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Ministers Need To Explain Surprise New Priorities

The New Zealand Taxpayers’ Union is calling on all Labour Government ministers to release a list of their top policy priorities which did not feature in their 29-page 2020 manifesto.

Union spokesperson Louis Houlbrooke said: “Just six weeks after the election, Labour Ministers are unveiling surprise new 'top priorities' that were completely absent from the party's election manifesto.”

“Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta stated of that one her top priorities is abolishing the ability of ratepayers to initiate a public referendum if a Maori ward is going to be established in their area. This policy is not referred to in Labour's manifesto. Ironically, the manifesto does commit to having ‘major decisions about local democracy involve full participation of the local population from the outset.’ The Minister seems intent on shutting out full participation on certain major decisions about local democracy. She has no mandate for this.”

“Labour's success in the election gives the party a clear mandate, but only for the policies it campaigned on. The public has not endorsed abolishing referenda, nor switching to bilingual road signs, which the Minister of Transport has now named as a priority.”

"If other Labour Ministers are harbouring unannounced priorities, they should release them now in a transparent manifesto update, rather than revealing them on an ad-hoc basis throughout the next three years."

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