Parliament: Questions and Answers - Sept 19
QUESTIONS TO MINISTERS
Question No. 1—Finance
1. Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (National) to the Minister of Finance: Does he stand by all of his statements, policies, and actions?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister of Finance): Yes, in particular the Government's economic policies, which have delivered economic growth of 0.5 percent in the June quarter and annual average growth of 2.4 percent in the year. Under this Government's solid economic management, the New Zealand economy continues to outperform Australia, Canada, the euro area, Japan, the UK, and the OECD average.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: How does he think his Government's economic policies are working when annual GDP growth has fallen to 2.1 percent year on year and just 0.5 percent per person?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I believe that because all around New Zealand I see people in work. I see today that nominally New Zealand's GDP reached $300 billion for the first time, which was in excess of where it was predicted to be when we took over—or in the pre-election fiscal update anyway. So I go on the evidence I see all around me, Mr Goldsmith.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Is he saying that New Zealanders should be happy with 0.5 percent, per person, GDP growth?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: On this side of the House, we will never be satisfied. We will always strive to go further and faster and better.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Does he think Winston Peters' September 2017 prediction that the country has "dark days ahead" was helpful, and do we just have to accept those dark days have arrived?
SPEAKER: No, no, there is absolutely no responsibility for an Opposition member's statement from September 2017.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Does he agree with the ANZ's assessment that "the broader narrative that economic momentum is slowly running out of puff" was confirmed in today's GDP figures; and if so, what is he doing to restore the nation's puff?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: If the member had read the whole of the ANZ document he would have noted their statement that trading partner growth has been softening and that as a small, open economy that's a growth anchor to be particularly concerned about. That is exactly the issue that New Zealand faces at this time, but we do stand here today with annual average growth of 2.4 percent—faster than many of our trading partners—and, I would note, larger than it was on average across the National Party's time in Government, where it was 2.2 percent.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Why does he think business investment was negative last quarter?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Well, I'm sure, as the member does, as we go around the country and we talk to business leaders, we know many of them in the export industries are looking across the world and they are seeing that there is a slow-down in the global economy. They are concerned about the orders that are coming through from offshore. This is common in a small, open economy like New Zealand. The good news is we are well positioned to deal with this. We have low public debt, we have operating surpluses forecast, and we have unemployment at historically low levels. The New Zealand economy is in good shape but we are facing global headwinds.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: So what is his plan to grow the economy?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I'm delighted and obviously there'll need to be an interchange between us. Well, there's just so much to be able to deal with and that's the issue. So let's kick off dealing with productivity—an issue that the previous Government ignored completely. There is $40 billion worth of capital spending going in to our infrastructure around New Zealand; and a $300 million venture capital fund, just announced in the Budget, to be able to spur on our entrepreneurs to the next stage of their development. Massive investment is going in to skills and training. Again, after nine years where active labour market policies were put on hold, we're out there supporting people to get into work. We want to build a productive, sustainable, inclusive economy and clean up the mess that we were left with.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: So why does he think after delivering two Budgets—the last including $3.8 billion of new spending—economic growth has still slowed to barely 2 percent and business confidence remains so low?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I want to help the member out here. These are the June quarter GDP figures—the period ending on 30 June. The Budget that had the $3.8 billion per annum of new operating spending and $10 billion of capital spending starts on 1 July, so the member is just a little confused there.
• Question No.
2. KIRITAPU ALLAN (Assistant Whip—Labour) to the Minister of Finance: What recent reports has he seen on the New Zealand economy?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Minister of Finance): More good news worthy of repeating. Today, Stats New Zealand released GDP data for the June quarter. It shows the New Zealand continued to grow with an expansion of 0.5 percent, coming in slightly ahead of market expectations, and an annual average growth rate of 2.4 percent. GDP per capita was up 0.8 percent from a year ago. I'm also pleased to report to the House that in nominal terms, the New Zealand economy reached $300 billion at 30 June, which is larger than was forecast at the pre-election fiscal update.
Kiritapu Allan: What industries contributed to economic growth in the June quarter?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Statistics New Zealand said that the services industries, which are more domestically orientated, led GDP growth in June, with quarterly growth of 0.7 percent. Our primary industries expanded by 0.7 percent, showing solid underlying fundamentals in these parts of our economy. The data today also showed the impact that global economic volatility is having on the economy. Our manufacturing sector is the most exposed to what is going on in the rest of the world, and activity in New Zealand's goods-producing industries was down by 0.2 percent in the quarter. It's worth noting that our goods-producing industries are up, though, 1.8 percent from a year ago, which does highlight the resilience of those who work in these industries.
Kiritapu Allan: How does New Zealand's growth rate compare to the rest of the world?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: We all know that New Zealand has a small, open economy that makes a living from selling things to the rest of the world, so it is important to keep our relative position to the rest of the world in context. It's pleasing to see that on comparable figures, our June quarter growth from a year ago is stronger than Australia, Canada, the European Union, Japan, the UK, and the OECD average. While we are facing global headwinds, the New Zealand economy has strong underlying fundamentals.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: How does New Zealand's per-person growth compare with the OECD average?
Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Our per capita growth that we have in this quarter of 0.8 percent is indeed lower than we would want it to be, but that's because we have to turn around nine long years of not having an economic strategy based on productivity or sustainability; rather the members' prescription of increasing house prices and increasing population.
• Question No. 3—Māori Crown
Relations: Te Arawhiti
3. Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National—Nelson) to the Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti: Does he agree with mana whenua that their land should be returned at Ihumātao, and that the Government should "negotiate with Fletchers for the return of Ihumātao to its 'rightful owners' "?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS (Minister for Māori Crown Relations: Te Arawhiti): It's not my place to agree or disagree with mana whenua, but instead to respect their opinions and views. Our focus is on supporting a resolution that respects the mana of all parties, including mana whenua, the Crown, and Fletchers.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does he agree with the Māori Kingthat the land should be returned to Māori ownership?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: As I said, it's not my place to agree or to disagree, but instead to respect the opinions and views of all those involved, including the Māori King.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Supplementary.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Supplementary.
SPEAKER: I'll go—we generally have two supplementaries first.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does he agree with the Acting Prime Minister, Winston Peters, that any involvement of the Crown in purchasing the land would compromise the principle of full and final settlement?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: I take great interest in the views of the Rt Hon Winston Peters, and I respect the views of most people when it comes to this whole situation.
Rt Hon Winston Peters: Who, on what date and about what land, said this: "The owner of that property is Fletcher Residential. They have indicated that they are happy to sit down and to talk with some of the Māori groups that are concerned. The member has made representations to me along those lines; I would be happy to facilitate that, because I think there is the capacity on that site to come to a common-sense solution."
SPEAKER: In as far as he has responsibility, which is a bit hard to tell, but we'll go.
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: I believe that that comment was made by the Hon Dr Nick Smith, then Minister for Building and Housing, on 18 February 2016; he was speaking of Ihumātao.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Can the Minister confirm that the reason the issue has turned to custard over this land—
SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. His question will be within order. I'm going to give him a last chance today to word a question in order without losing it.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Can the Minister confirm that the issue regarding this land has become so contentious because Labour and Green MPs, in Opposition, made promises to protestors that have not been fulfilled?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: No.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Has a Government contribution of a loan or any financial support been considered at any stage in respect of supporting the purchase of this land?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: I have no financial responsibility, or no responsibility, for loans in this regard.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Has the Minister been involved in any discussions in respect of this land in which a Crown financial contribution, loan, or any other support was considered?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: No.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Will the Minister visit the site and meet with the protestors, given the high expectations he's created as Minister responsible for Crown Māori relations?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: I reject the premise of his assertion that I'm creating high expectations. [Interruption]
SPEAKER: Order! If the members want their member to answer the question, they will be quiet—especially Mr Hudson.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Will the Minister visit the site and meet with protestors?
Hon KELVIN DAVIS: Quite possibly. It depends on the timing, but, again, I go back to my previous answer that I haven't raised any expectations because I haven't made comment on this issue.
• Question No.
4. PRIYANCA RADHAKRISHNAN (Labour) to the Minister of Transport: What progress has he made, if any, on the Auckland Transport Alignment Project?
Hon PHIL TWYFORD (Minister of Transport): Good news, Mr Speaker. Earlier this week, I turned the sod on another Auckland Transport Alignment Project project with Auckland mayor, Phil Goff. We are transforming the Puhinui rail station into an efficient, modern, and user-friendly rail and bus interchange. This was only possible because of our landmark, fully funded, $28 billion Auckland Transport Alignment Project with Auckland Council.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan: When will construction be completed?
Hon PHIL TWYFORD: This project will be completed within 18 months, and it will ease the pressure on Auckland's transport system that events like hosting APEC will create. Work will also start, in the coming weeks, on upgrading State Highway 20B, which runs between the station and the airport, and this will also be completed by 2021.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan: What will this mean for access to Auckland Airport?
Hon PHIL TWYFORD: Well, this is one of the transport agency's big priorities in Auckland right now. There will be a bus service using dedicated lanes to begin with, and, in the future, it will become part of a rapid transit route connecting Manukau and Botany with Puhinui and the airport. This means that anyone with access to the rail network will have access to a 10-minute trip to the airport from that station.
Priyanca Radhakrishnan: What other progress has been made on the Auckland Transport Alignment Project?
Hon PHIL TWYFORD: Well, progress includes, but is not limited to, the Pūhoi to Warkworth motorway construction. Construction is due to start soon on the K Road enhancement and cycleway project. Fifteen new electric train units have been ordered and are due to arrive within this financial year. The Albany station park and ride extension is in construction, as is safety improvements in the Dome Valley. The detailed design work is under way on the Matakana link road, the Eastern Busway is being built as we speak, and there's much more to come.
• Question No. 5—Prime
5. MARK PATTERSON (NZ First) to the Prime Minister: Does he stand by his Government's policies and actions?
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Acting Prime Minister): Yes, and how refreshing it is to have someone finally to hold this Government to account. We stand by reviving mental healthcare and the Wellbeing Commission, shut down by National in 2012; cleaning up New Zealand's waterways; restoring funding to New Zealand hospitals and schools; planting a billion trees; a $3 billion Provincial Growth Fund to benefit welfare in real New Zealand, not the big end of Queen Street; 100 new locomotives and 900 new wagons; and, dare I say, 800 more front-line police men and women to make our communities safe.
Mark Patterson: What reaction has he seen to the policies of this Government?
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: An extraordinary range of reactions, actually: most effusive and complimentary, and some, from most unusual quarters, seeking to break the door down to attend—they being provincial members of a certain political party. But it's come from the working-end of town, not the big-end banking end of town. The minimum wage has risen and will be further raised to $20 per hour by 2021 while unemployment declines, and, dare I say it, in June 2019, first-home buyers borrowing outstripped investors for the first time.
Mark Patterson: How has this Government increased New Zealand's prosperity; if so, how?
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: That's a fantastic question. By having a serious understanding of how business works—by having a serious understanding that exports have always been New Zealand's greatest level of dependency, and that is why we have taken export revenue in 2017 from $37 billion to, as we speak, $46 billion. Of course, just five years ago, the dollar was going at US88c. It's now at US65c, which is the reason why smart farmers are cheering from the rooftops about this new Government.
Mark Patterson: What are some of the significant recent achievements for seniors? [Interruption]
SPEAKER: Order! Order! Some of us take this matter very seriously.
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: Well, I want to say to certain members, including Nick Smith over there, that next week there'll be a SuperGold card announcement. We're talking about restoring super fund contributions shut down by the previous Government, keeping the age at 65, and doing one thing that other parties in the past have: not ever forgetting that New Zealand seniors built this country and deserve some respect.
Hon Grant Robertson: How many questions has he answered from the Opposition since he took over as Acting Prime Minister this week, and what explanation would he have for that number?
Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS: Alas, in the public interest, I'm sad to say the answer has been none, and I put it down to the old adage "Don't go to a gun fight carrying a small knife."
• Question No.
6. Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National—Nelson) to the Minister for Māori Development: How many meetings, if any, has she had with mana whenua, Tainui, the Kīngitanga, ministerial colleagues, or any other person in respect of Ihumātao?
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA (Minister for Māori Development): I've had two meetings, each well reported in the media, the first on 25 July and another on 31 July, and I regularly meet with my ministerial colleagues and talk about a variety of topics; Ihumātao is likely to have been one of them.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Was financial support being considered or discussed at any of those meetings for purchase of the land?
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: No.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does she agree with the Māori King that the Crown should negotiate to purchase the land and return it to Māori ownership?
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: Mr Speaker—
Hon Grant Robertson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I'm not challenging your ruling, but I'm just questioning around responsibility for the views of the Māori King from the Minister for Māori Development—I'm just not sure quite how that lines up.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Mr Speaker—
SPEAKER: Well, no, I don't need to hear from Dr Smith. This is a public opinion about a matter for which this Minister has been given responsibility to answer this question in the House, and we often—and, in fact, you know, as recently, I think, as yesterday, Mr Robertson, you answered questions based on the opinions of outside persons in an area for which you had responsibility. I think that the question of the Māori King commenting on an issue which affects Māori—the Minister for Māori Development does not have responsibility for that, but can and has been asked for her opinion on the comment, and that is within, I think, a reasonable question.
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: The views of the Māori King are a matter for him and, of particular note, for mana whenua groups. We acknowledge and thank him for his leadership in bringing mana whenua groups together.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Will she rule out the Government taking up the advice of the Māori King, of the Government negotiating to purchase the land and return it to its Māori owners?
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: It's not a matter of whether I will rule anything in or out. This Government is trying to find a constructive solution to a complex set of issues at Ihumātao, and if he was concerned about getting a really good outcome where there's certainty, I'm sure he would change his line of questioning.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does the options of a constructive solution to the problem include the taxpayer providing money for the purchase of the land, as suggested by the Māori King?
SPEAKER: "Do the options"—but anyway, yep.
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: I'm not entirely sure how the member jumped to that question, based on the primary, but what I can say is that this Government is concerned about getting certainty of outcome to all parties involved, and in order to achieve that we need everybody to come to the table and look for a constructive, innovative solution.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: Will the Minister visit the site and meet with the protesters?
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: I think the Minister fails to recognise that I—
SPEAKER: The member.
Hon NANAIA MAHUTA: I think the member fails to recognise that I have connections to that area. I don't need to visit a site to know that the rubbish that they created in trying to ram through development without the support of the local community has proven to be a problem, and we have to sort out the mess that he started.
• Question No.
BRETT HUDSON (National): My question is to the Minister of Police. How many police to date—[Interruption]
SPEAKER: Order! Both sides. Start again, please.
7. BRETT HUDSON (National) to the Minister of Police: How many police to date have been deployed at Ihumātao, and what has been the total cost to date of their deployment?
Hon STUART NASH (Minister of Police): Under section 16 of the Policing Act, the role of the Minister and the role of police are very clearly defined. Enforcement, investigation, and prosecution are, quite properly, the responsibility of the commissioner. This includes a decision to deploy officers to an incident or a dispute. I am advised that the number of staff deployed is operationally sensitive, and I'm also advised that to calculate the cost is a huge task that the Police were not able to do in time for this question.
Brett Hudson: What representations have been made to him about increasing the police presence at Ihumātao, and by who?
Hon STUART NASH: As mentioned, it's a completely operational decision which I would have no input into whatsoever.
Brett Hudson: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I just asked him what representations he'd received. He could have said none or—
SPEAKER: Yes, and notwithstanding the fact that it's not his responsibility it may be that someone asked him to do something that wasn't his responsibility, and he has a responsibility to answer for that.
Hon STUART NASH: None.
Brett Hudson: Does he think it has been a good use of police resources, keeping an eye on the land occupiers at Ihumātao?
Hon STUART NASH: What I would say is that the District Commander for Counties Manukau is a woman called Superintendent Jill Rogers. She is an officer of 26 years' experience. I trust her totally to deploy her officers in a way that she sees fit to maintain law and order.
Hon Nanaia Mahuta: When approached by the Minister for Māori Development, did the Minister support the increase of presence of Māori wardens, a voluntary organisation, in order to better relate to the community on the issues at Ihumātao?
SPEAKER: No—no. There is no responsibility of the Minister of Police for Māori wardens.
Hon Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister for Māori Development, who asked the question, was recently asked a number of questions by Dr Smith for which she did not have ministerial responsibility, including negotiations over this very matter, which she doesn't have ministerial responsibility for.
SPEAKER: Well, I think, once again I'm being accused of being soft on the Opposition and hard on the Government. I'll just wear that.
Brett Hudson: Is he expecting members of the New Zealand police force to receive any further abuse from the protestors at Ihumātao?
Hon STUART NASH: What I would comment on is I think the police have behaved with utmost professionalism and respect in their duties, as do all members of the New Zealand Police force up and down this country.
Brett Hudson: Will he visit Ihumātao?
Hon STUART NASH: No.
• Question No.
8. RINO TIRIKATENE (Labour—Te Tai Tonga) to the Minister of Fisheries: What recent announcements has he made about helping the aquaculture industry deliver economic growth and jobs for the regions?
Hon STUART NASH (Minister of Fisheries): Good news. Yesterday, I announced the Government's strategy to work alongside and support the aquaculture industry to become a $3 billion industry by 2035. The strategy looks to maximise the performance and value of existing inshore farm footprint and to enable industries to sustainably extend farming into an open ocean and to modern, land-based facilities. Aquaculture contributes significantly to regional development. It generated over $600 million in revenue in 2018 and employs around 3,000 people. We are on track to reach a billion dollars in annual aquaculture sales by 2025, but we can deliver more, and this Government is committed to helping the aquaculture industry do so.
Rino Tirikatene: How is the Government investing in building a productive aquaculture industry?
Hon STUART NASH: The coalition agreement recognised the path aquaculture has been on and the potential for the sector to further deliver economic growth for the regions. Thanks to the investment by my colleague the Hon Shane Jones, the Provincial Growth Fund has so far invested around $30 million into aquaculture for the regions. That includes $20 million for a mussel processing facility at Ōpōtiki and around $10 million to establish the National Algae Centre and an artificial intelligence institute both based out of Nelson. We need an economy where more New Zealanders get to experience the benefits of economic growth, and by investing in aquaculture, we are supporting towns like Nelson, Akaroa, Blenheim, Thames, and Bluff, where aquaculture is set to thrive.
Hon Dr Nick Smith: How has the Minister been allowing the application for Farm Switch to sit on his desk for more than two years when it is the greatest opportunity for growing aquaculture in New Zealand?
Hon STUART NASH: I haven't.
Rino Tirikatene: How does the aquaculture strategy balance economic growth and the environment?
Hon STUART NASH: At the heart of the strategy is sustainability. It sets actions to reduce waste and emissions across aquaculture production and a plan for how the industry can adapt to climate change. Aquaculture is a primary industry leading environmentally sustainable practices across the value chain. Because of this, aquaculture is well placed to be a bigger part of our future low-emissions economy that advances New Zealand's wellbeing.
• Question No.
9. ANDREW BAYLY (National—Hunua) to the Minister of Housing: How many houses has the private sector built in the last 12 months, and how many has the Government built?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS (Minister of Education) on behalf of the Minister of Housing: Data on all completed homes is not centrally recorded. However, drawing on consent data, to the end of July 2019, the total number of new homes consented in New Zealand was 35,472. According to Statistics NZ, that is a record number of consents since the mid-1970s. Of this, 2,116 consents were to central government agencies, including Housing New Zealand. That figure does not include KiwiBuild homes built by private developers. I'd like to point out to the member that the Government consents have more than doubled from June 2017 to June 2018.
Andrew Bayly: Will developers be less likely to buy land and build new houses if there's a possibility that iwi will renege on full and final Treaty settlements and attempt to claim back land?
SPEAKER: Order! The member's going to have to relate it to the primary question.
Andrew Bayly: Will developers be less likely to buy land and build new houses if there's a possibility that iwi will renege on full and final Treaty settlements?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: I reject the premise of the question.
SPEAKER: And I should have also rejected the question. It's got nothing to do with houses built in the last 12 months.
Andrew Bayly: Has she asked for or received any advice on any potential chilling effects from reneging on full and final Treaty settlements that would have an effect on new developments in the last 12 months and going forward?
Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: Again, I reject the premise of the member's question.
SPEAKER: Well, I just want to say to the member that I'm glad he could understand it, because I couldn't. It was looking both backwards and forwards at the same time, which seems very hard.
Andrew Bayly: What does she think is a better use of Ihumātao: building affordable houses for everyone or returning the land to be used as a reserve?
SPEAKER: Order! That has no relationship to the question.
Andrew Bayly: What does she think is a better use of Ihumātao: building new houses on that land—building new houses on that land?
SPEAKER: Even with the extra bit at the end, it still didn't get there. Does the member have another supplementary?
Andrew Bayly: Has she had any advice on how many houses will now not be built on Ihumātao that were planned—
SPEAKER: Order! I'm now convinced that that member is being deliberately disorderly. He will stand, withdraw, and apologise.
Andrew Bayly: I withdraw and apologise.
SPEAKER: Further supplementary.
Andrew Bayly: Will she visit Ihumātao?
SPEAKER: Order! The member will leave the House.
Andrew Bayly withdrew from the Chamber.
Hon Shane Jones: Haere rā!
SPEAKER: And the member who interjected then will stand, withdraw, and apologise.
Hon Shane Jones: I withdraw and apologise.
• Question No.
10. Dr DEBORAH RUSSELL (Labour—New Lynn) to the Minister for Women: What progress, if any, is the Government making on increasing the proportion of women in leadership positions in the State sector?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER (Minister for Women): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. I'd like to acknowledge today is Women's Suffrage Day, and acknowledge all of the women throughout the history of Aotearoa New Zealand who have led social and political progress of our country. The Government has set a target of 50 percent for women's participation on boards and committees in the State sector by 2021 and we are well on our way to achieving that, with women currently holding over 47.4 percent of these positions, as at December 2018.
Dr Deborah Russell: What progress is being made in the Public Service?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: The Minister of State Services and I launched the action plan to eliminate the Public Service gender pay gap in June last year, which included milestones for women in leadership. There has been some great progress made in this area, with the number of women chief executives exceeding 50 percent for the first time. In addition to meeting this milestone, more women chief executives have been appointed to larger jobs, which is a fantastic sign of the kind of progress that we want to see.
Dr Deborah Russell: Why is this work important?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: Having more women and diversity in leadership is not only the right thing to do, we know that diversity helps organisations function more efficiently. More women in leadership means better decision making, better organisational resilience, and better performance. It opens up more opportunities for women to succeed and influence, and it is essential to a more inclusive and fairer society. We want the boards that are governing in New Zealand to look like the communities they represent.
Dr Deborah Russell: What about the private sector?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: There have been some small gains for women in the private sector, as of June this year—
SPEAKER: Order! Order! I am going to rule that out, because that doesn't relate to the primary question.
• Question No.
11. Dr SHANE RETI (National—Whangarei) to the Associate Minister of Health: Does she stand by all her statements, policies, and actions regarding vaccination and the measles outbreak?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER (Associate Minister of Health): Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Yes, in the context they were given,
Dr Shane Reti: Did her officials make formal public notification of measles outbreaks in Northland, Lakes, and Hutt Valley, when written questions in her name show these have been part of nine measles outbreaks in New Zealand this year?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: Sorry, Mr Speaker, I'm not sure I understand the question. The answer has been given in—
SPEAKER: I'll ask the member to ask it again, and, I will say, I'm also looking very carefully at how it relates to the primary.
Dr Shane Reti: Did her officials make formal public notification of measles outbreaks in Northland, Lakes, and Hutt Valley, when written questions in her name show these have been part of nine measles outbreaks in New Zealand this year?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: Again, Mr Speaker, I'm sorry; I'm not sure what the member means by "formal notification". Obviously, the answers have been given, so the officials have acknowledged it. I don't know what he means in addition to that.
SPEAKER: Well, I think that was an answer, even if it sounded like a point of order.
Dr Shane Reti: When she has stated there is no shortage of measles vaccine supply, why then have officials deprioritised 30- to 50-year-olds from the measles vaccine?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: I've been assured by the Director-General of Health that there is no problem with supply of vaccines, and the member will be aware that, in addition to the 52,000 additional vaccines that arrived this week, the Ministry of Health has announced that 100,000 more have been secured and will be arriving in the coming weeks. What is essential right now, in the midst of this very serious outbreak in Auckland, is that we ensure that children are the first priority for vaccination, because they are the most vulnerable to the illness and they are the most likely to be hospitalised.
Dr Shane Reti: When she continues to assert that there is no shortage of vaccines, are people today attending their GP for a measles vaccine being turned away due to vaccine shortage?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: As we've covered at length in this House, when this stocktake was undertaken, it did find that there was some shortfall in the distribution of vaccines, and so the Ministry of Health, district health boards, and public health organisations are working to ensure that vaccine is available where it is needed, when it is needed. That is not a shortfall nationally; it's a need to ensure that each GP practice has enough.
Dr Shane Reti: When she says there is an additional 100,000 measles vaccines, can she reassure New Zealanders that these vaccines match the measles strains identified in New Zealand?
Hon JULIE ANNE GENTER: I can assure the member that the best quality assurance has already been undertaken by Medsafe and by Pharmac, and the Ministry of Health and Pharmac have been working to secure vaccine that will provide immunity for those in New Zealand. But I have to say that the Opposition is not doing much to reassure the New Zealand public with their constant scaremongering about a shortfall of vaccine, which is irresponsible, but typical of National. [Interruption]
SPEAKER: Order! I'm just waiting for people to settle before I call Mr Goldsmith.
• Question No. 12—Treaty of Waitangi
12. Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH (National) to the Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations: Does he agree that Treaty settlements should be full and final?
Hon ANDREW LITTLE (Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations): Yes.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Is the land at Ihumātao in an area covered by a Treaty settlement?
Hon ANDREW LITTLE: The land at Ihumātao has been the subject of a number of settlements. It has been referenced in the Waikato-Tainui raupatu claims settlement. It has also been referred to in the settlements relating to a number of other hapū and iwi—and that includes Ngāi Tai ki Tāmiki, Ngāti Tamaoho, Te Kawerau ā Maki—and is currently under negotiation in relation to Te Ākitai Waiōhua. Each of those settlements that have been achieved have made reference to those lands.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Will he give a clear assurance that his Government will not undermine the principle of full and final settlements in any arrangements at Ihumātao?
Hon ANDREW LITTLE: Yes.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Does he believe that every generation has the right to reopen past settlements?
Hon ANDREW LITTLE: I trust the iwi who have reached agreements to settle historical Treaty grievances will stand by those settlements. Those who are yet to conclude negotiations, or even to commence negotiations, and to reach agreement on settlement will also, I trust, stand by those agreements.
Chlöe Swarbrick: Has he seen, as reported yesterday, that when delivering news of consensus of mana whenua, Kīngitanga stated—and I quote—"Mana whenua agreed the return of the land is outside of the Treaty of Waitangi settlement process and therefore requires an innovative and modern solution that does not financially disadvantage iwi."?
Hon ANDREW LITTLE: It certainly has been very encouraging that Kīngitanga has exercised, I think, a very good leadership role in dealing with what has been a very difficult dispute between iwi and between hapū and between mana whenua. So yesterday's statement and agreement between those parties, I think, was a very positive step forward, but the Crown maintains an interest, if only for the sake of peace and good order, in ensuring that there is a final resolution to the issues surrounding that piece of land. That is consistent with maintaining the integrity of the Treaty settlements achieved so far—and that's about 88 of them—and those remaining to be achieved.
Hon Paul Goldsmith: Is he concerned that there is a risk that public support—
SPEAKER: Order! Order! I apologise. I thought the member had finished before. The National Party has used all its supplementary questions.
Hon Grant Robertson: Not very well.
SPEAKER: Order! Grant Robertson will stand, withdraw, and apologise.
Hon Grant Robertson: I withdraw and apologise.