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Maori Party Has 'Had Enough' of Disruption

Maori Party Has 'Had Enough' of Disruption to Parliamentary Debate

Tariana Turia, Co-leader, Maori Party

Thursday 7 September 2006

The Maori Party today issued a statement of protest at the deplorable state of behaviour recently exhibited between Labour and National parties.

"We look to our tikanga and our kaupapa to guide us in the way in which we behave" said Mrs Turia.

"We are also honour-bound, to present the voice of our constituents in the most effective way we can" said Mrs Turia.

"The abusive slanging matches and the level of rudeness we experience in the parliamentary chamber, creates a very poor environment for political debate. It is no wonder that the general New Zealand public has such little confidence in politicians".

"Our customs and traditions guide our behaviour both within our parliamentary offices and within the House". Such principles ensure that we try to treat each other with respect and act with integrity".

"It is a matter of much concern to the Maori Party that the conduct we have observed of the Labour-led Government and the National Opposition, is far from the standard we would expect of any other person, let alone a Member of Parliament".

"Day in, day out, we listen to the verbal barrage of insult and character assassination as the larger parties in the House exchange belittling and offensive comments" said Mrs Turia. "It sets a standard which we are most uncomfortable with. The disorderly conduct that is reflected in offensive finger actions, in shouting, in personal name-calling is very disappointing".

"This week, a disproportionate amount of time has been wasted in Question time, while the Speaker has attempted to control the chaos which has erupted across parties".

"We welcome the decision of the Speaker today, to finally call these parties to account, and we hope that her statements may cause those parties to think about the standard of behaviour they are modelling" said Mrs Turia.

"It certainly reinforces the urgent need for the Code of Conduct proposed by Ross Robertson, which the Maori Party will support. The Code of Conduct addresses the unacceptable behaviour exhibited in the House on a daily basis".

"We will be raising our concerns, in the strongest possible way, at the meeting of the Party whips which will be convened by the Speaker next week" ended Mrs Turia.

ENDS

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