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NZ First's Non-Negotiable Policy Proves Negotiable

3 August 2005

NZ First's Non Negotiable Policies Prove Negotiable

The NZ First Party's 2005 rhetoric on strategic asset sales is a rehash of the party's non-negotiable policy position that it took into the 1996 General Election only to disown it after the election, Progressive leader Jim Anderton said today.

"In the 1996 election campaign, many people that voted for NZ First thought that when the party said it had a non-negotiable position against any further strategic asset sales then that meant exactly what it said.

"But those who voted for NZ First then were badly let down because when NZ First says it has non-negotiable policy positions it turns out that they were very negotiable indeed.

"Ahead of this year's election, all voters need to know that the only time New Zealand has had a National-led government under MMP is when people elected into Parliament on the NZ First Party ticket in 1996 installed a National-led government," Jim Anderton said.

The pre-1996 election rhetoric (As recorded by the Dominion 24-9-96)

"NZ First leader Winston Peters has declared his party's commitment to buy back the Forestry Corporation as non-negotiable in coalition talks." (Story headed 'NZ First committed to Forestry Corp. buy-back' relating to August 1996 sale of Forestry Corporation to a Fletchers/Chinese consortium).

Post-election reality: Treasurer and Deputy PM Peters' (as recorded in Hansard for June 12 1997 in response to question from Grant Gillon M.P. asking if he had offered Chinese Vice-Premier Zhu Rongji a cheque for the repurchase of the Forestry Corportion assets after their recent meeting).

"Yes it is true that I did meet the Chinese Vice-Premier and, no, I did not deliver a cheque to him. It is true that New Zealand First campaigned in the election to buy back Forestry Corporation. However, in the process of the coalition negotiations we did not get our way on every issue."

ENDS

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