It’s been a full-on week. So much happening and so many issues : Ministers in Select Committees, long debates in the House on the Telco Bill, announcements in Christchurch, the Te Tai Tokerau by-election and of course dear Alasdair. Here’s a few extra snippets from question time this week that you may not have picked up.
John Key ruled out implementing the Queensland regulatory standards for mine safety as an interim measure despite mouthing off to an Australian newspaper about Pike River and family members of Pike River miners calling for increased mine inspection.
Paula Bennett repeated that she thinks any job is a good job, citing the example of a “young woman, who at 52 years of age was proud to be a checkout chick”, while at the same time revealing she’s up to her neck in the government’s revisiting of youth rates.
Annette King asked the PM why he was prepared to wine, dine, chauffeur, change the law and suck up to Warner Bros to save jobs in the movie industry and now the gambling industry, but but has turned his back on hard-working railway workers who can build wagons and carriages in New Zealand and keep their jobs? Guess what, no answer.
Kate Wilkinson told Jacinda Ardern that the government has a cogent plan, which when probed, said it was basically about building a stronger economy. Doh.
Nick Smith told us that training workplace health and safety representatives was a “touchy feely notion”, despite his government expressing concerns about NZ’s high workplace deaths and injuries and saying employee participation in health and safety is critical.
Kate Wilkinson said she was aware that for “those people on the minimum wage we are aware budgeting is tight”, but ruled out increasing the minimum wage calling $15 an hour ”a high minimum wage”.
David Cunliffe asked if the PM thought the public would be pleased to learn that without any mandate, his government has budgeted $6 million to spend before the election on preparing to sell assets.
Oh and I was at a dinner on Monday night where a certain Alasdair Thompson had been invited. But that’s another story.