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MMP needs certainty - ACT opposes NZ First

Thursday 22nd Jul 1999
Richard Prebble
Speech -- Economy

Extract from Richard Prebble speech to Life Brokers Assn Conference
Copthorne Rutherford Hotel Nelson 8.00pm Thursday 22nd July 1999

HON. RICHARD PREBBLE, MP, LEADER ACT NEW ZEALAND

MMP needs certainty - ACT certainly opposes NZ First

The announcement Winston Peters that after the election he intends to negotiate with both National and Labour for political power is a shocking proposal. We all recall the sight of National and Labour after the first election crawling to Mr Peters and making bigger and bigger concessions.

I had expected a strong, clear statement by National and Labour that they would never negotiate again with such a reckless, irresponsible party. Instead, the Deputy PM Wyatt Creech appeared to welcome Mr Peters' proposal and Helen Clark refused to rule out a coalition with NZ First.

National's decision to enter a coalition with Mr Peters was the worst political decision of that great party's history. National had no mandate for the coalition deal. National campaigned that Labour's plans for $3 billion extra was irresponsible, yet, in the days after the election, agreed with Winston Peters' demand for $5 billion of extra spending. It was an act of irresponsibility to let Mr Peters be Treasurer, a post for which he has no ability. Most of the electorate agree with me that Jenny Shipley's best action as Prime Minister was sacking Winston Peters. Since then interest rates have fallen, investments increased, growth has returned and unemployment has fallen.

How can National expect that responsible people will vote National when Wyatt Creech appears to look forward to Winston Peters being Treasurer again? Labour is just as bad in refusing to rule out a deal with NZ First.

As I speak tonight, National's Max Bradford is making humiliating concessions to NZ First to try to save his flawed electricity reforms. NZ First alone supports the regulations because it was NZ First MPs that put up the original electricity proposals. It was their mad idea to do a line energy split in the first place.

ACT's position is clear. For MMP to work the voters need certainty. The voters need to know that when they vote for a party what they will get, and just as important, what they will not get. ACT is the only party that has consistently refused to have any truck with NZ First. ACT would not negotiate with Mr Peters after the last election. ACT won't even join the present Cabinet while it has NZ First rejects in it.

ACT's message to National voters is clear. By all means support your local National constituency MP but you must give ACT the party vote. Only ACT can save National from another humiliating deal with NZ First. ACT will never let Mr Peters anywhere near the reins of power. ACT is your insurance.

ENDS

For more information visit ACT online at http://www.act.org.nz or contact the ACT Parliamentary Office at act@parliament.govt.nz.


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