English brushes off NZ First demand for Maori seat referendum

Author
Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Jul 2017, 5:17AM
Winston Peters at his conference where he announced his latest bottom lines, a referendum to abolish the Maori seats and to cut the size of Parliament. (Photo/ Dean Purcell)
Winston Peters at his conference where he announced his latest bottom lines, a referendum to abolish the Maori seats and to cut the size of Parliament. (Photo/ Dean Purcell)

English brushes off NZ First demand for Maori seat referendum

Author
Felix Marwick,
Publish Date
Mon, 24 Jul 2017, 5:17AM

The Prime Minister's brushing off bottom line demands being made by a potential post-election partner.

Abolition of the seats has been National Party policy in the past, and New Zealand First and its leader Winston Peters have drawn a line in the sand and are wanting a referendum on the abolition of the Maori seats.

But Bill English appears not to be making much of their demand.

"Mr Peters is probably, I think, losing track of his own bottom lines, of which there seems to be dozens, so look we're not taking that particularly seriously."

He said his party's position is reflected by the reality of its coalition with the Maori Party.

"We haven't made any move to get rid of the Maori seats, and wouldn't expect to do so."