January 30, 2018
Waka jumping bill ties MPs to parties
National’s Maori Development spokesperson Nuk Korako says the coalition Government’s waka jumping bill is bad for Maori representation and is an affront to democracy.
The Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Bill passed its first reading yesterday with the support of Labour, NZ First and Greens, but there is no guarantee the Greens will vote for later stages.
The bill is part of the Labour-NZ First coalition agreement, as NZ First was badly affected by an earlier coalition when some of its MPs quit the party and propped up the Government led by Jenny Shipley.
Mr Korako says Maori MPs across the political spectrum have a duty not just to their party, but to act in the best interests of Maori and this Bill prevents them from doing so.
"It will actually time members of parliament that don't agree with their own party, so what do they do? Do they just sit there and say nothing, and so they don't represent their constituents," he says.
Mr Korako says the bill would have stopped Tariana Turia crossing the floor to vote against the Foreshore and Seabed Bill, but in fact Dame Tariana resigned and contested a by-election as a waka jumping law was in force at the time.
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