Question Time today

There were some testy exchanges in Question Time yesterday – see:

And Chris Hipkins was told by the speaker to front up today with Clare Curran emails.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: I will repeat, as a supplementary, my primary question from last Thursday and see if I can get an answer. How many undisclosed emails through former Minister Clare Curran’s private Gmail account are there that relate to the appointment of the Government’s Chief Technology Officer, and what is the content of those emails?

Hon CHRIS HIPKINS: I have not seen the individual emails in question. They have been handed to the Chief Archivist. Clare Curran has explained to me that the contents of those emails are predominantly post her conversation with Derek Handley where he was offered the job, and related to the scope of the positon. That’s the information that I have to date.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The House is still none the wiser of the number of Gmails—

SPEAKER: Yes, and the member will resume his seat. What I have indicated to the member is that if he asks his question properly tomorrow or at some stage in the future, with sufficient detail, I will expect a proper answer. In fact, I think it would be a good thing for transparency if in answering a specific and detailed and well-worded question, the Minister brought the emails to the House and made them available in that way.

Expect a question from National that invites Hipkins to deliver.

40 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  September 19, 2018

    The whole of Question 11 yesterday was particularly fractious and interesting for me because Speaker Trev did the right thing in the end despite some desperate ducking and diving by Mr Hipkins, so I’m definitely planning to sit down in front of the telly for this session.

  2. Gezza

     /  September 19, 2018

    She’s all on folks. Let’s see how we go.
    1400 hours

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      Yewdalizng is a new word I quite liked from Jacinda.

      • robertguyton

         /  September 19, 2018

        Noticed it myself and quite liked it. Winston just swatted Bridges, who protested his own failure to improve roads in his own region – 9 years of…what, Mr Bridges?

        • Gezza

           /  September 19, 2018

          I went off to bloody sleep robert ! Towards the end of Q1. Dammit. 😐

          It’s a perfect day. Very late nite; up really early. Sunny lounge. Couldn’t keep me eyelids open. Jacs was doing ok in Q1, Simon wasn’t scoring hits during what I saw. The low business confidence angle is ageing rapidly because the answers are easy: historically business confidence has been low when Labour’s in when things are actually booming – an inverse relationship. He’s inclined to plod on on the same things and to cover old territory over and over again.

          I’ll have to catch up with Question Time on YouTube. I know the Questions that interested me.

          Going to check out on YouTube how Chippy Hipkins got on.

          • robertguyton

             /  September 19, 2018

            I’m not surprised, Gezza, it was hardly…gripping stuff. I listened to Golriz on the radio, talking about the additional 500 refugees. She was good. Sensible and well informed. Don’t believe what Kitty tells you about Golriz (I think she’s…jealous).

            • Gezza

               /  September 19, 2018

              I can’t understand how Golriz ever got thru Law School, robert. I think she is a dipsy doodle of the first order.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 19, 2018

              I guess the Law School had Requirements and Standards that Golriz must have met, Gazza. She seems to have practiced law without being …disbarred…so the test of time indicates she’s okay at what she does. She got selected for a political party in New Zealand, assumed some responsibilities therein and has not been expelled or even considered for expulsion, so…perhaps your assessment of her is…unsubstantiated?

            • Gezza

               /  September 19, 2018

              Dipsy doodle in my mind means a bit off the wall and inclined to flights of fancy – not an idiot. I think she means well & is genuine but is not a particularly sharp individual, is young and inexperienced and acts like a teenager at times – the shit tweet springs to mind but her grandiose work experience claims didn’t set her up well and at times she seems to witter on airily about stuff not particularly intelligently. Her maiden speech was a bit lost. In contrast, Chloe is sharp as a knife, methodical, building her brand here and overseas and, imo, going places.

            • robertguyton

               /  September 19, 2018

              Fairy nuff.

  3. robertguyton

     /  September 19, 2018

    Bridges – “Incredibly strong economy that she inherited”
    “Incredible” means “not believable”, right?

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      I try to indicate if I’m doing this what Question it is and, if I can what, it’s about – otherwise it just looks like I’m posting a mindless stream of smart alec remarks about the target (which I look back at sometimes and think – yep, oops I was…)

  4. robertguyton

     /  September 19, 2018

    Robertson (again) is good. Keeps his voice lively and enunciates clearly – can still suffer, we hear, a slip of the tongue. Who’s running the show? Robertson wins.

  5. robertguyton

     /  September 19, 2018

    Phil Twyford is solid and clear, destroying his attacker re. roading decisions.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      I find this hard to believe. Phil has an unfortunate habit of being entirely unconvincing.

    • Gezza

       /  September 20, 2018

      No – you’re right, robert. He done good.

  6. robertguyton

     /  September 19, 2018

    Todd Muller, my ol’pal! Ex-Fonterra, he.

  7. robertguyton

     /  September 19, 2018

    Tracy Martin’s good and delivering hits to National and their rep on this issue.

  8. David

     /  September 19, 2018

    Hipkins isnt fronting today must be pretty damn ugly.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      Oh – I’ll check out who took the answers to Nick Smith’s Question and how they batted on that.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      I haven’t watched it yet

      • robertguyton

         /  September 19, 2018

        Sounds clean to me.

        • Gezza

           /  September 19, 2018

          Robertson says the emails will be released subject to the usual OIA procedures (what can we blot out & get away with).
          Supplementary no 1 Smith says will he release the emails today? Plodding thru his list.

          • robertguyton

             /  September 19, 2018

            Why do something other than “the usual” – did the other crew ever freely provide untampered-with information? Can’t remember them being so … helpful.

            • Gezza

               /  September 19, 2018

              This is a problem for the government however you look at it robert. It really smells of a set up to give a mate a job before a proper neutral assessment of all the candidates had been done, and the denials are not completely convincing and the use of Gmail reinforces it.

              While it’s possible in just about any situation it seems for someone to get up do a “what about the last lot who did the same” the fact is they usually got slammed for it too – and until these emails are released, and afterwards, this is a microwaving egg that could explode all over the place for the government.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      Question No. 10—State Services
      10. Hon Dr NICK SMITH (National—Nelson) to the Minister of State Services: What are the dates and the contents of the work-related emails to and from former Minister Hon Clare Curran’s private Gmail account, in relation to the appointment of the Government’s Chief Technology Officer, that he referred to as having been handed over to the Chief Archivist in yesterday’s Oral Question No 11?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON (Acting Minister of State Services): Mr Speaker, as I informed your office, this will be a slightly longer than normal answer. There are three email exchanges. The first: on 11 August, where Derek Handley emails Clare Curran about the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) position and questions about the role of the CTO, including resourcing for the role and potential conflicts of interest. On 14 August, Clare Curran replies to that email, confirming a call to discuss these matters. On 15 August, Derek Handley replies to that, confirming times for the call.

      The second exchange: on 19 August, Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding logistics around the next step on the process of appointment, including the content of any public statements that might be made, and refers to contract discussions with the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA). On 20 August, Derek Handley responds to that email to Clare Curran about those issues, including the contact he has had with DIA and management of conflicts of interest.

      The third exchange: on 21 August, Clare Curran emails Derek Handley regarding issues that would be on the work plan of the CTO and attaches some relevant background documents on those issues. On the same day, Derek Handley responds to Clare Curran, acknowledging the material and referring to the discussions that he is having with DIA.

      I have sought and received an assurance from the former Minister that these email exchanges will be made available for release subject to the normal Official Information Act (OIA) processes.

      Hon Dr Nick Smith: Will he publicly release or table those emails today, given his responsibilities as the “Minister of Open Government” and this Government’s commitment to be the most open and transparent ever?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: I believe I have explained the dates and the contents of the emails today. As I said at the end of my primary answer, those emails will be released in accordance with the rules of the OIA.

      Hon Dr Nick Smith: Was there any inappropriate content in any of those emails between Mr Handley and Clare Curran over the appointment that influenced the Government’s decision to not proceed with Mr Handley’s appointment?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: The Government’s decision not to proceed with the appointment does not relate to those emails.

      Hon Dr Nick Smith: Does he agree with the statement “The only conclusion that can be drawn from Ministers using private Gmail addresses for Government business is that they have something to hide.”, a statement made by Chris Hipkins in opposition; if so, what were Minister Curran and the Prime Minister doing having Government business communicated through a private Gmail account?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Oneof the things we learn on becoming Ministers is that we receive a lot of correspondence from a lot of different sources to a lot of different places, and, as I quoted in the House yesterday, Sir John Key, the former Prime Minister, acknowledged his use of a private email address for ministerial business.

      Rt Hon Winston Peters: As a precedent for the Minister’s judgment on these matters, has he seen inappropriate comment with respect to a Minister having to step down, such as an ACC case?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Mr Speaker, I’m—

      SPEAKER: Order! Order! I think that’s beyond the Minister.

      Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I asked the Minister as to whether he had a precedent he is using as a measurement to judge by. I think it’s a part of our recent history, and Ministers are entitled to have authoritative precedents to make their judgements on. That’s why I put it before him.

      SPEAKER: Yes, and if that question was asked to the Prime Minister, who had responsibility for the Minister stepping down, then I would’ve allowed it. This Minister does not have responsibility for his predecessor stepping down.

      Hon Dr Nick Smith: Can the Minister reassure the House that there were no communications between the Prime Minister and former Minister Curran in respect of the appointment of the Chief Technology Officer?

      Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: In fact, I believe yesterday it was acknowledged that there were communications between the Prime Minister and Ms Curran, as the Prime Minister said yesterday, as would be expected for any major role.

      • robertguyton

         /  September 19, 2018

        “Hon GRANT ROBERTSON: Oneof the things we learn on becoming Ministers is that we receive a lot of correspondence from a lot of different sources to a lot of different places, and, as I quoted in the House yesterday, Sir John Key, the former Prime Minister, acknowledged his use of a private email address for ministerial business.”
        He did what!!???

        • Gezza

           /  September 19, 2018

          Very dodgy practice all round I am surprised it’s allowed.

    • robertguyton

       /  September 19, 2018

      Good one, David.
      “David / September 19, 2018
      Hipkins isnt fronting today must be pretty damn ugly.”

      [In other words, Hipkins’ second child was born today (presumably by C- section as became necessary a few weeks ago) and he is now on parental leave for four weeks.]

      • Gezza

         /  September 19, 2018

        If that’s happened that’s really nice for him. He’ll be over the moon about that at least and rightly so.

  9. Zedd

     /  September 19, 2018

    I dont think we need to ask; ‘which side of the house are the Natl party on ?’

    On the Govt. side there are several red folders, SOME even have Labour logos on.. a couple of NZF & Green ones too..

    Guess how many BLUE ones with the National logo emblazoned on ? EVERY DESK !!
    I was starting to think it was Natl party conference meeting.. BUT alas there were NO FLAGS hanging around the walls; with the LOGO on :/

    Small things amuse…

    • Zedd

       /  September 19, 2018

      I just wonder what else they have on their agenda.. to try & look more relevant ?

      perhaps; streamers, balloons & silly hats.. all emblazoned with the party logo.. OR even pictures of their previous party leaders; Sir, Sir & Dame ???
      FFS ! 🙂

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  September 19, 2018

        Probably just have a horror that viewers might think they are Labour, NZF or Green, Z. Understandable.

        • Winston made a comment (paraphrased) ‘It took this Govt. 11 months to achieve so much.. meanwhile it took this long for Natl to get all their boxes down to the chamber’
          😀

          • Gezza

             /  September 19, 2018

            Luvin the new you in that gravatar Zedd. 👍

            Have you done something different with your hair? 😉

            • Zedd

               /  September 20, 2018

              got to keep ’em guessing…

              hair today… gone tommorow 😀

  10. David

     /  September 19, 2018

    Trev has improved since I last watched. Winston is a juvenile idiot what is wrong with him.

    • Gezza

       /  September 19, 2018

      Winston is a juvenile idiot what is wrong with him

      He abuses the process with abandon, but always has done and is worse in Government.
      Even Trev finds it tiresome telling him that’s not a question: the minister has no responsibility: for that and deputy prime minister knows that; can the deputy prime minister get to the actual question; and that’s not a point of order. It’s a daily occurrence I think, multiple offender sometimes.

      Any particular question I should be looking for this time.

      • David

         /  September 19, 2018

        On the Twyford question about some road in Tauranga and there was another one, I wouldnt bother yourself looking Gezza.
        The question for Twyford on the 39 sqm apartments was an interesting one, that is the size of a hotel room and pretty awful and getting finance on that will be near impossible. We struggle with 55 sqm apartments.