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Small parties achieve change in the House

7 September 2006

Small parties achieve change in the House

The Greens, Maori and United Future parties have achieved a dramatic change in the behaviour of one the larger parties in the house, The Green Party says.

Last night the smaller parties met and decided they were fed up with question time being a dog fight between two wild packs snarling at each other," Co-Leader Jeanette Fitzsimons says.

"We agreed that if the behaviour continued today we would walk out en-
masse in protest. However, New Zealand First, after talking with Winston Peters, decided today it did not want to be involved.

"Clearly, Labour was then informed about the walkout plans and this afternoon we saw a dramatic turnaround, with the noisy barracking coming only from National.

"I only hope now that the National Party will follow suit and the House can get back to the job it's supposed to do.

"This is not a criticism of the Speaker. We believe there is little she could do that would control the bedlam, other than to send everyone home for a cooling off period, and we think it is getting to the stage when she should consider this," Ms Fitzsimons says.

"MPs are the representatives of the public and as such are expected to behave in a respectful manner. No parliament can function effectively of its two major parties are behaving like rampaging elephants facing off against thrashing dinosaurs.

"The Greens came to the Parliament to debate vital issues of survival, sustainability and justice. We did not come here to waste our time listening to bickering, yelling and name-calling," Ms Fitzsimons says.

The Act Party members were not in the House today.


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