Ardern suspends the House

Stuff reports:

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has decided to suspend Parliament sitting for a week as the Delta outbreak continues to infect more people. …

“At level 4, the last thing you want is 120 people converging from all parts of New Zealand into Wellington,” he said.

That’s a nonsense argument. It is trivial to get agreement to have only a small number of MPs attend, say 20 – 30, just for question time.

She said ministers would still appear before televised select committees and she had instructed Labour members on those committees to allow the Opposition to have the bulk of the questions.

She did not answer when asked if she would make herself available to appear before a select committee.

Of course not.

No other western Parliament I know of is being suspended. Australia’s House and Senate are still meeting. The House of Commons and Lords are meeting. The US House and Senate are meeting. And in Canada they are actually having an election campaign. Yet in NZ the Prime Minister has decided that the House must be suspended.

And to put this into further context, here are the number of new cases for each country in the last day:

  • UK 31,914
  • US 7,909
  • Canada 915
  • Australia 892
  • New Zealand 38

Yet it is New Zealand Prime Minister who has declared the health risk is too great to allow MPs to meet to hold question time!

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