Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search


Labour surprised by privilege decision

2000 web siteLabour members of Parliament's Privileges Committee are surprised at the revelation that Alamein Kopu was allowed to use her administrative budget to pay her legal bill defending herself before the Privileges Committee.

Labour Deputy Leader Michael Cullen said the committee was specifically asked to rule on the question of costs, and awarded no costs to either side.

"It appears the Parliamentary Services Commission, who would have had to approve this irregular use of administrative funds, has effectively sidelined the considered decision of the Privileges Committee, and favoured one side of the complaint," Dr Cullen said.

"It must be remembered that although the complaint was not upheld as a breach of privilege, it was established that Mrs Kopu promised in writing on three occasions prior to the last election that she would resign from Parliament if she did not uphold Alliance Party policy.

"The fact that her word meant nothing after the election did not mean that the action was not properly brought. It was the strict wording of the Standing Orders that a resignation from Parliament had to be given to the Speaker (something Mrs Kopu did not do) that prevented the Privileges Committee from finding against her.

"In fact, this case heightened public support for a Labour Party proposal to change the law to require MPs who leave their party after they get elected to also leave Parliament.

"It is not clear how much of the $36,000 bill was paid our of Mrs Kopu's administrative budget, and we will be seeking to ascertain that detail.

"We will also be seeking to establish the timing if the decision to allow Mrs Kopu to use her administrative fund in this way. If the decision coincides with the breakdown of the National-New Zealand First coalition and the efforts that were taken to bring Mrs Kopu on side with National, then serious questions will have to be asked as to the propriety of the decision.

"I will be writing to the Speaker tomorrow morning asking him who authorised the decision and on what basis this authorisation was given," Dr Cullen said.

© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On NZ’s Complicity In Western Sahara

If David Parker really wants to hone his crisis-managing chops on an international trade dispute that New Zealand has been making worse for years, he maybe should be turning his attention to the Western Sahara.

Some background: two NZ companies called Ravensdown and Ballance Agri-Nutrients appear to be the only independent firms in the world still willing to import phosphate from the disputed territory of the Western Sahara... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Malaysia Exposing Our Dodgy Policies On China

Last week, we all owed a vote of thanks to Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad for breaking with protocol during his bilateral with Jacinda Ardern. Reportedly, Mahathir used the photo opportunity phase of the meeting to launch into matters of genuine substance. More>>


Withdrawls After Police Uniform Ban: Auckland Pride Remains Committed

The Auckland Pride Board remains committed to creating a space for our rainbow communities to feel safe celebrating their gender and sexual identity, despite some institutions pulling out from the Parade in recent days. More>>


South Korea: State Visit By Korean President Moon Jae-In

The President of the Republic of Korea Moon Jae-in will visit New Zealand from 2 to 4 December... “I am very much looking forward to welcoming President Moon to New Zealand,” said Jacinda Ardern. More>>

Health: Changes To Drinking Water Standards

David Clark said many of the changes he is making, which will take effect on 1 March 2019, are clarifications or corrections, “but there are two changes which will significantly improve the ability to test and respond to the presence of harmful bacteria such as E.coli”. More>>


IPCA: Police Detention "Unlawful But Reasonable"

The Independent Police Conduct Authority has found that while Police acted unlawfully in October 2017 when they detained a Queenstown man for a mental health assessment, their actions were reasonable in the circumstances. More>>


Joint Statement: Chile President's NZ Visit

At the invitation of the Right Honourable Jacinda Ardern, Prime Minister of New Zealand, His Excellency the President of the Republic of Chile, Sebastián Piñera, undertook a State Visit to New Zealand on 19 November 2018... More>>


Climate Change: Top Academics Call On Government To Take Action

One hundred and fifty academics and researchers from around Aotearoa, including Dame Anne Salmond, Emeriti Professors and several Fellows of the Royal Society, have signed a strongly-worded open letter to the Government demanding bold and urgent action to tackle climate change. More>>





InfoPages News Channels