Davidson (Green) question ‘not a patsy’

When the Green Party (James Shaw) announced last month that they would give their parliamentary oral questions to National they reserved the right to still use some of them. They chose to do so today, giving new co-leader Marama Davidson her first crack at holding the Government to account.

Here is Davidson grilling the Prime Minister:

Question No. 1—Prime Minister

1. MARAMA DAVIDSON (Co-Leader—Green) to the Prime Minister: Ka tū a ia i runga i tana kōrero mō te iti rawa o te mahi haumi i roto ratonga tūmataiti, ā, nā runga i tērā, “we didn’t know it would be this bad” ā, mēnā kua pēnei rawa, ka pēhea te nui o te iti rawa o te mahi haumi nei?

[Does she stand by her statement on underinvestment in public services that “we didn’t know it would be this bad”, and if so, how significant is this underinvestment?]

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN (Prime Minister): Yes, absolutely, and much of that we could see from Opposition, as could New Zealanders in everyday life, as they saw individuals sleeping in cars or being unable to access health services. But what we are seeing now is in almost every portfolio I can find other signs of under-investment.

Marama Davidson: Does she agree that the state of the books she inherited from National represents a moral and fiscal deficit, which we see every day in our homeless and unemployed, in our impoverished families, and in our threatened species?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Yes, and being in Government obviously is about making choices and about priorities. The last Government decided that the priority, rather than investing in issues around unemployment and homelessness, was tax cuts—a huge amount of which went to the top 10 percent of income earners. This Government has different priorities.

Marama Davidson: How significant is the under-investment in health in light of revelations that there is sewage and mould running through the walls of Middlemore Hospital, as a direct result of it?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: I would say Middlemore Hospital is emblematic of a much wider problem. District health boards are telling us that 19 percent of their assets are either in a poor or a very poor state. If you add to that the fact that they’re running what will be an estimated up to $200 million deficit, I think it’s fair to say New Zealanders in every walk of life will be experiencing issues with their health services.

Marama Davidson: Has there been significant under-investment in other areas of Government spending, and has that impacted on core services, as we have seen in our health system?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: As I say, health, I think, is emblematic of what’s gone on in other areas. You’ll hear today, for instance, the Minister of Education talking a little bit more about the under-investment in early childhood education, which, essentially, has meant that parents have been picking up the tab from a lack of investment from the last Government. I’m happy to share the numbers.

Marama Davidson: What plans does she have, if any, to restore investment in public services to urgently help those who are struggling the most, such as the 10 to 20 homeless people I spoke with who were sleeping outside the City Mission yesterday morning?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: As I say, we identified from Opposition that this was an issue. We made a very deliberate decision to cancel the tax cuts. The second decision that we made was to run a slightly longer debt track than the last Government, because we wanted to prioritise investing in housing and making sure that there wasn’t the scale of homelessness we saw under the last Government. As I say, Government is all about priorities, and ours are very different to the last Government.

Marama Davidson: Will the Government consider any new taxes in the future to help solve these problems, given that it has ruled out any new revenue streams this term?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: As we’ve said, there will be no new tax regimes in this term of office, from this Government. Of course, we do have the Tax Working Group under way, but they may very well produce an outcome that could be fiscally neutral as well. Ultimately, we have budgeted and set out a debt track that allows us to make the investment that is the priority, and we did things like cancel tax cuts, so we could reinvest in health, education, and housing.

30 Comments

  1. robertguyton

     /  April 10, 2018

    Jesus, Pete, stop dumping on the Greens! Your bias is … screaming!

    • Kitty Catkin

       /  April 10, 2018

      I can’t see how a statement of fact and a transcript can be seen in that way, and that is all that this is.

    • Something you and some other Green supporters and MPs need to learn Robert, is that parties in Parliament will get, and should get, more scrutiny.

      If you can’t stand some heat, why are you in the kitchen?

      • Gezza

         /  April 10, 2018

        Might be looking for some sandal sandwiches? o_O

      • robertguyton

         /  April 10, 2018

        I love “the heat”, Pete, only yours is kinda…lukewarm, some say…beige 🙂

        • Gezza

           /  April 10, 2018

          Christ. You’re still in bloody kindy!

          Whose computer are you using to post here, darling boy? Mummy’s? Does she know you’re on it when you should be tucked in bed and gone sleepy-byes now?

        • So why do you complain so much about a bit of questioning of parties in Government?

          You call me beige, so it’s ok if I call you watermelon? Or do you operate on double standards?

          • robertguyton

             /  April 10, 2018

            I didn’t call you beige, Pete, but your comments…
            Call my comments, “watermelon” if you wish, I don’t carte.
            You okay?

    • Traveller

       /  April 10, 2018

      How often does it need to be said that this is Mr George’s blog. He can write what he likes. Try addressing his argument instead of partisan acceptance of all things Green or get your own blog.

      For my part you couldn’t begin to imagine more of a patsy question if you tried.

      Lightweight doesn’t begin to encapsulate her maiden appearance as co-leader.

    • Gezza

       /  April 10, 2018

      Ok. Robert – that’s immature. More growing up to do m’boy.

    • Gerrit

       /  April 10, 2018

      Robert, you are only here as the Green’s frog blog has not allowed comments for the best part of three years. Miss having debates with the likes of greenfly, bj and sanctuary on matters green however the bias shown on that blog was as great as you are accusing this blog’s author of.

      Maybe you should have a talk to the frogblog administrators and get comments opened up again?

      Was a certain new MP called Marama Davidson that had the last post we could comment on and she kicked up such a fuss over the comments questioning her assertions that the frog blog administrators shut down the comments. She just could not answer the questions asked of her.

      As an alternative start your own blog. I for one would visit and leave my tuppence worth.

      • robertguyton

         /  April 10, 2018

        “Robert, you are only here as the Green’s frog blog has not allowed comments…”
        What pish, Gerrit. I’m here because I like to provide foil to the nonsense that gets spouted here. I do alright, considering it’s not my day job.

        • Gezza

           /  April 10, 2018

          Well don’t give up your day job, I reckon.

          • Gezza

             /  April 10, 2018

            Which appears to be attending kindergarten when your mum drops you off until she picks you up again.

            • robertguyton

               /  April 10, 2018

              Snarky. How is that “comment” not ad hominem” and aren’t you better than that, Gezza? Your level of engagement/standards drops markedly when you are address me. Have you ever re-read what you post? Could be useful for you to reflect…

            • Gezza

               /  April 10, 2018

              I know when I’m being childish and it’s the best way to get thru to you.

  2. Zedd

     /  April 10, 2018

    I too was a little surprised to see the Greens U-turn on ‘we will not ask patsies’ BUT If Marama sez ‘it was NOT a patsy’, then I’ll believe her.. 🙂

    • Gezza

       /  April 10, 2018

      Why?

      • Blazer

         /  April 10, 2018

        why ..not?

        • Gezza

           /  April 10, 2018

          Because she might be lying. She’s a politician. So I’m interested in why he believes he when he obviously thought that it was a patsy question.

          Do you believe her when she says it was not a patsy question?

          • Gezza

             /  April 10, 2018

            It’s ok not to answer if it’d just make you look pathetic for asking.

            • Gezza

               /  April 10, 2018

              Which appears to be attending kindergarten when your mum drops you off until she picks you up again.

            • Gezza

               /  April 10, 2018

              Whoops. Delete above. Went in wrong place. Gremlins probably.

      • Zedd

         /  April 11, 2018

        because she seems to be honest….. gezza 🙂

        • Gezza

           /  April 11, 2018

          Fair enuf. Long as she remembers the adage about fooling people & she isn’t being somebody else’s fool. Her questions sounded like they were scripted by the Labour party, not hers.

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  April 10, 2018

      Thousands wouldn’t.

  3. robertguyton

     /  April 10, 2018

    “they reserved the right to still use some of them”
    They did, Pete, as you note and this question is important because it offers a chance for the PM to tell the truth about the awful National Party and their duplicitous behaviour when in Government – fair enough? I think so, yes!

    • Gerrit

       /  April 11, 2018

      Which makes it a patsy question. Question time is to hold the government to account with questions like;

      Will the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary law be drafted before 2020?

      or

      Will the activity cameras on commercial fishing boats be reinstalled to provide feedback on by-catches and undersized fish numbers?

      or

      Will the government open their ministerial diaries to public scrutiny like the Green ministers have done? If not why not for, as Clair Curran has recently shown, it would benefit both the ministers and the voting public.

      etc., etc., etc.

  1. Davidson (Green) question ‘not a patsy’ — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition