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United Future Should Review Support for Labour

15 April 2004

United Future Should Review Support for Labour

Christian Heritage NZ leader Ewen McQueen today commended United Future for its opposition to the Civil Unions Bill. He noted that the Bill would seriously undermine marriage by creating an alternative with the same legal status, but without the same cultural connotations of lifelong commitment. This would be extremely damaging to family life in New Zealand.

In light of this the CHNZ leader urged United Future to make a clearer stand by not only voting against the Bill but also by reviewing their continuing support for the Labour Government which is about to introduce it. Said Mr McQueen,

“It is refreshing to see the stand that United Future is taking on the Civil Unions Bill. Along with many other New Zealanders we support any MPs willing to affirm the institution of marriage in the form that it has been understood for centuries – i.e. the formal, lifelong commitment, between a man and a woman. However the fact remains that the Civil Unions Bill is a Government measure, and United Future continue to support the Government. Surely the time has now come for them to reconsider that support”.

Mr McQueen said the United Future confidence and supply agreement with the Labour Government was based on the all parties operating in good faith and the Government taking into account the policy priorities of United Future. This was simply not happening. Said McQueen,

“How can you say the Labour party is acting in good faith when they introduce policy initiatives such as this, which are so diametrically opposed to the family values platform that United Future was elected on? In what way does the Civil Unions Bill take into account the policy priorities of United Future? Basically Labour is treating their main governing partner with disdain, and the confidence and supply agreement is a one way street at the moment.”

The CHNZ leader noted that it was not just the Civil Unions Bill which contradicted the United Future platform, but also several other key pieces of social legislation. This included the Omnibus Bill which would remove references to marriage from a large number of statutes, the Care of Children Bill which likewise reduced the social significance of marriage, the Families Commission which affirmed diversity, and the Prostitution Reform Act introduced by a Labour MP and supported by nearly all his Government colleagues. Mr McQueen stated.

“We are not talking here about a one-off item. We are talking about an ongoing stream of initiatives that display a serious disregard for the values that United Future was elected to Parliament to represent. The United Future MPs need to ask themselves at what point does this administration lose their confidence. If it is not now when the Government is aggressively pursuing an agenda that will sideline marriage in our society – when is it ?”


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