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Anti-democratic Government keeps Kiwis in the dark

10 December 2008

Anti-democratic Government keeps Kiwis in the dark

The Green Party is gravely concerned the new Government is keeping Kiwis in the dark on laws it plans to pass under urgency this week, leaving no opportunity for the people of New Zealand to debate these proposals before they become law.

"While the Government have laid out their plans to pass a range of laws which will have major impacts on New Zealanders, it's a real worry that they have failed to make the actual legislation available to the public," Green Party Co-Leader Russel Norman says.

"This means any New Zealander who wants to see the laws that are coming up in Parliament this week simply cannot get hold of them.

"How can we have a decent, open democracy if the people of New Zealand can't even access the law until the very moment it comes up in Parliament?

"How can they contact their MP and tell them what they think, how they want them to vote or what changes they want to have made to the law?" Dr Norman, the Green Party Spokesperson on Open Government asks.

Having taken urgency, the Government is not bound by the usual requirement that a law be made public three days before Parliament considers it.

"Just because the Government doesn't have to make its plans public until the very moment Parliament debates each new law, doesn't mean its right to cut ordinary New Zealanders out of the loop.

"This really does seem like an anti-democratic abuse of power and I call on the Government to make this information public right now."


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