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Smith: Supreme cynicism from Greens

Media Statement For immediate release Monday, 13 October, 2003

Smith: Supreme cynicism from Greens

The Greens have sold out the New Zealand public with their support of the Supreme Court Bill, United Future's Murray Smith said today, contrasting the way United Future and the Greens "do business" with Labour.

"This crucial piece of legislation is likely to pass, not because of some high principle, not because there is any kind of mandate, but because of shabby pragmatism," Mr Smith, United Future's justice spokesman, said.

"United Future took a close interest in the issue, broadened the select committee inquiry, listened to the public, tried to mediate between the Government and key submitter groups to see if changes could be brought about to the proposal (and indirect ones like the judicial appointments process) that would satisfy the key objections.

"When we came to the conclusion that that couldn't be done, we sided with the bulk of the public on the basis that the issue was too important in a constitutional sense to go ahead without public endorsement," he said.

"The Greens, however, took a peripheral interest in the issue, ignored the public because the issue wasn't important to them, went to the Government to trade off their support for the bill against changes to other legislation that they were more interested in - changes to the Land Transport Bill appear to be the price - and left the public high and dry.

"Their whole approach to this issue has been as logically and ethically flawed as it has been cynical," he said.

Recently, Helen Clark said: "We have found United Future reliable to deal with and that counts a lot. We are not hoodwinked. They've been straight up and down, so I wouldn't want to cast any aspersions whatsoever on that relationship."

"Who is she alluding to by her comparison? No prizes for guessing," Mr Smith said.

Ends.

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