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ACT farewells statesman, citizen politician

ACT farewells statesman, citizen politician

Sunday 5th Sep 1999
Richard Prebble


ACT Leader Richard Prebble today acknowledged retiring MP Derek Quigley as Parliament's statesman and citizen politician.

"Mr Quigley's chairmanship of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade select committee has been an example of how MMP is supposed to work. In his three years he has been back in Parliament there has been no backbench MP who has had such a profound influence on policy formation and on the he contribution that select committees can make to the Parliamentary process," Mr Prebble said

"When Derek arrived in Parliament, National had no intention of amending ACC. But his persistent campaign for the benefits of opening workers' compensation up to competition won the day. The ACC reforms which have seen the average ACC premium for companies in my electorate cut in half is possibly the government's biggest success in the last three years. Through Derek's work the House agreed to extend coverage to third parties contracting AIDS through infected blood. The ACC Commission had previously said, amazingly, that that wasn't an accident.

"Derek was also responsible for Parliament's reversing the Court of Appeal's prohibition on suing for exemplary damages.

"Derek made Parliament begin to focus on the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process. While standing up for full, fair and final settlements, he has asked the hard questions on Maori seats and laws which separate people on the basis of race.

"Derek Quigley was co-founder of the ACT Party, the only new party to break in from outside of Parliament under MMP. Very few people successfully found parties.

"Of course his fame comes from being one of the few people to stand up to Rob Muldoon when he was still alive.

"The length of Derek Quigley's career and the range of activities that he has been involved in are outstanding. He first stood for Parliament when Keith Holyoake was Prime Minister. When he left Parliament he managed the Hugo Group which was the first of the really professional consulting groups that advised businesses and government departments.

"I believe the country owes Derek a great debt. When Derek Quigley founded the Association of Consumers and Taxpayers he personally had no intentions of forming a political party or going to Parliament himself. I'm delighted that he acceded to the persuasion of myself and others to stand.

"Derek always said he would only come back for a short time. He has shown a role for very successful people to come to Parliament for just a term. I hope others will follow his example and become citizen politicians rather than professional politicians."


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