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Greens “surprised” by Reddy appointment after controversial spy review

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The Green Party said today it was surprised by the appointment of Wellington lawyer Dame Patsy Reddy as governor-general, so soon after she finished the “controversial” review of spy agencies. It congratulates her, but calls for a new system of making the appointment.

News from Greens Party
It’s time for a new, more democratic process for appointing New Zealand’s Governor General – an appointment which should be confirmed by a supermajority of Parliament, the Green Party says.

“The Green Party congratulates Dame Patsy Reddy who has today been announced as the Prime Ministers’ choice for Governor General, but we think future appointments should rest on 75 percent support of Parliament,” Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei said.

“By requiring the support of a supermajority of the House to confirm a new Governor General, the Prime Minister would need to consult with all political parties and properly make their case for the person they chose.

“The Governor General should be the best person for the job, not a person who the Government of the day likes for political reasons.

“The Green Party was surprised by the choice of Dame Patsy, who has just finished the highly controversial review of spy agencies which recommended much wider powers to spy on ordinary New Zealanders.

“In 2010, former Green MP Keith Locke put up an amendment which, if passed, would have ensured that the Governor General’s appointment was confirmed by a 75 percent supermajority of Parliament.

“A Governor General can be in the role through two different prime ministers and it’s important that they are not politically wedded to either,” Mrs Turei said.

News from NZ First
A serious constitutional appointment for New Zealand has been sullied by the Prime Minister’s media manipulation, says New Zealand First Leader and MP for Northland Winston Peters.

“The PM has finally absorbed the fact he is going to lose the flag referendum so has used the media to downplay the impending result before he shoots offshore to escape any further embarrassment. The appointment of a new governor general is not a diversion and most certainly should not be used as media distraction.

“He’s manipulated the flag referendum process, and now has manipulated the media with leaks on the appointment of Dame Patsy Reddy – there was a leak last week of who was in the running and then early today it was the likely choice. This was no accident, and not the way the announcement of the highest constitutional position in the country should be handled.

“Mr Key conveniently put out the leaks, then the announcement today and will step onto a plane on Thursday night to fly to the United States just as the flag referendum result is known – and his defeat is confirmed.

“He doesn’t have the decency to take it on the chin. He had to resort to low level tactics to take the heat off the loss, and tie himself back to the Queen and the official flag which he had fought so hard to get rid of. But to use such a high level appointment to hide behind is deplorable practice for a prime minister, who should be acting as a statesman, be gracious in defeat and face the public when it happens.”