INDEPENDENT NEWS

Shipley Needs To Read The MMP Report

Published: Wed 8 Aug 2001 04:24 PM
Shipley Needs To Read The Report Before She Fires Off To The Media
Alliance MP Grant Gillon says the report of the MMP review committee is an important addition to the debate over the future shape of the New Zealand electoral system. However he is disappointed by some of the comments made by the Leader of the Opposition.
"Jenny Shipley claims that the select committee favours sticking to the status quo and rejects a further referendum on the future of MMP. This is simply not true. In fact the select committee was unable to reach agreement on these and other matters" Grant Gillon said.
"Jenny Shipley needs to read the report before she fires off statements to the media.
"The majority of submitters were happy with MMP and were happy to maintain 120 MPs. They also felt that it needed to continue for a longer period before any decisions were made on whether or not to kept it.
The Select Committee received 290 submissions from various groups and individuals.
"I am disappointed that the Leader of the Opposition who was a member of the committee, does not appear to have considered the views of the public who took the time to make submissions, " said Grant Gillon
In the century since 1901 the number of MPs per head of population has dropped significantly. In 1901 New Zealand there was an MP for every 11,227 New Zealanders. By 1951 this had dropped to 24,631.
"With 120 MPs New Zealand currently has an MP for every 31,633 people. The report shows that this is hardly excessive by world standards. "It is time parties stopped grandstanding and political posturing on these major constitutional issues and worked together for the best outcome for NZ. This just destabilises our democratic processes. If New Zealand changed its electoral system every few years we would start looking like a banana republic.
"Although MMP needs some fine tuning the system needs more time to settle in. The majority of submitters support this view," said Grant Gillon.
Ends

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