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“Waka Jumping” Bill Dead

Friday 2nd Jun 2000
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

Another key Labour and Alliance election promise is dead in the water.

The so-called “waka jumping” Bill, to prevent Members of Parliament from changing parties, will not see the light of day, ACT leader Richard Prebble said today.

“Neither the Greens nor New Zealand First will support the Bill, and both ACT and National have always said that MPs must be consistently able to vote according to their conscience. The real significance of this defeat is to reinforce the fact that Labour and the Alliance are a minority government.

“If they can’t deliver on this part of their manifesto, it follows that they will be defeated on other issues,” he said.

Mr Prebble noted that when Labour had poll ratings in the “stratosphere”, both the Greens and New Zealand First were keen to support them.

“Now the coalition is unpopular, the minority parties are even keener to distance themselves from the government. I predict the media, instead of asking the Alliance what changes they’re prepared to agree to on the Employment Relations Bill, will be asking the Greens and New Zealand First the extent of the amendments they will agree to,” he said.

“Sue Bradford has already told witnesses to the select committee that the Greens will not support the section of the Bill that makes independent contractors employees.

“Given the new development on the waka jumping Bill, it’s possible the Employment Relations Bill will be amended in a far greater fashion than even Michael Cullen contemplates,” Mr Prebble said.


For more information visit ACT online at or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at

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