Bridges v Jones on work-for-the-dole

In Parliament yesterday Simon Bridges question Shane Jones on his proposal for a work-for-the-dole scheme (see Slouches off couches in ‘Work for the Dole’).  Jacinda Ardern joined in, as did Winston Peters whose petty personal attack on Bridges resulted in a reprimand.

“In respect of how many people the programme will deal with, I would point out that it takes 1,250 planters to plant a million trees a day”

“… the first thing that I’ve taken on board is some sage-like counsel: when one front-foots an issue, do not completely shoot one’s own foot.”

“I’m sure that you’ll find there’s a suitable blend of stick and carrot.

To Ardern: “…on matters of nomenclature, what is a name? A rose by any other name is just as sweet.”

 

10. Hon SIMON BRIDGES (National—Tauranga) to the Minister for Regional Economic Development: Does he stand by his statement, “I am going to take proposals to Cabinet. I’m calling it Work for the Dole”; if so, how many jobs does he expect his programme to create?

Hon SHANE JONES (Minister for Regional Economic Development): Yes, in relation to taking proposals to Cabinet along with the Minister of Employment. In relation to what it will be called, no doubt Cabinet will suitably christen it. In respect of how many people the programme will deal with, I would point out that it takes 1,250 planters to plant a million trees a day. A hundred days’ work—a hundred million a year; times 10—a billion trees.

Hon Simon Bridges: Does he agree with the New Zealand Herald‘s editorial this morning that said his “work scheme deserves a chance” and that “he has the energy and experience to make it work”; and if so, what arguments will he be making to convince his Cabinet colleagues that it’s a good idea?

Hon SHANE JONES: In relation to arguments that I might muster, the first thing that I’ve taken on board is some sage-like counsel: when one front-foots an issue, do not completely shoot one’s own foot.

Hon Simon Bridges: Well, does he agree with Barry Soper, who said, “It’s hard to see Jones winning, considering the trade unions are against it.”; and if not, what arguments will he be making to win the unions over?

Hon SHANE JONES: It’s a rather perverse outcome that I should be talking about the unions in my particular role; suffice to say I’m working with the Minister of Employment. Proposals will wend their way through Cabinet, and I’m sure that you’ll find there’s a suitable blend of stick and carrot.

Hon Simon Bridges: What consequences does he think there should be for young people who decline to participate in his programme?

Hon SHANE JONES: Once again, I’m sure that other Ministers belonging to the Cabinet will provide their perspectives and balance my views that I reflect as a Ngāpuhi chief.

Rt Hon Jacinda Ardern: Can the Minister confirm that we are in total agreement that placing young people in paid, decent employment is an aspiration this Government totally shares?

Hon SHANE JONES: Yes, and on matters of nomenclature, what is a name? A rose by any other name is just as sweet.

Hon Simon Bridges: Well, given the seeming consensus on the other side of the House, what is wrong with there being consequences for failing to work?

Hon SHANE JONES: What is wrong is that for nine years, former Ministers on the other side of the House talked a big book and did jack.

Hon Simon Bridges: Is the Minister backing down on Work for the Dole, meaning many will be destined to meaningless lives on the couch, when he’s spent years on this, and many in the media as well as the general public absolutely agree with him?

Hon SHANE JONES: Once again, prior to Christmas, I’m confident—such a busy schedule in our Cabinet committees—that answers will reveal themselves for the other side of the House.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Could I ask the Minister if one of the employment programmes he might contemplate would be training a number of diction trainers so that they could possibly help that member ask questions that are halfway understandable in this House?

Hon SHANE JONES: Not wanting to trivialise—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Sit down! Sit down! You are going to withdraw and apologise, aren’t you?

Hon SHANE JONES: I certainly would never trivialise the House or the House’s man.

Mr SPEAKER: The member will stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Hon SHANE JONES: I stand, withdraw, and apologise, sir.

Mr SPEAKER: No. The member stands up, and he says, “I withdraw and apologise.”

Hon SHANE JONES: Sir, I withdraw and apologise.

Mr SPEAKER: I think the member’s been absent for some time, but I don’t think his memory’s that bad.

22 Comments

  1. PartisanZ

     /  December 6, 2017

    Oooh look, there’s vulgar, pedantic hair-splitting fuck-buggery that accomplishes nothing going on in OUR PARLIAMENT!!!

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 6, 2017

      … And we’re going to talk about it back-and-forth all day … as if it had some MEANING!

    • Gezza

       /  December 6, 2017

      Fuck-buggery is pretty impressive on the crude language front. Be a while before we hear that one used at Question Time I imagine. Or was it in your email to Hon Shane Geoffery Jones yesterday, Parti? In which case, I might hear it in today’s Question Time.

  2. David

     /  December 6, 2017

    Winston is trying a Jones and sounded a little like perhaps he needs a lie down.

    • He is at real risk of being overshadowed by Jones in Parliament, and unlike in opposition he can’t control when NZ First Ministers speak in Question Time.

      He came across here as an arse from the past.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2017

        Who did? Rt Hon Winston Raymond Peters, or Hon Shane Geoffery Jones?

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 6, 2017

      He’s clearly developed a stratagem of coming in at the end with an incomprehensible ‘support’ question somehow designed to distinguish NZFirst from the other coalition partners.

      He did it with “Saddle Up” at the end of Bill and Jacinda’s meaningless spat on meaningless Work-for-the-Dole. So I can’t complain about his meaninglessness …

      He’s obviously not well IMHO.

  3. Alan Wilkinson

     /  December 6, 2017

    Jones withdrew and apologised what for what? Or should that have been Peters?

    • I was puzzled by that – I though Peters should have been the one apologising.

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  December 6, 2017

        Is it a transcript error?

        • No. Jones was asked to stand and withdraw and apologise, which he attempted a couple of times before doing it to the Speaker’s satisfaction, and Mallard addressed his absence and return to Parliament

          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  December 6, 2017

            Well, that’s unintelligible to me so just leaves me feeling Parliament continues to be an expensive b.s. arena.

            • PartisanZ

               /  December 6, 2017

              Yet they make our laws and we don’t demand they get their sh#t together.

  4. Yesterday was enough to put me off watching Parliament atogether

    • PartisanZ

       /  December 6, 2017

      Parliament is enough to put me off watching Parliament altogether.

      We gotta get ourselves a NEW ONE!

      • PartisanZ

         /  December 6, 2017

        … a new version of Parliament altogether … Marae Ture/Legislative Assembly …

    • Pickled Possum

       /  December 6, 2017

      I am gobsmacked after watching that vid.
      Stand Withdraw Apologise, a new mantra for Shane Jones to get used to.
      Big time disappointment to the Jones lovers.
      Your Not on Sat Night Live now, Mr Jones.
      But Really, is that all Simon No Bridges up North has to say!?
      He looks like he is under the wings of JC, scary!
      Trev the best ring master in that circus.

      • Gezza

         /  December 6, 2017

        Trev’s my Main Main there too. I quite like his folksy style of erudtion. But he stuffed up there. All Shane said was he didn’t want trivialise … and boom, apology required? Trev did a misfire I reckon?

        • Pickled Possum

           /  December 6, 2017

          Aren’t they supposed to say Mr Speaker first before they have their blurb?

          • Gezza

             /  December 6, 2017

            I’m not sure. Trev’s brought in a few new Speaker’s Rulings, and/or maybe resuscitated some old ones, & getting up & asking or answering Questions has definitely been made less flowery & stiff-collared. He might have ruled it’s no longer necessary to say Mr Speaker every time before asking or answering supplementaries. He said he wanted to speed things up, or words to that effect, one day when I was watching, but I haven’t watch all QTs.