Same seven questions

More accurately, same six questions from the Labour and Green MPs in Parliament today to John Key, plus a nearly same question from NZ First who apparently mucked up the co-ordinated approach.

[Sitting date: 22 September 2015. Volume:709;Page:1. Text is subject to correction.]

1. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister Does he stand by all his statements after almost seven years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes. I particularly stand by the statement I made when that member became the leader of the Labour Party, when I said: “Gosh, if they keep changing Labour leaders at this rate—”

Mr SPEAKER : Order! [Interruption] Order! I can sense by looking at the questions that this question time is going to be quite different to others. I will still do my best to maintain a level of decorum from all members, and if that requires me to ask members to leave the Chamber, I will not hesitate to do so.

2. RON MARK (Deputy Leader—NZ First) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the statement when I said I am amazed New Zealand First did not get the memo that Labour and the Greens got.

4. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements after almost seven years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially that one when I said: “Man, he really does sound like a broken record.”

5. JAMES SHAW (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements after almost 7 years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the statement I made where I said that at least he read it out better than Andrew Little.

7. Hon ANNETTE KING (Deputy Leader—Labour) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements after almost seven years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the statement I made that if I were Annette King, I would be ashamed of the fact that I did not fund Herceptin when I was Minister of Health. [Interruption] I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

9. Dr KENNEDY GRAHAM (Green) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements after almost 7 years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the one I just made, which was that it is nice to hear the question read out in a baritone.

The journalist feedback seemed to generally be that this was a wasted exercise from the Opposition, giving Key ammunition for free shots, except for Jacinda Ardern who followed the leaders and other MPs with an effective exchange.

11. JACINDA ARDERN (Labour) to the Prime Minister : Does he stand by all his statements after almost seven years as Prime Minister?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): Yes, especially the statement I made that when Jacinda Ardern becomes the leader, the cool thing is that I will have faced more Labour leaders than Australian Prime Ministers.

Jacinda Ardern : Does he stand by his statement that “A small majority of New Zealanders will say that they will change the flag.”, when the latest poll shows that after seeing his options, almost 70 percent have rejected change?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Yes, and what is rapidly emerging after 7 years of being Prime Minister is not only do I have to run the policies that the Government has, I now have to try to implement the policies that the Opposition has as well.

Jacinda Ardern : Is his claim that the polls are not granular enough the reason he has started his own poll by asking every audience at every speech he gives whether they want the flag to change, including at a cancer fund-raiser; if so, is this granular, scientific, or—most important—is it appropriate?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : All of the above.

Mr SPEAKER : The answer was not heard. Could the Prime Minister—

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : All of the above.

Jacinda Ardern : Are the rumours true that his chief of staff is trying to get him to stop doing straw polls on the flag in every single speech, because his audiences are angry at having to waste their time on his pet project?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : Far from that being correct, I think record numbers of people are turning up.

Mr SPEAKER : Order! Both front benches, again, are interjecting and carrying on a conversation. If they wish to do so, I invite them to go out to the lobbies.

Jacinda Ardern : When he claimed on Radio New Zealand National that “I haven’t had an audience yet where more than 50 percent wanted to keep the flag.”, was that a reference to a straw poll of his National caucus?

Mr SPEAKER : The right honourable Prime Minister, in as far as there is ministerial responsibility.

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No, but I will tell you what I have not done, and that is come to Parliament and claim I am opposed to changing the flag but go down on to the forecourt waving “Red Peak”. This is a Labour Opposition that has a policy that it wants to change the flag. Now, all of a sudden, those members do not want to do it. The only single question is, how long will it be before they change the leader?

Hon Gerry Brownlee : Has he made any statements about the helpfulness, or otherwise, of the coordinated approach to question time from the Labour Party and the Green Party today?

Mr SPEAKER : Order! No, there is no ministerial responsibility.

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4 Comments

  1. Nero's fiddle.....

     /  22nd September 2015

    By the same token, to think we also have to pay the PM’s speech-writers over 400k per annum to come up with the asinine answers!

    Still, at least all the sycophants find it real funny 😦

    Reply
  2. DaveG

     /  22nd September 2015

    The above exchange illustrates how juvenile the opposition parties really are. Either they had no real questions on the running of the country or they decided to waste Parliments time with pathetic gotcha style questions. They look both stupid and juvinile!

    Reply
    • jamie

       /  23rd September 2015

      The exchange above is a bit misleading though Dave, as it omits all of the follow-up questions apart from Ardern’s ones.

      If you’re a regular QT watcher you’ll know that the point of starting the questions this way is that the PM refuses to answer any other question, instead directing them to another minister. If the opposition wish to question the PM on anything at all, this is how to do it.

      The deliberate co-ordinated wording was obviously a way of making this point.

      Reply
  3. Mike C

     /  23rd September 2015

    I love John Keys sense of humour 🙂

    My favorite all-time parliamentary question time interaction was about a year or so ago between John Key and Winston Peters when Winston was giving John a hard time about his hair colour.

    Winston said that “the carpet doesn’t match the drapes” … and John Key quick as a flash replied something along the lines of “I want to know how Winston could possibly know whether my carpet matches my drapes”.

    Reply

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