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Coalition Management Committee Should Not Cover Up

Coalition Management Committee Should Not Cover Up Differences

Commenting on the first meeting of the Labour/Alliance Coalition Management Committee last night, the Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First, today said that the Committee should not be used to keep differences, that the public accept as a reality of MMP, behind closed doors.

“I would urge Labour and the Alliance to learn from our experience, and not use this Committee to hide or cover up differences between their respective parties which should be out in the open.

“On this note, it was extremely encouraging to recently see a senior member of the Government, Dr Michael Cullen, publicly accepting differences between the parties as standard coalition behaviour that is to be expected when you have two different parties governing together.

“Dr Michael Cullen’s comments, acknowledging Mr Anderton’s recent criticisms of Reserve Bank Governor Don Brash, were a refreshing change from New Zealand First’s former Coalition partner who regarded any public differences between the parties as a sign of weakness on the part of the major partner – which had to be counterattacked with intense “spin doctoring” to reassure the media – and the public – that the major partner was still “in charge”

“The most positive thing for MMP – and its survival – would be to see the Labour Party following Dr Cullen’s example, and not that of the National Party, when dealing with differences between the coalition partners,” said Mr Peters.

Ends

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