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Progressive saves centre-left Majority post-Turia

17 May 2004

Hon Matt Robson MP, Progressive Deputy Leader

Progressive saves centre-left Majority post-Turia

Mrs Tariana Turia's decision to resign from Labour today in order to establish a new Maori party which apparently supports privatising the justice system threatens neither the stability of the Labour-Progressive government nor the Centre-Left's Majority in Parliament, says Progressive MP Matt Robson.

"A few days after leaving Labour, Mrs Turia issued a statement which suggests she may have joined the Opposition's prisons-for-profit brigade.

"As Minister of Corrections, I made sure the Corrections Bill included the policy of prisons being operated by the government in order to uphold the principle of democratically-elected Ministerial responsibility to the public for justice policy. This policy also allows the partnership between Corrections and iwi to continue and to develop.

Mrs Turia's resignation from Labour reduces its presence to 51 in Parliament and the Opposition Green Party has nine seats. Progressive's presence guarantees an ongoing majority for the Centre-Left after Mrs Turia's defection.

As reported, Speaker Jonathan Hunt is expected to gazette the Te Tai Hauauru electorate as vacant today. If no one contests Mrs Turia for the seat, she will be declared elected within four weeks, otherwise a by-election is about two months away.

Background:

Labour & Greens = 60; Progressive gives Centre Left Majority of 62. Labour & United =59; Progressive gives Labour-Progressive Government the 61 votes it needs on confidence & supply to govern;

ENDS

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