A battle of wits

Shane “Visa” Jones and Chris Finlayson had a battle of wits in the parliament today. Unfortunately the Attorney General was fighting with an unarmed man.

Hon Shane Jones: How is it a matter of good faith not to have sought advice about such an important Treaty principle as partnership?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: The issues are tolerably clear, as a result of all the reports on partnership that have been given by the Waitangi Tribunal over the years, including the 2007 report, which castigated that member’s Government for the sloppy way in which it had approached negotiations with Auckland iwi.

Hon Shane Jones: In terms of local government reform and the application of the Treaty of Waitangi, where does the change in Auckland governance derive its legitimacy from—constitutional law or democracy?

Hon CHRISTOPHER FINLAYSON: That is virtually a non-question. The answer is that the legitimacy of local government comes from this House, in that the Local Government Act was passed by this House.

Hon Shane Jones: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. That was not the question. The question was in terms of the application of the principles of the Treaty to local government reform. Invite the Attorney-General to skite again and give us a decent answer!

Mr SPEAKER: Points of order should not be made in that way. I believe that the Minister did answer the question.

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