Scoop has an Ethical Paywall
License needed for work use Register

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


Winston Peters creating chaos

Hon Gerry

Leader of the House

21 September 2016

Winston Peters creating chaos

Leader of The House Gerry Brownlee says New Zealand First’s eleventh-hour withdrawal of support for Treaty of Waitangi settlement bills is small-minded and petulant.

Parliament’s Business Committee had agreed to an extended session in the House on Friday for the final reading of five settlement bills, which would have been of huge significance to iwi around the country.

“Because all five bills had unanimous support of the House at the select committee stage, the Friday sitting was possible because they would have passed on voice votes alone.

“NZ First was at the table for those discussions and agreed to that course of action,” Mr Brownlee says.

On Monday this week, Mr Brownlee spoke with Ron Mark, who confirmed his party’s ongoing support for the bills.

“On Tuesday morning, Ron Mark phoned back to say NZ First was not going to support two of the settlement bills and therefore could not support the voice vote only proposal for Friday.

“Winston Peters’ desperate claim to be upholding the constitution by his last-minute reneging of an agreement reached by all parties simply demonstrates his preference for Parliament to function in the totally adversarial way of a bygone era he was most comfortable in.”

“Mr Peters prefers chaos to order and, in this case, is entirely responsible for the inconvenience and disrespect shown to iwi who had made expensive arrangements to be in Wellington on Friday.

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading

Are you getting our free newsletter?

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.

“Far from being the keeper of constitutional propriety, he demonstrated the sort of small-minded and petulant behaviour that casts politicians on the heap of irrelevance.

“It was a legitimate determination by the Business Committee and, rather than a breach of constitutional principle, it was an enhancement of Parliamentary democracy through consensus.”

As Leader of The House, Mr Brownlee has tried to give the Business Committee more relevance and authority in determining the business of the House.

“We’ve seen a reduction in the use of urgency and a greater focus on bills of most interest to parties.

“Winston Peters may consider Friday to Tuesday of each sitting week to be a holiday but that’s unique to his caucus. MPs have a range of commitments over those days,” he says.

“The Friday sitting was a pragmatic and mature way of advancing widely supported Treaty bills without unduly upsetting the Friday commitments across the House.”


© Scoop Media

Advertisement - scroll to continue reading
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On National Spreading Panic About The Economy

It is a political strategy as old as time. Scare the public with tales of disaster and stampede them into supporting your ideological agenda because they believe There Is No Alternative. Yet, if the NZ economy truly is as “fragile” as PM Christopher Luxon says it is... Then how come New Zealand has enjoyed a double AA+ credit rating from the international rating agencies for so long? If we have truly been in the thrall of incompetent tax, spend and borrow extremists for the past six years, how come our net government debt burden is only in the middling average of OECD countries, and how come our government debt-to-GDP ratio – however you measure it – is less than half the average for the Asia-Pacific region?..


Labour: Grant Robertson To Retire From Parliament
Labour List MP and former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Grant Robertson will retire from Parliament next month, and later in the year take up the position of Vice Chancellor of the University of Otago... More

Government: Budget Will Be Delivered On 30 May

Plans to deliver tax relief to hard-working New Zealanders, rebuild business confidence, and restore the Crown’s finances to order will be unveiled on 30 May, says Nicola Willis... More

Government: Humanitarian Support For Gaza & West Bank

Winston Peters has announced NZ is providing a further $5M to respond to the extreme humanitarian need in Gaza and the West Bank. “The impact of the Israel-Hamas conflict on civilians is absolutely appalling," he said... More

Government: New High Court Judge Appointed

Judith Collins has announced the appointment of Wellington Barrister Jason Scott McHerron as a High Court Judge. Justice McHerron graduated from the University of Otago with a BA in English Literature in 1994 and an LLB in 1996... More




InfoPages News Channels


Join Our Free Newsletter

Subscribe to Scoop’s 'The Catch Up' our free weekly newsletter sent to your inbox every Monday with stories from across our network.