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Dunne regrets National’s short-term focus

Tuesday, 16 November 2004

Dunne regrets National’s short-term focus

United Future leader, Peter Dunne, says he’s disappointed the National Party has decided to boycott the proposed select committee inquiry into New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.

“This is a task that requires all politicians to lift their gaze beyond their own narrow political interests and decide to work on behalf of the much longer-term interests of all New Zealanders,” said Mr Dunne, who will chair the committee.

“All National has done has lined itself up with New Zealand First, which will tarnish its credibility.

“I wrote to Dr Brash this morning in a personal appeal for the National Party to participate in the process.

“I pointed out that every party has an important interest in the country’s future constitutional arrangements. I also pointed to National’s well-earned reputation in this area, in view of its handling of the Treaty settlements in the 1990s, the management of the transition to MMP and its consistent emphasis on bringing New Zealand together, as one country with many peoples.

“This is an issue of leadership and national identity, as evidenced by the response to the return of the Unknown Warrior last week, and I had hoped that National, as the senior Opposition party, would lift itself above its immediate concerns and take part in a process that could affect the lives of all New Zealanders for the next few hundred years,” said Mr Dunne.


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