Horan expulsion brings focus on MMP

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 08:52 05/12/2012
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FAIRFAX
BRENDAN HORAN: MP and former television weatherman.

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The expulsion of Brendan Horan from the NZ First party has brought into question the complex nature of the MMP system, as some MPs call for it to be further examined.

NZ First leader Winston Peters expelled Horan from his caucus and party yesterday after receiving new information linked to allegations that Horan had taken money from his dying mother.

Peters says Horan should resign from Parliament, but Horan says he isn't going to be shamed into quitting.

It is a "quirk of the system" which allows a list MP to stay on in Parliament even though they have been expelled from the party which brought them there, Peters says.

It's a quirk Labour deputy leader Grant Robertson would like reviewed and he says now is the time to do it.

"I understand the complexity of the situation but I do think for the credibility of Parliament we need to make sure there are clear rules which uphold that," he says.

"If someone has been elected as a list MP for that party and then is no longer part of that party, then their credibility to stay on as an MP is in question."

It was a different situation for MPs voted in by an electorate.

"It gives them a particular mandate but the mandate the list MP has comes from their party."

The Government is currently reviewing the MMP system and Robertson would like to see it extended to include a review on rules for list and electorate MPs who are either expelled or leave their party on their own accord.

Green party co-leader Metiria Turei said it would be a complex review to undertake.

"It would take quite a bit of work to get a fair set of rules which treat list MPs and electoral MPs equally and also make sure the inherent democratic right of voters to make these decisions is upheld," she told Radio New Zealand.

United Future leader Peter Dunne said if a list MP leaves a party they should leave Parliament altogether.

"They don't represent the constituency so I've long felt in a situation where someone leaves the party or is ejected...then their integrity and their position goes," he told Radio New Zealand.

"I think it's different for electoral MPs because they are elected by an electorate and they have to be accountable to those voters."

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