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Parliament Disregards Democracy - Peters


6 March 2001

For immediate release


“The manner in which my two Supplementary Order Papers tabled to amend the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Amendment Bill last night were treated by the Government and their appointed Chairperson of the Committee of the House, was nothing less than shameful party politics”, claimed New Zealand First Leader and Member for Tauranga, Rt Hon Winston Peters today.

“I have been trying for several years to have the injustices that have prevented retail outlets in towns and cities such as Tauranga and Mount Maunganui and other locations throughout New Zealand from trading during the Easter holiday period addressed”, he said.

“I have had a Private Members Bill prepared and in the ballot for drawing, since early 1999 and I have constantly championed the cause for retail merchants to have the opportunity to service the growing demand of visitors and locals alike during the Easter holiday period.

The Bill entitled the Shop Trading Hours Repeal Amendment Bill, advanced by the Labour Government, provided an ideal opportunity to extend the provisions they were seeking to amend from one of simply addressing the issue for garden centres, to shops per se. To have my suggested amendment tossed aside in the manner they were, displaying scant regard for the concerns of a large cross section of our communities, without even the courtesy of discussion on what must surely be the most spurious grounds ever used to justify such a decision, was shameful and sickening”, Mr Peters claimed.

“The Chairperson, no doubt with the concurrence of the Clerk, and the Attorney General, declared my SOPs to be outside the scope of the Bill because my suggestions went beyond garden centres to include shops. The absolute absurdity of that decision is glaringly obvious. The name of the Bill was the SHOP TRADING HOURS REPEAL AMENDMENT BILL! It was not the garden centres trading hours repeal amendment Bill!.

In any event, Parliament could have given leave for these amendments to be considered, as after all Parliament is the master of it’s own destiny, but the Labour Party never intended to satisfy the needs of Tauranga or Mount Maunganui people or their requests.

I have been treated with ignorance, with anger and disrespect in Parliament in the past but have never experienced before this level of bizarre behaviour said Mr Peters.

“I intend to raise this matter again when the Parliament reconvenes after the current recess and demand a full explanation”, Mr Peters concluded.


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