Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Point of Order: We know what the PM thinks of David Seymour.....

.....but how does he stack up alongside Vladimir Putin?

Ukraine loomed large in the latest announcements and the one speech posted on the Beehive website in the past 224 hours.

The speech came from the PM, telling us what she said in her address to Ukraine’s President Zelensky on the occasion of his addressing the New Zealand’s Parliament.

Yours is a country at war and you are at the helm, leading your people through a crisis.

The name of Vladimir Putin, curiously, is missing from the speech.

Can you imagine Winston Churchill railing against the Nazis without telling us what he thinks of Hitler?

Foreign Affairs Minister Nanaia Mahuta made two announcements that would have been encouraging for the Ukrainian leader:

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing more humanitarian aid to support the people of Ukraine as the conflict enters the winter months, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

Mahuta did mention Putin in this statement:

“Russia’s targeting of energy and other civilian infrastructure is deplorable. As Ukraine faces a harsh winter, Putin’s actions have further disrupted electricity supply, and are harming the health, safety and well-being of already vulnerable communities.”

New sanctions are being imposed on Iran for its supply of weapons technology to Russia causing death and injury to Ukrainian civilians, as part of our continuing response to the war.

In her speech this morning, Ardern told Zelensky that in response to his address, he would hear loudly and clearly that this is not a forgotten war.

And nothing could be more emblematic of that I hope, than so many parties of the New Zealand parliament, on the other side of the world coming together to condemn Russia’s war, and stand firmly and clearly with you.

But in the judgement of Stuff’s Thomas Manch, the PM was outperformed by National’s Chris Luxon-
Christopher Luxon the statesman emerges as the Ukraine war beams into Parliament

The war in Ukraine entered New Zealand Parliament’s debating chamber on Wednesday in the most direct manner yet: President Volodymyr Zelenskyy beaming in to share a message from Kyiv.

It was a moment that called for a meaningful response. But the leader that rose to the occasion wasn’t Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who was ready to offer a further $3 million in humanitarian support for energy-stricken Ukraine as it heads into winter. And it wasn’t ACT David Seymour and his unashamed politicking.

It was the Opposition leader, Christopher Luxon.

Manch said that – for the first time – Luxon the statesman emerged. The PM’s response to Zelenskyy, in contrast, lacked the force of previous Government statements on the war in Ukraine.

It was largely a list of New Zealand’s efforts to support Ukraine, peppered with references to more high-minded aspects of New Zealand’s view on the world – worthy, certainly, but hardly relevant to the leader of a country being bombarded with missiles.

Other leaders’ speeches appeared less for Zelenskyy and Ukraine, and more for their own domestic supporters, Manch contended.

Green Party co-leader James Shaw spoke of how his party reconciled its adherence to non-violent conflict resolution with its support of Ukraine using violence to end the Russian invasion.

Seymour touted his party’s pressuring of the Government to “do more” and went straight for the political pitch: “If our Government changes before you win, the New Zealand Government will do a lot more than the $3 million you saw today”.

Ardern might have earned more admiration from Manch – and doubtless would have featured in another spate of world headlines – by describing Vladimir Putin at least as an arrogant prick, but (much better) also as a contemptible bully, a detestable tyrant and a loathsome warmonger.

Whereas she did not mention Putin in her speech, Luxon was no so coy:

When the history of this war is written, the greatest condemnation will be for Vladimir Putin. The greatest admiration will be for you, President Zelensky, and your courageous leadership. The greatest gratitude will be for the people of Ukraine. Daily, we see images of indiscriminate attacks on civilians that leave broken and burning villages, cities, homes, and schools, and the death of every single Ukrainian is a tragedy.

The greatest regret of this war will be the terrible loss of life that has left tens of thousands of Ukrainian families bereft.

The Beehive website records a raft of other posts which show the business of governing was going on while Zelensky was the star attraction in the House –

The Government’s books are forecast to be back in surplus in 2024/25 reflecting a resilient economy in the face of a global economic downturn.

Budget 2023 will continue the Government’s commitment to providing Kiwis with economic security through what will be a difficult year for the global economy facing both the challenge of inflation and a forecast economic slowdown.

The Government is providing more cost of living support by extending the petrol excise discount until the end of February then phasing it out by the end of March. Half price public transport will also be extended until the end of March.

Attorney-General David Parker has announced the appointment of seven District Court Judges.

 Government accepts findings of LynnMall supermarket terror attack review

The Lead Coordination Minister for the Government’s Response to the Royal Commission’s Report into the Terrorist Attack on the Christchurch Mosques, Andrew Little, welcomes the release of a coordinated review of the management of the person who carried out a terror attack on innocent people in Auckland on 3 September 2021.

Aotearoa New Zealand is providing more humanitarian aid to support the people of Ukraine as the conflict enters the winter months, Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today.

An advisory group established to advise the Government on how to maximise the benefits of digital and data-driven technologies will wind up this month.

One of the foundations of New Zealand’s electoral system will be strengthened with new legislation passing its third reading, Justice Minister Kiri Allan said.

New sanctions are being imposed on Iran for its supply of weapons technology to Russia causing death and injury to Ukrainian civilians, as part of our continuing response to the war.

Five years on from the Government’s Families Package, MSD research released today shows it has made a real difference to increasing incomes for New Zealanders which will help them through the global cost of living pressures.

The path to rebuilding trust and confidence in the child protection system has taken another step with the Oranga Tamariki Amendment Bill passing its third reading in Parliament.

Today will go down in history as the day the Government guaranteed a healthier, smokefree future for the next generation of New Zealanders, Associate Health Minister Dr Ayesha Verrall says.
He mea pōhiri a Ngāti Kahungunu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-ā-Rua ki Te Whanganui-a-Tara i tēnei rā ki te mātakitaki, ki te whakarongo hoki i te putanga o te ihu o te tuatoru me te whakamutunga o ngā pānuitanga o te Whakataunga Kokoraho a Ngāti Kahunugnu ki Wairarapa Tāmaki nui-a-Rua.

Cabinet has agreed to all ten key actions from a review of the Emergency Housing system by the Ministry for Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Ministry of Social Development’s (MSD).

Point of Order is a blog focused on politics and the economy run by veteran newspaper reporters Bob Edlin and Ian Templeton

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