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Shipley: At last, signs of sense on property law

Rt Hon Jenny Shipley
Leader of the Opposition
Tuesday 18 July 2000

At last, signs of sense on property law

National welcomes Margaret Wilson's back-down on matrimonial property law, Opposition Leader Jenny Shipley said today.

"Labour is at last showing some signs of common-sense in its attitude to matrimonial property law,

"It looks as if Margaret Wilson has acquiesced to pressure from a group of Labour MPs who don't accept the approach she had tried to introduce.

"It seems she will be prepared to acknowledge the concepts of 'marriage,' 'husbands' and wives' in the legislation.

"I'm personally glad that some Labour MPs have forced this change. It's one of the factors that Anne Tolley and I have been lobbying intensively for over the last couple of months. And it's one of the reasons I wrote to a group of Labour MPs alerting them to the hidden details of Ms Wilson's proposed changes.

"National had been planning to make amendments along these lines.

"There are still other aspects of the legislation that pose big concerns for us, but if it secures property rights for all types of relationships while recognising the special position of marriage, there's a good chance we may end up with something that will broadly address National's concerns.

"This is a huge shift from Helen Clark and Margaret Wilson's original position when they planned to push through radical changes to property law without even seeking public comment through a select committee hearing," Mrs Shipley said.


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