Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Referendum More Worthwhile Than Ever

Referendum More Worthwhile Than Ever

ACT New Zealand Justice Spokesman Stephen Franks today assured the public that, although Attorney-General Margaret Wilson managed to vandalise our constitution, they will still have a voice in Parliament over the Supreme Court Act.

"The campaign to get 310,000 signatures on Dennis Gates' petition for a citizens initiated referendum is no less important, just because Labour managed to ram the Supreme Court Bill into law," Mr Franks said.

"This campaign does not end until July 2, 2004, and the petition will close just as the new court opens its doors. Then, if it is successful, the referendum will be scheduled by the Clerk. While 310,000 signatures is a huge target, we have plenty of time to give the public an opportunity to have its say on whether this change is high-handed.

"If the referendum threshold is reached, this issue will be fresh in New Zealand's mind closer to the next election. All Parliamentarians will realise that voters do not necessarily have short memories. This referendum could well show that New Zealanders want a top court of local judges. If so, the court will have the mandate that Bill should have prescribed.

"If, however, it goes against the change, then ACT, National and New Zealand First are committed to re-activate the existing arrangements with the Privy Council.

"In the referendum debate New Zealanders will have a chance to make clear what worries them - for example, if it become plain that the court would have been supported if it had dealt with concerns about political interference over judging. ACT will take all this into account in legislation to reform the court.

"Last night's developments do not mean that this issue is over. Even if the petition looks set to close successfully the day after the new court opens for business, it will send a strong message to Labour not to take people for granted," Mr Franks said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

NZEI: Primary Teachers And Principals Vote To Reject Offers

Primary teachers and principals have resoundingly rejected the Government’s latest collective agreement offers...

NZEI Te Riu Roa President Lynda Stuart said members had sent a clear message that the offers did not address concerns about the growing teacher shortage, time to teach and support for children with additional learning needs. More>>


No Confidence In GWRC: Bus Drivers Vote For Strike Next Month

The Wellington Tramways Union today voted overwhelmingly for bus drivers to strike because of the breakdown in negotiations with the Wellington bus operators. More>>


Unanimous: MP Pay Freeze Bill Passes

“The Remuneration Authority (Members of Parliament Remuneration) Amendment legislation, to freeze the pay of MPs for one year, has been passed unanimously by the House today." More>>

Gordon Campbell: On The Party Of No Ideas

The striking thing about the issues that have had political coverage over the past few months is the almost total lack of policy content to any of them. To date, Her Majesty’s Opposition have been entirely focussed on failings in Beehive management.. More>>


America's Cup: Environment Court Grants Consents

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff says, “I welcome today’s decision by the Environment Court to grant consent for the bases and associated infrastructure to host the 36th America’s Cup." More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bridges’ ‘Meth Crooks’ Leadership Failure

Back in June, Bridges publicly accepted that Housing NZ had got it wrong, and that the National government had acted upon bad advice. Now, you’d think this admission would create a broad bi-partisan basis for compensation to those families who had been unfairly evicted... More>>


Medical: New Surgical Mesh Safeguards

The Government has introduced strict new safeguards on the use of surgical mesh that are expected to limit its use in urogynaecological surgery. More>>


Handley Handling: Fired Chief Technology Officer Releases Communications

In the interests of drawing a line on this issue, today I am releasing a detailed timeline of events and all of the emails and texts between myself and Clare Curran, and myself and the Prime Minister about the role and my move back to New Zealand. More>>





InfoPages News Channels