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A Victory For Democracy In New Zealand

16 March 2006

Bill Passing First Hurdle A Victory For Democracy In New Zealand

New Zealand First MP Barbara Stewart says the passing of the Electoral (Reduction in Number of Members of Parliament) Amendment Bill to select committee is a victory for democracy and honours the intent of the 1999 referendum to reduce the number of MPs in parliament.

The justice and electoral committee will hear submissions from the public on Mrs Stewart's members’ bill, which seeks to reduce the number of MPs from 120 to 100.

"In the 1999 referendum 81.5 percent of voters – 1.7 million New Zealanders – supported reducing the number of MPs from 120 to 99. This is a very clear indication that the public has some strong feelings about the issue.

"Our democracy is too precious to be trifled with. The result of the 1999 referendum should not have been ignored.

"New Zealanders fully deserve this second chance to have their arguments for and against reducing the number of MPs in parliament heard," said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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