Attorney General Still Denying Proper Scrutiny
Following an embarrassing back down by Attorney General Margaret Wilson over the Matrimonial Property Bill today, ACT Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks said Ms Wilson was still showing that she didn’t accept that the controversial Bill needed proper scrutiny.
After refusing to send the Bill to Select Committee to hear public submissions on it, Ms Wilson was today forced to refer it to the Justice and Electoral Select Committee because the Government didn’t have the numbers to stop ACT, National, NZ First, United and the Greens who all wanted it to be properly scrutinised.
Stephen Franks said Margaret Wilson’s move to allow just one month for public submissions was an insult. “The degree of public interest will mean that it is unlikely that the Justice and Electoral Select Committee could get through hearing submissions, drafting amendments and report back in a considered way by Ms Wilson’s deadline of August 1,” he said.
“The essence of the multi-party move today that forced Margaret Wilson to this was to try to take family law back away from ideological posturing and to ensure that family law is stable and doesn’t change every time there is an election,” he said.
“If Margaret Wilson
was giving real credence to the Select Committee process she
would ensure there was enough time for officials to work
through submissions and recommendations so that Parliament
doesn’t condemn the quarter of a million New Zealand couples
that his Bill will affect, to feeding a lawyers banquet,”