Will Ardern unilaterally suspend Parliament?

Stuff reports:

There is a brewing standoff over whether Parliament should come back next week under level 4, with Judith Collins saying if Breakfast TV could be filmed she couldn’t see why Parliament shouldn’t sit.

Collins said she was fine with the House being suspended for a week but didn’t see why it should stay out of action throughout level 4.

“It’s quite alright for Parliament not to sit next week, but Parliament should sit the week after. We are a democracy,” Collins said.

Of course Parliament should sit. It can be done with reduced numbers and hours, but it it vital the Government remains accountable to Parliament.

He said a decision would not be made on the House until after Cabinet met on Monday.

It’s understood the Prime Minister will then use her powers under Standing Order 55 to suspend Parliament for that week, if advised to do so by Health Director General Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

It is totally inappropriate to use the DG of Health for cover, for what is a political decision.

“Other countries in the Western World have been able to operate Parliament during pandemics.”

“Why do we have Breakfast TV? Why do we have The Project on but we can’t have Parliament on in level 4? It’s hard for me to accept that Breakfast TV and The Project are more important to the democracy of New Zealand than a Parliament.”

Exactly.

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