This week in the House: 20 March 2015

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Labour Party leader, Jacinda Ardern.

THE REPORTING BY OUR MAINSTREAM MEDIA, of activities in Parliament, is largely based on notions of news worthiness in commercial terms.  So it tends to play up dramatic moments of conflict, quick sound bites, sensationalism, and one-liners, while rarely giving a full explanation of the context of the debates.

I watch the House on TV when I have time, and often see how much occurs there, that never gets reported.  The following is my selection from some of the moments n the House, from among those moments that I saw this week:

Jacinda Ardern introduced the urgent debate on the IPCA (Independent Police Conduct Authority) report on the Roast Buster case. She calls the report “damning” and identifies a range of failures shown in the report.

This report shows that these young women were absolutely the subject of a failed process

See Selwyn Manning’s analysis of the report.

Ardern outlines the history of the case in her speech in the Urgent debate:

Ardern says that the report shows:

We were talking about 7 occurrences where the police had an opportunity to join the dots between a systemic problem – between abhorrent behaviour on multiple occasions involving multiple victims – and it wasn’t picked up.

[…]

I want to highlight this one point: This Authority has found, and I quote, “that all of the police officers involved in these matters treated the young women and their families with courtesy and compassion”.

Some of the women didn’t want to continue with the case, but Ardern argues the police should have continued to investigate, according to their own policy, because the “victims” were children.

Judith Collins spoke on Clare Curran’s  Electronic Data Safety Bill, which failed to pass its first reading. Collins, taking it personally:

Collins said,

… having been the victim of someone who’s decided to hack into someone else’s private information and then to make money off it, selling it to, or providing it to that well known receiver of stolen information, Nicky Haygar, who masquerades as a journalist, but is basically a hack who takes money off people who are stupid enough to buy his book. And having been the victim of that, let me just say that I agree with quite a lot of what’s been said so far.

Catherine Delahunty responds:

Delahunty responded,

… when the last speaker was talking about nasty little hackers, I thought she was talking about Cameron Slater, who does actually fill that criteria of being quite an unpleasant person in the way he talks about other people. I am going to defend the right of people to talk about important issues. And I do think that Nicky Hager is a citizen who brings issues into the light, which is quite different from exposing privacy. We actually need to know what’s going on in our country. We need journalists who can do that. We also need protection.

Andrew Little’s question to the Prime Minister on deployment of NZ troops to Iraq: Question Time Tuesday: 17 March 2015

Full transcript of the question and answers here.

  1. ANDREW LITTLE (Leader of the Opposition)to the Prime Minister : Does he still believe that people who oppose the deployment of New Zealand soldiers to train Iraqi Government forces need to “get some guts and join the right side” in light of widespread evidence that Iraqi Government forces are committing war crimes?

[..]

Andrew Little : Given that everyone in this House agrees that the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is evil, how is it gutsy to force young New Zealanders to train an army guilty of many of the same crimes as ISIS?

[…]  Will he give the New Zealand public a cast-iron guarantee  that under no circumstances will our troops work with the Iraqi army units or militia that have committed war crimes?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : What I can guarantee is, in terms of our own deployment, we are still planning the mission to Taji. However, we will set the terms of the mission including whom we will train, how we will train, and when we will train them.

Andrew Little : Why has he declared that the deployment to Iraq will end, whether or not its objectives are completed, about 6 months before the next election? Is that just a coincidence?

Rt Hon JOHN KEY : No.

So John Key agrees that the end date for the troop deployment is timed to coincide with the next election?

David Parker explains about the strengths and weaknesses of omnibus Bills.  He is talking to an omnibus Bill, ’35 Bills formerly part of the Statutes Amendment Bill (No 4) Third reading’.

Parker supports omnibus Bills that are limited in breadth and scope, as in Parliament’s Standing Orders. Such Bills/Acts can change several Acts at the same time, quite quickly.

Metiria Turei gave the final speech for the ‘Feed the Kids Bill’ that she took over from Hone Harawira.  It also was voted down this week

… not a single one of us in our own communities, would stand in front of a hungry child and refuse to give them food: not a single one of us would do that. Why would we do that when there are twenty children or forty children, or when there’s fifty-nine of us standing in front of those kids. Not one of us individually would say “no” to a hungry child. Why would we say “no” collectively? It makes no sense, Sir…

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Carolyn is committed to economic and social justice. She has researched and taught in film, TV and media studies, sociology and gender studies. Carolyn is actively interested in local history, and its impact on the present and future.

Carolyn currently works part time as a research librarian in Auckland Libraries, which is part of Auckland Council. The views, analysis, and opinions she expresses on this site are her own, and not those of Auckland Council.

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