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Battle Lost But War Not Over

BARBARA STEWART MP


Media Release


9 November 2006


Battle Lost But War Not Over

While disappointed at the Electoral (Reduction in Number of Members of Parliament) Amendment Bill being voted down at its second reading last night New Zealand First will now seek to introduce a Members Bill to ensure citizens initiated referenda results are binding on the Government.

“The Members Bill seeking to reduce the number of MPs from 120 to 100 was drafted following the 1999 referendum when 81.5% of New Zealanders voted to reduce Parliament to 99 Members. The result was subsequently ignored by the Government and we find this situation unacceptable.

“This debate is about more than reducing the size of the House - it is also about the will of the people being ignored, said Mrs Stewart.

“The objectors to my Bill produced many arguments in favour of retaining the present number of MPs but not one could explain to the House why the wishes of the people deserved to be ignored.

“We believe that the move to MMP marked the beginning of political reform – not the end. We will continue to promote measures to make Parliament a more responsive and accountable institution and to give greater power to the community.

“We believe our policy is fundamental to a healthy democracy and will prevent self-serving representatives ignoring the will of the very people they supposedly represent,” said Mrs Stewart.

ENDS

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