Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Refusing to answer II

The transcript from Question Time today:

Metiria Turei: When the Minister said in his speech that “… New Zealanders need to know that this country is also well endowed with natural resources.”, is it not the case that Kiwis already know how blessed we are, already know that our magnificent conservation places are like gold to the New Zealand economy, and are aghast at his attempts to plunder those areas for fool’s gold and dirty coal?

Mr SPEAKER: The Hon Gerry Brownlee.

Metiria Turei: I raise a point of order, Mr Speaker. The Minister has to at least attempt to answer a question properly put to him by another member of Parliament.

Mr SPEAKER: Unless the Minister considers it not to be in the public interest, he should answer the question. I call the Hon Gerry Brownlee. The Minister clearly has nothing to say in response to the question.

This is simply unacceptable behaviour from a Minister. Being held accountable by Parliament is part and parcel of holding a Ministerial warrant. And if Brownlee is unwilling to do that, he should resign.