Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Goff Seeks To Rewrite Parliamentary Practice

7 July 2000


United New Zealand leader, Hon Peter Dunne, says Foreign Minister Phil Goff is trying to rewrite New Zealand's constitution.

Mr Goff has told Mr Dunne in written answers to Parliamentary Questions regarding the recent Parliamentary vote to effectively recognise Taiwan that:

"The Executive in New Zealand is not bound by a resolution of Parliament on a foreign policy matter."

"This is Goff's Law on the doctrine of the Supremacy of Parliament: it only applies when Parliament's decisions are not embarrassing to the Government of the day."

"Put simply, Goff's Law states: 'if you don't like it, ignore it'."

"According to Goff's Law Parliament is merely a useful appendage - worth having on side when you need it (unanimous votes on East Timor involvement, for example), but otherwise to be ignored (especially when it passes embarrassing resolutions on hitherto too hard questions like Taiwan)," Mr Dunne says.

Mr Dunne says Goff's Law is entirely in keeping with the Labour/Alliance Government's mounting arrogance and contempt for Parliamentary practice.

"They no longer see Parliament as a House of Representatives where the views of the nation are represented and aired."

"Rather, they see Parliament as just one more hurdle to be overcome - or in the case of Goff's Law avoided - in the rush to implement their policies."

"On this basis, Mr Goff really has no right to protest about George Speight's abrogation of the Fijian Constitution - he is, after all, implementing the ultimate expression of Goff's Law."

"Maybe that is what has upset Mr Goff most!" Mr Dunne says.


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice.

Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted, at considerable cost and emotional distress. Some people had lost their possessions in trying to meet the expense of the upheaval.

Not everyone felt so compassionate. More>>


America's Cup: Environment Court Grants Consents

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “I welcome today’s decision by the Environment Court to grant consent for the bases and associated infrastructure to host the 36th America’s Cup." More>>


Medical: New Surgical Mesh Safeguards

The Government has introduced strict new safeguards on the use of surgical mesh that are expected to limit its use in urogynaecological surgery. More>>


Handley Handling: Fired Chief Technology Officer Releases Communications

In the interests of drawing a line on this issue, today I am releasing a detailed timeline of events and all of the emails and texts between myself and Clare Curran, and myself and the Prime Minister about the role and my move back to New Zealand. More>>


Multimedia & Transcript: Acting PM's Press Conference

Winston Peters, Acting Prime Minister while Jacinda Ardern is in New York for the UN Leaders' Week, held a short press conference Monday after chairing this week's cabinet meeting. More>>

General Assembly: Ardern Rejects Trump Call For War On Drugs

New Zealand will not be signing the United States' document calling for global action on the war on drugs, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says. Ms Ardern is in New York for the United Nations General Assembly this week, along with about 140 other world leaders. More>>


Pay Equity: Cabinet Funds Deal For Oranga Tamariki Social Workers

The Minister said that an agreement in principle has been reached between Oranga Tamariki and the PSA on a settlement worth $114.6m over five years. More>>





InfoPages News Channels