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Brash-led National will alienate NZ First, UF

Brash-led National will alienate NZ First, UF

NZ First and United Future will have some very serious explaining to do to the public of New Zealand if Don Brash is selected to lead the centre-right parties into the next election, Progressive Party MP, Matt Robson, said today.

"NZ First and United must say well before people vote in the 2005 election whether they remain open to supporting a National-ACT administration if that means installing a Don Brash-Richard Prebble duo who espouse policies that are completely at odds with about 80% of everything Winston Peters and Peter Dunne have ever said they stand for," the Progressive Party deputy leader said.

"An early test for NZ First will be Don Brash's pronouncements on four weeks annual leave for all workers. You can bet a Don Brash-Richard Prebble combination will oppose that family-friendly policy designed to encourage working families to stay in the productive workforce," Matt Robson said.

Matt Robson said the significance of Don Brash winning National's leadership on Tuesday will be profound for New Zealand politics in the years ahead.

"It is true Don Brash should be able to help National draw some votes away from ACT.

"But much more importantly, I believe, is that the public scrutiny of the Brash-Prebble agenda will over the next few months force both NZ First and United Future to eventually withdraw their current stance which is to openly say they are willing to support a National-ACT coalition government after the next election.

"That means that next year and in 2005 both NZ First and United will need to increase their willingness to cooperate with the Labour Progressive coalition in the interests of New Zealand in order to prove their relevance to New Zealanders," Matt Robson said.

BACKGROUND:

A majority faction in National dropped Jim Bolger as their leader because they wanted their party to adopt all of the values and policies of the ACT Party and this process has, since 1998, now largely been put in place.

Don Brash is the natural leader of the extremist majority in the National caucus.

NZ First and United Future must explain well before the next election how they can say they are open to supporting a National-ACT government.

ENDS

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