The Whipping Post

It’s a House sitting week, so without further ado…

The Good


A big win this week for everyone who supported Labour’s campaign to get rid of zero hour contracts with National backing down and agreeing to changes which ban them. A victory too for all those New Zealanders who have had to try and exist on nothing more than a promise of work…sometime, maybe.


Only Englishmen

Last week we brought you the tale of the black cat and the rat, this week it’s a shaggy dog story, starring Labour’s very own canine whisperer Trevor Mallard. The MP for Hutt South and Animal Welfare spokesperson unwittingly became the poster (and cover) boy for the Kennel Club’s monthly NZ Dog World mag while attending National Day celebrations at the Swiss embassy recently. The embassy supports the North Island St Bernard’s Association and had invited owners to bring along their charges to entertain the kids. Trevor (he’s the old dog in the middle) couldn’t resist. That’s Steffi (a St Bernard) on the left and Bernese Mountain dog Kiva on the right.


Nutty as

“This side of the House is interested in growing the pie and in making it chocolate, banana, fruit, nuts—everything that is able to be jammed into that pie.”

Greedy guts Act MP David Seymour has a rush of sugar to the head after the Greens’ Julie Anne Genter compared the government’s reliance on dairy to eating too much chocolate cake.

The Bad

A Week Of It

The Government started off the week on the back foot after OIAs revealed the Ministry of Health had 'miscalculated' its reserves, didn't have the money it said it had to complete a $24 million refit of its head office and had gone cap in hand to the Government for a bail out. By Tuesday the back foot was looking decidedly unsteady with news that a payroll problem at MBIE was more widespread than first thought. Come Wednesday, and boom - Labour was granted an urgent debate on the financial “management” of the Ministry of Health., while Thursday saw more on management mismanagement, this time at WINZ. Needless to say by the end of the week the back foot was shot to pieces. (Sharon Murdoch via The Press)

Take that, and that

It wasn’t quite pistols at dawn, but Tuesday’s snap debate definitely got a few bods fired up, and none more so than the man under the gun, Jonathan Coleman. Deputy Speaker Chester Borrows was so riled by his continued interruptions he called him for being too boring. Ouch. Coleman, not one to take anything with good grace, shot back with a line Aaron Gilmore would have been proud of.

Mr DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! Just to quote previous Speaker Hunt, interjections are to be rare and reasonable and, hopefully, witty. Just repeating the same line over and over and over again is not within Standing Orders—[Interruption] No, do not crank up the volume, as my cousin would encourage you to do. Just see whether you can limit yourself to what is rare, reasonable, and, hopefully, witty.

Hon Dr JONATHAN COLEMAN: Come on, Mr Deputy Speaker. It is not all about you, you know.

On yer bike

If you were looking for info on local events and activities to celebrate International Women’s Day on the Ministry For Women’s website - and really, isn’t that the obvious place to look? - chances are you would have been mightily disappointed. There were a couple of sentences with a link to a page set up by the UN. Good to see the Ministry putting so much effort into it. About as useful as a, er, fish on a bicycle.


What The?

One of these words - apotheosis, doofus - was ruled unparliamentary this week. Go to the top of the class if you guessed it was doofus. Jonathan Coleman used it, right after the erudite* Andrew Little described the Government’s mismanagement (MoH, MBIE et al) as the apotheosis** of incompetence.

* learned

** a perfect example, pinnacle