The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics

Is the government digging itself into a hole as it awaits a solution to the problem of contested land at Ihumatao?

For two days in a row, PM Jacinda Ardern has backed away from questions over a   Crown loan being used to purchase the land where a housing development has been held up because of a long-running protest.

Continue reading “The Ihumatao saga could have a far-reaching impact on NZ politics”

Andrew Little’s priggish rebuke suggests “Fascist” might be an acceptable word when his “hate law” is enacted

Justice Minister Andrew Little sounded distinctly priggish, when he chided National’s Nick Smith in Parliament yesterday.

Smith had asked if Little stood by all his statements, policies, and actions on electoral law and referenda?

The answer was yes, he did.

But Little couldn’t resist the temptation to go further and say:

” … I should point out that the accepted plural of ‘referendum’ these days is ‘referendums’.” 

This was a disquieting reminder that the “accepted” way of saying things could well be incorporated in a new “hate” law which Little seems keen to have enacted to curb our freedom to express ourselves.   Continue reading “Andrew Little’s priggish rebuke suggests “Fascist” might be an acceptable word when his “hate law” is enacted”

Soper throws some light on case of man “in a very dark place” over Parliamentary harassment report

Parliament is the place where laws are made. Justice is dispensed elsewhere, as the bloke stood down from Parliament after publication of the Francis report probably would attest.

Veteran Parliamentary reporter Barry Soper reports that the man

…  was stood down by the closed shop Parliamentary Service last week, which is exempt from the Official Information Act and will not have to release documents over the alleged incident.

The Francis report, dealing with bullying and harassment in Parliament, revealed three serious allegations of sexual harassment. Continue reading “Soper throws some light on case of man “in a very dark place” over Parliamentary harassment report”

It looks like taxpayers (for now) have been spared the air fare to fly Bridges to Washington

Deputy PM Winston Peters, leading off the general debate  in Parliament  this week,  had  some  fun at  the  expense  of  Opposition  Leader  Simon  Bridges.

Predicting the early demise of National’s leader, Peters said Bridges had  cancelled  an overseas  tour.

Just the other day Mr Bridges, who is planned and appointed to go to Washington, which is the annualised tour for the Leader of the Opposition to go to Washington, decided to cancel. Why? Well, he’s too scared that if he’s away—

SPEAKER: Order! Order!

PETERS: Oh, he’s too worried that if he’s away—I can’t challenge his fortitude, but he’s so worried that if he is away, the mice will play. Can I just say this: you know, he should go, because even an inmate deserves a last meal—a last meal. He should go. National is a party of four d’s: distracted, divided, desperate, and divisive. The Government’s a party of four d’s: driven, determined, dynamic, and delightful”. Continue reading “It looks like taxpayers (for now) have been spared the air fare to fly Bridges to Washington”

Yep, that’s what Peters said – now let’s see if Erdogan goes Googling (and can put things in context)

Green  MP  Golriz  Ghahraman  spoke movingly  in Parliament  during the debate  on the motion of condolence  to families of mosque victims, recalling  how as a  nine-year-old  she and her family  were  welcomed in Auckland as they  “escaped  oppression at the risk of  torture”.  

We had lived through a war, and I will never forget being that nine-year-old girl on the escalator at Auckland Airport with my frightened parents.  We weren’t turned back. We were welcomed here. So I want to thank every single New Zealander—hundreds of thousands of people—who came out over the last three days, who stood on the right side of history for our values of inclusion and love”.

Then  she   issued a  challenge  to her  fellow  MPs.  She contended that politicians bear some responsibility for the shootings that killed 50 people at two mosques on Friday.

“There sit among us those who have for years fanned the flames of division, who have blamed migrants for the housing crisis.  None of us are directly responsible for what happened on Friday – we’re all horrified – but we’re all on notice now, we have to change the way we do politics.  Our most vulnerable communities are hurt, we’re scared – white supremacists want us dead.

Ghahraman asserted that although the man accused of the shootings was not born in NZ, the ideology that led to the Christchurch mosque shootings exists in pockets of NZ Continue reading “Yep, that’s what Peters said – now let’s see if Erdogan goes Googling (and can put things in context)”

How MPs can unleash the furies by throwing barbs like ‘stupid’

Describe the leader of the Opposition as “Simple Simon”, and it’s all a bit of a lark. Yes, Jacinda Ardern did have to withdraw and apologise in Parliament after she responded to a question from Opposition leader Simon Bridges with reference to a character in a childhood nursery rhyme.

Ardern was elected on a promise to bring a kinder and nicer face to politics, of course,   as a scribe at Stuff pointed out.

So is it kind and nice to respond to Bridges’ question: ” It’s quite simple…..Simon”

Ardern might have been paying Bridges a compliment, of course, saying he is uncomplicated, clear, plain and understandable (yeah,right!).  Those happen to be among the several meanings of “simple”  – but:

“If you say that someone is simple, you mean that they are not very intelligent and have difficulty learning things.”   Continue reading “How MPs can unleash the furies by throwing barbs like ‘stupid’”

Putting the Sroubek puzzle together is challenging – perhaps a key piece is missing

What’s  the  piece  missing from the  public  gaze  on the  Karel Sroubek scandal and what’s behind the  heavy backing  given to  Iain Lees-Galloway  by  both  the  Prime  Minister  and   the Deputy Prime Minister?

The blunder  the Immigration Minister made  over the  convicted criminal Sroubek  is  one of the  most egregious  by  a  minister  in decades.  He  wouldn’t have survived  under Helen Clark – or, for that matter, most other  Prime Ministers.

In protecting Lees-Galloway,  both the  PM and Deputy  PM  stoked the fires of speculation and political tension, culminating in the stoush in Parliament  where the Speaker expelled first the  Leader of  the Opposition, Simon  Bridges,  and then the Shadow  Leader of the  House,  Gerry Brownlee.

Continue reading “Putting the Sroubek puzzle together is challenging – perhaps a key piece is missing”

MP’s Mandarin prayer is all very well – but what about those unanswered questions?

Raymond Huo, a Labour MP,  officially celebrated this year’s New Zealand Chinese Language Week by reading the Parliamentary prayer in Mandarin at 2pm on Tuesday.

News of the reading was contained in a press release from Silvereye Communications and is recorded at Hansard, but news media seem not to have paid much heed (at least, Point of Order found no media report of what transpired in a Google search).

It didn’t escape the critical attention of economist Michael Reddell, however, who posted his thoughts in an item  headed Shame on our MPs. Continue reading “MP’s Mandarin prayer is all very well – but what about those unanswered questions?”

Plaudits for Shane Jones should be offset by his antics at Question Time

New Zealand First’s Shane Jones today has been rewarded with a positive mention in the Dominion-Post’s weekly “Below the Beltway” column, where a political scribe salutes some politicians in the “up” section and chide others in the “down” section.

Explaining why Jones merited a spot in the “up” section, the column says  –

“He’s on track for his target of one billion trees after Cabinet approved an extra $250 million for the scheme…”

At Point of Order we would have taken into account his playing the race card in an ignoble attempt to constrain the Nats from holding the Government to account at  Question Time. Continue reading “Plaudits for Shane Jones should be offset by his antics at Question Time”

The absurd case of a Green MP who took offence when Nick Smith quoted the words of Rod Donald

A small serving of the rich rhetoric of the late Rod Donald rang through the Parliamentary debating chamber yesterday – so rich that one MP could not stomach it. He raised a point of order to insist he had been offended.

Astonishingly, this bizarre attempt to be spared from having to hear Donald’s strongly expressed views was made by …

Drum roll, please…

It was made by James Shaw.

We kid you not, dear reader.  The offended MP was James Shaw, a delicate creature (apparently) who holds the Green Party co-leadership job that once was impressively held by the politician whose views he seemed intent on suppressing.

We can only imagine that – somewhere in The Hereafter – a bemused Rod Donald was tuned into these goings-on and was wondering what Shaw was trying to achieve.

On the other hand, Donald would be pleasantly surprised to be quoted by a National MP.

Continue reading “The absurd case of a Green MP who took offence when Nick Smith quoted the words of Rod Donald”