How David Seymour’s railing against censorship and a Green MP resulted in The Standard praising Judith Collins

A headline in the left-leaning The StandardIn praise of Judith Collins – caught us by surprise.

The author of The Standard’s post criticised ACT leader David Seymour for “being a dick” about Green MP Golriz Gharaman and for tweeting:

“Golriz Ghahraman is a real menace to freedom in this country.” spoke to about the dangers facing free speech in New Zealand and the political theatre of Jacinda Ardern’s Christchurch Call.”

Let’s check out what’s going on here and why – on this matter, at least – Collins is being praised by a left-wing blogger.   Continue reading “How David Seymour’s railing against censorship and a Green MP resulted in The Standard praising Judith Collins”

Getting the numbers right in Genter’s drive (long-distance) to zero road deaths

Catching up on our ministerial press statements after the Christmas break, we noted a small glitch – which was quickly corrected – in something from Associate Transport Minister Julie Anne Genter’s office.

The corrected version said the official holiday period had ended with nine people tragically killed in crashes on New Zealand roads.

This was three people fewer than the 12 who died in the previous holiday season.

The original version of the statement had said nine was two people fewer than the 12 who died last holiday season. Continue reading “Getting the numbers right in Genter’s drive (long-distance) to zero road deaths”

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’”

Not all mothers welcome Pike River re-entry decision as a ‘victory for families’

The headline at Stuff – playing on emotions that have been running high for years on the West Coast – highlighted a “victory for families and the little people”. 

The headline quote was provided by “an elated Anna Osborne” after the Government gave the all-clear for a $23 million manned re-entry into Pike River Mine, where 29 men died in an explosion eight years ago.

The aim of re-entry, as the Stuff report explained, is to gather any evidence of what might have caused the methane explosion (which implies there can be no certainty the evidence will be found). Continue reading “Not all mothers welcome Pike River re-entry decision as a ‘victory for families’”

Family Court: we thought Labour had the answers in 2014 but it now wants more advice

Justice Minister Andrew Little today welcomed the release of a public consultation paper by the Independent Panel considering the 2014 family justice reforms.  So should we all.

The panel is calling for public submissions, inviting everyone with experience of the family justice system to share their stories and have their say about how family justice services can be improved.

Among the changes introduced by Judith Collins as Justice Minister in 2014, mediation was required before parents could apply to the Family Court and lawyers were removed from the early stages of some court proceedings.

The aim was to help people resolve parenting disputes without having to go to court.

She said she expected the caseload would reduce significantly. Continue reading “Family Court: we thought Labour had the answers in 2014 but it now wants more advice”

Is Twyford making a case for “three strikes and you’re out”?

When Labour’s Phil Twyford put a written question to Amy Adams, the Minister Responsible for Housing New Zealand Corporation, just before the general election last year, he was given a straight answer.

He asked for the net number of disposals of Housing New Zealand properties or houses since 18 October 2016, if any?

In reply, Adams said Housing New Zealand informed her it only records and reports information by month.

“For the period 1 October 2016 to 30 June 2017, there were 1,094 disposals and 1,275 additions, resulting in a net increase of 181 houses. This data is subject to final audit.”

Continue reading “Is Twyford making a case for “three strikes and you’re out”?”

Housing Minister Twyford is told to be succinct – but quality is beyond the Speaker’s control

Speaker Trevor Mallard chided Housing and Urban Minister Phil Twyford yesterday for “developing … the habit of putting additions on answers after he has answered the question”.

Parliamentary questions should be succinct, Mallard reminded the Minister. The answers should be succinct too.

And once a question has been answered a Minister doesn’t need to add to it, “especially in a way that’s likely to lead to disorder or discomfort in the House”.

That’s a nice way of saying Ministers shouldn’t embellish their responses with politically charged taunts.

Play the ball, not the player, in effect. Continue reading “Housing Minister Twyford is told to be succinct – but quality is beyond the Speaker’s control”