Strong voice crumples like a cheap suit

The week ended with news that Alfred Ngaro had the record for the most number of questions asked of government ministers by a member of the opposition. Of the 42,000 questions submitted to ministers by the opposition in the first year of the NZ First led coalition, 4,500 were asked by Ngaro with around 1000 on one day alone.

It is the role of the opposition to hold a government to account and when those sitting on the Treasury benches are as open, honest and transparent as the current incumbents it easy to see why the opposition feel the need to ask so many questions. Good on them for doing their job.

The fact that Labour asked approximately the same number in the entire last parliamentary term does not show that National are being vexatious, rather it shows that Labour were lazily asleep at the wheel, with no work ethic. Hence the need for umpteen working groups to sort out the policies and options they should have been working on whilst waiting their turn at the helm. Quote.

[…] [Melissa] Lee said the reason she, and National, were “very active” with their questions was because the Government would not provide straight answers.

A Newspaper

She said the volume of questions stems from the responses MPs get from the ministers, which she said aren’t up to scratch.

“So instead of just asking one question, I’m having to ask seven questions.” […]

She said this was “part and parcel” of why National asks so many questions.

Many written questions ask ministers what reports or briefings they have received and what meetings they have been to.

Ngaro, for example ? who lodged just over 1000 questions on November 30 ? asked for this information many times over to multiple MPs but lodged a separate question based on the date he was asking about.

Ngaro said the reason for so many questions was because it’s “important to know what’s going on” in the portfolios he looks after for National. […]

He added that part of National’s role in Opposition is to ask questions of the Government to hold them to account. […]

In 2016, Labour’s last full year in Opposition, MPs asked National ministers 15,680 written questions.

That same year, senior then-Opposition MP Chris Hipkins asked 820 written questions, Phil Twyford asked 360, Jacinda Ardern asked 163 and Grant Robertson asked just 29. End quote.

A Newspaper

Half a day later, the ‘strong voice for the west’ had crumpled like a cheap suit. One minute Ngaro is at the top of the pile doing what he is paid for, the next he was simpering in a corner because he retweeted someone else’s musings about climate change being a scam and blaming it on a ‘senior moment’.

The original tweet was in response to Judith Collins tweeting about the article referred to above. Andre responded to Collins with this: Quote.

Great opposition. But will there be any difference between National and Labour once National is back in government.
1. Less taxes
2. Less regulations
3. Less social engineering
4. No ‘Global warming’ scam ETS
5. Less UN


Someone somewhere noticed this and brought it to Ngaro’s attention and the backtrack began. Quote.

[…] [Ngaro] didn’t agree with all of the content of the message, and was proud of the stance National was taking on climate issues.

He had family and friends living in the Pacific Islands and they saw the effects of climate change first hand every day, Ngaro said.

The retweet was still on Ngaro’s Twitter account early on Saturday, but Ngaro said he would be removing it, and it was gone soon after.

“I’m not much of a Twitter person, and I don’t retweet much,” Ngaro said. “It’s a cautionary tale just to say be very careful how you do it.” […] End quote.

Stuff and Nonsense

Why are National such a bunch of weasel-worded woolly-headed wimps when it comes to climate change? Bridges is an embarrassment and Muller the ‘climate spokesman’ appears to be an ardent believer as he claimed National had “a strong track record on climate issues” and was “taking a principled approach to climate change”.

They wouldn’t know a climate change principle if it bit them on the … and I trust at least one does in the not too distant future.