3 weeks to go

Three more parliamentary sitting weeks lie ahead before we all go our separate ways for a while and forget the problems of the world.    But judging by the last two weeks, Labour have decided to make a lot of noise on the way out.   So much so, Andrew Little is facing suspension from parliament.

Richard Harman reports

Labour Leader Andrew Little and the party’s Chief Whip Chris Hipkins face suspension from Parliament after they both criticised the actions of Speaker David Carter saying he was politically biased.

Both MPs have been referred to the Privileges Committee for breaching privilege by committing contempt of Parliament.

Whilst theoretically, the Committee has the power to recommend that they be imprisoned by Parliament’s Sargent at Arms (which would mean incarcerating them in Parliament Buildings) suspension is a more likely punishment.

It could be for a day , a week or even longer.

Significantly on three separate occasions when MPs have criticised the Speaker over the past 40 years, suspension has been the punishment.

The relatively fascinating thing is that this appears to be part of the larger plan.   By undermining the speaker and going for National’s jugular with repeated staged walkouts, the left appear to be heading for… Read more »


Term limits for MPs…what a good idea

Rodney Hide suggests there should be term limits for MPs. 

Reports of Phil Goff running for mayor of Auckland remind me of the desperate need for term limits.

In a nation of just four million we have made politics a career much like butchery, accountancy or law. People choose politics at a young age and then work at it their entire lives. They are professional politicians, a breed apart.

Mr Goff joined the Labour Party at 16 and became an MP in 1981. He has been a politician his entire life. The key to his political survival is his excessive caution and extreme flexibility.

Mr Goff has never made a do-or-die stand and, indeed, has travelled the entire political spectrum and back again. He has been against free trade, for free trade and now he’s against again.

There’s no leadership, no principles, no underpinning philosophy or view of life. Professional politicians are party functionaries bobbing about on the sea of public opinion.

They are institutionalised and their interests align with government rather than with the citizenry.

We need the simple rule that an MP can only serve a maximum of four terms. That one change would transform politics. We would have citizen politicians again.

They would represent us rather than themselves.

Read more »

Seems MPs are just a little less precious about themselves

MPs finally arrive in the modern era, and lose a little bit of their preciousness.

It is not OK to satirise and mock them…which I have, of course, been doing for ever despite the rules.

A rule banning the use of television footage from the debating chamber to ridicule or satirise politicians should be ditched, the Speaker has been told.

Official television coverage cannot currently be used for “satire, ridicule or denigration” – a limitation that both the Parliamentary Press Gallery and Clerk of the House want removed.

Parliament’s Privileges Committee has now agreed, and has included the recommendation in a new report on the use of social media to report on proceedings in the House.

“This rule has never been used and risks making Parliament seem out of touch and wary of criticism,” the report stated.    Read more »


Green killjoys bitter over Parliamentary rugby team

What a bunch of killjoys the Greens are opposing the traditional Parliamentary rugby tour.

The Greens are objecting to a corporate-sponsored trip for MPs to play in the Parliamentary Rugby World Cup.

Corrections minister Sam Lotu-Iiga, his colleague Commerce minister Paul Goldsmith and NZ First leader Winston Peters are among those who will skip parliamentary sessions in lieu of the September junket.

They’ll also be at the Rugby World Cup, which runs alongside the tournament.

Also on the team are Labour’s Damien O’Connor, Stuart Nash, Peeni Henare and Kelvin Davis, and National’s Alfred Ngaro and Mark Mitchell.

“If there are corporate lobbyists going, they have privileged access to ministers,” Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says.

It is not dissimilar to the Cabinet Club approach where there are select few who get to spend extended time with ministers and MPs.

“This isn’t the first time this has been raised.”

She added: “This is a trip to the Rugby World Cup, there is no point try to pretend that’s not what it is. And the fact that it has now been sanctioned as a parliamentary trip raises real concerns.”

In 2007, then-Prime Minister Helen Clark called for an inquiry into the Parliamentary rugby team after a trip to France.    Read more »

Labour lies about door and Judith shanks them

Judith Collins has shown that she still has the goods, shanking Labour hard over the $30,000 door between offices that they have insisted on.

Audrey Young has the story:

National MP Judith Collins tonight released emails that show a $30,000 door that will separate Labour MPs from National MPs sharing a floor in Parliament House was opposed by the National Party.

She and six other National MPs were consulted about the door by National senior whip Tim Macindoe in January this year.

Mr Macindoe’s reply to her and the six other MPs he consulted says: “I have now heard from all of you in response to my request for your thoughts about installing an extra security door on Level2 and I’m pleased that you are all of the same view…Thank-you for replying and for the helpful reasons you provided for not wanting the door.”

Mr Macindoe said he had told Jim Robb, the Parliamentary Service group manager of precinct services, that National wanted to the status quo to be maintained.

Labour whip Chris Hipkins said yesterday the door had been proposed by National MP Gerry Brownlee after last September’s election, but omitted to say parties had been consulted in January to say whether they really wanted it.

Read more »

Ron Mark – Conduct unbecoming – Swears in parliament

Remember this image…Ron Mark flipping the bird in parliament.


The man has form, and today in Question 5 he told a government member to “shut the fuck up”.

The man is a disgrace.


Here is another budget saving worth looking at

I don’t agree with much of what Peter Dunne says, and I find him a pompous tosspot at the best of times.

But he has questioned some womble positions being advertised and sledges out the Taxpayers’ Union at the same time.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne is querying five new staff positions recently advertised by the Parliamentary Service.

The Parliamentary Service is currently advertising for:

– An Organisational Development Manager to join the People and Culture Leadership team

– A Senior Organisational Development Advisor

– A Senior Learning and Development Advisor to build people and organisational capability

– A Talent Manager for the People and Culture Leadership team

– A People and Culture Services Manager.    Read more »


Sledge of the Day

Things aren’t going so well for Andrew Little.

Yesterday he had the first question in the house and straight away off the primary question he got smashed in the face by John Key.

To add to his misery his follow up question also copped him a right hook, followed by a left hook with the second supplementary.

Read more »

Want to see your parliament back at work?


NZPA via 3 News


The House sits for the first time this year on Tuesday 10 February. At 2 p.m. the debate on the Prime Minister’s statement begins.

The debate is the traditional curtain raiser to the parliamentary year. Up to 2008, the Prime Minister read out a statement that had already been given to party leaders and the media. No departure from the prepared statement was allowed, which could be frustrating for the PM, who could not respond to interjections.   Read more »


Labour and media need remedial lessons in Parliament’s standing orders

Labour and their leader Andrew Little think they have got John Key.

They have used a sneaky left wing blogger to try to manipulate me into smearing the PM and it blew up in their face.

But they have a worse problem, they don;t seem to understand Parliament’s standing orders.

These are the questions John Key was asked by Megan Woods, with his answers.

Dr Megan Woods : Did his office have communications with Cameron Slater between 23 and 25 November regarding the Chisholm inquiry or the Inspector-General of Intelligence and Security’s inquiry?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I do not think so. I am not aware of that, no.

Dr Megan Woods : Did he have communications with Cameron Slater between 23 and 25 November regarding the Chisholm inquiry or the inspector-general’s inquiry?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No.

Both questions have two legs…and under standing orders the minister, or in this case the Prime Minister is entitled to answer which ever leg of the question they like. There is no obligation to answer both legs.    Read more »