The Prime Minister should be embarrassed by the Government she's leading. What is this, the Government of anything goes?
What does it take to get stood down in this Government? What do you have to do to get reprimanded by Jacinda Ardern?
I would argue this business with Winston Peters is taking the mickey now. All of last week the media and the public asked questions about New Zealand First. About the donations, about the Serious Fraud Office inquiries, about the covert photos of journalists given to a Whale Oil-linked website.
We asked those questions because, to most of us, it was obvious that there are reasons to be seriously concerned.
The Prime Minister? Did she ask questions? No, she didn't. Nothing to see here. She didn't even ask Peters who took the photos.
She says it's not her job. She doesn't run the New Zealand First party.
Well, that's pathetic. She runs the Government. She is literally Winston's boss. If she doesn't ask questions and demand satisfactory responses from her Cabinet subordinates, who else is going to?
The problem for Ardern right now is that she looks either completely spineless or completely disinterested in running this country with integrity. She either can't muster the courage to have a difficult conversation, or she can't muster enough interest in whether the people around her are squeaky clean.
And, for the record, I think it's the former. It must be that she isn't up to actually reprimanding and disciplining her subordinates. I mean, Claire Curran had to fire herself in the end because Jacinda wasn't going to do it.
This Winston Peters thing has the potential to drag on. The least the PM can do is sit him down and ask him what is going on.
- Heather du Plessis-Allan is the Drive show host on Newstalk ZB