Labour now doing the “Have you stopped beating your wife” routine

How pathethic. Select committee scrutiny of estimates is meant to be about spending and performance of government. Instead uses it for a smear disguised as a question.

Radio NZ reports:

Labour Party MP Trevor Mallard has offended Education Minister by asking her if she has ever hit any of her staff.

Mr Mallard asked the question during a select committee hearing at Parliament on Wednesday.

“When was the last time that anyone was hit within your office?”

The minister replied: “Mr Mallard, no one has been hit within my office, or any staff of my office.”

Mr Mallard: “Okay, so you’ve never hit a staff member?”

Ms Parata: “No Mr Mallard, and I take absolute offence at any suggestion that that has occurred.”

Trevor Mallard did not produce any evidence that anyone has been hit, and Ms Parata was clearly upset with the line of questioning.

The Herald reports:

“I can tell you categorically that I have never hit a staff member in my current employ or in my previous employ,” Ms Parata told reporters afterwards

She said she was “aware there has been a rumour but there is no substance to it.”

“I think it is really inappropriate, offensive and inaccurate.”

She said no one had accused her of hitting a staff member and she had never been approached by Ministerial Services – which deals with ministerial staff – about such allegations.

Mr Mallard told reporters after the committee that he believed a former staff member had left the office after being hit on the head.

He said he had heard the allegation indirectly from “a very good source.”

Now recall Trevor Mallard was Labour’s nominee for Speaker of the House. The role which is meant to be beyond reproach and upholding parliamentary standards.  And he’s smearing ministers on the basis of a third hand rumour that has no substance.

This is Labour focused on the big issues. They have no vision for education beyond abolishing national standards and charter schools. Their focus is on petty smears.

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