Parliament returns for an unexpected encore

Just when you thought the 52nd Parliament had risen from its national stage, the 120 members of the cast that have been providing our national level politics for the last three years are back with an encore. Settle back into your seats for one last – brief – encore where everyone can look forward to seeing/hearing more about how National is simply not fit to govern; why Labour whilst appearing assured of a second term should not be resting on their laurels; the impact of the little parties like New Conservative, A.C.T., the Greens and New Zealand First could have on the election.

One might have seen this coming. After Auckland went into lock down to try to flush out the current COVID19, the suitability of having an election when different parts of the country would have got differing levels of electioneering simply did not fit the needs of New Zealanders or the desire of political parties. The only thing to do was to move the date of the election back, which the Government did on Monday. An extra month also ensures that the 5,000 or New Zealanders who would have been too young to vote in the first one, but who turn 18 shortly after would be able to vote in this important event.

So, how did it go yesterday? Did the children of the House behave or did people get kicked out? Not surprisingly, the Prime Minister and Leader of the Opposition, Judith Collins clashed over some of the newer allegations. Then there was New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters asking for heads to roll over the failure of the Government to institute mandatory testing of quarantine and isolation staff. Mr Peters was vague when pressed on who should resign and appeared to suggest that the Director General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield and Minister of Health Chris Hipkins might be preferences without actually saying so.

So let us see how the encore goes. It is a very rare event in New Zealand to have the election postponed. It remains to be seen what will be on the Parliamentary agenda given that it rises in proper in a months time and that the Government tried to finish what it could of its legislative agenda prior to initially rising.

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