Tuesday, 9 February 2021

Government insults public and erodes democracy


"As protestors held vigil for Myanmar's democracy outside Parliament, inside the Labour Party rushed to remove New Zealanders' democratic rights," says ACT Leader David Seymour.

"The Local Electoral (Māori Wards and Māori Constituencies) Amendment Bill removed the ability of citizens to petition and vote on the creation of Māori wards, because the Government believes people keep voting the wrong way.

"The effect of the legislation, the Government says, is that there will be more Māori wards. People will have different political rights based on who their ancestors were. At a time when we need to be focusing on the common humanity that unites us, this Government seems fixated on finding ways to divide us.

"The most offensive part of the Government's actions tonight is the five day Select Committee process. Two of those days are a weekend, so the Select Committee will have three working days to consult the public.

"It is impractical to consult the public in three working days. It would be more honest not to consult the public at all. Failing to consult the public when making laws leads to poorer quality laws and alienates people who do not feel heard."