A fracas has broken out in Parliament over Green Party MP Marama Davidson accusing National’s Nicola Willis of sharing “racist and classist” concern about her own safety in Wellington.
Willis, who is the National Party’s housing spokeswoman, had earlier in the week told reporters she no longer felt safe in central Wellington, as an “explosion” of emergency housing had led to a growing gang presence in the city centre.
Davidson, the associate minister for housing responsible for homelessness, took issue with Willis’ comments and said on Twitter: “We need to be mindful of the racist and classist understones [sic] that she is running her ‘safety’ narrative on.”
The only person who has mentioned race is Davidson. Pretty disgusting to attack a woman who says she feel unsafe, by effectively calling her a racist.
Willis confronted Davidson about the allegation in the House on Thursday afternoon, and questioned why the minister had not taken a paper to Cabinet or issued a press release during nearly five months in the job.
Five months and not a single press release!
Outside the House, Davidson told reporters she stood by her comment – but when questioned about what she had achieved as minister she abruptly left the press stand-up mid-question.
Davidson is on a total remuneration package of $313,000 as a Minister outside Cabinet. She’s done no releases, authored no papers and won’t front to media who question this.