Paternalistic Speaker protecting Ardern in Parliament

There have been claims already that Speaker Trevor Mallard has protected Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in Parliament when under attack by the Opposition.

This came up again after an exchange in Question Time yesterday, where Simon Bridges moved from questions about CGT effects on KiwiSaver to Ardern’s business experience:

Hon Simon Bridges: In light of her comments on fairness, is it fair that under the proposed capital gains tax, the small-business owner will have to pay tax on a third of their business when they sell up for retirement?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Again, alongside the recommendations around a comprehensive capital gains tax, we’ve acknowledged that, for simplicity, that was what the Tax Working Group suggested. They also put alongside that, increasing the threshold for provisional tax from $1,500 to $5,000, increasing the closing stock adjustment, an increase in the automatic deduction for legal fees, a reduction in the number of depreciation rates.

So there was a suite of options in there, and, again, Mr Speaker, as I know you know, but as I wish the Leader of the Opposition would hear: we have not settled on any of the final recommendations of the report. We are still considering them as a Government.

Ardern brought the Speaker into the discussion.

Hon Simon Bridges: Is the problem with answering my questions that she doesn’t understand small business very well?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: No.

Hon Simon Bridges: When she told Mike Hosking last week and this morning that she’d run a small NGO that helped her understand small business, what was that NGO?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: I did not tell him that this morning.

Hon Simon Bridges: When she said last week on Mike Hosking that her running a small NGO had helped her understand small business, what was that NGO?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Actually, I spent more time talking about the fact that my first jobs were all in small businesses. The point that I was making at that time—and actually, I continue to make—is that, as a Government, we are considering all of the issues that have been raised. That includes whether it be residential rentals, whether it be small business, whether it be KiwiSaver.

Hon Simon Bridges: Is the NGO she spoke of the International Union of Socialist Youth?

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member knows how to use Wikipedia—well done.

Hon Simon Bridges: Has talking to international comrades helped her with her small-business policy development in New Zealand?

SPEAKER: Order! Order! No, the Prime Minister will sit down. We’re not going to have that sort of seal-like approach in this House. It’s a final warning, and I think Mr McClay will be the first out.

Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: I stand by the fact that I have worked in small businesses, that I have been in charge of hiring and firing, and I’d be interested in how many times he’s had to do that as a Crown prosecutor.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Given all the—

Hon Gerry Brownlee: Ah, the businessman!

SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. Mr Brownlee will now stand, withdraw and apologise.

Hon Gerry Brownlee: I withdraw and apologise. What was the problem there? I called him a businessman; I apologise for that.

SPEAKER: The member knows well that he interjected while a member was asking a question. He will now leave the Chamber.

Hon Gerry Brownlee withdrew from the Chamber.

Ex MP Tau Henare:

Ardern was noticeably irritated from early in this exchange.

Richard Harman at Politik: Temper flash from the PM

What appeared to be a flash of temper from the Prime Minister in Parliament yesterday is an indication of how much the capital gains tax debate seems to be getting to her. She and Ministers are getting bogged down in detail as they answer endless questions about how the tax might work…

Audrey Young: Simon Bridges gets the better of Jacinda Ardern over small business experience

Ardern’s loss of form was Bridges’ capital gain as the National leader and the Prime Minister went head to head over a comprehensive capital gains tax (CGT) proposal.

It was a variation on fish and chip shop theme, from the previous day in which slaving over a fat vat in an after- school job gave her insights into how small business owners would be feeling about having to pay 33 per cent tax when they sold up their business for retirement.

Ardern had disputed the NewstalkZB host’s claim that none of the cabinet had experience running a small business.

It was Bridges’ moment but Mallard was having none of it. There are no rules for when applause is tolerated and when it is not. That is decided by the mood of the Speaker who clearly did not like National ganging up on her.

Mallard: “We’re not going to have that sort of seal-like approach in this House.”

Ardern looks under pressure over the Capital Gains Tax. She and her Government seemed badly prepared for dealing the widely expected recommendations of the Tax Working Group. With a decision still a month or two away, expect National to keep hammering Ardern on this.

Both Mallard and Winston Peters appear to be trying to protect Ardern in Parliament. Grant Robertson also stepped in to help. This looks paternalistic, and doesn’t help Ardern’s case.

Ardern won’t be able to come up with answers on CGT for a while yet, but she at least needs to find a way of handling the questions better – on her own.

 

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45 Comments

  1. Gerrit

     /  6th March 2019

    Ahh, the thought that a Ardern needs protection and that protection would come from old (both white and Maori) males. Priceless.

    So much for women being able to stand up for themselves.

    Where are the women to protect Ardern? Where is the sisterhood?

    How much longer will Ardern last?

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  6th March 2019

      Ardern should have said she would consult with ex National P.M Jenny Shipley to find out how to turn a big business into a non existent one.

      Ex kindergarten teachers are what National is looking for.

      Reply
      • Corky

         /  6th March 2019

        Unlike Paula, Blazer, the fairy princess needs protection from those nasty Righties.

        Talking of Paula, I see she has hit back at that toe rag who had a go at her over her weight loss. She then turned the article into a hit on Labour:

        ‘The Soft Bigotry of Low Expectations,’

        Well, to be fair..Labour wouldn’t have high expectations for its voter base..would they?😃

        Reply
        • lurcher1948

           /  6th March 2019

          Bennett didnt put the hard yards in to lose weight,my wife said “just a rich prick meeting a gastric band”

          Reply
          • Corky

             /  6th March 2019

            Better than all those deadbeat socialists on a hospital waiting list to for the same operation using taxpayer money.

            Reply
            • lurcher1948

               /  6th March 2019

              Lets rephrase your comment Corky(better than normal hardworking New Zealanders waiting on a hospital waiting list….forever) why do all the rich prick rightwingers sound and act like rathole slumlords…or REALLY POOR LOSERS

            • Corky

               /  6th March 2019

              You overcooked the goose, Lurchy, making your rebuke worthless. You just confirmed the feral hatred Lefties have for the man with a bob. Whether he earned that bob honestly or not is immaterial. What is important is HE HAS A BOB AND THEY DON’T.

          • Kitty Catkin

             /  6th March 2019

            Lurch, having a gastric band isn’t as easy a way to lose weight as people think; it still needs willpower. Plenty of people who’ve had one have put the weight back on.

            Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  6th March 2019

        Waaaahhhh…. squirrel.. hate drips from your blunt fangs. Got anything about the real topic Blazer? I.e. Aderns inability to handle simple questions?

        Reply
    • Duker

       /  6th March 2019

      The Speakers job ..is what Gerrit?

      Plenty of times with the previous government, others would raise points of order when the opposition scored a goal….its long time procedure to ‘strike back’ by all political parties. As oppositions have nothing better to do all week than prepare well crafted questions, while ministers only have a small time to prepare.

      As for Buisness experience – English had none either ,absolutely NONE, Brownlee was kicked out by his family business ( went teaching), Bridges was a mid level employee of a law firm that existed almost soley on government work ( and he would never handled non prosecuting legal work)

      I found this about Keys ‘business experience’

      Lot of people have written about John Key’s business background; it functions as a kind of negative space for people to project their own, often odd, fantasies and misconceptions and conspiracies about finance and banking. (He’s often celebrated for his incredible sales and negotiating skills, yet every time he’s sat down with a company to cut a deal on behalf of the taxpayer, the corporation always seems to come off far, far better than the Crown.)

      https://thespinoff.co.nz/politics/16-12-2016/the-four-john-keys-you-meet-when-he-governs-your-country/

      Therest of this has interesting insights about ‘issues that get big media but most dont care about one way of the other’

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  6th March 2019

        One of the speakers many jobs is to ensure that at QT the questions asked get answered properly. An satisfactory answer is not “look up Wikipedia”.

        When asked what Arderns NGO job was, she would not answer and it should have been the speakers job to ensure she did.

        Mark my words the next question Ardern will face will be “in what capacity and with what organisation did she hire and fire people”.

        She made the claim now she is open to be questioned on it. But I suspect the speaker will find a way she wont have to answer.

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  6th March 2019

          as Labour leader she fired’ Bill English and his…cabinet .

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  6th March 2019

            Winston fired them & appointed her PM, really, when you think about, B.

            Reply
        • Duker

           /  6th March 2019

          primary questions only are expected to have a full answer.
          Supplementary questions as this was,are allowed to play the waffle game

          You will see their was a full answer to the primary question

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  6th March 2019

            Supplementaries are entitled to a proper answer as well as primary questions. They must simply directly relate to the primary question and to the Minister’s responsibilities in their portfolio. How else do you think Ministers wind up being told to answer all the supplementaries that follow from daily “Does the Minister stand by all his policies and statements?”

            Speakers Rulings appear to allow various escape clauses; a non-direct answer is often allowed even though it didn’t answer the specific question as long as the Speaker rules that it at least “it addressed the question”. Many would scratch their heads over HOW it addressed the question, but clearly other Speakers have followed the same practice.

            Reply
  2. David

     /  6th March 2019

    Mallard is the speaker we all thought he could be. I dont think he is helping her, if anything he and Peters make her look weak and QT is now boring and unenlightening.
    Brownlee has a great sense of humour.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  6th March 2019

      He may be acting from misplaced chivalry, which has the effect, in this case, of making her look weak and feeble. I like chivalry, but we can’t have it both ways.

      I don’t encounter many women who like her.

      Reply
  3. lurcher1948

     /  6th March 2019

    Still doesn’t change the fact shes PM with a huge positive rating and Simon Bridges is Mr 5% with a knife hovering over his back

    Reply
    • lurcher1948

       /  6th March 2019

      It’s a thin line from trying to sound smart in the chamber to becoming a bullying smarlly leader of the opposition with a approval rating approaching termination

      Reply
    • Corky

       /  6th March 2019

      Excellent, Lurchy. Unfortunately, factual and correct. Mallard is just icing on the cake.

      Reply
  4. Duker

     /  6th March 2019

    Brownlee, who was kicked out of his family business and went teaching is hardly the person to making comments/breaking wind

    Reply
  5. PDB

     /  6th March 2019

    Apparently running a successful small business is all a walk in the park when you’ve wrapped fish and chips out the back of one or been the figurehead for a socialist youth organisation. Now if only she found out what GDP means she’d be a world-leading economist as well.

    Reply
    • Blazer

       /  6th March 2019

      Nationals P.M’s are hardly immune from critique regarding their work history.

      Reply
      • High Flying Duck

         /  6th March 2019

        Point to where the National PM’s are parading their service in Fish & Chip shops and running socialist organisations as the requisite experience to know the effects of a CGT on small business?

        Reply
        • Blazer

           /  6th March 2019

          Every single National P.M is on record as saying they love…fish and chips….some really like …hotdogs…as well.😁

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  6th March 2019

          Why do national MPs fabricate ‘business experience’ out working at a job like most people do.
          There was the guy who lost to Peters in the by election.
          Much was made of his ‘business experience’… doing the books for his wifes saloon, and as the leader of a community group …he was the council accountant/ bureaucrat seconded to it.
          Mitchell was a police dog handler who went to Iraq as a mercenary for a trucking company running supplies for US military- its played as experienced as international business in logistics which he started .!

          never mentioned that Brownlee was kicked out the family business ( it happens!) and became a woodwork teacher – dont mention anyone is a teacher or lecturer

          Wheres Maggie Barrys business experience, or Nick Smith , Paula ( dont mention the Truck stop or the Social work degree , done on the DPP)
          others with some actual small business like Anne Tolley as a napier motelier, its downplayed as thats the ‘wrong buiness’

          Reply
          • High Flying Duck

             /  6th March 2019

            You’re missing the point Duker. This is about Jacinda specifically saying she had the work experience to know the effects of CGT, including her work at an NGO,
            This is what she is being questioned on, but has been less than forthcoming in expanding upon.
            If National MP’s are parading their experience in any areas they are talking about then bring the scrutiny.
            To say Mark Mitchell doesn’t have business experience is ridiculous – he’s self-made in a very difficult industry. You can agree or disagree with the ethics of it, but he was undeniably successful.
            Brownlee has never purported to be a businessman. He’s a very good politician though.

            Reply
  6. Finbaar Rustle

     /  6th March 2019

    Before Parliament was broadcast live on TV the traditional free for all at QT was not a major issue for Parties because very few Kiwis listened to Parliament. I began listening to Parliament in 1972 so I know. But once Parliament went on TV live QT became important for both parties image and ratings. Lockwood Smith who had previously been a serial offender for endless pointless interjections for 20 years became nationals speaker. Knowing the danger of a disorderly QT on the Governments image Smith totally shut down the traditional QT open debate style. He completely silenced any interjections which might harm the National Governments image. So Mallard is simply doing exactly the same for Labour. Revenge is being served. Suck it up national.

    Reply
    • Gerrit

       /  6th March 2019

      Revenge started by the speaker Wilson?

      Reply
      • Finbaar Rustle

         /  6th March 2019

        You obviously don’t listen to Parliament. Pitiful.

        Reply
      • Blazer

         /  6th March 2019

        what a flaming ,shameless SQUIRREL you turned out to be..Gerritman!😁

        Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  6th March 2019

        Partisanship by the speaker was, if not started by, lifted to new heights by Wilson. Revenge by each speaker after that.

        Sad that so many cant see the fact that each speaker is now totally partisan.

        Blazing squirrels to think otherwise.

        Reply
        • Duker

           /  6th March 2019

          Nonsense. Lockwood Smith was reasonably balanced, Carter was Keys lap dog – even the way he was announced without even the fig leaf of ‘opposition consultation’.
          Mallard indroduced the awarding of extra questions to get better answers from government ministers.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  6th March 2019

            Supplementaries. Yes, but he also introduced the taking away of Supplementary Questions & because supplementaries (not just extras) appear to be awarded at the discretion of every Speaker he does take them away, subject to no rules, sometimes for what appear to be petty reasons. It started out as what seemed liked a potentially worthwhile system that kept disruption & Ministerial misbehaviours in check but now sometimes descends into farce.

            Reply
  7. Zedd

     /  6th March 2019

    is Mallard really ‘protecting Ms Ardern’ OR just maintaining ‘Standing Orders’ with the unruly MOB, on the right ? :/

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th March 2019

      Yes he’s protecting Ardern in the same way Carter protected Key. It’s clearly impossible to have a non-partisan Speaker selected from a political party, & Speakers Rulings must be a puzzling read in some places. But all parties’ members regularly push the QT boundaries & breach Standing Orders & Speakers Rulings. .

      Reply
      • Finbaar Rustle

         /  6th March 2019

        Parliamentarians pushed the boundaries a great deal
        more prior to Lockwood Smith.
        I know I listened a lot 1972- 2008.
        Johnathan Hunt is the best speaker in my time of following Parliament
        and was universally respected by all sides.
        Margaret Wilson as Parliaments first women speaker
        was highly tolerant of the unruly behavior of
        raucous serial abusive male members
        like Peters, Mallard and Lockwood Smith in particular.
        Parliament since Smith and now Mallard is a totally different world.
        Fiery encounters between Muldoon Lange Peters Prebble Mallard + Smith
        in the 80’s make today’s MP’s look like emasculated Choir boys.
        The lid put on disruptive behavior by Smith+ Mallard is so ironic
        because along with Peters and Prebble they were the worst abusers
        of Parliaments standing orders these past 40 years.
        Both new the danger of such practices from personal experience
        so enacted rulings to prevent them suffering the same
        abuse they dished out to previous speakers.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  6th March 2019

          I don’t watch it often enough to have an opinion about a ‘paternalistic Speaker’ protecting Ardern. I do remember the time delay, a bit like talk back radio for reasons of protection, of Speaker Carter and John Key. Carter was like the flanker holding on to the side of scrum and letting the first five dash through to score, sorry not being aware of what was happening, then apologising with “I was just going to …”

          Carter’s default position over years was to be the buried prop, look up after the damage had been done and come up with some pathetic explanation.

          Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th March 2019

      The problem with “expert commentary” from former Speakers that they always have to justify their own sins & thus can’t avoid justifying the current Speakers’.

      Reply
  8. Gezza

     /  6th March 2019

    Today’s head to head show

    Reply
  9. Gezza

     /  6th March 2019

    I dozed off. Woke up just in time to hear Damien had copped a smack for something naughty he said to or about Nathan during this one. Dunno what it was.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  6th March 2019

      03.50. Damien accused Nathan of lying. Trev had to think about it, & get some advice, cut the mics, said he’d received some advice he didn’t like, then required Damien to withdraw & apologise. Interesting contrast with how he handled an inappropriate answer from Jacinda question Simon’s motivation for asking a question, and two inappropriate, out of order supplementary questions from Finance Minister & Deputy PM at Q2 above.

      Reply
  1. Paternalistic Speaker protecting Ardern in Parliament — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition

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