13 Feb 2019

Question time begins again

From The House , 6:55 pm on 13 February 2019

Question time graciously handed its usual 2pm spot to a debate on the Prime Minister's Statement on the first day of Parliament but has returned for day two.

The debate on the Prime Minister's Statement is still underway but will follow question time until it's completed.

Expectations for an intense question time were high for 2019's first session but MPs still had to play by the rules.

Quick facts on Question Time:

  • Twelve oral questions to ministers
  • Primary questions must be lodged in the morning; supplementary (follow-up) questions do not have to be.
  • Supplementary questions are a privilege not a right. The Speaker has final say on whether they can happen.
  • The topic can be almost anything as long as the minister being questioned is responsible for it.
  • Any MP who isn't a minister can ask a primary question. Opposition MPs will try to catch the government out. Government party MPs may ask a soft or patsy question.
  • Parties have a certain number of questions allocated to them.
  • The Speaker is the referee and what they say, goes.

Hear highlights from the Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges' question to the Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

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Photo: VNP / Phil Smith