Lies or incompetence?

Was she lying?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern attended a Labour Party caucus meeting where last-minute entrenchment clause in the Government’s controversial Three Waters legislation was discussed, despite her saying on Monday it was “not necessarily something I would be aware of”.  . . .

Hmm,  not necessarily something I would be aware of does not mean she wasn’t aware of it but the inference was very clear that she didn’t know about it until the storm broke.

Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta confirmed, through a spokesperson, the change to the bill was discussed with the Labour caucus – a meeting of all its MPs – in advance of the House sitting.

“We knew it was novel and may not pass the constitutional threshold, but it was still worthy of consideration,” Mahuta said, in an emailed response to questions. . .

Emailed response? A Minister responsible for a debacle like this ought to be fronting interviews, not corresponding by emails.

But on Thursday, Ardern confirmed she was at the caucus meeting where the change to the bill was discussed.

“I’ve also discussed and pointed out that entrenchment is generally understood to be a threshold of 75%.

“Conversations in caucus are kept in caucus … We took a view on the principle of ensuring that a public asset like water is absolutely protected from privatisation.

“What came before Parliament was a more novel approach.” . . 

She has discussed and pointed that out and what became before Parliament could be described as a more novel approach.

It could also be described as a constitutional outrage.

But this is a word salad that evades the point – did she or did she not know that there was going to be a Supplementary Order Paper to entrench the clause on privatisation?

If she did know she’s been lying by evasion and omission, if not, was she paying attention and understanding what was being discussed and agreed?

Is it lies or simply incompetence?

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