Prime Minister John Key has accused Mana party leader Hone Harawira of “taking the mickey” over his absences from Parliament.
MPs will have their attendance recorded – and made public – from today. Parliament has adopted a roll call to show how many MPs, who earn at least $147,800 a year, turn up for debates, select committees and other business.
And this morning Key pointed the finger at the Mana leader, saying he was often not present. However, he could not provide further details.
“Hone Harawria is an obvious one,” he told reporters.
“You go and look at the number of days he was here in the 2011-12-13 period – not very many.”
The record for this Parliament (from 2011 to present) shows Harawira had approval for 68 days leave.
ACT’s John Banks had 29 and United Future Peter Dunne had 13 days leave approved. Independent MP Brendan Horan had permission for 21 days off since he was expelled from NZ First in 2012.
Exactly what proportion of sitting days Harawira has missed was unclear, but this year there were 84 sitting days scheduled.
That’s a key thing. We’re talking 68 days away, out of only around 84 scheduled days a year. Now this is over two years, but still suggests an absentee rate of 40% or so.
The PM and the Foreign and Trade Ministers will generally not be in the House much because their jobs require them to travel a lot.
I’ve blogged before on how rarely Harawira has spoken in the House, and also how he has asked almost no written questions.