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National crashes select committee meeting

Written By: - Date published: 11:11 am, February 13th, 2019 - 208 comments
Categories: Abuse of power, act, david seymour, Dr Deborah Russell, internet, Judith Collins, labour, Media, national, Politics, same old national, twitter - Tags:

Today was meant to be the the first meeting of the year of Parliament’s Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.  Things started with a hitch.  One Labour member was sick and a replacement was found but turned up 30 seconds after the committee was meant to start its meeting.

There are seven Government MPs on the committee, five National and David Seymour.  Judith Collins and former speaker David Carter are amongst the opposition members.

A quorum is 7 and there were plenty of MPs to start the meeting. All they had to do was be in the room.

But instead of starting things so they could do their business, like hearing from important organisations such as the New Zealand Council of Social Services and the Minister of Finance and the Pike River Recovery Agency National decided to play games. 

National MPs stood outside of the meeting room, along with a number of submitters who had turned up and the meeting was crashed for lack of a quorum.

Deborah Russell records events in these tweets:

And these tweets from two august members of the respected legal tweeters club have scathing conclusions.


I hope their pay is docked. A replacement being 30 seconds late is eminently forgivable can forgive but MPs refusing to do their job just to try embarrass the Government?

208 comments on “National crashes select committee meeting”

  1. Peter 1

    A political stunt.

    I see David Carter who is a member of the Finance and Expenditure select committee being quoted. He was probably there.

    When you get a cunning stunt things only have to go slightly amiss for things to be totally different. That’s where David Carter comes into it I guess. Without the stunning.

  2. Stuart Munro 2

    Sooner or later the Gnats are going to work out that, no, any publicity is not good publicity. I’m betting on later.

    • Kat 2.1

      You can bet the people who flew there just to be sent away won’t be that enamored with National. The comments made publicly have been all negative so far. I’m betting the Nats current internal polling must be so bad its making them very jumpy knowing that most likely at least a third of them will be gone in 2020.

  3. Enough is Enough 3

    How many stories about an unpopular opposition can one author post in a week?

    [lprent: The answer to that is pretty obvious. As many as they like.

    BTW: Please read the policy on self-martyrdom

    Abusing the sysop or post writers on their own site – including telling us how to run our site or what we should write. This is viewed as self-evident stupidity, and should be added as a category to the Darwin Awards.

    Before I decide to execute my infinite ability to execute. ]

  4. Childish jerks. Leaderless they flop and flip and flap like bycatch at the bottom of a boat, unwanted.

  5. veutoviper 5

    Mickysavage – Seven Labour members or six?

    By my count six. From the NZ Parliament website, the full current membership of the Finance And Expenditure Committee is:

    Michael Wood (Chairperson) – Labour
    Fletcher Tabuteau (Deputy Chair) – NZF

    5 National Members
    Hon Amy Adams
    Rt Hon David Carter
    Hon Judith Collins
    Andrew Bayly
    Ian McKelvie

    6 Labour Members (+ Michael Wood, Chair)
    Kiritapu Allan
    Tamati Coffey
    Willow-Jean Prime
    Dr Deborah Russell
    Dr Duncan Webb

    ACT Member
    David Seymour

    [Also Fletcher Tabuteau for NZF – Deputy Chair as above]

    Presumably Tracey Martin was standing in for Fletcher today. Deborah Russell tweeted that Martin was there today.

    Ridiculous behaviour. If National and/or the Nat members of this Committee think this will gain them support, then they are deluded or desperate.

  6. Kevin 6

    My 4 year old twins show more maturity than these clowns. An I don’t have to pay them to get it.

  7. veutoviper 7

    The thread under Michael Wood’s tweet in the post is worth reading.

    Gerry Brownlee has claimed on Twitter that it was the Labour members who collapsed the meeting, but Michael Wood and others (including Grant Robertson who was scheduled to appear before the Committee to explain the Wellness Budget) have refuted these claims.

  8. mac1 8

    A general rule is for a period of time to be allowed for a quorum to be established.

    Here is the rule for the Fish and Game Council as promulgated by the Hon. Maggie Barry.

    “A meeting must lapse and the chairperson vacate the chair if a quorum is not present within 30 minutes of the start of the meeting. The chairperson may extend the time that the meeting will wait for a quorum by up to 10 minutes in situations where members are known to be travelling to the meeting, but are delayed.”

    It continues. “Where a meeting lapses because there is no quorum, this will be recorded in the minutes, along with the names of the members who attended.”

    Did the National MPs by staying outside get recorded as attending? If they didn’t attend, then they are as responsible for the meeting being inquorate as the Labour MPs.

    Note the provision in the F&G rules for extension for a known situation of predicted lateness.

    Parliament needs to sharpen its rules to allow for such eventualities, if this sort of situation occurs because of a point-scoring (in this case an ‘own goal’?) opposition.

    I should hope this gets a good airing in the appropriate way in the House this afternoon. A lot of parliament business is facilitated by inter-party cooperation.

    Perhaps the Nats got snooty because their leader Simon Bridges got shamed in the House yesterday by not forming properly an amendment to the PM’s motion to move her Statement to the House.

    For heaven sakes, a minute late can be as simple as a delay caused by a full lift, or a blockage in a passageway, let alone an excusable situation such as a sick member.

  9. Wayne 9

    The government has a majority on the Select Committee and it is their responsibility to maintain the quorum by turning up on time. Labour was at pains to tell National members that when National was the government.
    However if private submitters (as opposed to central and local government officials) have come from outside Wellington it is usually best practice to allow the proceedings to happen.
    Still it will be a lesson to the government members to turn up on time. The government whips will be pretty annoyed by tardiness of the government members irrespective of how the issue publicly plays out.

    • Cinny 9.1

      Someone was 30 sec’s late, due to standing in for an MP who is ill.

      Am sure every person in NZ can relate to being 30sec’s late for an appointment.

      The public won’t view it as a lesson to learn to turn up on time.

      The public will see it as national being a bunch of wankers. JS

      • gsays 9.1.1

        I am no fan of the bunch in blue.
        Yes the nats could and should have made a quorum.

        Labour MPs, sick, late or otherwise handed the opposition the ‘opportunity’ to pull this stunt.

        • Sabine

          the point is, these guys have run on ‘we want to do government’. Not on ‘we want to decide what is and what is not being on time, and quorum is only quorum when i says so”.

          so you are there, all others are there, a replacement for a person who called in sick is there, the petitioners are here, so go make government. And we how pay these guys to do government should expect them to do their jobs, or else go to private business, where meetings often start without fault despite someone being 30 seconds late.

          Sometimes the turd belongs to the one who left in the middle of the room, in this case it is Nationals turd.

          • gsays

            I can’t argue with any of that.

            I am encouraged that the prime minister seems to be showing another way of doing politics.
            From what I have heard/read, Jacinda Ardern owned the situation and told her folk to buck up their ideas (paraphrasing).
            Contrast that to David Carter on the radio this morning. Politely, he sounded like a wanker. A privileged wanker. Even worse he is a former speaker.
            He is typical of the quagmire the nats find themselves in. Less and less relevant.
            Meanwhile there is hope building, a change on the horizon… (cue swelling string music)….

    • Rapunzel 9.2

      Hey you may see it that way and the Oppostion might say that that is the case, but hey as a tax payer I don’t get it and I don’t reckon that many other NZers will either. What would be a sound reason? There is none that I can see. To prove a point? What point would that be?

    • mac1 9.3

      Wayne, did Labour members when in opposition actually cause a meeting to not happen in a similar situation of Government MPs tardiness?

      • mac1 9.3.1

        Or, is that another attempted “But Labour did it, too” defence?

        Had Labour done this, I’m sure that the attendant trolls would already have trip-trapped over that particular bridge.

      • Wayne 9.3.2

        I was in Cabinet so didn’t really affect me. Whips were always stressing in caucus the importance of MP’s turning up in time.
        Probably last happened between 2005 and 2008 when the National opposition was quite large. I recall Gerry Brownlee and I had the opportunity to collapse a committee. As I recall we didn’t ultimately do so because of external submitters.

        • Cinny

          Wayne would the nat MP’s that ended up walking off, get paid for the meeting?

        • mac1

          So, Wayne, “There’s no Labour did it , too” defence?

          The National opposition in 2005-2008 was certainly larger than it was in 2002-5 when National went down to a 21% popularity rating.

          This down turn may well be what is happening again now, after a first term, as it did with Bill English, and will be accelerated by such pettiness as happened yesterday.

          Good on you for your refusing the opportunity to collapse the committee.

          I’m not so sure that taking such an action with Wellington based submitters and civil servants is useful, or civil, though.

          • Sacha

            “Good on you for your refusing the opportunity to collapse the committee.”

            That’s a pretty low bar to be praising.

    • Reality 9.4

      Wayne, your mates are just like the nasty kids in the playground who like to be mean just for the sake of it. They surely could try behaving like adults. The replacement for the sick MP was 30 seconds late for goodness sake and was possibly given very short notice.

    • Anne 9.5

      You have shown yourself up Wayne. I thought better of you. It was NOT tardiness that caused a committee member to be 30secs late but illness. In the heated almost frantic atmosphere that is called parliament it takes time to find a suitable replacement.

      It was sheer spite because they got knocked out yesterday in the latest poll. A group of Nat MPs behaving like a bunch of spoiled, sulking toddlers… cos they didn’t get their own way.

      Why am I not surprised.

      • Sacha 9.5.1

        The claim from Labour MPs has been that the replacement arrived ’30 seconds’ after the quorum time limit of ten minutes.

        The timing means nothing anyway when there were always enough total MPs present for a quorum if the Nats had not treated this like a childish game. Deserve a spanking except those plummy toffs would probably enjoy it.

    • Pat 9.6

      All your mates have achieved Wayne is make themselves look like the wankers they are…..your average punter aint prepared to accept this type of BS…and its wondered why politicians rate below insurance salesmen (and lawyers) in the publics perception

    • Sabine 9.7

      yes dear.
      and this is why National is the Party of no mates.

  10. ankerawsharkP 10

    Keep going National……….that could well be another point or two lost…………note Judith was there, not Simon.

    It is a sign of an entitled group of people who are there to be pragmatic and serve others, but respond with indignation when the world doesn’t revolve around them.

  11. patricia bremner 11

    This is a continuation of “Don’t expect co-operation from the opposition”
    Childish rubbish.

  12. rata 12

    Bit of a giggle really.

    • Macro 12.1

      Tell that to the people who wasted their time and money flying in to Wellington to make their submissions.
      It was arrogant and disgusting behaviour on the part of the National MPs and far from funny.

  13. rata 13

    Select committees are where the real Governance takes place.
    Members from several parties meet to introduce, discuss
    and structure issues for final Parliamentary readings, debates and voting.
    The light weight political gossip and tit for tat public utterances
    most often portrayed by our media to the masses is
    such a long way from where the real Governing takes place.
    Generally select committees work lacks the simple appeal
    of pugilistic populism preferred by the masses because it requires
    the absorption of large amounts of complex information and then
    demands considerable analysis and subtle comparison.
    The masses have no time for such diligent study which challenge may
    require change so voters much prefer 5 second sound bites
    and angry combatants throwing political hay makers.
    This gives the masses what they really want which is to avoid
    in depth complex analysis, to say the politicians are all idiots
    and therefore feel justified in maintaining entrenched preferences.

  14. Irascible 14

    When idiocy and pettiness is seen as being a responsible opposition one can give no credence to their leadership (currently in the midst of a caucus coup plotting) or their ethics. The Nat MPs who stood outside the meeting room leaving their briefcases and jackets in the room to deny the quorum should be publically rebuked by the Speaker, held to ridicule by the MSM and grilled extensively and critically by the shock jock opinionistas who populate the radio stations. How about docking them a days pay as well??

  15. mary_a 15

    A disgraceful, dirty and disrespectful tactic from National! No consideration at all for the submitters concerned!

    Some accountability needed here and apologies to the submitters, whose day has been obviously put out, due to petulant, vindictive and spiteful National politicians!

  16. Muttonbird 16

    The really have no feel for their own image at the moment. This won’t register with most people but it has hit the media and those who do read about it know from personal experience that being late is occasionally part of life and most times it is forgiven.

    Fine, tweet about it if you have to but with good humour in order to embarrass the government but don’t throw your toys out of the cot and waste everyone’s time. It looks very bad-tempered and petty.

    Not the signs of a happy caucus I think.

  17. Michelle 17

    Labour should have learnt from the last time they got done over by the gnats and that was right at the beginning of there first term. National will do anything to make it harder on the opposition they are so desperate with all their raruraru they are being spiteful cause really its the public they are hurting but they don’t care and people need to wake up to this tactic.

    • patricia bremner 17.1

      So the Opposition members stood outside the meeting and refused to come in?
      The sick Labour member had a replacement, who was 30 seconds late.
      Those who stood outside the door, do they get paid? Who are they answerable to?
      Is there a legal grace period for reasonable lateness? What now happens for those submitters.?
      This is calculated disrespect for parliamentary duties, and could be seen as dereliction of duty IMO.

      • Infused 17.1.1

        They had 10 minutes.

        • Psycho Milt

          Did the National MPs standing among the waiting submitters say to them “They had 10 minutes to form a quorum on their own, and we’re fucked if we’re going to participate in the select committee process as though we had some kind of obligation to Parliament, so fuck ’em and you can all go home again”? Because it was very rude of them if they didn’t.

  18. veutoviper 18

    OK, I am still getting back into “Parliament is sitting” mode. Brain has now engaged and so I have now checked Parliamentary Standing Orders on Select Committee procedures. Chapter 4 covers Select Committees.


    Standing Order 209 under Chapter 4 covers quorum for Select Committee meetings as follows (my Bold):

    “209 Quorum

    (1) The quorum of a select committee is half of the membership of the committee, rounded upwards where applicable.

    (2) A non-voting member is not counted as part of the membership of a committee for the purposes of determining the quorum.

    (3) If there is no quorum present within 10 minutes of the time for a meeting to commence, the meeting is adjourned. If there is no quorum present during a meeting, the meeting is suspended for up to 10 minutes and, if no quorum is formed, the meeting is adjourned.”

    This morning’s meeting was at 8am, so probably not just a case of grabbing someone already on the Parliamentary precinct to stand in for someone ill.

    If, as is claimed, the replacement Labour MP was only 30 seconds late, then that would not be cause for adjourning the meeting as it would be outside the provisions of 209(3).

    If the National MPs refused to come into the Select Committee meeting within 10 minutes of the scheduled 8am start time for the meeting, then adjournment of the meeting would be in accord with 209(3).

    If this was deliberate on the part of the National Members of the Committee (ie they refused to go into the room when asked to do so), then IIRC (I don’t have time right now to check) I think it then becomes a matter for the Speaker with the possibility of the matter being referred to the Business Committee and/or possibly on to the Privileges Committee.

    • mac1 18.1

      Thanks for that, Veutoviper. Quoting the actual standing orders is certainly more useful than my saying that ‘they orter have better processes”!

      I intend to view this afternoon’s session in the House to see if there’s further development in this issue.

      • veutoviper 18.1.1

        I could be wrong, but I doubt that it will come up in the House itself eg during the Start of the Day or Question Time.

        Although it is a Wednesday there is no General Debate today, and the debate on the PM’s Statement yesterday continues instead.

        So, I think it will probably be discussed behind the scenes for the present with the Speaker etc.

      • veutoviper 18.1.2

        Was wrong. Nathan Guy touched on it in passing in the Debate on the PM’s statement at about 3.10pm. In passing only. He claimed that the Labour Members could not get out of bed in time to get to the meeting …

        Oh, and now Tracey Martin is correcting Guy as to what happened this morning. She is being very specific about what happened re Nat MPs standing outside etc. Have to go out right now. Will post videos and transcripts later.

        • Sacha

          Moment in video of Tracey Martin speech where she names the 3 Nat arseholes who torpedoed the quorum by skulking outside the meeting room – including ex-Speaker Carter:


    • alwyn 18.2

      From what you are saying the claim that
      “One Labour member was sick and a replacement was found but turned up 30 seconds after the committee was meant to start its meeting.”
      is wrong, and quite misleading.
      They must have been more than 10 minutes late. I can see why the National MPs would have been unhappy, having to stand around wasting their time.
      Can anyone tell us whether the Chairman, a Government MP, had said he would not start the meeting until he had another member of his side there to ensure that he could win any vote that might arise?
      I do wonder whether it was the Labour Party Chairman of the Committee who refused to start the meeting on time.

      • Robert Guyton 18.2.1

        The National Party MPs were “unhappy, having to stand around” and so chose to collapse a meeting to which members of the public had flown?
        Alwyn, really??

      • veutoviper 18.2.2

        “From what you are saying the claim that
        “One Labour member was sick and a replacement was found but turned up 30 seconds after the committee was meant to start its meeting.”
        is wrong, and quite misleading.”

        No, Alwyn. I did NOT say that the claim was wrong (and/or misleading.) I do not make such claims without verification of the facts. Various contradictory claims seem to have been made by both sides. Hence, my starting three of my paragraphs with the word “If”.

        Lets turn this around. Please provide supporting facts and verification to this claim that YOU have made:

        “They must have been more than 10 minutes late. I can see why the National MPs would have been unhappy, having to stand around wasting their time.”

        Your remaining remarks are fair questions, Let’s all wait to see what further comes out as to the facts of the situation.

      • Psycho Milt 18.2.3

        I can see why the National MPs would have been unhappy, having to stand around wasting their time.

        Correction: you can see why the National MPs seized the opportunity to leave the room, knowing it would leave the meeting inquorate and mean all the people who’d travelled for it would have wasted time, effort and money.

    • Patricia 18.3

      Sounds as though the submitters and many of the other MPs attending had a robust discussion anyway. Possibly far better than they would have had the Nat MPs been present.

      • veutoviper 18.3.1

        They may have, Patricia, but those discussions will have no official standing or records. That can only be done through an official meeting of the Select Committee and another one will now have to be convened.

        • Patricia

          I agree VV but now some of the MPs will have better information on which to base intelligent questions next time round. The Nat MPs have shown themselves to be greatly lacking in ethics and most people will be disgusted by their behaviour.
          Leaving their bags and coats in the room but standing outside proves it was nothing but a stunt.
          Wonder if they left a phone or two on record to hear what was being said in their absence ?

  19. Chris T 19

    Pretty petty immature stuff.

    But then we have only heard one sides version. For instance I find the “only 30 seconds”, a tad unbelievable.

    • McFlock 19.1

      30sec past start time or 30sec past the ten minute cutoff, the meeting could still have gone ahead if a single nat had bothered to cross the threshold.

      The nat point seems to be that the government can’t rely on the nats to do their own work as parliamentary representatives – meh. That’s more a problem for nat voters than the government.

  20. patricia bremner 20

    I have my popcorn ready.

  21. The right wing ticket Papatoetoe “independents” tried this trick once during the previous local body term. All but one of their members lost last election and her vote went down. Very unwise tactic. Perhaps National are aiming for 30%

    • Sabine 21.1

      well they don’t give anyone a reason to vote for them, even their sausage sizzlers seem to lack sizzle.

      oh well.

  22. AB 22

    When you come from the social class that believes it should have political power due to its inherent superiority over the other rabble, you are not inclined to tolerate the sort of reversal of fortune National is now experiencing.
    Your superiority is absolutely obvious to you – you are wealthier and whiter, you own significant chunks of the private sector and move smoothly among the networks of private power. But now you have to tolerate watching your social inferiors being in government. Its insufferable, so you behave like a prat.

  23. Gabby 23

    The sick MP better not turn out to have bottle flu.

  24. indiana 24

    The issues for Labour MP’s and their tardiness all began the day the took control of the helm, remember this?

    • Jimmy 24.1

      The government needs to get their ‘shit together’ else they can expect more of this from National if they don’t follow the rules to the letter just like the first day of parliament.

    • patricia bremner 24.2

      Indiana, No, not correct. That was to do with National deciding to recant on an agreement not to challenge the position of Speaker when his (Trevor Mallard) name was put forward. They then put up Anne Tolley.

  25. Puckish Rogue 25

    Should National have gone in, yes. Should Labour have their shit sorted out by now, yes.

    • It’s not Labour’s shit to sort out. Andrew Geddis explains why.

      • Puckish Rogue 25.1.1

        Allow me to quote the PM: “They’ve made mistakes. We need to own that”

        • Incognito

          I agree that the Government MPs need to own their mistakes but not those of the National MPs, obviously. It seems that National seems to confuse scrutiny and sabotage. A sad day for NZ politics.

        • Psycho Milt

          Allow me to quote the PM: “They’ve made mistakes. We need to own that”

          Yep, and what a contrast to Simon Bridges that was. Not only did Simon’s MPs deliberately leave the meeting for the explicit purpose of causing it to fail to reach a quorum, in doing so they stood outside the meeting room among people who’d arranged time off work and travelled to Wellington just for that meeting. What kind of amoral scumbag does that? Just how lacking in human empathy do you have to be? It beggars the imagination. But for Bridges there’s no “mistakes” there that need “owning,” nope he’s proud to be leading a crew of despicable shitheads.

        • Psycho Milt

          You seem to be extracting a meaning from that article that isn’t contained within it.

          • Shadrach

            The meaning I am extracting is that the Labour MP’s were late. It appears to be a habit.

            • Psycho Milt

              Illness happens. History tells us it even happens to self-entitled Tories. Due to illness, one Labour MP was late. Now tell us why it was the duty of the Labour members of the committee to ensure a quorum but not the duty of the National members, bearing in mind that the committee is a committee of Parliament, not the government.

              • Shadrach

                It’s a pattern. Late and lazy, based on what the ex Speaker claims.

                • The ex-Speaker can claim what he likes, it doesn’t alter the fact that he has the same responsibility to Parliament’s select committees as Labour MPs do, but he instead deliberately sabotaged one of those committees. There should be a penalty for doing so.

                  • Shadrach

                    They have the responsibility to turn up. They did. So yeah, it’s Labour’s shit to sort out.

                    • mickysavage

                      They did not turn up. They were there but hopped out of the room so the interaction with citizens could not proceed.

                    • It’s the responsibility of all members to ensure a quorum. Deliberately leaving the meeting for the purpose of ensuring it was inquorate was a betrayal of their obligation to Parliament and a betrayal of the citizens they left hanging. That’s not “Labour’s shit to sort out.”

                    • Shadrach

                      “They did not turn up. They were there…”

                      So they did turn up??

                    • Shadrach

                      “That’s not “Labour’s shit to sort out.”

                      Based on there being a pattern, yep it is.

                    • You seem to be under the delusion that your assertions count for something.

            • Jimmy

              In the NZ Herald article Jacinda basically says her Labour MP’s need to sort their shit out! But in a nice way.

  26. Chris T 26

    Now you have Labour’s Hipkins still slagging off National about it after Ardern has taken the hit for it being Labour’s fault.


    Sort the communication out for Christ’s sake Labour.

    Hipkins is the whip. It is down to him.

    As for his whining over Mallards penalty for unanswered written questions, is this bloke up to the job?

    • alwyn 26.1

      Hipkins isn’t the whip. He has the much more exalted title of Leader of the House.
      The whips are Ruth Dyson and Kieran McAnulty. I remember Dyson as being the Minister who had to resign after being convicted of drink driving. As far as the Junior whip goes I can only say “Who?”.

      • AB 26.1.1

        “As far as the Junior whip goes I can only say “Who?”.”
        Although you might feel a lofty disdain for us lefty plebs Alwyn – it doesn’t come out right when you say it.

        • alwyn

          That’s nice dear.

          Now without resorting to Google can you honestly state that you know anything at all about him?
          What electorate did he stand in for example?
          How long has he been in Parliament?
          How old is he?
          What did he do before entering Parliament?

          Unless he is your brother, sister, or cousin I doubt it.
          We know one thing about him of course. Unless he is a very wet behind the ears first termer he is clearly of below average ability. The Government whips are those who aren’t in the top half of the class and therefore don’t get to be a Minister, Associate Minister, Under Secretary or even get to chair one of the Committees.
          The Opposition whips can actually be good, although it is not a requirement.
          Poor bastards. It is a difficult and thankless job where no-one ever hears about you unless, as here, they don’t keep a sufficiently close eye on things.

    • You missed out the word “justifiably” there – “justifiably” slagging off National about it. To repeat an earlier comment:

      Not only did National MPs deliberately leave the meeting for the explicit purpose of causing it to fail to reach a quorum, in doing so they stood outside the meeting room among people who’d arranged time off work and travelled to Wellington just for that meeting. What kind of amoral scumbag does that? Just how lacking in human empathy do you have to be? It beggars the imagination.

      Although, on reflection, I should be used to that by now from Nat MPs.

      • Chris T 26.2.1

        So he is saying his leader is wrong.


        Has someone told Ardern?

        • Psycho Milt

          Ardern telling her MPs they need to make sure they get to meetings on time is in no way incompatible with Hipkins sheeting the blame for this select committee being inquorate home where it belongs: with three National Party members of the committee.

          • Chris T

            Yes, but he is responsible for knowing how many outstanding written questions there are to stop Mallard punishing them at the next meeting of the house

          • Anne

            PM @ 6.2
            Our rwnj commenters do have cognitave issues.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            So 3 national members are the equivalent of 7 coalition members when it comes to getting the job done at all?

            No surprises there.

            • Psycho Milt

              You do know what a quorum is, I presume? If so, why say something so stupid?

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                I know exactly what a quorum is. It makes me laugh that there are enough government members for a quorum on such an important committee, without national attending, but they still couldn’t achieve it.

                Must be Nationals fault though.

                Bombers got it right, the government need to get their shit together. Continously blaming the Opposition makes the government look weak and ineffectual, no matter the poll numbers. This is the stuff that really hurts over time

                • It’s not the government’s job to ensure a quorum on a Parliamentary Select Committee, because it’s a Parliamentary committee, not a government one. Falling back on claims that it’s perception that counts is just an admission that yes the Nat MPs’ behaviour was indefensible.

                  • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                    a finance and expenditure committee? a committee almost entirely dedicated to ensuring government budget promises and funding go ahead?

                    It might be a parliamentary select committee, but it’s primary purpose is to ensure government legislation can be fiscally enacted. so you’d think the government would want a quorum without having to rely on the opposition

                    I’m not falling back on any claims that perception counts. I’m pursuing the viewpoint that this government, like the one before it, is arrogant and largely useless at governing.

                    Difference is that the previous government was well into it’s second term before it started to look useless.

                    • a committee almost entirely dedicated to ensuring government budget promises and funding go ahead?

                      No, a Parliamentary committee almost entirely dedicated to ensuring government budget promises and funding get proper scrutiny – by, among other people, the Opposition’s MPs.

                      …you’d think the government would want a quorum without having to rely on the opposition

                      Every single member of the government side would have to be there to ensure a quorum with no opposition members present, so there are bound to be times when that’s difficult.

                      You’d also think the opposition would want a quorum, because it’s their opportunity to scrutinise the proposed expenditure.

                      You’d also think the opposition would want a quorum because deliberately sabotaging the committee is a betrayal of their role as MPs and of the voters who were waiting outside to have their say.

        • alwyn

          I’m afraid that she was informed.
          She stamped her feet and, horror of horrors, swore.
          Chris will be performing the Seppuku ceremony after the House rises this evening.

          • Psycho Milt

            Yeah, yeah, I’m sure she sacrificed a goat to Baal while she was at it.

            • alwyn

              Well, I am sure that you know her better than I do.
              I realise you was brought up in a slightly unusual religious sect but I find your comment very hard to believe.
              Are you really sure about the sacrificed?

      • Sanctuary 26.2.2

        I think David Carter and Gerry Brownlee fancy themselves as the Mitch McConnells of NZ politics.

        Also, I strongly suspect the Nat MPs spend their spare time hooting and yeah righting to Fox News in their caucus.

  27. cleangreen 27

    Hi Micky


    In 2013 we had a 10240 signature petition “Save our Gisborne rail” handed to Anne Tolley as our Gisborne MP on the steps of Government to give to the Government and request our right to be included in the submission process by David Bennett as he was the chair of the ‘Industrial Relations and Transport Select Committee’, and he turned down our right to be heard at that committee in hearings.

    So National are always blocking our democracy.

    • alwyn 27.1

      Why don’t you try again. After all now the Green Party has a member who is Associate Minister of Transport I am sure they will welcome you with open arms.
      Have you talked to Ms Genter about this recently?
      Did she welcome you and assure you that she would get action on the matter during this term of Parliament.

      Or has she ignored you?

  28. James 28

    To say they were 30 seconds late is bollocks.

    They were 30 seconds past the final cut off time.

    Big difference.

    • Muttonbird 28.1

      Meanwhile the 5 National MPs who could have got the meeting started…didn’t.


      • James 28.1.1

        And yet they at least had the decency to turn up on time.

        • Gabby

          But they didn’t jimbo, or there would’ve been a quorum.

        • ankerawsharkP

          James what was the point of Nats turning up if they childishly didn’t go into the meeting.

          My understanding is they had a quorum so the meeting could have gone ahead.

          One of the reason for there being one person being late was they were standing in for someone who was ill. FFs.

          I know if I had of been one of those people who’d travelled to be at the select committee meeting and there was a quorum despite someone belng late i.e. whether that was 30 seconds or more, I would have been pissed off with the Nats who refused to go into the bloody room and start the meeting……

          I think a rare mistake from Jacinda, although she may not have been fully informed and it is good she took responsibility for her team

        • Sabine

          so you show up and then…..you refuse to do your job?

          National, we come, we see, and then we go home cause that beats working! Now pay us our wages.

    • veutoviper 28.2

      Actually James if that was the case the difference was – [drumroll] 30 seconds. WOW

      • James 28.2.1

        Ok. Let’s try it simple for you – I’ll even do the maths for you.

        What time was the meeting due to start ? And what time did the person get there?

        • Psycho Milt

          And what time did three National MPs leave the meeting to ensure that it would be inquorate unless Labour found someone to replace a sick MP at less than 10 minutes notice?

        • Gabby

          Hey jimbo, even simpler – could the meeting have started regardless? Yes.

          • Tuppence Shrewsbury

            No actually. Parliament has very strict rules about the time it takes to achieve a quorum. the limit is ten minutes. not ten minutes + whatever time it takes for a member to be late and then demand a meeting be held

            Standing orders 2017, 209 (Chapter 4)

            • veutoviper

              Yes, Parliament does have strict rules, as I pointed out in my comment at 5,

              However, having worked as a public servant secondee to several Select Committees over my career, I can also say that this is the first time I have ever heard of the type of behaviour seen yesterday by the Nat MPs.

              Usually there is some leeway given in relation to such procedural only rules as the 10 minute rule (but not in relation to the legal rules relating to evidence, for example).

              I can recall many instances where select committees have started slightly late to allow Members to arrive from other work appointment/commitments. Apologies are usually made to the attendees by the Chair or other Members present, and it is pointed out that it is better if all those attending as Members are there from the outset.

              If Labour Members or any others are tardy on an ongoing basis, then they should be pulled up and warned as indeed Ardern did yesterday.

              But nothing from Bridges, as National leader, about the behaviour of his Members.

            • Gabby

              What’s 5 + 4 tuppers?

              • Tuppence Shrewsbury

                even simpler flabby, whats 5+2?

                the number of government members of the committee and the the number needed for a quorum

                Veuto, you are probably right that there has been leeway in the past. but exclaiming that labour mps should get called up if they are consistently late only works if they listen…..

                it seems like they have been told, the whips didn’t listen or enforce this and now this happened.

                Trying to endlessly blame national for what is essentially the coalition governments for governance policies is like complaining the dog at your homework. might work in kindergarten once, but not in the real world

    • Robert Guyton 28.3

      30 seconds – “big difference”.

  29. Most NZ Voters with half a brain will realise that National are just playing dirty, obviously the recent poll has increased the anxiety levels in the National Party.

  30. Shadrach 30

    “National MP David Carter continued his attack on Labour MPs this afternoon and said if anyone should apologise to submitters, it should be Labour and NZ First MPs.

    “It’s not the Opposition’s job to maintain quorums at select committee.

    “Labour members are lazy and disorganised. We’re fed up with being there on time as National members, and watching Labour members saunter in there 5, 10, 15 minutes late.

    “This is a lazy, disorganised Government. They don’t read their papers. They ask inane questions. This is the most important select committee in Parliament.””


    Isn’t the internet fun.

    • Carter displays that unlovable combination of ignorance and arrogance that so characterised his time as Speaker. It’s the Opposition’s job to maintain quorums at select committees just as much as it is the Government’s. Isn’t the Internet fun.

      • cleangreen 30.1.1

        100% Psycho Milt.

        David Carter is so arrogant with every word, – he makes me sick to the stomach.

      • Shadrach 30.1.2

        I would suggest that an ex Speaker knows more about the running of Parliament than Andrew Geddis.

        • Psycho Milt

          Carter’s conduct as Speaker strongly suggests otherwise. Apart from which, Geddis is a specialist in constitutional law and Carter is… well, whatever that is that he’s doing.

          • Shadrach

            Carter is an ex Speaker. Geddis’ own justification for his argument doesn’t stack up.

            • Psycho Milt

              Jesus Christ, I let a blog commenter suck me into an argument from authority. Well done, you got me. Doesn’t make your argument any less of a logical fallacy, but credit where credit’s due.

            • Gabby

              Carsehole sounded a bit grumpy about all his reading going to waste shadders. So why did he bugger off then. Selfish prick.

      • Sanctuary 30.1.3

        “…Carter displays that unlovable combination of ignorance and arrogance that so characterised his time as Speaker….”

        I think you just about summed up the last National government actually.

    • joe90 30.2

      “It’s not the Opposition’s job to maintain quorums at select committee.

      Apparently it is.

      Here’s how Parliament itself describes those select committees:  

      New Zealand’s select committee system enables members of Parliament to examine issues in more detail than is possible in the House of Representatives. Select committees can also provide the public with an opportunity to comment on and suggest changes to impending legislation, and to participate in other parliamentary functions such as inquiries. Select committees carry out public scrutiny of the Government’s spending plans and of the performance and operations of Government departments, Crown entities, and State enterprises. Select committees operate under the authority of the House and are required to report to the House.

      I’ve highlighted that last line for a reason. You see, contra David Carter’s claim, Select Committee’s aren’t the Government’s responsibility to run. In fact, they exist principally to let all MPs from all parties scrutinise, challenge and hold that Government to account.


      • Shadrach 30.2.1

        Apparently it isn’t. The Opposition MP’s were on time. Labour MP’s couldn’t be bothered getting out of bed. That’s why the PM has apologised, and good on her.

        • ankerawsharkP

          Shadrach, you have done it again! What on earth is the evidence that any coalition members couldn’t be bothered getting out of bed. What a totally stupid thing to say.

          • Psycho Milt

            It’s called “lying.” No need to mince words.

          • Shadrach

            It’s called a figure of speech. And a direct quote.

            “They’ll still so disorganised, they could not get their members out of bed to a select committee. Get out of bed and be there.”

            Even the PM ticked them off.

            • Psycho Milt

              If you directly quote a lie, that doesn’t make it “not a lie.”

              • Shadrach

                If I quote a figure of speech, it makes it a figure of speech. If you didn’t read the quote, and took it literally, then that makes you a bit silly.

                • left_forward

                  Shadders, don’t try to obscure it, you and the person you are quoting are both engaging in a process, so cleverly using a figure of speech (whatever), aimed to deceive. As PM notes, the process of lying.

                  • Shadrach

                    Any intelligent human being knows the meaning of ‘getting out of bed’.

                    • left_forward

                      I acknowledge how intelligent you are Shadders to use such a brilliant figure of speech to repeat your bullshit.

                • If someone is late for a meeting because they were called in at short notice to fill in for someone who’s sick, but I tell everyone that they were late because they were in the toilets having a wank, yes that is a figure of speech, and – in words of one syllable to make it easier for you – yes that is a lie. Carter lied, and you repeated his lie.

                  • Shadrach

                    Carter was referring to a pattern of Labour MP’s being late. You have no idea what you’re talking about.

                    • Carter can allege whatever he likes about Labour MP’s failing to get up in time for meetings, for all I know it’s true, but it was a lie for him to allege it as the cause of his deliberately leaving this meeting inquorate, and it’s a lie you repeated.

                    • Shadrach

                      It wasn’t a lie, it was the reason. They were sick of the tardiness of the Labour MP’s.

                    • left_forward

                      Carter was referring to a pattern of Labour MP’s being late.
                      I am sure PM had no idea that you would re-re-repeat Carter’s lie, followed by another inane insult.

                    • It wasn’t a lie, it was the reason. They were sick of the tardiness of the Labour MP’s.

                      I see. So, according to Carter, it was only a lie in the context of this specific meeting, because Labour MPs had failed to turn up on time for other meetings.

                      He then decided to express his personal annoyance at this alleged pattern of lateness to meetings by deliberately rendering this particular meeting inquorate, thereby massively inconveniencing the citizens who were waiting to address the meeting. What a cunt.

                      Also: there are five National Party members of the F & E select committee. Three left the meeting, but there’s no reports of two National members having refused to follow Carter out of the meeting, which suggests they weren’t there. Where were they? Was Carter equally sick of those two failing to get out of bed in the morning? Who knows, but either way it makes Carter’s fit of pique laughable.

                    • Shadrach

                      “So, according to Carter, it was only a lie in the context of this specific meeting, because Labour MPs had failed to turn up on time for other meetings.”
                      What lie?

                    • The lie that Labour members were absent because they don’t get out of bed on time. One was absent due to illness and another was on time but left the room briefly to find a replacement for the person off sick.

                    • Shadrach

                      “The lie that Labour members were absent because they don’t get out of bed on time.”

                      He didn’t say that. This is what he said (https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12203524):

                      “”Labour members are lazy and disorganised. We’re fed up with being there on time as National members, and watching Labour members saunter in there 5, 10, 15 minutes late. This is a lazy, disorganised Government. They don’t read their papers. They ask inane questions. This is the most important select committee in Parliament.” He said National MPs had warned the committee that they could walk out if Labour members did not show up on time. “They’ll still so disorganised, they could not get their members out of bed to a select committee. Get out of bed and be there.””

                      He said they were LATE, not absent. He used a figure of speech (a common figure of speech) to describe their laziness, for which there was a pattern. And he said that Labour had been warned about this before.

                      Stop making shit up.

                    • arkie

                      Stop making shit up.

                      Yeah Milt, that’s Shaddy’s job!

                    • The lie was that Labour members were not there by 8:10 because Labour “could not get their members out of bed.” Your pinhead-dancing over the difference between “late” and “absent” doesn’t make the lie any less of one, nor your repeating of it any less the repeating of a lie.

                    • Also: where were the other two Nat members of this committee? Had Carter managed to get them out of bed?

                    • Shadrach

                      “The lie was that Labour members were not there by 8:10 because Labour “could not get their members out of bed.” ‘

                      So because you don’t have the wit or intelligence to understand a figure of speech, you think he lied. Hahahah

        • Craig H

          They weren’t present, so I’m not sure how they were on time. Had they been present, there would have been a quorum.

          • Shadrach

            They were on time. The Labour MP’s weren’t. Because this was a pattern, they got fed up and left.

            • Craig H

              Given the meeting did not proceed due to lack of quorum, they were not present. Had they been present, the meeting would have continued as it had a quorum. I understand that they were physically near the location of the meeting, but they were not present.

              • Shadrach

                The ‘quorum’ was called after the National MP’s left because of recidivist tardiness by Labour MP’s. At the time the meeting was due to start, the National MP’s were all there.

              • Shadrach

                The ‘quorum’ was called after the National MP’s left because of recidivist tardiness by Labour MP’s. At the time the meeting was due to start, the National MP’s were all there.

    • Gabby 30.3

      So David Carsehole doesn’t think it’s his job to attend meetings of the committee he’s on. What a twat shadders.

      • Shadrach 30.3.1

        He thinks it’s his job, and the job of all MP’s, to f’ing well turn up ON TIME!

        • ankerawsharkP

          Whats the point of turning up on time if you don’t get your arse into the meeting room….

          • Shadrach

            Because if you turn up on time, this doesn’t happen!

            • ken

              Do you turn up on time when you’re on sick leave?

              • Shadrach

                I arrange cover. And I turn up on time when I’m not. What Carter is saying is that there is a pattern of sloppiness by Labour MP’s. Given the performance of some of them, it’s hardly surprising.

                • What Carter is saying is irrelevant to the fact that the meeting would have been quorate if he hadn’t with malice aforethought and through deliberate action rendered it inquorate.

                  • Shadrach

                    What you’re saying is irrelevant because ignores the fact it was Labour MP’s who were late, and this appears to be a pattern.

                    • Macro

                      There was a quorum had the despicable Nat MPs bothered to walk in the door. You convince no one here of your “argument” but yourself – and you don’t sound too convinced either!
                      Today they tried the same “trick” on in the Education and Workforce SC. Who TF do they think they are!? They have been elected (ie given the task of representing the people in Parliament. They then choose NOT TO DO THE TASK THEY ARE PAID TO DO
                      In any other workplace they would be sent packing.

                      Education and Workforce SC ready to go. Submitters all here. No National MPs to be seen except the Chair.

                    • Shadrach

                      There was a quorum if the Labour MP’s had bothered to arrive on time. You’re shifting the blame is pathetic.

                      As for today, well according to some posting here, the Nats were off discussing their leadership. Still, Clare Curran was there, so no doubt nothing of too much intellectual strength was discussed.

                    • Macro []

                      Actually there was a quorum but the nats decided to play silly buggers and leave. So it’s blatantly obvious who is at fault. Only you are so blinkered you can’t see it.

                    • Shadrach

                      It’s blatantly obvious that recidivist lateness is lazy, and eventually wears thin. Even the PM acknowledges her own MP’s screwed up.

                    • Macro

                      I’ll repeat since you are such a slow learner.

                      Education and Workforce SC ready to go. Submitters all here. No National MPs to be seen except the Chair

                      Who are the recidivists here?

                    • Shadrach

                      The recidivists, in the actual case I am talking about, are the Labour MP’s who were late.

                    • Robert Guyton

                      Shadrach – you are droning on…and on…and on…as if you think we can’t follow your clever argument. But we can see exactly what you are saying, only, it fails to convince…
                      Just sayin’

          • Peter

            What’s the point if you turn up on time, get your arse into the meeting room then get your arse out of the meeting room because you don’t want the meeting to happen?

            • Jimmy

              Because the Labour MP’s alarm clocks didn’t go off and they (the other parties to the meeting) didn’t turn up.
              Even Jacinda has said the Labour MP’s need to turn up. Do you think she is wrong?
              In the working world, if a meeting is scheduled for 8am and the other party doesn’t turn up on time, the meeting is often cancelled as the party that was there on time, will usually have other commitments eg. another meeting at 9 or even 8:30.

              • Gabby

                She’s right, in that labour don’t need to be giving the natters excuses to be arseholes. But 5 + 4 = 9 doesn’t it wee jeemmeee.

        • Sabine

          I actually find it worse to have people show up and then for the flimsiest of reasons wiggle themself out of doing the job they wanted.

          All of these sticklers could go into private life and get a job on the open free market, and then they could try to derail a long standing meeting to whom many travel from elsewhere because someone got sick and the replacement for that person is 30 seconds late.

          National Party, here to collect the wages but not for the work.
          National Party, work ethics is for others.
          National Party, we don’t want the job for the work, but for the perks.

          Now vote for us!

          • Shadrach

            So you’re ok with MP’s consistently being late, but not with MP’s who highlight it.

            • McFlock

              If you want to highlight something, issue a damned press release. Don’t deny a couple of dozen New zealanders their democratic right to make an oral submission to their representatives.

              • Shadrach

                Fair enough, but perhaps they got sick if the tardiness. But good point, maybe there was a better way.

            • greywarshark

              How do we know that the esteemed timepiece that was used to pronounce the polly was late, was actually set correctly to the adjusted atomic time.
              I presume that you are so careful and scientifically minded Shadwrack that you have put in an official request (OIA) to confirm on this point as you are taking this point sooooo seriously.

              If I ever thought that RWs gave a shit about having a good working democracy which ran things for everybody’s best interests, that thought would have vanished within a few days of reading their diatribes on this blog about anything that they could get uppity and preachy about.

            • mac1

              Not OK with MPs who hightail it for the corridors.

              They hope to find their way to power there?

        • Gabby

          So why didn’t Carsehole show up on time shadders? What’s 5 + 4?

          • Shadrach

            When you tell me who this ‘carsehole’ person is, I might be able to help you.

            (What is it with lefties and name calling?)

            • left_forward

              Yo, sprung!
              I find it hard to call you by your full moniker, because I can’t see you as a person who would’ve been saved from the inferno by the son of god, as in the bible and that. I don’t think he would have bothered.

            • Gabby

              I can’t see you helping anyone in a hurry shadders.

    • ankerawsharkP 30.4

      Oh Shadrach you are laughable…….

  31. cleangreen 31


    In Gisborne we had a name for our National MP Anne Tolley after she accepted the 10240 signature petition and as the press reported it she was to pass it onto the Government, but she and the petition has since disappeared after Julie Anne Genter tried to retrieve it so there was some real skulduggery going on in National then as they were terrified when they were reported the Petition was received by Anne Trolley and Labour’s Transport shadow spokesperson MP Phil Twyford bought it up during Q+A the next sitting and asked for the petition to be received by David Bennett chair of the select committee and he refused to receive it and said it was not part of the Industrial relations and transport select committee business to hear any submissions on saving Gisborne rail.

    Make your own mind up here as the whole saga smells so bad to Gisborne folk that Anne Tolley’s name now is “No show Tolley” for very good reasons.

    National are as bent as my spoons are right now as I have stuck them into a pile of pictures of the whole rotten national party and now they are in worse shape like the National Party is..

    • Rapunzel 31.1

      If that is what passes for tactics from the Opposition it’s time they ditched them and found some new ones they are digging a bigger hole daily with their arrogance and self-serving BS.

  32. ken 32

    Keep it up, national.
    The electorate loves negativity and wastefulness.

  33. Observer Tokoroa 33


    Pretty grim stuff when a 10,240 Signature Petition made to National MP Anne Tolley went missing.

    No one in New Zealand expects National to get anything right. They are not competent. But to biff 10, 000 plus people out of National sight and mind is more than awesome.

    David Bennett chair of the Select Committee with Reference to Transport, said the missing Petition had nothing to do with him. And shut his Office door.

    Labour has indicated that along with E-Vehicles, Rail Transport is a goal they will seek to achieve. Trucks have an appalling safety record on NZ Roads.

    I am inclined to think that a number of Parties in Gisborne have interests in trucking and are determined to hang on to the Monsters that are by any measure a modern Deadly Dinosaur.

    • Sabine 33.1

      they are very competed at doing what they want. It is still the truth that National will not do what the electorate wants, or what the country needs.
      National, the party without mates and not enough voters, is a party for opportunists, welfare frauds, eternal benefit receivers, and to some extend so corrupt it has become their core of being.

      So for National to loose a petition of over 10.000 signatures is actually par for the course.

      National, please vote for me, but don’t expect me to work for you.

      Maybe its time for the people of Gisborne to vote for someone else to represent them?

  34. Robert Guyton 34

    It’s interesting to note that Jacinda took immediate responsibility for any fault her ministers may have had, but Simon didn’t do the same for his.

    • Hanswurst 34.1

      Ah, but Robert, Bridges doesn’t have any ministers (the poor wee sod), so by National Party standards of reasoning, you are wrong and Labour is at fault for everything.

      • Robert Guyton 34.1.1

        Thanks, Hanswurst, for the clarification; you are quite correct and your point well taken; splitting hairs; it’s a useful ploy when the pressure’s on!
        To rephrase (respectively):
        “It’s interesting to note that Jacinda took immediate responsibility for any fault her ministers may have had, but Simon didn’t do the same for his motley crew .

        • Hanswurst

          Sorry Robert, your reply was thirty minutes too late to make anything “better”.

        • veutoviper

          Robert, another splitting hairs correction needed. Ministers cannot be members of select commiittees, so your statement needs to be amended to read that Jacinda took immediate responsibility for her MPs – not Ministers. You are welcome. Lol.

  35. Jess NZ 35

    So the Nat MPs did the wrong thing for the wrong reasons – no spin can save this even if they are technically clear.

  36. Hanswurst 36

    All I can say is that workers should be glad that it isn’t the National Party that claims to represent their interests. Based on how they tried to make their point here, they would presumably make principled points about issues like forestry workers’ safety by breaking the workers’ legs on their way to work, cutting their brake cables or setting fire to the forests while they’re at work in them.

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  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
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  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
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