Back Benches

I popped into the Backbencher last night to observe the live filming of the first episode of a new TVNZ 7 show – Back Benches.

It will be on every Wednesday at around 9 pm, and features Wallace Chapman hosting a panel debate between (mainly) backbench MPs. Damien Christie and Mary-Anne Ahern produce it.

The MPs last night were Maurice Williamson, Louisa Wall, Jacqui Dean and Hone Harawira. There were many dozen people watching – a big crowd from TVNZ (whose account my meal almost got charged to), other press gallery members, a few Vic Uni students, some ACT and Green supporters, plus a few MPs and staff from National.

It was a fun occasion, and I’d recommend locals go along when they can. They debated party pill bans, free trade with China and Peter Brown’s comments.  Lots of clapping for various MPs.  Hone was funny, with a fair bit of grand-standing. Louisa Wall was pretty good, with a good command of the issues for a new MP.

The comment I liked most of all was Maurice Williamson who said that his ideal free trade deal would be one page, and would simply say “You can sell anything you like to us, and we can sell anything we like to you”. Sounds good to me.

Comments (34)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment