The privileges committee is often described as powerful, but that’s a misnomer.
It’s tabling its report on Winston Peters and the donations debacle tonight and it is expected to be divided along party lines.
That’s not surprising but it is wrong.
If serious questions about the conduct of MPs are settled not on the facts but by party politics then they aren’t settled at all; and a committee that can’t settle serious questions isn’t powerful.
If the privileges committee as it is set up now can’t be apolitical then parliament needs to investigate and implement an alternative that can.
The committee needs to be powerful, but until is has more teeth and less politics it can’t be.