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Dunne Well-meaning Ron off the mark on Civil Union

Dunne: Well-meaning Ron off the mark on Civil Unions

The first duty of an MP is to make informed decisions, United Future leader Peter Dunne said today in gently correcting NZ First's Ron Mark for citing factually wrong reasons for supporting the Civil Unions Bill.

Mr Mark today said he would support the Bill because it would protect the rights of same-sex couples.

"What is quite frightening is that this misguided piece of legislation could pass into law if enough MPs remain as deluded as Mr Mark in thinking that this Bill actually rights wrongs.

"It doesn't. It doesn't even attempt to address, let alone fix, legal anomalies faced by de facto and same-sex couples," Mr Dunne said. "Those issues are addressed in its tandem legislation, the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill."

"And for the benefit of Mr Mark and others, I suggest that he refer to Associate Justice Minister David Benson-Pope's answers to my questions in Parliament yesterday.

"The Minister effectively conceded that the Civil Unions Bill does not address a single injustice. It does not alter next-of-kin status; it does not alter taxation status; it does not alter benefit eligibility criteria.

"It worries me when you see that crucial pieces of legislation that change our social fabric can be passed because half-cocked, well-meaning MPs blunder around under some illusion that they are achieving something that they are not.

"Might I respectfully guide Mr Mark towards the Relationships (Statutory References) Bill. There he will find that he can achieve all that he wishes to in terms of addressing such anomalies and protecting the rights of all couples," he said.

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