Thursday, 18 November 2004
Foreshore Act passage a sad event for New Zealand
United Future leader, Peter Dunne, told Parliament today that the passage of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill was a sorry event in the political history of New Zealand.
“The passage of this Bill represents a dreadful failure of leadership in New Zealand,” he said, during the third reading of the Bill.
“Because the Labour-led Government failed to convince even its own caucus of the merits of the legislation, it saw one of its members leave the party; others dither and prevaricate for months; and eventually it had to crawl to the Winston First party – the most unreliable in Parliament – to guarantee support for this badly flawed legislation.
“I deeply regret that the Government failed to heed the wise advice of my colleague Larry Baldock to slow up on the passage of this legislation so that all New Zealanders would feel they had had a good opportunity to listen and be heard on the merits of this fundamental change.
“I further regret that few of the parties supported United Future’s call to entrench parts of this law so that future governments would not have the power to casually flick off significant parts of the foreshore and seabed.
“As the attack on the Prime Minister’s electorate office and threats to other MP’s have shown, this issue has aroused real passion among New Zealanders.
“The indecent haste with which this Bill has been passed has in part caused this despicable behaviour, which I totally condemn,” said Mr Dunne.