Q+A repeats Nikki Kaye

Curiously after Nikki Kaye featured in an interview on education on The Nation yesterday she is also the lead interview on Q+A this morning, also talking about education.

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, sitting and indoor

It looks like National is deliberately trying to distance the party and the Government from the Barclay domination of the last couple of weeks.

Education Minister Nikki Kaye is our lead interview this week. Is our education system doing its best for our kids?

I think Kaye comes across much better as a politician than either Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern (who Kay beat twice in the Auckland Central electorate), and National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett who interesting National hasn’t put forward for the weekend interviews.

She again sounds very much on top of her portfolio.

Kaye, Kaye, Kaye

Nikki Kaye was first elected to Parliament in 2008, winning what had been the long time (since 1925) Labour seat, Auckland Central. Kaye beat Jacinda Ardern in the next two elections.

While Ardern has risen in the media Kaye has more quietly risen in Government. She received some publicity last year when she had to have treatment for breast cancer.

Yesterday in a Cabinet reshuffle Kay was promoted to be Minister For Education, a difficult portfolio especially for in a National Government, the education unions sometimes look like branch offices of Labour. Any education reform is usually fought against strongly by the teachers alongside Labour.

NZ Herald gave Kaye’s promotion yesterday quite a bit of attention (notably compared to Stuff who went Brownlee, Brownlee, Brownlee).

Prime Minister Bill English reveals new-look Cabinet

Nikki Kaye and Gerry Brownlee are the big winners in a Cabinet reshuffle announced by Prime Minister Bill English this afternoon.

As expected, Kaye is the new Education Minister, replacing Hekia Parata.

Given Kaye’s preparation as Associate Minister, and signals (or assumptions) it would have been a shock if she wasn’t promoted to the role.

As Associate Education Minister, Kaye was well placed to take over the education portfolio, English said. She had a particular interest in the subject and brought energy and enthusiasm to the role.

The reshuffle winners

Nikki Kaye (Education Minister)

Has coveted the role of Education Minister since entering Parliament in 2008, and now has it after returning to Parliament this year following breast cancer treatment.

Was the obvious choice given her work as Associate Education Minister since January 2013, which has included overhauling how school property is managed and the construction of new schools and classrooms as Auckland’s population booms.

Has stood at Hekia Parata’s shoulder during recent media standup and now takes over reforms that are the biggest since 1989 and are only partially complete.

If National are re-elected, Kaye will be in charge when debate and opposition really heat up when proposals such as replacing the decile system with targeted funding for “at risk” students come closer to reality in 2020. In the meantime, Labour will go after education and new minister in election year.

NOW: Education Minister, Youth Minister.
WAS: Youth Minister, Associate Education Minister.

Nicholas Jones: Nikki Kaye the right choice for Education Minister but challenges ahead

Any Education Minister can expect to be unpopular with many in the sector, particularly one in a National-led Government.

Kaye is well regarded by those in the sector, but education will be a major battleground in election year and comes with guaranteed controversy and fierce lobbying from education unions.

And the baton being passed from Parata is heavier than normal – this Government is midway through the biggest education reforms since 1989.

While some changes have passed into law many of the biggest are still to come, including replacing the decile funding system with a new model that pays a per student amount depending on how many “at risk” students a school has.

Simon Collins: Kaye: I feel better than I’ve felt in years

New Education Minister Nikki Kaye says she plans to be a “modernising” minister.

Kaye, 37, will be the youngest female Education Minister in New Zealand’s history and says that as part of the “millennial” generation she comes without the ideological “baggage” that previous National Party ministers have brought to the role – especially in their frequent battles with teacher unions.

Instead, she is passionate about new technology, which has already been her responsibility since she became an associate education minister in 2013.

“I think I have already, as associate minister, had quite a focus in terms of modernisation of the portfolio, and you can expect to see more of that in the future,” she said.

“There are obviously some areas I feel very passionately about. The impact of new technology in education is one area, but obviously next week and in the coming weeks you will hear more about my priorities.”

She worked for current Prime Minister Bill English as a policy analyst in 2002, then as a policy officer for two local councils in London, then managed a transport programme for disabled people and worked in information technology at Halifax Bank of Scotland.

She returned to New Zealand in 2007 and won Auckland Central for the National Party for the first time in 2008.

“I think I’m very pragmatic as a person, and I’m very collaborative, I naturally want to work with others to find a solution. All I ask is that we have a respectful relationship where there are no surprises and where we work constructively where we can and disagree where we disagree.”

Kaye took leave from Parliament last September after she was diagnosed with breast cancer, but she said her doctors had cleared her to return to work. She came third in her division in a recent race running, cycling and swimming around Motutapu and Rangitoto Islands.

“It’s great to get back into exercise,” she said. “I feel better than I’ve felt in years.”

Video: Watch: Nikki Kaye gets education

One Little tax for tourists…

…but it was described as a levy so maybe it doesn’t count.

Three weeks ago Labour said that “Labour would definitely not increase taxes”, but yesterday Andrew Little said that he supported a tourist tax.

Newshub (11 March 2017): Labour has no plans to raise taxes – Andrew Little

Labour’s not planning on going into this year’s election with a policy to raise taxes, says leader Andrew Little.

Speaking to The Nation on Saturday morning, Mr Little said Labour’s spending promises can be paid for out of existing tax revenue.

After the interview, a Labour spokesperson contacted Newshub to clarify Labour would definitely not increase taxes.

But yesterday, in response to a The Nation interview with Minister of Tourism Paula Bennett, Little says that he wants a ‘tourist tax’.

NZ Herald: Labour leader Andrew Little calls for tourist tax

Labour leader Andrew Little wants a “tourist tax” charged at the border to help pay for tourism infrastructure, rejecting Tourism Minister Paula Bennett’s concerns it risked making New Zealand look like a “rip-off.”

Little said a “modest” levy would be ring-fenced to pass on to local councils to use on tourism-related infrastructure.

He rejected Bennett’s suggestion New Zealand risked being seen as a “rip-off” if it added too many extra costs. “We are in desperate need of new infrastructure. A reasonable sum paid at the border is a more efficient way of getting infrastructure built and making sure tourists don’t s*** all over our free camping areas and our beaches.”

Little said it would be simple to add the levy – since 2015 there has been a levy of about $22 to pay for border control added to the cost of a ticket. In its first five months, that had generated $27.72 million – well above the forecast income of $20.22 million.

It would be simple for a Government to add a lot little levies.

Little needs to be careful what he proposes and supports before thinking it through in relation to commitments made.

 

“People love Jacinda” and headline hacks

Praise piled on think for Jacinda Ardern:

People love Jacinda. National can’t understand it, but they do.

I can see what National was trying to do – get Ardern’s equal, Kaye, to lead the attack.

It is all routine attack politics but it may well be failing. It has let Ardern grab the moral high ground which fits with her brand of a “new style of politics”.

We will discover in the coming weeks and months just how popular Ardern is and how powerful Brand Jacinda can become.

You might think that can from The Standard or Chris Trotter or Martyn Bradbury, or from Labour Party PR, but no, it is from an ‘opinion’ piece of journalist Patrick Gower.

Major media (not just Gower) seem to be trying to talk Ardern up into some sort of phenomenon.

Is Arderrn an equal of Nikki Kaye? Kaye has beaten Ardern twice in what had been a safe Labour seat, Auckland Central.

The above quotes are cherry picked but there is more context, trying to portray National as panicked in fear of the threat of Ardern – something that has been claimed at The Standard  see Nats’ attack on Ardern backfires.

The way National has revved up its attack machine to take on Jacinda Ardern shows just how worried they are.

But what should be more worrying for National is that the attacks are backfiring and may be empowering Brand Ardern rather than weakening it.

First, Nikki Kaye had a go in Parliament saying Ardern was all show and no substance.

Then Paula Bennett tried to double-team Ardern on the AM Show this morning by saying she was “condescending” in her response to Kaye’s condescending attacks – which only served to make Bennett look condescending.

It is all a tactic of course. It shows us National is worried about Jacinda. And it makes them look more than a little desperate.

I’ve been around Parliament for a while and the “attack” by Kaye on Ardern wasn’t really up to much in my view – Labour called John Key out in a similar way for years for being all photo ops and no substance.

But it was the way Ardern’s supporters leapt to her defence which shows she potentially has that untouchable aura that National should recognise all too well – because John Key had the very same thing.

People love Jacinda. National can’t understand it, but they do. People loved John Key. Labour couldn’t understand it – but they did.

For years Labour and the left attacked John Key and it only made him stronger.

Now National faces the danger that its attacks on Ardern will only make her stronger.

It may just be that Brand Jacinda is the same as Brand Key – no wonder National is so panicked.

One thing about them is the same – their first names begin with ‘J’.

We will discover in the coming weeks and months just how popular Ardern is and how powerful Brand Jacinda can become.

Is Ardern really as big a threat to National as John Key was to Labour?

Key was elected at his first attempt (to a safe Helensville seat) in 2002. Four years later he became Leader of the Opposition, and in another two years in 2008 election he led National to victory.

Ardern lost her first election (in Waikato) in 2008, then lost two elections to Kaye in 2011 and 2014 but got in each time on Labour’s list. After eight years in Parliament she was appointed Labour’s deputy leader.

Do National fear the rise of Ardern? I’m sure they are wary of what effect she may have in this year’s election.

It’s not unusual for parties to criticise opponents, often far more than Kaye and Bennett have done this week.

Bennett herself has often been attacked and criticised, in part because she has been suggested as a possible future leader and Prime Minister.

Judith Collins has also been hammered by Labour – Phil Goff travelled to China to try to find dirt to use against her, and she started defamation proceedings against Trevor Mallard and Andrew Little in 2012 – see Judith Collins defamation case settled.

Collins had been seen as a prospective leader for National.

So the reaction against National by some political opponents, saying a bit of criticism in Parliament is unfair and panicky, should be viewed with a bit of ‘same old politics’ in a relatively mild way.

But why are journalists like Gower supporting the ‘poor Jacinda, Jacinda is great!’ meme?

It may be panic on their part – panic that Bill English and Andrew Little will be too boring for them, another meme some of the media keep pushing.

Perhaps that’s why they have chosen to promote Ardern – not so much as a politician but as a celebrity.

New Zealand politics is served poorly by headline hacks who confuse journalism with political activism.

Kaye versus Ardern

If Jacinda Ardern thought she wouldn’t have to contend with Nikki Kay again after she moved to the Mt Albert electorate – they competed for Auckland Central for the last two elections – she was mistaken.

Today in Parliament Kaye took a major swipe at Ardern in the General Debate.

I think the phrase that I would give New Zealanders is: you have got one party of substance, of significant initiatives delivering for New Zealand, compared with a superficial cosmetic facelift. I want to talk about the deputy leadership of the Labour Party.

We lost Annette King. I want to acknowledge Annette King. She has been a brilliant member of Parliament. She is someone who has huge respect across the House. And we got Jacinda Ardern.

Now, I have been based in Auckland Central for 8 years. I struggle to name anything that Jacinda has done.

What I can say is that a great example is when Kevin Hague and I developed an adoption law reform bill. We spent a year on that bill; we put it in the ballot.

Jacinda Ardern did a one-line bill telling the Law Commission to write the law for her.

On her first day in the job as deputy leader, on one of the biggest issues confronting our generation, Generation X and Generation Y—on the issue of superannuation affordability—where was she?

She had made a whole lot of statements previously about the importance of raising the age, and Jacinda Ardern was nowhere to be seen. She had cut and run on the biggest issue facing our generation, and that is another example of what is a whole lot of photo ops—yes, she will be across every billboard, but she absolutely failed our generation on her first day on the job.

It looks like National have decided to try and unsettle Ardern, who may have thought everything was smoothly going to plan. Until today.

Kay continued later in her speech.

This is a Labour Party that thinks the only way that it can get into Government is to totally get rid of all of its policies and to make sure that has got some nice fancy new billboards and some photo ops—compared with a Government that is prepared to make the hard decisions, that is investing in infrastructure, and that is investing more than a third more in schools.

And again:

You have got significant investments happening across social housing, and you have got a Labour Party—the main Opposition—that thinks the way that it can win is to have no policy, to have a superficial facelift, and to have another person on the billboards.

I do want to acknowledge that this election will be fought on some of the big issues for Generation X and Generation Y, and in my view it is this side of the House that is confronting those issues, and that side that is failing.

Ardern wasn’t present but responded to media later.

NZ Herald: Gloves off: National MPs target Labour’s Jacinda Ardern in series of attacks

Ardern was not in the debating chamber at the time, but said she saw the debate on television.

She said her and Kaye had made an agreement when they ran against each in Auckland Central to only talk about issues and not make personal attacks.

“I’ve stuck to that,” Ardern said.

Newshub: Nikki Kaye launches war of words on Jacinda Ardern

Jacinda Ardern was surprised at the attack, and told Newshub “It’s certainly not a style of politics I’ve seen her use before”.

“Nikki and I have run against each other in Auckland Central for a number of years and usually pretty much stuck to the issues and avoided making it personal. I’m going to stick to that.”

“I’m going to stick with the way I like to do politics, and it’s making sure that you keep away from making it too personal. But each to their own.”

Electorate contests are more one to one and personal, especially when candidates campaign together as Ardern did with Green MY Julie Anne Genter in Mt Albert.

But Ardern should have been aware that by stepping up into a deputy leadership role, and promoting herself as the new face of the party, she was getting into a highly competitive high stakes level of politics.

Voters look for leaders who look like they can lead, not just look and be nice.

Kaye is stepping up to higher levels of responsibility as a Minister, and also as a party representative.

Ardern may need to toughen up and shape up.

Nikki Kaye

National MP and Minister Nikki Kaye announced via twitter and Facebook this morning that she has been diagnosed with breast cancer and will take leave of absence from her portfolios.

On Friday I was told that I have breast cancer. It was devastating news for me and my family.

Having the opportunity to serve NZ as the MP for Auckland central and a cabinet minister continues to be a huge privilege. I have always worked hard and given everything I have to both roles. I told the PM on Friday and I took a leave of absence from my ministerial portfolios. The PM has appointed acting ministers to cover my portfolios.

I will also be putting plans in place to ensure my electorate office has additional support during this time to ensure my constituents continue to get good support with their personal issues, policy ideas or queries. I am fortunate to have wonderful hardworking staff and National party colleagues who are helping ensure this support is there for my constituents.

I feel so lucky to have such an amazing family and group of friends who are giving me buckets of love and have been so strong helping me work through this. I also want to acknowledge the PM who has been hugely caring and supportive.

During this time I would be really grateful to have a bit of space and privacy while I get treatment and focus on getting well.

This is very sad news.

However Kaye happens to be just one person diagnosed with cancer. There are around 600 deaths a year from this form of cancer, although it isn’t common under 50 – Kaye is one of the younger MPs at 36 years old. Depending on the type survival rates are improving. Being younger gives her a better chance of survival.

Website: Breast Cancer Foundation

Empathy in electorate offices

This sort of arrogant ‘Labour good, National bad’ claim continues to repel common sense people from Labour.

Te Reo Putake

It’s important to remember that local MP’s have a job to do in their communities and if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP.

Or, if you live in the north, from your NZF MP, who I’m told has revitalised the electorate offices up there.

This not only disses David Seymour, Peter Dunne and Te Ururoa Flavell, it could be seen as a swipe at any Green ambitions of going for electorate seats

This was commenting on his own post Stick a Fork in Him, He’s Dunne in which he said:

The biggest loser is obviously Peter Dunne who is going to be an ex MP if the Green Party don’t stand a candidate in Ohariu.

…long time reliable sycophant Peter Dunne twist in the wind.

Dunne’s history is one of disloyalty and self serving behaviour.

If Labour need to talk to Dunne to get the last seat needed to form a coalition this sort of long standing abuse won’t help their case.

So how rattled is National? I reckon they’re shitting bricks myself. Not just because they are going to lose the ever reliable doormat Dunne, but because there’s every chance the Maori party will cease to be as well.

That’s not because of the Greens/Labour pact, but because interwebs/mana are no longer a credible party. Annette Sykes may well stand again in Wairiki, but she won’t get 5000 votes this time around and Te Ururoa  Flavell’s majority will suffer as a result.

No Flavell, no maori Tories.

Another coalition option burnt off. Do Labour Greens really think they won’t need anyone else?

And what’s to say the Greens won’t get the same treatment if Labour only need them and they are desperate – will Labour through them a few crumbs? It would be more than they’ve done before I suppose.

But back to “if you want an empathetic hearing in your local electorate office, that’ll only come from a Labour MP”.

On Paul Henry this morning  – Greens-Labour deal ‘nothing new’ – King – Nikki Kay said:

…as the MP for Auckland Central through my electorate office I’ve done quite a lot in terms of people being homeless in central Auckland.

I’ve gone down and visited Wynard Quarter people who have been in sort of caravans and things down there and it’s really complex, people have many different situations.

…I’ve literally had people in my office and they’ve said for various reasons that’s where they want to be. And sometimes there might be mental health issues, sometimes there might be a range of other reasons why the temporarily want to be somewhere.

Not good enough for TRP.

On that same Paul Henry segment Annette King also dissed ‘bland Peter Dunne”.

She’s deputy to Andrew Little. In contrast they must be as colourful as cooked cabbage who think they only need some Greens to go with them.

On the same Standard thread Colonial Viper:

Dunne ain’t ever supporting a Labour coalition government again. Not after the vitriol Labour has poured on Dunne for years now.

As if they can afford to be that selective. They seem to have thought dumping on Dunne and getting him out of parliament by any means was a pathway to power.

What does Dunne think about it?

Now has jumped on the bandwagon. She says is “bland”. Time to prove us wrong Peter.

Ha! Hardly worth replying to a wet bus ticket slap from someone of so little substance or consequence

I think it’s time hung up his bow tie..Your now just an angry little man with pretty good hair

 I happen to be one of calmest & relaxed people you could meet – I just have an intolerance of idiocy and stupidity

TRP is not stupid, he knows that you can burn off all sorts of potentially useful people and the voters will still think you deserve to be in power on your own. So much empathy.

Or something.

Collins – police and Gay Pride

Judith Collins walked with police during Saturday’s Gay Pride parade in Auckland.

So thrilled to be supporting & Dept of Corrections in today’s

cbo_oxwucaassvr

NZ Herald reports that Judith Collins criticised for walking in Auckland Pride Parade

A spokeswoman for Ms Collins said the police had invited her to take part a month ago “in support of their ‘theme of diversity of people and roles in police’.”

“She was pleased that she was able to attend and was very happy to support police in the parade.”

Ms Collins went with the police rather than fellow National MPs Nikki Kaye and Chris Bishop and a National Party float featuring a rainbow of balloons.

During the parade, Ms Collins tweeted photos of herself arm in arm with two officers, writing: “so proud to be supporting @nzpolice and Dept of Corrections in today’s #PrideParade.” She also tweeted a photo of a line of police along the side of the parade holding back protesters, one of whom was carrying a sign that said “**** the police”.

Some weren’t happy the police took part.

The protesters were objecting to the police taking part in the parade, claiming alleged ill treatment of transgender inmates. They held up the parade by about an hour.

They may have some valid grievances about how transgender inmates are treated but disrupting a parade and everyone involved in it seems to be ill-judged.

This follows protests directed at John Key in the Big Gay Out last week. If it becomes a trend it is a concern – should participants in any event be vetted in case a minority doesn’t weant them to take part?

Trevor Mallard thought it was ok for the Police and Corrections to take part.

Mr Mallard said he understood the protesters felt marginalised but it was good Police, Defence and Corrections now took part in the parade. “I think it’s a sign of enormous progress that it’s okay for police to march. I don’t agree with the people who were protesting.”

But he protested about Collins marching with them.

Labour has criticised Police Minister Judith Collins for marching with police at the Pride Parade, saying it was “clear politicisation and totally inappropriate”.

Labour MP Trevor Mallard made the comment on Twitter after Ms Collins took part in the police contingent at the march. He later told NZME that while it was good the police took part in the parade, having the minister with them went “beyond the boundaries of what’s appropriate”.

“She’s not a police officer and constabulary independence is something that is very important. I think it was poor judgment to be part of a police march. It’s a matter of perception as well as fact, and being part of a public march as part of a police team undermines that.”

Andrew Little added to this criticism.

“It was totally inappropriate for her to be there as part of the police contingent. The police department is a special department which is constitutionally independent of the Government of the day and she should not have been anywhere near serving police officers, even in an event such as the Pride Parade.”

“It reflects poorly on Judith Collins who should have known her constitutional obligation to remain independent of the police. It is not an excuse that she got an invitation — she is not a newcomer to Cabinet and I think the New Zealand public are entitled to expect the highest standards of constitutional propriety from her.”

Perhaps there is some Ministerial convention that frowns on Collins’ participation but I fail to see what the problem is here. It seems to be another case of Labour picking lame and probably counter-productive battles.

Nikki Kaye tweeted from the parade:

Feb 19
With Louisa Wall at LGBTI Love ain’t political❤️

cbopcr5uyaape8d

So some MPs from opposing parties were able to join in the camaraderie of the event. Kaye and Wall worked together on the marriage equality bill.

But Kaye also expressed disappointment with the criticisms:

Pretty gutted with labour on this one. As ministers we attend events all the time to support the agencies we are responsible for.

has no bearing on their operational independence. Championing diversity&creating change takes leadership-it’s great she marched

responded:

Police + Justice system have different arrangements. As a Minister you should not only understand but stand up for what is right

And Kaye replied:

not disputing different arrangements..just don’t agree that a minister marching for human rights compromises independence

It seems that Politic Egos have interfered with Gay Pride.

Mallard had marched and been photographed with placards recognising his support of the Homosexual Reform Bill thirty years ago.

labour-gay-pride-parade-16-620x413

Good on him for that.

Why couldn’t he let the Police, Corrections and Collins celebrate the normalising of common sexual preferences?

Peters a million dollar muck raker?

After acting indignant about a minor dig from John Key in Parliament that he either took major exception to or saw it as an excuse for getting some media attention – see Peters back to barrel scraping  – Winston Peters has proven he is as adept as any politician in making up allegations.

In Question Time on Wednesday Key suggested that Peters spent time in his Northland electorate on his boat fishing – “Not if you count time in your electorate being on a boat, fishing”.

Just prior to that Peters had himself made a claim without proof (and unprovable) – “is it not a fact that I have spent more time in my electorate in the space of just 9 months than he has for the whole time he has been an MP in his electorate?”

Peters followed this up with a $100k challenge to Key to prove his jibe. Key declined.

Then yesterday Peters made the headlines again.

Winston Peters demands explanation after being barred from school bus

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters is demanding an explanation from the Education Minister — after being barred from travelling on a school bus.

In a press release titled, “Minister throws Peters off bus”, the MP for Northland said he was today scheduled to visit the Mangakahia Area School, which is at Titoki about 23km northwest of Whangarei.

The community there has been campaigning against the amount of dust thrown up from unsealed roads.

However, Ministry of Education officials informed organisers that the NZ First leader would not be able to join the children on their school bus, as planned.

He suspected that directive came from the National Party, that “will stop at nothing to thwart the Northland MP from doing his job”.

“Minister of Education Hekia Parata must provide answers as to today’s appalling and disgraceful decision-making.”

So Peters has accused the National Party of interfering. This is from his press release:

Northland Bus Ban Just Petty Bullying

Banning Northland MP Rt Hon Winston Peters from a bus was an act of petty bullying by the government, the MP says.

“For Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye and ministry officials to claim my presence would breach a certificate of loading is bizarre.

“This is a government pushing their officials to tell porkies, to cover up a nightmare of political decision making that went so horribly wrong. They bullied the bus company.

“For the Associate Minister to say, as the media reported, that there were safety concerns if a bunch of politicians went on board with the schoolchildren is absurd.

“This was about one MP, who is a former teacher, has a police clearance, and was invited by parents and a school principal, being banned for political reasons.

“Now we have the government resorting to a cover-up described appropriately by broadcaster Willie Jackson and his commentator today as Busgate – that’s when those in power lie to cover up wrongdoings.

There’s serious repeated accusations of lying to cover to cover something up.

Radio NZ reported:  The wheels on the bus grind to a halt for Peters

Mr Peters was going to take a trip on a school bus in his Northland electorate today but was stopped from doing so after the Education Ministry alerted Associate Education Minister Nikki Kaye’s office.

Ms Kay said it was an operational decision based on safety concerns, not a political one.

The Herald explained:

Kim Shannon, the Ministry of Education’s head of the education infrastructure service, said its transport agent had been advised by Ritchies that Mr Peters wanted to travel on the bus.

“Ritchies had health and safety concerns about this. Under the terms of Ritchie’s contract, they are not able to carry adults or any other ineligible passengers without our permission.”

The bus is a 20-seater vehicle and Ritchies advised that it carried 20 primary and secondary aged students on it.

“Our transport agent advised us that carrying Mr Peters and other adults in his party would placed the company at risk of exceeding the limits of the Certificate of Loading and could mean not all children would get seats,” Ms Shannon said.

“As this request was made at such short notice, it wasn’t possible to ensure that we could ensure the health and safety of the children on the bus under these circumstances. We informed our agent to turn down the request.”

If more notice had been given Mr Peters may have been allowed on the bus, Ms Shannon said.

In John Key turns down Winston Peters’ challenge to find a photo of him fishing in Northland Stuff reported:

Peters says Key should apologise, “pay $100,000 to a Northland charity of my choosing, and stop wasting Parliament’s Question Time with such blatant untruths.”

If Peters thinks a jibe in Question Time is worth $100k how much should he have to pay if his accusations of lying are blatant untruths?

Peters is well known for making things up to attack MPs and not substantiating his accusations.

Does this make him a million dollar muck raker? Or can he back up his claims of Ministers lying with some substance?

Another point – I can’t see any indication when this bus saga happened. Monday was a public holiday and Peters was in Parliament at least on Tuesday and Wednesday, so when was he denied a school bus ride, and why was the story put out yesterday?

Whale Oil Edgelered

Cameron Slater has been running a campaign against Nikki Kaye and Vic Crone on Whale Oil – and yes, it’s fair to wonder if this is a paid for campaign or personal spite.

Today Slater claimed that “Nikki Kaye keeps getting it wrong”.

WOEdgelered1

WOEdgelered2

WOEdgelered3

But along came Graeme Edgeler:

WOEdgelered4

That’s called being Edgelered.

(Thanks for the tip PK)