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


Key should discipline Quinn for laughing at girl

9 August 2009 Media Statement

Key should discipline Quinn for laughing at girl who has cerebral palsy

The MP for Waimakariri Clayton Cosgrove has called on Prime Minister John Key to discipline National MP Paul Quinn for laughing at the plight of 12-year-old Kaiapoi school student Brittany Graham who has cerebral palsy.

“I was absolutely horrified in Parliament last week during the general debate when Paul Quinn shouted out ‘ha, ha’ while my colleague Ruth Dyson was saying that Brittany might not be well enough to continue going to school when the Government cuts out special needs funding for kids.”

Clayton Cosgrove said he had become accustomed to Education Minister Anne Tolley minimising the impact of the planned cuts on the most vulnerable children, “but for Paul Quinn to laugh blatantly at the plight of Brittany and her family was simply inexcusable.

“Anne Tolley won’t front up to the family. Perhaps John Key will be prepared to explain his Government’s policy personally to the family. And he should insist that Paul Quinn accompanies him to explain why he thinks Brittany’s case is so funny.

“What Paul Quinn did was, quite frankly, disgusting. This is a girl who, after 10 years of therapy, can now stand for the first time using a ladder. Her mother tells me she believes that continued therapy will allow her daughter to be toilet-trained,” Clayton Cosgrove said.

“Ha, ha, says Paul Quinn. That’s his reaction to therapy being taken away from Brittany and other children with critically high needs who need special therapy every day.”

“As I said last week, Brittany is a poster girl for human spirit and courage, but National’s just sees her as a number, if they think about her at all. The funding cut is shameful and heartless.”

Clayton Cosgrove said Labour would continue to campaign for the $2.5 million special therapy funding to be continued nationally. “It is inhumane and callous to cut it off. Paul Quinn’s laughter says it all. John Key has a chance to repair the damage. He must do it now.”


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On Last Night’s Leaders Debate

Do political debates change voter intentions, and cause voters to switch sides? According to a 2019 Harvard Business School study conducted across 61 elections in nine countries involving 172,000 respondents, the answer would seem to be a resounding “No.” Political debates have little effect on voter behaviour, let alone on election outcomes. Crucially, the limited effect they do have does not involve a change in voters’ policy preferences... More>>


Government: More Border Exceptions For Critical Roles

The Government has established class exceptions for border entry for a limited number of veterinarians, deep sea fishing crew, as well as agricultural and horticultural machinery operators. “Tight border restrictions remain the backbone of the Government’s ... More>>


PM: Auckland At Bolstered Level 2, Rest Of Country Provisionally At Level 1

Pandemic alert levels for the whole country have been reviewed by Cabinet and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is announcing whether restrictions will be eased. More>>


Labour: Supporting Workers And Valuing Their Contribution

Making sure working New Zealanders are safe, healthy and that their contribution to the economy is valued is at the heart of Labour’s Workplace Relations Policy.
“This is Labour demonstrating its commitment to helping working New Zealanders by increasing sick leave, raising wages, protecting them while they are at work, growing jobs and investing in the economy,”... More>>


PREFU: Economy Doing Better Than Forecast

The Pre-election Economic and Fiscal Update released today shows that the near-term economic recovery has been stronger than the Treasury and many economists predicted at the May Budget, as the economy bounced back strongly out of lockdown... More>>


Electoral Commission: Candidate And Party Lists Released

17 registered political parties and 677 candidates will be contesting the 2020 General Election Nominations have now closed and the Electoral Commission has released the electorate and party list candidates for 2020 online at . Advance voting ... More>>

National: Plan To Restore NZ’s Prosperity

National’s Economic and Fiscal Plan carefully balances the need to invest in infrastructure and core public services while also reducing tax pressure on Kiwi families and businesses. National Leader Judith Collins and Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith unveiled National’s ... More>>


NZ First: Party List

New Zealand First has a proven twenty-seven-year history of bringing balance and common sense to our government. Amid the continued setbacks of COVID-19 restrictions, New Zealand First has once again sustained its profile by selecting a strong team ... More>>

Election: Arriving Travellers In Isolation To Be Able To Vote By Telephone

Up to 5,000 people in managed isolation or quarantine will be able to vote by telephone in the general election and referendums after an amendment to electoral regulations last week. Chief Electoral Officer Alicia Wright says the Electoral Commission sought ... More>>

National: Investing In Our Children’s Future

A National Government will prioritise lifting achievement for all New Zealand children, no matter their background or ability, National Party Leader Judith Collins and National’s Education spokesperson Nicola Willis say. “Parents just want what’s best for ... More>>





InfoPages News Channels