Kirton's Actions Unprincipled

  • Brian Donnelly
Associate Minister of Education

The action of Neil Kirton in crossing the floor over two private members' bills last week was unprincipled," according to Associate Education Minister Brian Donnelly.

Mr. Donnelly was in South Korea heading a delegation at an APEC Education Ministers' meeting when Mr. Kirton made his flamboyant gesture.

"The fact is that Mr. Kirton did not raise one point of objection to the State Sector Amendment Bill when it was discussed. During the whole time this issue has been debated Neil Kirton has been quiet. If he truly believed in his position he would have fought for it tooth and nail. He didn't. He never once came to me to voice his concerns. Only on the eve of the Bill going before the House did he express any dissatisfaction with NZ First's position, and these comments were brief and poorly

"Nor did he express any concerns over NZ First's position regarding Pam Corkery's bill. Surely one would expect that if he felt passionately over these issues he would have attempted to influence the people who were in the driving seats."

"The fact is that he is communicating with his colleagues via the media and we have little idea of what he is up to."

"Neil Kirton is, I believe, being used by others to create a destabilising influence within the Government. This is the reason for what appears to be his irrational political behaviour. I cannot understand why someone would make virtually no effort to influence his own caucus but would be prepared to cross the floor on an issue."

"My assessment is that Mr. Kirton is solely concerned with creating a profile for himself and not with any real achievement for the public of New Zealand."

"'Who is pulling his strings?', is all I ask," said Mr. Donnelly.