“Today in Parliamentary Question Time the Prime Minister confirmed that she feels no contrition for being the first Prime Minister in 168 years of Parliament to try and entrench her own policies, creating a constitutional crisis in the process,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“In 168 years, with all that has happened in New Zealand politics, no government has been arrogant enough to think its own policies are so important that they deserve the same protection as voting rights. It is extraordinary that the Prime Minister sees nothing wrong with this.

“Even if it is true that the Prime Minister didn’t realise she was supporting such a constitutional disaster, which is bad enough in itself, she still needs to come to terms with her Government’s incompetence and take some responsibility for what has been a constitutional disaster.

“Instead Labour have been engaging in a Mexican standoff of finger pointing, with every MP seemingly having a different recollection. Today the Local Government Minister blamed junior Labour MPs on the Finance and Expenditure Committee, Chief Whip Duncan Webb says he voted in line with the entire Caucus, Attorney-General David Parker said he never supported it, and the Prime Minister refuses to take any responsibility whatsoever.

“Minister Mahuta’s attempt to distract from the whole thing led to her sending a letter to other political parties asking for commitment to public ownership.

“As ACT said to her in our reply, this is a shallow political stunt. ACT has been clear throughout the entire Three Waters process that our position is to return the assets to local government’s control. It is the Government who has transferred assets of our public ownership to new entities. ACT is campaigning to return them, something the entrenched provision would prevent. Labour’s attempts to deliberately muddy the waters and distract from their own undemocratic actions are embarrassing.

“The Greens and Labour have been grossly irresponsible, not realising what they are doing to New Zealand’s constitutional framework while trying to fight the imaginary bogeyman of privatisation.

“What is even more concerning is that Labour is too arrogant to even take responsibility for it.”

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David Seymour