17 Dec 2009

Parliament now adjourned for the year

8:17 am on 17 December 2009

Parliament has adjourned for the year with the Government claiming credit for having managed the economy through recession.

But the Opposition has accused it of ignoring the needs of low income earners while looking after the rich.

However, Radio New Zealand's political editor says the last Question Time for the year was unusually jovial.

And it got increasingly farcical when Labour MP David Parker asked Energy Minister Gerry Brownlee whether he had received his invitation to go for a tramp in the Mount Aspiring Park to inspect conservation areas included in a stock-take of mineral resources.

Mr Brownlee said he was deply touched that Mr Parker wanted to spend "so much quality time in the high country" with him.

But on the other hand, he noted that all he was "required to bring was a pair of boots".

Mr Brownlee went on to say: "I've seen that film Brokeback Mountain, so I'm afraid I remain unavailable".

Mr Brownlee went on to say he was expecting other invites from the Labour opposition - including from Shane Jones and Parekura Horomia for a tramp up Queen St to McDonalds.

At which point Mr Horomia raised a point of order, to say it was Burger King.

Later during the adjournment debate the acting Prime Minister Bill English reviewed the year and the state of the Labour Party, saying at the beginning of the year Phil Goff's leadership was secure but that's no longer the case.

Mr Goff responding by referring to Mr English's housing allowance.

He also criticised the behaviour of the ACT leader and Local Government Minister Rodney Hide and Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.