Fresh calls for PM Jacinda Ardern to sack Transport Minister Phil Twyford have followed accusations the minister has misled Parliament.
Twyford is on record in Parliament as saying no one from the previous NZ Transport Agency Board asked to stay on before all were axed in September. Now he has conceded at least one board member did so.
National’s Chris Bishop says misleading Parliament is yet another nail in the very badly damaged coffin that has Phil Twyford’s name on it.
“He has repeatedly stood by his claim that all five NZTA board members walked willingly out the door. It wasn’t until media backed him into a corner that he admitted some were shown the exit”.
Look deeper than the headline moves in National’s reshuffle to find the longer-term significance. Those moves included Paul Goldsmith winning the prize of being Opposition Finance spokesman and Gerry Brownlee in taking on Foreign Affairs, not just because he has the capacity to deploy a bit of humour in needling Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters, but because he is signalling he is up for another term.
Insiders point to the leap through the ranks of Hutt South MP Chris Bishop from the cross benches. Still only 36, but in his second term, Bishop has converted the once traditional Labour stronghold of Hutt South into a National seat.
In Parliament as Opposition spokesman on Police he has been effective in puncturing the government’s promises on building up police numbers by 1800. Generally he has kept Police Minister Stuart Nash on his toes and kept police issues close to top of the political agenda—something that some of his seniors have been able to do in their areas of responsibility. Continue reading “Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle”→
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…”
Conflict-of-interest allegations are best resolved by an independent authority, as happened when the Independent Police Conduct Authority examined a senior Dunedin police officer’s role in a case in which a man died after taking morphine in April 2016.
A judge described the police investigation as ‘‘haphazard’’ and noted the veteran officer was a friend of the dead man’s father. But the IPCA ruled there was no conflict of interest.
It seemed we would be treated to an independent inquiry into the controversial appointment of Wally Haumaha as deputy police commissioner. But this turned into an Opposition clamour for an inquiry into the process that resulted in Dr Paula Kingi heading the Haumaha inquiry.