorsement.

"Labour will only get that if they spell out what exactly they are doing in a coherent manner," Mr Ryall said.


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