NZ First playing appalling games

The Herald reports:

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox has let rip at NZ First after it pulled its support for two Treaty settlements just days before a special sitting of to pass them into law.

Hundreds were due to come to Parliament from Northland, Manawatu and Taranaki on Friday to watch as five Treaty settlements were passed into law in a special ‘extended hours’ sitting agreed on by all parties.

However, a change of position from NZ First on two of the settlements resulted in the abandonment of the day.

NZ First is behaving appallingly. Every party of course has a right to support or not support a particular law. But they had given their word that they would not oppose this bill, allowing it to be dealt with on a Friday when most MPs would not be present (as a vote would not be needed).

The bills are unchanged from earlier readings when NZ First were in favour of them.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said she was furious given NZ First had supported the settlements until the last minute and hundreds of people had booked to travel down for historic moments for their iwi.

Around 400 people already had their travel booked and accommodation booked. They did this because NZ First had said they would not oppose the bill going to a voice vote on Friday. The issue is not what position NZ First has, but their appalling behaviour in going back on their word after travel arrangements had been made.

If NZ First had all along said they would not support it going to a voice vote on Friday, then it would not have happened. The Business Committee of Parliament can only make arrangements like this when all parties agree. What they have done is show their word can’t be trusted.

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