Friday, 8 October 2004
UF rejects NZ First request
United Future whip Gordon Copeland says the party caucus has rejected a request from New Zealand First leader, Winston Peters, for all other parties to remove their private Members’ Bills from the Parliamentary ballot to allow his Bill, calling for references to the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi to be removed from all legislation, to proceed immediately.
“We have no problem with Mr Peters seeking leave from Parliament to allow his Bill to be debated,” said Mr Copeland, “but we believe United Future has several very worthwhile Bills in the ballot which deserve the same accelerated attention.
“For example, Paul Adams is promoting a Bill which would allow 18 year olds to drink on licensed premises, but only 20 year olds would be allowed to buy alcohol from off-licence premises.
“Murray Smith has a very apposite Bill that would allow parents to retain the right to discipline their children but would also give the courts the guidelines to prevent the physical abuse of children.
“Larry Baldock’s Bill is a highly intelligent attempt to clear up the dishonest mess that is the Civil Union Bill and I am promoting a Bill that would enshrine the right to own private property in the Bill of Rights Act.
“We believe these Bills are of equivalent importance to Mr Peters’ and accordingly we politely ask him to join the queue and not try to push in front,” said Mr Copeland.