Interjection ban on National dog barker, and crappy “stupid little girl” cop out

Parliament’s question time can be raucous, with some members barking at every passing Minister. National MP David Bennett annoyed the Speaker enough today to earn a two day ban on interjecting.

In Question No. 9—Children:

Darroch Ball: What is the Minister doing to ensure that children get the best services that they need?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Excuse me, Mr Speaker. I forgot that we had one other question coming, perhaps. On behalf of the Minister for Children today, Oranga Tamariki are holding the first of 14 regional hui with their 525 providers to talk about how they will work together in the future to ensure that all services meet the best needs of the child. Collectively, they receive around $268 million from Oranga Tamariki per year. The ministry is trying to give them greater certainty around their funding and is moving to longer-term contracts—[Interruption]

Mr SPEAKER: Order! [Interruption] Order! The member will resume her seat. David Bennett will stand, withdraw, and apologise.

Hon David Bennett: I withdraw and apologise.

In Question No. 11—Social Development:

11. ANGIE WARREN-CLARK (Labour) to the Minister for Social Development: What recent announcements has she made regarding the Growing Up in New Zealand study?

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI (Minister for Social Development): Mr Speaker—

Hon David Bennett: Oh, has she got her notes this time? Good on her!

Hon CARMEL SEPULONI: Today, I announced that the Government would restore more than $1.9 million—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume her seat. Now, Mr Bennett, your interjections are very, very frequent. Referring to members using notes in the House to answer questions is an area which is totally my responsibility and not for you to comment on. I would like to remind the member that several of his colleagues rely heavily on notes, not to answer questions, which is quite a lot harder, but even to ask them.

In Question No. 12—Employment:

Hon WILLIE JACKSON (Minister of Employment): Thank you, Mr Speaker. In response to the first part of the question, of course I stand by my statements. As for the second part, the policy response for job seekers remains the responsibility of the Minister for Social Development.

Hon Paula Bennett: Does he stand by his statement that “people have commitments,” as reasons that unemployed New Zealanders cannot pick fruit, and, if so, how many commitments does an individual need to not have to show up to work?

Hon David Bennett: How many commitments have you got?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: Of course I stand by—

Mr SPEAKER: Order! Order! David Bennett, once again you have interjected, involving me in the answer, and what we’re going to do is have you on an interjection ban for the rest of this question time and tomorrow. [Interruption] Order!

Overyapping in Parliament is unlikely to do the opposition any good, Putting a muzzle on Bennett for a couple of days will be better for the House.

Also under scrutiny is an as yet unidentified National MP – Newshub investigates: Which National MP made a ‘very sexist remark’ about Jacinda Ardern?

In Parliament last week, while the Prime Minister was speaking, a National Party MP hurled a “very sexist remark” across the Chamber.

He – and yes, Newshub can confirm the remark was made by a man – called Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern a “stupid little girl.”

As soon as the comment was made, Speaker Trevor Mallard stopped proceedings in the House, calling for the person who made the “very sexist remark” to apologise.

A week later, the culprit still hasn’t owned up to the remark. If they ever do, they will have to stand in Parliament, withdraw the remark and apologise.

At the time the comment was made, Mr Mallard said the remark wasn’t made by Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges; “It was someone behind.”

Behind Mr Bridges sits Matt Doocey, Jonathan Young, Gerry Brownlee and Nick Smith.

Other men in close proximity are Simon O’Connor, David Bennett, Jami-Lee Ross, Chris Finlayson, David Carter and Paul Goldsmith.

So with the culprit not big enough to own up all these MPs have a cloud hanging over them.

Newshub asked nine of the 10 male MPs who sit behind Mr Bridges whether they made the remark and whether they know who made it. The tenth has been contacted.

The nine MPs are named and all deny making the statement. The tenth must be Simon O’Connor.

Regardless of who it was this looks terrible for National.

Mr Bridges said he’d have to review footage before deciding what would happen to an MP who made such a remark – though he said these sorts of remarks are heat of the moment.

“Parliament’s a place of cut and thrust. People say things in the heat of moment, on all sides of the House, including, let’s be honest, the Speaker,” Mr Bridges said.

That’s a crappy cop out from Bridges. A decent modern leader would have made sure the culprit stood up in Parliament and made a damned good apology.

Without that National look like a pack of mongrel MPs who have no idea how to build respect in opposition.

Leave a comment

38 Comments

  1. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 15, 2018

    What if the PM acts like a silly little girl?

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 15, 2018

      What do you ‘what if’ ???

      She frequently does.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 16, 2018

      Why shouldn’t she? In Question Time, John Key often did.

      Reply
      • Trevors_Elbow

         /  May 16, 2018

        The bad man has gone Gezza…. you and Blazer need to let John-John go ….

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 16, 2018

          You missed the target completely with me there, Trev. Been bending that elbow?

          I don’t got me no KDS, even if the other guy done has.

          Reply
  2. Gerrit

     /  May 15, 2018

    Why is that remark sexist? She is a “girl” is she not?

    Jeez, is parliament just getting to precious now?

    Maybe the Labour MP’s need a “safe room”?

    Reply
    • If they want to act like out of touch last century arses it’s up to them, but it’s likely to make it harder for them to be taken seriously as a forward looking alternative.

      Reply
      • David

         /  May 15, 2018

        No one cares about question time. Bridges is packing out events on his tour, some quite surprising numbers and apparently National are delighted with their polling.

        Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  May 15, 2018

        Is it out of touch? Is it last century? Is it being an arse? Perhaps for the thin skinned and easily offended? Hence the need for a Labour “safe space”?

        I think they will find a lot of favours with the voters.

        The honeymoon for the Labour led government is well and truly over and no amount of the speakers protection will encourage them to great political heights.

        National are taking the message to the masses away from the debating chamber and out into the electorate. Leaving question time to become a sterile place for patsy questions under Mallards protections and be seen for the waste of time it has become.

        Reply
        • Kitty Catkin

           /  May 15, 2018

          It would have been better to have ignored it and let it fall flat.

          I do think that people are being precious about this, though. It wasn’t the best place or time, but people can be driven to say these things.

          If someone had described an MP as acting like a spoiled little boy, I doubt if there would have been such a fuss.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  May 15, 2018

            Speaker Trev told Stuart Nash off for acting like a naughty child last week.

            Nash raised an immediate point of order and said he was (and he really was eye-poppingly angry) offended at that remark & asked that he withdraw it.

            Speaker Trev said in effect that he wouldn’t – that if Nash was going to act like a naughty child it was fine for him to point that out.

            A question or two later, Speaker Trev said he had been reflecting on his using an inappropriate phrase to describe a member & he apologised “to Mr Nash, and to the House”.

            Bridges should have had a word with his team and said if you did it – and if any of you do it again – you man up & withdraw and apologise. He’s a wimp. We don’t need a wimp running this country.

            Reply
  3. David

     /  May 15, 2018

    Silly little girl is one of the milder insults, Mallard has used much worse and spare me its sexist nonsense.

    Reply
  4. Corky

     /  May 15, 2018

    National doesn’t need this..deserved or otherwise. Hell, all they have to do is sleep walk to victory. They should be looking to praise the government for any initiative they agree with.
    Given the unprofessional look of Grant Robinson chewing gum like a cow on ONE NEWS tonight, National can afford to be generous. What a disgusting spectacle Robinson was.

    Reply
  5. PartisanZ

     /  May 15, 2018

    National deserve whatever they get for puerile behaviour.

    The “silly little girl” comment sounds Matt Doocey-like to me …

    Farmer, cut in the mold of a bull …

    Thank God no-one cares about question time … in which case it won’t affect the polling …

    Reply
    • PartisanZ

       /  May 15, 2018

      Wouldn’t put it past the other Matt either though …. Matt King … very similar profile …

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  May 15, 2018

      Tautoko. National is lucky no-one cares about question time.

      Reply
  6. Ray

     /  May 15, 2018

    Is this the same Mallard who has spent the last 20 years calling an opposition member “Tinkerbell”, asking another if he has taken his medication, and famously was convicted of fighting in the House.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 15, 2018

      Fighting in a public place. He and Tau Henare, I think, took swings at each other, It was nothing major and had it not been for Mr Busybody McCready taking a case against the ‘victim’s’ wishes because it undoubtedly WAS ‘fighting in a public place’ (thereby wasting many people’s time and money) it would have been a nine second wonder.

      Who was Tinkerbell ?

      Reply
  7. Alan Wilkinson

     /  May 15, 2018

    Can we please be told what the PM said to provoke this interjection? Then we might be able to judge whether it was accurate or not.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  May 15, 2018

      Good question.

      Given Carmel Sepuloni’s errors in the amount that various things would cost, she has asked for remarks about notes.

      Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 15, 2018

      Drivel.

      Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  May 16, 2018

        I presume it was.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  May 16, 2018

          More poppycock from you, Sir Alan? This early in the day?
          Not good enough, I’m afraid.

          Reply
          • Alan Wilkinson

             /  May 16, 2018

            You are getting as pointless as Blazer, Sir Gerald. Shape up or ship out.

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  May 16, 2018

              Balderdash, Sir Alan. Your contribution on this one is an embarrassment & only demonstrates your hypocrisy.

            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  May 16, 2018

              Vintage Blazer. Totally irrelevant to the thread and an attempt at pointless diversion.

            • Gezza

               /  May 16, 2018

              Exactly. So why did you post it?
              Unparliamentary name-calling is not to be encouraged. By either side. I am not paying any of these beggars to treat the Chamber as a playground. As it was when Carter diddled about.
              Look, don’t bother replying. It won’t be reading either.

            • Gezza

               /  May 16, 2018

              *won’t be worth reading …

  8. Blazer

     /  May 16, 2018

    David Bennett is totally unlikeable and as far right as you can get.
    Paula Bennett may be the ‘new’ version,but hardly…improved…continues to reek of insincerity…a National trait.

    Reply
    • Trevors_Elbow

       /  May 16, 2018

      Fixed that for you Bol “Blazer is totally unlikeable and as far out as you can get.”

      You’re welcome….

      Reply
  9. Trevors_Elbow

     /  May 16, 2018

    Bajingas….. Trev is going full noise with some dumb stuff….. If he copped bans like this when an ordinary member he would have hardly been in the House at all!

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  May 16, 2018

      I missed it. I’ll have a look at the replay at 6. Watching QT and staying awake can be a bit of challenge when the Gummint gets Patsy Questions. There’s usually some newbie getting the chance to bumble robotically thru a script and a Minister saying “that’s an excellent question”, followed by another laboriously read out set of responses. I find I switch off and miss the start of the next more interesting one, quite often.

      But every now & then a Patsy Question does give you a bit of information about something interesting the government’s actually doing or done.

      Reply
  10. duperez

     /  May 16, 2018

    National look like a pack of mongrel MPs who have no idea how to build respect in opposition
    because no-one owns up to that interjection?
    Maybe to a very few who take any notice. Those who think they look like a pack of mongrel MPs already do regardless of the incident and aftermath.
    Build respect in opposition? Those who think them wonderful won’t lose respect because of it. Those who don’t like them will likely judge them not worthy of respect regardless.

    Reply

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