National should stop gerrymandering MMP and vote for change

The Green Party is calling on the Government to honour its promise to improve MMP by voting tonight to get rid of coat tailing and lower the party vote threshold to 4 percent. 

Tonight Parliament may have the chance to vote on a bill to amend MMP by changing the electoral thresholds, including removing the hugely unpopular ‘coat-tailing’ provision. This and other changes were part of the recommendations from the independent review of MMP ignored by the National Government.

“National need to un-break their broken promise to improve MMP if New Zealanders voted to keep the system,” said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

“In 2011, New Zealanders overwhelming voted to keep MMP and in 2013, the public sent a clear message about the changes they wanted to see made to MMP as a part of an independent review of the system.

“The Government ignored New Zealanders because they want to keep gerrymandering MMP to protect National’s coalition partners and leave open their electoral options. 

“National doesn’t want to make MMP better because they want to keep their ACT and United Future coat tailing options open. That is bad politics.

“Discredited former Justice Minister Judith Collins completely ignored New Zealanders and shelved the recommendations of the MMP review, claiming she didn’t have the numbers to get the changes through. But it was the National Party themselves who blocked any changes being made.

“National should put its money where its mouth is and actually test if there is parliamentary support for change; we think there is.

“There was strong public support for these changes, particularly the hugely unpopular coat-tailing provision that has in the past allowed National to do dirty deals with John Banks and Peter Dunne.

“77 percent of the public submissions to the MMP review and 52 percent of the general public support scrapping the coat tailing rule. 

“National blocked the improvements to MMP called for by the public back in 2013, but they have a chance to right that tonight by supporting this bill,” said Mrs Turei.