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Questions And Answers – Thursday, June 26 2008

Questions And Answers – Thursday, June 26 2008

1. Treaty of Waitangi Settlements—Progress

1. DAVE HEREORA (Labour) to the Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations: What recent progress has been made on Treaty of Waitangi settlements?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN (Minister in charge of Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations) : Substantial progress has been made, most recently with yesterday’s deed of settlement signing with central North Island iwi over the Crown forest lands. Yesterday’s event was a reminder of the importance of Treaty settlements as a part of our process of reconciliation. Through such settlements we are given an opportunity to acknowledge the injustices of the past while building shared ambitions for the future.

Dave Hereora: In addition to the central North Island forestry lands settlement, what further progress is expected in the Treaty settlement process?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: This afternoon we will be signing a deed of settlement with Taranaki Whānui. We expect before too long to be signing a deed of settlement with Waikato-Tainui over the Waikato River. Negotiations are under way from Northland to the top of the South Island with iwi in Te Tau Ihu, where we expect to sign agreements in principle shortly. There is therefore a great deal of momentum in this process, reflecting the goodwill of iwi around New Zealand towards working with the Crown.

Dave Hereora: Why do final settlements include an apology from the Crown?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I think that in the last couple of decades Māori have shown that when the Crown is willing to be honest about the failures of the past, iwi are eager to put those past differences behind us. This underlines the importance of understanding our past, and of acknowledging that, as a country, we saw war, we saw internal fighting, and we saw for decades a failure to keep peace between our people. That is why I was so disappointed to see Mr Key’s attempt last night to gloss over difficult aspects of our history. Those comments were better suited to a revisionist tourist brochure than to a man who wants to be Prime Minister of all our people.

Gerry Brownlee: Has the Minister seen a report stating that New Zealand is a country “with a continuous political tradition unbroken by civil war or revolution for over 150 years, something a bare handful of countries can celebrate.”; and can he confirm that he was not only the author of those words but that he also he delivered them in a speech on Waitangi Day 2005; and might he reflect on why he is so condemning of Mr Key when he himself has proclaimed this from the pulpit of his local cathedral?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: Yes, indeed, and no. What happened in the 1860s was an invasion by Crown troops of areas; the taking of that land; the use of overwhelming force to retain that land; and subsequently—even if that had not happened—the use of the Native Land Court to take lands improperly; and the breach of article 1 of the Treaty within the space of 4 or 5 years of the Treaty being signed. Even if the Land Wars of the 1860s had not occurred, the Crown was in serious breach of the Treaty within a few years of 1840.

Te Ururoa Flavell: Tēnā koe, Madam Speaker. Kia ora tātou. Does the Minister agree with Dr David Williams that the notion that New Zealand Governments may have been responsible in the past for cultural oppression seems to cause a significant backlash in public opinion—a notion that explains the use of the word “holocaust” in debate and in the Waitangi Tribunal’s 1996 Taranaki report to describe colonial Government policies of war, land confiscation, and the invasion of the pacifist Māori community; if so, what actions has he taken to address the backlash to the Treaty settlement process?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I think the word “holocaust” is best used for a particular event in history when some 6 million Jews were gassed and otherwise killed. That did not ever occur in New Zealand’s history in that form. However, there were many injustices, which need to be addressed. They should not, however, be dealt with as a matter of guilt on the part of the present generation of Pākehā. It is a matter for the Crown, as legatee of those who signed the Treaty in 1840, to address those injustices.

Hone Harawira: Tēnā koe, Madam Speaker. Kia ora tātou e te Whare. Congratulations on yesterday’s settlement, first of all.

Madam SPEAKER: Would the member please just ask his question.

Hone Harawira: What advice has the Minister received about concerns that certain iwi in the far north may have to sacrifice their own claims to facilitate the united settlement being proposed for the far north; and what steps will he take to address those concerns before any settlements are signed with far north iwi?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I can assure the member that every effort will be made to ensure that any issues of cross-claims and competing claims will be dealt with to the satisfaction of those involved. Good progress is being made at the moment in a regional forum around some of the issues relating to the forests, for example. This bodes well for achieving a solution that does not have the implications the member refers to, quite properly, as being of concern.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can I ask Dr Cullen as to whether he has received any reports as to why that question was asked by Gerry Brownlee; and is it his responsibility, as an historian or otherwise, to educate the leader of the National Party on the history of this country?

Madam SPEAKER: I am not sure about the first part of the question, but the Minister could address the second part.

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: When I was a history lecturer, I did my best to teach people, but not all of them were ever able to learn.

Gerry Brownlee: What was missing in the Minister’s understanding of New Zealand history that led him to make this statement in his speech in St John’s Cathedral, Napier, on 6 February 2005: “New Zealand is a country with a continuous political tradition, unbroken by civil war or revolution for over 150 years—something bare a handful of countries can celebrate.”; and why is it that it is OK when the Minister says it and OK when Governor-General says it but when Mr Key makes a comment, which is taken totally out of context, suddenly the Minister is all over the top of it like a cheap suit?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: The difference is that I am sure that the Governor-General understood the context in which he made his remarks; there is no evidence that Mr Key understood his context. If the member cares to refer to the remainder of that speech, he will find that a great deal else is being explained. But let me help him. I was referring to the fact that we have had a Parliament since 1854 and that it has an unbroken tradition. The member might care to remind himself that Māori were not guaranteed representation within that Parliament until some years after it was set up.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: What reports has the Minister received that would suggest that the leader of the National Party has been properly informed by the one-time Māori affairs spokesperson for the National Party—namely, Gerry Brownlee—on a modicum of what happened in our history?

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: At the risk of appearing totally politically incorrect, it would seem to be a case of the blind leading the blind if Mr Brownlee was to try to instruct Mr Key about the nature of New Zealand’s history. I think he would do much better if he instructed him about the nature of joinery.

Gerry Brownlee: I seek leave to table a series of emails between various parties, including the editor-in-chief of Newstalk ZB—[Interruption]

Madam SPEAKER: That member will leave the Chamber if there is to be an interjection. Members know that the member is on a point of order. It is important that members do hear what, in fact, they are being asked to grant leave for. That is the last warning.

Gerry Brownlee: I seek leave to table a document from Newstalk ZB acknowledging that it had reported Mr Key’s speech out of context.

 Leave granted.

Hon Dr MICHAEL CULLEN: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. Initially the member sought leave to table an exchange of emails. We would like to see the ones that were trying to bully Newstalk ZB before we saw the response.

Madam SPEAKER: That is not a point of order.

Gerry Brownlee: Speaking to the point of order, we do not use ninth floor tactics on our side of the House.

Madam SPEAKER: Thank you very much.

Te Ururoa Flavell: I seek leave to table a paper presented to the foreshore and seabed conference by Dr David Williams, “Wi Parata is dead; Long live Wi Parata”.

 Leave granted.

/NR/rdonlyres/7D1008BE-4266-4671-B209-1ED34B295572/85936/48HansQ_20080626_00000047_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

2. Electoral Commission—Scheduled Meetings

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

2. Hon BILL ENGLISH (Deputy Leader—National) to the Minister of Justice: How many times will the Electoral Commission meet before this year’s general election?

Hon ANNETTE KING (Minister of Justice) : The Electoral Commission is an independent Crown entity, and its meetings are not a matter of ministerial responsibility. However, I have been advised that at this stage it intends to meet monthly. The chief executive has assured me that it will meet as many times as are required.

Hon Bill English: Why does the Minister constantly reply to questions in this House about the application of the Electoral Finance Act that those matters will be considered by the Electoral Commission, when the commission has said that it will meet only another three times before the election?

Hon ANNETTE KING: I have just given the member an answer that disputes the assertions in his question, and I stand by the answer that the Electoral Commission gave me.

Hon Bill English: Why would the Minister take the assurance of the chief executive of the Electoral Commission at face value when, 7 months into election year, the commission has been unable to give us a definitive position on whether the display of party logos in election year is legal?

Hon ANNETTE KING: Because members of the Electoral Commission are honourable people.

Hon Bill English: When exactly will the Electoral Commission have time to consider the issues that are being raised constantly by political parties, given that of the nine items on its agenda when it met 2 weeks ago, five were deferred for further consideration at its next meeting, which is in another 2 weeks, and the decisions on the other four, which apparently the commission did make, have still not been written up and released, and we are now 7 months into election year?

Hon ANNETTE KING: I believe that the commission will look at them at its meetings. The chief executive has said it will have as many meetings as it needs.

Hon Bill English: Well, when the Minister is considering how many meetings the commission might need, has it occurred to her that politicians and party activists might need to know whether the display of party logos in election year is legal or not legal; or is the Minister happy with the situation where we will not find out until after the election, when we may find out that we have all broken the law?

Hon ANNETTE KING: I believe that the people at the Electoral Commission are honourable people. They will make their decisions after consideration. They are not into conspiracy theories, which that member is—we get one every day. If a cat dies it is the Electoral Finance Act’s problem, if it rains it is the Electoral Finance Act’s problem, and if it does not rain it is the Electoral Finance Act’s problem. I say to the member that he ought to have more faith in the officials, rather than blaming and bagging them.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can I ask the Minister what reports she has received on the integrity that should attract to a complaint from a party that insisted that the electoral campaign period should be not from 1 January of any given year but from 3 months before the election, and whose member is now complaining that, 5 months before the election, he does not have a clear definition?

Hon ANNETTE KING: There is an irony in that. The truth is that Bill English and his party could have campaigned from 1 January if they had wanted to. They have wasted a lot of their money—and it is their money, and they can waste it however they like—pursuing issues with the Electoral Commission and in the court, rather than spending it on an election campaign. Why do they not just get on with it?

Hon Bill English: Can the Minister confirm that the problem does not lie with the officials but with an Act that she wrote, supported, and voted for in Parliament, and that is so complex and confusing that, 7 months into election year, very simple issues, like the legal display of party logos, have not been resolved; and can she tell us whether at any time since she has been Minister of Justice she has been approached by the Electoral Commission to provide the resources it requires to resolve these issues;, and if it has approached her, what was her response?

Hon ANNETTE KING: I think the member asked four questions; I am required to answer one: no.

Hon Bill English: As the Minister of Justice, can she comment on how fair and just it is that many of the issues that are to be decided by the Electoral Commission will not be decided until after the election; has she considered the fact that MPs could lose their seats through an electoral petition, and financial agents could be fined up to $40,000, because no one could tell them before the election what the law meant, and is that Labour’s version of common sense?

Hon ANNETTE KING: I have absolutely no evidence that that assertion is correct.

/NR/rdonlyres/21D36AD5-BB14-4F87-B5AE-31A3F6AEB0C1/85938/48HansQ_20080626_00000142_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

3. State Services Commission—Performance Monitoring

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

3. HEATHER ROY (Deputy Leader—ACT) to the Minister of State Services: Is he satisfied with the State Services Commission’s monitoring of the performance of other Government departments?

Hon DAVID PARKER (Minister of State Services) : In general, yes.

Heather Roy: How can he be satisfied, when the killer of the 20-year-old woman mentioned in the news was able to give a false name in court and have the judge believe that he was a first-time offender, when in fact he was a police informer in the witness protection scheme and had a string of serious convictions dating back to 1997 that should have seen him locked up and a young life saved?

Hon DAVID PARKER: There are serious issues that underlie this case, and we are applying to vary the suppression orders that limit what the media can presently say. The reason those suppression orders exist relates to the safety of people, and the member ought to await the outcome of those processes, rather than speculate in ways that can be harmful in a serious way to the interests of people.

Heather Roy: Why has the Minister not released the report on Jonathon Allan Barclay, which he has been sitting on all year and which shows that both the police and the Department of Corrections knew that man’s true identity—in fact, everyone knew but the judge? When will he release it and stop being part of this despicable cover-up?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Rather than suppressing it, I think that on the day of, or the day following, its arrival with Ministers, the Minister of Police took it to the family of the young woman who had so tragically died. We are not suppressing it, but there are already suppression orders—

Hon Annette King: It’s not a year.

Hon DAVID PARKER: —and it is not a year. There are suppression orders currently in force, not from the State Services Commission and not from any arm of the Government but from the courts. Those suppression orders prevent the publication of that report in the form that it was presented to us. If we were to edit that report in full compliance with those suppression orders, it would be largely meaningless to those people who read it. Accordingly, in order for us to be more transparent, not less, we are applying to the court to vary those suppression orders so that we can tell people more than we are currently able to tell them.

/NR/rdonlyres/D37710C7-3B76-46C0-9CBB-59D0D210A537/85940/48HansQ_20080626_00000218_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

4. Emissions Trading Scheme—State-owned Enterprises

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

4. Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National—Nelson) to the Minister responsible for Climate Change Issues: Will the emissions trading scheme provide a windfall profit to State-owned enterprises Meridian Energy and Mighty River Power; if so, how much weight should be given to the sustainable business council report funded by them to lobby MPs to hurry up and pass the emissions trading legislation?

Hon DAVID PARKER (Minister responsible for Climate Change Issues) : If the member is trying to say we should discount people’s analysis because they stand to gain or lose under the emissions trading scheme, we would have to ignore everyone’s views. That would, of course, be nonsense. What is clear is that there are benefits to our economy arising from the emissions trading scheme; just about everyone recognises that except National. In terms of electricity revenues,the recycling of revenues to the Crown from electricity in order to help New Zealanders is one of the issues being discussed with support parties.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Is it not a worry for this Parliament that he has endorsed this report and used it to argue that we should get on and quickly pass the bill, when on the back page of the report it states: “The time available for preparing this report has precluded any robust analysis or even comprehensive review of available information.”, and goes on to recommend a comprehensive cost-benefit analysis of the bill; and should we not do that work before this Parliament passes such far-reaching legislation?

Hon DAVID PARKER: In respect of the cost and benefit of this scheme, that has been well traversed for over 6 months at the select committee, and more widely within the community. In terms of what I have said in respect of the report the member criticises, the only comment I would make is this one, and I will read it out because it is not as the member characterises it: “Climate change Minister, David Parker, said there are many opportunities arising from the move to a more sustainable opportunity. Business has mostly focused on costs, so far. Investment in sustainability is much more likely to happen if businesses see a clear direction from Government. There is much to gain here, especially if we stay ahead of the game,but New Zealand stands to lose if we delay or abandon the emissions trading scheme in the irresponsible way National is calling for. The emissions trading scheme does not cause a cost; it reduces the cost to New Zealand in taking responsibility for our international climate change commitments under the Kyoto Protocol.” That is all I have said.

Jeanette Fitzsimons: How much weight does the Minister think should be given to the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research report on the economic effects of carbon pricing, when that report was funded mainly by Solid Energy—New Zealand’s largest coalminer?

Hon DAVID PARKER: The member is exactly right. Some of the loudest critics of this scheme have been State-owned enterprises in the form of Solid Energy. The Greenhouse Policy Coalition gives itself a name that would have people think it was advocating progressive policies in respect of emissions control,but of course it is not. It is another example of where different people, and different organisations, with different interests advocate for their points ofview.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Why should Parliament give any credibility to a report that says: “The time available for preparing this report has precluded any robust analysis or even comprehensive review of the available information.”; is not such a report, frankly, worthless?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Most people have now got to the same conclusion as countries have around the world, that an emissions trading scheme does not cause cost, it saves cost. Obviously Dr Smith does not yet understand that, because of his party’s opposition to the scheme. It remains abundantly clear that there are clear benefits to our economy arising from the emissions trading scheme.

Gerry Brownlee: What’s Winston doing? He’ll put the costs in!

Hon DAVID PARKER: It actually reduces costs to taxpayers, it does not increase them, I say to Mr Brownlee, and I am sad he does not yet understand that.

Hon Peter Dunne: Can the Minister specify what specific costs to households will be reduced by the introduction of an emissions trading scheme?

Hon DAVID PARKER: In terms of the emissions trading scheme itself, as opposed to measures outside it, the way all consumers’ costs are reduced is that New Zealand’s emissions go down with an emissions trading scheme and therefore the bill that is currently totally on taxpayers’ pockets through the Kyoto Protocol is minimised. It is absolutely minimised. Emissions go down.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: What an obtuse argument.

Hon DAVID PARKER: The member may shake his head but that is a known reality. No one can deny that; it is a truth borne out not just by our proposed emissions trading scheme, but by the European one, and the fact that other countries are going in the same way. Where would the increase in emissions come from? The earliest increase, if we did not have an emissions trading scheme, would be from deforestation. Emissions would increase again very sharply and very soon. Similar albeit less dramatic effects would be felt throughout the economy.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: How is it credible for ex - Labour Minister Peter Neilson to claim that New Zealand’s international reputation on climate change will suffer severely if the legislation is not passed before the election, claiming that it will cause job losses of 7,600 in primary industry, and 2,715 in tourism, when Australia is at least a year behind us in developing its emissions trading scheme, when the Europe scheme covers only a few sectors, and when the rest of the world is further behind still; is this report not just crude scaremongering from Labour’s mates to try to pressgang MPs into voting for a flawed bill?

Hon DAVID PARKER: I repeat that there are clear benefits for our economy arising from the emissions trading scheme.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Why does the Government not follow the advice of Alex Sundakov, who in severely critiquing this report today stated: “Rushed policy that is flawed like this bill creates more investment uncertainty than putting the time into a better thought-through emissions trading scheme.”—

Hon Pete Hodgson: He’s being saying that for 6 years, Nick.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: I say to Mr Hodgson that it is interesting that when he was claiming a billion-dollar gain from Kyoto he was right and said there would be a $500 million loss. Noting that Mr Sundakov was absolutely right when Pete Hodgson was proclaiming a huge surplus, why will the Government not today follow the advice of someone who has proved to be correct around these complex issues in the past?

Hon DAVID PARKER: That question sounds like Dr Smith is actually disclosing for the first time, rather than saying that he wants the emissions trading scheme to proceed after a little while after a few little tweaks, that he actually agrees with Mr Sundakov and thinks it should not proceed at all.

Hon Ruth Dyson: Policy release!

Hon DAVID PARKER: That is right. The reality is that this has had the most robust process followed of any measure in this Parliamentthis term.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Noting the crude convenience of the timing and slant of this report, can the Minister assure the House that no Minister, nor any ministerial staff, had any communication with the two State-owned enterprises or with former Labour Minister Peter Neilson regarding the commissioning and publishing of this report?

Hon DAVID PARKER: Mr Mallard says I can give the assurance for him. I certainly did not tell them, or cause them to prepare that report.

/NR/rdonlyres/9D644C8D-FAC6-4A4E-9A81-3C36C3C74821/85942/48HansQ_20080626_00000257_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

5. Food Pricing—Inquiry

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

5. SUE KEDGLEY (Green) to the Minister of Commerce: Has she been advised that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission is conducting an inquiry into grocery food pricing; if so, does she believe a similar inquiry might be useful here, given that in New Zealand two companies control 96 percent of the market, compared to Australia where a duopoly controls 80 percent of the market?

Hon LIANNE DALZIEL (Minister of Commerce) : I am aware that the Australian Minister for Competition Policy and Consumer Affairs has required the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission to hold an inquiry into the competitiveness of retail prices for standard groceries, and that the commission is expected to report by 31 July this year. I will await the commission’s report before considering whether a similar inquiry would be useful in New Zealand.

Sue Kedgley: Does she agree with Consumer New Zealand that with a concentrated market dominated by a very small number of players, consumers need better information on whether the prices they are paying are fair, especially with rapidly rising food prices; and why will she not ask the Commerce Commission to initiate an inquiry, or hold a Government inquiry into grocery pricing?

Hon LIANNE DALZIEL: Having looked at some of the evidence that has already been presented to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry, I think it would be useful to await its report before considering whether one would be appropriate here. Some of the evidence that has already been given in the commission’s inquiry suggests that profit margins are much higher in Australia than they are in New Zealand, despite the percentages that she identified in the primary question. I should also make the point that the Commerce Commission does not have general powers of inquiry, as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission does, and it could carry out a price control inquiry only under the current Part 4 of the Commerce Act.

Hon Marian Hobbs: Has the New Zealand Commerce Commission recently considered any matters that may be relevant to competition in the grocery sector?

Hon LIANNE DALZIEL: The Commerce Commission looked at this matter in declining both applications by Woolworths and Foodstuffs to acquire the Warehouse. The commission considered that the Warehouse was an important source of potential competition in a sector otherwise characterised by a duopoly and high barriers to entry. The High Court overturned the commission’s decision, and this matter is now currently before the Court of Appeal. We should await the outcome of that appeal before drawing conclusions about the state of competition in the grocery sector in New Zealand.

Sue Kedgley: Is she concerned that supermarkets mark up staples, even those with a relatively long shelf life, like pumpkin and kumara, by as much as 195 percent for kumara and 286 percent for pumpkin; if so, does she agree that New Zealand would benefit from a code of conduct for supermarkets, such as already exists in the United Kingdom, aimed at making sure that farmers, producers, and consumers all get a fair deal?

Hon LIANNE DALZIEL: One of the concerns I would have about that approach is that New Zealand exports 80 percent of the food that we produce. It generates 50 percent of our earnings. We have to think of our exports as well when we are talking about prices at the supermarket.

Sue Kedgley: Has she seen reports that both the two big Australian supermarket companies have been accused by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission of price-fixing practices that are “as close to being illegally collusive as we can find”, and is she concerned that one of those supermarket chains is also a dominant player in the grocery industry here in New Zealand?

Hon LIANNE DALZIEL: I am aware of the concerns that have been expressed, but, as I said before, I think it is more appropriate that we await the conclusions of the commission’s inquiry before we draw any conclusions in respect of New Zealand.

Sue Kedgley: I seek leave to table the groceries market investigation by the UK Competition Commission—

 Leave granted.

Sue Kedgley: I seek leave to table papers from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission inquiry.

 Leave granted.

/NR/rdonlyres/63B0A5B0-42D3-493D-B2EB-DDD884B2743A/85944/48HansQ_20080626_00000354_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

6. Immigration Service—Oughton Report

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

6. Dr the Hon LOCKWOOD SMITH (National—Rodney) to the Minister of Immigration: What specific concerns did he raise with the new chief executive of the Department of Labour when matters relating to Mary Anne Thompson and the Oughton report first came to his attention last year?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE (Minister of Immigration) : I was concerned to have appropriate assurances that the proper processes had been followed in this employment matter. I was assured that the State Services Commission had been advised and that, subsequently, Crown Law advice had been sought. When the Oughton report was released and I saw it for the first time, I raised concerns that there were further issues of public confidence, and I asked the Minister of State Services to ensure that the State Services Commission’s investigation was wide enough to cover those issues.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: What precisely did the Chief Executive of the Department of Labour, Christopher Blake, tell the Minister when briefing him on the Oughton report on 14 December last year?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: As I have said to the member many times, in the briefing I received on 14 December 2007 I was advised, firstly, that there had been an independent investigation into historical employment matters—that is, the Oughton report—secondly, that the report had concluded that Mary Anne Thompson had not sought to influence decisions about her family members’ applications for residence; and, thirdly, that disciplinary action had been taken against a Department of Labour employee. I was further advised that this matter had occurred under, and had been dealt with and closed by, previous chief executives.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: How can the public be expected to reconcile the Minister’s claim that he could not involve himself in matters related to the Oughton report, because it related only to employment matters, with his statement that he had expressed concerns to the Chief Executive of the Department of Labour in the expectation that his concerns would be carefully considered and could possibly lead to further follow-up action by the chief executive—how does he reconcile those two claims?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: As was appropriate under the State Sector Act, I expressed concern to the chief executive; he was noted of that concern on 14 December. But I observed the law, under which I was precluded—on advice that the matter was an individual employment matter—from becoming involved in the matter.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: Is it correct that when the chief executive briefed the Minister on the Oughton report on 14 December last year, his chief executive had not actually read the Oughton report on unlawful decision-making involving the head of the Immigration Service; if so, does he consider that satisfactory performance by his chief executive?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: Taking all matters into consideration, including the fact that the chief executive was very new in the role—

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: How new?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE:—I think he was appointed 2 weeks before I took up the role of Minister of Immigration, from memory—I believe he acted very appropriately and proactively. He took the following steps. Firstly, he informed the State Services Commission; then, once he had considered the report, he went to the extraordinary length of seeking Crown Law advice as to whether he could, if he had a mind to, reopen matters; then he initiated the review of the Pacific division, which he began planning in February and, I believe, announced in April of this year. Those are the actions, in my view, of a responsible chief executive. We have two inquiries pertaining to these matters—the inquiries by the State Services Commission and the Auditor-General—and the question is whether previous chief executives acted as responsibly as he did.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: Does the Minister stand by his statement to Parliament on 14 May that when he was briefed on 14 December 2007 by the chief executive, he expressed his concerns to him, which the chief executive took seriously, advising the Minister that he himself was looking into the matter; if so, how seriously was his chief executive looking into the matter at that time, when he had not actually even bothered to read the Oughton report—and did not read it until there was public inquiry, through Official Information Act requests, for it?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: I would surmise that a new chief executive coming into a role and being advised—because an Official Information Act request had come through, as the member rightly says—that a matter that had occurred under previous chief executives—

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: You would think he read it.

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: —if I could continue—had been examined by an independent report, which had concluded what I have previously stated to the member, and had then been closed, would at that time make the judgment that he did, because it was, at that point, a historic matter. But as I have just said to the member, the chief executive had already, at the point when he briefed me, contacted the State Services Commission. He had then sought, once he had considered the report, Crown Law advice as to whether he could reopen the matter, and he then initiated a review of the Pacific branch. I repeat to the member that I believe that those are appropriate, responsible, and serious actions of a chief executive. The Auditor-General and the State Services Commission will determine the appropriateness, or lack of appropriateness, of the actions of previous chief executives.

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: Was the third recommendation of the Oughton report, which was that further investigation was needed into the issue of staff being instructed to make decisions they regarded as breaches of policy, ever actioned; if so, by whom and when?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: I am advised that, as I have said to the member, the chief executive took it upon himself to look into all those matters, and in terms of the Pacific branch review and the other actions taken by the chief executive that I have outlined to the member, the actions, or lack of actions, pertaining to the Oughton report will be examined in full, not only through the Pacific branch review but through the inquiries by the Audit Office and the State Services Commission.

Taito Phillip Field: Could the Minister clarify for this House that only the Minister of Immigration or the Associate Minister of Immigration can make decisions outside policy, and that the decision in the case being questioned was made by an official who was then disciplined, in relation to that report, for that decision? Could the Minister clarify whether that is true, and does it contradict the answer that Dr Cullen gave to me a few weeks ago that there is a possibility of an official making decisions under a delegation from the Minister?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: The powers of the Minister and the Associate Minister are delegated to officials, yes, and officials have delegated authority—

Dr the Hon Lockwood Smith: Apart from granting residency.

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: —Dr Lockwood Smith anticipates my answer, and he is correct—apart from the granting of residency. Those decisions are made by my colleague the Associate Minister and me.

Taito Phillip Field: Is it true that the Minister made a statement to a select committee this morning that made it clear that the making of those decisions is confined to the Minister of Immigration and the Associate Minister of Immigration—not officials?

Hon CLAYTON COSGROVE: I will try again: the granting of residence is not delegated. That power is conferred on the Minister and the Associate Minister, yes.

/NR/rdonlyres/CE2C15D4-996D-4FE1-8C35-3470D5CF7BFC/85946/48HansQ_20080626_00000407_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

7. Illegal Fishing—Foreign-owned Fishing Vessels

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

7. PITA PARAONE (NZ First) to the Minister of Fisheries: How many foreign-owned fishing vessels are known to have fished illegally in New Zealand waters in each of the last 3 years, and how many of those were prosecuted?

Hon JIM ANDERTON (Minister of Fisheries) : In the 2005 calendar year, there were 13 foreign-owned fishing vessels known to have breached our fisheries laws when in New Zealand waters; in 2006 there were 14; and in 2007 there were 15. Most of the breaches were minor, such as incorrectly marked buoys, and did not warrant prosecution, and 38 official warnings were issued by officers of the Ministry of Fisheries. Two were serious offences and prosecutions were made in both instances. Four cases are still active files and no prosecution decision has yet been made. The Ministry of Fisheries works closely with the defence forces and other agencies to patrol New Zealand’s exclusive economic zone. There have been no recorded instances during the last 3 years of a foreign-owned vessel operating in New Zealand waters without an associated permit to fish there.

Pita Paraone: Notwithstanding whether offences are of a minor or a major nature, why does his ministry, which averages well in excess of 200 prosecutions per year, take such a soft line on foreign-owned vessels compared with New Zealand - owned vessels?

Hon JIM ANDERTON: I think it is fair to say that the ministry has concerns from time to time about the operation of foreign-owned vessels. The member has to keep in mind that foreign-owned vessels have to be chartered, almost exclusively, by New Zealand - owned companies. Many of those companies are Māori-owned; they are not just owned by general corporates. Companies charter foreign-owned vessels because it is much more viable for them to do so. If we restricted companies’ use of chartered vessels, we would put many of them under extreme financial pressure.

Pita Paraone: Notwithstanding the pressures on New Zealand companies that the Minister referred to in his previous response, what sort of message does he think his ministry is sending to foreign-owned vessels illegally fishing in our waters, when the operators of those vessels know that if they are caught, they have a less than 5 percent chance of being prosecuted?

Hon JIM ANDERTON: New Zealand has very comprehensive surveillance of vessels fishing in New Zealand waters; it is probably among the best surveillance in the world. The message that operators of foreign-owned vessels fishing in New Zealand waters can take is that if they are illegally fishing here, they will be caught and they will be prosecuted. That is what New Zealand’s record shows.

Pita Paraone: Does the Minister accept that the actual number of foreign-owned vessels fishing illegally in our waters each year is much higher than the number that are caught; if so, why is his ministry not doing more to bring to justice those who are caught?

Hon JIM ANDERTON: I have referred to the number of vessels that have been caught breaching the rules, minor or otherwise. Where the infraction is caused by a serious breach, those serious breaches are prosecuted. The prosecutions are vigorous, and the penalties are significant. No operators of foreign-owned chartered vessels want to come into New Zealand waters and face that.

/NR/rdonlyres/50026C10-DAFC-4FBC-8CE0-F716ED242D7E/85948/48HansQ_20080626_00000504_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

8. Hawke’s Bay District Health Board—Confidence

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

8. CRAIG FOSS (National—Tukituki) to the Minister of Health: Does he have confidence in the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board; if so, why?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Minister of Health) : Yes, I have confidence in that district health board, under the commissioner.

Craig Foss: Can the Minister confirm that documents released under the Official Information Act show that he advised officials in December 2007 that he wished to appoint Sir John Anderson as commissioner at the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board, which was months before he expressed no confidence in the previous board and issued his ultimatum to the board demanding that it justify its continued position?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: No. All I can say is that my final decision was not made until the afternoon of 27 February. The member is referring to a factual misunderstanding concerning a mistake made by the Ministry of Health in the release of papers, some of which were incomplete. This will be explained in court proceedings, and I can comment no further on it.

Jill Pettis: What progress has the commissioner made since he was appointed?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: A great deal. He has moved quickly to appoint three deputy commissioners, worked with management on a recovery plan, and maintained close liaison with clinicians. Reports are that this process is proceeding very well indeed.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can the Minister advise us whether it is a fact that Sir John Anderson has been a one-time guest speaker at a National Party caucus and an oft-times nominee of the National Party for various jobs, and that he is a totally appropriate person to be looking into the problems of this district health board—which those members all know?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I can confirm that I have never inquired of Sir John as to his personal political affiliations or previous political meetings, but I hear tell that he is not a member of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Craig Foss: Can the Minister confirm that documents released under the Official Information Act show that an email from the Ministry of Health dated 18 February 2008—9 days before he sacked the board—lists the appointments of Sir John Anderson as commissioner, and Brian Roche as deputy commissioner, to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I am aware of that suggestion, which is based on a factual misunderstanding, and once again I absolutely refute the inference that has been drawn. This matter is to be ruled on by the courts, and under Standing Order 111, as the member already knows, neither he nor I can comment further upon it.

Craig Foss: Does the Minister stand by his statement in this House on 21 February 2008 that “no decision has been made, in that I have given the board a week to justify its position.”, when documents released under the Official Information Act show that preparations for installing a commissioner demonstrate that the 1-week consultation was a facade and an abuse of natural justice?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: Let me state again to the member that my decision was not made until the afternoon of 27 February.

Craig Foss: Can the Minister confirm that he ignored Crown Law’s recommendation against appointing a commissioner to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board—in particular, Crown Law’s view that “It is Crown Law’s advice that the situation is not so severe—

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: I raise a point of order, Madam Speaker. As I have noted, under Standing Orders 111 and 112, members are prevented from answering questions that may bear upon matters of potential prejudice in relation to judicial proceedings and especially in relation to documents that are privileged.

Gerry Brownlee: These are documents that are in the public arena; they have been released under the Official Information Act. To say that they are somehow privileged is an utter nonsense, and the Minister should not try to hide behind the facade of what he would say is a “factual misunderstanding” in order to dodge answering questions.

Madam SPEAKER: I have been listening very carefully, because I am now aware that the matter is before the courts, as I understand it. The member’s questions so far, I think, have been within the Standing Orders, but we are at the edge of them. So if I may, I just ask him to restate his question. Thank you.

Craig Foss: Thank you, Madam Speaker; I will restate the question. Can the Minister confirm that he ignored Crown Law’s recommendation, as shown in documents released under the Official Information Act, against appointing a commissioner to the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board—in particular, Crown Law’s view that “It is Crown Law’s advice that the situation is not so severe that it displaces the principles of natural justice.”

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: No. I confirm that I took account of a range of advice, but did not make my decision until the afternoon of 27 February.

Chris Tremain: When will the Minister apologise to the people of Hawke’s Bay for his total lack of regard for natural justice in sacking our democratically elected district health board?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: The matter to which the member refers is now a matter that is before the courts.

Craig Foss: I seek leave to table three documents. The first document I seek leave to table is the story in the Dominion Post in which the Minister comments on the sacking of the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board.

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Craig Foss: I seek leave to table a second document, released under the Official Information Act. It is a Ministry of Health email dated 18 February, listing and naming the appointment—

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Craig Foss: I seek leave to table a third document, a Ministry of Health document released under the Official Information Act and dated 19 February 2008, advising against sacking the Hawke’s Bay District Health Board—

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

/NR/rdonlyres/F5FBCDE7-3387-4CA9-882A-199A4B50A9F0/85950/48HansQ_20080626_00000548_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

9. Primary Health Care—Reports

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

9. LESLEY SOPER (Labour) to the Minister of Health: What recent reports has he received on primary health care?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE (Minister of Health) : I have seen a report that quotes the National spokesman on health, Tony Ryall, as saying “What patients will want to know is that the fees they pay are reasonable and will not rise unchecked. For this reason we will maintain a GP fee review process”. That is the exact opposite of a claim he made last September, when he said “We don’t support Labour’s fees control system. We’ll be knocking it on the head.”

Lesley Soper: What benefits have resulted from the increased investment by the Government in primary health care?

Hon DAVID CUNLIFFE: A very great deal of benefits. Smoking rates are the lowest in New Zealand’s recorded history, nine out of 10 patients rate the health of their child as excellent or very good, primary health care costs in New Zealand have decreased, and in the past 12 months just 1.7 percent of adults and 1 percent of children reported cost as a barrier to seeing a general practitioner. This strategy has been an undeniable success, and now, like so many other Labour policies, the National Party is adopting it. The question remains as to whether National members could be trusted to honour that if they were ever in office.

/NR/rdonlyres/C7B55080-44C5-4CFC-BB49-5E4ADF98969F/85952/48HansQ_20080626_00000647_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

10. Social Development, Ministry—Policy Staff

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

10. JUDITH COLLINS (National—Clevedon) to the Minister for Social Development and Employment: How many policy staff are employed by the Ministry of Social Development, and how does this compare with 2002?

Hon RUTH DYSON (Minister for Social Development and Employment) : The Ministry of Social Policy and the Department of Work and Income merged in 2002 and had 202 policy staff. In 2004 the Ministry of Youth Affairs joined the ministry. New functions were established, including the Office for Disability Issues, the Office of the Community and Voluntary Sector, and a new regional policy group. Then in 2006 the Department of Child, Youth and Family Services merged with the ministry. As of April this year, the ministry hads a total policy staff of 351.

Judith Collins: Can the Minister justify the staggering 80 percent increase in the number of policy staff—from 202 in the year 2000, to 369 today—and can she explain in plain English why we have had this increase in the number of bureaucrats when we have actually had a reduction in the number of beneficiaries and when we have the Prime Minister on record as saying that she does not get many of her ideas from the Public Service in New Zealand; why is that?

Hon RUTH DYSON: On this side of the House we actually support high-quality public services and robust policy analysis. It is not surprising that the member does not do so, though, because at a recent forum I was at with her associate member Anne Tolley, Anne Tolley said: “National does not have any social development policy. I will throw a few ideas out to the audience and see what sort of reaction I get.” One would not need policy staff, with that sort of approach.

Lynne Pillay: What has been the impact of the building of policy capacity in the Ministry of Social Development?

Hon RUTH DYSON: The Ministry of Social Development has built policy capability to develop policies such as Working for Families, Working New Zealand, Pathways to Partnership, and the very popular—and this is supported across the House—family violence prevention policy.

Judith Collins: How productive is all that policy; for example, how many of the extra 170 policy staff employed since 2000 are demoralised because they have been wasting their time working on the single core benefit, which is the policy that we recall was announced in 2002, 2005, and also, I think, in 1999 as well, and that I understand is about to introduced again?

Hon RUTH DYSON: The understanding I have is that the only demoralised staff in the Ministry of Social Development are the ones who listen to that member’s questions.

Judith Collins: Does the Minister really expect New Zealanders to believe that all those policy staff are essential, when a New Zealand Institute of Economic Research quality assurance review from 2006 noted: “A number of papers failed to establish either the existence, nature, or scope of the problem.”?

Hon RUTH DYSON: The policies that I outlined earlier—the Working for Families package, Working New Zealand, Pathways to Partnership, and family violence prevention—all make a real difference to the lives of real New Zealanders. So the answer to the question is yes. New Zealanders are much more likely to support having those staff than the 36 that the Leader of the Opposition employs.

Judith Collins: Well, is it not true that the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research also noted: “Nearly 50 percent of MSD’s policy papers were of average quality or below.”, and a later review stated: “Concerns remain over the inconsistent quality of policy papers.”; and if an 80 percent increase in the number of policy staff is not enough to produce high-quality policy, then how many more staff does the Minister think she needs?

Hon RUTH DYSON: The percentage the member quoted is a much higher pass mark than her deputy leader gave her in emails to his colleagues.

Judith Collins: Not true! It is all lies—

Hon Member: A very good member.

Judith Collins: —and we have a very good deputy leader, too. Does the Minister really think that an 80 percent increase in the number of policy staff in just 5 years is the most effective use of taxpayer dollars; and, given the findings of the New Zealand Institute of Economic Research and others, can she advisce when, if ever, she will start to monitor whether her department has achieved value for money—or does she agree with the Prime Minister?

Hon RUTH DYSON: I repeat that I support high-quality public services and robust policy analysis, unlike that member, who has just given an indication to those public servants that under her party, if it was elected to Government, they would get the sack.

/NR/rdonlyres/69B99B1D-278C-4136-90CD-8C66522B1839/85954/48HansQ_20080626_00000675_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

11. Tertiary Education Commission—Staff Numbers

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

11. Dr ASHRAF CHOUDHARY (Labour) to the Minister for Tertiary Education: What reports has he received about staff numbers at the Tertiary Education Commission?

Hon PETE HODGSON (Minister for Tertiary Education) : I saw a report yesterday from the National spokesperson on tertiary education stating that staff numbers at the Tertiary Education Commission had ballooned so spectacularly that it was now “the poster child of Labour’s bureaucratic excess”. This is curious and at variance with the truth. The truth is that the number of staff at the Tertiary Education Commission is lower than the number it had in its first full year of operation. One wonders why the National Party is so unable to count.

Dr Ashraf Choudhary: Is he planning to cut the Tertiary Education Commission’s funding; if not, why not?

Hon PETE HODGSON: No. The Government has no plans to cut funding for the Tertiary Education Commission, but the National Party does. Last week, when cornered by an Auckland audience of parents asking how National would fund any policy in education, Wayne Mapp told them that it would be through cuts to the Tertiary Education Commission. Even if those members abolished the Tertiary Education Commission in its entirety, the savings would keep New Zealand’s education system running for just under 3 days a year. Like I said, the National Party does not know how to count.

Dr Paul Hutchison: Why should the public believe that he is not trying to set an all-time record for bureaucratic excess, given that he told a select committee yesterday: “We haven’t finished hiring staff.”, and that Budget 2008 buys 15 new extra bureaucrats over and above the 341 already allowed for, not to mention the 300 percent of new money for more and more consultants and contractors?

Hon PETE HODGSON: There are not 341 people working at the Tertiary Education Commission, and there are not 341 plus 15. There are 287. Yesterday there were 287, tomorrow there will be 287, and in the first year of its operation there were more than 287. That is a reduction—get it? Why does the member always want to add GST several times to the truth?

Dr Paul Hutchison: I seek leave to table a reply to a supplementary question on the estimates for 2008-09, which—

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

/NR/rdonlyres/8525B3EB-B88F-42CF-ACC4-BE44DE1D5904/85956/48HansQ_20080626_00000752_.pdfFull transcript of Questions for Oral Answer for Thursday, 26 June 2008 [PDF 189k]

12. Housing New Zealand Corporation—Confidence

[Uncorrected transcript—subject to correction and further editing.]

12. PHIL HEATLEY (National—Whangarei) to the Minister of Housing: Does she have confidence in Housing New Zealand Corporation; if so, why?

Hon MARYAN STREET (Minister of Housing) : Yes; and there is always room for improvement.

Phil Heatley: Does the Minister support the approach of the corporation’s Timaru spokesperson, who says: “We avoid putting rival gang members in close proximity to each other.”, and the approach of the corporation’s top boss that it ensures that “opposing gangs are housed sensitively.”; if so, why knowingly house gangs at all?

Hon MARYAN STREET: I do not want State houses associated with gang activity, any more than anybody else does. We house people according to need.

Su’a William Sio: Has the Minister received any reports that give conflicting views about State housing policy?

Hon MARYAN STREET: Yes. In the same interview I heard the report: “I don’t think there is a New Zealander in this country who accepts that we should be housing gangs.” A minute later I heard that: “We should absolutely be looking at caring for that wife and those kiddies, even that gang member.” These reports both came from National’s housing spokesman, Phil Heatley.

Pita Paraone: Tēnā koe. What message is being sent to the hundreds of families on the waiting list for housing when not only does Housing New Zealand refuse to collect information on how many gang tenants there are but also says that we cannot discriminate against them for choosing to be part of a known criminal organisation?

Hon MARYAN STREET: The corporation does not tolerate illegal activity in its houses, and when it is reported, my expectation is that the corporation will take swift and firm action.

Pita Paraone: Tēnā anō koe. Has the Minister had discussions with the Minister of Police about Housing New Zealand’s policy of aiding known criminal organisations by providing them with housing, and clustering them together; and since when were the rights of gangsters more important than the rights of law-abiding citizens?

Hon MARYAN STREET: They are not.

Phil Heatley: If the corporation listens to neighbours’ complaints about gangs, and takes “swift action”, how come the corporation lost the Ridgeview Road court case, with the Salt family, where boys allegedly had gang affiliations; and it lost it on the basis that it did not document the neighbours’ complaints, and did not act on the neighbours’ complaints over a number of years?

Hon MARYAN STREET: I say again that I do not accept for a moment that State houses should be associated with gang activity in any way. We house according to need. There are processes that are followed in order to evict tenants who break the law or break their tenancy agreements.

Phil Heatley: Does the Minister not have a duty of care towards women and kids who live with gang affiliates, not to turn a blind eye to gangs congregating in the State house, kicking in the neighbour’s door, dealing with drugs, and planning the next robbery? What sort of message does that send to those kids?

Hon MARYAN STREET: The corporation has the power to evict people involved in criminal activity in its houses. I would expect that power to be used on every occasion.

Phil Heatley: How come the Minister’s policy of housing rival gang members “sensitively”, and in different parts of a suburb so that they do not fight, means that gang members get to live close to each other and away from those they do not like, when the 10,000 struggling families on the waiting list just take what they can get in terms of State housing?

Hon MARYAN STREET: The Housing New Zealand Corporation takes a community’s needs into account when it houses families, and particularly if it knows that a member of a family has gang affiliations. Can I just say that it was stated in the Timaru Herald today that Jo Goodhew is reported to have said that if gang members behaved, they should be able to live in State units.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table a document of estimates answers stating: “No policy reviews have been done”—

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table a document from the Housing New Zealand Corporation stating: “We avoid putting rival gang members in close proximity to each other.”

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table a document stating that the Housing New Zealand Corporation ensures that “opposing gangs are housed sensitively”.

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Phil Heatley: I seek leave to table an answer to a parliamentary question stating: “We do not collect information on gangs.”

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.

Hon MARYAN STREET: I seek leave to table today’s statement in the Timaru Herald that Jo Goodhew is reported to have said that if gang members behaved—

Madam SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table that document. Is there any objection? Yes, there is.


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