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Govt Is Fish Out Of Water With Democracy

Shane Ardern

National Rural Affairs Spokesperson

19 February 2002

Govt is fish out of water with democracy

"Once again this Government has trampled over New Zealand's democratic rights by deciding the outcome of proposed legislation before people have even completed their submissions," says National Rural Affairs spokesman Shane Ardern.

Mr Ardern said he was horrified to read in the media that Damien O'Connor, chairman of the Primary Production Select Committee, did not expect to make major amendments to the Aquaculture Moratorium Bill.

"This controversial Bill will impose a retrospective, two-year ban on new marine farms and have a major impact on individuals as well as companies. The least people can expect is to have their submission received by Members of Parliament with open minds.

"No wonder this Government is constantly having to return legislation back to Parliament to 'fix' its mistakes," Shane Ardern added.

"This is a costly and time consuming exercise, but back we gone to fix ACC, Parental Leave and Electoral Reform legislation. If Government Members of Parliament opened their minds and listened to submissioners as well as Opposition MPs - then we wouldn't have this kind of mismanagement.

"People are travelling from all over the country, spending time and money to present their case to the Select Committee. But this Government is obviously going to ignore their submissions.

"So much for democracy in New Zealand!" Shane Ardern concluded.


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