Hone missing in action

April 25th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

Mana Party leader has been absent for 49 of the 120 sitting days since the 2011 election.

That’s appalling. That means he has missed 16 entire weeks of the House.

Mana leader described himself as going “to battle for those without a voice in Parliament” at his party’s conference this month but he has been a rare sight in Parliament this year.

In the nine weeks that Parliament has been in session, the MP has given just two speeches and asked one oral question to a minister.

Mr Harawira has spoken only on the Prime Minister’s statement after the opening of Parliament in January and on a debate into financial reviews of Government departments. Major legislation on which the Mana Party has taken a strong stand but Mr Harawira did not speak included the final stage of the welfare reforms.

Mr Harawira was also away on the day in which Treaty settlement bills were debated and for the passing of the same-sex marriage law, although earlier in the day, he had hosted a “Big Breakfast” for schoolchildren in Otara to publicise his member’s bill for a free meal for low-decile schools.

His absence has been noted. Other MPs on the Maori Affairs select committee said he has only occasionally attended of late.

Mr Harawira has also been entitled to ask four primary questions and about 20 follow-up questions in Question Time but has taken only one slot.

Most Opposition MPs would crawl over broken glass for an opportunity to ask a question in question time, but Hone can’t even be bothered turning up!

Speaker David Carter said a formal attendance record for MPs was no longer kept, but Mr Harawira had been given 49 days of leave since the 2011 election, during which Parliament has sat for about 120 days. Party leaders have more responsibilities than other MPs, but most, including Prime Minister John Key and Labour leader David Shearer, attend on two of the three sitting days.

Party leaders do have to balance parliamentary and party responsibilities. but as MPs they are paid by the taxpayer to be in Parliament, making speeches, asking questions, doing the hard grunt on select committees to improve laws. It seems Hone is mainly using taxpayer resources to build up his party machine.

A spokesman for Mr Harawira said he was in Hawaii for a United Nations event this week. When contacted, Mr Harawira hung up.

Says it all.

Mr Harawira has criticised the Maori Party for its support agreement with National, but Mr Flavell said Mr Harawira had not been in Parliament to challenge the Government, or to put forward alternative ideas.

Despite the cutback in travel to Wellington, Mr Harawira’s travel expenses for the first three months of the year were still higher than any other non-ministerial MP, including Mr Shearer.

We are funding the Mana Party.

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67 Responses to “Hone missing in action”

  1. TimG_Oz (865 comments) says:

    Oh no, Penny Bright will be up in arms at this lack of transparency and obscene rorting of taxpayer money.

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  2. NK (1,257 comments) says:

    As will Bomber Bradbury.

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  3. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    What a LOSER Hone is.

    Speak up, anyone who thinks that Hone’s being elected has done one iota of good for Maori.

    ( *** silence ***)

    Just as I thought. Bloody *trougher*. He’s only in there so he can get his *gold-plated super*.

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  4. kowtow (8,784 comments) says:

    Missing in action…..more like Absent without Leave or Desertion.

    How convenient that a formal record of attendance is no longer kept!

    Yet another loss of accountablity to the electorate that they “represent”.

    And the fact that you can vote in the House when you’re not there is plain wrong!

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  5. Chuck Bird (4,928 comments) says:

    Another good reason to get rid of race based seats. Not much chance of that under the present National government.

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  6. hannity (152 comments) says:

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  7. peterwn (3,312 comments) says:

    Parliamentary Services needs to get one of these:
    http://www.gone-ta-pott.com/800px-Time_clock_at_wookey_hole_cave_museum.JPG

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  8. Cactus Kate (551 comments) says:

    In the real world it would be the boss to blame for giving him the leave.
    Let an employee game the system it’s hardly their fault.
    And we all know how special Hone is.

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  9. Viking2 (11,574 comments) says:

    Ha C Kate. In the real world he would be on contract and paid by results. Ain’t gunna happen in the Round House.

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  10. Than (500 comments) says:

    I can’t say Hone not being in parliament upsets me.

    He was fairly and legally elected. Poor judgement from the people of Te Tai Tokerau, but that is their choice to make. He gets a vote on bills before the house, again all fine and democratic. And if he chooses not to waste everybody’s time by grandstanding and asking meaningless questions (“Does the Prime Minister stand by all of his statements?”) I completely approve.

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  11. NK (1,257 comments) says:

    The people of Te Tai Tokerau may have elected him but we all pay his salary. I wish there was a decent investigative reporter who could flush out one person in Te Tai Tokerau who beleives Hone has made a a difference up there. He certainly won’t be doing that from Hawaii.

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  12. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    Sitting in the house is a waste of everyone’s time.

    A more important question would be, does Hone sit on any select committees and what work does he do there ?

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  13. Pete George (23,687 comments) says:

    Another person missing in action at the moment is Russel Norman. Last Monday he advised via Facebook that he would be on leave until Monday 6 May.

    I guess MPs can take as many holidays as school teachers, but Norman heading overseas just after launching the share float bomb – and David Shearer headed overseas about the same time – suggests that the timing of the NZ Power launch wasn’t about effective promotion of a supposedly game changing policy.

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  14. Rightandleft (670 comments) says:

    It’s disugting that this racist and unprofessional MP can travel this way on our dime and then not even bother to show up in Parliament. Seems like a bigger waste of money that even the Greens using their funds for that referrendum.

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  15. Manolo (14,078 comments) says:

    What do you expect? The Stone Ager thug Harawira has been a parasite, a bludger, most of his useless life.

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  16. Yoza (1,913 comments) says:

    What never ceases to amaze is the amount of vitriol inspired, by those who advocate for the most marginalised in society, from the rabid right. Obviously, Hone must be doing something worth while.

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  17. Viking2 (11,574 comments) says:

    Has Norman been much different?

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  18. Than (500 comments) says:

    Yoza, you have completely missed the point.

    Hone*isn’t* advocating for the most marginalised. He has had opportunities to ask questions in parliament, to put the government on the stand for their treatment of those less well off. And he has chosen not to take those opportunities.

    Obviously us heartless, cruel Tories are happy he has stayed silent when he could speak. But I would have thought you would have prefered he stand up do what he was elected to do.

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  19. Kimble (4,443 comments) says:

    Hone must be doing something worth while.

    [citation needed]

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  20. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    What never ceases to amaze is how thick the young people of today are. Just because someone says Mr Whippy is going to roll up and hand out ice creams to all the poor deserving children doesn’t mean that there is any soft serve in the milkshake machine.
    The economic conditions must be right and the bills must be paid to produce the goods.

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  21. seabreezeent (31 comments) says:

    So, most miss 40, hone misses 49, yawnies. Would you prefer he boost the travel costs even higher by attending so you can all have a bitch about that, hehehehe, from what I have seen of parliament sitting days I don’t blame him for choosing to do some real work opposed to participating in the pathetic twaddle that is parliament and I don’t even particularly like the blardy man.

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  22. OneTrack (3,235 comments) says:

    What never ceases to amaze is the amount of blind adulation of anybody on their “team” by those on the left and their inability to take any criticism.

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  23. Yoza (1,913 comments) says:

    Than (130) Says: at 4:41 pm “Yoza, you have completely missed the point.

    Hone*isn’t* advocating for the most marginalised.”

    “Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says police smashed a window and removed him from a car when they arrested him during a state housing protest. …”

    I don’t see any other politicians prepared to be arrested for their convictions.

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  24. OneTrack (3,235 comments) says:

    “We are funding the Mana Party.” – We are throwing money away that would be better spent on hospitals and schools.

    There, fixed it for you.

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  25. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    What never ceases to amaze is the amount of vitriol inspired, by those who advocate for the most marginalised in society, from the rabid right. Obviously, Hone must be doing something worth while.

    Yoza you’re deliberately and on purpose missing the point or else if you really believe that bollocks you’re a fool.

    How come the Maori Party MP’s manage to put their time in at parliament. How come every other MP puts their time in? It’s because they recognise the responsibility of the position.

    Hone however, alone of all Maori MP’s, believes the rules don’t apply to him. To him, they’re just white man’s rule anyway and he’s not going to obey those. Such thinking belies the position he chose to stand for. While the rules are lax, they are lax because an MP is expected to think and act like an adult.

    But Hone displays none of that, in anyway. If you support him, as he meanders his way to yet ineffective parliamentary term achieving little if anything of value. you’re an idiot.

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  26. TimG_Oz (865 comments) says:

    Yes its much better that MPs are out breaking the law rather than doing their job in Parliament making the law. Logic is not the strong point of the far left nutjobs.

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  27. Than (500 comments) says:

    @Yoza – Absolutely, that is Hone making the most of being an MP. Any thug on the street can put a question to the Prime Minister, but it takes an elected MP to obstruct the police and get arrested.

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  28. OneTrack (3,235 comments) says:

    Thanks Yoza

    “HNZ said it had several expensive state houses on big sections in an area close to the city. It needed to use that land wisely to help deal with growing housing demand in Auckland.”

    So Hone was standing in the way of HNZ (a big state government department ) delivering the most appropriate resources to its clients. Maybe he should have a talk to Len about why we need to make more people into a smaller space, so we cant afford the luxury of having five bedroom houses occupied by single people because they have “always lived there”.

    Big government is best. Didn’t you get the memo?

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  29. Monique Watson (1,062 comments) says:

    Dear Yoza, Only dickheads get arrested during a protest And it just shows how fucking tits he is at politics if he can’t work out how not to get arrested as an MP. What a tosser. Him I mean. You’re just a sycophant.

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  30. Yoza (1,913 comments) says:

    Having spoken with Hone I am acutely aware of the suspicion he harbours for the political process in this country. The political system in New Zealand – much like those of Britain, Australia, the US and Canada – exists to serve the interests of the wealthy few and their business class servants.

    I have no doubt that the visceral hatred of Hone expressed here is just as intense among the Labour Party’s right-wing. Cries of, “GET THE UPPITY MAORIS!” are common place in established institutions, the corporate media and fairer skinned ‘right thinking’ people.

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  31. Yoza (1,913 comments) says:

    ““HNZ said it had several expensive state houses on big sections in an area close to the city. It needed to use that land wisely to help deal with growing housing demand in Auckland.”

    Let me translate that for you: The well to do of Glenn Innes look forward to their house values increasing as the poor are transported out of sight and out of mind.

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  32. seabreezeent (31 comments) says:

    Do we have the numbers for any of the other plonkers or is it just Hone? you know, the easy target, guaranteed to get the foam and spittle flowing.

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  33. Yoza (1,913 comments) says:

    seabreezeent (17) Says: at 5:18 pm

    ‘Do we have the numbers for any of the other plonkers or is it just Hone?’

    No, flopping around on your belly like a performing seal for the benefit of our wealthy rulers is considered the most highly principled activity available in New Zealand.

    Bloody uppity Maoris, how dare they question the legitimacy of their colonial masters.

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  34. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    Having spoken with Hone I am acutely aware of the suspicion he harbours for the political process in this country.

    Well the system is bigger than Hone Yoza and Hone chose to stand, no-one forced him. With rights also come responsibilities.

    Frankly Hone behaves like a petulant child and it’s him who has to grow up and start behaving properly and if he can’t bring himself to do that then he needs to resign.

    At the moment he’s got as much credibility as Kopu, and we all know what she did.

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  35. mara (796 comments) says:

    Honi is fecking boni idle. And arrogant. Who is surprised?

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  36. simonway (387 comments) says:

    So Key and Shearer have missed about 40 sitting days each, then?

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  37. TimG_Oz (865 comments) says:

    I’m just wondering on 200K per annum, nice travel perks and jetsetting junkets to Hawaii. Does not Yoza realise that Hone is one of his “wealthy few”, and is behaving more and more like it each day?

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  38. mikenmild (11,777 comments) says:

    Hone’s political appeal up north probably doesn’t depend on his level of activity at question time in the House of Representatives.

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  39. Colville (2,300 comments) says:

    Hone must be doing something worth while.

    [citation needed]

    Catching crayfish and drinking piss is worthwhile.

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  40. edhunter (552 comments) says:

    Oh grow up people all this faux outrage, so Hone isn’t a good lil house nigger like the Maori Party MP’s. Parliament is better off without him.
    The real outrage is that still in the 21st century we have race based seats, the gweens have shown consistently how to pass the 5% threshold under MMP. There should be no place in today’s society for such racist policies.

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  41. duggledog (1,589 comments) says:

    As I said this morning, heavy irony that the champion of the poor and downtrodden up north doesn’t turn up for work. Yes I have been up north and lived up there for many years. In that respect he’s the perfect candidate.

    Unrealistic and racist towards anyone but Maori too

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  42. Johnboy (17,007 comments) says:

    Lay off folks. He’s probably home helping Mummy get the kumara crop in.

    Don’t you honkies understand the meaning of priority? :)

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  43. RF (1,454 comments) says:

    Manolo 4.30pm

    Its a breeze for Hone he just swings through the trees with the greatest of ease.

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  44. Lucy (32 comments) says:

    Home would not be the slightest best concerned by either David or Claire’s thoughts. He is voted by the people of Te Tai Tokerau. Clearly there would not be many of them who read this blog.
    – largely directed towards the wealthy and the wealthier. Of course there are many other lazy MPs but if you are white then it doesn’t seem to matter. So let me put it in perspective – mainly for the racist and the ignorant. He is voted for his connection to that land and Kaupapa. It is not about turning up, warming a seat in Wellington, asking meaningless questions to Ministers and who can yell the most in Parliament. Its not about voting on a welfare reform bill That Your one little bite has nonchance of stopping. He is serving that electorate. They are happy. You hold an election – Hone will get in. He works for them. He understands them. They are happy with him. On and on Pakeha people praise Pita. But does not speak for the downtrodden. Hone is the leader of an inclusive party – a
    Party working for all poor people. Pita leads a separatist one. Hone works hard and he has an elected mandate to be in Parliament. This is how our democracy works.

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  45. Lucy (32 comments) says:

    Made my comment on iPhone – autocorrect caused errors and then I got a message saying I couldn’t edit my own comment? Bug?

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  46. Johnboy (17,007 comments) says:

    ” Clearly there would not be many of them who read this blog.”

    Clearly if they vote for a retard like Hone there would be fuckall of the poor bastards that can read or comprehend at all! :)

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  47. wreck1080 (3,972 comments) says:

    Thats just Hone eh!

    Perpetuating the stereotype of maoris wanting money without working for it.

    Fortunately for Hone, his supporters are as thick as 2 planks and/or have a total lack of education . They probably think it is great.

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  48. Johnboy (17,007 comments) says:

    Still you have to admit that turning up for work 71 days out of 120 is more reliable than most Murri are eh bro? :)

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  49. Kacang (36 comments) says:

    Hone is just exemplifying the ethics of his constituents. Get paid by the man for doin nothing. And moaning about it.

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  50. kiwiincanberra (4 comments) says:

    I don’t understand Yoza, full stop really. If you pay someone to do a job (an MP is a paid elected member) and you don’t do your job your employers (read taxpayers) should be feeling very wronged.
    Does not matter if you are a rich prick (like Hone is, based on the avg national wage) or not!

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  51. Jimmy Smits (246 comments) says:

    Who gives a shit? As much as I detest that racist fuck, Parliament is a bloody waste of time and question time is a joke to watch let alone attend. Fuck attending question time to see John Key self-grandising when he’s too much of a pussy to make any real change to the NZ economy for fear of offending centrist mum and dad voters. He is doing exactly what Peter Dunne would do if he was PM – sweet fuck all. To him being Prime Minister is an administrative job where you just clock in the hours and smile for the camera. All image and no substance. Roger Douglas has more testosterone in his balls at age 70 than John Key has at 40. What a weak, pathetic, don’t shake the boat PM we’ve got.

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  52. RRM (10,034 comments) says:

    Just give it all to the Maori ™ – you know they deserve it.

    Latest examplar – Hone Harawira.

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  53. coge (190 comments) says:

    Where’s Hone?

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  54. Warren Murray (314 comments) says:

    Fair point to some that see question time as pointless political theatre. But there is more to the role than using your allocation of questions at question time

    Consider what other work is done by effective MPs. What other stuff is he doing well with dedication, commitment and achieving results? it is one thing to build and maintain a profile to get elected, what happens after the election? For example, Important work is done at Select Committees, but the article indicates he doesn’t bother with that either. What does he personally do for his constituents? Or does he rely on lowly paid staff to do that for him too?

    This member has a history of going AWOL.

    Isnt there a Bill before Parliament that, when passed, will financially penalise MPs who fail to show?

    At the moment he’s not very important – but Imagine how he would behave if Labour needed his vote(s) to form a government.

    The Maori Party found him to be unmanageable. Because he lacks any personal self discipline, he cant really be expected to manage himself.

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  55. simian (29 comments) says:

    Can’t say I like Hone that much and he in no way represents me in parliament but obviously there are people that do as he was democratically elected. Just because you don’t like how he performs in his role doesn’t mean the people who elected him don’t either, they may think what he is doing is good. I don’t like what John Key does as I don’t think he cares what affect his actions have on the average nzer, However it’s clear that others do.

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  56. Sam Buchanan (501 comments) says:

    “doing the hard grunt on select committees to improve laws”

    It never occurred to me to describe sitting on a select committee as ‘hard grunt’. But wouldn’t it be better to wait and find out what Hone actually has been doing before slagging him off as a useless lazy bloody Maori? I can imagine many more useful things for an MP to be doing than warming a chair in parliament. Maybe Hone’s doing such things and maybe he isn’t, so far nobody’s managed to provide an iota of evidence either way.

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  57. willb (10 comments) says:

    Living in Newtown (home to some desperate poverty that most Wellingtonians living in the nicer suburbs won’t witness) I’ve noticed that Hone seems to been the only mp that will come near it, infact he held a public meeting here only a few weeks ago. Frankly I think acts like that are far more useful for the interests of his constituents than trying to extract answers from the National Party frontbench under the stewardship of a speaker who seems hellbent against any order or real measure of accountability during QT. No wonder Mana party flags line the streets here.

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  58. Steve Taylor (211 comments) says:

    Is there a minimum amount of time a Parliamentarian has to “show up for work” or are they simply trusted to manage their own time and commitments?

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  59. wreck1080 (3,972 comments) says:

    @willb : and a complete waste of time if he doesn’t turn up at parliament to push the plight of these people in poverty.

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  60. Pharmachick (241 comments) says:

    @edhunter: please don’t use that word (starting with “n”). It is derogatory in the extreme. I understand that NZers may not understand the depths of anger and misery it inspires, but after living in America for ~13 years I do, and that word is really unacceptable. We ought to all be thankful that NZ never had slavery in the way that the US and other countries did.

    @DPF: I know you’re against censorship, and perhaps this being a blog based out of NZ those words have a different, less miserable, difficult and loaded context. But the words used by edhunter 6:15 pm April 25 (“house n*****”) are really upsetting and strongly inflammatory. At a minimum, even recent pop culture events such as the movie “Django Unchained” have shown the horrors of those termed that back then. I’m not sure the post ought to be deleted, but perhaps a starring or something. Then again, maybe this is a different country, different context issue.

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  61. HC (154 comments) says:

    As much as one may disagree with Hone, he may be more sensible than some here would dare to guess. What is the purpose of Question Time in Parliament? It is mostly used by some in opposition AND government, to ask well prepared questions, to catch the other side out, mostly ministers that is of course. So it is just a tit for tat show, often not even involving questioning about matters that most of us would and should be concerned about, it mostly is also media focused, geared to perhaps get a headline story on the news.

    Statistics are thrown to and fro, distractions are standard fare, lies are wrapped into words making them sound honest, allegations and accusations are dared, which would not be repeated outside the chamber. That is a circus show of Parliament, which we mostly get. I have myself approached some MPs to ask “real” questions, but they fall in line behind their “leaders” and “whips”. So most of it is a game.

    Hone cannot be bothered with such crap, so he may have chosen to focus on what he actually can do and attend to. Naturally his past bursts of anger, about pakeha and others, do not make him popular with many in the public. But I think, hate him or like him, he is one of the more honest shooters in Parliament. Hence he is only there half the time, because the less honest, self focused, vanity driven and attention seekers are there more often.

    Leave the stage to the clowns perhaps, and get on with what matters, that may be the real story behind this.

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  62. HC (154 comments) says:

    As for Select Committees, I presented some submissions, and what I saw at such committees was just totally disillusioning. Does anybody ever bother looking up the Parliament website, look at the submissions made to bills and other papers? Often there is overwhelming opposition to bills presented to Parliament, but since the government and larger parties usually have the majority also in Select Committees, they will always push through whatever the majority wants to push through. Voters and citizen’s input is walked over, ignored, wiped aside ALL the time.

    To me Select Committees have become another bizarre side show of total irrelevance and contempt by the government majority, no matter what side is holding it. Submitters are just NOT taken seriously, no matter how much support and competence they may have.

    Democracy in New Zealand has become a mockery of sorts.

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  63. Steve Taylor (211 comments) says:

    HC: That has been my experience with the Select Committee process as well. I did look up the submissions to the Family Court Proceedings Reform Bill on the Parliamentary website. What surprised me was how evidentially “light” many of the submissions were – and a significant majority were from Lawyers, many of who I read as making emotive, as opposed to reasoned appeals to retain the Family Court status quo. I certainly came away from the process thinking that I had been privy to some grand pantomime – the only bit missing was the opportunity to shout out “He’s behind you!”.

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  64. Kea (13,359 comments) says:

    but since the government and larger parties usually have the majority also in Select Committees, they will always push through whatever the majority wants to push through.

    HC, They even have a word for that now. “D-e-m-o-c-r-a-c-y”

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  65. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Kea (3,700) Says:
    April 27th, 2013 at 7:55 am
    ————————

    That is not necessarily the case when it comes to select committees. I have been involved with at least three in which the majority of the submitters and submissions were ignored, and for many they were not given the right to speak to their submission. The select committee process is not meant to be about ticking the box for the party with the majority in an election – it is meant to be exploring the issues, many of which are not presented to the electorate before they vote.

    A perfect example was the Gambling Bill which was dominated by the minority – the Gaming Association (heavily supported by Peter Dunne I might add). Despite a large number of submissions etc from people opposing the growth of pokie machines in the community – every industry representative was given the right to speak, where only a handful of those opposing them were allowed. How is that democracy?

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  66. Steve Taylor (211 comments) says:

    What I was also surprised about is that those who have been nominated to a Select Committee, who are charged with reading the submissions, and getting their heards around the issues at hand, can send someone else from their Party to “sit in” for them during the Select Committee hearings, people who (may) not have read the submissions and who (may) not have got their heads around the issues at hand. In one example, 4 of the nine people appointed to a Select Committee I submitted to weren’t even present – they had each sent a “fill in” person.

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  67. HC (154 comments) says:

    To Kea (re comment 07.55 am, 27.04.13) – Democracy is only true democracy, when we have informed voters. As the media in NZ is doing a rather poor job with this, that alone leaves this system here in a poor standard needing urgent “repair”. We also have only ONE House, no Upper House or kind of separate body, which could put extra scrutiny on bills put before Parliament. So that is why Select Committees should really be the forum for discussion and debate on finer issues raised by way of submissions. Yet, as Steve Taylor and Judith have stated above, the truths if far from that.

    Yes, there are just bums sitting on chairs, and usually just representing the party position.

    So while there may be overwhelming opposition to bills or parts thereof, and this being expressed by submitters, that should provide for serious discussion of how a bill should perhaps be considered for further changes.

    As it was with the Social Security (Benefit Categories and Work Focus) Amendment Bill, there were in the end only tiny, cosmetic changes made to certain parts of the bill. Yet most submitters expressed immense concerns about the changes to put all sickness beneficiaries into the “Jobseeker” category (together with unemployment benefit recipients), same as about major concerns about changes to work capacity testing along the UK system for DWP, about how the social obligations that in part will only be enforced on beneficiaries but not others, that they are discriminatory and breach the Human Rights Act and various UN conventions signed by NZ, and also concerns about other details.

    The government did not give a damn and pushed the bill through disregarding all concerns by organisations representing disabled, professionals working with sick and disabled, advocates, many parents doing home teaching and others.

    That is not how democracy should be working, in my view.

    Any government that has a majority in NZ Parliament can almost pass any law they want, due to the lack of extra scrutiny and input.

    As for Hone Harawira, one may think, that apart from other business he may be attending to, he may also spend some time sorting out some of his relatives, who caused some issues not long ago.

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