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Government response to MMP Review Committee report

6/11/2001 Media Statement

Government response to MMP Review Committee report

The government today gave its formal response to the MMP Review Committee Report.

The Associate Minster of Justice, Margaret Wilson said that in the light of a lack of consensus on proposals for change, no changes to the MMP system would be initiated as a result of the review.

“Many issues discussed by the committee are matters of major constitutional significance. There would need to be a high level of agreement amongst political parties before changes could be recommended. There would also need to be a high level of consensus amongst the public.

“At this time, that level of consensus does not appear to be present either within the House or in the wider community”.

ENDS

Attached: Background

BACKGROUND to news release “Government response to MMP Review Committee report”, 6/11/2001:

- The Electoral Act 1993 required a select committee review by June 2002 of various matters relating to the electoral system.

- The House of Representatives established the MMP Review Committee in April 2000 for this purpose.

- All parties were invited to participate on the committee, and to make submissions.

- In recognition of the constitutional significance of the review, it was agreed by the House that recommendations would only be made where there was unanimous or near-unanimous support for the recommendation.

- In recognition of the need for independence, the House also agreed that the committee be chaired by the Speaker.

- The committee received 290 submissions from the public.

- It tabled its report on 8 August 2001 after extensive consideration of the issues.

- The committee made recommendations on a number of matters. These included, for example:
- there should be no change to the number of seats currently allocated for the South Island;
- there should be no waiver of the threshold for representation for parties representing primarily Maori interests;
- candidates should continue to be able to stand for both list and constituency seats;
- the current system of closed national list be retained.

- However, on many of the significant issues the committee was divided and therefore unable to make recommendations. These issues included –

- whether or not MMP should be retained;
- whether there should be another referendum on MMP;
- the number of MPs in the House of Representatives;
- whether the Maori seats should be abolished or retained;
- whether the provisions dealing with Maori representation should be changed;
- whether the one seat threshold should be retained;
- the provision of further State funding to political parties.


Contact: Colin Feslier 021 864 811 colin.feslier@parliament.co.nz


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