Salmond predicts easy National win in Northland

Rob Salmond is a strongly pro-Labour pollster. At his blog Polity he predicts what looks obvious to those with a grip on reality.

Prediction: Easy National win

With Winston Peters’ confirmation that he’s running in Northland, and Labour’s confirmed candidacy, I predict National will win the seat comfortably. The seat is a National stronghold, and a split opposition vote only helps them further in an FPP-style environment. So whoever wins the National selection, wins.

It would be remarkable if there’s an upset, and National have too much to lose to allow that to happen easily.

Since Peters has announced he will stand iPredict has swung against National but they still have a large majority. Mostly over that past weeks National have polled in the 90s but yesterday swung in the 70s, and they are currently at 82%.

Other (not National or Labour) party to win Northland by-election in 2015 has risen to 17% after peaking yesterday in the low 20s.

And more from Salmond a couple of weeks ago in Poll wordings in Northland that shows why caution is needed when peop;le claim ‘private poll’ support for their cause.

For the most dramatic poll result – “Winston could win!” – you would ask:

There is a by-election in Northland on 28 March. Which of the candidates are you most likely to vote for:

  • Willow-Jean Prime
  • Grant McCallum [or whoever it ends up being]
  • Winston Peters
  • Another candidate?

Winston gets a huge boost in this poll wording because he’s the only one with really wide name recognition across the seat, and also gets a smaller bonus for being the last named candidate, meaning his name is freshest in the memory when the person is required to give their answer. This question will hugely overstate Peters’ chances, at the expense of both National and Labour candidates.

For a more accurate poll result, you might ask this instead:

There is a by-election in Northland on 28 March. Which of the candidates are you most likely to vote for [in randomised order]:

  • The Labour party candidate, Willow-Jean Prime
  • The National party candidate, Grant McCallum [or whoever]
  • The New Zealand First party candidate, Winston Peters
  • Another party’s candidate?

This question provides people the information most of them will actually rely on when making their choice – party affiliation. That information, I understand, is printed on the ballots themselves, and it is the heuristic most people use when choosing local election candidates. (Also, the order is randomised from person to person, meaning the fresh-in-the-memory effect goes away across the whole sample.)

This is a much better question, and media outlets would be wise to insist on it, or some other variant that cues party affiliation. They’ll get less egg on their face on election night that way.

Little assures 100 percent Labour effort in Northland

Now Winston Peters has confirmed he is standing in the Northland by-election Andreww Little has made it clear Labour won’t stand aside or wink wink to help Peters.

Stuff report:

Labour won’t stand aside its candidate in the Northland by-election following NZ First leader Winston Peters’ confirmation that he is contesting the seat.

Labour had already confirmed Willow-Jean Prime as its candidate and leader Andrew Little said yesterday he had not considered standing her aside to allow Peters an advantage – and would not do so.

“We’re backing her 100 per cent.”

National should not take the seat for granted, said Little. He sensed constituents were annoyed that Mike Sabin, who resigned as National MP earlier this month because of personal circumstances, had let them down.

The seat was “anyone’s game”, and Prime was well known in Northland as a Far North District councillor, Little said.

Despite Bradbury dreaming about Peters and Northland this confirms Labour’s commitment to contesting the by-election.

They would have been nuts for Labour to stand aside to give Peters an easier campaign. That would have eneded uip embarrassing both Peters and Labour.

In the meantime Bradbury takes credit for predicting

As TDB suggested, Winston Peters will be running in the Northland by-election.

However in that post Bradbury also said:

It all depends on how willing the opposition parties are to being co-operative to take away National’s majority without needing United Future or the Maori Party.

Now he’s still in dreamland. Labour say there’s going to be no co-operating with Peters.

If Labour can work with Winston in Northland it will ask questions why they couldn’t do it with Hone in Te Tai Tokerau. If Labour and NZ First work together it will also mean the Greens have their work cut out for them in 2017 to prevent Labour and NZ First screwing them again.

Any Labour-NZ First minority Government would be a blow to progressive politics.

That’s about all Bradbury has got to hope for. He seems to have moved on from Internet-Mana as the revolutionaries.

Hoping for Peters to win against both National and Labour seems like wishful thinking. And that thinking isn’t shared bu some of the comments at The Daily Bliog.

CleanGreen backs it “1000% Martyn”:

Time is nigh for Labour to play Key’s game and win as voted for Labour to do this for us.

Forget the past and collectively combine to allow Winston to save our parliamentary system by setting a level playing field with equal votes after Winston takes Sabin’s electorate and helps turn our fortunes around finally after six long hard nightmare years.

Smarten up Labour play key at his own game for a change.

But Chris McMahon is more realistic.

there’s as much chance of Labour not standing as there is of the corrupt Iraqi army defeating ISIS.

Donald predictyed Labour’s stance:

I highly doubt Labour will stand down. Also this private poll sounds a little dubious.

Peters has stated he has not done any polling, so Bradbury’s poll claim looks even more dubious.

Sleepy:

A safe seat, a low voter turnout, National will win this by election easily.

Winston will not win.

While it’s not over until the counting that seems a likely outcome.

Andrewe Little has said it’s a very tall order for Labour, and Peters is likely to split Labour’s vote making it harder for either to win.

NZ First’s immigration nightmare

NZ First’s Denis O’Rourke wants us to Turn off the ‘immigration tap’.

An Opposition party is calling for a complete halt to immigration, saying it’s the only way to solve Auckland’s housing shortage.
“There aren’t enough houses for Kiwis in Auckland, let alone for immigrants,” said NZ First MP Denis O’Rourke.
“The Government must boldly bring immigration to a halt or Kiwis will continue to suffer.”

And that would halt economic growth.

“The National Government’s open-door immigration policy is responsible,” said Mr O’Rourke.

It’s irresponsible and patent nonsense claiming we have an ‘open-door immigration policy’. Immigrants must meet strict criteria or fit within limited quotas.

“The Government must turn off the tap on immigration if there’s going to be any hope of rescuing Kiwis from this housing nightmare.”

We could squash immigration and economic prosperity. Or we could sort out availability of land to allow housing growth alongside population growth.

It would be a nightmare if NZ First dictated immigration policy.

3 News poll – first for 2015

The first 3 News/Reid Research poll of the year has just been released.

  • National 49.8% (up 2,8)
  • Labour 29.1% (up 4.0)
  • Greens 9.3% (down 1,4)
  • NZ First 6.9% (down 1.9)
  • Conservatives 2.7% (down 1.3)
  • Maori Party 1.3% (no change)
  • Internet Mana 0.6% (down 0.8)
  • ACT 0.4% (down 0.3)
  • United Future 0% (down 0.2)

National will be happy. Labour and Little will be hopeful that it’s a sign of a recovery trend. Greens will be a bit worried.

The small party results mean little this far out from the next election, although Internet Mana is sliding and United Future looks terminal.

Preferred Prime Minister

  • John Key 44.0% (up 3.9)
  • Andrew Little 9.8% (first result

55% of voters thing Andrew Little will be a better match for John Key than the last three leLabour leaders.
48% of National voters thought Little would be a better match.

Is a capable leadeer?

  • John Key 81%
  • Andrew Little 54%

How are the leaders performing:

  • Key – well 63%, poorly 24%
  • Little – well 45%, poorly 24%

On capable leader and performance Little got the best result for any Labour leader since Helen Clark.

The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.1 per cent (at 50%).

Has Bradbury given up on Mana?

In a post at The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury asks Is it over for the Greens?

From what he says (laments) it’s fair to ask if it’s over for the Mana Party. He starts his post referring to Mana but ignores them in hismusing about the future for the left.

With MANA knocked out of the election by Labour

That ignores the fact that Mana’s wounds were largely self-inflicted. Labour can’t be blamed for trying to maximise their vote and their electorate wins.

I helped start up MANA 5 years ago because Labour + Greens could never make it over 50% without needing NZ First.

He not only “helped start up MANA”, he was on Mana’s payroll a couiple of years ago.

His main point is how NZ First will cut the Greens out of power (which has happened before, in 2005)..

With Labour now chasing the middle, the Greens find themselves at risk of getting politically snookered again.

It was a scenario that was quietly bubbling away at the least election.

If Labour + Greens don’t equal over 50%, then they need NZ First. If Winston is in the mix he will want a Labour-NZ First minority Government with just the Greens as a support Party. This strategy will be the preferred option of Labour who showed last election how focused they are to killing off any real left wing politic

It’s a big question as to whether Winston will be in the mix in 2017. Without him NZ First will struggle to maintain support.

To avoid this political castration, the Greens need to kit 15% and Labour need to hit 36%. With Polls showing the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind still love John Key, those totals 3 years out from the 2017 election look optimistic in the extreme.

Far more likely is Labour and NZ First cutting a deal that leaves the Greens out in the cold again.

Labour has to get back above 36% if they are to recover successfully, but Greens look like they have hit a support ceiling and 15% looks a difficult target for them, They were confident of getting 15% last election and failed to gain ground despite Labolur’s weakness.

But an interesting thing from this post by Bradbury is that he doesn’t include Mana in his musings about the future.

Has he given up on Mana?

Has Mana given up? The last post on the Mana website is a Media Advisory dated October 7, 2014.

‘Blackmail’ blows back on former NZ First MP

Both Asenati Lole-Taylor and her husband have been broken rules accessing criminal records at the Department of Corrections.

Earlier this month it was reported that the husband of ex NZ First MP Lole-Taylor lost his job “after inappropriately accessing the criminal records of a former party official.”

Husband of ex-MP loses job for peek at records

The Corrections Department confirmed manager Dennis Taylor, husband of Asenati Lole-Taylor, is no longer employed after an investigation into a complaint by former director and Mana electorate chairwoman Marise Bishop.

Her historic drink-driving convictions were divulged to senior party members when she sought re-election at a 2012 convention.

Bishop laid the complaint in June. At the time Lole-Taylor said the allegations were politically motivated and “blackmail”. She could not be reached for comment yesterday. It is understood Corrections has written to her.

Lole-Taylor was the party’s Corrections spokeswoman until September’s election.

It was known before the election that this case was pending. Lole-Taylor was retained on the NZ First list but dropped to a virtually unwinnable position at 16 – NZ First have 11 MPs.

Stuff now report that Lole-Taylor also broke rules at Corrections.

Former MP Asenati Lole-Taylor ‘broke rules’ by accessing records

Former NZ First MP Asenati Lole-Taylor inappropriately accessed the criminal records of a former party official, the Department of Corrections has confirmed.

Dennis Taylor, her husband, lost his job last month after an investigation found he looked up historic convictions of NZ First’s former director and Mana electorate chairwoman Marise Bishop.

Now, in a letter to Bishop, Corrections has revealed the investigation found Lole-Taylor, who was a rehabilitation and reintegration services adviser at the time, also broke the rules.

But because she quit Corrections after becoming a list MP in 2011, they can take no action.

NZ First can probably avoid having to take any action as well but they have not responded to approaches for comment.

Bishop, a former Defence Force communications operator and sales consultant, was stunned by the findings, saying it was “unbelievable.”

“I am still comprehending the outcome,” she said.

However, Bishop has taken a complaint to the Privacy Commission and may decide to raise the matter with police.

Her historic drink-driving convictions were divulged to senior party members when she sought re-election at a 2012 convention. But she had already disclosed her record to the party’s executive board.

At the time, Lole-Taylor said Bishop’s complaint was politically motivated and “blackmail”.

Lole-Taylor has a record of making ludicrous claims against critics.

It’s ironic that she accused Bishop of blackmail when she “broke rules” to access confidential information that she used to try and politically damage someone else.

Lole-Taylor was eight on the NZ First list in 2011. Once could wonder how well she was checked out for that.

This attempted political hit job is unlikely to be one that Winston Peters will want to talk about. His latest crusade has been based on information he has been given from within the Department of Defence.

Winston waning

Winston Peters led NZ First to a creditable election result, but there seems to be little sign of significant achievement beyond that.

Peters kept pressure on Government parties last term but didn’t score any notable hits.

Some of his most memorable hits were unfriendly fire within. He excommunicated Brendan Horan from the party mid term and then ensured Andrew Williams would not survive the election.

If this week is anything to go by Peters is struggling to come close to his glory days in Parliament.

On Wednesday Peters dredged up allegations he made last term:

Rt Hon Winston Peters : If that is the case, why, then, was he prepared as Prime Minister to again take on a Minister who had been stood down, namely Peter Dunne, who leaked four times from the Intelligence and Security Committee?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : That is not proven. The member is making it up, as he often does.

Peters never proved anything, despite promising he had evidence in emails, and when nothing came up there he generalised to “communications” – but he never produced anything and finally had to admit he didn’t have evidence to back up his claims.

Yesterday Peters led question time but was lacklustre against Gerry Brownlee, where Brownlee dredged up an even older faux scandal of a ferry grounding claim.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE : Given that there is no decision to deploy troops to Iraq, I really cannot comment on that. It is simply speculation, much like the ferry touched the bottom. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER : Order!

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Is it not a fact that he as Minister cancelled his planned visit with the Commander, Joint Forces to the troops currently undergoing training for Iraq so that he could deny any knowledge of the true preparations for war that are going on?

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE : No, that is absolutely incorrect. I was actually recently in Halifax and Washington with the Commander, Joint Forces. Tomorrow I will be at the Devonport naval base for a passing-out parade for young naval ratings and officers.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I did not ask about Halifax. I did not ask about Devonport. I talked about the troops currently—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member will resume his seat. The question started: “Is it not a fact …”. The Minister immediately answered to say no, it was not a fact.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. My fact was to do with a specific locale or site.

Mr SPEAKER : The member has had plenty of time—[Interruption] Order! I am on my feet. The member has had plenty of time to frame his questions. He started his questions with “Is it not a fact …” and then went on about cancelling a visit. The Minister, when he rose to his feet, said no. Effectively, he was saying it is not a fact.

Hon GERRY BROWNLEE : Speaking to the point of order, it is, of course, a very well-known fact that the Rt Hon Winston Peters has a lot of trouble understanding what—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! And that is not a valid point of order.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Mr Speaker—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Is this a supplementary question?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : No, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER : Then before the member starts, I just want to clarify whether the member is in anyway contesting a ruling I have just given, or is he raising a fresh point of order?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I am raising a fresh point of order, because the question that I sought to ask had to do with only one specific location, and I got two locations that were never referred to.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I have ruled that the Minister addressed the question. If the member has further supplementary questions, he should use them. But to continue to relitigate once I have given a ruling will lead to disorder.

Pointless Peters’ points of order after failing to score and points.

And during a later question he tried to promote a Member’s bill that produced mirth from the other side of the house but his move was soundly rejected. Peters leaned heavily on his elbow as he stood.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : In the light of that Minister’s answer I move—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Is this a point of order or a supplementary question?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Yes it is.

Yes it is what?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : In the light of the Minister’s answer, I move for the register for foreign ownership bill that is in my name be pulled from the ballot and debated right now.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member has been here a long time. He needs to seek leave to do that.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I have.

He hadn’t.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member needs to do things properly.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Sorry, Mr Speaker. My apologies. I seek leave, in light of the epiphany that the Minister has just expressed on behalf of the Government, for the bill standing in my name to be pulled from the ballot and debated by Parliament right now.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I will put the leave, and the House will decide. Leave is sought for that particular course of action. Is there any objection? There is objection.

WinstonWaningPropped up on an elbow that may have bent a few times too many.

Now Trevor Mallard seems to have seriously applied himself to his new responsibility as assistance speaker (with ambitions to be the next Speaker) Peters may stand out as the sole cantankerous old fizzler.

He may manage to pull some scandal out of his hat this term but it looks like Winston is waning.

Petty Peters poops on flag committee

Winston Peters has announced that NZ First are withdrawing from the cross-party committee set up to decide how the public will vote on a possible flag change.

Expensive Exercise Not The Priority Now

At the whim of the Prime Minister New Zealand’s attention is now on changing the flag – this will cost us dearly, not only in money, but in taking our eye off serious social and economic challenges, says New Zealand First.

“There are many pressing problems to be addressed, with even the PM now acknowledging the scale of poverty,” says Leader Rt Hon Winston Peters.

“The birth of a new flag is being sold as the people’s choice but it is being commandeered by National.

“That’s the reason New Zealand First will not be sitting on a so-called cross-party MPS Group.

“A flag is New Zealand’s national emblem and any move to change it must go along an impeccable path.

“Instead, National has invited political parties that barely have a splash of public support. United Future could only rally 0.22 per cent of the party vote in the General Election and ACT had to have a helping hand from National to push Epsom voters to get a sole MP into the House.

“This ‘representative’ Group will decide on flag options that will go out to the public to vote on.

This looks like he’s playing petty politics, but that’s par for the course for Peters.

The committee has been set up to organise two public referendums – that will determine whether there is public support or not, not Peters deciding which parties should or shouldn’t be involved.

His is probably playing to his elderly constituency, as he often does, but doing it this far out from the next election seems politically futile.

NZ Herald reports: NZ First pulls out of flag committee

New Zealand First has pulled out of a committee which will decide how the public votes on the national flag, saying it was an expensive exercise which took attention away from greater priorities.

Leader Winston Peters said this afternoon the flag referendum will “cost us dearly” and take the public’s eye off more pressing social and economic challenges.

“A change of flag might need to be considered but now is not the time. Poverty and housing are at crisis level, it’s no time for a government to be raising a distraction,” Mr Peters said.

His party had rejected the Government’s invitation to nominate an MP for a cross-party committee.

Claiming “more pressing social and economic challenges” should take precedent is ironic from Peters who seems to spend most of his time pursuing petty political attacks.

Mr Peters said the process of changing a national emblem needed to follow an “impeccable” process, but National had instead included political parties with very little support in the decision-making process, such as Act and United Future.

Like that.

Prime Minister John Key said New Zealand First’s absence from the committee would not “inhibit the process in any way”.

And it shouldn’t. If Peters chooses to play in a different sandpit on his own that’s up to him. but his hissy fits shouldn’t prevent Parliament from continuing with doing it’s job.

David Farrar points out at Kiwiblog:

Peters has spent 20 years advocating referendums, yet when it is on an issue he personally disagrees with, he is against the public being able to have a say.

The public and the Government are quite capable of dealing with more than one issue at a time. Also poverty is not at crisis level. Peters is using that as an excuse to deny the public a say – because he disagrees.

Democratic principles and Peters are very loose partners.

Roy Morgan poll – National up

The second Roy Morgan poll since the election shows National recovering support and Labour languishing leaderless (Annette King is doing a reasonable job but just as deputy caretaker leader).

  • National 49.5% ( up 6% since early October)
  • Maori Party 1% (down 1%)
  • Act NZ 0.5% (unchanged)
  • United Future 0% (down 0.5%).
  • Labour Party 24% (up 1.5%)
  • Greens 14.5% (down 3%)
  • NZ First 6.5% (down 0.5%)

Parties outside Parliament:

  • Conservative Party 2% (down 3%)
  • Internet-Mana Party 0.5% (down 0.5%)
  • Independent/ Others 1.5% (up 1%)

Electors were asked: “If a New Zealand Election were held today which party would receive your party vote?” This latest New Zealand Roy Morgan Poll on voting intention was conducted by telephone – both landline and mobile telephone, with a NZ wide cross-section of 866 electors from October 27 – November 9, 2014. Of all electors surveyed 2.5% (up 0.5%) didn’t name a party.

Question Time flop #2 – Ron Mark

Ron Mark has returned to Parliament after a six year absence. He had previously been an NZ First MP from 1996-2008 and has been touted as a potential successor to Winston Peters as party leader.

In Parliament’s first Question Time this term he was inauspicious with the twelfth question directed at Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse, where he seemed to overrate his abilities.

[Sitting date: 22 October 2014. Volume:701;Page:13. Text is subject to correction.]

12. RON MARK (NZ First) to the Minister of Immigration : Does he have an ideal number of migrants coming to New Zealand; if so, what is that number?

Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE (Minister of Immigration): I do have an ideal situation for migrants coming to New Zealand and it is quantifiable, but not in a single number. My ideal is: as many international students as want to come and study at our tertiary institutions; as many tourists who want to come and enjoy our beautiful country; as many skilled migrants as is necessary to fill the skill demands that we have; and, because migration data also includes New Zealanders coming home, as many New Zealanders who want to come home and contribute to this country’s social and economic development.

Ron Mark : As the Minister has just admitted to the House that he has no clear idea of what an ideal level of immigration is—

Hon Gerry Brownlee : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Ron Mark : —does he not realise—

Mr SPEAKER : Order! I have a point of order, and no one should be surprised.

Hon Gerry Brownlee : The Standing Orders are very clear on what must be, or should be, in a question. Equally, they are clear on what there should not be. Statements of supposition that were a statement, effectively, at the beginning of what we hoped would be a question are not inside the Standing Orders and should not be allowed in this Parliament.

A basic stuff up – has Marks forgotten how things work or was he deliberately trying the Speaker on?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : The problem with that complaint is that the Minister did say that he did not have an optimum figure that he could give the House. He admitted that he did not have that figure. He referred to tourists and he referred to students, none of which was part of the primary question, and so, frankly, he is guilty by the statement he made.

Peters tries to support Mark.

Hon Gerry Brownlee : The Minister made it clear that he did not have an ideal number, but he had a series of scenarios that were acceptable. For the member to characterise the start of a question as there was an admission, etc., etc., it is not an acceptable way to ask a question in this House.

Mr SPEAKER : I have heard enough. [Interruption] Order! I am on my feet. Strictly interpreting the Standing Orders, all questions should start with a question, but if members also take the opportunity to review Hansard today they will see that on many occasions members take the opportunity to add an introduction, which I have been relatively lenient in allowing.

But, as the member who is asking the question will have noted, when he starts a question like that, it will inevitably lead to disorder. So I invite the member, if he wants to ask a supplementary question, to now rise and ask a supplementary question without the additional comments about a Minister having no idea, etc.

A comprehensive ruling against Mark that not even Peters tried to argue with.

Ron Mark : Thank you, Mr Speaker; thank you, Gerry. Does the Minister, noting that he has not given an ideal level of immigration to the House today, realise that uncontrolled immigration is forcing Kiwis into queues for hospital beds, queues for housing, and queues for jobs, and is driving down Kiwi wages?

Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : I think it would be helpful to assist the member by describing what migration definitions informed the permanent and long-term migration data that he sees. A migrant includes somebody who is here for a short time, for a long-term temporary basis, and permanently, and New Zealanders returning home.

The member describes an out-of-control or uncontrolled permanent residence migration by foreigners. That is not true. We have a planning range of between 45,000 and 50,000 residents per year, and in the 5 years to 2014 we have not met that range because migration policy is demand-driven, and the demand during the recession has not been there. So I reject the assertion that it is somehow uncontrolled immigration.

It’s a nonsense to claim we have uncontrolled immigration. Year to year migration numbers are hard to control due to the freedpm for new Zealanders to l;eave and return, but apart from that immigration is closely controlled.

Ron Mark : Is it not a fact that a Government using open-door immigration policies is likely to drive down wages and living standards, and when will he admit that we—New Zealand—are on track to replicate exactly what is happening in the United Kingdom right now?

No, it’s not a fact, it’s an absurd claim. Mark must know this is a nonsensical assertion. This is a dishonestly misleading line of attack or ignorant of basic facts.

Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : I simply reject the prefacing comments about uncontrolled migration. We have very strict immigration policies, which are labour market – tested for temporary visa holders and are very well controlled for permanent residence visa holders. I note that permanent residence visa numbers presently are 20 percent below the 2006-07 numbers that existed when that member’s party was supporting Labour on confidence and supply.

Ron Mark : So if the number of people coming into New Zealand, as reported recently, in 1 year is such that it translates into a need for 8,000 new homes just to meet their requirements, and the Minister of Building and Housing has just told the House today that he has managed to build six houses this year—

Is this approach rustiness, ignorance or arrogance? The video below may give an idea which.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! We are now getting to the stage where it is a speech. Ask the supplementary question.

Ron Mark : Thank you, Mr Speaker. What is the whole-of-Government plan to cater for this level of immigration in terms of infrastructural needs, in terms of housing needs, and in terms of catering for the hospitals and their extra workload? What is this Government’s population plan for New Zealand?

His final question is far too general and not specific to the Immigration Minister’s responsibilities.

Mr SPEAKER : Hon Michael Woodhouse, in so far as he has ministerial responsibility.

Hon MICHAEL WOODHOUSE : As I think I have already explained, the migration data on which the member bases his question include working holidaymakers; international students; people who are going to help us rebuild our second-largest city; and, above all, Kiwis coming home. Yes, they need houses, and this Government does have a plan to fix housing supply, but I reject the inference that this is somehow some kind of peril that we need to be managing.

It looks like Mark (and his research team) has to get up to speed quickly if he is going to make a serious mark this term.

The NZ First MPs who have resumed from last term may not appreciate being leapfrogged in the party pecking order, especially   when the question is wasted like this.

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