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MMP referendum process a good start

Metiria Turei MP
Metiria Turei MP
metiria [dot] turei [at] parliament [dot] govt [dot] nz (Email)

The Green Party today welcomed the proposed two step MMP referenda but called for the questions to be written by an independent body.

"We are pleased to see that the Government will be holding both referenda at the same time as general elections as this is the best way to ensure that everyone gets their say," said Green Party Co-Leader Metiria Turei.

"We also agree that people need to have a choice between MMP and a specific alternative and it is great to see that this has been provided for.

"However, it is only fair that the referendum questions be developed by an independent process with full public input. An independent body such as the Electoral Commission would be right for the job,"

"The electoral system belongs to the people of New Zealand at the very least they should have input on the referendum questions.'

The Government announced today that there will be two MMP referenda.

The first will coincide with the next general election and ask whether New Zealand should keep MMP. It will also have a second part that asks voters to identify their preferred alternative to MMP. If the majority votes to get rid of MMP there will be a second referendum at the 2014 election that asks voters to choose between MMP and the alternative system identified in the first referendum.

"We think politicians should not be in charge of writing the referendum questions or providing a public information campaign on a referendum where they clearly have a conflict of interest," Mrs Turei said.

"Referenda are a part of our democratic process. We are not opposed to having another electoral referendum but we are not sure the public want this one, or that it is necessary.

"The question is who is behind the referendum? It is quite clear given the lack of public demand, that the MMP referendum is being pushed by a small clique who want to take us back to the 1980s and reckless privatisation.

"What is really concerning is that these people have the ear of the National Government and could easily influence the design of the referendum."

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