Ministers versus Bishop

Two Ministers outed the constituent work of Chris Biship, National MP for Hut South, in Parliament today.

From 5. Question No. 5—Health:

Hon Chris Hipkins: Were the two women who tested positive for COVID-19 this week released from quarantine following personal representations advocating their early release from quarantine by National MP Chris Bishop?

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: I am aware of that. Obviously, there have been representations made for compassionate leave from members of Parliament. I think people need to be very careful because these are sensitive matters, necessarily—[Interruption]

SPEAKER: Order! Order! Sorry, I’m going to hear the rest of this answer in silence. It’s a very serious allegation that’s been made here, and I want to hear the answer.

Hon Dr DAVID CLARK: Yes, I am aware of that, and I just would ask members to be careful around these situations. On the one hand, people have been requiring or requesting that people be let go early out of these situations. On the other hand, we’ve seen the risks that that presents to New Zealanders and the team of 5 million and their efforts so far.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I’d like you to reflect on your commentary about the question from the Hon Chris Hipkins as being a “serious allegation”. It kind of injects the Speaker into the question time in a way that a value judgment of that question might not stand scrutiny. Mr Bishop’s advocacy for those people did not infer that an unsafe process should be followed, and the fact that you have, effectively, commented on the fact that it’s a “serious allegation” is probably unhelpful—it’s certainly unhelpful.

SPEAKER: Well, if—sorry, I should have said it’s a serious matter and not a serious allegation, and I’m not absolutely certain that the member’s point of order has diminished it. But I will reflect on that.

Stuff:  Claims in Parliament National MP lobbied for leave for sisters who have Covid-19

NZ Herald: Two women let out after National MP lobbied for release

Both headlines look misleading, it doesn’t appear to have been lobbying.

And the Herald headline may be even more misleading. There is no indication that the women were “let out” as a result of what Bishop did.

Bishop has responded:

Some responses (from neutral and left leaners):

I wonder what the Prime Minister thinks of this happening while she wasn’t in Parliament.

Leave a comment

26 Comments

  1. duperez

     /  18th June 2020

    What’s so precious about private information and it being used for political purposes?

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Talk to Winston Peters.

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  18th June 2020

        He can talk out both sides of his mouth on that issue.

        Reply
        • duperez

           /  18th June 2020

          He would recognise if an underling in one government department can pass private information on because it has political ramifications and likely to cause embarrassment the same thinking could be applied to other departments.
          It was accepted that the lowest on one food chain thought ‘Jeez, if this gets out…’ and things went from there.
          Does the same apply to the Bishop thing?

          Reply
  2. John J Harrison

     /  18th June 2020

    Unlike COL MP’s Bishop does a great job advocating for constituents.
    He did so on the false hope that our hapless Minister of Health would have ensured that all protocols had been adhered to.
    I am sure no one will ever make that mistake again.
    The minister must resign.

    [Please refer to political parties and the Government (and MPs) by their correct names here and not by nicknames or derogatory terms, it’s a standard I want to maintain here. PG]

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      Oh do grow up. It is the Director General of Health who is responsible for ensuring that clear protocols are in place and being adhered to.

      At his press standup today he even admitted he had had to clarify for his underlings that he had the authority to make the requirement for quarantine testing mandatory & has now done so.

      Ministers are entitled to expect that their Departmental Heads know wtf they & their staff are doing & are doing what is required.

      Clark should’ve got sacked after he personally broke lockdown rules.

      This shambles is not his responsibility. It’s Bloomfield’s.

      Reply
    • duperez

       /  18th June 2020

      Do you think your views should be considered seriously when you preface them by saying something as pathetic as the coalition members don’t advocate or don’t do a great job advocating for constituents?

      You might find members anywhere in Parliament who are miles better than others at working for constituents and some who seemingly don’t do a good job on occasion. Dismissing one half as a job lot just like that?

      Maybe you too should resign.

      Reply
  3. David

     /  18th June 2020

    Own goal, the reek of desperation of this sad excuse for a government is coming off in waves. They know this is one of those pivotal moments, a reverse of the Jacindamania last time around. It sums up and reminds everyone of this governments total failure to deliver on any of its major policy planks from the last election.

    Reply
    • Own goal of the century.

      Anyone who knows an MP would know better than to ask them to pull strings. The answer would be a polite but firm NO. In this case, the MP would know that it would be waste of time, anyway.

      Kris Faafoi got away with implying that he could, and I don’t know how he did get away with it.

      Reply
  4. Alan Wilkinson

     /  18th June 2020

    Was this the basis of the allegation the women had political friends? If so, that looks like Government spin going on dirty tricks.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  18th June 2020

      What do you mean?

      Reply
      • It’s being repeated and reported by the ignorant & malicious. Goodness knows who began it.

        Reply
      • It’s being reported and repeated by the malicious and ignorant. Goodness knows where it came from.

        Reply
      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  18th June 2020

        Someone from Govt planted a rumour ready to pin it onto Bishop?

        Reply
        • They must’ve known there’d be some nasty gossips on Kiwiblog who’d fall for it & spread it.

          Reply
        • Duker

           /  19th June 2020

          Wake up . Bishop has confirmed that he personally intervened with the people handling exemptions.
          Bishop said he was contacted by the women on June 12 and asked for help in having the Ministry of Health urgently assess their application for compassionate consideration to visit their very sick mother.
          When he saw the email that Saturday afternoon, he forwarded it to the elected officials email address and the ministerial exemptions address at the Ministry of Health and asked for the case to be looked at as soon as possible.
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12341059

          Forget the half cocked and barmy conspiracy theories that it was ‘pinned on Bishop” as he admits to pushing at the highest levels.
          That he took it on personally rather than his electorate staff suggests ‘they were known to him’

          Reply
          • Don’t be silly. You must know that this is a thing that he would handle himself.

            MPs don’t know everyone who contacts them.

            No one would be idiotic enough to ask for untested, infectious people to walk out of isolation and expect it to happen on their say so, and he didn’t.

            Reply
  5. Trevors_elbow

     /  19th June 2020

    Ah Labour…..

    Trevor Mallard got rinsed from his formerly staunch Labour safe seat , Hutt South, by Chris Bishop…because Chris was ready to talk to and advocate for constituents… you know an Electorate MPs job…

    Bishop follows proceess on a constituents request for a compassionate release….

    The Labour controlled government cock up the process and dont test the ladies requesting compassionate release before approving the request for release

    But Labour seem to think it’s not their fault….its Bishops…. and try a hit at Question Time… and of course the neutral speaker seeing the hit is on the guy who beat him in a SAFE Labour seat of course has to have a dirty dig…

    The true nature of Labour is reveal in this little drama…

    Labour are incompetent….Labour love and practice Dirty Politics via false smears even in the House…and of course Labour are never, ever accountable for anything when stuff goes wrong…

    Reply
    • Why, Trevor, what ARE you saying ? 😀

      The women WERE tested; someone asked if they were okay; the standard, worldwide covid test. The answer was yes. So that was all right, off they went.

      Reply
    • Duker

       /  19th June 2020

      “Trevor Mallard got rinsed from his formerly staunch Labour safe seat , Hutt South, by Chris Bishop”
      No he didnt , Mallard won in 2014 and went on list as proposed speakers do in 2017 ( Tolley is on list for National this year)
      Mallard 16,836 Bishop 16,127
      The Green party votes split the left vote as well

      Boundary changes moved NaeNae into Rimutaka seat and the Onslow hill suburbs into Hutt South…only then did Bishop makes his move. The results show the rise in votes for Hipkins as a result

      Reply
      • Trevors_elbow

         /  20th June 2020

        He jumped to the List because he was going to lose….

        He got rinsed ‘Duker’…. and left an outsider with no connection to the electorate to be parachuted in from a cushie State policy role to take the actual rinsing…. Ginny from Silverstream … the lady who didnt know where Homedale was…

        Reply
  6. Duker

     /  19th June 2020

    Remember when National ‘found’ a letter in immigration archives from Cunliffe regarding Donghuia Liu from 2003( when labour were in power) and used it to smear him

    “He said had no plans to resign as Labour leader and denied he had advocated for Donghua Liu, describing the letter as “process inquiry” about the time it was taking for Mr Liu’s application to be processed.

    He said he could not recall meeting Liu and neither could his electorate staff. He said the letter may have written after an immigration agent approached his electorate office.”

    So when National MP ‘hurrys things along’ for people they havent met its OK , but when Labour doing similar and which is done by the electorate staff ( not done personally like Bishop did) its the background for a personal smear.

    No can do two different standards for National when it suits

    https://www.interest.co.nz/news/70461/cunliffes-labour-leadership-under-pressure-letter-shows-he-advocated-donghua-liu-2003

    Reply

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