This week: State of the Nation according to Kumara Bill and the chipmunks

Time for chasing down the best tasting chips is over as politicians have to go back to work today. ?The House is sitting, and as is traditional, the Prime Minister will make his “statement”.

The Prime Minister?s statement is the annual equivalent of what the Governor General or the Queen does at the State Opening of a new Parliament (after an election).

It serves the same purpose (a mix of state of the nation and statement of intent) but with less pomp and pageantry.

The Prime Minister and each member of the governing coalition get a chance to outline a vision for their future intentions and every single opposition MP gets a chance to hold the government to account or to paint their own picture of what an alternative government would look like.

Every. ?Single. ?MP. ? Read more »

Cunning, cunning Winston

While Andrew Little was sucking up to the Indian community along with John Key last night, Winston Peters was stealing Labour’s thunder.

Plans for a $100 million plus new office block to house MPs and their staff is threatening to turn into an election-year stoush.

Parliament’s Speaker David Carter says Cabinet has approved in principle a multi-story office block to rehouse MPs and staff once the lease on?Parliament’s Lambton?Quay Bowen House office block?expires.

The Bowen House lease is costing $6 million a year and Carter says it’s more cost effective to build new premises.

It was also an issue of sovereignty, because most Kiwis would be surprised to learn MPs were housed in a building owned by an overseas landlord,?Carter said.

NZ First MP Ron Mark said a new office block was a low priority.

“When we have well over 40,000 New Zealanders homeless and young Kiwis struggling to buy a new home, this is not the time for wasteful expenditure pandering to the comfort of MPs and their staff.”‘

Read more »


Wrecked him? Damn near killed him


I always suspected Trevor Mallard liked it up him.

Parliament’s new security bollards have claimed their latest victim – Labour MP and Assistant Speaker Trevor Mallard and his red Ford Mondeo.

He had just left Parliament’s underground carpark and the bollards had automatically retracted into the ground when he drove over them. ? Read more »

MPs get pay rise 400%+ higher than inflation. Scum List MPs on $160,000

I know they don’t get to set their own pay rises…but seriously?

MPs have been given their annual pay rise, 2.49 per cent backdated to July 1.

Prime Minister John Key’s salary has increased to $459,730 and his deputy Bill English’s to $326,697.

Cabinet ministers now earn $288,900 and ministers outside cabinet, $243,841.

Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little now gets $288,900, the same as a cabinet minister. ? Read more »

Cunning, cunning Winston

Winston Peters knows that people dislike MMP. He also knows that they generally?dislike MPs….except him of course.

That makes his latest?suggestion to cut costs of parliament a very cunning move.

NZ First leader Winston Peters has come up with a cost-saving solution to Parliament’s looming space problem: cut the number of MPs to 100 instead of spending millions on a new office block.

Parliament’s Speaker David Carter has proposed building a new office block on Parliament’s grounds to house MPs and staff after the lease on Bowen House ends at the end of 2018. ?? Read more »

Is anyone else done with Dunne?

I’m over Peter Dunne, the man is a grandstanding bouffant tosspot.

Now he is whining about snooping on MPs when there was none.

An MP who had fallen victim to Parliamentary Service’s snooping before was “shocked” by revelations it was?up to its old tricks.

UnitedFuture leader Peter Dunne had his email conversations with then-Fairfax journalist Andrea Vance wrongly handed over to a ministerial inquiry by Parliamentary Service in 2013.

The then-head of Parliamentary Service, Geoff Thorn, resigned amid the fallout.

Dunne had already quit as a minister prior to the ministerial inquiry after refusing to hand over his emails for an investigation into the leaking of a Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) report.

Dunne said he was “shocked” and “outraged” to hear Parliamentary Service was defending its computer security that is screening and blocking MPs emails if they contain words like “sensitive” or “classified”.

The Privileges Committee made “very clear statements about the privacy of MPs communications” at the time of the ministerial inquiry into why Dunne’s emails were handed over, he said.

“They appear to have fallen on deaf ears as far as the Parliamentary Service is concerned.”

Peter Dunne wasn’t a victim, he fell for the glad eye of Andrea Vance. He let his little head do his thinking.? Read more »

By the time that useless appendage Dunne can take the high road, things are getting seriously poor

The government and John Key need to take a serious?look at the management of the house.

It has been a fiasco that has enabled that pontificating prat Peter Dunne to claim the high ground.

The two-day, 17-hour debate under urgency on the government’s housing bill was a $700,000 waste of money, United Future leader Peter Dunne says.

The debate ended late on Wednesday night when the bill was passed, after Labour and the Greens had used nearly all of it to talk about their own policies.

They were able to effectively hijack the bill because it was omnibus legislation, which meant they could put up amendments to add new parts to it.

All their amendments were defeated. ? Read more »

Anyone seen my Glock?

Oh dear, how embarrassing.

Police are investigating how an officer left a loaded gun in a bathroom at Parliament.

Superintendent Chris Scahill said they retrieved the weapon as soon as they were told someone had found it.

He said the incident was regrettable, and acknowledged the potential risk it could have posed. ? Read more »


Taxpayer funded Sky TV for MPs and Councils

Apparently Parliamentary Services hasn’t heard of the internet, and that’s the reason why MPs need expensive corporate Sky subscriptions to keep abreast of news and current affairs…days late.

Taxpayers shelled out $56,000 so MPs could watch Sky TV ? but the beancounters insist the politicians?have to get “special permission” to see the satellite broadcaster’s more exclusive stations.

Central and local government agencies are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on Sky TV subscriptions.?This emerges at the broadcaster announces plans to merge with telco Vodafone, creating a media behemoth.

Figures requested under the Official Information Act show that a wide variety of state-funded agencies, from hospitals and universities to councils and government departments, believe the pay TV service is an operational cost.

Data obtained by the Taxpayers’ Union shows that $682,525 was spent on Sky subs during the 2014/15 year, with more than $200,000 spent by local?councils.

The list was topped by the University of Otago at more than $60,000, followed by?KiwiRail?and Auckland Council, both just under $50,000.

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Don?t forget, he?s the ?Smiling Assassin?

The PM didn’t care and why would he, getting booted from the house is hardly a punishment. It’s more of a reward.

If winners are grinners, it wasn’t hard to see who was claiming victory after Prime Minister John Key’s ejection from Parliament on Wednesday.

Far from looking chastened at being booted from the house, Mr Key was smiling. By Thursday morning he was laughing about the incident on More FM, saying his wife had told him to write lines in penance: “I’ve done my lines, I wrote 500 out.”

To be fair, he seemed rather pleased with himself even before the Speaker took action, but the punishment apparently did little to dampen his mood.

His first ejection from the house as prime minister (a fate also suffered by predecessors Helen Clark and David Lange) was administered as he answered, with typical hammy brio, a question from Greens co-leader James Shaw, who wanted him to apologise for having dragged Greenpeace and Amnesty International into debate over the Panama Papers.

Apparently unable to contain his enthusiasm for the fray, he carried on counter-punching when Parliament’s referee had effectively called “break”, thereby earning himself an early exit.

This was all too neat for critics on social media who reckoned he had got himself thrown out to avoid answering more questions about those?problematic Panama Papers.

Read more »