Soper throws some light on case of man “in a very dark place” over Parliamentary harassment report

Parliament is the place where laws are made. Justice is dispensed elsewhere, as the bloke stood down from Parliament after publication of the Francis report probably would attest.

Veteran Parliamentary reporter Barry Soper reports that the man

…  was stood down by the closed shop Parliamentary Service last week, which is exempt from the Official Information Act and will not have to release documents over the alleged incident.

The Francis report, dealing with bullying and harassment in Parliament, revealed three serious allegations of sexual harassment. Continue reading “Soper throws some light on case of man “in a very dark place” over Parliamentary harassment report”

Seymour should consult some American judges to avoid being denounced as a bully who speaks in inflammatory code

In case you missed it, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Trevor Mallard, reckons Act  leader David Seymour is a bully.

The Speaker spoke on TV One’s Breakfast yesterday after publication of the review which found bullying is widespread in Parliament.

Interviewer John Campbell couldn’t resist dragging Seymour into considerations:  he asked if it had been bullying or robustness, when Seymour described Green MP Golriz Ghahraman as “a real menace to freedom in this country.”  

Mallard replied:

“In my opinion it did step over the line.  Its not a breach of privilege because it didn’t happen in the House. It’s not a criminal offence but I think it showed poor judgement….”

Campbell:  “Do you think it was bullying?”

Mallard:  “Ah, yes…” Continue reading “Seymour should consult some American judges to avoid being denounced as a bully who speaks in inflammatory code”

Hurrah – three MPs are sent to bat for democracy (but they will be doing it in Doha)

Just a few days after the Hastings District Council voted to change its governance system, the Speaker of the NZ House of Representatives, Trevor Mallard, announced the despatch of three members of Parliament to champion democracy.

No, they aren’t headed for the Hawke’s Bay to remonstrate with the Mayor and councillors who voted to attenuate their democratic system by appointing four members of the Maori Joint Committee to the council’s four standing committees.

Rather, as the heading on the press statement tells us, they are headed for Doha, Qatar, to participate in a “global forum for democracy” from 5 to 10 April .

The statement says:

New Zealand MPs participate in global forum to advance democracy, human rights, and peace

Three Members of Parliament will represent New Zealand at the 140th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly, where democracy, human rights, and peace will be on the agenda.

Continue reading “Hurrah – three MPs are sent to bat for democracy (but they will be doing it in Doha)”

It is much too easy to win headlines – and then be treated leniently – for assaulting MPs

It’s rare for a politician in New Zealand to be mugged while out walking, broadcaster Barry Soper observed after Green Party co-leader James was assaulted in Wellington last week, although many had got into “skirmishes” when out doing their job.

The attack on Shaw prompted the PM to say New Zealanders should be proud of the access New Zealanders have to their politicians, whose job is to serve the people, but this assault showed they can’t take that for granted.

Soper recalled National’s Lockwood Smith once being forced to take a back door out of a university rather than face angry students as Education Minister.

But the last time a politician had been “supposedly attacked” while out walking was Keith Allen, a Minister in the Muldoon Government in 1983. Continue reading “It is much too easy to win headlines – and then be treated leniently – for assaulting MPs”

Our flyaway MPs should grab the opportunity to promote the welfare of a runaway Saudi teeneager

If they are not hard at work in their Beehive offices, as we regularly observe at Point of Order, our Ministers will be busy with engagements here and there around the country – or engaged in very important business overseas.

But the Point of Order monitor of Beehive press statements over the past week or so suggests ministerial globetrotting has been on hold during the Christmas-New Year holiday period.

This doesn’t mean taxpayers are being spared the cost of political jet-setting. Look what we found in a statement from the office of the Speaker, Trevor Mallard.

Yep.  Mallard has announced a junket for a select few back-benchers. Continue reading “Our flyaway MPs should grab the opportunity to promote the welfare of a runaway Saudi teeneager”

Putting the Sroubek puzzle together is challenging – perhaps a key piece is missing

What’s  the  piece  missing from the  public  gaze  on the  Karel Sroubek scandal and what’s behind the  heavy backing  given to  Iain Lees-Galloway  by  both  the  Prime  Minister  and   the Deputy Prime Minister?

The blunder  the Immigration Minister made  over the  convicted criminal Sroubek  is  one of the  most egregious  by  a  minister  in decades.  He  wouldn’t have survived  under Helen Clark – or, for that matter, most other  Prime Ministers.

In protecting Lees-Galloway,  both the  PM and Deputy  PM  stoked the fires of speculation and political tension, culminating in the stoush in Parliament  where the Speaker expelled first the  Leader of  the Opposition, Simon  Bridges,  and then the Shadow  Leader of the  House,  Gerry Brownlee.

Continue reading “Putting the Sroubek puzzle together is challenging – perhaps a key piece is missing”

MP’s Mandarin prayer is all very well – but what about those unanswered questions?

Raymond Huo, a Labour MP,  officially celebrated this year’s New Zealand Chinese Language Week by reading the Parliamentary prayer in Mandarin at 2pm on Tuesday.

News of the reading was contained in a press release from Silvereye Communications and is recorded at Hansard, but news media seem not to have paid much heed (at least, Point of Order found no media report of what transpired in a Google search).

It didn’t escape the critical attention of economist Michael Reddell, however, who posted his thoughts in an item  headed Shame on our MPs. Continue reading “MP’s Mandarin prayer is all very well – but what about those unanswered questions?”