Integrity of Parliament is under the spotlight following the Speaker’s questionable ruling on Whaitiri’s resignation

Leader of the Opportunities Party, Raf Manji believes the Speaker needs to come clean on exactly what happened with Meka Whaitiri, following her resignation from Labour to join Te Pāti Māori.

Recent events in the House show that once again the integrity of New Zealand’s Parliament is being called into question.

Meka Whaitiri’s apparent evasion of the “waka jumping” law has raised concerns about the Speaker’s impartiality and the effectiveness of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act. Despite her public resignation from the Labour Party and apparent communications with the Speaker Adrian Rurawhe. Whaitiri appears to have been allowed to remain as an independent MP without triggering the Act designed to prevent this behaviour.

The Speaker has confirmed he received an email indication that Whaitiri was withdrawing her vote from the Labour Party for Parliamentary purposes, but this draws into question why this doesn’t meet the threshold under the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act.

Manji says “it is essential that all our MPs are held accountable to the same standards, and it’s crucial that the integrity of Parliament is maintained. The Opportunities Party is calling for a full investigation into this matter and an urgent review of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act.”

“Yesterday’s events in Parliament were a complete farce and call into question the integrity and functionality of our Parliamentary system. It is essential that all MPs are held accountable to the same standards, and that the Speaker upholds the rules of the House no matter the behind-the-scenes politics.”

“We believe the Speaker needs to release all communications between himself and Whaitiri and Parliament should begin a review of the Electoral (Integrity) Amendment Act to ensure that it is fair, democratic and fit for purpose.”

The Opportunities Party is committed to upholding the highest standards of integrity and transparency in New Zealand’s politics and will continue to hold those in power to account.