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Labour misses the point - again

Labour misses the point - again

Not content with making 'vast changes to our constitution', Labour MPs are now trying to re-write history in their bid to scare up more support for Margaret Wilson's Supreme Court, says National Party Justice spokesman Richard Worth.

"It's astonishing that Helen Clark has not told her MPs that in 1994, she was backing the National, New Zealand First and Act Party position.

'Changes of this kind should not be promoted by one political party in isolation, a consensus should be worked for,' said Helen Clark in 1994.

"The Green Party has also thrown its manifesto out the window, after stating at the last election ' removing the Privy Council appeal rights ... would need to be preceded by a full dialogue between the Tiriti parties'.

"Their views have obviously changed, while National's position has remained clear and consistent - even when it was promoting an end to Privy Council Appeals," says Mr Worth.

"In February 1996 the then Attorney-general Paul East was reported as saying 'the Government still wanted more than a slight majority in Parliament for the change.'

'I'm not seeking unanimous party support but we'd hope that it could be passed by more than just a bare majority in Parliament,' he said.

"The previous National Government abandoned the idea and at that time Labour supported the will of the public.

"Helen Clark's Government is not," Mr Worth says.

"The National Party also has serious reservations about the appointment process, which will essentially allow Margaret Wilson to appoint the judges to our top two courts, who will then go on to shape the legal and social structure of our country.

"The National, New Zealand First and Act Parties want to give the public a voice on the Supreme Court.

"We have until July next year to gather the 310,000 signatures we need to force a referendum on the issue and we're urging all New Zealanders to sign up," says Mr Worth.

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