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Fox, Brownlee, Finlayson – Unsightly Trio of Drama Queens

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland

Ron Mark MP

Deputy Leader of New Zealand First

Fox, Brownlee, Finlayson – Unsightly Trio of Drama Queens

What a load of rubbish from Marama Fox, of the Māori Party, and Gerry Brownlee and Chris Finlayson, of National, over the Treaty of Waitangi settlement signings.

Why are the signings not going ahead under urgency in the House on Friday?

The bottom line is this:

1. The National government and its "cling-ons" have the numbers to vote to go into urgency or extended hours any day they like, as they always do whenever it suits them.

2. The National government and its "cling-ons" have the numbers to pass the Treaty Settlement Bills without New Zealand First's 12 votes. Between them they have their 64 votes plus all of Labour's votes.

3. If these bills were important to National, they would have had their full muster of MPs in the House; they would have moved into extended hours as they had planned, had the debate, had the vote, and passed them.

4. Knowing that they had iwi arriving one would have thought National would have stuck to their game plan and done exactly that.

So why didn't they?

Because they wanted to let their ministers and a whole raft of their MPs go home early.

They asked New Zealand First if we were prepared to agree to an informal variation of the 25% proxy rule so they could let their MPs naff off on recess early.

Their request to not call a party vote was all about their wanting to circumvent the 25% rule that says they can only have a quarter of their 59 MPs away.

These Treaty Settlement Bills were so important to them that most of the Nat MPs had planned on not even being present for their passing.

By contrast we; NZ First, were prepared to have our required muster present and accounted for.

We did consider not calling for a party vote right up to the point when we found things in two of the bills that we could not vote for.

At that point we notified Gerry Brownlee taking time out from caucus to ensure that he knew as early as possible, that on those two bills we would need to have our votes recorded, as we are fully entitled under the standing orders to do.

Now it seems that our calling for a "party vote" on those two bills was clearly going to expose the fact that National had let half their MPs go home.

Excuse me? Whose fault is that? There's a simple rule. If you, the government, put the House into extended hours you, the government, should have all your votes lined up. It is not up to the opposition to prop you up.

Sort yourself out. John Key is on the record for saying Kiwis don't want to work, that they are lazy and on drugs. Well, he's right except it’s him and his MPs who are the idlers around here and he has to be on drugs himself if he thinks we are going to accept the blame for their not being able to get their act together.

Oh, and as for TVNZ and TV3’s Newshub. Do your homework and ask National: "Why are you not now proceeding"?

Because National clearly have the votes to do anything they want to do, whenever they want to; except not when most of their MPs have fled Wellington.


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