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Flip-flop Greens disappoint Dunne

Media statement
For immediate release
Tuesday, 7 December 2004

Flip-flop Greens disappoint Dunne

United Future leader Peter Dunne said today he was disappointed the 9 Green MP’s were preventing ordinary New Zealanders from having a say on the controversial Civil Union Bill.

Mr Dunne wrote to the co-leaders of the Green party today urging the Greens to vote in favour of an amendment to the Civil Union Bill that would see the Bill, if passed, made subject to a national referendum at the next election.

Mr Dunne said “The Green caucus has not had the courtesy to respond to that request. I am assuming from their silence that they do not favour the notion of a referendum on this issue which is clearly dividing Parliament and the nation.

“Curiously, that objection to a referendum on an important issue has not always been the Greens’ position.

“On July 22, 1998, the Green co-leaders, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald, waxed indignant about the Liberal government in Tasmania making changes to the Tasmanian Parliament without putting the issue to a referendum.

“The public would not tolerate such a move in New Zealand, they fulminated.

“Further, on August 8, 2001, Rod Donald advocated for a public referendum if the Government of the day proposed significant changes to the electoral system in New Zealand.”

Mr Dunne said “It’s clear then that the Greens favour public referenda, when it suits them, and when it means they will be able to retain the perks of being in Parliament, even though they have shown they cannot win and hold an electorate seat.

“The Greens are also responsible for the Government being able to ram this Bill through Parliament, because it is those 9 MP’s who voted to allow the Government to take it under urgency.

“I want New Zealanders to know that, if this Bill is passed later this week without widespread public input, it will have been the responsibility of the 9 Green MP’s who allowed urgency and opposed a public referendum,” concluded Mr Dunne.


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