Steve Braunias' Secret Diary of Parliament

Greens co-leader James Shaw. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Greens co-leader James Shaw. Photo / Mark Mitchell

MONDAY

John Key: Back to it tomorrow. God almighty. Ugh! Kill me now.

TUESDAY

Rt Hon John Key (Prime Minister): Mr Speaker, is it not great to be back?

James Shaw (co-leader - Green): I only wish to say a few words. First, may I strongly disagree with the Prime Minister. It is not great to be back. It is more than that. It is wonderful to be back, a privilege, but also a grave responsibility which I take very, very seriously indeed with the utmost seriousness. Let me tell you a serious story. I once worked on a microfinance project in the Andes.

It was high desert country. I went there on a horse with no name. One of the farmers I was working with said to me one day: "Don't cross the river if you can't swim the tide."

I said: "But there's no water. We're in the desert."

The wily old fox winked, and said in a low voice, "Then what is it that your horse is drinking?"

And I think we can all see in that story the mistakes that this Government has made.

The people of New Zealand are the desert. The government is the horse. And it's my destiny to be the farmer.

Mr Speaker, I -

Mr Speaker: I am sorry to interrupt the honourable member. The time has come for me to leave the Chair for the dinner break. This debate is interrupted and I shall resume the Chair tomorrow.

James Shaw (co-leader - Green): But it's just past 4pm.

WEDNESDAY

James Shaw (co-leader - Green): Sir, as I was saying -

Mr Speaker: You have 30 seconds remaining if you so wish.

James Shaw (co-leader - Green): Thank you. I -

Mr Speaker: I am sorry to interrupt, but your 30 seconds has gone. It's been moved so we can debate the first reading of the Civil Defence Emergency Management Amendment Bill.

Mark Mitchell (National - Rodney): We may not think it but this is actually a really important bill and the contribution I want to make to it is to say nothing very substantial for the next oh say half-hour or until the dinner break, whichever comes first.

Clayton Mitchell (NZ First): Me too.

Mr Speaker: I note you two have the same surname. Are you related?

James Shaw (co-leader - Green): Sir, I was wondering whether they are in fact the same person. These things happen. I saw it with my own eyes in a desert. Let me tell you a serious story. I -

Mr Speaker: Dinner break!

THURSDAY

Hon Paul Goldsmith (Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs): I move that the Patents (Trans-Tasman Patent Attorneys and Other Matters) Amendment Bill be now read a first time.

Mr Speaker: Yes. And later, I'll open debate on the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2015-16, Research and Development, and Remedial Matters) Bill, but first I put to the members the question that the amendment set out on Supplementary Order Paper 129 and the tabled amendment to clause 260B be agreed to.

Hon Te Ururoa Flavell (Co-Leader - Maori Party): Tena koe, Mr Speaker. Kia ora tatou katoa e te Whare. Mr Speaker, can you repeat the question?

Mr Speaker: Certainly. I put to the members the question that the amendment set out on Supplementary Order Paper 129 and the tabled amendment to clause 260B be agreed to.

Hon Te Ururoa Flavell (Co-Leader - Maori Party): I meant in te reo.

David Seymour (Leader - Act): I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. I seek leave to introduce a member's bill in my name, the Sentencing (Minimum Term for Repeated Burglary Offenders) Amendment Bill, to be set down after question time today for first reading.

Mr Speaker: Leave is sought for that course of action. Is there any objection? There is objection.

James Shaw (co-leader - Greens): Let me tell you a serious story ...

FRIDAY

John Key: TGIF.

- NZ Herald

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