Seymour slams Super policies

Act MP David Seymour has slammed ‘baby boomers’ (I’m one of those) that he says will “turn our country into a debt-ridden basket case”.

The Spinoff: NZ baby boomers are building a banana republic, and no one gives a shit

The Treasury has made it clear that current superannuation policies will turn our country into a debt-ridden basket case, and yet media remain largely silent and politicians in denial. Young people need to get voting in a hurry, writes David Seymour.

You could be forgiven for missing that the Treasury published its four-yearly Long-term Fiscal Outlook this week (please, please stay with me, I promise this is worth it). The gist of the report is the same as the previous two editions:

If no policy changes are made, by 2060, when current students reach retirement age, government debt will be 206 per cent of GDP.

No matter how well you prepare for retirement, you’ll be living in a banana republic.

No, it’s unlikely to be a republic, New Zealand politicians are as reluctant to deal with ditch the monarchy as they are dealing with escalating superannuation costs.

The reason? Ageing baby boomers who will be more numerous and longer-lived in retirement than any generation before them. Right now there are four working-aged taxpayers supporting every retiree, but by the time current university students retire there will be only two.

Probably – unless eating ourselves to earlier deaths reverses the improving life expectancy trends of recent decades.

The cost of pensions and healthcare as a share of the economy will double, the government will run large deficits, and the international financial community will demand higher interest rates on New Zealand government debt, leading to larger deficits.

John Key and Bill English claim the country can afford the huge increases in costs, or they don’t care about leaving the problem for future governments.

The first way of absorbing the change is to raise taxes by about a quarter, so GST becomes nearly 20 per cent and the top tax rate goes over 40 per cent, along with every other rate being increased by the same proportion. People embarking on their careers now would pay a 25 per cent extra “boomer tax” for being born at the wrong time.

There tends to be a bit of resistance to increasing tax rates, especially by this sort of amount.

Another alternative is extreme productivity growth, the private economy grows faster than ever for longer than ever, and public services become more efficient than ever. We basically trade our way out of this situation and become so rich we can afford all-you-can-eat pensions and healthcare for retiring boomers.

This is the Key/English gamble.

The problem is that pensions are tied to income so getting wealthier just increases the amount paid out.

The final option is to adjust pension entitlements. Follow Australia, the US, UK, Germany, Canada, to name a few, who have increased the retirement age so there are more workers and fewer pension recipients.

Seymour laments the lack of media coverage of the report and the predicted problems – but people have been shouting  about Super unaffordability for a long time, but politician’s ears are deaf to it.

John Key has torpedoed the debate by saying he’d rather resign than raise the pension age, effectively saying to his supporters: choose fiscal sustainability, or me. Labour and the Greens have followed suit, abandoning the policy after the last election. New Zealand First would rather serve yum cha at their party conference than debate the issue.

Almost every political leader is holding their hands up to their ears and chanting, “la la la la la.”

Peter Dunne tried to force a re-evaluation of Super in the last term of the current Government, proposing ‘flexi-super’, but English and Key looked like having no intention of  acting on the ‘discussion document’ that was done as part of their confidence and supply agreement with United Future.

If NZ First holds the balance of power after next year’s election there is now way Winston will allow any cutting back of Super payments for his primary constituency.

National under Key’s leadership is committed to kicking the Super can down the road.

Unless ACT gets a few more seats and is in a balance of power situation and forces National to do something?

That may be what Seymour is angling at.

To have any hope of success I think that Act and Seymour will have to promote Super change (not ‘discussion’) as a core election policy, and they will have to win enough seats to be able to force Key’s hand.

If Act succeeds in the election then the choice may be National+Act with Super reform, or National+NZ First with a booming Super budget with a risk of our economy blowing up (after Winston has retired or died so he won’t care).

I think Seymour has the gumption to have a go at this. Would he get enough support? Will younger people start to vote for Act to try to sort out their not so Super prospects?

Winston Trump

It’s not surprising to see Winston peters trying to piggy back off Donald Trump’s success in the US.

Yahoo: Peters vows to `tip over the trough’

The NZ First leader is outraged because former cabinet minister Tony Ryall has been appointed chairman of Transpower after being a board member since May.

Mr Peters initially said Mr Ryall had been appointed to the board of Trustpower but later changed that to Transpower.

Mr Peters published a list of seven appointments of former MPs and said there had been many more.

“The real issue here, with some exceptions, is how many had no qualifications for these positions,” he said.

“Many of these candidates leave parliament quoting `fresh challengers’ and `new opportunities’ but come back to dip into the public purse.

“New Zealand First intends to tip their trough upside down.”

New Zealand could do with a fresh new face in politics who is prepared to challenge those who have sought and benefited from the baubles of power.

Jeeriatric try hards may have more limited appeal.

NZ lessons from US election

There’s a lot to be learned from the US campaign and election, including here in New Zealand.

Andrew Little is nowhere near being seen as an establishment alternative, and Labour+Greens are campaigning on being a different flavour of same old. Metiria Turei and especially James Shaw don’t stand out as the alternative the masses want.

Winston Peters is trying hard to ride the Trump wave here, and he does have a maverick aspect, but you can’t get much more “same old” and part of the political establishment as Peters.

And while Peters says a lot how much has he actually done this century apart from benefiting from a few baubles and giving pensioners free transport in some areas (not in the regions he claims to champion).

Peters achieved a lot in winning the Northland by-election, but what has he achieved there since? He can hardly campaign there next year on being something different for the far north.

But if National wants to hold their edge in next year’s election they need to do far more than sit on their comfortable economy.

There is growing dissatisfaction with the growing disparity between low and middle income earners. The Prime Minister and all MPs have just had another pay rise of 2.5%, backdated to July – who else gets backdated pay rises these days?

Last year MPs received an increase between 3 and 4 percent after a law change aligning their salaries with public sector pay rises.

http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/317620/mps-given-2-point-5-percent-pay-rise

This is well ahead of ordinary people’s wage growth. It is indexed to high earners rather than average earners. This indicates the wage gap is widening.

The Government ignores this and other growing areas of dissatisfaction at their peril.

Incremental ‘steady as she goes’ has been rejected in Britain and in the US.The people of the Western world are becoming increasingly restless and increasingly annoyed at ‘the establishment’.

Are Key and English capable of being bold reformists? Or will they dice with danger and bank on being returned because they might be a bit better than the other lot?

Once dissatisfaction with the incumbent government sets in it can be very difficult to combat.

Peters – Trump’s immigration policy ‘compelling’

Winston Peters continues to position himself as New Zealand’s version of Donald Trump.

Interesting comments there from Winston in interview with – wouldn’t answer press gallery reporters questions yesterday.

Very interesting – he said he found Trump’s immigration policy “compelling”

While both Trump and Peters share the use of divisive populist policies to attract attention and votes there is one huge difference.

Trumps appeal to many was that he was not part of the political establishment, he was ‘not Washington’.

While Peters keeps playing the maverick card, he couldn’t be much more established as a Wellington politician.

Trump has never stood for office and has never been elected before.

Peters was first elected as a Member of Parliament in 1978. That’s 38 years ago. He has been part of the political furniture for four decades.

Greens versus Donald Trump

In Parliament today on behalf of the Prime Minister Steven Joyce moved a motion in support of the election of the President of the United States.

Hon STEVEN JOYCE: I move, That the House convey its congratulations to President-elect Donald Trump on his election as the next President of the United States, and to Vice-President-elect Mike Pence on his election, and in doing so express our desire to work with the incoming Trump Administration to continue building on New Zealand’s already strong relationship with the United States.

New Zealand will seek to build on this already-strong relationship with the incoming Trump Administration in order to advance our shared interests. In closing, I would also like to pay tribute to the outgoing administration led by President Barack Obama. President Obama has been a good friend to New Zealand, and we wish him all the best in the future.

Hon ANNETTE KING (Deputy Leader—Labour): The Labour Party congratulates Donald Trump on becoming the 45th President of the United States. I also want to congratulate Hillary Clinton, who achieved much in her public life, and who has been a good friend to New Zealand. There is no doubt, over the year-long divisive presidential campaign, that many Americans have been left fearful and concerned as to where they fit in their county. I call on Mr Trump to follow through on his words and pledge last night that it is now time for America to bind the wounds of division, and that he will be the President for all Americans.

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First): A week ago today I was honoured to speak in winegrowing territory in Marlborough, to its chamber of commerce. In a speech entitled “The grapes of wrath”, I predicted what so many experts did not…[lengthy speech along the lines of how what Trump has done should be called ‘doing a Winston’]

MARAMA FOX (Co-Leader—Māori Party): I had three words in mind and they were not those ones. I think they were pot, kettle, and black. Ha! We are here today to offer congratulations to the President-Elect, Donald Trump. Although I find it a little bit difficult, there was a collective sigh this morning and a girding of the loins for the next 4 years across the world. I am a pragmatist at heart. I like to see the silver lining around the clouds.

DAVID SEYMOUR (Leader—ACT): On behalf of the ACT Party, I would like to join with other leaders who have supported the motion congratulating the 45th President-Elect of the United States, Donald Trump. That happens in the context of a long friendship between our two countries and our two peoples. I think it is important that we respect the will of the American people.

In contrast Metiria Turei took a different approach:

METIRIA TUREI (Co-Leader—Green): “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” These are the words of one of the truly great Americans, Martin Luther King Jr.

Yesterday’s result in the US elections has left me and the Green Party even more determined than ever to fight for the values that we believe in. We have generations of families living in poverty; people who face uncertain futures, without proper housing or healthcare or education; and people who do not believe that being involved can make a difference. That is something that we can—that we must—change.

We must use the Trump election as a powerful motivator, a motivator to stay involved in the governance of our country, and to include others in that process; to organise; to be strong; to listen to each other; to speak truth to power; to find hope; and to be kind to each other—to be kind.

So, no, I will not support this motion to congratulate Trump, and neither will the Green Party. We vow to fight the climate change denial, the misogyny, and the racism represented by Trump. We will not let hate triumph. Thank you.


Full transcript: https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/hansard-debates/rhr/combined/HansDeb_20161110_20161110_08

The motion congratulating Donald Trump passed by 106 votes to 14 (the Green MPs).

The Greens are in to making stands based on their principles, and they can say what they like about the incoming president, and snub him if they choose.

But there is a well established democratic principle that even when you disagree with or don’t like political candidates if they are elected by their people then others need to accept this process and attempt at least to engage with and work with whoever leads other countries.

Perhaps this reflects the Greens’ lack of experience in that practicalities of governing situations.

You could shun half the country and half the world on principles, but to successfully govern the reality is you have to be prepared to accept whoever represents other countries and work with them.

Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama accepted that Trump had won the right to govern and Obama pledged to work with Trump to make his transition to power as seamless as possible, as he should.

If Greens became part of a government I wonder who it would work. They seem to not want to associate with many leaders and countries, including some of our biggest trading partners.

‘Coward’s punch’ law

Winston Peters announced last week that a ‘one-punch’ assault should be subject to a separate law.

‘King Hit’ Sentences Far Too Light

Perpetrators of “King hits” should be sentenced to a minimum of eight years if their victims are killed, says New Zealand First.

“We want to send a message. Land one of these cowardly punches, take a life, and you’re behind bars a long time,” New Zealand First Leader and MP for Northland Rt Hon Winston Peters said in a speech to the Police Association in Wellington today.

“There have been too many cases of innocent people dying from a ‘King hit’. Good people have been killed. Families and friends are suffering.

“The ‘King hit’ punch will be defined in law as ‘an event  that is unexpected and unprovoked but of such force to the head that it is likely to cause incapacitation, injury or death’.

“New Zealand First will ensure the length of the sentence will send a message that society will not accept this level of violence,” says Mr Peters.

Calling this type of assault a ‘king hit’ is a mistake. It’s a very cowardly sort of attack.

Is a special law for it necessary, beyond trying to appease a populist support base?

Manslaughter can already result in up to a life sentence, although now sometimes shorter sentences are given. Recently an Invercargill sentenced a ‘man’ to 22 months in prison. Would a longer sentence achieve anything?

Singling out one sort of assault could lead to anomalies in charging and sentencing.

Why is one punch worse than two punches? Two punches followed by a few kicks in the head? Driving a vehicle into a crowd?

Are one-punch sentences too light relative to other assaults? Or is singling them out a  knee-jerk reaction, or trying to appeal to the ‘lock-em-up crowd?

The Otago Daily Times looks at this policy in today’s editorial The full force of the law?

Mr Peters’ king-hit policy must be viewed with eyes wide open, however. This is already election season and the promises, baits, bribes and face-savers are coming in thick and fast: everything from more police, more houses and more affordable houses to less immigration and tax cuts. Crime and punishment is a favourite, and it is all too easy to promote policies which prey on fear and highlight retribution in order to make political mileage.

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of one-punch laws as a deterrent. Is our current legislation really not up to the task? There is undoubtedly debate around sentencing in some cases, but there are also serious questions over whether a one-size-fits-all hard-line approach is desirable. And, if attitudes towards alcohol and issues with anger are at the root of the problem, is such a policy anything more than an ambulance at the bottom of the cliff?

It is clear something needs to be done about alcohol-fuelled violence within our society. For years this newspaper has carried headlines which clearly show the prevalence of the problem, where nights out have resulted in bar fights and street brawls. Indeed, it sometimes seems this is the point of a night out for some.

Although a “quick fix” may be desirable, surely a holistic approach is more sustainable. Populist policy may tick the punishment box, but it doesn’t address the cocktail of other factors driving these crimes: alcohol availability and price, our culture of excess and permissiveness, our “hard-man” image, our focus on rights over responsibilities, and our latent anger and aggression.

All must surely be part of the mix if we are to make a meaningful difference – and help save lives.

Alcohol abuse and violence, especially when combined, is a very serious problem in New Zealand. It is deep rooted in our society, complex and  and difficult to deal with. Singling out one very narrow and infrequent type of assault may attract some votes but it is a very narrow, lazy, populist approach.

It will take a lot more than increasing sentences on specific occasional crimes to address mindless violence and alcohol abuse. Cowards who get pissed don’t care about the consequences for either themselves or their victims.

The message that Winston is sending will do little if anything to improve a problem. It looks like a cynical message to potential voters, not to thugs.

Immigration tweaks announced

Immigration minister Michael Woodhouse has announced some tweaks to immigration numbers.

The “planning range for residence approvals” has barely moved to 85,000 – 95,000 (down from 90,000 – 100,000).

Points required for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category have changed appreciably, up from 140 to 160.

And the number of places for the capped family categories has been reduced significantly, from 5,500 down to 2,000.

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NZH: Failure to pay way prompts halt for parents of migrants wanting to move to NZ

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said concerns parents of migrants were not meeting commitments to financially support themselves had prompted the decision to temporarily close the parent category of migration.

The Government announced today it was trimming the number of migrants getting residency.

The changes included temporarily closing the parent category to new applications and reducing the number of places for family members of migrants from 5500 a year to 2000 a year.

To enter under the parent category, a person must prove they or the child sponsoring them to come to New Zealand has enough income to support them financially.

“I have been concerned about the quality of some of parent category visa applications and the commitments that have been made by both them and their children about support, wherein after gaining residency they are not in a position to sustain themselves,” Woodhouse said.

This addresses one particular issue of concern.

Winston Peters says it’s a knee jerk reaction but barely scratches the surface.  So what does he want, sticking both boots into immigrants?

I would have thought that the immigration rules should be frequently reassessed and tweaked where necessary.

Press release from the Minister:


NZRP changes to strike the right balance

Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse today announced changes to the Government’s New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) for the next two years.

“Migrants make a valuable contribution to New Zealand both culturally and economically, and the Government periodically reviews all our immigration settings to make sure they are working as intended,” Mr Woodhouse says.

“While we are confident our immigration settings are working well, the NZRP is reviewed every couple of years to ensure we have the right number and skill mix of people gaining residence.

“As part of that review, today I am announcing a small change to the total number of people gaining residence.

“We will also be making some changes to better manage the Skilled Migrant and Family Categories at a time when demand for gaining residence under these categories continues to grow.”

“Increasing the points required to gain residence from 140 to 160 will moderate the growth in applications in the Skilled Migrant Category and enable us to lower the overall number of migrants gaining residence.“Changes to the Family Category, including temporarily closing the Parent Category to new applications, will also reduce the total number of migrants being granted residence.

“Raising the points will also prioritise access for higher-skilled SMC migrants, ensuring we strike the right balance between attracting skilled workers that allow companies to grow and managing demand in a period of strong growth.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates the Government is taking a responsible, pragmatic approach to managing immigration.”

Note to Editors:

The New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) sets a planning range for the total number of people approved residence over a multi-year period, and determines the proportion of residence places allocated to the different residence streams in order to balance economic and social benefits.

The NZRP is not a hard cap as within each stream there are both capped and uncapped categories. The three residence streams under the NZRP are Skilled/Business, Family, and International/Humanitarian.

The largest single category is the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) within the Skilled/Business stream, which makes up around half of the entire residence programme.

Sanders/Trump/Brexit syndrome in NZ?

In the US and UK where there’s a lot of disillusionment with politics and parties, as illustrated by strong levels of support for alternatives like Bernie Sanders, Donald Trump, Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn.

Volatile polls suggest there could be a large lump of disgruntlement in New Zealand too, but there is one significant difference here – no political alternative has appealed as much.

NZ First has picked up some of the protest support, but Winston Peters is hardly a breath of fresh air on the political scene here.

waiting

Waiting for the top job…

None of the other alternatives have popular appeal – Andrew Little, Metiria Turei and James Shaw don’t have the maverick attraction of Sanders, Trump, Corbyn.

However Brexit may have a parallel in our flag referendum,

There may be a groundswell of disgruntlement but here there is no one to attach it to.

Brash targeting Peters with racial sledgehammer

I doubt that Don Brash is deliberately being devious with his Hobson’s Pledge ‘anti-separatist’ campaign. It looks like a resurrection of his  claim to infamy from his Orewa speech in 2004 – that sparked a recovery in National party support but National have now dismissed this brash attempt at stirring up race debate again.

NZ Herald: Brash’s new campaign dismissed by political leaders

There is no longer any appetite in New Zealand for a race-based campaign led by former National Party leader Don Brash, political leaders say.

Both National and Labour dismissed Brash’s latest bid to put an end to “preferential treatment” for Maori in New Zealand.

Even the Act Party which Brash used to lead did not endorse the new “Hobson’s Pledge” campaign, which Brash is fronting.

The campaign echoes Brash’s infamous “one law for all” speech at Orewa in 2004 and the Iwi/Kiwi billboards used when he was National Party leader.

National Party campaign chairman Steven Joyce said today that times had changed, and he did not see the new campaign as a threat.

“The difficulty in what he’s focusing on is that most New Zealanders realise we take a very balanced approach to these issues.

While some issues hidden amongst Brash’s rhetoric deserve discussion his sledgehammer approach is a hopeless way to try and achieve anything but elevating angst and anger.

Brash sees one possible ally in Parliament – Winston Peters and NZ First.

Brash said that could put him in the unusual position of donating money to New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who was once a sworn enemy.

“As it stands at the moment, the only political party which is making an issue of this is New Zealand First,” he said.

“Someone with my particular background is not wildly enthusiastic about that.”

Peters probably won’t be wildly enthusiastic about Brash stealing his thunder. Brash is far from being his favourite political activist.

Media have sought a reaction from Peters but so far there seems to have been no response.

Is Brash doing NZ First a favour by highlighting one of Winston’s hobby horses? Or is he going to damage NZ First support?

It’s hard to see whether Brash is trying to deliberately or inadvertently impact on NZ First.

Brash effectively trashed ACT when he hijacked the party in 2011. David Seymour has distanced himself from Brash:

Act Party leader David Seymour said there were aspects of Hobson’s Pledge that he agreed with. He opposed the creation of specific Maori positions within local government and Resource Management Act proposals which give iwi a new role in consenting decisions.

But Act’s position on Maori issues were changing, he said.

“If you look at where Act’s going today … partnership schools have been overwhelmingly endorsed by Maori.

“If it came down a choice between scrapping Maori seats and reforming education so that people have real choice … I don’t need to tell you which is Act’s priorities these days.”

What’s more effective in politics, pandering to populist racial intolerance, or achieving actual results?

Despite a support surge after his Orewa speech Brash ended up failing in 2005, and he nearly destroyed ACT in 2011.

Working with Maori on positive education initiatives, as Seymour is doing, seems to be a far better approach than inflaming and dividing – an ironic but inevitable effect of Brash’s blunt ‘one people’ ideal.

Stuff: John Key: Kiwis uninterested in ‘broken record’ attacks on Maori favouritism

Kiwis are not interested in Don Brash’s “broken record” of attacks on Maori favouritism, Prime Minister John Key says.

Key says he is unworried by the launch of an “anti-separatism” campaign fronted by the former National Party leader, intended to pressure politicians into opposing preferential treatment of Maori.

Key said he was not worried about the campaign, which was part of the democratic process, and believed most Kiwis “want to live in a harmonious New Zealand”.

“It’s sort of pretty much a broken record from Don, but I think New Zealanders have seen in the last decade what’s taken place, they’ve seen that ultimately as Treaty partners, Maori and the Crown have to work together and actually we’re a stronger country for doing that.”

Key did not believe there was separatism in New Zealand, but said the Crown had “legal obligations” to Maori which it had to follow.

“They have certain rights which are bestowed upon them and we have to honour the court rulings for doing that…if we don’t do that, the courts rule against us.”

 

Peters v The Speaker cont.

The ongoing spat between Winston Peters and Speaker David Carter has continued in Parliament this week, with Peters thrown out two days in a row. With him it’s hard to know if it is deliberate grandstanding, or if his frustration at the Speaker’s rulings or a lack of impact in the House is getting the better of him.

After yesterday’s ejection Peters said that Carter was a bully – perhaps that’s another attempt to try and tap into the populist issues of the day.

petersleavethehouse

Newshub: Parliament’s Speaker is a bully – Winston Peters

The first was for uttering the word “crap” – which he doesn’t think is that bad.

“Crap is not a swearword,” he said.

And he says the reason he was thrown out was because he thinks Speaker David Carter is bullying him.

“Don’t get up there and think you’re going to bully me out of my fundamental rights,” was his message to Mr Carter.

But…

…Mr Carter said the use of the word wasn’t the issue, it’s Mr Peters’ behaviour – and his second turfing of Mr Peters showcased it. 

“Whilst on my feet he actually yelled out for me to sit down while he wanted to speak. You cannot run Parliament with Members of Parliament showing that little respect for the Speaker.”

I’ve seen Peters getting petulant and trying to tell the Speaker what to do before.

And here’s the transcript:


Whānau Ora, Minister—Statements

9. DARROCH BALL (NZ First) to the Minister for Whānau Ora: Does he stand by all his statements?

Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL (Minister for Whānau Ora): Āe, i te wā e kōrerohia ana.

[Yes, at the time it was being discussed.]

Darroch Ball: Does he stand by his answer on measures of effectiveness provided to justify the increase in funding to Whānau Ora, that “The increase in funding for Whānau Ora … was subject to a cost-benefit analysis consistent with other Budget 2016 social sector initiatives.”?

Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL: Āe.

Darroch Ball: How could he possibly use the cost-benefit analysis as justification for an increase in funding, when that cost-benefit analysis clearly states that the “benefits achieved through Whānau Ora are difficult to capture using cost-benefit analysis.”?

Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL: Arā anō ngā momo toronga o Whānau Ora.

[Whānau ora has other forms of extensions.]

Tracey Martin: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. Can we confirm that there is a translation going on?

Mr SPEAKER: Certainly—[Interruption] Order! There is a translation, and it would be helpful if members listened to it.

Hon TE URUROA FLAVELL: E tika ana kia whai ahau ā-Minita nei i tēnei kaupapa o te cost-benefit analysis. Kua eke a Whānau Ora ki tērā taumata, kāre he rere kētanga ki ētahi atu Tari Kāwanatanga. Ko taua āhua anō, ka whakamātauria ia tau, ia tau, ia tau.

[It is proper that I, as a Minister, follow due process in this matter about cost-benefit analysis. Whānau ora has achieved that standard; it is no different from any other Government department. It is that situation again, there is an annual audit each year.]

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. This Minister was asked as to how he could make that statement, given that he had on record, from a Government department, a statement about the impossibility of a cost-benefit analysis in the way it was being put in his answer. He was asked how he could say that against that official information that he got, and he did not in any way try to answer the question.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! No, the question was not as the member has now summarised it; it was somewhat different, and, as I listened to the answer, the answer addressed the question that was asked.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. So, just to clarify your ruling, are you saying that what I heard from the Minister was not what he said?

Mr SPEAKER: No, let me try to clarify for the benefit of the member. The question that the member, Winston Peters, suggested was asked was not exactly the same as Darroch Ball asked. I listened to what Darroch Ball asked, and I have ruled that the answer given by the Hon Te Ururoa Flavell has addressed that question. That is the end of the matter. There is not much point in continuing on.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. With respect, I helped draft this question, so I know what is in it.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! The member will resume his seat. [Interruption] Order! I have ruled that the question has been addressed. The member does not have to agree with that, but he has to accept it. We will move to further supplementary questions; otherwise I am quite happy to move to the next question.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Order! I am certainly not going to entertain a further point of order from the Rt Hon Winston Peters contesting my ruling, and if he does so, I will be asking him to leave the Chamber.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker.

Mr SPEAKER: Point of order. Can I just—[Interruption] Order! [Interruption] Order! The member will resume his seat. I just want to be—[Interruption] Sit down. Resume your seat, please. I just want to be absolutely clear—[Interruption] Order! I want to be absolutely clear. I have given the member a warning that I am not prepared to tolerate him continuing to raise a point of order that is challenging a ruling I have just given. If the member wishes to seek a fresh point of order on a completely different matter, that is a right that he has, and I will listen to it, but if I—[Interruption] Order! If I detect for—

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Oh, Mr Speaker, sit down and let me—[Interruption]—put my point of order.

Mr SPEAKER: The member will leave the Chamber—[Interruption] The member will leave the Chamber.

Rt Hon Winston Peters withdrew from the Chamber.