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Keep Kiwibank Bill defeated in parliament

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 29/06/2016

Peter Dunne © Getty Images Peter Dunne Labour's Keep Kiwibank Bill has been defeated on its second reading.

The government opposes it and lost the vote on the bill's first reading in October last year, which went 61-60 in Labour's favour.

That was because United Future's Peter Dunne, usually a government ally, voted with the opposition.

That situation changed on Wednesday night and Mr Dunne, who didn't speak during the second reading debate, voted with the government.

The bill was defeated by one vote, 60 in favour and 61 against.

Under the bill, Kiwibank could not have been privatised unless the sale was approved through a 75 per cent majority vote in parliament, or a majority of voters in a referendum.

The government has repeatedly given assurances that it doesn't intend selling Kiwibank but Labour said it couldn't be trusted.

Government MPs said a 75 per cent majority was used to protect vital constitutional provisions such as electoral law, and putting Kiwibank into the same category would be ridiculous.

"This is just a political stunt," said National's Chris Bishop.

"It's an embarrassment."

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