Parliament, mostly a humdrum affair these days, nevertheless has moments which fascinate long-time aficinados. One such moment came at Question Time yesterday when ACT’s David Seymour was probing Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the “feebate” scheme which the government is introducing to accelerate the introduction of EVs.
The Prime Minister carries such an aura these days that it is not easy to penetrate the wall of omniscience which protects her from criticism.
But as Seymour pursued his line of questioning, she showed a hint of fallibility.
Seymour, with a smile, teased her:
“Is my line of questioning getting under the Prime Minister’s skin?”
Of course he had only to look at Ardern’s face to know that he had.
So Point of Order decided to reproduce from Hansard the exchanges of this unusual event.
It began when Seymour asked whether Ardern stood by her statement that “a large number of those buyers of those vehicles are not using them for the legitimate use?” Continue reading “Seymour nettles the PM with questions about EVs, “feebate”, the Auckland cycle bridge and the disposal of batteries”
Transport Minister Michael Wood is winning a reputation for his bold political initiatives. They include, for example, the announcement of a second Auckland harbour bridge crossing (but only for cyclists and walkers, costing an estimated $780m).
Then came a “feebate” scheme to hasten the transition to electric vehicles.
And earlier there had been a move to “review” the Light Rail project in Auckland, the commitment to which had proved a political disaster for Wood’s predecessor, Phil Twyford.
Wood may regard himself as the chosen one, enjoying the favours of his political seniors. Certainly he appears to have a gift for steering his initiatives through Cabinet.
But to what effect for the political fortunes of the government?
The harbour bridge for strollers and cyclists drew a spectacular response, coming as it did when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was pointing out the government was “strapped for cash” and could not meet the nurses’ demands for a higher wage rise than the 1.38% offered by their state employers. Continue reading “Wood is proving adept at steering major initiatives through Cabinet – but winning public approval for them will be more challenging”