4 Sep 2018

The Panel with Niki Bezzant and Neil Miller (Part 1)

From The Panel, 4:03 pm on 4 September 2018

There's been a lot of attention on the Prime Minister's choice to go to Nauru later than the rest of the delegation for the Pacific Island Forum, on the Air Force 757 at a cost of around $80,000. It's apparently because she is still nursing her daughter Neve. Many are questioning why she's going at all when the Australian Prime Minister isn't and Winston Peters is there anyway, however others argue it's an important tradition for the Prime Minister to attend the meeting. The panelists weigh in. Continuing with the discussion around Nauru, it has been described by The Guardian as a nation in democratoic freefall. The Australian-run aslyum seeker camps are front and centre, with a report released this week claiming refugees living there are the most traumatised experts have ever seen. Grant Bayldon, National Director of World Vision New Zealand tells us about the situation on Nauru. Foreign Minsiter Winston Peters has caused confusion over whether our refugee quota will be doubled, seemingly contradicting the Government's plan, saying a commitment was never made. He made the comment while at the Pacific Islands Forum. Mr Peters argues there are other priorities in New Zelaand to worry about, but Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says doubling the quota is still the plan. The panelists discuss. The decision by the Prime Minsiter to use the 757 plane comes after the Government declined to assist kiwi Abby Hartley, who is sick in Bali. Couldn't it have been used for these kinds of mercy missions if it needs to keep its flying hours up? Other questions are being raised about the Simon Bridges repsonse to the case, a listener says National seems much more caring outside of Government, pointing to a similar case. The panelists debate these arguments. Suspended minister Meka Whaitiri won't return to parliament this week while an investigation looks into her alleged man-handling of a staff member. The Ministerial Services inquiry is expected to take weeks, but National leader Simon Bridges is questioning why it needs to take so long, if at all. We ask the panelists this situation needs to be so complicated. It's Money week and Gambling Harm Awareness Week. We gamble away $2.2b a year; the big savings plan for some people is to rely on pokie machines!