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Anderton to abstain on privileges vote

Hon Jim Anderton
Progressive Party leader

23 September 2008

Anderton to abstain on privileges vote

Progressive Party leader Jim Anderton will abstain from today's vote on the Privileges Committee report into allegations against Winston Peters.

"NZ First was clearly accepting donations at a time when it was attacking everyone else for taking money from big business. For that, the party has some explaining to do to the voting public. Not much is added by a Privileges process that was flawed throughout.

"The Privileges Committee is supposed to be a quasi-judicial process, and yet it has been compromised by people on all sides speaking out with their views about the outcome.

"I don't believe anyone approached the hearings with an open mind and reached a decision after deliberating over the evidence.

"I challenge anyone to say the committee observed any of the standards we would expect from a genuine process of inquiry.

"I don't abstain often, but sometimes, it is the only honourable thing to do. For all the circus around this debate, not a single New Zealander will be better off, not one New Zealander will be better cared for and our country will not be strengthened in any way. It is pointless, and it makes you wonder about the priorities of some parties around parliament."


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