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MMP is working

Hon Jim Anderton
Minister for Economic, Industry and Regional Development

5 March 2003 Media statement

MMP is working - majority of laws passed with more than 1 opposition party

The Mixed Member Proportional representation electoral system is working very well at the moment, reflecting good fiscal and political management by the minority Labour-Progressive coalition government, Economic Development Minister, Jim Anderton, said today.

Anderton was speaking in Parliament during the Budget Policy Statement debate.

"The sound management of the government's books should give confidence to all New Zealanders that this is a government with its eye on the long-term and with a focus on leading New Zealand into the highest ranks of the developed nations in the years to come," he said.

"It also means that an intelligent stance for like-minded parties outside of the government is to engage with the government to advance legislation through Parliament by constructively interacting with the Labour-Progressive coalition which holds just 54 seats in this 120 seat Parliament," Jim Anderton added.

"I am personally delighted that this is in fact already starting to happen. Of the 17 laws that have been enacted since the July general election, no less than 13 have secured the support of more than one non-governing party even though Labour-Progressive legislation in fact only requires one non-government party's support to be successful.

"Seven laws have been enacted with the support of more than two non-governing parties. What this all shows is that we have a Parliament which is working under MMP as it should. There is a positive role to play for all five non-governing parties when they show a willingness to constructively engage with the government on legislation which they can openly support and that is good news for the quality of lawmaking," he added.

The Budget Policy Statement shows that the Labour-Progressive government is running one of the strongest set of government books of any nation in the world.

Net core Crown debt, after taking into account the accumulated assets of the New Zealand Superanuation Fund, is forecast by the Treasury to fall to just 2.9% of gross domestic product by June 30, 2007 based on current policy settings – down from around 20% of GDP when the center-left first took office in late 1999.

MMP is working - majority of laws passed with more than 1 opposition party

The Labour Party holds 52 seats in Parliament and the Progressives two seats, giving the centre-left coalition government 54 of the 120 seats in the House of Representatives.

That means the coalition government needs the support of at least one of the five Opposition parties (or seven votes) to pass the budget or any legislation.

The table shows that of the 17 contested laws enacted since the last general election, 13 laws were passed with the support of more than one Opposition party.
(United Future holds 8 seats, the ACT and Green parties hold 9 seats each, NZ First holds 13 seats and the National Party 27).

Summary of voting on the Third Readings of Labour/Progressive Coalition Government legislation to indicate parties providing support to the Government

Date Legislation Support provided by
(Requires at least seven votes)
18 Sep ’02 1 Social Security (Personal Development United Future, Green
and Employment) Amendment

03 Oct ’02 2 Customs and Excise Amendment United Future, Green

08 Oct’02 3 Taxation (Relief, Refunds and United Future, Green
Miscellaneous Provisions)

4 Civil Defence Emergency Management United Future, Green,
NZ First, National

5 Terrorism Suppression United Future,
ACT, NZ First, National

6 Crown Organisations (Criminal United Future, Green,
Liability) NZ First

13 Nov ’02 7 Climate Change Response Green

19 Nov ’02 8 Appropriation (2002/03 Estimates) United Future

9 Securities Amendment } United Future,
10 Securities Markets Amendment } Green, NZ First (times 3)
11 Takeovers Amendment }

12 Trade Marks United Future, Green

05 Dec ’02 13 Education (Tertiary Reform) Amendment Green
Industry Training Amendment

12 Dec ’02 14 Animal Welfare Amendment United Future, ACT,
NZ First, National
17 Dec ’02 15 Local Government United Future, Green
Local Electoral

16 Health & Safety in Employment Green

27 Feb ’03 17 Television New Zealand United Future, Greens

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