Seymour nettles the PM with questions about EVs, “feebate”, the Auckland cycle bridge and the disposal of batteries

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”

Wood is proving adept at steering major initiatives through Cabinet – but winning public approval for them will be more challenging

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”