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Peters Tells Coalition To Learn From Asian Crisis


The Rt Hon Winston Peters MP, Leader of New Zealand First and former Treasurer, today advised the Prime Minister not to follow in Jenny Shipley’s footsteps and use the fall in business confidence as an excuse to defer key policies promoted by her junior coalition partner – as the leader of the National Party, and then Prime Minister, attempted to do with the 1998 fallout from the Asian Economic Crisis.

“In those talks Jenny Shipley, her senior ministers and Treasury officials attempted to renege on income and asset testing removal policy, reduce super payments, renege on tertiary education policy – and the moment the Coalition collapsed – on 1 October 1998 – that is precisely what she did.

“For MMP to work, and for political power to be truly shared, it is critical that one Party’s policies and principles are not abandoned when the heat comes on.

“New Zealand First’s experience in Coalition with National has proven that, even when there is an economic crisis, both parties – whilst being responsible and putting the country’s interests first – need to fight for their principles and what they believe in,” said Mr Peters.

Mr Peters said that this was particularly important for the Alliance who are already perceived by their supporters, and those who voted for them, as having lost their identity.

“If MMP is to survive it is critical that the public see that there are two separate parties in government – not just one. And the sooner politicians and media commentators alike quit misinterpreting this as instability – instead of the Mixed Member Proportional System working the way it should – the better,” said Mr Peters.


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