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United Future to oppose two Govt Bills

Media statement
For immediate release

Tuesday, 17 September 2002

United Future to oppose two Govt Bills; ‘good progress’ on a third

United Future New Zealand leader, Peter Dunne, today announced that the Parliamentary caucus has decided to oppose the Tertiary Education Reform Bill and the Television New Zealand Bill, currently being considered by Parliament.

”But I can report we are making good progress in our consultations with the Government over the Land Transport Management Bill, which is still being drafted,” he said.

“Caucus is sympathetic towards the aims of a charter for Television New Zealand and we believe that if anyone can implement one successfully, then TVNZ Chief Executive Ian Fraser is that man.

“But we feel the vagueness of the charter can lead to a conflict with the requirement that TVNZ be commercially viable.”

Mr Dunne said caucus was concerned that there was no cap on the amount of money that TVNZ might require in the future and it was reluctant to open up the taxpayer to the possibility of another financial black hole.

“Caucus saw the appointment to a senior TVNZ position of Tom Parkinson, who left New Zealand three years ago after his company collapsed owing $2 million, as not inspiring confidence in the company’s management of public funds.”

Mr Dunne said caucus was not happy with the Tertiary Education Reform Bill because it gives the Minister far too much power over the whole tertiary sector with little requirement for consultation.

“We are also very concerned that the Bill appears designed to put private training establishments (PTE’s) out of business.

“If we are to have a knowledge economy, then we need PTE’s as incubators for good, new ideas and they need to be funded properly to perform that function.

“On a more positive note, I am pleased to say that our negotiations with the Government over the Land Transport Management Bill are progressing well.

“We are especially pleased that the Government is looking favourably on the idea of public-private partnerships in developing and funding the nation’s transport infrastructure.

“United Future has long believed such partnerships will help free up the logjam that is preventing the development of desperately-needed roading projects around the country,” said Mr Dunne.


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