Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays

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”.

On TV news shows, Twyford is labelled a laughing stock, as they list his failures with KiwiBuild and the Auckland light rail project, two key Labour policies in its 2017 election programme. Continue reading “Phil’s failure to fix things prompts further calls for his firing – but there’s an electoral case for Nats to hope he stays”

Bishop is given a chance to make an impact in National’s reshuffle

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”

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”

Do we still need an independent inquiry into how an independent inquiry was set up

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.

Continue reading “Do we still need an independent inquiry into how an independent inquiry was set up”

How Nash differs from Trump in discarding official advice

download
Advice?  I’ll tell you where to stick your advice…

Police Minister Stuart Nash is in good company when he ignores official advice. Correction.  He is in high-ranking company.  Whether it is good company is a matter of opinion.

The high-ranking company we speak of is that of  President Donald Trump, a bloke with a huge contempt for advice and a strong belief in his own omnipotence.

*  During the recent eclipse – and unlike millions of Americans – “he went against the much-repeated and often-emphasised advice of NASA, ophthalmologists and moms everywhere and looked at the sun without glasses”.  He perhaps believed it would be the sun that would be blinded by his gaze. Continue reading “How Nash differs from Trump in discarding official advice”