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Thursday, 25 April 2019 11:52 am

Laundry list outside Parliament calls for cleaner politics

Sep 11th, 2014 | By | Category: Editor's Picks, Latest News, Most Popular, News

By LIAM CAVANAGH (words) and FRANCESCA JAGO (video). 

FROM toddlers running around Parliament grounds, to the elderly with their packed lunches – Dirty Politics drew a diverse rally yesterday.

About 100 people crowded outside Parliament at lunch time to express frustration and disappointment at the government and called for politicians to come clean.

People held signs up, some calling for integrity in politics, others saying kiwis want clean politics, and bad apples must go.

Victoria Vincent says her disillusionment in government has been long standing.

“I’m disappointed with the state of politics and the way it’s unfolded in the last few months,” she says.

Ms Vincent has not read Nicky Hager’s book Dirty Politics, but says it was the catalyst which has brought a lot of issues out in the open.

Canadian born Bonnie De Gros has not read the book either, but has been following the story in the media.

In a democratic society you trust the government and we vote for people because we trust them but when that trust is gone, there is no true democracy, she says.

Crowd listens to the speaker

NOT HAPPY: People gather around to demand cleaner politics from the New Zealand government. IMAGE: Liam Cavanagh

Ms De Gros says whether she was living in Canada or New Zealand, it was important to be doing something.

“This is where I am raising my children. So it’s very important,” she says.
Rally organiser Melinda Gamlen called on people to come to the front and voice why they were there.

People were worried about reduced democracy in New Zealand, and losing sovereignty as government carries out trade talks in secret.

However the common thread among those who spoke was that politics needs to be cleaned up urgently.

Ms Gamlen says she is a full-time mother, has no history of political activism and is not a member of any political party.

“I’m doing this for the future of my children,” she says, presenting a washing line with placards, a laundry list for clean politics.

Ali Green is disappointed more people did not turn up to the rally.

“These grounds should be filled with people who are absolutely outraged and it’s not,” she says.

“It is incredibly important that all of us retain a political and media environment that tells the truth.

“It’s appalling this is happening in our country when we are supposed to be one of the least corrupt and most transparent, and we’re not,” she says.

Sitting under the Seddon statue, Yvonne Curtis says New Zealand has to look very seriously at the structure it has and if it is fit for purpose.

The country has reached a point where its structures are no longer serving the running of government, says Mrs Curtis.

“It is no longer a public service. It is a minister’s service.”

Melinda Gamlen speaks to the crowd

LAUNDRY DAY: Crowd calls for cleaner politics around Seddon statue at Parliament. IMAGE: Liam Cavanagh

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