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Where's the 'M' word gone, asks Copeland

Media Statement
For immediate release
Wednesday, 26 February, 2003

Where's the 'M' word gone, asks Copeland

In raising the financial disadvantage of widowed spouses under current superannuation legislation, United Future MP Gordon Copeland criticised Labour and National for expunging the word 'marriage' from their manifestoes.

"It really is quite amazing that the two major parties in New Zealand politics apparently bend over backwards to avoid referring to the life situation and willing choice of 80 percent of the New Zealanders who have partners.

"They are moving down some crazy, let's-not-offend-anyone, PC path that just doesn't acknowledge the reality of life for the average Kiwi," Mr Copeland said.

"It is not about making harsh judgments on other lifestyles, about single people, gay couples, or de facto couples, but it is about saying, hey, marriage is the chosen life of a clear majority of people and let's not back away from that.

"After all the great majority of New Zealand adults are currently married, and marriage, be it for the first, second or third time, is still immensely popular."

"Some political parties just need to learn to cope with that," he said.

Speaking in Parliament yesterday in support of the Government Superannuation Fund Amendment Bill (No.2), Mr Copeland, called for the legislation to correct "the obvious injustice that denies spouses' annuities to widows or widowers who remarry".

Ends. .

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