Article Title:Barnett - Personal views irrelevant
Category:New Zealand Daily News
Author or News Staff
Published on:18th June 2004 - 12:00 pm
Story ID:2374
Text:MP Tim Barnett says his views on civil unions are irrelevant to his duties as chair of the justice and electoral select committee, which will most likely hear public submissions on the Civil Union and Relationships bills. United Future leader Peter Dunne says there is a conflict of interest in Barnett chairing the committee, as he has been actively involved in campaigning for civil unions. Dunne's party, who have one MP on the committee, have been actively involved in campaigning against the bill. "As a politician and government member I've been involved in campaigning for dozens of pieces of government legislation,” Barnett says. “My views on the bill are well known as are other committee members views on the bill, for and against." Several United Future MPs have been vocally condemning the bill specifically because it offers equal rights to same-sex couples. "If what they're really saying is because I'm gay I shouldn't be doing it [chairing the committee], then the reality is the bill will help many more heterosexual people than gay people," Barnett adds. Repeated calls have been made to the United Future office so far today, and all have been directed to voicemail.    
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