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Leave to Appeal

Leave to Appeal

"I am delighted that the Supreme Court has accepted my application to hear an appeal against Donna Awatere Huata's injunction that prevents the ACT caucus from expelling her from parliament", said ACT MP Richard Prebble today.

"The Court has accepted that the appeal involves a matter of public importance. A number of votes in parliament have been passed by a majority of just one.

"The Court is going to look at the Court of Appeal's determination that proportionality just meant votes in parliament. It is the ACT party's contention that proportionality refers to all of a member of parliament's functions including such things as representation on select committees, speaking in the House, and being part of the ACT "team".

"The voters elected ACT to have nine MPs and since the Speaker has declared Mrs Huata to be an independent Mp ACT has only had eight representatives.

"The Court is also going to look at whether I had grounds to reasonably believe that Mrs Huata, by her conduct, had distorted the proportionality in parliament and at the effect of the Speaker's determination that Mrs Huata is an independent MP.

"I am delighted that the Court has granted an early fixture of 5 and 6 October. This means ACT's next MP. Mr Kenneth Wang could be sworn in this year. The Court has given urgency. If the normal timetable had been followed this case would not have been heard until February next year. This is an indication that the Court appreciates the importance of this case.

"I am also honoured that this will be the first case to be heard by New Zealand's new highest court. There is something appropriate about the Court starting with a significant constitutional issue, whether list MPs are obliged to support the party that elected them or whether they can ignore the voters and sit in parliament as an independent."

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