Judith Collins to grill PM Jacinda Ardern in first question time of 2021

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 5:01PM

Judith Collins to grill PM Jacinda Ardern in first question time of 2021

Author
Jason Walls, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 5:01PM

MPs are this afternoon back in the House and are ready to kick off the parliamentary year with a quickfire exchange as politicians scrap it out in question time.

At first, all eyes will be on National leader Judith Collins and her lines of attack against Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

But the National leader – and the party as a whole – will later shift their sights on to Parliament's Speaker Trevor Mallard.

National plans to seek the permission of the House to raise a motion of no-confidence in Mallard – a motion which is almost certain to fail.

That is because it only takes one MP objecting to block the motion.

But National has vowed to raise the motion repeatedly throughout the year in a bid to get Mallard removed from his role.

Before that motion, however, ministers will face a barrage of questions from the Opposition.

Top of the list of topics this afternoon is Covid-19.

"Does [the Prime Minister] believe that New Zealand should aim to get access to safe and effective Covid-19 vaccines as early as possible," is the first question Collins will ask Ardern.

The National leader will likely follow up with questions about the Government's previous commitment to New Zealanders being "front of the queue" when it comes to the vaccine.

Later on, National's Covid-19 Response spokesman Chris Bishop will be asking when New Zealand will be receiving its first batch of Pfizer vaccines.

Finance Minister Grant Robertson will also be grilled.

One half of National's finance team, Andrew Bayly, will ask Robertson about warnings from the Reserve Bank about house price inflation.

But before he does, Robertson will be thrown a softball question by Labour MP Duncan Webb, asking him what his priorities for this year's Budget are.