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"Labour Opposed To Achievement"

Media Release

Young Nationals

12 April 2000


Young Nationals' Chair Daniel Gordon today criticised Helen Clark's decision to scrap the Honours system and replace it with a model that fails to honour achievement that can be easily recognised overseas. At the recent Young Nationals Policy Conference - a motion was passed to retain the current honours system. This is now official Young Nationals' policy.

"We are not surprised at Helen's decision, but believe there is no logical reason to change it. It is another example of change for change's sake. For practical reasons, the current system of knighthoods and dames ought to remain," said Daniel Gordon.

"Helen and her party have always been uneasy about recognising achievement. They are the party that despises success, individualism, and recognising ability. Clark claims she wants the system to better reflect a New Zealand identity, but this will simply not happen by removing titles that is recognised through out the world," said Daniel Gordon.

"We agree with Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley, who has also disapproved of Clark's plans. Mr Edmund Hillary, Ms Kiri Te Kawana, or Mrs Devoy simply does not work," said Daniel Gordon.

"What is even more disturbing is the high-handed attitude taken by the Prime Minister with this decision. Once again Clark is deciding what is best for New Zealand and doing so with out a mandate. As a rampant republican it would seem that it is Clark's agenda at work. Surely such a decision is one for referenda? She is developing a dangerous habit of sticking her nose in and meddling with things for no good reason."

"Helen did not like Te Papa, so that is being reviewed. She is anti-defence, so the F16 deal has been canned. Helen also hates smokers, and wants to ban smoking. Where does it stop? Will she have a hissyfit while sitting at the lights and decide to ban cars?"

"The politics of envy are well alive within the Labour/Alliance minority Government. Clark and Anderton suffer the tall poppy syndrome and want to knock the tall poppy. I say to opponents of the current system - if you don't like it - you don't have to accept a title. You can always decline - but do not unilaterally deny that right to those who deserve such an honour."

If it ain't broke Helen - then don't fix it. We urge the Government to retain the current honours system," concluded Daniel Gordon.

For further information contact: Chairperson Daniel Gordon 021 229 6812 Deputy Chair Grant Tyrrell 021 669 739

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