This morning's Dominion-Post has a story by Colin Espiner titled Hide sidesteps flak on absence from job. It's a nice example of how material can be transmitted from blogs to traditional media - though alas without any mention of the former. And its a curious absence, given that said "flak" has come exclusively from the blogosphere; apart from the odd snide comment or bad pun when Rodney asks a question, MPs haven't commented on his absences. And the reason for that is that they can't; Standing Order 400 (n) declares that
reflecting on the character or conduct of the House or of a member in the member's capacity as a member of the House
may be a contempt of Parliament. While it is unlikely to be enforced on the media (though Parliament does jealously guard its "right" to do so), it certainly would be if an MP were to point out Rodney's systematic absences in the House and ask how well he is serving his constituents. Which means that if we want our MPs to do even the minimum of their job and turn up for work, we have to apply the pressure ourselves.