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Bunkle’s Lucky Break

Bunkle’s Lucky Break

Friday 30th Mar 2001 Richard Prebble Media Release -- Governance & Constitution

"ACT Leader Hon Richard Prebble said he was not surprised at the decision by the Registrar of Electors to take no action against Alliance MP Phillida Bunkle, as I know of no case in this country where the Registrar has ever referred a wrongful enrolment to the police.

"This contrasts with the higher standards in Australia where wrongful enrolments by MPs have been treated very seriously even outside of an election period. It appears that Ms Bunkle has changed her electoral registration this year so enabling the Wellington Central Registrar to claim no jurisdiction."

"I do note that the Registrar does say that Ms Bunkle’s “enrolment was based on a misunderstanding of the Electoral Act”. It does seem extraordinary that a Member of Parliament doesn’t know that you can only enrol where you live."

"I believe the voters of Wellington Central have every right to feel angry that the candidate for the Alliance clearly wrongly enrolled in Wellington Central in order to persuade voters that she was a resident when in fact we now know that at the time of the election she lived in Nelson."

"No doubt Jim Anderton will claim this clears Ms Bunkle, despite the fact that the Registrar says her enrolment was mistaken, just as Helen Clark claims that despite Crown Law having stated Marian Hobbs wasn’t entitled to claim the Wellington Accommodation Allowance, she too is cleared."

"The Opposition now looks forward to Phillida Bunkle being restored to her Ministerial position and, as the Auditor-General has found she never lived in Wellington, no doubt she will be moving back to her Ministerial apartment in Oriental Bay."

"Both women can count themselves lucky they are not in Australia where on the same set of facts they would be out of parliament now facing criminal prosecution" said Hon Richard Prebble.

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.

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