Too Many MPs Rise Too Soon
13 June, 2002
“Parliament rose today, months before it should have, to end a session which has been remarkable both for the spin placed on the work of the Government and the lack of innovative policy-making,” New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters said today.
“New Zealanders will recall that when they last voted for a new parliament they also took part in two referenda: one on law and order, and one on the number of MPs. Each received overwhelming support but this government clearly knows best. Parliament will return after July 27 with 120 or more MPs and business will go on as usual.
“New Zealand First was formed in 1993 with fifteen fundamental principles. One of these was: “Open Accountable Government With Less Government” and states that Parliament will be reduced to 80 members and the numbers of consultancies and Government advisors will be cut by over 50%. Only on a vote of confidence in a Government (in which New Zealand First is a member) will New Zealand First’s Members of Parliament be required to vote with the party. On all other issues not covered by party policy, an MP’s first duty is to the electorate and the nation.
“That remains our policy. New Zealanders views have been clearly expressed and New Zealand First is listening,” Mr Peters said.