26 Nov 2016

Paul Fitzgerald

From Saturday Morning, 8:45 am on 26 November 2016
Dancing Cossacks

Still from the 1975 political advertisement known as 'Dancing Cossacks', in which the National Party implied the Labour Government's compulsary superannuation scheme would turn New Zealand into a communist state. Photo: Supplied

In 1976, then-Prime Minister Robert Muldoon’s announcement, via media release, that the Labour Party’s compulsory national superannuation scheme was suspended was held to be unlawful, as statutory laws could be suspended or amended only by Parliament.

The Education Department clerk who challenged Muldoon was 28 year old Paul Fitzgerald. Invoking the 1688 Bill of Rights, Fitzgerald won.

Now, 40 years later, the Bill of Rights is making headlines in the UK as their PM Theresa May appeals a ruling forcing her to give Parliament a vote on the plans for Brexit.

Watch the notorious 1975 political advertisement in which National Party leader Rob Muldoon targets the Labour Government’s superannuation scheme, associating it with communism via a troupe of dancing Cossacks.

Paul Fitzgerald

Paul Fitzgerald Photo: Supplied