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Parliamentary Palace announcement cynical in the extreme

Rt Hon Winston Peters

New Zealand First Leader

Member of Parliament for Northland

29 NOVEMBER 2016


Parliamentary Palace announcement cynical in the extreme

New Zealand First Leader, the Rt Hon Winston Peters, has responded to the Prime Minister over New Zealand First’s refusal to support a new Parliamentary Palace.

“It beggars belief that with legislation being introduced under urgency to manage a multi-billion dollar earthquake rebuild that Cabinet, right out of the blue, suddenly found $100m of public money to fund this Parliamentary Palace,” says Mr Peters.

“This announcement’s timing is so cynical, it reminds me of an infamous British Labour government press secretary who sent out a memo on 9/11 suggesting it was a good day to bury bad news. Why was yesterday, 28 November 2016, so critical it had to be announced?

“Nick Smith, Bill English, Gerry Brownlee and David Carter put taxpayers at the mercy of foreign landlords because they backed privatisation in the late 1990’s and sold Bowen House, which has now come back to bite them. Why did the Prime Minister leave that out? They may realise their mistake now but such dogmatism has cost taxpayers tens of millions of dollars.

“This Parliamentary Palace is also set to become the Novapay of buildings because $100m was the estimated cost back in 1997 and buildings haven’t become cheaper. Frankly New Zealand First would rather put $100 million back into the pockets of hard working taxpayers.

“The Speaker and Mr Brownlee has had precious little contact with me over it and while other parties may roll over and wave the white flag we’d be damned if we will. Can you just imagine the design-by-committee, clean-green, multicultural Iwi influenced monstrosity to be built on an unrealistically small budget?

“In 1999, 81% of voters in a referendum said they wanted a smaller Parliament and we remain the only party to have introduced legislation to try achieve that. If that referendum had been respected we wouldn’t need this Parliamentary Palace now.

“You can fool all of Parliament some of the time, and some of Parliament all the time, but you cannot fool all of Parliament all of the time,” Mr Peters said.

ENDS

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