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Government considers referendums on cannabis, euthanasia and MMP electoral reform at the same time - Andrew Little

The Justice Minister has confirmed that the Government is considering holding referendums on cannabis law reform, euthanasia and MMP electoral reform, all at the same time.

The Government is already committed to holding a referendum on cannabis reform this term as part of its support deal with the Greens.

Andrew Little told Q+A he’s looking at whether it makes sense to also hold referendums on euthanasia and electoral reform, at the same time.

New Zealand First has signalled it may support a bill currently before Parliament on euthanasia reform if it included a referendum on the issue.

A vote on possible changes to MMP is likely to involve decisions on whether to lower the five per cent threshold needed to enter Parliament to four per cent and whether to do away with the coat-tailing provisions.

Coat-tailing allows parties who win an electorate seat the ability to bring in extra MPs, despite not reaching the five per cent threshold.

The Electoral Commission recommended going to four per cent and scrapping coat-tailing back in 2012, however the last Government choose not to make any changes.

Mr Little insists no final decisions have been made on going with a three vote option or whether to hold it before or at the next election in 2020.

However, he says Cabinet is likely to make a decision on the details of the cannabis referendum and whether it would be binding or not, before Christmas.

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Justice Minister Andrew Little told TVNZ’s Q+A programme it makes sense to hold the three referendums together. Source: Breakfast