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MMP Review Recommendations Must Be Implemented

Labour Leader
Associate Justice Spokesperson

05 November 2012 MEDIA STATEMENT

MMP Review Recommendations Must Be Implemented

Labour is welcoming the Electoral Commission’s review of the MMP system and is offering to facilitate the passing of a new law implementing the most important recommendations.

“The review shows that it is well and truly time to ditch the so-called ‘coat-tails clause’ to avoid stitch-ups like the deal done over the tea cups by John Key and John Banks last election.

“That infamous moment damaged New Zealanders’ confidence in MMP and we now have an opportunity to restore that trust so Kiwis can be confident the electoral system works in the best interests of the country, not individual politicians.

“Labour is keen for the Government to move quickly to implement these changes to the system. There is no reason for any delay to legislation,” said David Shearer.

Lianne Dalziel says the most important change relates to thresholds and this must be implemented in time for the 2014 election.

“There was overwhelming support to dump the clause allowing an MP winning a constituency seat to bring in other MPs from their party even though they failed to meet the party threshold.

“The classic example of the unfairness was exposed in the 2008 election when the then Act Leader Rodney Hide won the Epsom seat and with 3.6% of the party vote brought in four Act list MPs. New Zealand First on the other hand won 4.1% of the party vote but did not win an electorate seat, so ended up having no MPs.

“Reducing the threshold from 5% to 4% at the same time as removing the one seat threshold makes good sense.”

Lianne Dalziel says that legislation implementing the referendum and this review was facilitated by a special select committee so that all parties could participate. Labour would be willing to support such a process again.

“The Electoral Commission says these changes don’t require a referendum, which means we need to just get on with it. The integrity of the 2014 election requires these changes be made,” she said.


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