Oral Questions:18 June 2019

Questions to Ministers

1.CLAYTON MITCHELL to the Minister for Regional Economic Development: What recent Provincial Growth Fund announcements have been made?

2.Hon SIMON BRIDGES to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by all her Government’s statements, policies, and actions?

3.Hon SIMON BRIDGES to the Prime Minister: Does she stand by all her Government’s statements, policies, and actions?

4.Dr DEBORAH RUSSELL to the Minister of Finance: What reactions has he seen to Budget 2019?

5.Hon AMY ADAMS to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all of the Government’s decisions, statements, and actions in relation to his portfolio?

6.Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by all of his statements and actions around Vote Health in Budget 2019?

7.JAN TINETTI to the Minister of Education: What recent investments has the Government made in school property to meet population growth?

8.Dr SHANE RETI to the Minister of Health: Does he stand by his statements and actions around the Northland meningococcal outbreak and vaccination campaign?

9.Hon PAULA BENNETT to the Minister of State Services: Does he have confidence in the State Services Commission investigation into statements made and actions taken by the Secretary to the Treasury?

10.GINNY ANDERSEN to the Minister of Justice: What recent reports has the Minister received on the family justice system?

11.Hon NIKKI KAYE to the Minister of Education: Is he confident that the Government’s school donations policy is delivering on its commitment to break down financial barriers to participate in education at all levels?

12.GARETH HUGHES to the Minister of Conservation: Is she satisfied that the proposals for an updated threat management plan will better protect Hector’s and M?ui dolphins; if so, why?

Are We Ready for Another Female at the Helm?

Judith Collins is poised to make a bid for the leadership of the National party in a time when, in my opinion, we need a Kiwi Trump. One of the reasons that Trump has been so successful is that he is what we now call an “alpha male” – a blokey bloke. “A Good Keen Man” as Barry Crump would have said. Yet these strong males have been supplanted by effeminate characters like Canada’s Trudeau and France’s Macron.

Even Simon Bridges has paled into a shadow of his former self. I recently watched his maiden speech in parliament. What a passionate and enthusiastic young man he was. Where did he go? When did he turn into this hesitant and unsure fellow who seems so frightened of his own shadow?

I wonder if this is a good idea – to have another female leader. Somehow, I feel that we are living in an era where, politically, women have fought for the right to be equal, but have somehow ended up being “fast-tracked” and are now not necessarily being appointed on merit, but simply because of their gender.

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It has to be Judith

By John

Christie has picked up on Matthew Hooton’s list of non-entities as possible leaders of the National party. No, they’re not you’ll be screaming at me. To us here no, but to 95% of the public the names Hooton put forward wouldn’t register. Maybe Paula might due to her having been a minister with a certain flamboyance and Mark through his weekly ZB breakfast slot. The fact is if any of them were registering with the public in a positive way their names would be appearing in the opinion polls.

Let’s cut to the chase here. Agonising over MPs who have not caught the public’s attention is a pointless exercise. In politics these days a leader needs a mix of charisma and ability. Look at Scott Morrison in Australia, ‘ScoMo’, he has something of the John Key persona about him, good to have a drink with down at the pub. Look at Trump, the Donald, a true love-hate character but one that can enthuse people and take them with him. Look at the man most likely to be the next PM in the UK, Boris Johnson, bumbling Boris, but if the polls are correct, he could lead the Conservatives out of chaos to a landslide election win.

I put it to you that if we were voters in any of those countries we would be agonising over those three names. Trump wasn’t supposed to win, neither was Morrison and until now nobody thought Johnson could either.

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Cartoon of the day by SonovaMin

All cartoons as exclusively seen here are available to buy as prints directly from SonovaMin.com

Dog whisperer Cartoon credit: SonovaMin

NZ’s Orwellian groups

If I told you that the Ministry for Fresh Fruit and Vegetables was supporting a law that restricted each Kiwi family to only two pieces of fruit and one vegetable a week would you scratch your head? What about if I told you that a group that had been formed specifically to protect the rights of New Zealand pets was now promoting dog meat as a healthy alternative to beef?

It wouldn’t make sense now, would it? Here in New Zealand, two groups are doing the exact opposite of what they were set up to do.

The two organisations I am referring to are the Human Rights Commission which is supporting hate speech laws in a bid to restrict our precious right to freedom of speech and a ‘civil liberties’ group that wants to restrict our civil liberties.

Yes, really.

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Meet National’s leadership options

It is a shame to see National going through the same painful process that Labour went through after losing the 2008 election. Phil Goff took the poisoned chalice and became leader of the opposition, but he didn’t last long. Things spiralled downwards from there for Labour, until Andrew Little stepped aside for Jacinda Ardern. Labour still came second to National in the election, but it gave their support a boost that made them a possible coalition partner for Winston Peters, which was all they needed.

Just remember. If it hadn’t been for that, Bill English would still be prime minister. While some of you dislike Bill, he was competent, and we wouldn’t be spiralling downwards in every statistic, as we are now.

Matthew Hooton thinks that National still has some big problems with its leadership and that Simon Bridges, in spite of his low popularity, might keep the job for a while yet.

Simon Bridges still has a good chance of remaining Leader of the Opposition until the election.
This is not because National MPs support him but because they cannot agree on his successor. They know that if they roll him, the only credible replacement with the party and public right now is Judith Collins.

National MPs’ concerns about Collins range from the symbolic to the more substantial: namely, her right-wing “Crusher Collins” persona and a perception she has been too brutal with some of them on occasion.
The first is more myth than reality. Collins was typecast by John Key as a law and order conservative and carried out that role with aplomb.
But privately she is grateful to Bill English for taking her more seriously, giving the former commercial lawyer economic roles in revenue, energy and resources.

She is certainly no more right-wing than Bridges and much less so on social issues like gay marriage.
Complaints about her robust treatment of fellow MPs have more merit but she was among the most popular ministers in the previous government among staff and officials in the Beehive and bureaucracy.

A Newspaper.
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Housing climate emergency

By Beth Houlbrooke
ACT Deputy Leader / Vice President  

A Bill before parliament, the Kainga Ora Homes and Communities Bill, made its way to my desk this week for local board comment. A cursory glance tells me that the government needs to change the planning rules to make it easier for them to build state houses more quickly. I know there will be consternation from the planning-loving members of my board that this will be “riding roughshod” over the Unitary Plan. But the fact it has to be done is surely an admission that current planning rules are an impediment to increasing the housing stock. If this has to be done for state housing, then it needs to be done for the private sector.

The henny-pennies will tell us this, like National’s SHAs, is all bad because councils can’t provide for infrastructure quickly enough. They could, however, if they were given a share of the GST on development to fund it. That share could be paid monthly as the council submits its invoices, incentivising them to process consent applications quickly. As well, councils should be able to enter into partnership with developers to fund infrastructure and have property buyers pay it back over 20 or 30 years, getting sections released to market in a much shorter timeframe.

Labour has finally admitted that the way to ease the cost of building a house in Auckland is to increase the amount of land available for housing. Simple supply and demand economics in action, ignored by National and philosophically abhorrent to Labour – until now. 

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A ‘hands on’ presidential hopeful

 “I promise you if I’m elected president you’re going to see the single most important thing that changes America. We’re going to cure cancer.”

Joe Biden

I have heard some big promises made by politicians, but this one is a whopper. The tragedy is that he, like most of the Left, not only get away with it, but gets applause for it! If Trump cured cancer, he’d be accused of putting hundreds of thousands of nurses and oncologists out of work.

‘Uncle Joe’ is going to perform a modern miracle and cure cancer – but only if he is elected president. What if he loses or doesn’t even get the nomination? Will he say, “Well, that’s it. I won’t be curing cancer after all”?

Thank goodness people like Dr Ben Carson didn’t need to be president to save people’s lives… he just does it every day because he is a good man and a highly qualified neurologist; one who actually does it because he loves his fellow mankind.

Dr Ben Carson with President Trump
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ACT’s new bill to protect freedom of expression

There is currently only one party in parliament fighting to defend our free speech, and that is the ACT party. If National do not stand up and back most of the ACT party’s bill, I will wash my hands of them in complete disgust.

“A new member’s bill announced this morning will strengthen protections for our most basic freedom”, ACT Leader David Seymour says.

“Freedom of expression is the basis of all our freedoms. But it is under attack. The government, urged on by the Greens, is planning to further restrict what New Zealanders are lawfully allowed to say through tougher hate speech laws. The Human Rights Commission has completely failed to defend our most basic human right and has even supported extending restrictions on speech. The media and other parts of the establishment have been silent. ACT has stood alone in defence of our most basic freedom.

The Human Rights Commission should be shut down immediately. It is a complete failure which only defends the non-existent right of the chosen few to not be offended. It is unconscionable that not only has it done nothing to defend our free speech, it has also supported restrictions on it!

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Message to SB…

This is going to become a weekly column.

I took it upon myself to write articles in the last couple of weeks about how the sycophantic media always throws out a baby story when the government has had a bad week. I must admit, though that I didn’t expect it to become quite such a regular event. I probably thought that this practice of wheeling out the baby every time the heat goes on the government, particularly on the prime minister, would become so obvious that they simply wouldn’t keep doing it. They would know that the reading public would figure out pretty quickly what was going on.

The media has clearly never had much respect for its reading public because it still has not occurred to them that we can, in fact, see exactly what is going on. It is so bad that there are people on Twitter who regularly predict the coming of the next baby article… and they haven’t been wrong yet. 

She’s the busiest 1-year-old in the country. Neve Te Aroha Ardern Gayford celebrates her first birthday next Friday and has already mixed with Hollywood movie stars, visited the United Nations headquarters in New York and taken up countless column inches.

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