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First day nerves

Wednesday 22nd Dec 1999
Richard Prebble
Media Release -- Other

In response to media inquiries regarding Parliament's new Speaker's first day, ACT Leader Richard Prebble put the Speaker's performance down to first day nerves.

"The speaker's job is to allow Parliament to debate and to permit MPs to scrutinise the Government," Mr Prebble said. "Mr Hunt on the first day was a bit like a Welsh referee and he did not allow matters to develop, so it was not possible in question time to scrutinise Ministers. This was clearly shown in his cutting off of questions by MPs trying to find out what exactly the new Minister Assisting the Prime Minister on Auckland Issues, Judith Tizard's job actually is.

"The House not only didn't get a clear answer from the Minister but has also been left with the impression that Judith Tizard doesn't know what her job is either.

"Parliament is quite forgiving of errors by the Speaker as long as he does not show bias. I don't believe that he was motivated by bias. I'm sure he'll do better next year," Mr Prebble said.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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