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Shameful week reinforces the role of the centre

Shameful week reinforces the role of the centre

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, says the week’s shameful events in Parliament reinforce the role of a centre party like United Future to bring common sense and stability to government.

Speaking to his party’s Canterbury regional conference, Mr Dunne described Parliament’s preoccupation during the week with the thoughts of John Tamihere as “a myopic focus by small-minded people on things that have little bearing on the lives of everyday Kiwi families.”

“John Tamihere’s views are his and he is entitled to them. He was foolish in the extreme to blather on the way he did, and undoubtedly offended his colleagues.

“His comments about the way government support parties work were simply uninformed and ignorant.

“While they provided great fodder for the Opposition, and probably struck a chord with many people, the mindless, trivial questions and procedural games in Parliament during the week, would have done more to reinforce Parliament’s apparent irrelevance and inability to get in touch with the real world,” he said.

Mr Dunne told the delegates that the week highlighted why United Future had to be a pivotal part of the next government.

“Labour is too PC and hostage to its special interest groups to be allowed to govern alone, while National is still too flinty-faced and simply lacks the wit and the depth to put together a viable alternative.

“Worse still, the Greens make Labour’s extremes look moderate, while ACT makes National look like Mother Teresa.

“New Zealanders have tired of the old style of politics and the silly game playing that this last week has exemplified, and want to see governments focus again on the things that matter to mainstream families.

“In the last week alone, when we kept our heads while others all around were losing theirs, United Future MPs had focused on five such examples:

• I drew attention to the dismal failure of PHARMAC’s drug purchasing policies which is leaving hundreds of thousands of Kiwis without the medicines they need.

• Phil Goff accepted Marc Alexander’s proposals for a new law to stop sexual predators preying on young people.

• Gordon Copeland’s Bill to protect the private property rights of all New Zealanders was selected to come before Parliament.

• My New Zealand Day Bill to provide for a national day which unites rather than divides the country was supported by all parties but the Greens and the Maori Party.

• Bernie Ogilvy led the charge at the Education Select Committee to make the NCEA system work.

Mr Dunne said United Future had made MMP work over the last almost three years. United Future had proved a centre party made politics viable.

“Both Labour and National know they cannot run a stable and credible government without United Future, which is why other parties bay like hyenas at our achievements,” Mr Dunne said.


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