Wow. Mark Burton has blundered again. Now that is not so surprising. What is surprising is how NZ First is treating it.
Burton announced the results of the Rates Inquiry this week. He overlooked that it was set up at NZ First’s bequest and didn’t even give them an advance copy, let alone acknowledge their role. Shabby.
But instead of a private note of complaint, NZ First attacked and humuliated the Minister in the House – as detailed in Audrey Young’s blog. And this attack on a Government Minister would have been approved by Foreign Minister Winston Peters. Not quite the recipe for stable Government. Here are some of the questions asked:
“Has he or his staff been briefed on the details of the Confidence and Supply Agreement with New Zealand First, in particular the part that says: That the relationship between New Zealand First and the government will be based on good faith and no surprises, and does he believe that his failure to provide a timely pre-public release briefing to New Zealand First, his failure to inform New Zealand First of the press conference until the day it was to take place, the failure of his staff to send a copy of the report when they had promised to do so and his complete exclusion of any reference to New Zealand First’s role in securing the inquiry demonstrates acting in good faith with no surprises?”
“Does the Minister understand what the terms good faith and no surprises mean, and if his poor judgment in this matter jeopardises the otherwise constructive relationship between New Zealand First and the government, why does he not do the honourable thing and resign?”
Yes, NZ First did just call on Mark Burton to resign. That is an unprecedented call from a party with Ministers in the Government.