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Govt Dithering on GE More Serious Than Air NZ

Govt Dithering on GE More Serious Than Air NZ Dither

Wednesday 17 Oct 2001 Stephen Franks Press Releases -- Environment & Conservation

"I am glad to see people agitating on the genetic modification issues. There is no doubt at all where ACT stands. We think the Government should have announced, within a week of receiving the Royal Commission's report that it accepted the process and the outcome on the issues," ACT Commerce Spokesman Stephen Franks said.

"By dithering the Government has brought itself political trouble. It could be converted to a long term economic catastrophe for New Zealand, if the consequence is a wrong decision. The costs of the dithering over Air New Zealand will be as nothing compared to the costs of losing the political initiative on genetic modification.

"By not accepting the Royal Commission's recommendations promptly the Government created a political window for the Greens to exploit. The Greens do not respect intellectual honesty so they have no hesitation in reneging on the 'deal' implicit in getting a Royal Commission and then not abiding by the outcome. The Government let them have a clear period in which to whip up hysterical superstitious opposition. That opportunity would not have been there had a firm and prompt decision essentially put the matter beyond further pressure.

"It is much harder to excite ignorant people into action when it appears likely to be fruitless, than when obvious Government hemming and hawing signals how nervous they are of the decision and how effective may be threats and demands.

"The Prime Minister has been credited by the media with extraordinary political insight. This GM issue shows her political judgement to be as poor as her commercial judgement. She briefly ran onto the field Michael Cullen was refereeing in the Air New Zealand shambles. The result was calamitous. Indecision, constant testing of the political wind instead of the underlying merits of an issue have now created a worse political problem with GM.

"The signals at the moment are of more concessions to witchcraft," Stephen Franks said.

ENDS

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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