GUEST BLOG: Bryan Bruce – Pettiness and Pathetic Behaviour at Parliament this week

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National played petty politics this week at what was meant to be the first meeting of the year of Parliament’s powerful Finance and Expenditure Select Committee.

A quorum for the meeting is 7. The National MPs who were there could have made up that quorum but choose to stand outside in the corridor so the meeting would collapse for a lack of numbers within 10 minutes of the appointed time for the meeting.

As a result of the standoff about 15 submitters, some of whom were citizens who had travelled to Wellington to have their say on the Government’s Budget Policy Statement and the Pike River Recovery Agency, were not heard and there was no apology to these incovenieced people from either party.

If you go to parliament’s web site it drips with information on how you can be involved in your democracy.

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There is talk from Labour of a new era – the politics of kindness.

Neither of these things -democractic involvement nor kindness – were evident today at parliament.

We pay our politicians very good salaries.

We don’t expect some to be late for meetings and for others to stand in the corridor to prevent meetings taking place.

Today’s behaviour was as pathetic as it was petty

PS : For the record

The Labour members supposed to be present
( according to the parliamentary web site) are:

Michael Wood ( Chairman)
Kiritapu Allan
Tamiti Coffey ( who apparently was sick and replacement found)
Willow-Jean Prime
Deborah Russell
Duncan Webb

The NZ First member is Fletcher Tabuteau

The National members are

David Carter
Judith Collins
Ian McKelvie
Andrew Bayley
Amy Adams

And ACT’s David Seymour

PPS: By the way – anybody know why the Greens are not represented on this important committee?
They don’t ask questions in parliament anymore. Have the given up committee work too? or were they just not invited by their coalition partner?

Bryan Bruce is one of NZs most respected documentary makers and public intellectuals who has tirelessly exposed NZs neoliberal economic settings as the main cause for social issues.