Now Mallard clubs the endangered Twyford’s seal

Judith Collins clubbed Phil Twyford so hard this week that Trevor Mallard felt he needed to get in on the act as well. Yesterday in the house he made a ruling that absolutely castigated Phil Twyford for his condescending, smart alec, sexist replies to Judith Collins’ written questions: Quote:

The Speaker has reprimanded Housing Minister Phil Twyford for some of his answers to National MP Judith Collins. Trevor Mallard said they showed “contempt for the accountability” the minister had.

Mallard ordered Twyford to provide more informative answers to Collins and awarded National an extra 20 questions next week, saying it had been denied the opportunity to use written questions to scrutinise the Government in a timely manner.

“The answers are an abuse of the written question process. In my view they should a contempt for the accountability which a Minister has to this House.”

He said ministers should make a serious attempt to provide an informative answer. “These questions do not come close to meeting that standard.”  

The answers Twyford was reprimanded by the Speaker for related to the KiwiBuild programme -a policy the pair regularly spar over.

In one, Collins asked if KiwiBuild home owners would be able to rent out rooms for profit. Twyford replied she would have to wait for an announcement “but if the member is volunteering to peek in the windows of her constituents, I will take that under advisement”.

In others, Collins had asked how many staff would be employed by the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Twyford replied that was a decision for the chief executive, but added “if the member is on the lookout for work, she should keep an eye on the classifieds”.

Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said he agreed the “flippant comments” used by Twyford did not reflect well on the House, but pointed the Speaker to the tone of some of the questions, saying they invited such an answer.

The example Hipkins used was Collins asking how many more “sleeps” were required before a decision was made on the eligibility rules for KiwiBuild.

Collins had asked that question on June 7, and referred to Twyford’s comment in Parliament two weeks earlier that there were “only a few more sleeps” before those rules would be clear.

Twyford’s reply had been “It depends on how frequently the member sleeps”.

Mallard said because Collins had been quoting Twyford’s own term, it could not be ruled out of order.

The Opposition has a chance to ask a limited amount of questions to ministers in Parliament at Question Time on sitting days, but can also put in written questions for ministers to answer.

It is the third time in the past few months that Twyford has faced a telling off – he admitted to using a cellphone after the airplane doors closed, a confession flushed out of him by Collins putting in a series of written questions about it.

Twyford was also scolded by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern after dismissing Treasury analysts as “kids fresh out of university” because he disagreed with their analysis. End quote.

I’m not sure National want Twyford sacked but the offences and embarrassments are starting to mount. Having the fool remain is far better for National as it reinforces the impression that Labour are unfit to govern.

What this shows, though, is a propensity for Phil Twyford to be condescending, puerile and sexist in his replies.

When Chris Hipkins sought to mitigate the issue Trevor also gave him a tap with the hakapik.

Either Jacinda Ardern or Winston Peters is going to have to deal with the actions and behaviour of Phil Twyford.


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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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