Ngaro has to front up

Alfred Ngaro had to face media in Parliament for the first time since his embarrassing speech a bit over a week ago – see Should Ngaro have offered his resignation?

He also had to face perhaps his first Question Time as a Minister.

10. POTO WILLIAMS (Labour—Christchurch East) to the Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector Did he have any particular organisations in mind when he stated, “Do not play politics with us. If you get up on the hustings and start bagging us, then all the things you are doing are off the table. They will not happen.”; if so, which organisations was he thinking of?

Hon ALFRED NGARO (Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector): My comments were wrong. It is not the way this Government works, and I have apologised for them.

Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That was a primary question on notice. While the Minister may regret his comments, he is still accountable for them and still needs to answer the question.

Mr SPEAKER: I agree with that. The—[Interruption] Order! No, I do not think the question has been addressed. It is very easily addressed. I think the question needs addressing. It is one the Minister has had for the last 2½ or 3 hours.

Hon ALFRED NGARO: I have apologised to the organisations that I named in my comments. They were wrong. It is not the way this Government works and I have apologised for them.

Poto Williams: Does he agree with the finding of the recent ComVoices state of the sector report: “This is a difficult time for the entire social sector … Partly this is due to social service providers not wanting to ‘rock the boat’ and jeopardise their chances of securing future finding.”; if not, in what ways does he disagree with that finding?

Hon ALFRED NGARO: I have not read those comments, but what I can say is that as the Minister I have been working and engaging with a number of the community groups, having free and frank conversations, wanting to know that we can make a difference to New Zealanders in our communities every day.

Poto Williams: When he stated: “On the one hand, we are working together and on the other hand too. If people are criticising, we just need to be mindful of that type of relationship.”, what in particular did he believe that people needed to be mindful of?

Hon ALFRED NGARO: Part of working in the community means that others will have different points of view and we may disagree, and that is appropriate. However, we are all working towards the same goal of helping people in our communities.

Poto Williams: Why did he say what he said?

Hon ALFRED NGARO: My comments were wrong. They are not the way this Government is working, and I apologise for them.

Chris Hipkins: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister may, as I have indicated earlier, regret what he said but he did say them and he, therefore, should be able to answer questions on them. The question was why he said it.

Mr SPEAKER: I agreed with that in the first case, when it was a primary question put down on notice. As for the supplementary question, on this occasion, when I consider what was asked in the question and the Minister’s attempt to address it, I think he has addressed that question.

Poto Williams: Why did the Minister say sorry to the Prime Minister but not apologise to the community and voluntary sector?

Hon ALFRED NGARO: I have made apologies to those whom I spoke about. I have also spoken to a number inside the community as well. What I have to say to the member is that I have been humbled by the spirit of generosity that has been given to me, because most people have said that this has been out of character. I have worked very hard over a number of years with those communities as well.

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9 Comments

  1. Zedd

     /  May 24, 2017

    maybe Ngaro, has ‘let the cat out of the bag’ about this Govt’s real tory agenda; ‘you scratch our back…. ‘ :/

  2. I may be crossing a line here, but I note that I note that this is a Maori MP criticising a new Maori Minister for intemperate comments by the Minister. I wonder what the nature of the media comments would have been if the issue was raised by a MP of Asian or European ethnicity. The original comment was stupid one made by a MP whose mind was not engaged before his motor mouth spoke.

  3. Zedd

     /  May 24, 2017

    words like; ‘cronyism’ spring to mind 😦

    • Corky

       /  May 24, 2017

      Words like floundering for any lifeline spring to my mind when I read your post…Zedd%.

      • Zedd

         /  May 24, 2017

        uuh.. say wot? 😀

        • Corky

           /  May 24, 2017

          Put a finger in one of your ears so my words reverberate in your skull.

          I said…you are floundering. There’s no meat to your utterances.

  4. Blazer

     /  May 24, 2017

    just another typical ..’day in the life’ of a National Minister…Smith,Bennett….same form.