Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Shipley's hiding from parliamentary scrutiny

2000 web site
Labour Leader Helen Clark said today that National was manipulating Parliament's rules and procedures to shield the Prime Minister from scrutiny during parliamentary questions in the run-up to the election.

"During the past few weeks of the parliamentary session, the government has repeatedly forced Parliament to sit under urgency. Sources around Parliament say we will again be forced into urgency for the few remaining weeks left before Parliament rises for the election.

"Under the rules that apply when the House is sitting in urgency, question time is usually lost. Question time enables the opposition to subject Mrs Shipley and her ministers to scrutiny. There have been few question times in this current three week session and few are expected in the next, and likely final session.

"National does not want question time because all too often it leads to blundering performances from the Prime Minister. As we have seen repeatedly this year, when under pressure and unprotected by her minders, Mrs Shipley is error prone.

"Recently she has resorted to the device of not showing up for question time, even on the rare occasions it does take place. She was AWOL on Tuesday at 2pm, despite having no notified public engagements until 6.30pm. Today she became so flustered over her answer to a supplementary question that she sat down without blurting out a full response.

"Question time has the important constitutional function of providing a forum in which the government can be held to account by the opposition. This is a corner-stone of Westminster-style Parliaments."

Helen Clark said that another result of Parliament's present manic sessions in urgency is that the laws which National is ramming through are bound to be error-ridden.

"Legislation, such as the various producer board restructuring bills which have major implications for New Zealand's primary industries, should be debated carefully and subjected to intense scrutiny, not rushed through in haste," Helen Clark said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Jami-Lee Ross Saga

In the end, the Jami-Lee Ross tweet about secretly taping his leader and promising to use it – assuming that such a tape exists, and wasn’t just being conjured out of thin air as a random threat – is a more serious offence than the original leak.

After all, even the PWC report hadn’t finally and definitively pointed the finger of blame at Ross, but had cited him merely as the most likely suspect. More>>

Press Conference Video: Jami-Lee Ross Plans By-Election, Police Complaint
National MP Jami-Lee Ross is to resign his seat and step down from the National Party, and will stand as an independent in any by-election for his Botany seat... Speaking to media at Parliament, he alleged Mr Bridges had broken electoral donation law and said he would put in an official police complaint. More>>


Education Amendment Bill Proceeda: Urgency Sought For Partnership School Treaty Claim

The claim takes issue with the acts and omissions of the Crown in respect of the closure of Partnership Schools | Kura Hourua. More>>


Salvation Army Paper: Call For Public Housing Investment

To meet these future demands the report suggests the government needs to look beyond the private rental market and begin to invest heavily into home-ownership programmes and more public and social housing. More>>


Fate Of Tahr Sealed: Himalayan Tahr Control Operation Proceeding

“The target of controlling 10,000 Himalayan tahr over the next eight months remains. The revised plan provides for a staged control operation with increased reporting to the Tahr Liaison Group...” More>>


Health: Petitions To Fund Breast Cancer Drugs

Women marching to Parliament today, to present two petitions calling for Government funding of vital medicines, have 100% support from a coalition representing than 30 breast cancer organisations. More>>


Animal Welfare Advisory Committee: Report On Rodeo Practices Released

The independent committee that advises the Minister responsible for Animal Welfare, has today released a report on animal welfare in rodeos, together with advice to the Minister making recommendations to improve the welfare of the animals in rodeos. More>>


PM's Press Conference: Fuel And Leaks

Other topics included the apparent murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey, the relation between the Government moves against high fuel prices and the commitment to act on climate change, NZTA's failures in compliance checks ... More>>


New Hager Investigation: War Crimes, Sexual Assaults And Coverups In Armed Forces

A string of current and ex-New Zealand Defence Force staff have contacted Hager since the book he co-authored with Jon Stephenson – Hit & Run – was published in March 2017... More>>


Israel's Anti-Boycott Law: NZ Activists Fined Over Lorde Cancellation Raise $12k For Charity

New Zealand activists being fined in Israel for urging pop singer Lorde to cancel her concert have raised more than $12,000 for a Palestinian charity. More>>





InfoPages News Channels