Winston Peters’ honour “is beyond question”

Winston Peters claimed during Question Time in Parliament yesterday in an odd exchange with John Key that “he is doubting my honour, and that is the real issue here, because, as you know, it is beyond question”.

What was beyond question was that Peters lost track of what his original line of questioning was about.

Draft transcript:

11. Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Does he stand by his statement on 14 October 2013 when he said in regards to this country’s veterans: “our Government has been firmly guided by a keen sense of fairness, and a sense of the need to honour our current and future veterans in a dignified way.”

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Yes.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : If that is the case, is it true that while he was at Gallipoli, and New Zealand was remembering 100 years of Anzac sacrifices, behind the scenes cynical moves were under way to treat veterans as a burden on the State?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I have not got a clue what the member is talking about.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Well, half of that is correct—he has not got a clue. How can he stand by that statement when his Government sent out this letter to veterans on 30 April, 5 days after Anzac Day, signalling cuts to the services that they receive—this letter?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I do not know what letter the member is talking about.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I seek leave to table a letter from Veterans Affairs New Zealand, dated 30 April 2015, written to veterans 5 days after Anzac Day.

Mr SPEAKER : Leave is sought to table that particular letter. Is there any objection? There is none. It can be tabled.

  • Document, by leave, laid on the Table of the House.

Mr SPEAKER : Supplementary question—[Interruption] Order! It has been tabled—[Interruption] Order! [Interruption] Order! The member will resume his seat. Leave has been put, leave was granted, and the document will be tabled, but that does not stop the member now from proceeding with his supplementary questions.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Given that what is proposed is a serious cut and privatisation of the services to veterans, does he not think that a better use of public money would be to use the $25 million that he is spending on a referendum to change the flag to support those who have fought and died for the flag?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : I think the member is making it up.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. With the greatest respect, that is the second time. The first answer was that he said he did not have a clue—well, I did not disagree with that.

Mr SPEAKER : But he is allowed to say that, if that is the answer he has got. The second point?

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Well, OK. The second one is that now he is doubting my honour, and that is the real issue here, because, as you know, it is beyond question. [Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER : Order! The member will resume his seat. That is not a valid point of order.

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  1. There is actually a story behind Winston’s question that is of vital interest to Veterans and their families. Disabled Veterans are no longer people, they are “Cases” and even have a “Case Manager” who eners into a type of contract to “rehabilitate” the damaged Veteran so they can get back to work. The War Pension is supposed to be a “benevolent acknowledgement” (the words of the Law) of the serviceman or service woman’s service to the nation while on active service. It is a “reward” from a grateful nation for sacrifices made in their name by the veteran. We should do away with “Case Managers” and replace them with Veterans Support Persons to humanise the “Cases” and not in any way is this a critique of the so called “Case Managers” who do a great job. Time fo rthe MSM to do some digging especially to establesh the extent to which a former senior Labour Minister influenced ideologically the diminishment of the status of the Veterans. They are the ones to be honoured, not the “Pollies”.

  2. kittycatkin

     /  20th May 2015

    It’s not the people who are ‘cases’ but their circumstances and everything to do with them. Would you be all upset to hear that a hospital had ‘5 cases of measles’ or another disease in a ward ?. It’s absurd to find it offensive that someone’s case is referred to as one. Case managers manage people’s cases, Calling them Veteran’s Support Persons is not only PC, it is unneccessarily cumbersome. And who ever says ‘persons’ ? I have yet to hear anyone actually saying it.

    Stop nitpicking and find a real cause for offence. And please, don’t use quote marks in this way. Using quote marks means that the thing or person in quotes is not a real one. As all the things that you have enclosed in quotes are real, ‘case managers’ etc, there is no point in using them.

    • Quotation marks indicate that the words are taken from another context, and that the meaning of those words is from that context. Using quotes does not mean that what is quoted is not real.

  3. I am sorry Kittycatkin, you misunderstand the problem I am highlighting. First of all we are talking about people who are suffering all sorts of hell, which you may not understand as a result of their active service on the behalf of the nation. I used quotes to show that the words used are real and part of the literature of the bureaucrats who are trying to diminish the support given to those who serve. Look at today’s call to use pensions to provide funds for children in need from the Children’s Commissioner. Why attack pensions honorably awarded? Or is it just a farce,the words uttered in memory of the sacrifices of the people who served in the Forst Worls War, and the two conflicts preceeding that, and the countles since then. This is a question of the real extent of People’s commitment to honour those who sacrificed themselves for the “Greater Good”. Shame on you Kittycatkin, you have really offended me and many other Veterans by not understanding why the quotes are used. Have you read the new Law on Support to Veterans?

  1. Disabled Veterans “diminishment of the status” | Your NZ

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