The welfare presentation was very interesting. Instead of just a speech from the Spokesperson, they had the four Spokespersons (Judith Collins, Paula Bennett, Anne Tolley and Chester Borrows) talk about their families and experiences. It all combined to try and dispel the image that National sees families only as Mum, Dad and kids living together. Chester spoke quite emotionally about some the child abuse he saw as a cop also. The main focus was on child abuse, and it was noted that the incidence reporting rate has doubled since 2001.
At the end of the presentation, during the break they had the screen rotate through a series of photos of MPs with their children. It was I suspect a subtle way to make the message that National MPs know first hand about raising families – it is not just an academic exercise.
A small faux pas before the morning tea. A presentation was made to Geoff Thompson for all his work as Chair of the Rules Committee. Unfortunately after the speech, and asking him to come up for a presentation, it turned out he had not yet arrived at conference!