Question Time yesterday was extraordinary. There’s too much to quote it all: ministers attacking ACC, refusing to back the minimum wage for all workers, ministers calling their quotes in the Herald lies. But this topped it off.
Hon Phil Goff: What is the current status of the New Zealand Skills Strategy developed by Business New Zealand, the Council of Trade Unions, and the Industry Training Federation, and how does he intend to progress that strategy in order to assist skills training?
Hon JOHN KEY: My understanding is that the strategy is still in operation.
Hon Phil Goff: In operation? It hasn’t started yet.
Hon JOHN KEY: It is a strategy, like a lot of strategies.
Hon Phil Goff: What is the current status of the New Zealand Skills Strategy?
Hon JOHN KEY: All I can say is that in terms of a skills strategy, we are working on one of thoseâ€”
Hon Phil Goff: Not ‘a’â€”the skills strategy.
Hon Phil Goff: I seek leave to table the New Zealand Skills Strategy, so that the Prime Minister can be better informed.
Mr SPEAKER: Leave is sought to table a documentâ€”
Hon Paula Bennett: That is so last year.
Hon Darren Hughes: She’s the employment Minister.
Key’s still got all the smart-aleck lines but he’s clearly out of his depth when it comes to actual government. He claims they’re working on a skills strategy but he must just be making that up as he goes along. He clearly doesn’t know that the Skills Strategy is ready, waiting implementation. He hasn’t been “working on one”, he doesn’t even know there is one, but he tries to fake it.
Here’s a tip John, next time you don’t know anything about the topic being discussed, just admit it. You look hopelessly ill-prepared either way but at least that way you’ll look like less of a pillock.
Soon after this exchange Key fled the House. Bill English was left to fill in for the Prime Minister in subsequent questions, a role he is getting used to.
As for Paula Bennett dissing the skills strategy – ‘skills development is so last year’. Guess it goes to show that all the PR in the world can’t buy you a good minister.