Peters aims, fires and misses again

In Parliament yesterday:

Rt Hon WINSTON PETERS (Leader—NZ First) to the Minister for Whānau Ora: Does she have confidence in the Whānau Ora scheme?

Hon TARIANA TURIA (Minister for Whānau Ora) Tēnā koe, Mr Speaker. Yes.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Has she ever offered resources and staff, such as report writers, to prepare Whānau Ora commissioning agency bid documentation; if so, why?

Hon TARIANA TURIA : No.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : Did she give $500,000 plus expert help to the National Hauora Coalition to prepare its bid for Whānau Ora money; if so, why?

Hon TARIANA TURIA : No.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : You will not be laughing shortly, gentlemen. Did she give $3 million to the Iwi Leaders Forum to prepare its Whānau Ora commissioning agency bid; if so, why?

Hon TARIANA TURIA : No.

Rt Hon Winston Peters : So is she saying that a document that came to her at Parliament on 8 August at 3.26 p.m., setting out these matters and detailing the matters I am talking about, was just made up?

Hon TARIANA TURIA : I have no idea what the member is talking about.

The Herald has details:

Emails produced by Mr Peters showed Mr Tau had some discussion with Whanau Ora Minister Tariana Turia about funding the forum’s application but yesterday she showed media her response, making it clear such funding was unavailable.

So Peters got hold of a request for funding, just assumed that meant it had been successful, didn’t try to verify anything, and made wild allegations in the House that blew up in his face.

John Armstrong highlights it:

When Peters finally got the call, he asked Turia, as Minister responsible for Whanau Ora, whether she had ever offered resources and staff, such as report writers, to prepare Whanau Ora commissioning agency bid documentation. “No,” Turia replied.

Had she given $500,000-plus expert help to the National Hauora Coalition to prepare its bid for Whanau Ora money? Again, the reply was an emphatic “no”.

It was beginning to look like this was not going to be a winebox moment for Peters. Government MPs were enjoying the extremely rare sight of him firing what seemed to be blanks.

“You will not be laughing shortly, gentlemen,” he warned. He tried again. Did Turia give $3 million to the Iwi Leaders Forum to prepare its Whanau Ora commissioning agency bid? Again, “no”.

Peters’ voice by now carried more of a hint of disbelief coupled with bewilderment. “So is she saying that a document that came to her at Parliament on August 8 at 3.26pm, setting out these matters and detailing the matters I am talking about, was just made up?”

This time the answer was longer – but no less dismissive. “I have no idea what the member is talking about.”

That statement brought the House down. Peters had to sit down, having seemingly run out of ammunition, blank or otherwise. …

Turia later called a press conference at which she once again vigorously denied Peters’ claims and released an email from her staff last month to various Maori identities saying it would not be appropriate for the minister to divert resources to help any group prepare its bid to administer and allocate funding of Whanau Ora contracts.

An allegation from Winston is like a stopped clock – he hits the mark by accident twice a day, but generally it is all crap.

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