Karol posted last night on the farce that occurred during debate on Sue Morony’s Paid Parental Leave Bill. National obviously wants to kill the bill but in a way that makes it look like it is not doing so. Unbelievably it refused to allow to Te Ururoa Flavell leave to attend his first grandchild’s birth. Lovely symbolism, refusing someone leave to attend a child’s birth to kill a measure that would allow that child’s parents greater state support. The Maori Party may be part of the coalition but no leeway was allowed. Trevor Mallard’s indignant response to the refusal was perfectly appropriate. It took a cell phone call from Flavell to Carter to obtain the necessary leave.
Then National chose to exercise the Maori Party’s proxies by voting against the bill. You can imagine Labour’s response to this.
This morning Flavell has indicated that the recording of the vote was an “administrative error”. From Stuff:
[C]o-leader Te Ururoa Flavell confirmed today that their apparent change in vote at the second reading last night was an “administrative error”.
He said discussions would be held today to find out where the vote went wrong.
“Suffice to say that it was a mistake and we’re going to look to rectify it,” he said.
But you have to wonder how National got things wrong. Did National mislead Parliament? Or did Sharples buckle under the pressure and change the Maori Party vote?
I understand that the Maori Party will seek leave to change its vote. It will be interesting to see if National blocks this leave.
It may be that Labour’s motto “Hey John Key, don’t veto me” is going to take on a new meaning. Tune in to Parliament at 2 pm when I presume the request will be considered.
Update: And Flavell has applied for and has been granted leave to correct the vote. Sue Moroney’s bill is set down for committee stage.