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Prebble Cleared Of Breach Of Privilege

ACT Leader, Hon Richard Prebble, has been cleared of an allegation that he breached privilege by informing the country of the changes made to the Employment Relations Bill.

New Zealand First MP, Peter Brown, laid a complaint with speaker Rt Hon Jonathan Hunt claiming that ACT breached parliamentary privilege by reporting select committee Employment Relations Bill amendments.

“The ACT party informed the public of the effect of the union promoting Employment Relations Bill.

“The coalition’s attempt to gag the opposition by keeping the Bill under wraps, while Ministers simultaneously put out spin on the Bill, was an abuse of parliamentary privilege.

“Thousands of small business owners have attended ACT’s free seminars on the Bill, in an attempt to clarify exactly what pressures the coalitions union promoting Bill would impose on them.

“New Zealand First also made allegations that the Employment Relations Bill presentation slides on the ACT website were in breach of privilege.

“ACT’s presentation on the web has been voted in a Wellington Chamber of Commerce survey, as the best source of information on the Employment Relations Bill. Nearly 200,000 hits were recorded on the ACT website last week.

“I am very pleased to have been cleared of the serious charge of breaching parliamentary privilege. I do believe that Parliament’s privileges committee should examine the whole issue of parliamentary privilege.

“There is something fundamentally anti-democratic about a system that allows the Government of the day to silence opposition MPs while Ministers conduct an organised PR campaign to try and persuade employers that they are listening when in fact they are cynically promoting a bill to promote trade unionism,” said Hon Richard Prebble.

ENDS

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