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Green Party goes it alone from today

Sept 9, 1999

Green Party goes it alone from today

Green Party Co-Leaders Jeanette Fitzsimons and Rod Donald will cease to be Alliance MPs from today, in preparation for the election.

The Green MPs have today advised the Speaker and Alliance Leader Jim Anderton of their separation.

The two MPs have remained part of the Alliance parliamentary caucus even though the Green Party left the Alliance in November 1997. The Green MPs have remained under the Alliance umbrella for parliament purposes because that is what the voters elected them to do and because of the pledges they signed before the last election.

With the House rising this week for APEC, and all MPs clearly in campaign mode, Ms Fitzsimons and Mr Donald believe that they have more than fulfilled their obligations to the Alliance.

"Unlike former Alliance MPs Alamein Kopu and Frank Grover we have not left our party - we have always been Greens," Ms Fitzsimons said.

"Our party has ended its relationship with the other parties in the Alliance. However we expect to work with them and with Labour in the new Parliament."

Mr Donald said: "When Parliament resumes in October we will continue to vote for the policies we stood on in 1996, however we will be clearly differentiating ourselves from the Alliance where appropriate."

The separation means the Green MPs will now be directly funded rather than via the Alliance, and their staff also now come under Green control. It is unlikely that seating arrangements in the House will change but the party will have the right to speak on ministerial statements and the Greens will also receive an allocation of oral question slots. They will be represented on Parliament's business committee by United MP Peter Dunn

ENDS


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