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United Future backs Supreme Court referendum

United Future backs Supreme Court referendum

United Future has decided it will support the ACT party amendment to the Supreme Court Bill calling for a public referendum on whether New Zealand should scrap its links with the Privy Council.

The amendment seeks a 66% response in favour of the referendum question “Should our right of final appeal to the Privy Council be abolished?” before a New Zealand-based final court of appeal is established.

United Future’s justice spokesman, Murray Smith, says he originally opposed the call for a referendum when the justice select committee reported the bill back to Parliament.

“However,” he says “it is now apparent there is no cross-party support for the Bill and there was an absence of public support during the select committee process.

“Further, United Future has been unable to negotiate amendments with the government sufficient to answer satisfactorily the prime concerns of key sectors of the public.

“And it is now apparent, given the prospect of a mere 63 out of 120 votes support in the House for the Bill, the only remaining way of getting the necessary buy-in from the public is through a referendum,” said Mr Smith.

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