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ACT Proxy Vote Changed NZ

27 June 2003

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

ACT Proxy Vote Changed NZ

One proxy vote, cast for ACT MP Deborah Coddington, was enough to change prostitution law. ACT must therefore accept fair proxy vote rules for the Progressives says Matt Robson, Progressive Deputy Leader today.

"I've been thinking. Today I saw ACT MP Deborah Coddington's weekly 'Liberty Belle' broadside from London, which reminded me that her proxy vote this week changed New Zealand.

"Regardless of one's views on the merit or demit of the law passed on Wednesday to make pimping in New Zealand legal, her weekly commentary reminded me that she isn't in New Zealand and wasn't in Parliament to hear the arguments for and against Tim Barnett's Bill in recent weeks.

"Her one Yes vote, cast on her behalf via a proxy by one of the Members of Parliament who currently lives in New Zealand, changed the law," Matt Robson said.

"No doubt ACT will argue that Ms Coddington's study on full pay, in the U.K. is vital for her work as a Member of Parliament – that she needs to be overseas for several months studying while also being an MP. I note that this is more than the three weeks minimum annual leave that low paid workers now get in New Zealand - so therefore I expect ACT's support for my four weeks annual leave bill.

"No doubt ACT will also say she deserves the right to have her vote recorded in the House.

"Therefore I look forward to ACT's support of the Progressive Party's bid to have the right for its two MPs' votes to be cast by proxy when they are also on important government work that keeps them out of the House," Matt Robson said.


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