Our leaders have enough to deal with without the indiscretions of family members raising their stress levels.
In this part of the world, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is refusing to comment on claims her fiance tried to do his friends a favour by getting rapid antigen tests (RATs) for them even though they were not eligible.
In Britain, the Queen is dealing with a scandal surrounding her son, Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, who faces a US civil action over sexual assault allegations
He has consistently denied the allegations against him, but the Queen is not counting on silence being the smart way to deal with this. Buckingham Palace has announced the Duke’s military titles and royal patronages have been returned to her.
The BBC says Prince Andrew, 61, will stop using the style His Royal Highness in an official capacity.
A statement released by the Government on the implications for New Zealand tells us the prince has been defrocked in this country, too. .
The statement, emailed to Point of Order in the name of Jacinda Ardern, is headed Duke of York’s NZ military patronage appointment ends.
The statement says:
“Buckingham Palace has recently announced that, with the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“In New Zealand, the Duke of York was formerly the Colonel-in-Chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment (The Duke of York’s Own). As a result of patronages returning to the Queen, his appointment has now ended.
“Any further changes to Royal patronages and appointments would be a matter for the Prime Minister to raise with the Queen of New Zealand in due course.”
But when we checked the Beehive website while monitoring what our ministers are up to, we found the statement had yet to be posted there.
The only Beehive news since Point of Order’s previous monitoring came from Poto Williams, as Minister of Building and Construction, who was hooting about housing stats that had come her way.
- In the year ended November 2021, 48,522 new homes were consented, up 26 per cent from the November 2020 year.
- In November 2021, 4,688 new dwellings were consented.
- Auckland’s new homes consented numbers rose 25 per cent in the last year.
“We’re building more houses than any Government since the 1970s and consent numbers have more than tripled in the last decade. Now, for the ninth month in a row, we have exceeded the previous record for the highest number of homes consented in a year,” said Poto Williams.
Williams drew attention to forecasts in the National Construction Pipeline Report 2021, which estimate an increase in building and construction activity through to the end of the forecast period in 2026.
The forecast is for 265,000 new dwellings to be consented through to 2026 at an average of over 44,000 dwellings a year.
Williams also mentioned the Commerce Commission being instructed to undertake a study into competition in New Zealand’s residential building supplies markets.
This study will focus on any factors that may be affecting competition for the supply or acquisition of key building supplies used to build the major components of residential buildings.”
The Beehive website records no statements from the PM since December 31, when she congratulated New Year honours recipients.
But our email from the Beehive and the statement on Scoop records the dishonouring of Prince Andrew.
According to the BBC, Buckingham Palace said in a statement:
“With the Queen’s approval and agreement, the Duke of York’s military affiliations and Royal patronages have been returned to the Queen.
“The Duke of York will continue not to undertake any public duties and is defending this case as a private citizen.”
All Prince Andrew’s roles have been returned to the Queen with immediate effect, and will be redistributed to other members of the Royal Family.
BBC Royal correspondent Sean Coughlan said the Royal Family is being firmly distanced from the toxic fall-out from the allegations against Prince Andrew.
He will have to defend himself against Virginia Giuffre as a private citizen, there will be no more His Royal Highness in this court case.
The duke had a 22-year career in the Royal Navy, and served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.
The latest Palace announcement means he has lost military titles including Colonel of the Grenadier Guards – one of the most senior infantry regiments in the British army.
The BBC has listed a swathe of other UK military titles taken from him.
It notes that the duke will also lose several overseas honorary roles including colonel-in-chief of The Royal Highland Fusiliers Of Canada, colonel-in-chief of the Royal New Zealand Army Logistic Regiment, colonel-in-chief of the Princess Louise Fusiliers of Canada and colonel-in-chief of the Queen’s York Rangers (1st American Regiment).
But he will retain his service rank of Vice-Admiral, the Palace has confirmed.
Hmm. We imagined he would want to distance himself from anything smacking of vice – at least until his legal difficulties have been resolved.
Latest from the Beehive
Annual figures for the last nine months show more new homes have been consented than ever before.