Penny Bright: Further Open Letter To Green MPs
Hang on Nandor and the Green MPs! Nandor's reply on behalf of the Greens
FURTHER OPEN LETTER TO GREEN PARTY MPS
14 October 2003
Dear Jeanette Fitzsimons
You must now be getting swamped by emails, phone calls, etc and some of you may be asking - why didn't people make a fuss earlier?
I guess it's like so many issues - unless somebody - usually community activists - get out there and rattle the cage - the message just doesn't get out until it's too late.
And most community activists that I know of simply don't know which way they're pointed at the moment - we're so bloody busy!
In my considered opinion - it's precisely because there hasn't been sufficient widespread public debate and discussion that there is now such a last minute furore, as people realise that a major constitutional change is about to be foisted upon us.
Where were the public meetings?
The leaflets and posters ?
Informed PUBLIC discussion and debate?
(As a result of my earlier email, an interesting discussion has started on the 'Taking Control' list. Pity this public debate is happening on the same day that the legislation is about to be forced upon us!)
Discussion at 30,000 feet in Parliament is not PUBLIC discussion as you know, especially those of you who have come from an activist background.
Totally agree with you that the Green Party shouldn't be involved in political 'horse-trading', as it were. Totally agree that would be putting politics ahead of principle.
My suggestion of leading by example and showing Labour MPs how it is done to gracefully admit that you have listened to the people and that's why you've changed your position on the Supreme Court law change is on the merits of the Supreme Court law change itself.
The principle is democratic process.
That is why you need to withdraw your support for this law change.
Now do you understand that it appears that people's lack of participation in whatever 'consultation' has happened previously over the Supreme Court law change, was because the issues may not have been explained clearly enough, and as the public are starting to come to grips with the repercussions of such changes - the concerns are growing?
The credibility of the Green Party is at stake here.
Surely concerned activists don't have to stand outside Green Party offices with placards saying -
"Hang on Nandor and all Green MPs!
Show your consistent support for democratic process!
Show you're listening to public concern!
Withdraw your support for the Supreme Court law change until there has been more informed public debate and discussion, and evidence of clear majority public support for a constitutional change of such magnitude."
Please don't sellout the public on this fundamental principle of democratic process.
In principled unity,
To: Penny Bright Subject:
RE: Green MPs! Show Labour how it's done! Do a 'U Turn' on the Privy Council! Date sent: Mon, 13 Oct 2003
Kia ora Penny,
Thank you for your email regarding the Supreme Court Bill, I am responding on behalf of all Green MPs. This issue has been around for a number of decades, and the present proposal began taking shape and becoming subject to public and parliamentary discussion over the past four years.
In regards to your comments about the Greens deciding their support for this issue in relation to GE, I must inform you that we have a policy of not trading off on issues. We support each bill on its merits. If we were to go against a directive from the Green Party policy committee in order to make gains on GE, we would indeed be putting politics over principles.
I have written a briefing paper to provide some background information about the Privy Council, what the bill proposes to do and why the Greens support it. This can be viewed here http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other6797.html
One of the issues under debate is whether this should be done by a referendum or whether it is appropriate for Parliament to make the change. The Greens have produced a Frequently Asked Questions document on the issue of referenda and it can be viewed here http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other6796.html
My latest release http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR6810.html sets straight the misinformation ruling the Supreme Court bill debate.
In addition a number of further points have been made during parliamentary debates.
My First Reading speech can be viewed here http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech5894.html My Second Reading speech can be viewed http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech6794.html My Committee Stages speech can be viewed http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech6798.html
When the bill was reported back http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/PR6732.html I applauded the Supreme Court Bill, as reported back to Parliament, calling it another step towards forging a distinct New Zealand identity as a Pacific nation.
For extra background information, here http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/other6249.html is a link to an article I wrote before the bill went to select committee
If you would like to read the bill, as reported back form the select committee, it can be viewed here http://www.clerk.parliament.govt.nz/Content/SelectCommitteeReports/16bar2.pdf
Thank you again for writing to us.
Nándor Tánczos MP