This is how you ask questions in parliament

The best way to ask questions in parliament is with laser-like precision. Already know the answer and hoodwink the lazy minister into a quick and wrong response.

Simon Bridges flails away at Jacinda Ardern to no effect.

But have a look at this questioning from Judith Collins, who isn’t admonished once by Trevor Mallard as she skewers Phil Twyford, and vicariously Jacinda Ardern. In fact, it was Jacinda Ardern who got sat down for asking a silly question that was outside of standing orders. Quote.

Question No. 3—Housing and Urban Development

JUDITH COLLINS (National—Papakura) to the Minister of Housing and Urban Development: What discussions has he had with the Member of Parliament for Mt Albert in relation to the proposed Unitec development for up to 4,000 houses?

PHIL TWYFORD (Minister of Housing and Urban Development): I have had many discussions with the Prime Minister about both the Unitec development and our—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. I’m going to ask the member now to address the question, which is not the question that he started addressing.

PHIL TWYFORD: Thank you, Mr Speaker. I have had many discussions with the member for Mt Albert about both the Unitec development and our work to build affordable homes for Kiwi families. The member for Mt Albert has relayed to me how excited her constituents are about this investment in their community.

Judith Collins: How does he anticipate addressing the concerns raised by the member of Parliament for Mt Albert, who has said, in relation to the Unitec development, “There are questions around what kind of urban design will that project have, will it have an effect on traffic; will it overflow our schools…”?

PHIL TWYFORD: There is much discussion going on about what kind of urban design we’re going to have, and it’s going to be a very high quality of urban design. Our Government is going to invest in the infrastructure and amenities that the new community at Unitec needs, because this Government believes that when population grows, you invest in the infrastructure to support that population.

Jacinda Ardern: Can the Minister confirm that the member for Mt Albert has been continually supportive of the proposal at Unitec but, under its first iteration, when the member was in Opposition, raised the fact that, at that time, the Ministry of Education seemed unwilling to make sure that there was—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! This Minister has no responsibility for what the member for Mt Albert said when she was in Opposition.

Judith Collins: When he announced that there would be now up to 4,000 houses built on the Unitec site, had he considered the concerns of the MP for Mt Albert regarding the effect on traffic and local school capabilities?

PHIL TWYFORD: I consider those concerns every day.

Judith Collins: How would he address the reported concerns, and published concerns, of the MP for Mt Albert by increasing the number of homes built on the site from 2,600 to now almost 4,000 separate homes?

PHIL TWYFORD: We’re going to address those concerns by bringing the best of urban design to bear and investing in the infrastructure, open spaces, amenities, schools, and all the things that strong communities need.

Judith Collins: I seek leave to table a document which is available on a pay basis but is unavailable to some members of Parliament. It is called “Chasing Labour votes in Middle Auckland” and it is—

Mr SPEAKER: Describe the source of the document.

Judith Collins: It’s a Politik document.

Mr SPEAKER: Well, I am going to put it, but I think I know what the response is going to be.

Grant Robertson: It’s available to all of us for free.

Mr SPEAKER: Sorry?

Grant Robertson: It’s available to all of us for free.

Member: No, it’s not.

Grant Robertson: The Parliamentary Library has a subscription.

Mr SPEAKER: The Parliamentary Library might have a subscription but it is a paid thing. I know that most members get it. I think the member has probably just cut Mr Harman’s income, because some members have subscribed to it otherwise. But I am, in this case, going to put it to the House. Is there any objection to that document being tabled? [Interruption] There appears to be none.

Tracey Martin: Actually, there was.

Mr SPEAKER: There was? OK. Can I just ask people, when they’re objecting, on both sides, to do it in a forceful and confident manner. End of quote.

That was very clever questioning, because Judith Collins approached this from the Minister’s point of view, not from what Jacinda Ardern had said prior to the election. It also shows that Judith reads Whaleoil because we highlighted this on the weekend.

Twyford walked right into this and was left flailing around.

This question was in stark contrast to Question One, which was not effective at all against Jacinda Ardern other than to show she is nasty, spiteful and busily spinning like a top because her government lacks substance, policy and action.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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